Sunday, September 30, 2007

Nuite Noire & Le Facteur

Many telegrams delivered, many happy faces.

"Drivers beware: pedestrians rule streets today"

The above is a headline pulled from the Toronto Star's website today. Poor drivers, probably so afraid they will have to walk to Tim Horton's this morning.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Nuit Noire Telegram Deliveries

- For Immediate Release -

La Poste
(France) announces all-night telegram service for Nuit Noire/Nuit Blanche Poste, Téléphone et Télécommunications (PTT), is pleased to announce a special all-night telegram service for Toronto during the night September 29/30. From 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., PTT will be delivering telegrams sent from its customers in France to all artists and participants of both Nuit Blanche and Nuit Noire.

In keeping with the tradition of telegram service in France, these deliveries will made on bicycle by PTT staff in traditional uniform. In addition, commemorative telegram seals will be issued for the occasion.

PTT wishes all artists a successful exhibition of their work and an unforgettable Nuit Blanche et Noire. Poste, Téléphone et Télécommunications would like to express its gratitude to corporate partners Western Union and the Canada Post for their assistance in arranging for this special service.

Update: Schedule for Nuit Noire/Blanche
20:30 Bloor & Lansdowne
21:00 Hart House/U of T
21:30 CineCycle/401 Richmond
22:15 Trinity Bellwoods Park
22:30 Queen & Ossington
23:00 - 00:30 Kensington Market/Break
00:30 - 03:00 At large deliveries /2nd attempts
03:00 - 07:00 Paperwork/Wine.

For more information please contact:
Service Presse du groupe La Poste
44 boulevard de Vaugirard
75757 PARIS CEDEX 15
Tél : 01 55 44 00 00 Fax : 01 55 44 22 62
Direction de la communication
Anne-Laurence Oisel-Rhein
44, boulevard Vaugirard 75015 PARIS

Share The Road

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Fixie Frog Bike

By Alex Suvajac

Bike Sculpture Fine Art Exhibition

Alberto de Ciccio will be exhibiting his stunning bike sculptures at La Carrera on Harbord (just west of Spadina) October 2nd to November 2nd. A meet-the-artist reception and party will be October 13th. 6p.m. to whenever. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

École des facteurs - Part One

L'École des facteurs ("School for Postmen") is a short film directed by Jacques Tati in 1947. Tati plays a French postman adamant to prove he can be just as fast as American postmen at delivering mail. The film includes several sight gags that involve his bicycle. He replicated most of the action here in his first major feature film, Jour de fête, released two years later.

Ecole de Facteurs - Part Two

email Andrea Kelemen

Remember that arch de triomph bike project with bike lanes connecting the Queens Quay? Well as usual area's businesses totally freaked out, saying that reducing lanes of traffic would hurt commerce (it boggles the mind).

Now WaterfronToronto is doing another EA (Envrionmental acessment) of that stretch before comitting to development plans. "Public Consultation is a key component of this process".

Andrea Kelemen
Communications + Marketing
Waterfront Toronto
20 Bay Street Suite 1310
Toronto ON M5J 2N8
Tel: (416) 214 1344 x248

Demand bike lanes. Feel free to mention that you do not want 'sharrows'

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Monday, September 24, 2007

Bells on Bloor

More Photos

Vic's Photos (Lots!)

Photos by Darren Jenkins

No helmet: Teen suffers serious head injuries

According to the Toronto Star, a 16-year-old male suffered life-threatening head injuries last night in a collision on the 401. He was a passenger in a Dodge Neon and was not wearing a helmet.

Toronto Cycling Comittee News

After many months of nominations, deliberations and craziness, there is a date for the meeting of Toronto's Cycling Advisory Comittee. The date remains tentative; If council does not approve the committee next week the date could change.
Here is the info:

The first meeting of the Toronto Cycling Advisory Committee is scheduled for Monday, October 15, 2007, 7:00 p.m., Committee Room 1, Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen Street West.

cherrio for now

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Memorial for Charlie in Brooks, Alberta

Herb did a touching memorial for Charlie Prinsep in Brooks, Alberta while he was out there visiting relatives. Thank you Herb very much for caring so much!

Crossposted via iBikeTO

Friday, September 21, 2007

Montreal Gets t right for Car Free Day

Montreal goes car free for the day Montreal Gazette
Published: Friday, September 22 2006
Pedestrians and cyclists took over the streets in a section of downtown Montreal on Friday as part of the fourth annual Car Free day.

Roads were closed to cars and trucks in the area bounded by de Maisonneuve Blvd., René Lévesque Blvd., McGill College Ave. and St. Urbain St. between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Abou Baker, a parking lot attendant on Jeanne Mance St., was reading a newspaper and drinking a coffee just before lunch hour. "We're normally three guys working, but I'm alone today. My boss is not happy at all."
Scores of empty parking spots indicated that people took the suggestion to leave their cars at home seriously.
At the east end of the perimeter, there were no gridlocks. But at the west end of the perimeter, some drivers waited about 15 minutes to travel one block on McGill College from de Maisonneuve to Ste. Catherine.
Christiane Goyette from Blainville did not complain, however. "If I lived closer, I would leave my car at home," she said.
A group of primary school students from Les Enfants du Monde whizzed passed people casually strolling on the strips of grass laid down in the middle Ste. Catherine for the event.
"La Place des Arts! Where is it?" one yelled out in French to anyone listening. They were participating in a scavenger hunt with an ecological theme organized for Grade 5 and 6 students.
Henriette Paquin, 84, and her friend Lucille Mousseau, 74, do not own cars and met for lunch downtown. They were not aware it was Car-Free Day until they noticed the lack of noise.
"You can tell right away. It's so quiet!" said Paquin. Mousseau said the initiative was a good idea but that's impossible to ask everyone to leave their cars at home.
"Change will come, but I'll be dead when that happens!" she said and laughed.
Last year's event cut carbon monoxide emissions in Montreal's downtown core by 87 per cent and reduced carbon dioxide by 85 per cent.

Who owns what!


Tire (Car Free Day Ad/Toronto)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Happy smelly Toronto Car Free Day!

In addition to Tino's report below, the Toronto sky today was filled by burning tire smoke from an auto wrecker at Victoria Park and Danforth... I have always thought it was odd to have an auto wrecker in the middle of a residential street. It caught fire today in light of City assurances that it did not pose a threat.

Suck it up. It smells great. Probably good idea to not ride your bike for the next few days in the Vic Park and Danforth area, that is how long it will take to put the fire totally out.

A Two Hour Car Free Day (Report)

Well, the day did not start well. The barricades did not go up until 11:50 so little more than 2 hours of a street closure really. However, nice to see Yonge Street being closed all the way to Queen instead of the advertized Dundas to Shuter Street only deal. Bonus. But not awe-inspiring. Apparently it's 'The Bombardier Car Free Day' now. Interesting. Thankfully, Streets Are For People brought their giant Scrabble game (double points if the word was car-related as in "Noise') which attracted tons of onlookers. Others too chose to enjoy the brief but pleasant carfree streetscape.
Public attendance was low apart from that since most had no idea what was going on or that it was supposedly Car Free Day (WCFD is really on Sept. 22) In the end, the huge electronic billboard put the whole day in perspective (see photo top left corner)... most Canadians were too busy heading south of the border to buy cars with the dollar being practically at par. As for the City, I still don't believe they know what 'Car Free Day' is all about. I think Poochie on the 10 square foot patch of sod had it right ... nice try, but still a yawn. Now if only they had the guts to let Streets Are For People and the many enthausiastic volunteers organize the event their way next year. Now, that would be inspiring!

Meanwhile in Montreal ...

New bike path on the way
As Maisonneuve bike lane inches toward completion, the city weighs in on the bike system across Montreal -By Kristen Dobbin
While Montreal has a reputation as being a haven for cyclists – evidenced by a bike network totalling over 400 kilometres – the future of the city’s cycling network remains unclear.
Over the summer the City began construction on a new barrier-protected bike lane along Maisonneuve. Slated for completion by the end of the year, the four-km path will connect the current network of bike lanes and link four university campuses.
Despite criticism from some business owners, the bike path has been heralded as a step forward in making the downtown city more bike-friendly.
Montreal resident Misha Franta said the bike lane should improve accessibility for cyclists going downtown.
“The Maisonneuve bike lane is a great move. I think everyone who rides a bike is excited about it,” she said. (Rest of the article here in the McGill Daily)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

World Carfree Day Sept. 22!

World Carfree Day!
Join millions of people in over 1500 cities around the globe in celebration of WORLD CARFREE DAY!

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 22nd come out and show how much fun carfreedom can be!

PARKING METER PARTY along Queen Street West from 1pm, then join the PARADE at 6:00 (5:00 assembly at Trinity Bellwoods, heading east)

BRING YOUR: family, bike gang, best friend, band, costumes, banners, instruments, human powered floats, badminton rackets, dance party, clown troupe, cardboard, crayons, imagination, sense of humour, whatever you do best! DON'T BRING: a car! More info.

Bells on Bloor!!! The Great RIDE!

Bells on Bloor

Ride for a Bike Lane on Bloor and Safe Passage for all Cyclists in Toronto!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Meanwhile in New York

$1M Campaign Launched To Protect Bicyclers
By Staff Reporter of the Sun - September 18, 2007
The city today is launching a $1 million advertising campaign aimed at careless drivers and cyclists who share the roads.
"Avoiding a crash comes down to one simple action: LOOK," reads the tagline that will appear on bus shelters, taxi tops, phone kiosks, and buses in English and Spanish this fall. A 2006 study by the city found that in 10 years, 225 cyclists were killed and 3,462 additional cyclists were injured on the streets of New York.

What I did last Sunday

Helping my mom with her Great Shoreline Cleanup. Hard work but fun.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Finally, City provides a bike system worth having.

The City of Toronto has finally come up with a solution to provide its cyclists with enhanced cycling facilities. It is really quite impressive that they were able to implement it so quickly. All a cyclist needs to do is pick up some packing boxes from the liquor store and get their one-way ticket to Chicago from Mayor Miller's office.

Bells on Bloor Article

A bicycle-friendly city is environment-friendly, too (Albert Koehl)
Pity our powerful political leaders as they grapple with the complex solutions to global warming. They are so burdened by the task of reducing massive greenhouse gas emissions – such as those from our transportation sector – and so preoccupied by the cost of action, they probably don't even notice the cyclists they pass (or who pass them) on their way to work each day.

Getting people and goods from A to B accounts for about 50 per cent of all Canadian greenhouse gas emissions when activities like car-making, road-building and fuel production are added to tailpipe emissions. Each litre of gasoline burned to operate a motor vehicle produces 2.5 kilograms of greenhouse gases. Emissions from operating a bicycle, on the other hand, are zero.

The issues and obstacles associated with bikes are simple – quite unlike the solutions that generally occupy our leaders, including the illusory promise of GM's electric car (100 years after the first ones were produced); pricey hybrids (often shipped 10,000 kilometres from Japan); or the timeline for the start of the hydrogen revolution (itself dependent on a massive increase in renewable power).

First, more bike lanes, which require a mere 150 centimetres on the side of a road, would produce more bike riders. A 1998 Environics poll found that 70 per cent of Canadians would bike to work for distances that took less than 30 minutes if they had a dedicated bike lane. And where bike lanes have been created in Toronto, the number of cyclists increased by up to 42 per cent, presumably because of the huge untapped potential of Toronto's 950,000 adults who ride a bike.

Second, Canada is a big country but people don't regularly commute from Tuktoyaktuk to Toronto. In fact, Canadian motorists make an average of 2,000 trips each year that are less than three kilometres, trips that can easily be made by bike. Schools, stores and churches are often within manageable distances, even in the suburbs. More cycling would certainly reduce the $2.1 billion in health-care costs the Canadian Medical Association says is associated with inactive lifestyles. Some distances are indeed too long for cycling, but combining biking with transit – especially with promised improvements – makes many distances feasible.

Third, people on bikes must obey traffic laws but this is no justification for depriving communities of bike lanes. No one argues that Highway 401 should be closed because some people drive on the shoulder, don't signal or speed. In each case, enforcement is the solution. And when cars and bikes each have a delineated space, conflicts and collisions ought to decrease – to the benefit of all road users.

Fourth, the weather and terrain in Canada make cycling more difficult, but not that much more difficult. A rain jacket or coat, along with heat generated from pedalling, solve a number of problems during most months. Toronto is just a bit colder than Copenhagen, where 30 per cent of citizens commute by bike. In Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City, more people cycle to work than in Toronto. And while a hill can leave you puffing, the average Torontonian toils about one day each week just to cover the cost of owning and operating a car – about $10,000 per year.

Finally, bike lanes must be put where there are cyclists – not where these lanes least inconvenience cars. Toronto, for instance, has a bike plan that does not yet include bike lanes on Bloor St. and Danforth Ave., even though 14 per cent of the vehicles on this east-west route are bikes. Since cyclists can easily stop and shop, there is no reason to divert them from our neighbourhood businesses.

The loss of some on-street parking is a reasonable trade-off for the huge potential reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and a healthier population. In any case, providing storage space for cars on major roadways contradicts a primary purpose of roads, namely, to move traffic. Parked cars and moving cyclists are also a poor mix –as any inattentive driver opening a car door can attest. Less car parking will be needed when more people bike and drivers who walk a short distance from a public lot become a part of the solution.

Global warming is the common enemy of people in cars and people on bikes. By supporting more bicycle use, we all help lessen the heavy burden on our leaders as they work to devise complex solutions to global warming for us.
Albert Koehl is an environmental lawyer and founding member of Bells on Bloor, a cycling advocacy group.

Charlie Prinsep Spoke Card

I am going to make one today for my bike. Ride on, Charlie.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

City concludes major study on driver perception

The City of Toronto has concluded a major study of driver's perceptions of cyclists. It hired a team of ten cyclists to survey driver's stuck in traffic, Toronto police provided safe zones to facilitate and ensure no delays, in the downtown area bounded by Dufferin St., St.Clair Ave., and River St. Drivers were asked to respond to one question, "What is your opinion of cyclists in Toronto?". The following are the results of the survey, 1021 drivers surveyed.

"Nice shorts asshole!" - 18%
"I cannot hear you over the TV" - 14%
"Get off the fucking road" - 13%
"A good cyclist is a dead one" - 11%
"They should grow up" - 10%
"Make them ride on the sidewalk" - 10%
"Get them off the fucking sidewalk" - 9%
"Suck my (various human/animal genitalia)!" - 7%
"Is that what I hit?" - 6%
[Numbers have been rounded]

The City had planned to survey 2500 drivers but there were several injuries reported by staff. The most serious one involved a surveyor being impaled by the hood ornament of a 1982 Cadillac, the injuries are said to be non-life threatening. The driver involved in this incident will not be charged, it was felt that charging the driver would traumatize them.

Where The Bicycle Takes You

Two friends of mine went on some stunning bike trips this summer. Hamish (photo above) rode from Venice to Kassel, Germany and then onto Amsterdam. Wow! Link Another
link to videos of that trip.
Photo: Der Splugen Pass (Italy/Swiss Border)

Briana rode from Copenhagen to Helsinki. Picasa Link Gotland/Sweden. Beautiful.

Bonjour, Facteur

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Memorial ride for Patrick Lonergan

Thank you to Darren, Derek, Hamish and Stephen who rode with me today. Also, Patrick's friend Bill who said some very moving words in his honour and others including Councillor Michael Thompson.

Riding home a driver harrassed me about riding "in middle of the road" on a nearly deserted Bayview Avenue, even pulling over and stopping to berate me about it.
When will it all stop? I think, drivers need to take a long hard look at themselves and ask themselves what they are doing to all of us. Maybe then they will either slow down or even better yet, stop driving. Their lives do not depend on it, perhaps ours do. Patrick's & Victorias' lives sure did.

Life with the Pirates

Friday, September 07, 2007

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Memorial for Cyclist killed on Pharmacy Ave.

A cyclist memorial will be held for a forty-year-old cyclist who was killed last Sunday. ARC marks these deaths on our roads with a memorial because those dying are our fellow cyclists. It could happen to anyone, it could happen to any one of us. It doesn't matter if the cyclist is at fault, rich or famous, what matters is that a cyclist has died. ARC will hold a public memorial at 12 noon, Sunday September 9th, at the site of the crash.

We would like to remind the public that the killer in this case is still on the loose.

When: Sunday September 9th 12 noon.
Where: Riding from Spadina and Bloor, leaving at 10am.
Mid-way meeting point at Victoria Park Station (outside west pedestrian entrance) at appx. 11am., departing 11:15am for memorial site.

Memorial site. 12 noon. Beneath Pharmacy Ave bridge over railway north of Lawrence. Please bring flowers.

Sept. 5th, 2007. In Memory of my friend, Patrick Lonergan, by Bill Sukloff.
"I've known Patrick since he was a child. He was a friendly,
outgoing man. Being mentally challenged, he's had many hurtles to
overcome during his 40 years. He lived in a group home located close
to where he was killed. He loved biking around the city, and always
wore his helmet and had lights front and back when he rode at night.
He often would wake up in the middle of the night and ride to his
favourite coffee shop. He would stay off the main roads as he felt
safer on side streets. He was very excited Saturday evening as he and
I were going to the Air Show the following day.
I became closer to Patrick since his parents died a few years ago. We
biked along the Martin Goodman trail and played his favourite game of
miniature golf many times. I think he was the happiest he's been in a
long time. I know my life has been more meaningful since I became a
close friend of Patrick. I was thinking a while ago that I should
tell Patrick he is one of my best friends. I hope he knew how I felt."

Shot down...

Source: The Star
A series of motions from Toronto council members were shot down yesterday by Mayor David Miller's executive committee:
Walker's idea that Toronto petition the provincial and federal governments for tax exemptions for bicycle buyers was also shot down.

Cannot tell you why but it's unlikely that our elected officials are likely to support
that idea in future. Too bad.

Hey, maybe it's just me but seems like Toronto has a got a hate-on for bikes.

Memorial Ride for Victoria, Age 7

Thank you to the twelve riders who rode all the way up and a couple of others who rode with us part of the way. It's obvious from seeing the intersection that the driver simply failed to yield. More on Toronto Cranks.