Archive for the ‘Toronto’ Category

Henderson’s Brewing launches a different beer every month, and for the past several years, they have had a bike themed beer each June. This time, they turned it into a fundraiser for Cycle Toronto, in collaboration with Mike Layton and Olivia Chow. The centerpiece of the event was an auction for Jack Layton’s bike, with all proceeds going to Cycle Toronto.

At the main entrance, it is clear that this is a bike themed event.

The place is packed with many of the usual suspects from the local bike community. That’s Jack’s bike hanging from the ceiling.

The Toronto Unicycle Club was also in attendance.

Steve, head of Henderson’s, gets us started.

The brewmaster describes Post and Ring as a cloudy, easy drinking IPA, with 6% ABV in honour of Jack’s Ward 6.

Jared now introduces Mike and Olivia who are going to run the auction.

Mike talks about some recent bylaws to make it easier for craft brewers to succeed in Toronto.

Olivia tells us about how Jack was offered a car and driver when he was elected to Ottawa, but he much preferred riding this bike to work, parking it right in front of Parliament.

Now some fast and furious bidding.

This fellow is on the phone with his Swiss bankers before submitting his bid.

and then the winning bid of $1800!

Mike thanks everyone.

Steve tells us to enjoy the rest of the evening. He also notes that the winner cannot collect his bike right now as getting it down from the ceiling would entail someone getting up on a ladder, and everyone present had at that point already downed a decent about of beer.

In the meantime, Darren from Bedford Unicycles was giving rides on the penny farthing.

Steve being coached.

and he’s off!

It is really interesting to ride one of these. The steering is a little squirrelly as there is no trail, and also there is quite a bit of torque steer while medaling.

There was also some Raptor themed uni riding.

Post & Ring comes in these small cans. Highly recommended.

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Velo Aquatico

Velo Aquatico is an exhibit of fish themed art, both static and kinetic sculptures, as well as other pieces. It is the work of Alberto di Ciccio, and runs at Mezzrow’s Pub in Parkdale for the month of June AKA bike month.

Alberto AKA “the ice emperor”, circa 2011

Alberto was hard to miss during the annual group commute, where he was riding a shark, which is quite different than jumping the shark.

Only shark you’ll ever see with a kickstand.

Onto his show: a school of metallic fish. Something about a fish not needing a bicycle comes to mind.


Friend Tim operating some of the kinetic pieces.

This piece is actuated by a brake lever and gear shifter, but not a brifter.

The artist himself demonstrating a piece and saying that the attire is based on an outfit worn by Han Solo.

Come in, see the pieces, and get some metallic shark’s teeth!

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Today was the fourth year in a row that I volunteered as a ride ambassador at the Ride for Heart. This time, good friend Tim came along. Note: since Tim is also a bit of a bike shutter bug, some of the pictures to follow were taken by him (especially the ones of my riding).

First repair of the day: an adjustment on a fellow volunteer’s bike.

Big thumbs up at the start gate.

Approaching the first on the road repair of the day: these kids reluctantly received some help with a jammed chain.

photo: T. Potter

Tire underinflation: by far the most common thing we saw all morning.

Rear brake cabling problem.

More inflating of tires. You’ll notice that Tim is going all the work.

This couple had a jammed chain. Their bike was borrowed from a neighbour, a beautiful Claude Butler tandem that was older that they were.

They got a flat further along the ride, but towards the end of the ride, we saw them all smiles, with a new rear tire.

Glad to get this traffic update…….

At the York Mills turn around.

Back down the hill, and under the Prince Edward Viaduct.

Leading up to the last climb of the day.

Raising seats for two girls that were struggling a bit on the climb.

Biking by the undeveloped lands by the mouth of the Don. At this point we’ve decided to remove our ambassador shirts so that we can show off our wool jerseys.

Thanks to Jeff at Palo Alto bikes for exemplary customer service: he took the trouble to accept a phone order for this special PA Bikes wool jersey. Not only that, but he sent it by USPS rather than UPS as per my preference. I get to stir up a few memories of my grad school days when I wear it.

photo: T. Potter

Never get tired of seeing this skyline from this vantage point.

These two bike dads were smart enough to have a bail out option.

The final stretch along the Gardiner to the S. Kingsway exit.

Overall, no flat tires this time, but lots of pumping up tires and seat adjustments. There seemed to be fewer mechanicals this year. At one point, five of us white shirted volunteers converged on a single cyclist to see if they needed help.

Thanks to for TBN for giving us the opportunity to help out. Thanks also to Tim for good company, and doing 90% of the work this year.

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Today was the 30th annual City of Toronto Group Commute. Here we gather at the High Park start point on a brilliantly sunny morning.

Albert recruited a few of us to cycle in turtle costumes, in reference to the agonizingly slow pace of bike infrastructure construction across the city.

This year’s shirts are red/pink.

The TPS explains corking just before we take off.

Revved up and ready to go.

And we’re off. That’s Meri from Gord Perks’ office in the lead.

Turtles use hand signals too!
straight into the sun as usual

This bike dad was riding a nicely accessorized Costco cargo bike.

Climb, John, climb.

Corking, TPS style.

The lead group.

We were handed off to a bike based unit at Dufferin.

Bromptons well represented today.

This fellow was not on delivery yet.

Alberto always shows up with an interesting art bike.

He has a show of his work that opens on June 1 at 7 pm and runs for the month. Most of the artwork will be fish related. @the mezz, 1546 Queen St. W.

Turning south at Yonge.

Running into old friend Mikey of WHPSC fame. He didn’t have to ask about the turtle costume as he knows how slow I am.

Off we go.

This is an interesting low step over bike.

Arriving at NPS.

Friends with Bromptons. Rumor is that there is going to be a Brompton Ride during the August 18 Open Streets TO event.

Perhaps the youngest Brompton owner in town.

Picture time with Mary Margaret.

Albert and Joe Cressy after having a few words.

Nice to see Geoffrey working on a bike that is not painted white.

Turtles listening to updates about the Bike Plan.

Inevitably, they are somewhat disappointed.

Turtle video linked below.

Some of us wanted to remind people that cyclists are still dying on the streets.

photo: Geoffrey Bercarich

Bike Law continues to push for Vulnerable Road User legislation.

I was told that the legislature is voting on amendments to Bill 107 today, to bring in more in line with Bill 62, which was Jessica Bell’s private member’s bill (now tabled). Figures crossed.

Nice to see so many people out, but we still await the day when people feel safe commuting by bike without the benefit of police escort.

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What is bikebike? From their website: Bike!Bike! is an international, annual gathering organized by and for community bicycle projects. The conference is a space for participants from shops and related advocacy groups to converge in a different city each year over a 4 day period to have workshops and strengthen our social network.

In addition to this larger meeting, there are smaller regional meetings. This year, Charlie’s Freewheels, Bikechain and Bike Pirates worked together to put on bike!bike! northeast, which ran this weekend (in fact it is still running at the time of this blogging). About 100 people are attending.

The awesome poster for this event by Nicole.

People started rolling into town on Friday But the workshops started on Saturday. Here, HPVDT has just finished their presentation, and people are crowded around both Zephyr and Tempest.

Next up, a workshop about some of the barriers in the cycling community faced by BIPOC (black, indigenous, person of colour), in particular women, trans, non-binary. There is a club called bikepoc that organizes social rides, which is a step towards creating a welcoming community for this group, but there are many other issues that need to be addressed. They made the point that community bike shops have a special responsibility since part of their mission is to lower barriers to entry for everyone interested in cycling.

After lunch, there was a presentation from recycle a bike. The talked about their work with two high schools in Providence, Rhode Island.

Sunday morning: beautiful weather, and the action shifted to Bike Pirates in Parkdale.

Lots of people finishing breakfast.

This is where some of the culinary magic is happening. They are working on lunch. I must say that all the food that I had was both nutritious and delicious.

You’ll recognize the mural from this scene from the trailer for SHAZAM!

Ainsley with cereal.

Now it was time for a bike tour of two other community bike shops. Ainsley tells us a little about the history of Bike Pirates, which has been running for 13 years.

Now we’re off towards Charlie’s Freewheels.

Brad and Alix lead.

Cutting in behind CAMH.

Now along Adelaide.

Crossing Bathurst

Now up Sherbourne. The fellow with the banner is from Peterborough.

Alix tells us a little about the history of Charlie’s which has been running for ten years now. We are in the alleyway behind Charlie’s.

Next up: Bike Sauce.

Brad fills us in on history has well. Bike Sauce is in Riverdale, in a community that was formerly dominated by Chinatown East, but is becoming more diverse. It has been running for 9 years. They say they started in a funeral home, pointing out the difficulty in finding spaces with low enough rent to make this type of community bike shop viable.

Ben also told us to check out an ice cream store around the corner. Check out this menu at Wong’s Ice Cream.

Here I am enjoying Wasabi Honey.

Now we’re headed back to Pirates for lunch.

People lining up to make screen printed momentos.

Meanwhile, people out back where fooling around on tall bikes. Here Tom and Raymond are making a precision adjustment on one of them. Note the tool made with Columbus tubing.

Tom helping Ainsley.

I’m disappointed that you can’t tell I’m on a tall bike in this selfie.

Update: Noah Siegel just posted his much better pictures of people riding tall bikes, including this one that is proof that I was in fact on a tall bike.

The events continue to run Sunday, and into Monday. I had a lot of fun talking with people from out of town. The bike world is smaller than you think. I talked to someone who graduated from Olin College, and who worked on this crank from Olin’s HPV entry back in 2012.

And apparently we racing against this fellow last year when he was on the Pitt team. I remember that they won the endurance race.

Here’s hoping that the weather holds for the rest of the events.

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Today’s Ride of Silence took place under highly variable weather conditions. Riding to the start point, it was sunny and warm to begin with, but in the next half hour, I experienced thunder and lightning, rain, and hail. A bit like this strip:

At the starting point, there were a few hardy souls gathered, shown here taking some shelter in an alcove. Look closely: those white streaks are hail stones!

What a day to be without rain gear, and wearing a T shirt.

As the appointed time approached, the rain let up a bit, and a few more people rode up. Here is Ben with his highly modified Brompton.

Fork and rear triangle made of Russian titanium, a Rohloff hub, and Hope disc brakes.

Joey lines us up to go.

Riding by the Dalia Chako ghost bike.

Approaching Bay, it is raining in earnest again. Hamish has joined us.

Surprise: Bill has appeared with our ASME winning bike.

What a day to be caught without my usual rain cape.

At Dundas and Yonge.

Getting ready to turn onto Queen.

Arriving at the peace garden. You can tell there’s water on my lens by now.

A few more people rode up at the Peace Garden, just as the sun came out again.

Here I’m reading out the names of the deceased. (Photo: Hamish Wilson)

Every year, the list of names of cyclists killed in the past ten years gets longer. This was the 17th annual Ride of Silence internationally. I’m not sure when these rides started in Toronto, but the first one I attend was 2010, so this was at least the 19th local ride.

Today was also the one year anniversary of the when Jonas Mitchell was struck and thrown ten meters through the air at Lakeshore and Colborne lodge. We heard about it the day before last year’s ride.

Thanks to everyone who helped us remember all the cyclists whose lives were tragically cut short while riding bikes on the mean streets of our fair city.

Update: Joey Schwartz’s video of the ride.

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The weather was glorious today, so Lucy and I decided to visit High Park, regardless of the fact that the sakura were not yet in bloom.

Car traffic blocked at the park entrance.

The long line up for the trolley.

Lots of people out and enjoying the weather.

Why is it that we can’t close the park to car traffic every summer Sunday?

Lucy does not look impressed.

Not too crowded yet.

The High Park Nature Centre folks used a cargo bike to haul their gear to this spot.

Lots of people taking close ups of buds not quite in bloom.

Never seen the Grenadier parking lot so empty on a weekend.

Multitudes still arriving as we left the park.

Peak bloom is predicted for later this week, but I’d keep an eye on the weather as well, since rain is in the forecast for overnight Monday and all day Thursday.

Robarts update: The city has been publicizing the other places where you can see sakura. The blooms at Robarts are coming along.

In fact, about 15% of the trees are in bloom.

So if you pick the right spot, you can pretend they are all in bloom.

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