Showing posts from December, 2006

Merry Christmas

and Happy New Year. I'm about to leave for a land without internet, so this is going to be a fairly boring blog for about two weeks. In fact, work in January is going to be nuts, so I'll hardly be posting then either.

If you're looking for somewhere else to "click" - Canadian readers might like to sign a petiton which asks the Canadian Federal Government to promote cycling as a preferred means of transportation. If you're not so much into the online thing, you could wait until a paper version is ready for signing at the Toronto, Winnipeg and Edmonton Mountain Equipment Co-op stores through January and February. If you're in Toronto and shop at Grassroots, you can sign there in January and February as well.

There are lots of reasons why people like me and Joe and Griffin and Minus Car and SnakeBike and CleverChimp and Treadly and all the others (there are TONS - just go through the links on one of our blogs) are trying to live with as few car trips as possib…

Napoleon in Moscow

This post has nothing to do with biking, or with the Promotion of Cycling in Canada petition which is headed towards 2500 signatures, and which you'll be able to sign with old fashioned ink at a few of the MEC Stores across the country in January and February, and at the Bloor and Danforth Grassroots Stores here in Toronto.

Instead, this is just something I found funny in my current book. I'm reading Moscow 1812 by Adam Zamoyski right now, and really enjoying it. He's a good writer and this is one of those episodes of history - of human suffering - that we here in North America in the 21st century just can't believe really happened.
WAIT - I've got a picture of the wrong Napoleon, this is the one I mean:

Actually, this isn't about Napoleon, this is actually about Francois Joseph Lefebvre, one of Napoleon's Marshalls on the Moscow campaign.

Here's the situation: Napoleon took about 450 000 soldiers into Russia without much of a plan for what to do when they …

a citizen for boysenberry jam fan

The cycling petition is still going strong, sign up and tell all your friends.

One of the gentlemen at Bike to the Future in Winnipeg sent me the Amsterdam Declaration which I'd actually never heard of before.

We, the participants at the World Cycle Conference VĂ©lo Mondial 2000, assembled in Amsterdam in June 2000, proclaim that people (including children) should have the right to use bicycles when they want to. We declare that the use of bicycles requires greater acceptance and promotion by all relevant organisations and governments world-wide and call for action.

Right on.

Canada - at least Toronto and Durham where I do my cycling - sucks because girls here don't bike in large groups like these girls below do in Malaysia, Amsterdam and Firenze. Maybe this fight to promote cycling will take us places we never even dreamed!

I need to pay more attention to the awesome (biking Toronto) groups in (bike Toronto) Toronto that are (take the tooker) doing really (cycling cog) great things…

Merry Christmas, Yoko

I get Newsweek magazine amongst some others, and though they've never heard of Canada I really enjoy reading it. They have a video clip right now where they set Danish photographer Jan Grarup's photos of refugees from Darfur against John Lennon's "Merry Christmas / War is Over" song.

I don't really know anything about Darfur, although I did read the Genocide in Slow Motion article in Maclean's a week or so ago. I also just came across Sudan Watch which provides updates on events there.

It's odd - the planet is big enough that half a world away someone's life is being absolutely torn to shreds, and here at home, completely oblivious to Darfur, my main worry is if the wind is going to be against me tonight on the bike.

You know you're a cyclist when...

The petition to promote cycling in Canada is up over 2200 names! Let's force the Feds to come out and say that they want more bike commuters on the road!

I've had a bunch of "you know you're a cyclist when..." ideas in my head for a while now, and I've finally decided to write them up. Out of curiousity though I just googled this phrase to see what's out there, and there are some good ones:
At Bicycle Trip in Santa Cruz I like - When someone asks for advice on buying a bike, you either:
a) ask, "How many thousands do you want to spend?"
b) assail them with so many questions about intended use, riding style and the like, not to mention such personal questions as pubic bone height, that you make buying a bicycle sound like rocket science and unintentionally put them off the idea.

When that same person reacts by saying, "It's only a bicycle," your jaw drops and your eyes bug out

And at some weird Polish wiki I like both these:
your first inc…

Large print giveth and the fine print taketh away

The petition to promote cycling in Canada is now up over 2000 signatures!

In all honesty, the video that Bike Refugee has up in this post pretty much brings a tear to my eye (at least during the parts where Dar Williams is singing.

A co-worker forwarded me this photo. I have no idea where it came from but it made me laugh.

These are the only two photos from yesterday morning's ride which are at all worth posting. This is the Danforth at around 5:45 a.m. Sometimes it's worth it to be up and on the road this early because you get these big four lane streets all to yourself. Sometimes I wait-out a red light (the ones I stop for) by doing figure eights all over the place.

This is at the intersection of Taunton Road and Stevenson in Oshawa. I'm on Taunton for about 1 km during my commute and it's a typical Durham (I refer to Durham as Mordor in my head a lot these days) nightmare - four lanes of doom. Stevenson is a quiet road that is fairly relaxing to be on. However, right at…

Everybody makes history

The Canadian petition to promote cycling is just over 1900 names! Sign up fast and tell all your friends.

I took a few photos on my ride today, but won't be able to post them until tomorrow. In the meantime I thought I'd play along with Griffin's tag game. Griffin by the way has a super-duper awesome photo up in this post.
I don't usually do these chain email things, but Dave in Winnipeg did it, so I figured I'd play as well.

P.S. Dave's blog has a great link to the Winter Challenge Series. Basically it's a fun contest where you accumulate points for how much winter biking you do. The rules are at the bottom of the page, and number seven is this:
7. Indoor spinning, weightlifting, roller riding, swimming, etc. do not count. Be a pussy, if you must, but don't expect to be rewarded for it.

Hopefully I'll remember to play and use my commuting to rack up massive points. : )

So Griffin's game, here's how she described it:
Here's how it works:
List si…

God keep you safe, my friend

There's lots of news!
The cycling petition is over 1500 names now. Curt Harnett, the Canadian Olympic track cyclist signed (around #285), and there is "a" Mary Walsh from Newfoundland who signed (around #1405).

God knows if it's our favourite warrior princess from This Hour Has 22 Minutes, but it'd be very cool if it is. (Just in case - thanks Mary!)

The trick with this petition was in finding an MP who would present it to the House. That is now taken care of, thanks to Toronto NDP MP Olivia Chow! I emailed a few different MPs and heard nothing from them, and then broke down and wrote an old-school paper letter to Ms. Chow's office, and heard back from her almost immediately, saying she'd be happy to present the petition.

There is one catch though, but it isn't really a big one. As some of us had feared, you can't hand a print-out of an online petition w/signatures to an MP - House of Commons rules require a traditional paper & ink petition w/sign…