Covet: Baye Hunter’s Beautiful Bicycle Photography as Prints and Cards

Bicycle Cards by Baye Hunter

I had the pleasure of meeting Baye Hunter at the MEC Bikefest on Saturday, July 3, 2010.

Baye is a talented photographer, painter and collage artist as well as a passionate cyclist. To see more cards like those pictured above visit Baye Hunter’s web site: www.bayehunter.com or stop by Urbane Cycist, BikeSauce, Musideum and the Blue Banana in Toronto.

You can currently see her watercolours of Toronto Island homes on display for the month of June 2010 at the Rectory Cafe on Toronto Island.

A Look at the St. Clair TTC Bike Shelter

TTC Bicycle Shelter St. Clair West Station

I stopped by the recently opening bicycle shelter at the St. Clair West TTC Station to take a few photos and try out the racks.

Located on the south side of St. Clair West and beside an station access point, this shelter is designed for daily use and offers some protection from the elements while your bicycle awaits your return.

Cradle Bike Rack at St. Clair West TTC Station

I’m not sure what these racks are called, so I’ll call them “offset cradle” racks. Offset because one bicycle is lifted higher than the other to allow for handlebar clearance as seen above.

Offset cradle Bike Rack at St. Clair West TTC Station

The cradle for your bicycle’s wheel was wide enough for my slightly fatter than normal 700c wheels. Big knobby mountain bike tires, or even balloon tires may have a tight squeeze in these racks. Arches attached to the cradles allow you to lock both your wheel and frame to the racks.

Lower cradle bike rack TTC St. Clair West Subway Station

"Offset Cradle" Bicycle Rack TTC Station St. Clair West

More of these bike shelters are expected to arrive at TTC stations throughout the rest of the year. Remember, these are for short-term parking only which is why they are only partially sheltered. Bicycles left for 48 hours may be removed.

TTC Bike Parking Notice St. Clair West Station

Have you been using the new bike shelter at the St. Clair West subway station? What do you think of this “offset cradle” style rack (and do you know what they are actually called)?

Covet: Beautiful, Handmade, Wooden Bicycle Baskets

Curved Custom Bicycle Crate Rack

Spotted near College Street and Dovercourt, a pair of bicycles with stunning most likely custom and handmade wooden crate baskets. The one pictured above had a curved bottom, which may help keep round objects from rolling around. Really dig the cut outs and the large size of both of these.

Round bottom wooden create bicycle basket

Square wooden crate bicycle basket

Square wooden crate bicycle basket with round holes

If anyone has any information on who made these, please share it in the comments below. I really like just how sturdy these looked, mine is starting to fail the test of time.

Shark Bike!

Shark Bike

Whoa, it’s a shark bike. And here’s a pink fish bike:

Pink Fish Bike

Photos by Kain Productions at the Coney Island Mermaid Day Parade.

416CycleStyle’s West Side CycleStyle Story

West Side CycleStyle Story via @416CycleStyle:

More photos of Toronto style and the bicycles below on 416 Cycle Style Toronto

Scenes from Toronto’s Group Commute – May 31, 2010

Bike to Work TorontoWhile I no longer bike to work, (I actually roll and then step to work in my home office) I still wanted free breakfast pancakes and chose to join the hundreds of Torontonians in the Bike Month Group Commute.

A whole lot of cyclists on the same route sure slows things down, but unlike when this happens with cars (every day), you can chit chat with your neighbour, sing a song or two and simply enjoy the fresh morning air.

Every day should be bike to work day for you. If it isn’t, ask yourself why? What is keeping you from biking to work? Is it because you feel you live too far? Is it because you don’t want to get sweaty? Is it because you don’t have a bike?

Remember, there are no good REASONS for not cycling to work, there are only EXCUSES.

Police Escort

Taking the Lane on Bloor Street

Join the Group

Into the Light

Congestion

The Meet Up

Cyclops in the Morning Light

Cyclops Dance

Political Will

Ontario Transportation Minister

Bike Union Mobile Service Station

Social Cycling: Go Green, Go Dutch, Go Bike! Toronto 2010

Go Dutch ShirtWhen people mention nations that are leading the way for cycling and cycling infrastructure, most often you’ll hear a thing or two about the Dutch.

In the Netherlands, 60% of the population prefers to make daily trips by bicycle. There are more bicycles in the Netherlands than there are people (1.11 to every person) and you don’t have to look far to find some of the best and most-used cycling infrastructure on the planet here.

Started in 2007, the Dutch Consulate in Toronto has been organizing a annual bicycle ride to raise funds and provide bicycles and resources for city children whose families are unable to afford them.

Go Green, Go Dutch, Go Bike! is also an excellent opportunity for Dutch ex-pats to get together, ride their bikes and enjoy some Dutch foods.

My girlfriend, mother and I rode our bikes to Etienne Brule park along Toronto’s Humber River on a sunny Sunday:

Orange Shirts

Mom and Cat

King of the Dutch

Speedy Gazelle

Dutch Family Car

Orange Under the Bridge

Orange Over the Bridge

Green and Orange Path

White Bridge Orange Shirts

Orange You Glad You Bike?

Lake Ontario

Snaking Along the Martin Goodman Trail

Looking Back Along Martin Goodman Trail

Riding Together

More Bike Lanes Please

Dutch Pride

Dutch Parking at City Hall

Kroketten

Presentation

Cycle Chic

Fourth Floor Cycle Chic

Deadly Nightshade Prairie Cycle Chic

And, did you know that as part of the Lets Go Ride a Bike Summer Games you could win your own Batavus BuB? Participating is fun and easy, in this post along you saw me join a group ride and go cycling with my family. Click on the image below to learn more and participate as well:

Every day I hear Bells on Bloor

Every day I hear bells on Bloor.

Bike Lanes on BloorWalking down the street, I hear bells. Sitting and sipping in a coffee shop, I hear bells. At the library, running errands, meeting with friends, and all the time, I hear bells.

Each one of those bells is connected to a cyclist. A mother riding her bicycle to work. A family riding their bikes home from the park. Students riding their bikes to class.

And each one of those bells is asking so little of you. That bell is a kind request for a little attention and a little space. “See me,” says these bells.

On Saturday, May 29th, 2010, a symphony of bells launched from High Park and made its way with music and joy to Queen’s Park. Bells on Bloor brings together the individual bells you hear on Bloor Street each and every day and asks for attention, we ask you for bike lanes on Bloor.

Orange and Yellow

Speaker

Speaker 2

Performance

Supporters

She and Him

Sing a Song of Support

A Symphony of Bells

Group Riding

Downhill

Uphill

Pirates Sing

Musical Accompaniment

Tutu

ToddT

Eye in the Sky

And the band played on

Little One

Queen's Park

Bells on Bloor Cycle Chic

The End

Show your support, sign the petition: Bike Lanes on Bloor

Commuter Bicycle Review: Marin Hamilton 29er

It’s been about a year since I purchased a Marin Hamilton 29er from The Cycle Shoppe on Queen Street West in Toronto…

Marin Hamilton 29er Commuter Bicycle

…and boy, oh boy, what a year it’s been.

I weighed about 30 lbs more back then. I wanted a bicycle to take me around town at night. I wanted a way to get around the city without relying on public transit. What I got was an entire lifestyle shift. What I got was a simple tool that has helped me change my life.

Now, can I place these miraculous events squarely on the shoulders of a bicycle? Certainly not. I say all of this just to prepare you for why I’ve grown to love this bicycle. The Marin Hamilton 29er may not have the latest in cycling technology and may not be the coolest kid on the block. But the Marin Hamilton 29er is a darn good bike and here’s why:

Simplicity.

You get big, round wheels. There’s just one speed. The simple, sturdy u-brakes and levers work well. There are braze-ons where you need them most (so you can mount racks and fenders). Everything is painted black. And the frame has a proven mountain bike geometry that is at once both aggressive and comfortable. Out of the box this bicycle will take you to work, it will take you along paths and trails and it isn’t fussy about spending a few hours locked to a post and ring.

Simplicity defines the Marin Hamilton 29er

Simple, effective, fun

As you can see above, I’ve added a few accessories to make this bicycle a commuting machine.

First, I added a pair of Planet Bike Cascadia Hybrid fenders purchased at Mountain Equipment Co-op ($29 CAD). The “29er” in the bicycle’s name refers to wheel size. In simplest terms, 29ers seem to be 700c only just a little wider. Unfortunately, this made fitting the fenders a little difficult. The Planet Bike Hybrids fit up to a 28 inch wheel, so I had to do a little bending and tweaking to get them to not rub my tires. I also had to flatten a basket clamp in order to mount the front fender as seen below:

Flattened Basket Clamp to Mount Planet Bike Cascadia Hybrid Fender

In the end, the frustration was worth every second of it. The fenders are made of a resilient plastic and bend and squish when I have to lock the bike up at odd angles. I’ve ridden through intense downpours and this fenders handle the rain and dirt exceptionally well. They complement the bike in their simple design and overall effectiveness.

Second, I added a rear rack, also from MEC ($15 CAD). Again, simple, sturdy and black. MEC panniers fit on these racks very securely, and a bungee along the top is essential for small bags and other loads.

Seat mounted lock and MEC rear rack

And third, I replaced the terrible plastic pedals that all lower-end bicycles seem to come with. After getting wet once and with just a few dozen kms on them, the pedals wouldn’t spin properly and felt as though they’d been greased with sand. A quick swap, but a shame those stock pedals are such poor quality.

Last year, I wrote a post about my North Toronto commute. Since then, I’ve moved to a different part of Toronto and started working from home. I did manage to get about 4,000 kms of cycling in on my Hamilton 29er and I continue to add to that number now, although not at 50 km per day as before.

Over those 4,000 km I’ve crashed once, had 4 flats and replaced the brake pads. That’s it. 4,000 km and I’ve spend under $100 on maintenance and replacement parts. I have had sheltered, year-round bicycle parking, so your costs may be higher if you leave this bicycle out in the rain and snow. But, I’m pretty impressed. I still think of repair costs in terms of my long-gone car. A tick or growl would mean I’d be out $500 at least.

That said, it looks like I’ll be replacing the tires on my Marin soon:

Toronto Roads Wear You Down

A few months back I rotated my tires, Continental TownRide come stock. The rear tire was a little worn and has large gashes every few inches. Toronto streets are mean. I’ve ridden over glass, scrap metal, broken bricks and anything else that falls from cars and trucks. I’m impressed with the durability of these tires over 4,000 km.

One is Fun

If you’re more interested in the very specific technical details and geometry of this bicycle, you can head over to the Marin site. While I’ve been riding the 2009 Marin Hamilton 29er, the 2010 model is almost identical.

And, if you’d like to give one a try head on over to The Cycle Shoppe at 630a Queen Street West in Toronto.

UPDATE: Since writing this initial post I’ve made some changes to the Hamilton 29er including the conversion to a Nexus 8-Speed Redline Internal Hub. Read about the upgrade here: Recent Upgrade to Nexus Redline 8-Speed Hub

Cycle Chic as Advocacy?

First Cycle Chic Photo

Is the simple act of riding a bicycle in your everyday clothes a form of advocacy? Capturing these moments and sharing them online may be more than just bicycle voyeurism. See why in the video below: