In Anticipation of Bixi Toronto a Look at Bicing Barcelona

Some great points are made in this video.

- If you promote cycling in a positive way, you get positive results (and the exact opposite is true).

- Bike share helps to get more people onto bicycles while cycling-friendly infrastructure is still also needed.

Video by Mike Rubbo: Situp-cycle.com
Via Copenhagenize

Wheels for Wellbeing

I love everything about this:

More info here: Wheels For Wellbeing
Via Copenhagenize

Anonymous Sign Maker Points to Benefits of Bike Lanes on Jarvis

Thank You Cyclists photo by HiMYSYeD

Thank-you Cyclists for paying more for these roads than you get in services. Roads are paid for by property tax (and rental fees) most cyclists live in Toronto and pay this tax. Many drivers do not and get a free ride.

Thank you cyclists 2 photo by HiMYSYeD

Thank you cyclists for choosing a life-enhancing, noise- and heat-free form of transportation.

2% photo by HiMYSYeD

Cyclist get bike lanes on only 2% of the roads they pay for. Roads are paid for by property tax (and rental fees) most cyclists live in Toronto and pay this tax. Many drivers do not and get a free ride.

Photos via HiMYSYeD

Dublin Cycle Chic Fashion Show

Dublin Cycle Chic Fashion Show Screen Shot

Some people may be attracted to commuter cycling by its environmental and health benefits, but of course, that’s not always the case. In Ireland, Dublin City Council, staged a Dublin Cycle Chic fashion show to illustrate that city cycling doesn’t require battle gear to get started, simply a bicycle and the clothes on your back (something many still seem to be learning about in Toronto):

Dublin Cycle Chic – Fashion Show from DCTV on Vimeo.

Via Copenhagen Cycle Chic

The Cycle Track; Portland Upgrades the Bike Lane

Portland's Cycle Track

Today, possibly right now, the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee is voting on the proposed separated bike lanes to run along University Avenue.

In Portland they’ve moved beyond voting and have started implementing advancing bicycle lane designs, most notably the Cycle Track.

Here’s a fantastic video on how it works:

On the Right Track from Mayor Sam Adams on Vimeo.

Yvonne Bambrick of Toronto Cyclists Union at #voteTOin416

Yvonne Bambrick

Via #voteTOin416

I’m a member of the Toronto Cyclists Union. At the Toronto International Bicycle Show I volunteered with the Union and had a fantastic time speaking with Bike Show attendees about the issues facing all cyclists on Toronto’s streets. This was the first time I’d met Yvonne and listening to her speak passionately about cycling and cyclists was an inspiration. Advocating for cycling in Toronto can be as simple as using your bicycle as often as possible and, while doing so, setting a positive example for all cyclists.

Learn more about the Toronto Cyclists Union and become a member at http://bikeunion.to

Things You Can Do By Bike – Go To IKEA!

There’s a long, boring story that leads up this sunny, Saturday morning ride to Etobicoke. It involves hidden inventory and an obsessive search for a very simple piece of organizational furniture. That said, I had an exchange to make at IKEA. The Etobicoke store being just 13 km from my home, my girlfriend and I loaded up our Globe bikes and set off.

Shadows! Even after such a mild winter in Toronto, the first time you really see your shadow again is exciting.

Because traveling like a Toronto cyclist involves more than just roads, we took a detour through High Park.

Seriously, spring shadows are great!

After a quick ride along still icy and tree covered paths in High Park we arrive along the Queensway. Bike lanes here take you into Etobicoke.

Just as things get roomy with space between the bike lane and other traffic…

… our bike lane travels come to an end.

In Etobicoke they want you to know that there is to be no cycling on the sidewalks. Sidewalk cycling is illegal in Toronto too, but these signs at every sidewalk intersection almost appear as though there is simply no cycling allowed at all. Which isn’t the case, of course.

Once the bike lane ends the motorized traffic gets heavier, and closer. The vast majority of drivers did change lanes to pass us and only when we were close to intersections did a few motorists pass a little too close for comfort.

It’s amazing how wide the Queensway is. I didn’t stop to take a photo, but the road quickly widens to seven lanes across. There are new condos and townhouses lining much of the Queensway, but I simply couldn’t imagine living along a highway. The area is rapidly changing and is just a short bike or transit ride into the city, so this area does have many benefits. (Note: The photo below is from the less wide section of the Queensway).

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from simply too many IKEA trips it’s that you never use the front entrance. There may be bike parking at the Etobicoke IKEA, but since we had a return, I decided to get a little creative and lock us up near the service doors.

Exchange made, bungees secured and we set our sights on home.

Looking back at our simple trip, it’s amazing just how much we were able to accomplish in the morning while on our bikes. We got to experience one of the sunniest days of 2010 in Toronto so far. We got a little bit of exercise, especially when crossing the bridge just before you get to IKEA. We got the best parking spot. And we smiled the whole way there and back… when’s the last time you did all of that on a visit to IKEA?

Do you bike to shop? Let business owners know!

Bags

Via Third Wave Cycling Blog:

Bike Helmets on Customers Exposes Unnoticed Business For Retailers

January 11, 2010 by Jack Becker

We received an email earlier last week from the local ratepayers’ group:

There has been a request from VANOC and the Olympic committee asking Citygate and False Creek residents to keep their festive lights up and on throughout the Olympics so the world can see us.

Presumably this request can even include the festive Christmas lights that some boat owners festoon their masts along the waterfront.

What would be an equivalent, visibility tactic for the cycling community to announce the significance of cyclists?

It could be as simple as keeping your helmet on your head when you are shopping.  This action would go a long way towards changing the perception of local business retailers that their customer base and retail sales comes from car drivers.  It may start stopping retailers’ complaints any time that a new bike lane at their store entrance takes away more street car parking.  It may start retailer action to call for more storefront bike parking racks.  It may change perception that cyclists in a store does not contribute to the bottom line of retailer sales and profitability.  A “helmet-on-campaign-while shopping” would remind retailers that cyclists do comprise more of their customer base than retailers might realize.

Cyclists do shop, contribute to local businesses and the economy. Like everyone else, they still consume products and services.  In fact, cyclists, without the burden of paying for car maintenance, may have more money available for shopping.

In downtown Toronto, there has been an ongoing debate on implementation of a bike lane on the busy Bloor Street west of Spadina  Rd., an area  known  as the “Annex”.  For many decades and still now, the Annex is a gentrified neighbourhood with busy cafes, restaurants, independent shops, community centre and services that draw patrons and convivial street life.

A recent study of 61 local merchants, 531 patrons, and parking space use, revealed only 10% of patrons drive to the Bloor-Annex area. Pedestrians and cyclists were spending more money than the drivers.  This is not surprising since the area is served by 3 different subway station exits, feeder bus lines and an established bike lane grid in this Bloor St neighbourhood.

Meanwhile in Vancouver, the Canada Line opened in late August 2009.  Now changes in customer levels have been noted to be modest for businesses along the Canada Line on Cambie St.   Businesses closer to stations have seen an increase in foot traffic.  The full effect of a switch from car-based shopping to people-based shopping takes time.  It takes more than a full year business cycle for commuters to establish changes in their transportation choice, travel and shopping patterns.

Since no one is constantly monitoring where bikes are locked up outside  shops, then the bike helmet is the beacon to signal retailers that another customer that just arrived –in a different way.

Since cycling is on the rise in Toronto, it’s time to make yourself visible to shop owners who apparently don’t believe that cyclists and pedestrians are good for business. Carry your bike helmet, keep your pant leg reflector on and make sure to mention how much you appreciate the bike parking or bike lane you found nearby.

Photo via Flickr user Life in a Lens

My One and Only Complaint about Cycling in Toronto

hpim3225Edit

Ok, the headline of this post is a little misleading. I have plenty of complaints about cycling in Toronto. And, if you read BlogTO, you know that there’s a list and growing discussion of even more gripes going on there.

But… and this is a big BUT… nothing outweighs the benefits of cycling in Toronto…

We have trails through ravines!

We have a growing bike lane network!

We’re busting cops for parking in bike lanes!

We have a cyclists union!

We look damn good on our bikes!

We have more than 70 bike shops in Toronto!

However, I do have one big complaint… and boy-oh-boy is it a doosie!

There are simply not enough cyclists in Toronto.

That’s it, that’s my complaint.

Some days it’s just so lonely. I know there are thousands upon thousands of cyclists around. But, I want to see more… don’t you?

Join the discussion in the BikingToronto Forum

Photo via the BikingToronto Flickr Pool