Showing posts from February, 2009

Black sheep of the family

At the bottom of the post below, I more or less promised to shoot a series of videos about converting your bike to a single speed. I really wasn't happy about the quality of video I was putting up though (shot in hi-definition, I was converting the file a million times to get it uploaded onto youtube). I was also getting impatient and wanted to finish the job, so the series has had to be postponed.

You can click on any of these photos to go over to Flickr and see bigger images. It's amazing how much cleaner bikes look when you take more and more parts off them.

The drivetrain (44 x 16) involved a new bottom bracket, cranks that I got off a friend in a trade, spacers, cog and chain tensioner from a nashbar single speed kit, a chainring from the local bike shop, and single speed chainring bolts. I also put on new brakes, and if you look closely you'll notice a wheelset (mavic rim with deore hubs) that is probably worth more than this whole bike was when it was bought. You real…

Hear my motor purr

Every once in a while my thinking comes back to taxes on gasoline.

North America has the lowest gasoline tax rates in the world - and the historically cheap price of gas here is why we also have sprawlurbia and mostly ignored public transit systems. Everyone knows that North American reliance on the automobile has caused a litany of different problems, including killer air pollution. So why do we not raise the tax on gasoline?

Ironically, the Americans (even Republicans) are talking about this more and more often. Meanwhile, here in Canada, there is no discussion of this at all. In fact, when oil and gas prices were high this past summer, a southern Ontario group was getting tons of TV coverage by lobbying for a reduction in the gas tax ("Mr Prime Minister, please help the poor struggling families" kind of thing).

My thought is that the gasoline tax should be raised - gradually but steadily, with nearly all of the money going straight into public transit.

By doing this, you wean…