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My Ride pt 1

For some of us, having photos of our bikes is as normal as a parent with photos of their kids. Sure it’s an inanimate object but the bike can be a liberating, self-empowering means of transportation/fitness/pleasure so a lot of us take pride in our steeds especially those who have taken the time to customize and build it to their own liking. I’ll be posting a few posts on my bikes which I use for commuting, training, fitness, and anything else in between.

First up is the bike I put more ride time in than any other bike – my KSH Flite 100 track bike AKA Free Bird.

Bought in 2008, it was my first big bike investment I’ve ever made. Previous to it, I was riding a single-speed road bike I built out of a Canadian Tire frame which wasn’t bad but was far from good. I have used this bike for nearly everything from everyday commuting, road rides with the bike club and track cycling in the velodrome. Riding fixed gear in the city and on the velodrome has helped improve my cycling and made it much more fun. This bike opened up a whole new world and I suddenly found myself engrossed in cycling culture and biked to places all over Toronto and even Ontario. This bike literally took me places my education couldn’t, which is why it was nicknamed Free Bird.

The current configuration is for road riding use, it has a low 48×19 gear ratio which allows me to tackle a lot of the rolling hills I face outside of Toronto

This is the bike’s old track setup. This one has a gear ratio of 48×16 which is around the same range as most beginner track bikes. Like all track bikes, this bike does not have brakes installed since you cannot have brakes when riding on track (ironically, brakes in the velodrome is less safe).

Lastly, my bike as my commuter. The simplicity of fixed gear bikes means less finicky parts require maintenance which is perfect for riding in adverse conditions, I just swapped out the clipless pedals for flats with toe cages and I slapped on a fender and it’s ready for anything.

Taking photos and talking about my bike is fun and all but I think riding it is even better so I’m off to go for a ride!

Posted: April 11th, 2010
Filed under: Uncategorized
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Canadian Tire Cup Holder

One advantage car drivers have over cyclists during the morning commute is the ability to sip a cup of coffee/joe/java/liquid cocaine during their ride, but not anymore. Canadian Tire began stocking wares from what appears to be a new company called Everyday and one of Everyday’s new products is the Traveler Handlebar Cup Holder. At $7.99 this simple contraption beats the price of other similar products such as the Felt Café Coffee Cup Holder which retails in the $20′s and looks eerily similar.

Using a single bolt, the Cup Holder mounts onto most handlebars allowing riders the option of carrying their coffee with them. The mount does not fit every handlebar out there, but it will fit the common 25.4mm handlebar used on mountain bikes and hybrids as well as 26mm handlebars on some road bikes. Don’t bother trying to fit it on any 31.8mm OS (Oversized) bars, though. The ring is one-size fits most so it may not be able to fit every coffee cup or mug (adding one of those tree-wasting hand protector thingies may help). Bikeroo recommends you use a re-usable coffee mug as it not only helps the environment, but since it is sealable, it prevents any unnecessary spillage as you hit a pot hole or hop a curb. Another possible issue is interference with your cable housing. As you can see in the image below the Cup Holder was installed facing the rider instead of away so as to not interfere with the cable routing.

During my initial test-ride, the Cup Holder did a fantastic job keeping a medium sized, Tim Horton’s Iced Cappuccino in place. Despite running over some potholes and sewer grates the drink remained upright with no spillage. Unfortunately, when hopping off a side-walk curb I did spill some of my Iced Capp (again, opting for a re-usable mug is ideal).

Overall, the product is definitely worth the money, especially if you want to enjoy your morning brew like our commuter counterparts in their cars or on the subway. Despite its limitations in versatility it’s a welcome addition to any commuter bike and just makes the morning ride a bit more awesome.

Posted: April 4th, 2010
Filed under: Review, Uncategorized
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Help a cyclist win his dream wedding

Meet Dan and his fiancee, Katherine.

Several months ago Dan was involved in a hit and run while on his bike and spent months in ICU in a coma with punctured lungs, head trauma, multiple broken bones, and dependent on life support, he teetered between life and death.

Having spent their engagement in the hospital they are hoping to win the ultimate wedding contest and celebrate with everyone who supported them through their past few months.

I’ve never met Dan but I certainly would like to help him and so can you. All you have to do is vote for their story here:
I hope they win their ultimate wedding!

Posted: March 22nd, 2010
Filed under: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Track Cycling!

This is actually a mix of 2 posts from my blog:

Good news, spring is in full swing and so is cycling in TO.

Bad news, winter is just around the corner.

Winter here in Toronto with its snow, slush and bitter cold forces many cyclists into hibernation from as early as November until as late as March. For many, this means losing that toned butt and superb stamina they developed over the summer, but it doesn’t have to end there. Imagine being able to keep cycling during the winter in an environment free of potholes, red lights, head winds and angry motorists. The Forest City Velodrome provides a unique cycling experience as riders can ride on an indoor cycling track capable of reaching speeds in excess of 60km/hr. Located 2-hours outside of Toronto in London it has been open for cyclists since 2005 and is one of only 4 existing in Canada. it is maintained by the Forest City Velodrome Association, a not-for-profit organization of passionate volunteers.

Special bikes, known as track bikes, are used to ride on the velodrome. These bikes have only 1 gear ratio which is ‘fixed’ to the wheel, this does not allow the rider to coast. These bikes also lack brakes and water bottle cages. These things aren’t necessary since everyone is going in the same direction and in a predictable manner without any obstacles in the way. Though riding on the track may be a bit scary at first it is actually a thrilling experience shared by cyclists of various ages and levels. The Forest City Velodrome is the shortest and steepest in the world and when you ride it feels like you’re on a human powered roller coaster. Beginners must go through training sessions to understand how to ride a track bike and how to ride on the track safely. The drills are as much fun as they are necessary to enjoy the track.

Aside from the thrill and the speed of track riding it also offers many benefits for cyclists of different styles/disciplines. Track bikes are great for improving pedal performance since the bike forces riders to constantly pedal, often at a high cadence. This helps smooth out pedaling technique and really kick the nasty habit of coasting. Workouts can also be done efficiently without having to stop or slow down for red lights or canceled due to bad weather.

Here are some other photos I took:

Posted: March 18th, 2010
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