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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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Cycle Toronto ran a fundraising ride today on Bloor/Danforth for the second consecutive year. About 120 riders were registered for the 25K ride, and another 30 or so for the 10K ride. The route was chosen to highlight several of the campaigns that Cycle Toronto has been running, including sections of Bloor, the Danforth, and Woodbine.
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People gathered at registration before the ride.
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Patrick Brown with just a few of the riders for team Bike Law.
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Jared makes some announcements.
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Joe Cressy says that he knows in this venue, he is preaching to the choir. Nevertheless, he highlights the importance of Cycle Toronto’s advocacy work at City Hall in getting new bike infrastructure approved.
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Head Marshall Captain Sam briefs the riders on how we are going to stick together, and reminds us to use hand signals.
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Lined up at the start on Cecil St.
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Down this laneway behind Baldwin St. to get to Elm.
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Across the Bloor Viaduct.
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This family was with us for the whole 25K ride.
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Headed south on Woodbine.
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Headed west on the Danforth.
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We make a stop at the Eastview Community Centre to meet up with the 10K riders, including this family with the second orange Haul a Day in town!
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Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon is a strong supporter of cycling in the city.
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Julie Dabrusin is the local MP, and she told us that there is now a Cycling Caucus in the Federal Government.
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and off we go again.
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Sam leads us back across the viaduct.
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Momentary stop on Bloor.
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The other Sam does some corking.
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Riding is a breeze if dad does all the work.
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On some sections of Bloor, we can’t all fit into the bike lane.
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On the final stretch, down St. George.
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Thanks to Cycle Toronto for organizing the ride, the ride sponsors, as well as Toronto’s finest for the escort. These officers were from 14 Division, but 51 and 52 also helped out.
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Also nice to see so many families out biking on this brilliantly sunny fall day. Ride safe everyone!

We’ve been asking the city to make access to the lakefront from Ward 13 safer for cyclists. One of the items on the list were sharrows on Ellis Ave, originally requested in 2010. My understanding is that the installation of sharrows was somewhat delayed by the Pan Am games. However they finally went in a couple of weeks ago. Here are some new sharrows in Runnymede, south of Bloor.
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Looking back northward, you can see that the downhill sharrows are by the curb, whereas the uphill (northbound) sharrows are in the door zone. However, there is not much road width here.
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Southbound on Runnymede, there is a sharrow with arrow directing us to turn left on DeForest.
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Similar arrows direct us south on Kennedy, then a short jog left to get to the top of Ellis Ave. The short section of Morningside is problematic as there is a lot of car traffic here that comes from all four directions.
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On Ellis Ave itself, both the downhill and uphill sharrows are by the curb. Unfortunately, in the sections where parking is allowed in the uphill directions, parked cars can totally obscure the sharrows.
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Ellis at Queensway. There is no sign of sharrows across the intersection yet, although sharrows were recently installed across the Queensway on Colborne Lodge Rd.
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There is also no sign of the short section of bike lane on Ellis under the Gardiner.
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My understanding is that there will be a northbound bikes only crossing installed on the east side of the Ellis-Lakeshore intersection, similar to the one at Colborne Lodge. Speaking of which, I wanted to check to see if they had retimed the bike crossing at Colborne Lodge.
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Here is a video. I pressed start just after the bike light turned green.

As you can see, the light is green for about 9 seconds, and then yellow for about 4 seconds. If you compare this with a video taken in 2011:

you can see that the bike crossing light has not been retimed, as we requested several years ago. I will note that the bike signal is now “bike shaped” which I guess is progress of a sort.  Also, I am disappointed to see that sharrows were not put in for this northbound bike crossing, as many people continue to bike across using the pedestrian crossing on the west side of the intersection.

A little further east, I came upon the wooden sculpture that commemorates the 60th anniversary of the Hungarian uprising.
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I also see that the bike lane has been slightly rerouted at the entrance to the Boulevard Club, so that at least one car exiting the club can wait for traffic to clear on Lakeshore without blocking bike traffic.
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Just east of thing point, I was excited to see a pedestrian and bike bridge across to the south end of Dowling Ave. This is a picture of the north end of the bridge.
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You can see that this new bridge is much less wide than the original roadway.
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I was less excited to find out from this and other articles that this is just a temporary structure while the city conducts an environment assessment to decide whether to replace the roadway bridges at both Dunn and Dowling.

Update: I’ve been told by the Cycle Toronto Ward 14 group that the Dowling Bridge will be for pedestrians and cyclists only going forward, and that there is a proposal for Dowling to have a contraflow lane installed between Queen and King to improve access to this bridge.

This evening, we got the whole family together to take another picture of the time tunnel.
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Happy Canadian Thanksgiving everyone!

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.

The driver who killed Adrian Dudzicki has been sentenced to two years in jail, and a 15 year ban on driving as reported in the Toronto Star.

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The driver, Aleksey Aleksev, was convicted in April, for the collision that occurred in November 2013, almost three years ago.

We still await justice in other cases from the past two or three years.

 

tikitintorontoI’ve had a Bike Friday Tikit for a couple of years now and I’ve been fairly happy with it. However, I’ve also been thinking about alternative folding bikes for a while.  In the interim, Bike Friday ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to launch a new 16″ wheel folding bike called the PakiT, which was advertised as being both lighter and cheaper than the Tikit. When I saw this, I figured it was only a matter of time until they discontinued the Tikit.

(Note that I am a happy customer from the their first Kickstarter campaign that launched the Haul a Day)

That confirmation arrived today via an answer I got on the Bike Friday FB page.

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“the tikit is being phased out. You can still order a tikit, but only until the end of this year, and at the new price listed on our website.https://www.bikefriday.com/folding-bikes/bikes/tikit-3/” Note that they raised the price quite a bit.

I’m a little sad about this since the Tikit has some unique features for a Friday, like the quick fold. It also served me quite well this past summer on STP.

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Nevertheless, from the looks of things, it is much more expensive to build than the PaKiT. Also, given the fact that there is a limited market for folding bikes that cost upwards of $1000, it’s not a bad move to concede the quickfold focused commuter market to Brompton.

If I get a chance, I’ll try to test ride the PakiT so that I can do a direct comparison with the Tikit. Also still waiting on a chance to check out the Helix.  Or perhaps I’ll take a second look at putting a internally geared hub on the PBW.

So many choices in the folding bike world these days…….

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.