Toronto’s Curbside Cycle to Give Don Cherry a Custom Bicycle

Via Curbside Cycle blog:

Dear Don Cherry,

We at Curbside Cycle are hoping you will lend an ear, an eye and an open mind.

Long ago American diplomats to China used to judge the prosperity of that country by the amount of cars on the road. Today, any city driver knows that the original ideals of autonomy and freedom that fueled the automotive industry have been replaced with frustration, rage, and gridlock. Prosperity can mean many things, and as drivers sit angrily in their vehicles haltingly crawling through the city streets, quality of life can feel less than prosperous.

You don’t know us, but we are an independent business – the independent business that introduced Toronto to the ultimate object of real prosperity, the Dutch bicycle, which transports its riders with dignity and swish of fashionable flair that looks fantastic with a snappy suit.  Judging by your eclectic wardrobe, by this time, your ears should be perked.  We’re probably the people that gave urban Toronto that image of the left-wing latte-sipping bicyclist. Our bicycles are probably not best suited to the suburbanite bicycle hobbyist that voted Ford into power; you see, for us bikes just aren’t political. Like a bed or toaster oven they are so embedded into our lifestyle, they become part of the background.  We aren’t using them to crusade, we are using them to take kids to school, to get to work (happy and refreshed instead of angry), get groceries, and explore this fantastic city of ours.

Mr.Cherry, the fact is that if you live downtown, bicycles are simply the best way to get around. They reduce car congestion, helping those who must drive do so faster and easier. Bicycles make a great deal of fiscal sense, keeping the population fit and healthy and reducing costs all over the map.

The stereotypes you are parroting have changed. Yes, many people who want a change ride a bicycle (you can call them left-wing pinkos but they are fighting for a cause, just as you do in your work with children’s charities), but many other cyclists simply do so because IT MAKES SENSE. They are as politically attached to their bicycles as they are to their toaster ovens. They have Bay Street jobs, watch hockey and some even voted for Rob Ford.  People ride because cars can no longer keep their promise of freedom and autonomy, the bicycle can.  You see, we don’t like the gravy train anymore than those folks in “Ford country”, but you may be surprised by how many Ford supporters ride around each day by bicycle. In other words, the stereotype isn’t particularly helpful and certainly doesn’t unify a city in desperate need of a diverse transportation solution.

So we’d like to take a little egg off your face and allow you to (literally) do a bit of backpedalling. We’d like to give you a bicycle. In a blushing shade of ironic pink, this bike will be customized to your own remarkable style. The bike will be a Pashley from the United Kingdom, a company that has been producing real city bikes for 80 years, and the details will be custom painted by Noah Rosen of Velocolour.  We’re asking the city to choose their favorite Don Cherry pattern (below) whether it be be a Plaid, a floral, or what-have-you. And we’d like you to come by, pick it up and person, and go for a latte with us.

Oh, and you can invite your friend Rob, too.

Kind regards,

Curbside Cycle

Give Curbside Cycle a hand and help them choose the colour for Don’s custom ride here.

Don’t Call it a Girl’s Bike

Just because your bicycle has a sloping top tube doesn’t mean you have to call it a “girl’s bike.” That slope can make it easier to cycle modestly while wearing a dress, sure, but it also comes in handy once you start carrying any sort of cargo on your bicycle.

Adding cargo adds weight to your bicycle and the “step-through” frame design makes it easier for you to balance your packages or children while mounting and dismounting your bike.

Here are just a few “step-through” bicycles for women and men that can help you carry your cargo and avoid the delicate dance of getting on and off your bike:

The above Linus Mixte comes with a rear rack ready for you to strap a basket to, available at Bikes on Wheels.

The Globe Live 1 Mixte will stand out in the crowd, if not for the bright red colour but also because it comes stock with a huge front rack, available at Urbane Cyclist.

While the Dutch may call this design by Electra an “omafiets” (literally, grandma’s bike) both men and women have benefited for years from this easy to step through design. Available at The Cycle Shoppe.

When it comes to really maximizing your cargo carrying capacity, the Kona Ute certainly stretches the limits. Available at Sweet Pete’s.

And that’s not all… you’ll find even more sloping step-throughs at Curbside Cycle who carry models from Batavus, Pashley and Abici.

“I try and head to places that will offer a rewarding bike ride” – Rich Terfry (aka Buck 65)

Richard Terfry aka Buck 65 via buck65.com

From PostedToronto My Toronto: Buck 65:

Bike 65 I get around town by bike, so I try and head to places that will offer a rewarding bike ride, like the Roncesvalles neighbourhood, or the area around Bloor and Bathurst, where I have a bunch of friends and favourite spots. The Bloor Cinema [506 Bloor St. W.] is one, and there’s a pretty great bike shop there, too [Curbside Cycle, 412 Bloor St. W.] where I bought both my bike and my wife’s bike. It’s a semi-regular stop if we need repairs or accessories or anything like that.

Read the rest of the article here.
Photo via Buck65.com

Batavus in the morning sun

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My mother has seriously upped her game when it comes to cycling. Sick of her unreliable hybrid, she’s gone back to her roots (she’s Dutch) and purchased this stunning Batavus Diva.

Many thanks to Aaron at Curbside for being a remarkable help.

We’re heading out for a ride this Friday, I’ll be posting more pictures and a review of this Dutch bike in Toronto!

Cruisers, Cargo bikes, Handmades and More – The Toronto International Bicycle Show

On Sunday, March 7, 2010 I took a bike ride down to the Toronto International Bicycle Show held in the Better Living Centre on the CNE grounds.

For the most part this show is a spectacle of the latest road racing, BMX, trials and mountain biking products and accessories. Major Toronto and GTA retailers set up shop here to blow out last year’s inventory and highlight the latest designs from top brands.

While I recently started mountain biking again (I know, an oxymoron in Toronto) I was looking for the day to day cycling options at the show. Road bikes made of carbon composites and mountain bikes equipped with long-travel suspension are impressive, but I wouldn’t give them more than 20 minutes locked up to a post and ring downtown Toronto. And I think rear racks would look a little out of place on the back of a Trek Madone.

Much to my delight there were plenty of exhibitors who understand that cycling isn’t just about sport. Although, looking back of some of my morning commutes, I’d say a trip to work on Toronto’s busier streets can be a sport itself. Here are photos by Huy Le with a few words about what I discovered at the Toronto International Bicycle Show.

Until Sunday I had never straddled an electic-assist bicycle. The Sanyo Eneloop Bike looks like a regular step-through commuter with a battery pack tucked nicely behind the seat tube. And that’s the point. This is a bicycle first and foremost yet it also provides battery assistance to help commuters take on challenging hills and headwinds.

The battery connects to a surprisingly powerful front hub-motor as well as both front and rear lights. I took the bike for a quick spin around the carpeted test area at the show. As I lined up to head out I had the battery on and after a half pedal forward the motor kicked in and I thought the bike was going to take off on it’s own. Applying the brakes quickly kept me from taking an embarassing flat land spill. The reps from Sanyo suggested waiting until I was in motion to turn on the battery, and I recommend it.

Actually riding the bicycle was a pleasure. The motor is on the front wheel hub, so after a few pedals the electric-assist starts up and you feel a gentle pull forward. The first couple of boosts were a little terrifying on the short test track, but I quickly learned when to anticipate them and use them to my advantage for building up speed with little extra effort on my part.

In the manufacturer’s showcase Opus brand bicycles from Quebec had their commuter rides on display. If you speak/read French then be sure to check out their Urbanista Blog.

For cyclists with kids and basically anything else they need to haul around, WIKE from Guelph, ON had their line of trailers on display.

Around the corner and also from Guelph, True North Cycles had several handmade touring and cargo bikes on display.

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Trek had some bright and shiny Madones on site… but the multi-thousand dollar price tag makes for expensive roadie dreams. On a more affordable note Trek also had their Eco steel bikes on display.

As part of the Globe blogger team I was hoping to see a few models at the show. Unfortunately all I found was this Globe Roll.

Sweet Pete’s had up on high, overlooking their booth, their Kona collaboration bicycle, the “Door Prize.” With tongue planted firmly in cheek this bike is named after the unique to Toronto term for colliding with a car door is outfitted with city riding essentials and is priced under $600.

On to accessories. Zef Kraiker (not pictured) was at the Urbane Cyclist booth with plenty of WIPT (Wear It Proud Toronto) cycling caps and Push The Envelope bags for sale.

Energetic reps introduced me to the iBert safe-T-seat that allows you to carry small children up front, improving rider stability and giving your child a view of more than just your back. The seat can be removed quickly and easily when not in use and is made of 10% recycled materials.

Introducing his alternative to panniers, Winnipeg year-round cyclist (you read that right!) Aphirath Vongnaraj had his Hybrid Backpack on display. He demonstrated the pack’s ability to secure all sorts of items to a rear bike rack. The unique “velcro” locking system ensures that what you want to carry stays with you for your whole journey.

I was pleasantly surprised to see so many commuter cycling options on display at this year’s Toronto International Bicycle Show. Of course, there was much more to be seen, but I’ll save that for another post.

Biomega Commercial By Cycle Chic’s Mikael Colville-Andersen

Screen shot 2010-03-08 at 5.16.59 PM

Now, I haven’t seen too many bicycle commercials, but there does seem to be a trend emerging. No hyped-up voice overs. No fancy-font tag lines. Just people on bikes, riding like regular people on bicycles do.

Copenhagen. Life. Cycle. by Biomega from Copenhagenize on Vimeo.

If you’d like to learn more about Biomega bikes, visit Curbside Cycle in Toronto.

Curbside and Toronto Cyclists Union Event – Friday November 6, 2009 at AnnexLive


Via Curbside Cycle Blog:

Best Bike Store 2009!
Wow! Thanks NOW Magazine once again for once again giving us the ‘critics pick’ for Toronto’s best bike store. Curbside is proof that in the case of Toronto bike culture, the citizens are ahead of the government. In the last five years we have romanced some of Toronto’s most unlikely cyclists onto bikes that make them feel safe and fashionable. But fashion is one thing, safety another. The bikes we sell are safer than most, but more than ever, we need to get this city moving with its cycling infrastructure projects.

This year we are throwing all of our weight behind the Toronto Cyclists Union, and to start, we are throwing a Thank You party for all NOW readers. Featuring Juno award winning songster Andrew Rodriguez, male-burlesque performer Corey Swelling (who strips in an amazing ‘bike mechanic’ routine not to be missed!), and many more acts, we want to get all Curbside customers under one roof for a good night of fun. Cover charge is $5 and goes straight into the pocket of the Cyclists Union. So c’mon out!

The Annex Live
296 Brunswick Ave
Toronto, Ontario
M5S 2M7