Archive for the ‘Kidbike’ Category

We just sold our much loved Bike Friday family tandem.

We were the second owners of the bike. We bought it from one of the people at the Family Cycling tour, a group that was based on the US East Coast that we had two fun trips with.

We had many fun adventures with this bike over the years, like this adventure on Toronto Island many years ago.

June 2012

April 2010

Why did we sell it? Well the girls have out grown it, but the real reason is that we bought another tandem late last summer that is sized better for two adults, and three red tandems in the same family is a bit much.

Here is a picture of the happy new owners of the bike. I hope that they have as much fun with it as we did.

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Like a Bike

We’ve had a Kokua like a bike since 2003. Our is the original, with the skinny O-ring tires.

Since that time, this type of stride bike has been widely copied. Even Kokua has released much fancier versions.

Both of our girls learned to bike with ours.

This is a video from 2008 that includes footage of both.

Since that time, it was lent out to a neighbour down the street that used it with two sons. Today, I was passing it along to another family for a year or two.

Hope that it keeps bringing joy to whoever is riding it.

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As a prelude to RSVP, I had to make my way to Seattle. The plan was to fly into Vancouver, and then to take a bus down to Seattle. The Brompton would fly in a hard case, and then I would take it on the bus with a soft bag from Radical Designs. Here I am waiting for the UP Express on the way to Pearson.

Skipping a few steps, here is the Brompton on the way to the airport on the Canada Line.

Even though the Radical bag has a shoulder strap, I found that the easiest way to carry the bike was to put the regular handles over my shoulder, drape my arm over the bag, and to support the bike from underneath by grabbing the rack.

I’ve arrived in Seattle. Bike unfolded. The last time I was here, there were green Lime e-bikes all over the place. This time, these Jump e-bikes were very common. Although the indicator light showed that this one was dead. A postcard in the basket revealed that UBER is behind these bikes, which to me is not a selling point.

I noticed before I left, that my favourite bike shop in Seattle was between where I was going to stay and downtown. So off I went, while checking out some of the local bike infra. Here I am on 8th Ave headed north.

Bike infra should be obvious to the user. WTF Seattle, apparently at Virginia St I’m supposed to bike diagonally across the intersection while dodging cars?

On the other hand I enjoyed the MUP that runs along the west side of Lake Union.

A brief pause at the Fremont lift bridge to let some rich person’s powerboat to pass.

Arriving at G&O Family Cyclery.

The last time I visited, I noted that a good deal of the stock was e-bikes, and from what I could see, this trend has continued. BTW biking up to the Greenwood neighbourhood, I was reminded of how hilly Seattle is.

Davey was busy attending to real customers, but I did have a nice chat with Robert about a few of their newer bikes. Here is the e-assisted version of the Big Dummy, the Big Easy, which is still not available in Canada, although Morgan and Stephanie have one because they are special.

Robert said that they are popular because the riding position is more aggressive than other designs, but there were some minor issues with it as a family bike. For one, the position of the optional second battery makes a centre stand impossible.

Carsick bags come in many different colours, and G&O stocks “tie dye”.

I couldn’t leave empty handed so I got one of their bottles with their new slogan.

Now a short night’s sleep before the first day of RSVP.

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BM2018: Friday AM

This was a good morning for racing. In contrast to most of the preceding sessions, we had plenty of runs with legal wind, and two new world records set as well.

The highlight of the first heat was seeing Adam Ince earn a 50 mph hat after more than several years of trying.


Velina got legal wind and a 50 mph hat on her first run down the 5 mile.


It looks like Team Policumbent has decided that the green tail is faster. Two nights in a row they have been working very late on their bike.


Both Ken and Karen also smashed the 600/200 men’s and women’s arm powered records. That makes four world records for the Liverpool team. Congrats to them!


Start order for tonight.


Tomorrow morning.


Finally, a few scenes from the bike parade.

Policumbent training their next rider?


The Muellers.


Larry built this bike for his mom, but it is also the perfect size for Joyce.


Lining up under that big blue sky.


Of we go with police escort.




Ellen doing some cross training.


This bike was built by this local boy’s grandpa.


Hans at tech for the sprints.



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One of my favourite things to do is to have a family bike ride to Toronto Island. It’s been a couple of years since we’ve done this, and we took advantage of the fact that the California branch of the family was in town to do this again. The first logistical problem that we faced was to get eight peoples’ worth of bikes downtown with one car. Here is what five bikes looks like with the six who will ride them. (you can’t see the Brompton that is tucked away in the van, and two will ride the tandem)


(In addition, two of us rode down to the lake.)

And off we go to the ferry terminal.



Just a reminder that at busy times, you should buy your ferry tickets online. Here we were in the left hand express lane, which we cleared in less than five minutes.


Biking towards Centre Island from Hanlan’s Point.

DSC02995Well at least I’m all smiles.


Compare this picture:


to this one taken three years ago, the last time the daughters were on the island.


The skyline from Algonquin Island.


Over the bridge to Centreville.


Our fleet parked at Centreville.


On a crowded ferry at the end of a busy day.


Three of us rode home through downtown. It was interesting to hear their perspective on the bike infrastructure. They were quite impressed, saying that it was much better than San Francisco. Of course, I led them through the very best of what we have downtown including sections of the Simcoe, Richmond and Bloor bike lanes.


I hope everyone gets a chance to ride this long August weekend!

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Today was the annual Bells on Danforth ride, a day to remind ourselves about the joy of cycling.


Bells on Bloor organized a small ride to the ride starting from Bloor and Spadina.


Albert pulling a bike trailer with signage.


Across the viaduct.


A brief detour south as a portion of the Danforth was closed off at Broadview for a street fair.



The ride starts at Withrow Park. Tom is our emcee today.


Liz from CycleTO and Janet Joy from the Reading Line.


First speaker was Peter Tabuns, newly reelected MPP. He read out the acknowledgment of lands, and then apologized for not being free to ride with us.


Next: Janet Joy Wilson talked about the upcoming book ride on August 26 that is themed around the Prince Edward Viaduct. She was raffling off a signed copy of “In the Skin of a Lion”.


As Bells on Danforth is a non partisan community organization, they did not allow anyone who is running for office to speak. However, Mary-Margaret McMahon is not in that category as she will be stepping down in the fall due to a self imposed two term limit. She talked about how she will continue to press for better bike infrastructure, partially through her efforts on PWIC.


Janet Davis announced just this week that she is also not running this fall. With the loss of her and Mary-Margaret, we have lost two strong proponents of cycling, and the two champions of the Woodbine bike lanes. She said that she and MM will continue to press for a corridor study to be started before the election as part of a continuing push for bike lanes on the Danforth. She reminded us that not only should we be talking our local councillors; we should also be putting pressure on the mayor’s office.


Liz Sutherland announced CycleTO’s new campaign: #BuildTheGrid, which is an update of the “minimum grid” campaign.


Just before the ride, the draw for the book was done.


Regrettably I did not get the name of our happy winner.


Mark from CycleTO.


One thing that was noticeable to me was the large number of families with kids, many more that I have ever seen on the Bells on Bloor rides. Here is the most elaborate kid bike set up I saw today.


Now time to line up on Logan.


Our leaders head off with the banner.


Here we go.





Lots of kids.



Albert Koehl.


I was impressed that Danielle’s friend could ride slowly enough in full aero tuck position.



Jess Spieker from Friends and Families for Safe Streets.


Warren “pool noodle” Huska.


Martin de la Rue waves to the crowd as he corks a side street.DSC02776

Approaching Woodbine.




Turning north on Danforth Rd.




Arriving at the Oakridge CRC.


Janet Joy with Sarah Climenhaga who is running for Mayor. She is fully engaged on active transportation issues.


Scarborough Cycles and the Ward 32 group.


Some fellow Bells on Bloor members.


One last reminder about the new campaign. I forgot to ask CycleTO to smile.


Overall, a perfect day for a bike ride, with lots of families present. Starting and finishing at Community Centres was a smart idea.  Thanks to all the organizers for a wonderful event.

Here is a brief video of the front half of the rider pack.



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Today was the annual Ride for Heart, and appropriately enough, it was on the first World Bicycle Day.  As per my custom for the last couple of years, I was providing ride support, along with a crew of my fellow TBN members.

Here are a couple of other TBN’ers at the start.


I know who built this bike. I see that it wasn’t unique enough for it to be a recumbent two wheel drive, two wheel steer tandem, so this year they appear to have added a trailer. Unfortunately I missed seeing them underway.


Here we go.


Decent weather for once. Mixed cloud, and not too hot.


This dad is still smiling, but he has a good ways to go.


Looking back at the skyline.


My first customers of the day. He had front and rear pinch flats after hitting a pothole on the downhill after the Gardiner switches to the DVP. She just needed a little air. (actually there was one other person before this who had flatted, but he didn’t have the special wrench to loosen his theft resistant skewers).


Once people saw that I had a floor pump out, a couple of them pulled over as well. These folks just needed some air.


Approaching the Bloor St. viaduct.


Another flat.


One more. I advised her to replace her tires fairly soon as they looked like they were about 20 years old. They were the original tires on the bike.


Seat post adjustment.


After the turnaround for the 25 km route, things calmed down considerably. There was a very high turnout of families, perhaps because of the good weather.


Approaching the big dip associated with Lawrence Ave.


Nice to see that traffic on the 401 is moving well.


At the York Mills turnaround. You will note that I was doing a little political advertising as well.


This was our sole customer on the downhill portion of the ride. A flat fix.


I had a nice conversation with Roy on the way back. He has several e-assisted bikes. He is also looking forward to delivery of his Helix titanium folding bike, as are many others.

As per usual, I bypassed the start/finish and rode back to High Park on the Gardiner. This part of the ride was very peaceful as it was only for the 75 km riders. Props to the little kid on the 20″ mountain bike who did 75km with mom.


I didn’t quite get pictures of all of the people I met. Some of them just pulled over briefly to use tools. I probably helped about ten people; a good day’s work. Thanks to TBN for arranging the opportunity.








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The extended family met up in Banff, and today we rented some bikes to take a spin around the Banff golf course: a lightly travelled paved loop.  We started on the 200 block of Bear Street, which was billed as a woonerff.


In reality, they removed some parking spaces and made some patios and bike parking, but the car through traffic didn’t seem to pay much attention to the fact that they didn’t have the right of way all the time. On the plus side, there were three bike rental companies on this short block.


Here is our group getting staged.


and we’re off, headed to a multi use trail along the Bow river.


Along the river.


Pausing for a group photo on the new pedestrian/bike bridge which is just a little ways from the old crossing.


Passing a horse drawn carriage.


Regrouping after a pause at the foot of Bow Falls.


Between us, we had rented three of these Fiori tandems, which are made by Norco.


The golf course loop is a peaceful ride through beautiful scenery.


lunch break by the river


and we’re off again.


My nephew always wants to be in the lead.


Unfortunately, Dad’s stance on his tandem didn’t afford him a great view of scenery.


Mom was my stoker for most of the ride.


Just before the end, I switched stokers to younger daughter, and there was a noticeable uptick in speed.


Pausing at the top of the climb by Bow Falls.


And back across the river.


Banff seems to be trying to promote cycling, There are certainly a few really nice pieces of infrastructure such as the bridge, as well as the path between Banff and Canmore. In the town itself, most of the bike routes had wayfinding signage and sharrows. The main safety enhancement is that the speed limit in town has been lowered to 30 kph, and by the way the traffic was moving, it seemed to be enforced.


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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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Xavier Morgan was a five year old boy who died while riding his bike on the Martin Goodman Trail a week ago Wednesday. Today was his memorial ride. About 200 cyclists joined us.

DSC04441Several members of the family were present. Brenda Morgan was his great aunt, and Scott was his grandfather.



Scott was passing out these cards in memory of Xavier.


Many bike families were present.


Joey getting the marshalls organized.


Geoffrey making some announcements.


He has made ghost bikes for too many memorial rides.

and here we go.



Down Huron


Harbord, across Spadina.



Down Harbord.



Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon in conference with Walk Toronto and Hamish Wilson.


Passing the Bike Joint.


Regroup at Shaw



South on Shaw.


Watch out for those streetcar tracks.


Through Liberty Village.



Regroup at Strachan.


Riding up the hill on the bridge.


Along Manitoba St. on the EX grounds.


Across the bridge to Ontario Place.


Back down to the Martin Goodman trail.




Arriving near the crash site.



Installing the ghost bike.





Joey calls for a minute of silence.


The family makes a statement.  Brenda Morgan said that the family appreciate that many came together as a result of this tragedy, and that the city acted quickly to put in a safety barrier. Scott Morgan said that the only blessing was the Xavier’s death was instantaneous and that his spirit went straight up to heaven.



The ghost bike.



We then formed a human chain along the barrier in tribute to Xavier.



“There was nothing he loved more than biking.”


The city is now making belated efforts to identify other hazardous spots along the Martin Goodman Trail. It is very sad that it takes a tragedy like this to get action on improvements to instructure for cyclists and pedestrians.

Thanks to everyone who rode today.  Support from the Toronto Police was also appreciated.

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