Monday, October 31, 2011

Winterbiking will commence soon!


'Bout that time of year again. We've got snowstorms all along the Eastern Seaboard, and it's only October 31st.

Bring it.

An update on my new winter bike soon!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Licensing Bicycles in Ottawa?

Both the Ottawa Citizen and the Ottawa Sun posted articles about City Council musings regarding the potential of bike licensing in Ottawa.
Councillor Monette’s been suggesting that licensing will:
  • Help pay for cycling infrastructure (as I assume he feels cyclists aren’t property owners and tax payers already).
  • Help Police identify wrongdoers.
  • Aid in reducing bike thefts.
  • Ensure safe cycling.
Personally this issue seems like a waste of time, and I commented on the Sun’s website with the following:
“I find Monette’s inquiry interesting. Foolhardy perhaps, but interesting.
The very concept of licensing cyclists represents the cognitive dissonance so often exemplified by certain City officials. One hand openly promotes cycling, while the other sees the activity as problematic and in need of greater control/administration.
The issue of licensing bicycles in Canada has a storied past and one does not need to look far before it becomes clear that the concept fails to achieve the intended results. For instance, this issue has been examined by the city of Toronto – perhaps the nation’s best candidate for a licensing system – on three separate occasions.
Each study resulted in recommendations to reject licensing due to:
  • The difficulty in keeping databases complete and current.
  • The difficulty in licensing children, given that they ride bikes too.
  • The fact that licensing in and of itself does not change the behaviour of cyclists who are disobeying traffic laws.
I would add that bicycle licensing will also set an unattractive precedent for other modes of transportation relied upon by city residents. Though bicycles are the most popular alternative vehicle, many residents also rely on mobility scooters, e-scooters, skateboards/longboards, and rollerblades. All these forms of transportation share the roads and pathways with cars and bicycles. Should they fall under the same licensing requirements? Perhaps a glib argument but certainly a consideration.
Given Toronto’s findings, and our own – as referenced by your article, it is clear that any study into bicycle licensing in Ottawa will unnecessarily waste both time and money.
Instead, resources should continue to promote safe and respectful cycling in the city. And officials and residents should take pride in the steps this city has taken with respect to promoting the benefits of biking.
I for one am proud that Ottawa recently received a silver-level cycling friendly community award.
I am proud of the city’s progressive bicycle infrastructure – we’ve introduced the Bixi, downtown segregated lanes, the commuter park and cycle pilot, and the Cycling Safety Training Courses.
In fact, these are accomplishments we should all be proud of. These initiatives help to ease congestion on the roads, mitigate environmental impacts, and improve the health of residents. As both a biker and car owner, I am happy to see these benefits first hand.”
See the article and comments from the Ottawa Sun here:

Friday, May 20, 2011

A Salient Argument Supporting the Economics of Biking

While many analysts, environmentalists, and yes even economists will expound on the financial prudence associated with biking, no argument is better than actually seeing the dollars leave your wallet.

An example? Sure.  How about, waking up, feeling kind of lazy, and deciding to drive the 3.5 km to work?  And maybe, wanting to save a few bucks, it made sense to park in a plaza, only to return to a 55 dollar ticket affixed to my windshield.

That my friends, is an example of the 'real' costs of not biking.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

What's Your Take on E-Bikes Using City Pathways?

Tonight and tommorow night, the City of Ottawa will  be holding consultations on proposed rules for e-bikes.

Currently e-bikes are allowed on all paths and bike lanes.

These bikes come in two categories:
1) Pedal Assisted bicycles.
2) Electric Scooters.

Personally, believe electric scooters, capable of 32kph, are not suitable for bike paths.  these vehicles are too heavy and too fast for the paths where (the max speed limit is posted at 20kph).  Plus, if I couldn't use them for my moped, why should a scooter be allowed to?

Pedal assited bicycles are certainly welcome on the paths. These bikes offer more sedentary people the option of biking, with a little help.  and sometimes people just need a little help to get rolling.

Now, I do think that the electric scooters should be allowed in bike lanes.  these electric vehicles are too slow for the road and need a place to roll.  so, take the bike lane, just respect other bikers and be safe.

If you'd like to have your say, here's the link to the city's consultations.  Let them know how you feel about the issue in person or via email.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Ottawa's Doing it right!

In a progressive decision, Ottawa's city council is greenlighting a new segregated bike lane from Bronson street to Elgin, along Laurier Avenue.

This is a big deal, and will make biking in Ottawa a lot less scary for the more inexperienced bikers.

It's really a great idea for those that are working downtown too.

Pat yourselves on the back Ottawa, you're becoming the European City that you're always compared to.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My Blades Came In

Yes, my Benmore Blades came in and I am very excited.

Wait, you haven’t heard of Benmore Blades?


Well given your admission, I can only assume that you don’t live in proximity of the world’s longest skating rink, a national treasure that happens to also be a Unesco World Heritage Site

Given my Holmesian deductive capabilities, I can also assume that you don’t live near Ottawa’s main competitor for that title, the River Trail, located in lovely Winnipeg Canada.


You don’t live near either of these fantastic attractions? 

How unfortunate. These two unique Canadian features shouldn’t be missed.  Perhaps you should plan a trip.  And, when you do, plan ahead so that you can 'skate' these fine Canadian attractions on the most innovative development longboarding has seen in years.



Benmore Blades are a fascinating invention by Ottawa’s very own custom longboarding provider, Benmore Boards.  These patented blades are ready to be slapped onto any of your decks. 

They are easy to set up, and easier to ride.  And at a cost of $65 dollars per set, they’re cheaper than my 83mm Abec 11s. 

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some longboarding to do. 


Monday, January 31, 2011

A short list of questionable ideas.

#1.  Zip Tie winter tires.

I give full points for innovation.  But I deduct points for everything else. 

Honestly, I like the DIY attitude, but I don't really understand why these are better than an 11 dollar Kenda knobby from Canadian Tire.

Why not just spend the 20 minutes it takes to switch out your slicks for grips?  Lastly, I really think these puppies are wasteful and largely unnecessary.  I say wasteful, because as they fall off, and as they fall, they just add to the ever increasing plastic waste that builds up.  

All that said.  I still love you lifehacker.  And when the apocalypse comes, and I have no access to knobby tires but complete access to 200 zip ties, I'll thank the person who submitted this idea.


#2.  The Horsey Silhouette. 

Ok, I know that this looks like someone put just drew the horse outline in microsoft paint, but it's a real thing!  Someone decided that riding your bike wasn't fun enough.  And to inject more fun, a horse silhouette was imperative!

And so, we have this gem.  I don't think I have to say much about this accessory.  I guess it makes a bold statement.  And hey, if you are having fun ... why not.  You just probably won't see me riding off into the sunset on this guy.