Mia Birk at TEDxPortland – Pedalling Towards a Healthier Planet

Mia Birk: President — Alta Planning + Design
In her book Joyride: Pedaling Toward a Healthier Planet, Mia Birk tells the dramatic story of how a group of determined visionaries transformed Portland into a cycling mecca and inspired the nation. She has spent over 21 years creating active communities where bicycling and walking are safe and fun daily activities. Former bicycle program manager for the City of Portland, Mia is currently teaching urban studies at Portland State University and is the president of Alta Planning + Design.

Street Books: A pedal-powered library in Portland

Learn more about this inspiring project here: Street Books

Johnnie Olivan Explores Possibilities With The Bike-Car

Here are three cool videos of Portland, OR bikesmith Johnnie Olivan and his recycled creations.

Learn more at Rejuiced Bikes

More videos are available on Vimeo and YouTube

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

What Happened to Bike Boxes in Toronto?


The above photo by Martin Reis is of a bike box that briefly existed at Harbord and Bathurst in 2008. I’m not sure what happened, but I certainly have not seen a bike box at this intersection this year. (Turns out this was a project by the Urban Repair Squad and not the City of Toronto)

Bike boxes are a great piece of infrastructure that give red light priority to cyclists. Currently, most bike lanes end a few metres from an intersection in Toronto. There are exceptions here and there, but the current way of dealing with one of the most dangerous sections of roads seems to be “let’em figure it out for themselves.” And, this results in angered drivers, squeezed cyclists and simply a lack of common sense at many intersections. I see it every morning on my commute.
While bike boxes may sound like bike lockers, there’s obviously a major difference. Here’s how the Urban Repair Squad explains bike boxes:
While a previous video explained the NYC bike boxes along one-way streets, this newer video explains how a bike box works on a two-way street:
Share your bike box stories and opinions in the BikingToronto Forum