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Biking around Glasgow

I’ve been in Glasgow for a few days, and the bikeshare system has allowed me to explore a bit more of the city that I could have on foot.

First step: getting a bike. I noted that Tammy Thorne had reported some issues with the bikeshare system on the Dandyblog, so I prepared by loading the Nextbike app. Here is one of the bikeshare stations.

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If you have the app, you can scan the QR code on the bike and it will let you know if it is available for rental. This seemed to work better than manually keying in the number on the phone or the keyboard on the bike. The app responds by giving you the combination to the lock.

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and we’re off. Here is the bike on one of the pedestrian and bike bridges across the Clyde. It is a chunky bike with a Shimano 3 spd Nexus hub, but it strikes me as being less heavy than our bikeshare bikes in Toronto.

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There are some nice paths along the north side of the river. In some sections, there are separate paths for pedestrians and cyclists. Here it is multiuse.

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To get around some buildings, the path sometimes becomes a glorified sidewalk.

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Approaching the Transport Museum, which was designed by the late Zaha Hadid.

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The museum holds a sample of everything on wheels, plus some models of ships. I’m going to concentrate on the bikes.

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Unfortunately, many of the bikes were suspended on a round track that was hung from the ceiling.

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You could use a touchscreen display to get descriptions and pictures of each bike, but it wasn’t the same as being close up to them. I guess the advantage is that you can provide text in different languages, and that you could provide more text than on a static display, but it was a little disappointing none the less. Here are a Moulton and Raleigh 20 on the track.

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A USS recumbent dating from the 30’s.

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A display of trikes, with a Windcheetah in the foreground.

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A vintage tandem trike on the same display. The front person has the option of not pedaling, and just using the footrests.

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A view out the front of the building, with a huge wall of cars to the right. The same complaint applies to the cars: you can’t see them very well.

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From another angle.

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A special edition Raleigh chopper that was released for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. It didn’t sell very well. Perhaps the really heavy mag wheels had something to do with it.

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A display of touring bikes. You could object to the fact that 2 out of five were not human powered, but one of the two motorbikes was used by Ewen McGregor, so I guess that’s OK.

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This is allegedly a model of the first working bike in the world. Made in Scotland, naturally.

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Finally, the thing that I really wanted to see was the replicas of Graeme Obree’s bikes.

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One had the original narrow bars meant to be under the rider’s chest, and the other featured the extended superman position. Both positions were banned by the UCI.

Here is a shot of the narrow bars, with my hand barely in front of them, to get a sense of just how narrow these are.

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Overall, I was underwhelmed by the Obree display as the replicas were rather crude, with no attempt to show the ultra narrow Q factor or the special cranks that the real bike had.

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Nevertheless, it was a fun visit, doubly so because I got there by bike. Here I am biking back as the weather turned rainy.

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These wayfinding signs were helpful, with timings given for both cyclists and pedestrians.

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It was often difficult to tell if a given sidewalk was part of a bike route. It was more clear where the pavement was a special colour, such as red which seemed to indicate multiuse.

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Elsewhere, blue signage was helpful.

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When you return a rental bike, you just pull up to a bike station, lock the bike and then indicate the return on the app. One thing is that if you are on a roaming data plan, it would be inadvisable to keep the app running for the whole time that you have the bike. If you turn off the app after you check the bike out, it is helpful to note the combination beforehand, especially if you plan to lock up the bike during your rental period. I got into the habit on taking a screen cap as soon as I rented a bike.

When you return the bike, relaunch the app and it will figure out where you are.

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Note that this screen is also providing you with the lock combination. Press return, and then you can select the actual location where you are doing the return. You will be rewarded by this screen.

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The app also lets you review your rentals to make sure all your returns were successful.

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On our second day in Glasgow, the weather was much better and it was great to see so many people out and about on the two main pedestrian streets downtown: Buchanan and Sauciehall.

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A cool non US model Cannondale with small wheels and a kid seat.

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This is Mitchell St, which runs parallel to Buchanan but one short block west. This street seemed to be used for loading into the backs of buildings that fronted on Buchanan.

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The pedestrianization of a good deal of downtown has transformed these streets into a big, outdoor shopping mall. There was definitely a huge amount of foot traffic, but I’m not sure that this would be the best model for revitalization. I would hope that the second floors and above of the buildings would be given over to offices and such so that employment as well as retail activity could anchor downtown.

More Glaswegians enjoying the sun. You might wonder about the slogan posted in many places: “People Make Glasgow”.  Well I must say that everyone we’ve met in Glasgow has been very friendly!

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Some flaggers in the Merchant City district, practicing for a street festival that starts tomorrow. This section of the city had pavers put down in 2011, and it gives this area a distinct character, along with all the old buildings with their impressive stonework.

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and here are two Dutch bikes belonging to the owners of a very cool jewelry shop, with one of them trying to get out of the picture.

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All in all, an enjoyable visit, but all too brief. I also went by a special bike shop, but I’ll write that up in a separate post.

 

 

 

Ward 13 Audit Ride 2016

Today was another Ward13 ride with several people to follow up on last summer’s ride with Sarah and Jacqueline.  Sarah Doucette, of course being our city councillor, and Jacquelyn Hayward Gulati, the manager of cycling transportation for the city. At the beginning of the ride, we were also met by MPP Cheri DiNovo (who has been very supportive of bicycle related issues), as well as our MP Arif Virani.  This was the first opportunity for us to talk to Arif about some bicycle related issues.  Here he is arriving with two sons in tow.

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Here are all of us.

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(picture source)

and a JJW selfie version of the same picture with only about 5% JJW content.

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After some discussion, it was decided that Arif and older son would join us for the first part of the ride along High Park Ave. It was a blazingly hot day, and he was riding a very small wheeled one speed.

One continuing issue at the south east corner of Bloor and High Park is the fact that the sharrows don’t do much to discourage drivers from leaving little space for bikes at the curb. However, we are grateful for the fact that the sharrows along High Park Ave extend across Bloor St.

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Rest stop. Here we get a chance to pitch side guards for trucks to Arif, since this is a federal issue. We will send him notes on this issue, and he will see if he can find the private member’s bill that was submitted by Olivia Chow on this several years ago.

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Shortly after this point, Arif and son took their leave and the rest of us continued along Annette to Baby Point Gates, and then to the top of St. Mark’s Hill. The signage here has been improved, and Sarah told us that the sign indicating that the cross traffic doesn’t stop took some work to be installed. Traffic control did not allow a 4 way stop at this intersection as this would entail the removal of the pedestrian crosswalk.

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and down the hill we go.

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Cruising back towards the Humber River trail.

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Watermelon break.

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This laneway behind one of the Old Mill condos is a public road so that people can ride from Old Mill Dr. to Riverview Gardens without going on Bloor St.

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From this point, we rode along Bloor, and then down towards the lake via Ellis Ave and Bike Route 19. We bid adieu to Sarah at Deforest and Runnymede. Here we take another break at V’s lemonade stand, where the local speciality was lemonade with mint.

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We had a discussion with Jacquelyn at the foot of Ellis Ave about the improvements that are scheduled to be done this year. The start has been held up by Toronto Water, who had been doing work under the bridge where the Gardiner goes over Ellis, but this appeared to be complete. The changes to come include:

  • a road diet where Ellis is narrowed between Lakeshore and the Queensway, with the installation of a bike lane on both sides (already approved by City Council this spring).
  • a southbound crossing for bikes across Lakeshore that will be adjacent to the existing pedestrian crossing, along with a bicycle signal light.
  • a northbound bikes only crossing on the east side of the intersection.

With these changes, this intersection will be similar in configuration to that for Colborne Lodge at Lakeshore.

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There won’t be large scale reconstruction of the median island, meaning that the sharrows for southbound bikes will likely skirt the end of the median. The removal of the biggest hazard: the right turn lane for cars that creates a small triangular island on the northwest corner, awaits additional funding that is associated with the next set of towers to go up just west of this point.

The other unfortunate piece of news is that traffic studies showed that the volume of car traffic will not make it possible to remove one of the two turning lanes where southbound cars turn left (east) onto Lakeshore. This, in turn, makes it impossible to have a pedestrian crossing on the east side as we requested in our proposal. This means that pedestrians crossing from the lake to the bike park will still have to cross north and then east, and they will have to stand on that tiny triangular island midway through the process.

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(picture JJW)

Other improvements that are scheduled to happen (hopefully) this year include improved markings for bike lanes along Colborne Lodge into High Park, and sharrows up and down Ellis Ave marking the bike route along Deforest and Runnymede up to Bloor St.

One other bit of news that was passed along was that the installation of the Bloor bike lane pilot should be starting the Tuesday after the August 1 Civic Holiday, weather permitting.

Thanks to Sarah Doucette and Arif Virani for riding with us today. Also thanks to Cheri DiNovo for greeting us at the beginning of the ride. Special thanks to Jacquelyn for riding with us all the way to the end at the Lakeshore on such a hot day.

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We look forward to seeing the promised infrastructure improvements. Making our streets safer for cyclists and pedestrians will make it easier for all of us to enjoy the many wonderful natural features of our Ward.

 

 

 

 

Seattle to Portland 2016

This past weekend, I rode Seattle to Portland (STP) with roughly 10,000 other cyclists; this was an annual ride organized by the Cascade Bicycle Club. According to their stats, most of the riders are from WA, only 248 are from out of country, roughly half are riding STP for the first time, and a fraction of the total ride the full 205 miles in one day. The rest of us do it in two days. I rode it with good friend Steve, as well as M and J.

Here we are about to leave for the start line at about 5:30 am. (thanks Peg for getting up to take the picture)

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All smiles at the start line.

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And we’re off. The person with the megaphone is yelling at mister 7274 for not wearing a helmet.

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Still riding with the much faster M&J near the start.

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We took a break at the Seward Park rest stop. Unfortunately just prior to this, Steve clashed wheels with another cyclist who braked suddenly and then someone ran into him. Fortunately, he escaped with just bruises on his wrist and thigh.

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On the way to the REI rest stop at mile 24, I am overtaken by this mysterious bike. I manage to catch up briefly and the rider verified that this was indeed a Ti folding bike. She was much faster so I didn’t get any more information.

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A little sleuthing turned up the name: the Burke 20, which does not appear to be on sale according to the website. No information on pricing either, but it would be an interesting thing to compare to the Helix (another Ti folding bike that has yet to see the light of day).

Unfortunately, before the REI rest stop I also lost track of Steve and when I tried to use Glympse to track him, the app gave me the impression that he was ahead of me. This turned out to be wrong, and we didn’t get back together until the overnight stop Saturday evening. For the record, Glympse didn’t seem to work very well during the whole ride, even in Portland.

The REI rest stop was a mob scene. I learned later that experienced riders avoid this stop by riding on, or by stopping at a Starbuck just before this point.

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For the Washington State portion of the ride, all turns were indicated by pink road markings, although most of the time you just followed the line of cyclists ahead of you.

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People working hard about 2/3rd’s of the way up “the Hill” which turned out to be not too much trouble.

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Two Team Joy riders being greeted at the top of the hill.

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Lunch stop was at Spanaway. With 10,000 cyclists, expect to line up for everything. This is the line for one of the banks of portapotties.

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The food line was similarly long: about 15 minutes each.

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Lunch the first day:

IMG_3566 I could have also grabbed an assortment of cookies or granola bars. People who are severely allergic to peanuts should note that one of the two choices for sandwiches on both days was PB&J.

The only thing for which there wasn’t a line was filling up your water bottles. I ended up having to spend about an hour here. I would have been better off finding lunch and a bathroom elsewhere. There was a Home Depot just a few blocks away, along with some other stores.

Shortly after lunch we entered Joint Base Lewis–McChord, which restricted traffic to military personnel.

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It was actual wonderful riding, with next to no car traffic. I did see the occasional sign that warned of things like: “live artillery fire over roadway”.

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Just past the base and on the road to Yelm, we see the first sign for Centralia.

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About 14 miles of the stretch between Yelm and Centralia was along a very peaceful multi-use trail. I was enjoying this enough that I only took this one lousy picture.

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This gives you a slightly better idea of what it was like.

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The trail ended at Tenino where there was another mobbed rest stop which I bypassed.

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Some local people were situated just a little further along, and were selling bottles of water at a county park with bathrooms. Much better!

The end of the first day at Centralia College.

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Overall, my strategy of eating either a pack of energy chews or a Kind bar every hour on the hour kept me from bonking, but my legs really started running out of gas for the last 20 miles or so. When I got to Centralia, just past this gate I lay down on some grass, and I didn’t get up for about thirty minutes. I was convinced that I wasn’t going to be able to do the second day, but after about an hour, I was up and about looking for my luggage, and figuring out where my riding friends were.

Here are the number of bikes in the guarded bike corral that had kickstands, my Tikit among them

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and here are the bikes that didn’t have a kickstand

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including these two Bromptons.

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I saw about ten or so Brommies either at Centralia, or at the very end of the ride, but I never saw any on the road. Kudos to my fellow 16″ wheel riders!

A few notes about staying at Centralia:

  • food options were varied enough, with a few vegetarian or gluten free options. There are also grocery stores in town.
  • we stayed in the gym, but the great majority of people camped. I guess they knew it was not going to rain.
  • if you stay in the gym, bear in mind that the men’s bathrooms on either side are different. One has more bathroom stalls, and the other has more shower stalls.
  • unaccountably, if you wanted to get coffee with the paid breakfast, that was a separate line outside the cafeteria.
  • they are smart enough to start serving breakfast at 4 am. We left Centralia around 6:30, and I got the sense that most had left by then.

Just south of Centralia, we get a small section of bike path just along I-5. However, the rest of the day was on roads.

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Just after the first climb of the day is the small village of Napavine where apparently this woman gives out free banana bread every year. Regrettably I was not able to sample it as it had walnuts.

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Rolling hills and nice country riding.

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Another mobbed mini stop at Winlock which Steve and I bypassed. I guess we missed the world’s largest egg.

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Miracles of miracles, we meet M&J who did stop at Winlock to check out the egg.

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Lunch at Lexington was much more efficient. There was almost no line for food.

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Lunch the second day included a garbanzo bean and potato salad with pesto.

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A little past the lunch stop was the Lewis & Clark bridge where we crossed the Columbia River into Oregon. Here we are turning left towards the bridge.

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We were directed onto an offramp to wait the canonical 15 minutes before we were allowed to cross as a solid mass of cyclists.

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And off we go.

Welcome to Oregon.

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Riders were warned not to use the shoulder because of expansion joints. Sure enough these were covered by large metal plates, and on the fast ride down off the bridge, about 20 feet passed one of these plates I saw many water bottles by the side of the road.

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Curving onto HWY 30.

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A look back at the bridge.

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The next 40 miles was on HWY 30, which was the least pleasant part of the whole ride. In some sections there were two lanes of traffic in either direction but there was usually light enough traffic that the curb lane was left empty. Signs indicated to drivers that there would be cyclists on the road this particular weekend.

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Road narrows to one line in each direction in the town of Rainier.

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Other sections had a relatively narrow shoulder, and things would get a little dangerous if there was car traffic along with cyclists insisting on passing, as many of the pacelines would do.

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There were also some sections of rumble strips on the approach to St. Helens.

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One bright spot along this road: we meet up with M&J again just as we stop to take selfies at the city limits sign. Thanks to blue Colnago guy for taking this picture.

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One final bridge towards downtown.

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and here I am crossing the bridge, trying to look happy for the photographer.

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Not surprising to see good bike infrastructure in downtown Portland.

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Just before the finish, we see one of the bikeshare stations that are still in the process of being installed. Branded by Nike by the looks of them.

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Here I follow Steve down the finish chute.

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Another picture of Bromptons that did the ride. I was told that some of them belonged to one day riders.

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Overall, it was a very well organized ride. All of the volunteers were wonderful, and my fellow riders very friendly. I enjoyed myself, although I was somewhat undertrained for the event, and I was seriously wiped out after the first day. My GPS stats showed that I spend about a total of about 10 hours on the first day, and 10.5 hours on the second, with an average riding speed of about 20 kph, which was about what I expected.

I did get of comments on my Tikit. Aside from the usual jokes about having to pedal harder, most people gave me a big thumbs up. I did see three other Fridays on the route (no other Tikits) as well as a Family Tandem and even a triple. However, nothing tops the dad of the year with the kidback tandem and trail-a-bike with a trailer behind that!

Interestingly enough, I also got a lot of nice compliments on my wool jersey.

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I would certainly consider doing it again. The weather conditions were near ideal: overcast most of the time, and not hot (max of about 75°F). If it had rained or been very hot, it would have been much more difficult. My only regret was that I didn’t have any time to explore the cycling mecca that is Portland. Maybe next time.

A big thanks to my riding buddy Steve for inspiring me to do the ride, and to Peg for logistical support i.e. hosting before and the ride back to Seattle.

 

With the growing popularity of cargobikes, I expected that there would be several cargobike dealers to visit while here in Vancouver. I had visited one dealer several years ago when I checked out an early Yuba Mundo, but they had gone under after about a year. A cursory Google search turned up several other dealers that were also out of business. There was one dealer selling Bullitts that I didn’t want to contact as it looked like they were selling by special order out of their home. A little more digging yielded a few options.

One was the Bike Doctor, on Broadway across from the MEC mothership. I’ve visited them before when I was looking for raincapes.

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Here you can see a Wike box bike and a Yuba Boda Boda out front.

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Inside, you can see that they also carry the Babboe box bike.

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They also have a good selection of family biking things.

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In my brief visits with them, I’ve found them friendly, and their service and parts department was very helpful.

Another interesting shop was the Tandem Bike Cafe, at 16th and Heather. It is a coffee shop that also does bike repair. When I rode by, I had to stop since there was both a CETMA and a Metrofiets bike out front. I had not seen either in the flesh before. I was told that they could special order either of them.

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Here you see the flanges that allow the CETMA frame to be broken down for shipping.

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Some very clean TIG welding on the Metrofiets, and it also looks like the rear dropout is splittable for the installation of a belt drive.

Last but not least, a local contact pointed me towards Grin Technologies, so I went down there to check them out today.

On my way, I meet this fellow doing a technical check on one of the new bikes for the bikeshare system on the Hornby bike lane.

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I asked about the helmet law, and he showed me a cable integrated into the handlebar that could be used to secure a helmet, but since he was from the bike vendor, he didn’t know about the details of any helmet sharing system.

The Google map directions to Grin were a bit unclear as their postal address is on Powell St, but their actual access is off a parking lot accessed from E Cordova St.

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Once inside, an overwhelming number of things to look at.

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A wide selection of unicycles.

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Their main business is selling kits and components for e-bike conversions. They do, however, sell this one type of ready to ride electrically assisted cargobike, the eZee Expedir.

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More interesting to me was the row of bikes behind the two Expedirs.

Firstly, an e-assist Brompton.

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Beside it was an Xtracycle Edgerunner in the process of being built up, and then a Yuba Mundo with a complete middrive that was somewhat reminiscent of the Stokemonkey.

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However, Ben told me that their system was built in house and was considerably more refined. For one thing, this set up drives the chain, and a special crankset allows the rider to freewheel, whereas the Stokemonkey drives the crankset directly, requiring the rider to always be pedalling. There is also a clever arrangement that senses pedalling effort so that the controller can provide a proportional amount of assist.

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One of their visions is to have this system made as universal as possible so that it can be installed on a wide variety of longtail cargobikes.

Here is the staff parking; quite the interesting collection of bikes.

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Of course I immediately focused on the Haul a Day in the same orange colour as my own.

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It had a hub motor drive installed, but they were planning to install a middrive. The owner told me that hers was a prototype HaD, and so it didn’t have a diagonal frame brace that later models had, like mine. Compare the above picture to mine:

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Next to it was a longtail based on the Xtracycle Leap extension.

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I was told that one of the hazards of working there was that when you showed up with a new bike, there was the possibility that it would be turned over to prototype a new configuration of electric drive. There were a few non-assisted bikes in the rack. I was amused to hear them referred to as “acoustic bikes”.

In the back was a vintage Xtracycle FreeRadical with an original Stokemonkey drive.

I could have easily spent another hour looking at all the things on display, but regrettably I had to move on. Thanks to Ben for showing me around.

I applaud their efforts in promoting electric assist with made in Canada solutions. After a week of biking around Vancouver, I can see the need for e-assist to make cargobikes more generally appealing.

A little further on, I had to stop by Bomber Brewing, since I had ridden by it three times during a previous training ride.

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I tasted a couple of beers, but left with just a six pack of their Park Life Passion Fruit Ale that I had just yesterday at a restaurant. It tasted like a Radler, but I was told that it only had 7% of Passion Fruit Puree that was fermented with the rest of the beef. A nice, light summertime drink. Regrettably, they were out of their Bike Route Best Bitter, named for the fact that they were situated at the intersection of two bike routes.

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That’ll wrap up my reporting from Vancouver this year. We’ll see what shape I’m in when I reach Portland.

 

 

 

I’ve been doing a bit of training this week in Vancouver, during the final lead up to STP, and as usual I’ve seen many interesting things. Here are just a few of them:

I like this Sharpie edit of this bike button. I’ve seen it more than one place around town.

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At UBC you can practice putting bikes on bus racks.

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One of my first rides was back and forth to the north shore. Here is the multiuse path approaching the Lion’s Gate bridge.

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My first time across the Lion’s Gate bridge. It gave me the heebie jeebies, whereas both the Burrard and the 2nd Narrows bridges did not. I think it is because it is easy to see through the fence to the side while riding.

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I wimped out and did not climb any further up than just past HWY 1, along Skilift Rd.


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I can see the UBC campus, where my ride started.

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Going back south across the Burrard St. bridge, you can see that due to construction, lanes have been blocked off. Note that there is more road width devoted to just pedestrians and southbound cyclists than the single lane for car traffic in this direction. Safe to say that this would never happen in TO.

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Another ride took my around town and then back to Granville Market. Here I am working my way around False Creek.

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Sign vandalism.

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Preparation for the bike share system in Vancouver.

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I have never heard of a Fiori kidback tandem. From this website, it seems very reasonably priced.

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I can’t identify this nice bike, but from the seatstay, it looks like a DeKerf?

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A Karate Monkey based e-bike.

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Note that with the extensive bike route network here, it is easy to plot out a reasonably flat 38 km loop that is totally on signed, marked bike routes. Only a portion is on segregated bike lanes, but most of the route is on lightly travelled roads that have been traffic calmed.

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Here, I’m being rewarded with a stroopwafel after my first lap.

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I like this decoration at the intersection of the Ridgeway bikeway and Main St.

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Here at the end of my last longish training ride, which was three laps of the 38 km loop.

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Here are the things that I’m been riding with in my seat bag.IMG_3454

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  • A) spare tube
  • B) zip ties and tools including allen wrenches, presta adapter, multitool, patch kit, tire levers, scissors/plier tool, and 3Wrencho.
  • C) a regular seat bag to carry all the tools.
  • D) a light cable lock
  • E) Brooks seat cover*
  • F) rain cape*
  • G) vest

*if I carry these, it won’t rain, will it?

All this fits with room to spare. Less than four days to go….

 

Haul-a-Day-Blogs1

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.

 

Tweaking the Tikit

This July, in a fit of over enthusiasm, I signed up to do Seattle to Portland, which entails riding 205 miles in two days. Note that I haven’t done anything like this since Dalmac 2000 (which was also pre kids), and so I’ve been a bit concerned about being undertrained. To make thing things even more fun, I’ve decided to do it on my Tikit, for reasons of logistics, etc. I’ve been putting a bit of mileage on the Tikit, and I’ve found two things for sure: one is that I’m a bit slower on it than on my Tamarack, but on the plus side the Selle Anatomica saddle is more comfortable than the Brooks B17 on that bike.

Also, TBNer’s look a bit surprised when I show up to a ride with small wheels. This was June 19, and it was really hot so I wimped out and only did 74K that day.

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One thing I did back in March was to finally install the fenders that were originally delivered with the bike. They work well, and don’t interfere too much with the fold. I will have to dismount them to suitcase the bike.

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The other thing I soon realized was that the water bottle mount on the back of the seat tube is totally unworkable, so I decided to mount a cage on the stem. It is off to the side so that it doesn’t interfere with the fold.

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I used these bottle cage clamps from Velo Orange that were serviceable, but wouldn’t necessarily work with all bottle cages since they have no holes for cage mounting bolts.

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Another note: over time I noticed that the rear brake action was getting spongy, and I found out that this was because the barrel adjuster to the travel agent on the rear had broken, causing some friction. My particular setup has tri bar type road levers, and so travel agents are used on front and rear, and the way that the brake cable on the rear came in at an angle to the linear pull brake must have stressed it enough to break this part. I ended up getting a new unit, although in retrospect I could have gotten away with just a new barrel adjuster. The new unit is black, though!

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Note that the rear brake cable on the Tikit must be tandem length. I discovered this on Canada Day, and so I had to cannibalize another bike to get this done for a ride later that day.

Further note to self: when I get back from Seattle, remember to put a new brake cable on the back of wife’s recumbent.

The original plan was to use this Carradice Bag mounted on the seat post so that I have the option of carrying a few things along for the ride (such as raingear?). However, I decided to leave it behind as it was taking up too much space in our luggage.

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Once I arrived in Vancouver, I had second thoughts, and so I bought a Charlene seat pack from Porcelain Rocket.
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It can take up to 5 L, while being quite a bit smaller and lighter than the Carradice. I’ve already found it very handy. The roll top closure can be used to carry extra stuff, such as a baguette:

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or a wet raincape.

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Final touch: a proper bell.

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The bar end bell that I had been using never put out enough sound to satisfy me.

Now onto more vital matters…. such as training.

 

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