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Archive for the ‘Kidbike’ Category

I can’t think of a better way to mark Family Day than with a bike ride. Fortunately, it is unseasonably warm, and all the ice on the roads has melted back over the preceding weekend. Lucy is patiently waiting while I get the bikes ready.

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Here we are just about to start.
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Here we go. K is enjoying her new, adult sized bike.

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As we expected, the park was packed, but there wasn’t a problem getting bike parking.

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Lucy had fun getting a little muddy.

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On the way home, you can see the continuous line of cars circulating in search of a parking spot.

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Looking back, our first family ride of the year was about a week earlier than last year. Looking forward, it looks like we still have some chance for snow in the forecast, but I’m glad we got out and about today.

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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 a great day for a bike ride with several hundred of my closest friends AKA Bells on Bloor. This year, the ride started and ended at Christie Pits since we were celebrating the installation of a bike lane pilot on a short 2.5 km section of Bloor St. Before the ride officially started, a smaller group of us gathered at High Park to ride to the ride.

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Our local MP Arif Virani rode along with us for the first part of the ride to show his support.

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I liked this heavily modded Dahon Mu with belt drive, Alfine 11 gearing, and loopwheels.  Apparently it was a prototype built for the Eurobike show some years ago.

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Lucy says time to ride.

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Stopped at Keele. For some reason, when you are riding with these guys, you get more respect from motorists!

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MJ leads us up the hill.

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Doug was rocking his brand new Fat Bike. With a front basket for Honey of course.

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A group shot upon our arrival across from Christie Pits.

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This must be the place.

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Bells specially decorated for the event were given out and mounted by volunteers.

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Had to get one myself.

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MC and chief ride organizer Albert Koehl gets things started.

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The crowd is enthusiastic.

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and now it’s time to ride.

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Angela and colleague in the lead with the official Bells on Bloor Banner.

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For your reference, this is what it says on the back (although the website is defunct, and has been replaced with bellsonbloor.org.

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Albert ringing his bell.

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Riding past the ROM.

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and along Bloor to Sherbourne.

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Back along Wellesley, and then turning north on Queen’s Park Crescent, which was fun because we were occupying the full width of the roadway.

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Police bike corking a BMW.

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Back along Bloor St.

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Greeted by the banner again at the end of the ride.

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Cycle Toronto was providing bike valet.

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There were many craft and food vendors. The longest line was for Pizza Libretto.

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This vendor regretted not having more of these shirts to sell.

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Large and small wheels!

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Just making sure that I get a decent shot of the forks on Doug’s bike.

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Honey had a good time.

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Thanks to the organizers of the ride, and to everyone who rode today.

Note that a different version of this blog post appears on the bells on bloor website, with more covearage of the speakers, and less bike geekery.

Also, here is a video.

 

Update: Dandyhorse coverage here.

 

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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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Lucy and I are featured in this blog post from Bike Friday. Check out some of the other blogs as well.  Lots of good stuff about family biking.

 

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I had a little time on my hands to visit two bike shops in the same area of Tokyo that I had found on the web. The first was Tokyo Wheels, just a little east of Akihabara, near Asakusabashi station.

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The first thing that I noticed was there were three unlocked bikes out front that I think belonged to the shop. Most notable was this Seven Ti mountain bike, again totally unlocked.

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The tagline for the shop is “closet for cyclists and riders”, and that is more or less what it was, with a good selection of cyclist oriented clothing, ranging from a bit of racer clothing to Bradley Wiggins branded polo shirts.

DSC08733Aside from some typical US brands such as Chrome or Mission Workshop, there were many Japanese brands, including an in house “Tokyo Wheels” Label. I almost went for a blue blazer in thin stretch fabric, but I was a bit put off by a zipper down the centre of the upper back that could be opened for venting. As an alternative, I’m going to take a look at the ultralight suite jacket from Uniqlo if I have the chance.

I also liked this small wheeled ebike with drop bars and brifters.

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The second shop was Nois Bike which was oriented towards family cycling.

DSC08740They have their own line of bikes that are based on smaller wheels, mini velo style, that makes a lot of sense in a city like Tokyo.

Here is their Nois Mama Retro model.

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and an e-assist bike with one kid seat.

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Inside there were lots of kid bike things such as the Yepp Maxi seat, and some nice stride bikes from Rennrad.

One of the main reasons I wanted to drop by was this photo that was posted to their FB page a while ago.

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that links to a description of their small wheeled cargobike.  Unfortunately, they didn’t have any in stock. The only thing they had was this picture on the wall.

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Salesman Kenji apologized, and said that they were in the middle of a model change, and new frames would not be delivered until later in the summer. He said that the Gen II model would make it easier to mount a Yepp kid seat, it would come with generator lighting, and a few other refinements.  From the pictures, there is a lot to like about this design, with the frame mounted front basket and the sturdy looking rack. Retail seems to be 97,000 yen, which is about $1234 CAN at Brexit devalued exchange rates.

Here is Kenji with his personal ride, a brushed aluminum Birdy.

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I wish Nois bikes success in their cargobike venture. The Japanese market for kid transport is dominated lately by e-assist dual 20″ wheeled bikes, with two kid seats. These are more common now than the last time I was in Japan, two years ago.

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It will be interesting to see if Japanese moms will spring for what is to my eyes a more stylish alternative. Hopefully this small company can carve out a separate niche in the market.

 

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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:

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

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Locking tool box on the front.

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

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Hydraulic discs, and a dynamo hub.

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All three lined up.

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The last shot, this time with owners.

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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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