Friday, August 31, 2007

Critical Mass August 2007

Another stunning ride ... biggest in years. Over 300 riders.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

No accident

With a heavy heart I have to report that another cyclist was killed today on Toronto's streets. This time a seven year old girl ... in Scarborough. Very close to where I went to high school. CityTV did this news story. She was on a crosswalk riding her bike. Not a busy street. The driver simply failed to see her, which boggles the mind. I am pretty sure you're taught to look left and right for anyone including children before you proceed to go through a crosswalk after already having stopped in the first place to let another child cross.
Many more articles.

Bike Friday

Join me for Bike Friday. High Park (entrance) and Bloor. Ride 8 AM

Bike Friday

Monday, August 27, 2007

Ernest touches his toes.

Paula: Ernest, why are you bent over like that? Are you exercising?
Ernest: No, I am trying to touch my toes...
P: Why the hell are you wearing your cycling helmet?
E: They do not want me to get injured.
P: Huh? I do not understand. How are you going to get injured while touching your toes with your ass up in the air?
E: I do not know. This is what they told us to do.
P: Who told you...
E: The City of Toronto. They are going to tell us at the meeting tonight what they can deliver from the Bike Plan.
P: So why is your ass up in the air? I still do not understand.
E: Paula, they are trying to train us to get into a better position.
P: Better position for what?
E: I dunno, something they call shafting.
P: Oh dear...
E: Paula, since you are here. Could you help me with the last instruction. Just tear a hole....

Guerrilla Super 8 Movie Night in Kensington Market

I tried out my new portable Super 8 film screening kit last night in Kensington Market. Worked out very well overall. Vic took these photos which I really like. Darren took some too which I will add later. I showed a rough cut of my the second installment of the Olmo Trilogy entitled 'My Summer With Olmo'. (.mov/8.8mb)
Fun night beneath the full moon.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Thursday, August 23, 2007

City with egg on its face.

Toronto (CP) - Embarrassed City of Toronto officials were forced to apologize today for releasing a press release early. They explained that the press release written in 1999 should not have been released at all and that they will be releasing a copy of the 2000 press release later this year. The problem stems from the fact that the 1999 press release blames the lack of progress providing cycling facilities on Y2K preparedness while the 2000 press release blames it on there not being enough money in the budget. One confused reporter asked why they did not just write one for 2007. Staff replied that the City "believes wholeheartedly in recycling."


Via Velorution. Makes me smile and smile and smile.

Yellow Bikes? No, just a film shoot ...?

Or maybe Bike Chain has dusted off a few bikeys.
In any case, made my heart leap with joy to see them.

Update! Just found out that Bikechain and the Centre for Social Innovation on Spadina ARE loaning out Yellow Bikes. Yoohoo!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

My New Ride

Made by Tonka. Needs a tune up. Don't even ask where this photos was taken, you'd never believe it.

Thanks to Jennifer Young for the pic.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Claire Morissette (1950 - 2007)

Excerpt from a story about Montreal's cycling advocate Clarie Morisette in the Globe recently:
"While she soon found converts, Ms. Morissette was dismayed to encounter resistance where it mattered most -- city hall. It astounded her that city officials simply did not see the simple solution that bicycles potentially provided. "They have a mentality from the 1950s, the ones who believe the car must run -- at all costs," she told a reporter in 1991. And elected officials were even worse. Sensitive to public opinion, they issued banal bleatings about encouraging more bikes on streets and then did nothing.

"Their words sound so nice, but they are slow to act on them. They are still in first gear." CLAIRE MORISSETTE was born on April 6, 1950, in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Que. She died of breast cancer on July 20, 2007. She was 57.

I'm crazy about you, America!

(Full lyrics in the comments)
My fav band from Brasil. Mundo Livre S/A. Sending this one out to Luddista and the guys in Montebello.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Where are they? I ask again

Originally posted June 19th!
Adrian Heaps, the newly appointed chair of Toronto's Cycling Committee, says as a cyclist, he absolutely understands why groups such as the Repair Squad are so frustrated with the delays. But, he adds, the city is going to hit its 30 kilometre target for 2007 or else. (Or else, what?)

"If the transportation department has to spray paint it themselves – you can quote me on this – it's going in," he said.
(A. A. Heaps in the The Toronto Star, June 18, 2007)

Ok, someone help me out here. Has anyone seen actually noticed a NEW Bike Lane installed anywhere in town this year? If so, please let me know, because I am getting out my measuring tape; the little one.

I just don't know

Spotted along Queen West.

Bicycle Film Festival Starts This Wednesday

The Gladstone Hotel
1214 Queen Street West in the ART BAR
OPENING August 22 7pm-12am
August 22-26 Open 12pm-5pm

More info
/ Full schedule of the festival.

Bicycle art by The Winking Circle and friends in the BALLROOM
7-2 FREE
Performance by:

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Ride for Charlie Prinsep

Full set (hi-res) on Flickr here.
Over 120 riders on a beautiful evening rode in his memory.

CTV ran a detailed story on the memorial and about Charlie.

An another article was published in the Brooks Bulletin (AB).

More great photos by Matt.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Ready to bike

April 16, 2007
(The Seattle Times)
Pedal Pushers Making Headway

by Neal Peirce

Are we ready to go bicycling? Could these times of climate change, gas-price inflation and bulging waistlines be prepping us for new waves of weekend biking adventures? Maybe even to leave cars parked and cycle to work daily?

Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson is one of a growing coterie of city leaders who believe the moment is ripe. Keynoting this year’s National Bike Summit in Washington, Abramson described how an early 2005 Louisville gathering of cycling enthusiasts has changed his city’s focus.

Louisville’s bike paths are being connected into a citywide system. Miles of highway bike lanes are being added. The city has adopted a “complete streets” policy requiring the placement of sidewalks, bike lanes and bus stop locations in any major road improvement. And the city is planning two commuter-friendly bike stations, with indoor bike parking, rentals and repair facilities.

Revived bicycling is easier to proclaim than achieve in an America that has experienced a half century-plus of freeway construction and the multibillions in advertising dollars the auto industry continuously pours into auto glorification.

But the new bike campaign isn’t against cars per se. It just asks autos and trucks to yield a share of the road to a transportation means that occupies a fraction as much pavement, doesn’t pollute, combats obesity, builds overall physical fitness, and can help congestion by taking a share of autos off the highways.

Of course, any city can anticipate some angry motorist reactions if new bike lanes cut back on lanes for regular traffic. Competition for limited roadway space can be furious.

That’s one reason bicycle advocates such as Brooklyn-based community organizer Aaron Naparstek are broadcasting a countervailing new message. “Private passenger cars and SUVs,” insists Naparstek, “are not the most efficient way to move people through a limited, precious commodity — our street space. Bikes and public transit are.”

The reformers’ prize example is Copenhagen, which has more than 250 miles of bikeways. Over a third —

36 percent — of Copenhagen workers commute by bike, 32 percent by mass transit, and only 27 percent by automobile.

Copenhagen goes all-out to promote the cycling: There’s one parking lot for suburban commuters, for example, in which a bike is part of the deal — pay your parking fee and get a bike to pedal into town.

Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe has recently announced a program to scatter 1,450 high-tech bicycle stations across the city, 20,600 bikes by this summer. Paris is promoting bikes as the swiftest way to get around town — faster than cars, taxis and walking.

Personally, I’ve found that true in Washington for years — at least anywhere close in the center city, my bike’s the fastest form of transportation. I couldn’t agree more with Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., founder of the Congressional Bike Caucus, who said last week of his experience riding his weathered Trek bicycle around Washington:

“I have saved hundreds of hours of time. I have burned thousands and thousands of calories instead of gallons of petroleum and, after 10 years, have probably saved $50,000.”

But there’s a big psychic side to biking too. Louisville’s Abramson describes it as “the intimate connection you feel to neighborhoods and neighbors as you bike through a community. You don’t just smell the roses and the forsythia, you smell the barbecue, see vegetable and flower gardens, hear music. You make eye contact with folks on front porches.”

All that, plus aging baby boomers favoring bikes over jogging as their knees and hips give out, may explain the active bike programs now being pushed from Seattle to Gainesville, Fla., Davis, Calif., to Chattanooga, Tenn. The League of American Bicyclists ( lists many, with ratings from bronze to platinum.

Rising bike use will also help with bike safety — a major issue everywhere. Cyclists, even when tempted, need to stop all daredevil maneuvers. And motorists have to get accustomed to watching for bikes and then sharing the road with them. Designated bike lanes and signage help. Experience in such cities as Copenhagen and Portland, Ore., shows safety for bike riders actually rises as there are more and more riders and the auto world learns to share the roadways with them.

The Battle for Road Space

"What is the deal with motorists, specifically car and SUV drivers who think they are entitled to the entire road under all circumstances?

This summer, embarking on my first full-time summer job, at a Rosedale daycamp, I decided to commute from my home in north Toronto, by bicycle.

Talk about trial by fire! I’ve encountered several greedy and unreasonable motorists who never hesitate to take far more than their share of the road and who waste no time screaming at any cyclist willing to demand their fair piece of the road as well. Bicycles are vehicles and so are entitled to a lane of their own just as any other vehicle is.

Usually — and generously — cyclists move to the side of the road to allow faster moving vehicles to pass. Why do motorists never show the same respect for cyclists?"

Read the rest of the article by Alex Nevitte (National Post)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Memorial Ride for Charlie Prinsep Friday

Please come and ride with us in his memory.

Update: Wes and me stopped by the CBC (99.1) to tape a radio segment and talk about Charlie, bike touring and the memorial ride on Friday.
Air date was Thursday, August 16th. 10:06 AM. Sounds Like Canada.

This article about Charlie appeared in the Globe and Mail today.

Lloyd Alter wrote on treehugger

Fixie Fan

April 29, 2007

WHEN is a bicycle not like other bicycles? To begin with, when it has no brakes, or at least no visible brakes, or possibly just a front brake. That means you can’t ride this bike very well on your first try, and certainly not very gracefully, easily or safely.

The rear cog is bolted directly to the hub, so that whenever the vehicle is in motion, the pedals go around, making coasting impossible. This bike doesn’t have a shift lever or extra sprockets, and the chain is shorter and wider than on traditional bikes.

There are no fenders, and the rear wheels are probably bolted onto the frame to deter theft. You slow down by reversing the pedals, or skidding, or doing a skip stop. And that’s just the beginning of the differences between your run-of-the-mill 10-speed and a track bike, or fixed-gear bike — fixie for short — as it is also known. (Read on in the comments)

(Art by Corwyn Lund. Apologies, I don't remember where I found the article ...)

Monday, August 13, 2007

Charlie Prinsep - R.I.P. (Age 23)

Charlie was a local fixed gear rider and simply a wonderful person. Happy and friendly. Always. I knew him from riding with him in Toronto during Critical mass rides and his many comments on this blog. But I will always remember him for always being a smiling face in a sea of noise and pollution. I will miss you, Charlie!

He was heading back to Toronto more than half way through his epic ride from San Diego to Vancouver and was hit from behind near Brooks, Alberta.
His brother writes:
"Charlie had completed his southerly ride from Vancouver to San Diego and then started his second leg from Vancouver to Toronto, a ride of many thousands of kilometers. Charlie equipped himself to work towards a greener planet and after completing his studies his plans were to continue his studies in France and later in Urban Planning at the Sorbonne and to dedicate his significant talents to a better world. He would never waver from what he believed in and would always fight for his ideals, never passive when he expressed his thoughts and always intuitive. He fought always for these beliefs and spurred on his friends, and in fact everybody, to follow suit, never without enthusiasm, honesty and above all, passion."
(Read on in the comments) (Photo by Wes) You can read about his great ride here.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Cat and Mouse game New York style

A bicycle caravan -- with the theme, "Money or Life" -- travels 500 miles across Europe to join protests in Prague against the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. The goal is to create a mobile utopian community which will be a living counter-example to the values of these powerful financial institutions. The landscape is beautiful, and bicycles possess their own poetry. But it's not always easy functioning without money. The authorities have their own ideas about policing the intersection of utopia and everyday life. And should the caravan succeed in getting to Prague, there's the matter of shutting down the World Bank/IMF meeting...

Caravan/Prague, a feature-length documentary, is a first-hand account of this journey and the historic 2000 Prague protests.

Radiant City Screening - August 25th

Come celebrate the DVD release of Gary Burns' hit film, Radiant City with a special screening by Streets to Screens, the fundraising arm of the Toronto Public Space Committee. Expect prizes, giveaways and a riveting panel discussion after the screening at Toronto’s Brunswick Theatre, located at 296 Brunswick Ave. Tickets are $9. Radiant City

For more information: Streets to Screens

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Ministry of Transportation faces human rights complaints

AP (Toronto) - The Ministry of Transportation admitted today that it is facing several hundred human rights complaints with respect to issuing driver's licenses. The complainants are upset that they cannot read their new licenses. They are demanding that the licenses be written in Braille.

Oh, so slow

CBC page on comparative Urban Bike Plans in Canada
Toronto lags behind in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa and, of course, Montreal in terms of bike lanes built. Nice list for planned bike lanes this year. Anyone seen one yet that's on the list? (Apologies for the bad scan, click to enlarge, as always)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The Public Sound Project by Jessica Thompson

The Public Sound Project by media artist Jessica Thompson is a series of collaborative interventions that begin in the workshop and end on the street. Presented by Glowlab for Thinking Metropolis in Copenhagen, in this series of workshops, participants work collaboratively to create simple sonic experiments and old?school, analogue interventions to take place in public space. The projects resulting from the workshops are intended to enable participants to contribute to the acoustic ecology of the city through technological intervention.
For Thinking Metropolis, Thompson will be facilitating a Bike Hack Workshop and Soundride. During the workshop, participants will construct bicycle-mounted noisemakers made of contact microphones, playing cards, and mini amplifiers. Participants will then be invited to mount these devices to their bicycles and join the artist in a mobile sound performance through the streets of Copenhagen.
An additional workshop will take place Friday, August 03, 3 pm - 5 pm and a presentation about the workshop will take place Sunday, August 05 in the afternoon. For more information, please visit: or

A Cyclist's Day Out (1955, UK) Part One & Two