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Bikes in the News – August 18, 2010

It’s been a while since our last News Links post, so here are some news clippings we’ve collected over the last few weeks:

Rob Ford Truck Touting “Respect For Taxpayers” Ironically Parks Disrespectfully Over Taxpayer-Serving Bike Lane – Torontoist

August 12, 2010 11:38 AM

On Monday evening, at around 6 p.m., Linda Noelle Bush was inside her house on Annette Street near Indian Road Crescent when, she says, “I noticed the lack of light in my front room. All I could see was FORD!”

What she found outside her house was an immense Rob Ford campaign truck, longer than Bush’s house is wide, parked so that it blocked part of Annette’s eastbound bike lane with its side and a neighbourhood alleyway with its front. Bush figures that it was parked there for about an hour, but, she says, “I didn’t get a knock on my door…maybe my garden looks too lefty!” (“I wanted to egg it,” she adds, “but was just getting my young son to bed.”

People You Should Know: Yvonne Bambrick Of The Toronto Cyclists Union – CityNews

August 12, 2010 10:48 AM

Bambrick is the director of communications and events for the Toronto Cyclists Union, which formed in 2008, and she’s become the go-to person for media seeking reaction from the cycling community. She was quoted widely during the fatal incident involving former Ontario attorney general Michael Bryant and bike courier Darcy Sheppard and has provided her input into the city’s bike lane initiatives.

Bikes: The new fashion accessory – thestar.com

August 12, 2010 8:02 AM

Bicycle culture has grown rapidly in urban centres around the world, thanks to environmentally conscious groups who have tirelessly pushed the benefits of two-wheeled transportation.

But the bike movement has also infiltrated the style world.

An endless list of style blogs in cities around the world chronicle fashionable citizens and what they are wearing whilst putting foot to pedal. It’s street style on wheels.

Even thesartorialist.com has an entire section devoted to chic cyclists in Milan, Paris and New York.

Cyclists can now take Bike Train from Toronto to Lake Muskoka – thestar.com

August 10, 2010 10:29 AM

The Bike Train network in Ontario is expanding, with three new weekend routes from Toronto added for this summer and fall.

Launched with Via Rail between Toronto and Niagara in 2007, the Bike Trains now take cyclists to recreational trails and road routes across the province.

Passengers ride a train to their destination, with their bicycles secured in a baggage car equipped with bike racks. Bike Train staff hand out cycling maps and provide information.

Bike mentoring program in high gear | Toronto & GTA | News | Toronto Sun

August 9, 2010 1:12 PM

A month ago Syed Hasan didn’t know how to change a tire on his bike, but now the high school grad can repair an entire bicycle.

The U of T bound first-year student was hired to learn how to work on bicycles in a mentoring program sponsored by the Cabbage Town Youth Centre, the Toronto District School Board and Ontario’s Ministry of Education’s Focus on Youth work placement program.

BIXI Toronto Off to a Flying Start – Momentum Magazine

August 5, 2010 8:41 AM

BIXI Toronto got off to a quick start in its quest to get 1,000 annual memberships. Within just a few hours of launching, more than 100 subscriptions for the self-serve bike-sharing program were sold last week, putting the scheme well on its way to success.

NOW Magazine // News // Bixi or bust

August 5, 2010 8:41 AM

Bixi, a neologism for “bike” plus “taxi.” That didn’t dawn on me until just last week.

But after I get a look at the Montreal-made bike-share cruisers set to pop up on city streets next spring, it makes total sense: these are brilliant bridge vehicles for those who like bikes and don’t like paying for taxis.

Also increasingly clear – they’re going to be huge here. A few hundred people turn out to pledge their support for the program at the Bixi Toronto Bash at the Gladstone Wednesday (July 28). On display outside are some of the 80 docking stations we’ll hopefully see a lot of by May 2011.

Hume: Cycling in Toronto is a joke – thestar.com

July 30, 2010 10:57 AM

Toronto’s bicycle policy is no policy at all; it’s a series of half-measures that add up to little.

The latest example, the much loathed bike lanes on Jarvis St., finally came to pass this week after years of rancorous debate. The new lanes begin at Charles St. in the north and end, as abruptly as they begin, on Queen St. to the south.

Bixi Toronto Peddles Their Wares at the Gladstone – Torontoist

July 29, 2010 3:23 PM

If you’ve paid Montréal a visit lately, you’ve probably seen a Bixi bike. The bulky, vaguely European-looking public cruisers have been gracing the streets of La Belle Ville since last spring, when the program launched to the tune of twenty thousand subscriptions. Last night, hundreds of keen bike enthusiasts hit the Gladstone Hotel for the BIXI Toronto Bash to launch Toronto’s Bixi membership campaign. If one thousand people subscribe for memberships by November, Toronto will get a Bixi fleet to call its own.

BIXI bikes make their Toronto debut

July 29, 2010 2:40 PM

BIXI bikes made their official Toronto debut last night at the public subscription launch party at the Gladstone Hotel. Hundreds of people came out in support of what could be the first large scale bicycle-sharing program in this city, should BIXI meet its subscription and sponsorship targets by the end of November. Many partygoers were avid cyclists and cycling advocates, others stopped by to take the bikes out for a test ride around the block, and some were like me: pedestrians with a renewed interest in cycling, lured by the accessibility and flexibility that BIXI can provide, with none of the ownership.

CBC News – Toronto – Toronto bike share seeks subscribers

July 29, 2010 1:48 PM

A Toronto bike share program that is due to roll out next year is kicking off a campaign to recruit subscribers.Under the Bixi (short for “bicycle taxi”) program, people will be able to pick up a bike at one of 85 stations in downtown Toronto, use it and park it at another station when they are done.

It hasn’t yet been determined where those stations will go, but they will be set no more than 300 metres apart from each other for convenience, said Dan Egan, the city’s manager of cycling infrastructure and programs.

“I think it could really change the face of Toronto,” he said.

InsideToronto Article: Jarvis dreams become a reality for cycling commuters

July 29, 2010 1:47 PM

As I set out on the bike lane on Shuter Street where it begins in the shadow of St. Michael’s Hospital at Victoria Street, I am already dreaming of Jarvis.

It has been an illusive dream. For all my decades as a fair-weather bike commuter in the city core, Jarvis Street has remained a no-bike zone.

InsideToronto Article: Ring road for bikes on track

July 29, 2010 1:47 PM

A vision to connect Toronto’s waterfront, major rivers, some railways and hydro corridors through an off-road multi-use trail is getting closer to completion.

Bixi woos Toronto: Five things you should know | Posted Toronto | National Post

July 29, 2010 1:35 PM

“Take. Ride. Return.” It’s the non-committal and seductive slogan for Bixi, a bike-sharing program set to make its Toronto debut next spring. First it will have to muster $600,000 in sponsorships and 1,000 subscribers by Nov. 30.

Jarvis bike lanes are installed; sky does not fall

July 29, 2010 12:33 PM

The installation of the Jarvis Street bike lanes was completed on Sunday. On Monday the sky did not fall. Nope, we were still here, the sun was still shining, and Rocco Rossi was still running a divisive mayoral campaign. And the media outlets ran story upon story about the “controversial” new lanes.

City launches campaign to get BIXI riders – thestar.com

July 29, 2010 10:39 AM

The city made the event open to the public in a bid to attract cyclists; officials need to collect 1,000 membership pledges of $95 before Nov. 30 to make the bike-sharing program a reality.“(City) council gave us the citizens a challenge: can we have 1,000 people subscribe by November?” said Sean Wheldrake, bicycle promotions coordinator at the City of Toronto.

Bixi bike sharing program needs 1,000 members – thestar.com

July 28, 2010 9:00 AM

Want a bike? Take a bike.  Done with it? Leave it.That’s the idea behind a public bike sharing program slated to launch across Toronto’s downtown core next May. But first, the city needs 1,000 people to commit to using the network by the end of November.

NOW Magazine // Daily // Unpleasant speeds

July 27, 2010 9:59 PM

Jarvis bike lanes could end up making life more dangerous for cyclists when it reaches Mt. Pleasant

Toronto Kids At Risk + Urban Design + Social Media + Bike Culture Mashup Tour : TreeHugger

July 25, 2010 9:21 AM

How many TreeHugger hot buttons can be pushed in one post? After Toronto cyclist Charles Prinsep was killed in 2007 while riding across the country, his friends set up Charlie’s FreeWheels. It takes kids at risk in Toronto’s roughish Regent Park and teaches them to fix bikes.

But Charlie had other passions besides bikes; he was off to the Sorbonne to study urban planning, and was seriously into tech, geo-tagging and blogging about his bike trip until the day he was killed. This Saturday, all of these passions come together with a high-tech historical bike tour of Toronto’s Regent Park.

Cyclist’s legacy rolls on | Toronto & GTA | News | Toronto Sun

July 25, 2010 9:15 AM

Three years ago, for his 23rd birthday, Charlie Prinsep pigged out on Japanese food and swam in a British Columbia lake with all his cycling clothes on.

It was July 27, 2007. A week later, while cycling across the continent, the Toronto man would be fatally struck by a car — ending his life, but not his legacy.

On Saturday, three days before what would have been his 26th birthday, Prinsep inspired a cycling tour through Regent Park.

The ride was led by participants of Charlie’s FreeWheels, a program created in Prinsep’s honour that teaches Regent Park youths how to fix and build bicycles.

Bike rally expected to raise over $1-million for HIV/AIDS – 680News

July 25, 2010 9:15 AM

Approximately 300 cyclists have prepared to ride hundreds of kilometers to raise money for HIV/AIDS.

Scotiabank’s “The Friends for Life Bike Rally” will see people travel from Toronto to Montreal. The ride begins Sunday at 9 a.m. and cyclists are expected to arrive in Quebec July 30.

Our Beloved Bixi

July 23, 2010 10:22 AM

“The Bixi was an instant success,” said Manon Barbe, the city of Montreal executive committee member responsible for transportation. “There was the fact that it was developed here in Quebec, that the design was a Quebec design and that it used materials from here. That it created jobs here. … It is an extraordinary Quebec success story. And the people who made it a success are the cyclists themselves.”

Weekend Bike Tour Honours Fallen Cyclist – CityNews

July 22, 2010 12:41 PM

On August 3rd he was killed after being struck from behind by a car on the shoulder of the Trans-Canada Highway near Brooks, Alta.Not long after, the idea for Charlie’s Freewheels, a program which teaches youth from Regent Park to build a bike from scratch, was born.

Colin Heilbut was a friend and classmate of Charlie’s. He’s also a co-founder of Charlie’s Freewheels.

How to buy a bike seat – The Globe and Mail

July 20, 2010 11:34 AM

If you’re leaving your bike at home for fear of a sore derriere, the solution may be to get a new seat. Here’s how to find the right style and make it work for you.

Cyclists win symbolic victory on Jarvis | Posted Toronto | National Post

July 20, 2010 10:33 AM

A difference of opinion about bike lanes is never far away on Jarvis Street.On Friday morning, it was separated by 140 metres — the distance between two parking pay-and-display machines that were removed from the five-lane thoroughfare to give permanent space to cyclists.

“Bye, bye parking meter,” Frank D’Onofrio said ruefully, drawn outside of his Kwik Kopy shop by the noise of a grinder machine. “I’m the beleaguered owner of this franchise who is going to be very pissed off when none of his customers can park here.”

Minutes later, and just down the street, Mohammad Wali, a cyclist and condo superintendent, nodded in approval at the dismantling of car infrastructure. He endorses bike lanes primarily for safety reasons, having survived many close calls with motorists. “Especially on Jarvis Street. Jarvis is like a highway, so it will be better for us to get around,” he said.

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Bikes in the News – July 20, 2010

It’s been a while since our last News Links post, so here are some news clippings we’ve collected over the last few weeks:

  • InsideToronto Article: Jarvis set to get controversial bike lanes
    Bike lanes are finally going onto Jarvis Street this month. The only question now is how long the hugely controversial lanes will stay there, after the fall’s municipal election.

    Council approved the lanes last year as part of a revitalization of Jarvis Street that includes removing the middle, reversible traffic lane, widening sidewalks and removing on-street parking.

    Jul 19, 2010

  • BlogTO: Top Toronto Bike Paths
    The top bike paths in Toronto aren’t made up of too many hidden gems. As it should, the Toronto Cycling Map charts the routes of the various paved and low-difficulty dirt trails across the city. But, due to our plentiful ravines — where a number of these paths and trails are located — in the absence of the map and/or a little local knowledge, it’s possible to miss some excellent opportunities to ride without fear of (heavy) vehicular traffic.

    Jul 18, 2010

  • Jarvis bike lane installation starts today – thestar.com

    Jarvis, pre-BikelanesIt was a decision that some believe helped set the table for this year’s transportation-focused city elections and proved a turning point for Toronto’s cycling community.
    With the installation of bike lanes on Jarvis St., beginning on Friday, motorists and cyclists will be able to gauge the impact of last year’s hard-fought battle to remove the reversible centre lane in favour of bikes.

    Jul 17, 2010

  • Rossi vows to undo bike lanes | Toronto & GTA | News | Toronto Sun
    Paint can be cleaned up pretty easily, mayoral candidate Rocco Rossi said Thursday, vowing to undo Jarvis St. bike lanes if he should win the Oct. 25 civic election.

    “They’re drawing lines on Jarvis and I’m drawing a line in the sand,” Rossi said. “I will paint over those lines on Jarvis when I become mayor.”

    Work on removing the broad thoroughfare’s reversible centre lane and the pay and display parking machines begins Friday, with the painting of the new bike lanes starting July 24.

    Jul 17, 2010

  • Jarvis lane to disappear | Toronto & GTA | News | Toronto Sun
    Starting Friday night — the same evening the Honda Indy comes to town — the centre reversible lane on Jarvis St. will cease to exist.

    Gary Welsh, general manager of transportation, said that night the overhead light marking the fifth lane will be turned off and the centre lane taken out of operation — in preparation for installation of bike lanes on both sides of Jarvis, from Charles St. to Queen St.

    Jul 15, 2010

  • The Fixer: Police barricades block bicycle lane – thestar.com
    The waist-high metal barricades are kept on a Toronto police trailer, which is usually parked right in front of the consulate, totally blocking the bicycle lane on the west side of St. George.

    Laura Morrison emailed to say that “every weekday for the past two summers,” the trailer has blocked the bike lane, forcing cyclists to swerve out of the dedicated lane and into traffic.

    “As St. George is a major southbound bike lane, I imagine this puts hundreds of cyclists in danger every morning, myself included,” Morrison wrote.

    Jul 14, 2010

  • Free Bike Rentals
    In a move that that will certainly shock the Toronto bike rental market, Segway of Ontario has announced their full launch into bike rentals. Calling it a “bold, innovative and purely awesome step forward”, Chief Fun Officer Aaron Binder jumped up and down excitedly while yelling the same statement over and over again while typing up this very press release.

    Jul 14, 2010

  • Metro – Cyclists and motorists: Why can’t we be friends?
    Just because we hang around gas stations and the occasional Tim Hortons drive-thru, doesn’t mean we hate cycling and cyclists. In fact, many of us are avid cyclists, and are extremely hip to everything the bicycle can offer — to the transportation cause, to overall health, to the quest for fun.

    During riding season, I often take my bike instead of the car, because it’s easier and quicker, especially in the city.

    Jul 14, 2010

  • Tour de GTA – thestar.com
    Saturday is Stage 7 of the Tour de France which will take the world’s top road cyclists 165 kilometres through mountainous terrain that ends at Station des Rousses, a ski resort town 1,000 metres above their starting point in the Burgundy town of Tournus.

    For less-skilled cyclists, the Star tried out our local brand of challenging ascents. We don’t have mountains, but what we do have are an inordinate number of river valleys and small hills that offer a surprising range of 100-metre inclines, not to mention some beautiful views. And of course, there’s the Niagara escarpment with near endless roads to climb.

    Jul 10, 2010

  • Cycling Secrets of the Don Valley – Torontoist
    The eleven-kilometre recreation trail running from Taylor Creek Park to Lakeshore Boulevard is one of Toronto’s best-kept secrets.

    Jul 9, 2010

  • Metro – Get on your bikes and ride Toronto’s trails
    “Toronto is such a bike-friendly place,” smiles Bruce Abe, co-owner of popular bicycle rental service Wheel Excitement. “There are literally hundreds of kilometres of trails and paths that can take you just about anywhere in the city.”

    Jul 9, 2010

  • Union Station transit gateway makeover unveiled – thestar.com
    The proposed design reduces traffic from two lanes in each direction to one, wide enough to accommodate cyclists, with patterned and textured pavement so drivers sense a change and slow down. Lighting would be enhanced and sidewalks almost doubled in width.

    The intersection of Front and Bay Sts. would also become a more elegant civic space, with wider sidewalks and crosswalks and patterned pavement.

    The cabs that usually clog the street would be relegated to lay-bys, curb indentations convenient for pick-ups and drop-offs.

    Pedestrians would be permitted to cross anywhere on the block. The current median, which blocks pedestrians from crossing because of its huge planters, would be replaced with a tree-lined island marked off from the rest of the street by bollards.

    Jul 6, 2010

  • IDEAS FOR TORONTO: Blue bike lanes « Spacing Toronto
    Portland, Oregon installed blue bike lanes at intersections over a decade ago in an effort to improve cyclist safety (see signage above). The coloured bike lanes span intersections where there are conflicts between cyclist and motorist rights-of-way. A 2003 City of Toronto study reported that the majority of bike-car collisions in Toronto occur at intersections where the motorist is performing a turning maneuver.

    Jun 29, 2010

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In The News: June 29, 2010

We’re thinking about starting up sharing news links again.

Here are some recent news articles involving bikes:

  • Vitess offers luxury bikes – at a price – thestar.com
    Unlike other bike manufacturers, Vitess does not sell its bikes through stores or online. If you want a Vitess bike, you’ll have to visit the company’s Lakeshore Blvd. showroom.

    At the showroom, a pristine space where demo bikes are neatly displayed, a professional bike fitter will spend nearly three hours with you, measuring your body, testing your flexibility and examining your cycling habits. That information is then used to select the appropriate bike frame, handlebar and many other components that will be used to build the bike that fits your body exactly.

    Jun 29, 2010

  • TTC gets first bike shelter at St. Clair West – thestar.com
    1a3f010e434dad97b25da7165556The new TTC bike shelter at St. Clair West, similar to facilities at GO stations, could be the first of many, Councillor Joe Mihevc hopes.

    The new TTC bike shelter at St. Clair West, similar to facilities at GO stations, could be the first of many, Councillor Joe Mihevc hopes.

    Jun 27, 2010

  • Exploring on two wheels | Ontario | Travel | Toronto Sun
    To coincide with Bike Month, which kicked off Monday, the Park Hyatt Toronto has relaunched its popular Bicycle Valet program.

    Hotel guests can check out a Trek Cruiser bicycle to explore the city on two wheels. The service is complimentary, but a deposit is required, and bikes must be pre-booked through the concierge. Guests can use the equipment provided — bike, lock, helmet, basket, bottled water and a biking map — free for four hours. A gourmet picnic lunch can also be arranged for a fee.

    Jun 27, 2010

  • Cake-loving cyclist starts a cupcake tour of Toronto – thestar.com
    12efdd9c49f68efb438a2ecc187dHyedie hashimoto started the toronto girls’ cupcake ride last month as a way to encourage women to get on bikes, and tour the city’s tastiest cupcake shops. She’s about to bite into a Here vanilla cupcake from the Hot Oven Bakery at Bloor St. and Runnymede Rd.

    Jun 27, 2010

  • 2 wheels = sex appeal – The Globe and Mail
    It hit me that biking is, in fact, a far sexier way to get around than by car. Think about it: Dudes on bikes have advanced cardiovascular endurance, can expertly handle delicate moving parts, and have the ability to ride far more of the city’s curves.

    Jun 27, 2010

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