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Archive for the ‘Cargobikes’ 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.

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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.

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

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

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

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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.

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

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We line up behind some police bikes.

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And off we go, turning south on Yonge.

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Regroup after the steepest part of the hill.

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

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At Davenport.

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Approaching Bloor St.

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South of Bloor now.

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

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Sorry this one is blurry.

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

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At Shuter.

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Turning at the foot of Yonge St.

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Along the MG trail.

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Turning into the southernmost part of Sherbourne Commons.

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Group picture, without the lake in the background.

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

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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.

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Riding by the memorial for.Xavier Morgan.

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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.

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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.

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

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Bad picture of a tandem Bikeshare bike.

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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.

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Homemade rain cover on this Yuba.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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Made it to the top.  Mostly downhill from here.

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Totally uncrowded DVP.

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This trike rider broke the quick link on his chain.

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One last hill.

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

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

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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.

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

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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 the annual Group Commute that kicks off Bike Month in Toronto. As per usual, I started at High Park, bright and early under overcast skies, with a bit of rain threatening.

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Numbers were down from previous years, perhaps because of the weather.

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Are we’re off!

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At Keele.

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Bakfiets plus umbrella and dog.

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Regroup at Christie.

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Councillor Layton joins us!

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At Bay.

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This tower at Bloor and Yonge is more complete this year.

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The merged group at Charles is pretty big.

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Here we go down Yonge St.

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In a reversal of the usual situation, here is one lone SUV hemmed in on all sides by bike traffic.

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Approaching City Hall.

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That’s Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon right in front of me.

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The Bakfiets family is all smiles.

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Time for breakfast.

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Nice to have real maple syrup!

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Sitting under the arcade as the rain comes down, with a custard tart for breakfast. Could be worse….

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People were taking any available shelter.

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Cycle Toronto booth was busy selling shirts and memberships.

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This year’s T shirt is a nice bright purple, and if you look carefully, it features a cargobike.

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Numbers were down from last year, although I will resist the side to side photo comparison (as per the US inauguration).

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Wayne Scott interacting with some of Toronto’s finest.

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He and I had the only “Bike Lanes on Bloor” shirts in evidence.

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Mayor Tory addressing the crowd.

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The sun started peeking out, and more of the crowd came out from under shelter.

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Andy taking Elise to school.

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A press scrum around the mayor.

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All these kids (and some teachers) joined the ride, and also committed to biking to school during Bike Month.

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Thanks to the City of Toronto, Cycle Toronto, and all of the participating sponsors.

During my short ride the rest of the way to work, a charming couple behind me on McCaul reacted to my “Bike Lanes on Bloor” shirt by yelling that if you “wanted bike lanes on Bloor, you should f**king using them, you maniac!” which shows me that we still need a wider attitude adjustment in this city before people take cycling seriously as a mode of transport.

Ride on, and ride safe everyone!

 

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This time of year, every slightly warm weekend feels like it could be the last one of the year. We took the occasion to fit in a family bike ride down to the lake.

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Heading down Runnymede. I’m the only one looking psyched at this point.

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K at the turnaround point. This is her new bike; she has outgrown the Rambler by a fairly wide margin.

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Heading back across Mimico Creek on the Calatrava style bridge.

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These signs on the section of the path by all the tall condos are new. Pity they didn’t hire an artist that could draw a bike properly.

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Lucy complains if we’re not in the lead.

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Obligatory family picture.

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K insisted on taking a funny picture as well.

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Can you guess who is the clown in the family?

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Hope you all get a chance to get some riding in before the snow descends!

Update: I dug up a picture from Nov 2006 taken at more or less the same spot.2006-2016

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Over the last year, the cargo slings that came with my Haul a Day were gradually wearing out.

Finally, I broke down and ordered a new set from Carsick Designs. They came last week, and I installed them this morning. I needed to remove the deck so I took the opportunity to do a bit of frame cleaning, as well as adjusting the rear disc brake.

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Here’s a comparison between the old and new bags. The new bags are a little wider, and they have a zippered pocket, but the pocket is considerably shallower than the old ones so it won’t function as a lock holster.

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On the plus side, the new bags look much sturdier. I went all the way and paid an extra $30 for a custom colour: safety orange cordura.

Here they are all installed.

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One thing I don’t quite understand about the design is that the fastening straps for the upper corners are sewn very far in board of the corners of the bag. I’ll see if this ends up being an issue.

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Once the bags were installed, it was time to shop. Here is today’s load.

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After getting back to the bike, I thought that I had bought too much. However, with the use of an extra cardboard box, I was able to cart everything home. What I didn’t fully appreciate is that the straps on the Carsick slings are much longer than the originals, and so I was able to strap a fairly wide box to the bike. Bottom line: I think that I can carry at least 30% more with the new slings, with the extra load being about the volume of the box in the picture below.

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So far so good. We’ll see how they hold up, but for now, I’m really happy with my purchase.

Obligatory Hallowe’en themed update.

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To mark Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, I paid a brief visit to an undisclosed location where most of the Bike Friday Haul a Day cargobikes in Toronto were gathered. That’s mine in the front, followed by several others, some of which were still in the process of final assembly.
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In all seriousness, if you already know about the Bike Friday Haul a Day, and you are interested in buying one in the Toronto area, you can go to this website:

cityandcargo.bike
(I didn’t know that there was a .bike domain either)

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In the near future, these fine folks will also be carrying several other lines of cargobikes that have not been widely distributed in the US or Canada.

Join us and join the revolution.

Sidenote: an article about the cargobike scene in Vancouver notes the relative lack of local cargobike dealers, something that I also noticed.

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Today was the first of two days for Open Streets TO. This year, they extended the range all the way west to Dufferin St. (On Sept 18, they will also close the Bloor St. viaduct, and extend the closure to the Danforth). At the same time, a cargobike meetup was advertised on Facebook, so we set off to see how many people would show up.

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One presumes that when there is car traffic, it would be too dangerous to unicycle while playing the ukelele on Bloor.

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I see that these booths are blocking the Bloor bike lane, but I guess we’ll give them a pass.

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Nice to see many families out biking.

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Some of them were riding cargobikes.

Here is everyone that showed up for the cargobike meetup.

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These guys are test riding our Haul a Day.

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Jeremy is ready to ride!

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Doug toted Honey in a messenger bag today.

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Lucy says it’s time to ride.

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These are the faster guys.

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I like how the booths east of Spadina leave the bike lane clear.

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I had not seen an Omnium cargo bike before today.

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Let’s turn south at Yonge and Bloor.

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Headed down Yonge St.

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Meeting up with Cycle Toronto volunteers who were collecting signatures for bike lanes on Yonge.

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Lucy says it’s time to ride north.

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We meet Andy and Elise.

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Honey strikes a post at Curbside Cycles, who had a full display of Babboe cargo bikes.

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So we had lots of fun riding during Open Streets. However, the format of the cargobike meetup was less successful than the last time. In particular, we didn’t manage to get a group back to the starting point, which might have been a bit of a disappointment for Curbside, since everyone was riding at different paces, and it was difficult to predict our progress during Open Streets. Next year, perhaps we’ll go back to the format of one or two weekend kids and cargobike rides during Bike Month.

Update: Dandyhorse has posted their coverage of this meetup.

 

 

 

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