So it’s Bike to Work Week here in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I’d like to say that I’m going to all the cool events, but given my commute to Oshawa and the wacky hours I keep (up at 4:00a.m. and in bed around 9:00pm) I probably won’t get to any. I should have an article in the summer edition of the BUGLE though, whenever that comes out.
A cyclist got on the Go Train yesterday, leaned his bike up against mine and we chatted for a little while. He was from Ottawa but now lives in Pickering and works in Courtice. A long time Ottawa cyclist, his plan, which he was trying for the first time yesterday, was to get off the train in Oshawa and then bike to Courtice (looking at gmaps later I figured this was about 9km).
I felt really bad for him. He was talking about how bike friendly Ottawa is – how many bike lanes there are, how you can take bike lanes from Carleton University to the University of Ottawa etc. Meanwhile I’m sitting there knowing that Whitby/Oshawa, and Durham in general, is potentially the least friendly biking place in southern/central Ontario. Actually, it’s not even that they aren’t friendly to bikes out here, they just don’t know what bikes are. If you told someone that you had ridden a toaster to work you’d get the same quizzical expression you do when you say that you rode a bike to work.
Anyway, I told him to be careful, and to swallow his pride and dive into the gravel when things got sticky. I hope he’s still alive.
Aside from doing a century on some kind of sexy Italian road machine with beautiful companions (and maybe Vinokourov and Robin Williams thrown in for fun) – I’m doing the cyclists’ favourite thing at the moment: Bike Shopping.
What I’m after is a cyclocross bike with full fender and rack capability which could sub in for a race bike if I get back into doing duathlons anytime soon. I was making my own little chart for the bikes that I’m considering, and then I found this one online. It’s pretty good, but unfortunately it doesn’t reflect Canadian prices, especially the wacky guesses that American manufacturers seem to make at what a logical Canadian price should be.
I’ve so far ridden the:
- Specialized Tricross Sport Triple – about Can $1200.00 for a Sora, Tiagra, Deore mishmash. I didn’t like it. The front end is really beefy, especially the fork, and when you look down you feel like you’re pedaling a transport truck.
- Bianchi Axis – nice bike, but Urbane is selling it for $1700.00 for a Tiagra and Deore mix for God’s sake. That’s silly.
- Jamis Nova – G.O.R.G.E.O.U.S. Lightweight steel frame and full Shimano 105. This is my favourite ride so far and I love the way it looks. Unfortunately it’s going for $1850 at Cycle Therapy when the U.S. price is $1300.00 and you’d figure (with the current exchange rate) that a good Canadian price would be somewhere around $1500.00 bucks.
- Raleigh RX 1.0 – about U.S. $1200.00 for 105, Tiagra and an SRAM cogset. This got well reviewed in Bicycling magazine. Update: I've had an email from Raleigh Canada and it turns out that this little guy is not available in Canada. Darn.
- Kona Jake the Snake. Oh Kona, you’re so annoying. I know that I’m going to try this bike and like it, but there are various problems associated with the Kona. A) I’ve already owned two Konas in my life and just want to try something different B) Everybody and their dog in Canada has a Kona C) the 2007 version of the bike is a neon lime green colour! Unfortunately, Kona cross bikes are by far the best bang for the buck that you can get. This bike has a lightweight aluminum frame, carbon fork, full Shimano 105, for Canadian $1500.00. Somebody make sure that I don’t cave. I really don’t want to buy a neon lime green Kona.
I’m still hoping to ride these bikes: