Showing posts from October, 2007

toronto cops mean business

Although this happened very close to my (soon-to-be former) apartment in Toronto, this isn't my story, but my friend Oliver's story.

In the Dundas, Parliament, Queen, River area, you have a nice collection of bike lanes. On the east side of the Don River, Dundas Street has a great bike lane, and on the west side of the river, Gerrard has a bike lane, and so do Shuter and River Streets. Oli was commuting to work along Shuter on the first day of school this past September, when he approached and passed a cop car parked in the Shuter bike lane.

As he moved into the car lane to pass the cop, Oliver muttered "WHY?" through the cop's open window, and then just kept cycling along. Behind him, Oliver hears an engine roar to life, and almost immediately the cop has caught up to Oli, and swerved to a stop in front of him - the car diagonally blocking all of the bike lane and most of the car lane (both on the westbound side of the street).

The cop gets out and starts off with …

An Orillia roundup

Before I forget, here's my new theory - your sense of outrage with the world has a direct correlation to how much time you have to read and follow current events. I haven't been following the news as much as I used to, and therefore I don't know what Bush and Cheney etc are doing, so I don't have much opportunity to be outraged. I guess this is a variation on "ignorance is bliss."

Here's a glimpse at the life of a cyclist in Orillia, Ontario - my new hometown. There's a nice biking trail down along Lake Couchiching, which runs parallel to a gravel hiking trail. Otherwise I haven't seen any bike lanes on the city streets at all.

Velocity is my new bike shop. My girlfriend and I went in there our very first day in town when we were apartment hunting and they gave us the scoop about which neighborhoods to avoid etc. I've bought an armadillo from them, and a Pedro's mini-cleaning kit. I'm hoping to do their Tuesday morning rides with them in…

It just don't get no better than a bear

My girlfriend was forwarded this story, and when she sent it to me I thought it'd be a good blog post.

I guess a photographer visiting Churchill, Manitoba, took some sled dogs out to take some pictures.

Out of the snow a polar bear creeps towards the pack, and the photographer starts thinking "Oh crap, all the dogs are goners."

Turns out though, that the polar bear just wanted to play around.

And he came back several times on succeeding days to play with the dogs some more.

So cute - and such a shame we're going to have killed 30 to 50% of the bears by 2050.

Badges, we don't need no stinkin badges!

Wow - oil closed at a record $88.00 a barrel today. If you adjust for inflation etc, oil was still more expensive back in the 70's, but it definitely makes you think about peak oil and how screwed we're going to be when the oil runs out (unless you live in Cuba, which is apparently a post peak-oil economy already).

Ahh peak oil - fewer cars and more bicycles. I realize there will also be potentially catastrophic consequences of peak oil hitting as hard as it could, but being a cyclist I tend to just concentrate on the ribbons of empty highways and how much fun it'll be cycling along them.

On a somewhat similar topic, I took the Eco Footprint quiz today. You can see my results here below. I guess that's what being a near vegan and a cyclist/pedestrian will do for you.

I'm getting used to life in Orillia, and since I only have a 20 minute walk to work I'm actually not biking much here, just walking everywhere. I hope to do a bigger update on life up here in Simcoe …

When tomorrow gets here (where will yesterday be?)

In saying goodbye to Toronto, one thing I thought I could do was a photographic "thanks" to some of the bike shops I've depended on since becoming a commuting cyclist back in about 2001. So I went for a ride on a grey Sunday morning here in Toronto today, and took photos of the main shops that I've used over the years.

The store I've depended on the most over the years is Sweet Pete's at Dufferin and Bloor. In 2000/2001, when I was new to cycling and was riding some sort of Home Hardware mountain bike thing, I kept going to them for repairs until one day the front hub kind of shredded and the guy at the shop, who'd done repair after repair for me, looked at me and said "Man, it's over for this thing." I subsequently bought the Kona Hahanna from them which I rode around town today taking these photos, and it is by far the most useful bike I've ever had, though it looks very different now than it did when I bought it (i.e. it's now a si…