Archive for the ‘Bike People’ Category

Cycle Toronto organized a “Yonge Loves Bikes” ride on a gloriously sunny Saturday. The ride started at Heath and Yonge, just a little north of St. Clair so that we could all look forward to riding down the big hill. This is in contrast to last year, when we had to bike up the hill.


It’s always interesting to see some of the fine machines that show up. This is TBN member Roy’s Air Friday, to which he has added e-assist.


He also locked out the flexing of the Ti beam with this bracket.


Sam with one of his bikes. He says he has been trimming down the size of his fleet.


It turns out that this big orange Bullitt with a trailer belongs to Cycle Toronto.


The combination of horizontal dropouts, disc brakes, hub gear and tight fender line is going to make repairing a flat on the rear a real pleasure. (I hope I didn’t jinx things by pointing this out). Note the Shimano e-assist and and electronic shifting.


Sam et al tell us how the ride is going to be organized.


We line up behind some police bikes.


And off we go, turning south on Yonge.




Regroup after the steepest part of the hill.


Is that “V” for victory, or a peace sign?


At Davenport.




Approaching Bloor St.



South of Bloor now.


Here comes that Imperial Star Destroyer the Cycle Toronto portable mothership.


Sorry this one is blurry.


Yonge/Dundas. At this point, the police escort peeled off.


At Shuter.


Turning at the foot of Yonge St.


Along the MG trail.


Turning into the southernmost part of Sherbourne Commons.


Group picture, without the lake in the background.


Thanks to Cycle Toronto for organizing, and all the rides who rode with us.


Once again this year, there will not be a Bells on Bloor ride as that volunteer group is focusing on the Bloor bike lane pilot campaign. There will be a Bells on Danforth ride on June 24, but regrettably, I’ll be out of town that day.

and of course today there were other rides going on, such as the Ride to Conquer Cancer, and the world naked bike ride, which just happened to go by my office while I was composing this blog entry.




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Today was the annual Ride for Heart, a fundraiser for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Once again, I volunteered with TBN to provide rider assistance. Since the forecast was for rain for the entire morning at the very least, I decided to go with full on rain gear. Although during my commutes, my rain gear of choice is a rain cape, since I’d be out in the rain for hours and there would be a lot of getting on and off the bike, I wore a rain jacket and pants, and a helmet cover for good measure.


Riding by the memorial for.Xavier Morgan.


There was a bit of confusion since the TBN booth was in a totally different location than was advertised on their website.  Indoors this time, right by the Ricoh Coliseum.


Apparently an email went out but I didn’t; get it. Although I was on the EX grounds a little before 7:30, it was past 8:00 before I got rolling.

Frank and I dealt with our first flat even before the starting line.


Once I’m on the Gardiner, all the aggravation of getting up early and dealing with rain slips away.


Bad picture of a tandem Bikeshare bike.


Because of the late start, we were mainly mixed in with the 25K riders, which accounted for the very large number of kids on the road.


Homemade rain cover on this Yuba.


First stop: just a person low on air. Once you stop and people see you have a floor pump, several of them stop as well. This happened a couple of times.


John and Bob (and water on the lens).

20,000 participants might have disagreed, but given the choice, I’m glad we had sunny weather yesterday rather than today.


A woman went over her bars on this downhill, and we talked her into walking back up the hill to a school bus to take a breather.  Sean is talking to her group on the other side of the roadway.


This gal had a pinch flat, and then punctured her new tube during installation. Fortunately, Sean had a skinny enough tube to fit.


After the turnoff for the 25K rider, rider numbers went way down. At this point, it looked like we would be dealing with 50K stragglers.


Made it to the top.  Mostly downhill from here.


Totally uncrowded DVP.


This trike rider broke the quick link on his chain.


One last hill.


Toronto skyline once again. Every year, there are more condos going up.


At this late stage, I see walkers and runners in the other lanes.


Ran into Frank again just past the exit for the 50k riders. Just like last year, I was taking the opportunity to ride home on the Gardiner.


You don’t get to see this view of the Dowling Ave Bridge every day.


Didn’t get as many clients as last year, and the weather was worse. Nevertheless, a fulfilling morning spent helping fellow riders.

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Today was an unusual day, with lots of bike related stuff tucked in and around a full day at work.  First up: helping with a bike and car count on Bloor. My shift was from 8-9 am.


Here is Albert Koehl at the counting nerve centre, AKA the Coffee Time at Bloor and Spadina.


Next up: the annual Ride of Silence, which is worldwide, on the 3rd Wednesday of May, starting at 7 pm local time. My report is up on the Dandyblog, but here are some extra pictures that did not fit in the narrative.  Here is part of the gathered crowd.


This fellow showed up on a USS LWB recumbent from a company that I can never heard of: Lightning Cycles in Ohio (not to be confused with Lightning Cycle Dynamics in California). UPDATE: here is some information about the builder, who unfortunately just passed away.


Derek showed up with family at the very end of our ride with his unique ride.


He took this shot while the deceased riders’ names were being read out.

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After the ROS, I decided to drop by the Toronto Cruisers ride, which is every Wednesday evening in the warmer parts of the year, starting at 8:15 from Bloor and Huron. It was suggested that we head west, and so I lead our party on a route that took in the famous elephant.


It is a laid back social ride that often goes late (weather permitting), and always includes tunes from the big speakers on the back of Grant’s bike.


Thanks to Gerry, Grant and Natalie for introducing me to this ride. As a boring family man, I had to cut out before it got too dark. As far as I know, they might still be riding out there.


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One of my ulterior motives in coming to Glasgow was the opportunity to visit Kinetics, which is a shop specializing in folders and recumbents, and is specifically known for its custom builds of Bromptons.  A quick ride northwest from the centre of town, and here we are.


Parked out front is an 8-freight, a Mike Burrows designed cargobike that looks like the lovechild of a longtail and a long John.

This one has e assist.


The monoblade fork that is typical of a Burrows design.


The rear is also one sided.


Once you step inside, there are an overwhelming number of things to look at packed into a very small space. Up front is a fully equipped machine shop. Ben is busy working on a Rohloff equipped Brompton.


Fitting either a Rohloff or an Alfine hub to a Brompton requires a new rear triangle with wider dropout spacing, and these are made right here. Here are three pairs of triangles and forks. Custom forks allow for the installation of a front disc brake.


A closer look at the copper plated frame in the corner that was a special request.


This is as close to a smile that I could get out of Ben.


This bike has the version of the rear triangle with an integral rack. It is stronger and lighter than the original.


This particular bike was also being built with components from the Brompton black edition.


The back room is filled with a variety of folders and recumbents.


On the floor, an Alleweder, and on the wall, various HP Velotechnik bikes, a Birdy, and a bright blue Brompton that is his demonstrator.


On the opposite wall, a Moulton, and some other bikes nearer the ceiling.


The demonstrator has a Rohloff rear hub and front and rear disc brakes. Ben is now partial to this hybrid front brake that is cable actuated, but has the hydraulic advantage of being self adjusting as the pads wear.


The rear triangle with Rohloff, and an Avid disc brake. There is not enough space in the back for the hybrid.  On the green bike, there was a TRP mechanical disc that is better than the Avid since the pads are actuated on both sides of the disc.


This plaque is a nice touch.


Do I look happy riding the bike?


Overall impression was very good. I haven’t had that much time on a regular Brompton, but compared against my Tikit, I would say that the stem is much stiffer on the Brompton, and the gearing and brakes were terrific. What I thought was the rear brake was particularly strong; I almost lifted the rear wheel the first time I used them, but upon further reflection, what I was using must have been the front brake. I forgot that the brake levers are reversed in the UK. Both brakes were much better than on my Tikit. First time on a Rohloff equipped bike, so all I can say is that the shifting was reliable. My Alfine is a bit out of adjustment after many times of folding and unfolding the bike, although nothing I can’t put up with even on a long ride. Ben explained that the indexing on the Rohloff is in the hub, so it can’t get out of adjustment due to a change in cable length.

The new rear triangle makes the folded bike about an inch wider than the regular bike, and it still ships in the regular cardboard box. It will still fit in the hardcase if a little foam is carved out.

For a more comprehensive review of the bike, see this link to Velovision.

My visit came to a close as another customer rolled up with a Nexus equipped Brompton that needed some attention.


Thanks to Ben for all the explanations. You’ve given me much food for thought…..


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There were plenty of bike related things going on this sunny, summer-like Saturday. I’ve posted elsewhere about the Yonge Loves Bikes ride. This post covers what I did before and after. On the way to downtown, I stopped by the “bikefest” at Henderson Brewery, co-sponsored by Sweet Pete’s.


What I saw at midday was some obstacles laid out in the parking lot, a few displays, and a few kids biking around the parking lot. Oh and one food truck. The brewery itself was crowded and the beer of the month, Ride on Radler, seemed pretty popular. I was told that the procedure was to get food at the truck, and then to come in and have a beer.


The lack of food trucks, plural, was compensated by the fact that the food was good. Tacos served on paratha, rather than tortillas by Feed the Six.


Note that two tacos and a beer seems to be recurring theme on this blog.


BionX had this repainted Yuba Mondo with e assist for people to try.


Rob Z. checks out their fat bike. Note that the larger diameter D-series motor puts out a lot more torque, and I was also told that the regenerative braking works better as well.


Next up, the ride downtown to join Yonge loves bikes. Along Dundas, we come up behind this gal, and it took a couple of seconds to realize that she had a canine buddy in her backpack.

The Yonge loves bikes ride was great, but one thing didn’t go as planned. Originally, this was to be a meetup of three of the four Bike Friday Haul a Day’s in Toronto. However, the other two were nowhere to be seen at Nathan Phillips Square.

However, Stuart materialized during the ride with his red HaD (#2 in Toronto), and told me that Boris had a mechanical and was going to catch up with us later on.


Boris joined us at the end of the ride with his very spiffy British Racing Green e-assist Haul a Day. Here are some close up shots. The mid-drive:


You can tell better in this shot that he had the accessories on the rear colour matched to the rest of the bike.


Locking tool box on the front.


I see that the newer version of the bags has elastic flaps, rather than the toggles and drawcords that failed on mine.


Hydraulic discs, and a dynamo hub.


All three lined up.




The last shot, this time with owners.


Stuart (to the right) is going to start distributing HaD’s in Canada. He will also be carrying other cargobikes, and I know that he won’t sell any model of bike that he hasn’t personally used for at least a couple of months. He will be setting up a website at bikefriday.ca  When I have more details, I will update this post.

Coda: the full zip “Bikes and Beer” jersey that I picked up at Henderson’s yesterday sure came in handy on today’s very warm ride out in the country.



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It was a perfect Friday evening for a leisurely ride out to the Leslie St. spit with TBN. Here we are at the start. Dave is talking about safety while Chris is taking pictures. We had a few new riders and non members with us.


and we’re off. First we cross the river and take some stairs down to the Lower Don trail.


First regrouping point.


Dave says “turn left”.


We are trapped on this island with several cyclists from other groups. Something really needs to be done to make this intersection (Lakeshore and Cherry St.) more pedestrian and bike friendly.


Heading out on the Leslie St. spit. Most of these people don’t know me so they are amused that I try to take pictures on the move.


nice shadows from the evening sun.


DSC08519Sometimes biking feels like flying.


(sometimes biking really is flying)

My trusty pink bike.


Only three of us bother to bike up to the lighthouse to get the best view of the day.


Obligatory group shot.


Another regroup as we leave the peace and quiet of the park to reenter the city streets.


Thanks to Dave and Chris for organizing the ride!

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Today was the annual “Bike to Work Day” group commute for the City of Toronto. Our group started from the entrance to High Park, where Cycle Toronto was selling T shirts and memberships.


Now we line up to get ready to go.


and off we go down Bloor, straight into the sun.



Stephanie is the hard working Cycle Toronto volunteer who towed all the shirts out to the start point, and was towing about half of them back to City Hall.


Janet Joy and Jacqueline in the lead.


Some families taking a detour on the way to school.



More pics on Bloor.




This van was blocking the curb lane.


Approaching Yonge St.


Now waiting in line with all the other groups.



Here we go down Yonge St.


I get a thumbs up.


Turning down Queen St.


Breakfast courtesy of St. Lawrence Market. I always thought they just had pancakes, but they had tarts!


Extra blood sugar helps to get the week started.


Bike advocates Wayne and Herb.


Mary Jo, Maxine and Hyedie from Wards 14 and 18.


Andy and Elise came well prepared and were camped out in one of the few patches of shade.


This is a Bike to School group organized by the TDSB.


Yvonne and her relatively new Brompton.


Nice Workbike.


This cargobike is used to redistribute bike share bikes.


and this is just half a bike, apparently a Kickstarter project from Bulgaria. It has a tilting rear triangle.

Mayor John Tory talks about having realistic plans for bike infrastructure that actually get built. His other talking points:

  • the data collected in conjunction with the Bloor bike lane pilot will be very important.
  • he emphasizes a balanced approach with consultation from all stakeholders.
  • there is a proposal going forward to City Council to double the amount of spending on bike infrastructure (to $16M over I don’t remember how many years)
  • he has put filling in the gaps in the bike network as his first priority, while avoiding the phrase “minimum grid”.
  • he acknowledges the important role of Cycle Toronto in providing input and justification for bike infrastructure that is backed up with data and stakeholder support.

Here he has handed Jared Kolb the plaque with the declaration that Bike Month is open in Toronto.


Nice to see that the needle on political support for bicyclists appears to have moved at least a little bit.

Numbers seemed down about a third from previous years. Perhaps this is because the shirts weren’t free this year?


Video from this morning:

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