Archive for the ‘Bicycling life’ Category

Today was the fourth year in a row that I volunteered as a ride ambassador at the Ride for Heart. This time, good friend Tim came along. Note: since Tim is also a bit of a bike shutter bug, some of the pictures to follow were taken by him (especially the ones of my riding).

First repair of the day: an adjustment on a fellow volunteer’s bike.

Big thumbs up at the start gate.

Approaching the first on the road repair of the day: these kids reluctantly received some help with a jammed chain.

photo: T. Potter

Tire underinflation: by far the most common thing we saw all morning.

Rear brake cabling problem.

More inflating of tires. You’ll notice that Tim is going all the work.

This couple had a jammed chain. Their bike was borrowed from a neighbour, a beautiful Claude Butler tandem that was older that they were.

They got a flat further along the ride, but towards the end of the ride, we saw them all smiles, with a new rear tire.

Glad to get this traffic update…….

At the York Mills turn around.

Back down the hill, and under the Prince Edward Viaduct.

Leading up to the last climb of the day.

Raising seats for two girls that were struggling a bit on the climb.

Biking by the undeveloped lands by the mouth of the Don. At this point we’ve decided to remove our ambassador shirts so that we can show off our wool jerseys.

Thanks to Jeff at Palo Alto bikes for exemplary customer service: he took the trouble to accept a phone order for this special PA Bikes wool jersey. Not only that, but he sent it by USPS rather than UPS as per my preference. I get to stir up a few memories of my grad school days when I wear it.

photo: T. Potter

Never get tired of seeing this skyline from this vantage point.

These two bike dads were smart enough to have a bail out option.

The final stretch along the Gardiner to the S. Kingsway exit.

Overall, no flat tires this time, but lots of pumping up tires and seat adjustments. There seemed to be fewer mechanicals this year. At one point, five of us white shirted volunteers converged on a single cyclist to see if they needed help.

Thanks to for TBN for giving us the opportunity to help out. Thanks also to Tim for good company, and doing 90% of the work this year.

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It was the first really nice Saturday of the year. So of course time for a family bike ride. As a special treat, I dragged the Daisy Mayhem out of the depths of the garage.

Proof that the wife and I are tandem compatible.

After a quick spin of High Park, we were feeling guilty so we circled back to pick up Lucy.

It was a spectacular day. Hope that you managed to get out and about.

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1st shorts ride, 2019

For the record, it was +6°C this morning, so after this unusually long winter, I rode in with shorts.

Hoping that spring will actually spring soon.

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The groundhog lied

Well it’s been almost two weeks since Groundhog Day, and it looks like there’s going to be a lot more winter than predicted. This past two weeks have been particularly interesting, with various predictions of horrible weather that have not always been on the mark. Yesterday, TDSB closed all their schools and yet it was a pretty peaceful ride in. Certainly less traffic than usual.

I have to admit I’m getting a little soft, and I’m wearing the balaclava a lot more this winter than in the past. The googles were on account of the high winds.

Yesterday’s prediction of freezing rain in the evening never really materialized, and it was a sloppy, slushy ride home.

As you can see, the city was a bit behind on plowing, and since the curb lane on Bloor was impassable, I took the lane. With the strong tailwind, it was no problem keeping up with traffic.

This morning, all the stuff from last night was frozen on the bike.

It was snowy going in.

A lot of slush carried into the building. Our poor custodian….

I’m going to try to see if I can beat last year’s record of 120 consecutive days of cycling. Doing well so far:

Here’s hoping that we don’t get too much more snow this winter.

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So today was the start of what is supposed to be the most significant snow fall of the season thus far. On the plus side, there was a nice tailwind, and the temperatures were much warmer than this morning.

Here the Bloor bike lane has not been plowed recently, but it was still pleasant riding on the comparatively untracked snow.


On the eastbound sections with bollards, I was thankful for the separation from traffic. The windrow makes one long for a permanent concrete barrier.


Please forgive the runny nose picture.


Past the end of the bike lane at Shaw, I mixed it up with traffic as most of the curb lane was impassable. Fortunately, traffic was very slow, and there was no problem keeping up. On the downside, I was stuck in traffic like everyone else.


Most of the unplowed side streets were impassable, with the many tire tracks making traction highly variable.

According to Strava, it took me over an hour and a quarter for me to get home, which was the longest ever.

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Still it was fun, and the car drivers were comparatively courteous tonight. We were all in the same boat, just trying to get home safe and sound. My favourite bit was passing an e-assist fat bike on Bloor.


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Started the year off right with a bike ride down to the lakefront with two good friends. Temperature was a balmy -1°C.


Here we are at Trillium Park.


Here coming back along the Railpath. Note that with my new phone, it is easy to brush the front surface and put the photo app into different modes. This picture was inadvertently taken in portrait mode, and you can compare it to the first photo. The software is artificially blurring everything away from my face. It is a bit disconcerting because my arm is at the same focal distance as my face, so it does not look like real bokeh.


Also have no idea why veloviewer thinks that there is only 19 km between Toronto and Ottawa.


Happy New year to everyone!


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Lucy and I snuck out for an early morning bike ride, probably the last of the year. (and just by accident, we passed 8000 km total on the Haul a Day)


According to Cyclemeter, that makes it 891 rides for 2018, and a record total of 7444 km.

IMG_0388 (1)

That’s the same number of rides as last year, but the mileage was up. Perhaps this was because of the training that I did for STP.

Here’s a month by month summary:


Coldest Day of the Year Ride 2018


Winter group ride with Scarborough Cycles



I really liked this Cherubim.

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In this particular case, the cyclist ran into a stopped van in a Don Mills neighbourhood, so it is not clear what actually happened.



HPVDT competes at ASME HPVC East (Penn State). If our trike had not broken during the sprints, we would have done very well.


A visit to Perennial Cycles in Minneapolis




Bike for Mike.  This time the route was around Hamilton Harbour





This time we combined our ride with Ward 14. Little did we know that Doug Ford would merge our two wards by the end of the year.



Provided ride support once again. This time the weather was decent.


A bit of biking in Tokyo


This one at Colborne Lodge and Lakeshore, one of the intersections were we have been trying to get safety improvements for years.



This one right close to work, at St. George and Bloor.





The Pie Ride with Vancouver Bicycle Club


Seattle to Portland for the second time, this time on a Brompton



A family bike ride to Toronto Island


The Tikit finds a good home: had to sell it to fund (retroactively) the purchase of the Brompton last November.


Ride James Ride!


An evening ride with the Hamilton Glowriders.


A brief look at a fully protected intersection in Vancouver.


It was also a real treat to meet Chris and Melissa Bruntlett of Modacity




World Human Powered Speed Challenge 2018

Calvin finally went 80 mph, and Liverpool broke the arm powered speed records.



Another memorial ride: this time to Riverdale


Trying out the velodrome with TBN


In case you’re counting, that make seven this year that I’ve been on, which is a new high or low, depending on how you look at it.


Bike the bridge (Windsor to Detroit)




WHPSC featured on CNN. A short segment on a show called: CNN Fit Nation”

Screen Shot 2018-12-09 at 3.19.40 PM


I wish everyone tailwinds and safe riding in 2019!



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