Archive for the ‘Bicycling life’ Category

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.

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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”

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I wish everyone tailwinds and safe riding in 2019!



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It’s been about a year since I got my Brompton and I’ve found that it is a great folding bike for the city. This past year I’ve ridden it over 190 times with total mileage of just over 1800 km. The most telling statistic is that this is more mileage than I did on the Tikit over five years of ownership. The compact nature of the fold makes all the difference.

Some of the adventures that I’ve had included:

Biking across the Ambassador bridge.


A trip to Battle Mountain for the WHPSC. (photo: Danny Guthrie)


A gathering of Toronto Brompton Owners


Seattle to Portland


A pie ride with the Vancouver Bicycle Club.


Riding with 10 year old James who was riding from Whitby to Coney Island to raise money for Autism treatment


and squeezing in a Brompton ride on the same day.


Unfortunately a couple of ghost bike rides as well, like this one for Colin Patrick Sztronga


I also have to throw in a fun day in Minneapolis on a borrowed Brompton. (Photo credit: Perennial Cycles)


Over the past year, I’ve also made some modifications to the bike, including:

new handlebars


Greenspeed Scorchers



  • a Ti rack and EZ wheels
  • cane creek barends
  • a water bottle bag from Randi Jo Fabrications
  • detachable pedals with the MKS EZ-Superior system
  • a Ti seatpost
  • a broken in Selle Anatomica saddle
  • the Brompton specific Cateye Volt 400 headlight
  • A Brompton front basket

On the basket:

It has worked out really well. It is the perfect size to carry the shoulder bag that I use at the office, along with a few odds and ends.


Before I got it, I had some concerns as I was told that it doesn’t fold flat, and I wanted to make sure it would fit in the same suitcase with the folded bike. As it turns out, the frame that defines the shape of the basket is easily removable.


Here you can see the basket packed with the bike.


and a close up showing the basket frame tucked along the left hand side.


Here I am off on another multi-modal adventure.


For now, when the city starts salting the roads, I’ll put the Brompton away for the winter.

I wonder what I’ll be doing to the bike, and with the bike next year…..




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Due to unseasonably warm weather, I decided to ride into work with shorts, and to commemorate the event, I took this selfie. Upon reflection, I’m posting it here since there is so much Fred in the picture.

… in other words, pretty much everything you see in the picture.

Some might argue that riding a folding bike to begin with is the epitome of Fred as well, but I won’t do that as it might get me in trouble with Brompton fans.

Update: I see that I posted more or less the same thing five years ago.


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This afternoon I had a little time on my hands so I took a somewhat circuitous route home, starting from the Lawrence subway station. I wouldn’t recommend this route as it had plenty of cycling along major streets with high speed arterial traffic, such as Bayview, York Mills, Wilson and Keele.

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However, if you look at my veloviewer map, you can see that this was another tile collecting run. Here is the before map on Veloviewer which shows a 6×10 rectangle.

Screen Shot 2018-09-01 at 5.16.06 PM

Afterwards, now up to 8 x 10.

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However I see that I didn’t plan my route carefully enough because there is one square not filled in on a potential ninth row.

Screen Shot 2018-09-01 at 5.29.57 PM

If I had just turned into that little Cul-de-sac, that would have done it.

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However, as a consolation, I got to see some truly fugly houses in that neck of the woods. This was my “favorite”.


I’ll have to pick up that missing square at some point, but from now on I think that I’ll let my tile collecting happen organically.

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