Archive for the ‘Bicycling life’ Category

I’ve been spending the past week in Tokyo, squeezing in a bit of bike content where I can. Here are some brief notes on several shops that I visited.

The first was Blue Lug, which is well known for custom builds using frames sourced in the US from vendors such as Rivendell, Crust, Velo Orange and Surly. You can see some of their builds on this page. I visited their Yoyogi Park branch a few years ago, but this time I went to the Hatagaya shop.

There was a goodly assortment of staff bikes parked outside the shop. I really like the kid seat on this surly with the special cargo carrying fork.

Indy Fab


Step inside and it pretty much takes your breath away.

Paint samples on drink cans.


Their build area.

Their web shop is a good source for Japanese components and accessories that can be hard to get in North America.

Next up: Rin Project, near Ueno Station. They are a clothing and accessory shop.

I bought a pair of their wool tweed knickers maybe 15? years ago that I pull out on special occasions. You can see them in this picture. The sales man was a bit surprised to see them, and he said that they still make them in cotton.

I bought a pair of their stretch convertible pants which I will review at some point in the future. Also a Brompton carrying handle with shoulder strap that I anticipated needing during the week.

Next up: Tokyo Bike, which is a relatively new shop catering to the crowd who wants a pretty bike over all else.

Tastefully laid out interior.

You can rent this stride bike, rather than buying it outright.

These single speed kids bikes were built around 451 sized wheels. High ten steel frame so they are not light.

I liked the chain guard.

Their main adult bike has 26″ wheels, Shimano Tourney derailleurs, and a very slack frame geometry. All yours for 86,900 yen and above.

Fairly close by was a micro brewery called Folkways Brewing. The best beer I had all trip.

If it is open, this keg is out by the curb.

Here is the small, spare interior space.

and the proprietor, Daisuke, with his nicely restored Moser.

Finally a few shots from the bike area of a department store buried in the depths of Shinjuku station. Since the last time I visited three or four years ago, it looks like e-bikes are much more common.

Most of the mamachari that I saw this time were e-assist.

It’s common to see unusual branding on very generic bikes in Japan, such as car brands like Hummer or Lamborghini. I was sad to see this folder branded Harry Quinn, who was a custom frame builder out of the UK. If you google, you can see the same branding on some Brompton clones.

I’ll report back later on what it’s like to commute across downtown Tokyo by bike.

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On my way to work this AM I came upon a large group of parents with kids on bikes forming a bike parade, with police escort. The officer to the left told me that this had to do with bike to school week (although I thought that week fell in late May).

The group was being directed down this laneway towards their eventual destination of Lord Lansdowne Public School.

Although it was great to see so many kids biking to school with their parents, I found it a bit sad that such a big crowd was only enabled by a police escort that was also corking intersections.

Citizen led initiatives such as bike buses strike me as being more appropriate and sustainable.

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With the glorious weather today, it was high time for a family bike ride. In preparation, it was also time to take the studded tires off of the tandem and the cargo bike.

The perfect opportunity to try out this new bike gadget that I got: the Tru Tension Tire Monkey. The video makes it look amazing.

In truth, if the tire bead is tight, it is difficult to use it to unhook the bead. I ended up using a regular tire lever to get things started.

However, I will say that the Tire Monkey made it much easier to remount a tire, so I would recommended it.

I thought I might as well wash the salt off of all three bikes that I used this winter. If it snows again, I take partial responsibility.

Time to ride out to High Park with Lucy on the Buddy Rider.

I hope that many of you also got a chance to enjoy the summer and warm temperatures today!

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Always have a Plan B

I’m riding home on the tandem, and then I feel that the front tire is going flat. So what do do. The tandem is the only bike that I have where I don’t pack a patch kit, pump and tools. Also it’s getting dark and it’s starting to rain. So I lock it up and hop on the TTC the rest of the way home.

Now what to do.

Plan A is to go to the garage, haul out the tandem rack, put it on the van, drive out there, and the lift the tandem onto the roof (not very easy), and drive back.

Plan B is to ride out there on the cargo bike and tow it back. Simple.

All mounted up.

My Haul a Day has luggage rails with wheel holders. Regrettably these are no longer made.

Almost home.

That’s two flats in the month of February. I hope that’s not a sign of how the rest of the year is going to go.

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There is a tradition for a group of cyclists to ride out to the lighthouse on the Leslie St spit on New Year’s Day. The weather forecast was a balmy 3°C so I decided to give it a go. The meeting place was the corner of Queen and Logan. Our leader was Alex.

He asked how many people were here for the first time. About half raised their hands. A pretty good sized crowd. Here we go, Alex in the lead.

Turning east on Eastern.

Dave asking if I shot his good side.

Pause at the park entrance. A couple more people were waiting there.

Here we go. About half of the cyclists were fenderless roadies.

I liked seeing the wide range of different bikes that showed up.

This could be an ad for Tern.

Dodge those puddles!

Up towards the lighthouse.

It soon became apparent that there would be too many people for a photo on this side of the lighthouse. It was decided to backtrack to the flat area just north of the lighthouse.

Matthew decides to take the direct way down on his titanium cargo bike.

Gathering for the group shot.

Know your biking Brians.

Alex lines up the shot.

The group shot.

A number of people were taking video, so I’ll link to them as they are posted.

A nice way to start out the New Year! Thanks to Alex for organizing.

Great to see many of the usual suspects while not on a ghost bike ride.

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Another year gone by, another 8000 km or so. A record distance over the year, just a bit beyond what I did the past two years, despite the fact that I did fewer long rides. Cyclemeter says I’m a bit over 8500 km, whereas veloviewer gives a slightly smaller total.


I took advantage of a cold snap to ride the clear ice on Grenadier Pond in the course of testing out some pants. I could hear the ice sing.

Local bike advocate Janet Joy Wilson took a new job in the Big Apple, so she invited a few of us along for a group ride to mark the occasion.

Late January was unusually cold, and so I ventured out to Toronto Island to ride on the ice in the canals, with a bit of crunchy snow on top.


Lots of local protests in support of the freedom convoy in Ottawa disrupted traffic in the downtown area on weekends. Didn’t affect biking so much.


TCBC organized a ride to show support for extending the Bloor bike lanes all the way into Mississauga. The group was small because the ride had been postponed due to weather at the last minute, but some cyclists showed up anyway. So we went ahead and rode out from Runnymede and were met with a group coming the other direction at the bridge over Etobicoke Creek.

The official ride on March 20 happened with a much larger group including Midori and I on the tandem.


I made a quick trip out to Portland for a wedding, and also checked out two cargo bike shops that I missed during my last visit, one of which was Splendid Cycles.

Cycle Toronto organized a ride to celebrate the success of the bike lanes on Shaw St. We were joined by long time supporter Councillor Mike Layton.


Bike for Mike 2002 had rainy weather, but nevertheless I had a good time, and it was for a good cause.

May the fourth was the perfect day for a Star Wars themed ride.

I explored a bit of the Uxbridge to Lindsay rail trail. Didn’t make it as far as Neverland.

The Ride of Silence was back in person for the first time in three years but I was not able to attend.

The first ghost bike ride of the year was for Joshua Okoeguale, a 16 year old who was killed in Oshawa.

The annual bike month group commute was back this year.

HPVDT had a chance to test their tandem bike at a wind tunnel at Western University.


The annual fund raising bike ride on the Gardiner and DVP was rebranded the Ride for Brain Health. I was doing ride support with TBN as per usual, but I also met up with colleagues from my department at the beginning.

A quick trip to Hamilton to see a promotion of the Keddy Access Trail.


I had a streak of continuous days of bike riding that stretched back to Boxing Day 2020, but somehow I forgot to ride on July 1, so my streak ended at 517 days.

A quick trip to Woodstock NY to go to a concert by Nexus percussion. Got in some riding by the Ashokan Reservoir. Got to see the stage where 4′ 33″ was premiered.

Got a Switch e-bike conversion. Initial impressions were positive.

A ghost bike ride in Hamilton for Brian Woods, who was killed riding to his work at Limeridge Mall.

Doing a little exploring by bike of an unimproved section of the Etobicoke Creek Trail.

Another Burlington to Niagara ride with TBN.

Mike Layton decides not to run for re-election. The cycling community in Toronto has lost one of its strongest advocates.


A number of years ago, I was on an organized ride from Seattle to Vancouver, but due to a flat tire and other issues, I ended up completing the ride but leaving a gap of about 100 km. I went back this year to fill in that gap. It was punishingly hot, but there was ice cream at the end.

Some nice gravel riding on the left coast.

A ride to promote safety on Parkside Drive, and to protest police ticketing of cyclists in High Park.

A TBN ride to Lake Simcoe.


Testing our tandem speedbike at Downsview.

The World Human Powered Speed Challenge was back this year after two years of cancellations. Unfortunately our tandem crashed and we did not set any records.

Cycle Toronto organized fund raising rides in different areas of the city. I rode with the Scarborough group.


A night time march down Yonge St to promote road safety.

A gravel ride between Belwood and Luther Marsh.

A ride with TBN during peak fall colours.

Third ghost bike ride of the year, this time near Streetsville.

Pre Halloween ride with the Neon Riders.

Hallowe’en Bike Parade.


Checking out another section of the G2G trail.

The annual ride to remember Road Traffic Victims. It was cold and windy.

A TBN ride from Hamilton to home.

Dammit, we couldn’t get through one year without a ghost bike installed in Toronto. RIP Kartik Saini.


Another ride down Yonge St with Santa.

A pair of pogies arrived from a small company in Ukraine, naturally in the colours of Ukrainian Flag.

I’ll also note in passing that an updated map of all ghost bike locations in the GTA has been posted. Thanks to Ingrid Buday for her work on this.

For some year end coverage of some of the upgrades to bike infra and associated public consultations for future projects, visit Rob Z’s blog.

Also see this year end summary from David Shellnut, the Biking Lawyer.

Wishing you all a safe year for 2023, with plenty of tailwinds!

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This morning was a balmy 3°C with little wind, so it was an opportunity to get in one more road ride before the winter storm promised for this weekend hit.

Here are some shots of the underpass under the QEW on the Etobicoke Creek Trail. You can see that they have done some grading so it is an easy gravel ride. Hopefully everything will be wrapped up and officially open early this coming spring.

The trail itself was lightly salted so I’m going to have to use the garden sprayer this afternoon.

One more shot on the way home.

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In honour of May the fourth, a group was organized to do some crafting of X wing pilot costumes, and today was the day to show them off on a bike ride. I did my bit my decorating a spare helmet.

I also dressed up my bike with some election sign material, pool noodles and zip ties.

The ride started at Christie Pits, but I arrived late, and I didn’t see anyone, so I took off along the posted route to try to catch the group. Here you can see by the shadow that my S-Foils are locked in attack position while I rode down Rosedale Valley Rd. I also noticed that the cars were giving me a wider berth than usual.

I got all the way down to Corktown Commons where I met Chris, but still no rebel pilots.

As it turned out, they left Christie Pits around this time, and I ended up doing another circuit from Bloor and St. George, and down to Corktown Commons once again before I finally caught up with the group. Here are some familiar faces from the bike team.

Thanks to Bill for taking this picture of me and my X-Wing.

Off we go.

David Pecault Square

Along Wellington.

Event organizer and Red Leader Natalie.

Across Garrison Crossing.

Thanks to Natalie, Gerry and everyone else for the fun evening. I imagine that much of the same crew will be riding again tomorrow for the Neon Rider kickoff.

Kevin’s video of the event.

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A few shots of the bike related stuff at the end of the day. Firstly going by the bike shop to help out a bit with reassembling TITAN in preparation for some testing.

Basically together, with more prep to be done.

Dropping by a bar where we are wishing our fourth year MSE students well after the second last day of classes.

Then a quick ride home in the rain.

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The good people at Toronto Community Bikeways Coalition organized a ride that was to start today at Runnymede Station, and to go along Bloor to Etobicoke Creek where we would be met by a group riding the other direction from Celebration Park.

The intent of the ride is to show support for Mississauga cyclists who are pushing back against a group that are opposed to bike lanes because they would violate their charter rights.

There is a online public consultation on March 9 from 6:30-8 about the bike lane project. You can register for the meeting at this link.

Unfortunately with the high winds forecast for today, the ride was postponed until March 20. However, I rode down to the start to see if anyone didn’t get the news about the cancellation.

I’m glad that I did, because here was a group of diehard cyclists who were prepared to ride west into a gale force headwind.

Zach was rocking a bike with a Buddy Rider.

He was kind enough to take this photo so that I could join in.

Angela, ever the activist, led us in a chant. Note the wind noise 😉

For those who want to join us for the March 20 ride, here is the information:

Join us this Sunday, March 20, 2022 for a ride in support of bike lanes on Bloor.

Starting points:

Mississauga: 12:45 PM at Celebration Square
Toronto: 1:00 PM at Neil McLellan Park (across from Runnymede Station) 

We will rendezvous at the Mississauga-Toronto border — on the bridge crossing Etobicoke Creek.

Note: given the lack of road safety on Bloor, this ride is not recommended for children.


1. To support a proposed bike lane on Bloor between Central Parkway East and the Mississauga border.
2. To support the westward extension of the Bloor bike lane from Runnymede
to the city border with Mississauga (at Etobicoke Creek). Torontoʼs 2022-24 Bike
Plan only includes bike lanes to Kipling but not beyond.
3. To improve dangerous streetscapes into healthy, enjoyable routes for the benefit of residents, visitors, and local businesses; and to provide a continuous east-west cycling route from Mississauga to Scarborough.

Email us at community.bikeways.toronto@gmail.com for more information. You can also check out our campaign at https://www.communitybikewaysto.ca/we-belong-on-bloor

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