Covet: Four Women’s Cycling Jackets

Fall Cycling

With fall weather comes wetter days, chillier winds and the need to add an extra layer when cycling around town.

I recently viewed a few men’s cycling jackets that look just as good on or off of your bicycle. Today, it’s time to see what’s available for women:

The Portland jacket by Showers Pass has a reflective rear flap that adds extra visibility at night yet folds away when you no longer need it. With pit-zips and adjustable cuffs, the Portland is ready for unpredictable fall weather. Available at MEC.

Alberta-based Riyoko (meaning “to travel” in Japanese) offers their Riding Blazer, a windproof, water-resistant jacket with vents for warmer days and enough pockets for whatever you need on hand. More information about the 100% Canadian made jackets here.

Toronto-based Modrobes offers the longer trench-style Ryding Jacket made from recycled water bottles. A generous hood and vented back help you keep your cool when the winds start blowing and the rain starts falling. Available at Modrobes.

From the slim fit to the high neck, Nau’s Shroud of Purrin Jacket brings styling rarely seen in the world of “soft shells.” Learn more about this jacket made from recycled plastics at Nau.

Have you tried any of these jackets? Share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below.

Fall photo via the BikingToronto Flickr Pool

Quickly Convert Old Tubes to Bungee Cords and Tie Downs With IT Clips

Here’s a simple way to reuse your old bicycle tubes. IT Clips are a set of plastic clips and metal hooks that convert your old tubes into usable straps for securing loads to your bicycle.

More information at IT Clips.
Available in Toronto at Sweet Pete’s and Mountain Equipment Co-op.

Scenes from the Cold: Toronto’s Coldest Day of the Year Ride 2010

Minus 17 - Yeah, that's cold.Brr!

As part of Bike Winter, the city of Toronto hosted the Coldest Day of the Year Ride on Saturday, January 30th, 2010.

I bundled up in my down jacket, long johns, ski gloves and scarf and hopped on my Globe to join the ride.

While the weather did finally cool down to winter temperatures, it certainly doesn’t look like the end of January in Toronto. Where are the snowbanks? Where’s the slush?

I arrive just a few minutes before noon and find parking at a premium:

If you want to know what’s big for cycling in 2010… it’s yellow, and lots of it:

There’s two little ones all bundled up in there:

Excuse me, Joe, can you tell me which way we’re supposed to go? Thanks:

Just a few weeks earlier and Grenadier Pond would have been covered with ice skaters:

Just after we passed under the Gardiner Expressway and cross over Lakeshore Highway (errr, Boulevard) to the Martin Goodman Trail:

The Pizza Pizza pagoda was closed… but Joe and HappyStuffing wouldn’t be affected by the stink had it been open for business:

Free Hot Chocolate! Thanks!:

The BikingToronto community has been talking a lot about visibility. With a little flash here’s HappyStuffing’s taped up and highly visible ride:

The visibility theme continues with a bright jacket and reflective belt and cuffs… excellent dollar store finds:

Of course, you don’t need day-glo to be visible. Sometimes a suggestive slogan on your rack-mounted crate is all you need:

Okay, enough bicycles for a second. Let’s just enjoy the waterfront view… I’m glad this long stretch isn’t littered with condos (yet):

And seriously, bicycle computer, you’re pretending that it’s much warmer than it is:

Sure, you’ve probably seen this view a million times, but have you seen it by bicycle? Loverly:

The end of the line:

Just as we all arrive at Little Norway Park this guy rolls up and asks the way to Copenhagen:

Tour de Greenbelt – Sunday September 27, 2009 – Durham

On an overcast Sunday morning I boarded a school bus at the Toronto Mountain Equipment Co-op to participate in the Tour de Greenbelt. Traveling along the 400 series highways in Ontario you’re bound to pass at least on sign proclaiming entrance in to the Greenbelt. Here’s a handy map to show you where this Greenbelt is:

Ontario's Greenbelt

Essentially, to do an entire tour of the Greenbelt, by bicycle, would take days to complete. Instead, the organizers of the Tour de Greenbelt have selected a few interesting areas to run meandering bicycle tours and allow people to explore areas they may not have thought to do so on their own.

As the event continues to grow I’m certain more and more of the Greenbelt will be uncovered by cyclists. For me, I had the chance to discover a little bit of rural Ajax.

Our Living Countryside

Our bus landed us at Greenwood Conservation Area where we registered for the ride and had some coffee and bagels.

The mayor of Ajax, Steve Parish, was there to welcome us to his part of the Greenbelt. His speech was very passionate as he encouraged us to continue to set an example as ambassadors of cycling and that every time we hit the pavement (wheels down of course) we’re influencing others to do the same.

And then we got to do some embarrassing exercises:

And in a huge group, off we went:

You can’t really see it, but this guy had a crying baby up front. Brave guy:

Now, it may have been a coincidence, but a convoy of Ferraris passed us as we started the tour. Mr. Mayor, are you trying to sell us your town through quiet country roads populated only by cyclists and luxury cars?

Our first rest stop was in the hamlet of Whitevale. There’s a creek running through the centre of town, and a steep, bumpy road leading us to the bridge over this creek. While I held on for dear life I’m certain we passed through a quaint little slice of rural Ontario, but I missed much of it making sure I didn’t go ass over teakettle. At the bottom of the hill there was this cute snack bar:

Then I parked my bike to get an artful “city bike in the country” shot in front of the Whitevale flour mill:

From here we set off to finish the remainder of our 43 km ride. It was a relaxing ride where not one single car horn was honked at us. While fields may bore some people, escaping the city to experience country roads with a couple hundred cyclists is more than just seeing some nature. This event is about exploring our own massive backyard by bicycle. See you in 2010.

Did you go on any of the Tour de Greenbelt rides?