Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Men on Bikes

toothpaste for dinner

PM told to ride bike.

PM Stephen Harper was stunned when he learned this month that the Chinese successfully fired an anti-satellite missile destroying a small weather satellite. This same success has eluded George W. Bush's efforts, the US has been trying to develop this technology for twice as long. The PM said, "The Chinese have no business with these types of weapons".

Some observers believe the PM is still miffed that the Chinese government told him to "go ride a bicycle" at last month's China-Canada Friendship meeting. It was here that the PM brought up his concerns over China's fuel use. Harper told China's PM Zhu Rongji that China's demand for fuel was causing hard ship in North America. Harper referenced the fact the demand for large SUV's has dropped significantly thereby putting a strain on the auto industry and it was costing people more to drive to the corner store. Harper also told the Chinese PM that he could not understand why the Chinese were buying so many Xboxes, "should the peasants not be working the cotton fields?".

At this point it is reported that PM Rongji told Harper to "go ride a bicycle". Harper retorted, "I would but your country is making it very expensive to drive to the store to get one". Rhongji at this point asked Harper if he would like to be Canada's first space tourist. Before there was any response both men were separated.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Blue Winter BIcycle

Yellow Bikes French-Style

Paris to roll out free bicycles
Tue Jan 30/07 - The City of Light wants to soon become a city of bicycles. Paris City Hall announced it has selected French outdoor ad firm JCDecaux SA to operate a new free bicycle service in the capital. Joining other European cities like the Dutch capital, Amsterdam, Paris wants to make thousands of bikes available for free to commuters, strollers and tourists — in part to help cut down on pollution. JCDecaux's Somupi unit is to have some 14,100 bikes deployed in the capital by this summer. City Hall's choice of contractor was announced Monday. The company was chosen over a consortium of rivals including U.S.-based Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings Inc., and several major French companies. (Thanks to Tovi for the new tip)

Hello Yello! -- If I don't see our yellow bikes on the streets of Toronto come spring I will cry.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Resistance Is Necessary

Resisting Car Culture In China

More Chinese are abandoning their bicycles -- not because they now own cars but because the dramatic increase in automobile use is making city streets too dangerous for cycling. But cyclists are fighting back.
"In the 1970s, private cars were almost non-existent in China, but over the past decade vehicle ownership has skyrocketed. Last year, the country became the world's second-biggest car market, behind the United States. Sales of new vehicles in China (including cars, trucks and buses) soared 25 per cent last year to reach 7.2 million. The total number of motor vehicles in China is projected to reach 130 million within the next 15 years. In Beijing alone, there are 1,000 new cars on the streets every day. As a result, bicycles are increasingly being squeezed to the margins. The streets are choked with traffic and automobile fumes. New roads are sometimes built without any bike lanes. Hundreds of bicyclists are killed in collisions with cars every year. Pedal power has become so life-threatening that many Chinese have abandoned their bicycles. All of this is provoking a backlash across China. A movement is emerging to promote the rights of bicyclists. Environmentalists are calling for bike lanes to be restored and expanded. Newspapers are crusading on behalf of bicyclists, investigating the scandal of roads without bike lanes."
Source: The Globe and Mail, Jan 20. (Thanks to Matt in Detroit for the tip)

Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Hardy

Dedicated to those dozen or so who rode CM last Friday. Heard it was a beautiful ride. Sadly I was not one of them.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Delivery Service!

Art by Corwyn Lund currently at Harbourfront Centre. Postcards will delivered by Toronto Cycling Hero 'Fraser'. Cool beyond words and likely the most beautiful bike I have ever seen. More here.

Case Ootes to feed and shelter the homeless

Toronto City Councillor Case Ootes is giving up helping cyclists and turning his attention to the homeless. He has a brilliant plan to feed and shelter the homeless. Ootes is calling for a by-law that would fine the homeless for panhandling. The vast majority of homeless are penniless. So this will result, when they cannot pay their fines, in the homeless being put in jail where they will be sheltered and given 3 meals a day.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

City completes landmark cycling study.

The City of Toronto announced that it has completed a four year study of cycling safety which included several recommendations for improvement. When staff were asked when the recommendations would be implemented they replied, "... that a study is under way to determine if the recommendations are still relevant." The results of the new study should be available in 2011.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Happy Hamish!

Hello all - thanks for doing a decent job of clearing the bike lanes on the Viaduct - it's noticeably better than in previous years, with about 2/3 clear, though maybe there was enough resource to apply as we've not had snow, or whatever. Close to Sherbourne the eastbound was messed up somewhat but that could also be four-wheeled vehicles.

Basic problems still remain: at the top of Parliament on the SE corner there is both a ponding problem which can freeze and it remains more invisible as the streetlight has been/is out. This was mentioned in a Jan. 4 email I believe.

The snow also makes it clear that vehicles cut all right turning curves and so the pinch point before the Viaduct in the eastbound lane remains a large liability for the City in my view.

Ponding still occurs at the north side of that intersection which the freezing makes quite dangerous, and one might expect greater worry about freeze-thaw cycles near bridges etc. - and you've had a fair degree of notice about these prroblems I believe.

I still haven't gotten an email for the legal dept., another loose end/detail.

Still carmudgeonly,

Hamish Wilson

Wish I could go ...

Friday, January 12, 2007

Without words

2007: Year of the Bike Lane?

Martin Koob points out that we had another year in 2006 with lacklustre progress on cycling infra-structure.

However, he rightfully, has his hopes up for '07.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Free gas for a year!

(AP) Washington- President George Bush confirmed today that he will be withdrawing all troops from Iraq and use the money saved to give each and every citizen free gas for a year. Critics complained that it was an outright attempt to buy votes for the next election. The White House retorted, "If this keeps up we will all be riding bicycles."

Happy Belated Holidays

Specialized Holiday Card Performed on Bike Parts...

Is this cool?

Monday, January 08, 2007

Cyclist goes flying.

A clip from the American show "COPS". While the cop was making an arrest the accident happened in the background, it is pretty sickening crash. The entire clip is pretty sad. The cop immediately destroyed the scene by moving the car and his concern for the driver was hard to swallow. Did not seem like much of an investigation but maybe that happened in the background. No word if the cyclist survived or not.

Thanks Vic for the updated link.

The Case for separated Bike Lanes

by Clarence Eckerson

Friday, January 05, 2007

Landis Still in Denial

In case you missed the powerful Landis doc on
the CBC, you can still watch it online here

Cartoon by
Mike Lukovich

Let's fix this town!

Photo by Steeker, he writes:

"This Death Trap zone is on Queen Street Just west of Broadview, you can fit a mountain bike tire in the gap and there is always a car parked beside it resulting in a serious danger to cyclists, it has been there for over two weeks."

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Igor no home

Photo taken under the cover of darkness. A fitting tribute to Igor, me thinks.
Looks like he's closed up shop.