Thursday, October 29, 2009


Via Marriedtothesea

First Annual Hallowheelin' Ride

Studio Tofu presents:
in conjunction with: dandyhorse magazine / spacing magazine / now magazine
the First Annual Hallowheelin'
Urban Cycling Challenge
Saturday, October 31st
Open to ALL cyclists of ALL skill levels.

Two Courses: Easy and Hard
$8 To Ride, Includes Halloween After Party
Registration Starts 530pm at Manic Coffee 426 College
Ride Starts at 700pm SHARP!

Halloween afterparty @ CineCycle 401 Richmond 
(Around back, off Spadina)
Costumes STRONGLY suggested. Lights and Bag MANDATORY. Helmets suggested. Rain or Moon.
Tonnes of prizes furnished by: Manic Coffee | Bikes On Wheels | Cycle Solutions | MEC | Origins Coffee | Blondie's Espresso Bar | Sweet Pete's | Bombshelter | 

Jet Fuel Coffee | Franklin Tattoo| Great Lakes Brewery  
All proceeds going to FoodShare:

Postcards by Tino

A selection of original Toronto cycling postcards are available exclusively at the fine new Hoopdriver Bicycles Shop on College (just east of Dufferin)

More samples

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Cyclo Cross Season

Willow Beach CX Race

Photo via Fixed Gear Blog

The Bell

Off-duty cop who beat up cyclist on Queen street in 2007 = Not guilty!

Remember this? Buddy stops at the traffic light at Queen and Bay and driver gets his nose out of joint about it. As in 'Get out of my f#!%ng way. Driver gets out and pummels the guy. The original event was covered on the Spacing Wire

From the National Post article linked to below:
"Justice John Ritchie said in his decision that Mr. Tierman was defending himself and his vehicle from the cyclist, who was going to use his bike as a weapon. Pursuant to Section 27 of the Criminal Code, the defendant was justified in using force to prevent the attack. “The issue, in my mind, is whether the defendant used excessive force,” Justice Ritchie wrote. “
… It is my conclusion that the force used was not excessive in all of the circumstances.” 

Monday, October 26, 2009

Le son du pignon by David Martin

"A bicycle repairman absorbed in dull everyday work is swept over by the repetitive rhythm."

Bike Station Halloween Open House

You are invited to come out and support cycling in Toronto by attending the Bicycle Station Halloween Open House on Friday October 30th. This is a free event to let people know we are opening the Bicycle Station to winter storage by not enforcing our 48 hour rule from November to March. Everyone who arrives in costume will receive a free Halloween Loot Bag filled with ghoulishly good treats. If you are going to be downtown that day be sure to come by to warm up with free Hot Cider and pick up a few treats for the road. Better yet, park your bike here and know it rests safe and sound while you trick-or-treat.

You are also invited to participate in the event. Participants will have their own table to display promotional materials and will also receive a Free Halloween Loot Bag. This will be a great time to let our Bicycle Station members and customers know about your cycling group or organization.  If you would like a table for your group or organization, please let us know as soon as possible. You may reply to this email or call us. Our phone number is 416-338-3666 
More Info


Kate Sage

Friday, October 23, 2009

Green Light For Cyclists (UK)

Cyclists will be permitted to ride the wrong way along one-way streets under a change intended to encourage more people to give up their cars or use them less.

The Government will announce today that cyclists will be permitted to ignore no-entry signs: a practice already followed by many, including David Cameron, the Conservative leader.

The Department for Transport is authorising a trial in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, Mr Camerons home authority in West London, in which a small plate saying Except cyclists will be attached to poles carrying no-entry signs.

If the trial is successful, the department intends to extend the policy to the rest of Britain and permit thousands of one-way streets to become two-way for bikes. It believes that long diversions around one-way systems are a significant deterrent to new cyclists, who might be less confident about breaking the rules.

Cars Are Death Traps In Many Ways

Cyclist's death highlights auto hazards
Cars are death traps in many ways.

October 19, 2009

by Albert Koehl

Darcy Allan Sheppard accomplished this year what almost 3,000 other Canadians will fail to do: get more than fleeting public attention for his death on our roads. If Sheppard's death had not occurred in downtown Toronto, in gruesome circumstances, and under the wheels of a car driven by Ontario's former top law-maker, the public would already have forgotten his name. While the tragedy on Toronto's Bloor St. may have highlighted the frailty of the human body in conflicts with the car, the fact is occupants of cars are hardly safe from the danger on our roads.

Polluting emissions from car and truck traffic claim 440 lives in Toronto alone each year.

Although cyclists are over-represented in road fatalities, the most common victims of road accidents are drivers and their passengers, comprising three quarters of all deaths. Motor vehicle occupants also count heavily among the 20,000 Canadians wounded so seriously by motor vehicles each year that they require hospital care, often for long terms. So routine are serious traffic accidents that we more often hear about them as obstacles in the morning traffic report than in news headlines. Cars aren't deadly just because of collisions.
Polluting emissions from car and truck traffic claim 440 lives in Toronto alone each year, according to the city's public health authority. Climate change, which is caused in significant part by transportation emissions, will claim more lives still. Over 35 percent of Toronto's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are from motor vehicles. The tragedy of these numbers is not that we accept them so willingly, but that we accept them despite the obvious alternatives.
First, buses and streetcars are many times safer than cars, while emitting a fraction of the air and climate poisons. A 30 percent reduction in traffic emissions would save 190 lives in Toronto each year and result in $900 million in health benefits, according to Toronto Public Health. Mass transit can be improved quickly with better and more frequent bus service.
Second, bicycles produce zero climate and air pollutants — while posing minimal risks to other road users. Cycling fatalities can be reduced. In certain European countries where bikes have been given dedicated space, cyclists (despite shunning helmets) are much safer.
"Good fences make good neighbours" wrote the poet Robert Frost. Painted lines for bikes make good relations on our streets.
Yes, cyclists must obey the rules of the road, although this doesn't help cyclists injured by motorists in so-called "doorings" that are all too common. When I cycle, I fairly diligently obey every rule of the road but sometimes marvel at the irony of it all: complying with the rules of a society that has already carelessly passed through urgent warning signs of climate change and unnecessarily wasted so many innocent lives.
Third, cars are transportation products, not necessities. Other personal transportation products would make our cities safer and healthier. Power and speed, along with polluting emissions, are car design features, and consequences, that kill.
We may be able to justify the use of a car to carry groceries, take kids to soccer practice, or pick-up grandparents but do milk and eggs really need to leave the mall in a machine capable of achieving 0-60kmph in 6 seconds? Low cost, low emission, low speed vehicles, similar to the electric ZENN car, provide another logical alternative, especially since city traffic doesn't average even 40kmph anyway.

Finally, when our roads are safer and more hospitable places, people will walk more. The car may be part of our culture but this is no reason to stand in the way of safer and more efficient options. The facts support a war on traffic deaths and injuries, traffic pollution, and vehicle GHG emissions that have made us all — motorists, passengers, cyclists, and pedestrians — victims.

Albert Koehl is a lawyer with Ecojustice (formerly Sierra Legal), a Canadian environmental law organization. In November 2007, Ecojustice and KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives, a church-based social justice organization, demanded that Canada's Auditor General investigate the government's oil and gas subsidies and the cuts to programs for poor households.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fall Bliss #1

Bickford Park just north of Harbord

David Byrne - Bicycle Diaries (New Book)

In Toronto:
DAVID BYRNE with Jack Layton, Ken Greenberg and Yvonne Bambrick at IFOA, Fleck Dance Theatre (207 Queens Quay)Saturday (October 24).

Article in NOW Magazine

SPIN by Evelyn Parry


Written and performed by Evalyn Parry
With Anna Friz and Brad Hart | Directed by Ruth Madoc Jones

Starring: The BICYCLE
As muse, musical instrument, and instrument of social change. A Two Wheeled Evening of Entertainment, Featuring: Music, Spoken Word and Theatre. 

The Safety Bicycle: Amplified!
Using modern effects Pedals and contact Microphones, the players manipulate the acoustic sounds of the Bicycle to make Music

The 1890’s: The Golden Age of the Bicycle! 
Exposing the Bicycle as a Dangerous Agent of Women’s Emancipation | Ballads of High Adventure! Theft, Heartbreak, Bicycle-Auto Collision and the Urban Rider.

OCTOBER 25th, 8 pm at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (12 Alexander St.)
as part of the HYSTERIA Festival | Tickets $10 in advance call by telephone 
to reserve at 416-975-8555 or on the world wide web at

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Police cancel aggressive driver blitz.

Guy, BLD’s main researcher, was at police headquarters Monday to attend the press conference for Toronto Police Service’s (TPS) very first blitz on drivers who act aggressively with cyclists. It was rumoured this blitz was in response to the strong criticism police got over their recent cyclist blitz. Apparently this was a gesture to improve relations with cyclists.

Guy told us that the Q&A period after the announcement was dominated by competing pro-car versus pro-bike media. During this back and forth our intrepid researcher managed to get in a question to TPS spokesperson Sgt. William Parker. He asked, “Why is this campaign being carried out now when the number of cyclists is approaching its seasonal low.” To which Sgt.Parker replied, “This is a time of year that many private citizens like to dress up in costume to celebrate Halloween. We have a responsibility to reduce any chance that our officers on the streets, especially officers on bicycles, are not mistaken for private citizens”.

At this point a barrage of questions were put to Sgt.Parker. Essentially there was general consensus amongst all of the media, they all wanted clarification of the answer and wanted to know what costume was causing the TPS so much grief. At this point the press conference came to an abrupt halt as Sgt.Parker hurriedly left the room.

Later in the day BLD received an email from Inspector James King, Communications Division, TPS. “The campaign against aggressive drivers brought to the media’s attention this morning has been canceled. Toronto’s drivers should rest assured that they will not be inconvenienced by a so-called “blitz”. We sincerely apologize for this poorly communicated and misdirected effort. Our resources will be directed at the main problem, those who impersonate clowns. A criminal offence in Canada.”

A few hours later we received a second email from Inspector King. We were advised that his first email had a typo. The word “clowns” should be replaced with “peace officers” and that he “...sincerely regretted the error”.

Many cycling advocacy groups expressed disappointment with the decision but hoped that next year the cops could try again.

Special thanks to our researcher G. Fawkes for all of his diligent work.

Nakenger - 'To Drive Is To Make War"

Nakenger : "Rouler en voiture, c'est faire la guerre." from inzebaba on Vimeo.
This time he rides through Lausanne, Switzerland.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Rally Round The Bike (Torontoist)

It's Time!

Art by Bastardilla (Bogota, Colombia)

Meanwhile In The UK...

Cycling plan to blame drivers for all crashes
Ministers are considering a far-reaching change in the law in a bid to promote greener transport.

MINISTERS are considering making motorists legally responsible for accidents involving cyclists or pedestrians, even if they are not at fault.

Government advisers are pushing for changes in the civil law that will make the most powerful vehicle involved in a collision automatically liable for insurance and compensation purposes.

The move, intended to encourage greater take-up of environmentally friendly modes of transport, is likely to anger some drivers, many of whom already perceive themselves to be the victims of moneyspinning speed cameras and overzealous traffic wardens.

Many will argue that it is the risky behaviour of some cyclists particularly those who jump red lights and ride the wrong way along one-way streets  that is to blame for a significant number of crashes.

However, policy-makers believe radical action is required to get people out of cars and onto bicycles or to walk more. Only 1%-2% of journeys are at present made by bike..........

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Bike Lane In The Rain

carril bici, originalmente cargada por olympicoandres.

Great shot from Spain

Style Council - My Ever-changing Moods

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Bob Minoske (Bicycling Magazine) v.s. Toronto Councillor Michael Walker

(snip) "Already, demands that cyclists be licensed and insured, bikes be registered, extra taxes be imposed on cyclists, and more directly to the point, new legislation be enacted limiting our rights to the road, have entered the public discourse. These demands are not a rational response to a perceived problem; rather, they are vindictive in nature, and rooted in a deep-seated desire to remove us from the roads. Nevertheless, we should all be aware that restrictions on the rights of motorists were imposed by government in response to a problem, and those restrictions were upheld by the courts. Whether government will respond to the demands of those who would remove us from the roads remains to be seen, but it’s in our own best interest to not feed the perception that we are a problem that needs to be addressed." 
Read the full article here:

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Friday, October 09, 2009

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Das Rad (The Wheel) Oscar Nominated Short Film

Environment report knocks Toronto's lack of bike lanes (CBC)

Toronto's cycling enthusiasts celebrated a small victory this week after the province's environmental commissioner released a report criticizing the city over its lack of bike lanes.

In his annual report, this year entitled Building Resiliance, commissioner Gord Miller criticized Toronto's handling over the Bloor Street revitalization project.

The report said that the city didn't have to consult the public because of the way the project was classified.

"It was classified as an 'A' which means there was very little opportunity for public consultation and discussion that some proponents of cycling wanted to see," Miller said after tabling his report in the provincial legislature on Tuesday.

Miller said the classification resulted in the loss of bikes lanes in the area of Bloor, between Church Street and Avenue Road.

He said the province needs to do more to ensure bicycles are taken into consideration when municipalities seek provincial approval.

"There should be a mandatory requirement," said Miller "[that] in future in these kinds of projects that cycling and pedestrians — as legitimate forms of transportation — be included in the consideration and the alternatives in discussion and design."

Eventually the Bloor Street Transformation Project plan ended up in court. The city got what it wanted and cyclists ended up with 'sharrows' — a shared lane with traffic — instead of bicycle-only lanes.

Miller's recommendations are a small victory for Albert Koehl, the lawyer who represented cycling advocacy groups on the Bloor Street project.

"We have now the environmental commissioner pointing the finger at the province and saying you've got to do quite a bit more," he said.

Koehl says the report isn't going to change the situation overnight, but will be a weapon in the bigger battle towards having safe streets for cyclists and pedestrians.
(Photo illustration by Rick Conroy)

Saturday, October 03, 2009

The Family That Rides Together ...

Photos by Sabine Coenegrachts. Merci!

Toronto Union Bike Station Opens

A bicycle station is a secure, indoor bicycle parking facility. It also functions as an information centre where customers can get information on bicycling, walking and public transit in Toronto.
The bicycle station at Union Station includes a change room, a mechanic stand and a variety of tools for customer use, as well as a vending machine with emergency bike necessities such as tubes, tire levers, patch kits, and, of course, refreshing beverages. Security measures include a “man-trap” door system to prevent people following others into the station, 24 hour video surveillance as well as staffed hours during the day.

More info;

Friday, October 02, 2009

Bloor Street Sharrow Surprise

Created with flickrSLiDR.

Although these sharrows were hinted at during meetings earlier in the year with Transportation Services, they are a welcome addition for the time being. More sharrows will be added according to city staff in between the ones pictured here. Bike Lanes? One can dream.

It must be noted that Sharrows are designed for low volume roads rather than arterials like Bloor.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Sharrows on Bloor

Share photos on twitter with TwitpicUnblievable but true.

And no, and it ain't by the Urban Repair Squad

Photo by Chris Kay. 
Thank you Chris. Good Eye!

(Toronto Star) City Slow To Install Bike Lane Network

"Thirty-six kilometres doesn't sound like a lot out of a promised 1,000, but that's all the bike lanes the city could put to pavement in 2009. It's been eight years since the ambitious Bike Plan was announced, when Torontonians were told we'd have more than 1,000 kilometres of new paths, lanes and trails by 2011. Today, less than half of those have been installed, and the plan's lifespan has been extended to 2013. Of the 16.2 kilometres originally scheduled for this year, only 0.7 kilometres have gone in. The rest was backlog: the Cycling Infra-structure and Program Group is still working on lanes planned for 2008..."

Full article:
Photo: Hamish Wilson

Safe Bicycle Parking Concept From Spain

Fully automated for ground level 
and underground bicycle parking.
More Info