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Art Spin – a bicycle tour of Toronto art galleries – tomorrow night at 7PM!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

As reported here, and here in BikingToronto, Art Spin combines art, group cycling and fun, four times a year in Toronto’s Art District, Queen Street West.

Here’s an update I received from Art Spin a couple of days ago (sorry for the late post), about tomorrow evenings jaunt.

This year’s third of four ‘Outings’ leaves the gates at Trinity Bellwoods Park (at Queen) at 7PM sharp. If you come early at 6:30 you can ‘Art-Up your bike’ or participate in a free ‘fix-it session’ courtesy of Bike Pirates, who can help you to tune up your bike before the tour and give great advice/help on all bicycle maintenance issues.

Here’s the itinerary for Thursday evenings Art Spin:

ArtSpin August Event Poster

ArtSpin August Event Poster

Art Spin can be found here, and here.

Have fun, and drink plenty of water! ;)


Posted: August 25th, 2010
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Can you see me, now?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

I thought it was a neon sculpture at first.


Christopher Isherwood "My Bike" Drawn with a bike light....(Link to full size is in the pic – new tab/window)

If I understand the process correctly, Christopher Isherwood (Flickr) made this by tracing the outline in front of the bicycle in the dark with a bike light while photographing with a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XS camera, a slow ISO speed, a wide aperture and a long exposure time.

See the camera profile data (or Exif data) for this shot from Flickr

Via BoingBoing: “Tales of a bike messenger / acid head
by Mark Frauenfelder Friday, Aug 20, 2010.

Which is, incidentally, a must read article.


Posted: August 21st, 2010
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Mapping “Toronto’s Best Bike Lane”

Today BikingToronto announced the winner of “Toronto’s Best Bike Lane Contest”. Route 35: St. George and Beverly Streets (Dupont and St. George to Beverly and Queen)

It wasn’t already in the Bike Route Mapping Wiki collection, so I made a map of it. Happily Google allows us to embed maps we make, so here it is – in full interactive mode! :)

View “Toronto’s Best Bike Lane” as Voted By You! in a larger map

See this blogs sister site, “The Bike Route Mapping Wiki“. (this map will be there soon.)


Posted: August 17th, 2010
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BoingBoing’s Cory Doctorow’s take on stolen bicycle scapegoat, Igor Kenk

Monday, August 16th, 2010

I spent 20 years on Queen West. Queen and Bathurst was my village’s Main Square. I’d say to people, ‘I never go east of University, north of College or west of of Ossington’; but it wasn’t true, I regularly broke my neighborhood vow when I needed bicycle stuff. At that time Igor’s store was near Gladstone Ave, 6 blocks west of my western boundary, out near that upscale, hip new Gladstone Hotel that everyone’s talking about these days.

Google Map of Gladstone Ave

Google Map of Gladstone Ave

In those days the Gladstone was a dump and that corner was Igor’s Bike Shop, the Elvis Restaurant, the Pawn Shop and the drug bazaar I mean the coffee shop.

When Igor was busted for selling stolen bikes in the early 90′s his sentence was that he had to keep better records of transactions. In all my dealings with him he made sure the paper work got done.

In my experience people didn’t love Igor. Igor didn’t covet love, I think he wanted people to be scared of him a little bit. Those who stayed around did so because they thought that was kind of interesting for someone who was trying to run as business – and they themselves were interesting people. Igor is an interesting, complicated person.

When the gentrification of Queen West was almost ‘com-plete’ (à la Darkman (1990) Female Computer Voice: “Synthetic digitization complete”), and many of the ‘interesting’ people had already left the neighborhood, Igor was surrounded by people who wished he’d leave too.

Their financed-with-mortgage-money-condo’s could be worth a holiday to Cancun Mexico if the crazy man would just move that filthy store somewhere else…

Last week at BongBoing, Toronto native, Cory Doctorow – publisher of BoingBoing – put up his take on the Queen West bicycle mechanic…

From BoingBoing Friday August 13, 2010

Kenk: graphic novel humanizes Toronto’s most notorious bike-thief without apologising for him

by Cory Doctorow

Richard Poplak and Nick Marinkovich’s Kenk: A Graphic Portrait is a journalistic inquiry into the life of Igor Kenk, Toronto’s notorious stolen bike peddler, told in comic form.

I’ve known Igor since I was 18 years old, and truth be told, I found him confusing, likable, maddening, hilarious, charismatic, criminal, and even honourable after his own fashion. The Slovenian entrepreneur and bike-mechanic was a packrat (Kenk implies that he is a pathological hoarder, and I think this fits) and a seamy, rough-and-ready type who seemed to have stepped out of the pages of a Bruce Sterling story. He occupied a succession of shops at the western end of Queen Street in Toronto, long before the neighbourhood became fashionable, back when it was a depressed and seedy little strip in the middle of nowhere.

Igor used to fix my bikes (and very well, too, at reasonable prices — and even on credit when I was broke), and inevitably a simple repair would turn into hours of conversation out front of his shop or back in its jammed interior, sandwiched into the tiny clear spaces between the mountains of bike-junk and refuse harvested from sidewalks and garage sales and dumps. I traded in my bike for a better one, paying the difference with cash, just before he was arrested in the early 1990s, charged with selling stolen bikes. Among the bikes that the police seized as stolen property was my old bike, which I had owned for 15 years and had traded in fair and square. I concluded then that no matter what Igor was up to, he was also being railroaded by the authorities.


read the rest…


Posted: August 16th, 2010
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Video: Art Spin – a bicycle tour of Toronto art galleries

“Art Spin” as Duncan has already posted here at BikingToronto “Events”, “ an art crawl style bicycle tour of art galleries, art performances and artist’s studios in Toronto’s west end art district.

I found the video below while browsing Vemeo with the search terms “newest” and “cycling”.

The next tour is Thursday, August 26th. Meet at the bottom of Trinity Bellwoods Park (on Queen, at the Gates) at 6:30 for a ‘bling your ride’ opportunity. The tour embarks at 7:00 sharp!

The Neighborhood Arts Network produced this video of a recent Art Spin event.

ArtSpin from Neighbourhood Arts Network on Vimeo.

Stay tuned for more details on this months Art Spin itinerary. I will (or you can) update this post in comments as more details become available.


Posted: August 11th, 2010
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