Archives for August 2010

Covet: Repurposed Car Parts and Inner Tubes Become Mariclaro Bags


Way back when I bought my first used car, friends of mine took me to a local scrapyard. We searched for abandoned and forgotten parts to “spruce” up my new ride. Had I had a bit more ingenuity, I may have stripped down the old car seats and removed the seat belts to make beautiful and functional bags.

Thankfully the team at Mariclaro had this fantastic idea and the results are certainly “Covet” worthy.

Cadillac Bags are available here and here.
Lincoln Bags are available here and here.

Now, if car branding and seat upholstery aren’t quite your “bag,” then Mariclaro has something else in the works. Bags made of old inner tubes. Here’s a peek at a bag being assembled and the finished product:


Mariclaro inner tube bag

For more information about Mariclaro visit their web site, their blog, their Etsy shop or their shop at 457 Roncesvalles Ave. (just south of Dundas West) Toronto, ON M6R 2N4

Set an Example; Stop for Open Streetcar Doors


Toronto Police Services are currently handing out warnings to drivers and cyclists who fail to stop for open streetcar doors.

I’ve seen some people on bikes coast by open doors in the hopes of passing streetcars and getting ahead of traffic. While illegal this behaviour is also incredibly rude. People often rush when leaving or trying to catch streetcars and even a small collision with one of these people is going to completely negate the few seconds you’ve saved trying to pass a loading streetcar.

My advice, stop at the rear of the streetcar and position yourself in the middle of the lane. Anxious drivers are going try to blow past a streetcar once those doors close and you do not want to be caught in the squeeze.

Completely unrelated photo, although it involves cyclists and a streetcar during a 2007 Critical Mass, by Leanne Eisen via the BikingToronto Flickr Pool

The Road Popper – Make Your Bicycle Even More Useful

Road Popper

Road Popper 2

Sure, your bicycle can take you all over town, it can carry some of your stuff and it can even be a great conversation starter but, has your bicycle opened a bottle for you lately?

Design duo, Chromoly have that problem solved. Introducing the Road Popper.

More info or to purchase here.

The happiest day I know is a Tokyo Bicycle – Hawksley Workman

Just try and not get this song stuck in your head all day!

Via Torontoist

Partnership for Integration and Sustainable Transportation Workshop: Fun & Safe Cycling in Toronto


Via Toronto Cyclists Union:

Fun & Safe Cycling in Toronto!

Check out this free workshop on Saturday, August 14th, that’s being offered as part of the Newcomer Cycling Outreach Program. This workshop is just the thing for a newcomer to Toronto, or if you want to brush up on your cycling knowledge. Pass this message along to new (or even not-so-new!) Torontonians.

Date:      Saturday, August 14, 2010
Time:      2 pm – 4 pm
Location: Lillian H. Smith Library – 239 College Street (east of Spadina Avenue)
Cost:      FREE

More information below or go here.



Covet: Handmade Messenger Bags Created Right Here in Toronto

Push the Envelope Classic Messenger BagUnder the Weather Messential Messenger Bag

Did you know that there are not one but two companies crafting handmade messenger bags in Toronto (possibly more)?

Push the Envelope has been creating distinctive messenger bags since 1995.

Under the Weather was started in Amsterdam in 2000, relocating to Toronto in 2001.

Two exciting messenger bag brands that call Toronto home!

Visit the Push the Envelope web site here.
Visit the Under the Weather web site here.

Know of a great product you think is “Covet” worthy? Send your suggestions to: duncan [dot] bikingtoronto [at] gmail [dot] com

How to Use Bikes and Transit in Minnesota (Toronto, too!)

Looks pretty familiar, eh? Metro Transit in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota, much like the TTC and GO Transit here, allow you to mix bikes and transit taking you further and faster by making the transition easier. Even in the snow! Toronto and the GTA have a similar mix of bicycle transportation aids on our transit systems. Learn more about them at

Via BikesandTransit on Twitter

Functional Fashion Inspired By Cycling and Perspiration

The above video was part of the !ola team‘s submissions for promoting urban, everyday cycling in the Yoxi Pilot Competition.

When I reviewed my Modrobes Euca Tee I took a few post-ride photos of my sweat-stained t-shirt. I opted not to use them in my review, but I’m kicking myself now for not seeing the fashion-forward concept in those soaked sections of my shirt.

Learn more about the Yoxi Pilot Competition and view the winning entries here.

Via 1 girl + 2 wheels

John McEnroe, Rage Against the Machine and Hans Rey: Wheels4Life

About Wheels4Life:

Wheels4Life is a non-profit charity (501c(3)), that provides free bicycles for people in need of transportation in Third World countries. We partner with local individuals, organizations and other groups to help us identify persons who sincerely need a bike to be able to go to school or to work. Often these people live in very primitive and remote areas with no access or means to public transportation. The closest school, doctor or work-place might be 10 or 20 miles away. Having a bike can make all the difference in somebody’s life and can give them a chance to break out of the vicious poverty cycle. The gift of mobility, in form of a bicycles, can do miracles.

More information about Wheels4Life at

BikesandTransit Helps You Get to Free Outdoor Movies in Port Credit

Rotary Movies in the Park

As much as we love the countless events held in downtown Toronto, sometimes you just want to get away. And, if you’re as big a fan of biking as we are, you want to get away on your bicycle.

In its third year of promoting multi-modal, car-free transportation options have updated their web site for 2010 and now includes maps to help you navigate beyond Toronto by bicycle with the help of transit systems. Whenever I’m looking for a quick weekend escape, I turn to this web site for help in determining the best ways out of town.

There’s so much to explore just beyond the borders of Toronto such as the free outdoor movie nights hosted by the Rotary Club of Mississauga and taking place in Port Credit Memorial Park.

Tonight’s (Friday, August 6, 2010) free movie is Avatar and is set to start around 8:30 pm. Getting to the park by bicycle is easy and will allow you to explore the Waterfront trail that takes you from the Martin Goodman Trail through Etobicoke to Mississauga and beyond.

This map, by, shows you the way, see pages 11, 10, and 9 (PDF): Waterfront Trail

And, if riding home after dark doesn’t appeal to you, head over to the Port Credit GO Station and take your bikes back to Toronto on the train.

For more information:

Photo via Rotary_Movies on Twitter.