Fantastic documentary on bicycle infrastructure around the world and a look at Toronto’s most notorious alleged bicycle thief, Igor Kenk.
Archives for October 2009
While Toronto city councillors discuss reducing the speed limits on our streets, Hobart, on the Australian island province of Tasmania has also taken steps towards lowering speed limits and promoting safety for more vulnerable street users, namely pedestrians.
A short while ago I posted about how we dress when biking in Toronto.
Rapha: Got some money? OK, now got some more? Rapha makes great looking clothing with a price tag to match
Of course, the best way to look good cycling in Toronto is to simply be yourself, put on your helmet and take to the streets in whatever you’ve got on.
Dr. Harrelson honoured for his sustainable ways
Cheers alum champions bike riding and biofuel, but don’t look to him as an example, he says
His latest character may have killed a zombie with a banjo, but Woody Harrelson’s not sure he can slay the crowd when he accepts his honorary doctorate Saturday at York University.
“It means more than any award or accolade I’ve received,” Harrelson said. “I just get nervous about having to do a speech.”
The Zombieland star will receive the honour at York’s convocation. Best known for his role on the television comedy Cheers, he’s spent years promoting sustainable living by means of bicycle tours, green road trips and a book.
“It’s not always the usual suspects that need to be uncovered and recognized,” said Dawn Bazely, a biology professor who helped nominate the actor. Bazely first came across Harrelson’s efforts when she watched Go Further, the 2003 film that documents his biofuel road trip to spread the green word.
Harrelson has a bachelor’s degree in English and theatre but no honorary degrees to his name. “I was a little unsure they had the right guy,” he said in his Texas drawl. “But now that I know they do, I’ll be there.”
Harrelson talked to the Star on why he shouldn’t be your child’s role model and the impending vegan Twinkie revolution.
Q: When you were in school, were you into the environmental scene?
A: No, I really didn’t think about it that much. The college I went to, we had a nuclear power plant just down the road.
Q: When did the environment become important to you?
A: That probably happened in the late ’80s, early ’90s. I started to feel like, “What am I doing wasting my time as an actor when the world is going to hell in a handbasket?” I didn’t feel like I was doing anything of import.
Q: What parts of your life would you want students to follow?
A: I don’t consider myself much of a role model at all. The reason they’re giving me this doctorate has to do with my getting ahold of a principle that I believe in and sticking to it. Otherwise, I can’t think of any other aspect that I would even want my own children, much less other people’s children, to follow.
Q: Are you going to make a speech at convocation?
A: Well, I guess so. I’ve had sleepless nights thinking about it. I guess I have to say something. I’ll just say how grateful I am.
Q: What would be your advice to students?
A: Voting with your dollar, to me, is more important than voting any other way. Using a cloth bag instead of a paper bag. Ride a bike, not a car. I did that in Toronto; I did a lot of it on a bike.
Q: How was that?
A: I thought there were some really cool areas to bike, and some felt pretty dangerous. I was rehearsing over at the Distillery District, and I would come down some cool very green area, and go over the rail tracks.
Q: What’s your biggest challenge as a raw-food vegan?
A: Sitting at a restaurant that’s not vegan and trying to explain I can’t have any dairy or butter without annoying the s— out of everybody at the table.
Q: In Zombieland, your character is obsessed with a Twinkie. How did that work with your beliefs?
A: I play a lot of characters who have nothing to do with what I believe. And they ended up bringing in somebody to make something that looks just like a Twinkie. It might just start a vegan Twinkie revolution. There’s not even the remotest chance of me ever eating a Twinkie.
Q: How will you get to Toronto?
A: I generally fly. My carbon footprint has got to be astounding, but all those other people in the plane are helping offset it. I really haven’t done carbon offsetting. I probably should; that’s more laziness than anything.
Photo via Flickr
Not going to bike in the slush, salt and stains of a Toronto winter?
Personally, while I love cycling I’m not sure if I’m interested in cycling simulators to feed my addiction during the coldest months. But, hey, it’s good to have your options.
Where bikes are heading: a look at the trendsBy MEGAN K. SCOTT (AP) – Oct 6, 2009
Bicycle technology doesn’t stand still.
Bike makers keep tinkering to give us a smoother, more convenient, more stylish ride: bikes long enough to carry another passenger and groceries. Bikes with batteries so you don’t have to break a sweat. Aerodynamic bikes with little wind resistance.
“In the bike world, there have always been a bunch of trends going on at once,” said Loren Mooney, editor-in-chief of Bicycling magazine. “It’s because a bike is such a multipurpose tool. It’s a toy. It’s a piece of exercise equipment. It’s a mode of transportation. And so really it’s very common to have many trends at once.”
Some bike trends on the horizon:
STYLISH UTILITY BIKE: The biggest trend is casual city riding, said Mooney, “where the person doesn’t look like a spandex-clad cyclist, but rather like a normal person. And his or her bike looks like a cool, often retro object of design and casual fun — maybe it even has a basket.”
FITNESS BIKES: An evolution from the hybrid bike — a cross between a road bike and a mountain bike, which was “too cumbersome for true fitness riding,” said Mooney. (Fitness bikes are sometimes referred to as flat-bar road bikes.)
PEDAL-ASSIST ELECTRIC BIKES: A bike with a boost. Pedal-assist bikes combine battery power with pedaling so you can ride farther and faster without getting as tired.
It’s an ideal bike for someone who rides for transportation, as opposed to fitness, and when the distance is far, the terrain difficult or the rider short on endurance.
ECO DESIGN BIKES: Bike manufacturers are coming out with eco-friendly bikes. For example, Trek’s Belleville and Atwood models have grips on the handlebars, a saddle and a steel frame that all can be recycled. The bikes also come with front and rear lights that are generated by pedaling, not batteries, said Trek spokesman Sam Foos.
FOLDING BIKES: These have been around for years but the technology is getting better. Traditional folding bikes, which have small wheels, were better for folding than riding, said David Montague, owner of Montague Bicycles in Cambridge, Mass. The company introduced SwissBike TX earlier this year, a full-size bike that folds in half.
XTRACYCLE: a kit that makes a bike 15 inches longer so you can carry a passenger, groceries, books. Some people use it to carry camping gear, said Nate Byerley, president of Xtracycle, in Oakland, Calif. He said he knows a home inspector who uses his Xtracycle to carry equipment including a 10-foot ladder.
Does your bike fit in to any of these categories? Share your ride in the BikingToronto Forum.