Dec 15, 2009

New Blog - Visit Us Over There!

Hey All

I have a new blogspot setup - The BikeBike Blog - come visit us over there!

I will be posting about the various goings-on at the store as well as the adventures that will inevitably arise while living car-free.

Cheers!

Nov 30, 2009

New Directions!

Hey All!

Well, the time has come for me to do something I have been dreaming and thinking about since my first days as a young teen in my local bike store back in Etobicoke ON - I am opening my own shop here in Calgary.

About a year ago, I was struck by what I like to call an "entrepreneurial seizure" and it was right then that I decided that the time had come for me to make the leap into small business ownership. There are many reasons why this "seizure" happened, not the least of which is a desire to make a positive impact in my community - but importantly, I feel that Calgary has an unmet demand for a bike store that is a little different, very accessible to non-cyclists, passionate, and professional.

BikeBike's focus will be to provide products, services, and advice to people who are looking to make bicycles a bigger part of their daily life. We will have bikes for families, bikes for commuting, bikes for exploring and shopping - everyday bicycles. We will also be working really hard to offer Calgarians a bikeshop experience that is fresh, modern, and professional.

As a result of this new direction I will be not be posting here too too often. I am hoping to setup a blog of some sort on our store webpage so if you are looking for my rants and opinions it might be best to check the store website in the future.

If you would like to support our new store, feel free to follow our progress on Twitter or if you are the Facebook sort, you can find our BikeBike FanPage here. You can also click on the title of this post and that will direct you to our website. The website does not have much on it for now but will be updated as we approach the opening date - sometime in February 2010 is the projected opening.

If you like, you can also email me and i can add you to our email list. We promise not to spam you!

Make sure you come visit us soon!

Happy Trails!

Nov 21, 2009

Bicycle Repairman!



what can you say - Monty Python is awesome!

Nov 17, 2009

Wow! Am I Glad Times Have Changed!

click on the title to get back to where i found this.



what can you say to this? too funny!

Nov 15, 2009

Fall Polo

november polo here in calgary should not be possible due to our northern exposure and proximity to the mountains. however, the snow seems to be falling in the mountains only and leaving us with a nice dry court. todays polo was good, although we could have used 2 more bodies for a full game - but the 2-on-2 made sure we stayed warm against the fading sun and cool winds.



picture from here.

Nov 14, 2009

Upcoming Bike Infrastructure Session for the Strathcona Community

pulled from www.bikecalgary.org -

November 23 Strathcona Bike Route Information Session
5 - 8 p.m., Strathcona Community Centre, 277 Strathcona Dr. S.W.

As part of The City's commitment to encouraging alternative forms of transportation, we are proposing improvements to bicycle routes in the Strathcona community. A public information session will be held to share the concept designs with interested members of the public and to gain feedback.

Contact: Mat MacDonald, 403-268-2196 or email: mathew.macdonald@calgary.ca

Nov 13, 2009

30 Seconds to Mars Video Featuring Bikes Bikes Bikes!



i really like one of the lyrics - "...we are the kings and queens of progress..."

found here.

Nov 7, 2009

Andreas Taking Pictures

click on the title to see more of my 'lil man's photo work today.

we rode over to the douglas fir trail for a hike this morning. it was beautiful out, maybe a little chilly, but wonderful to be out before everyone else.
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Nov 4, 2009

Road Raging Driver Found Guilty

(photo from velonews)

a driver in california has been found guilty on all counts in the case involving him and 4 cyclists who he braked suddenly in front of to "teach them a lesson". the picture here shows you the bloody aftermath of that "lesson".

UPDATE - guilty on all counts!

for more info on this case, check out velonews, as they have been covering all aspects of this case.

one of the things that really resonated with me was the comments made by the doctor - that he wanted to teach them a lesson. what lesson was he planning on teaching these riders by impailing them with his bumper? that cars rule the roads? that he is entitled to the road because he is rich and driving a fancy car? that cyclists are second-class road users, and as such, can be crashed off the road at will? its too bad the officer didnt ask him what lesson exactly he was teaching them?

also interesting were the comments by one of the victims -"...to be honest, it's sad for both sides. I'm glad it sends a message to the community that it is dangerous and we have to watch out, but at the end of the day, I lost a lot of my time and my life, and he's losing a lot of his.”

who knows whether this case will resonate in the enforcement community - aka police, who, historically have tended to regard car-bike collisions as minor fender benders and not personal injury situations. ask almost anyone who has had a run-in with a motorist and quite often the attending officer - if one shows up at all - almost alway approach the the situation with a pro-car stance. dont believe me? ask around.

the reality is that is you are riding a bike and a driver decides to "teach you a lesson" you are going to find yourself on the receiving end of a personal injury while the driver might have dent in his sheet metal.

hardly equitable outcomes for the driver and cyclist.

this case illustrates a huge problem we have here in canada and the US. for 60 years now; governments and industry have been squeezing out other road users to accommodate the single occupancy vehicle to the expense of our health, our communities, and our future. beacause of this, motorists have been sold the idea that streets are the sole domain of vehicles only, when in reality, streets are in the public domain and are for use by everyone.

people. bikes. everyone.

add to that mix the media feeding us images of beautiful people in fancy cars, on wide open roads, travelling at a million miles an hour - and you can begin understand, to a point, why motorists are getting more frustrated and aggressive while behind the wheel. essentially, we have been lied to for 60 years by the car industry and - although people probably dont make those connections consciously, they are feeling it inside them and acting out in dangerous ways.

thankfully, some governments are beginning to awaken to the disaster that has been created and are trying to correct the imbalance. we have a long way to go but we are beginning to move in the right direction.

Nov 3, 2009

Bike Industry Needs to Spend More on Bike Advocacy

the president of trek bicycles, john burke, presenting his ideas at the taipei cycle show last year. basically, he is saying that the bike industry needs to divert some of their R&D/Advertising dollars towards advocacy efforts that are going on around the world.

makes sense, right? i mean, if you are a bike company, wouldnt you want to support the efforts of those organizations that are trying to get more people on bikes?



found here

Oct 31, 2009

Riding to School


andreas loves our new whip and is begging to go for a ride in the madsen everyday.

i find myself making up reasons to take him out in it.

what a great problem to have!

Oct 30, 2009

First Grocery Run a la Madsen

yesterday had me heading out for the first grocery shop on the new bike. after dropping off Andreas at school (he giggled the whole way!) i headed out to the westhills shopping district, with staples, the post office, and superstore on the to-do list.

as you can see in the top photo it was pretty chilly with a light dusting of snow on the ground and patches of black ice here and there (more on that in a moment). i live really close to a safeway, about 4 blocks, but decided that a longer trip out to westhills was needed to give the bike a better test ride. the ride over to my local safeway is about 5 minutes, the ride to westhills worked out to exactly 15 minutes.

one thing i have noticed (not sure if i am imagining this) is that cars are giving me more space than on a regular bike. i like this. i am guessing the reasons are that the bike is very visible, being bright baby blue and/or they are hanging back before passing me 'cuz they are checking out this machine they've never seen before. either way, i like this too.

so, nothing special to report about the stops at staples and the post office. upon arrival at the superstore, i locked up the bike and went looking for a shopping cart. i forgot that the carts here require a loonie to release them and i was without cash. so, off it was on foot over to the bank to get some cash.

well, as luck would have it, i wiped out on some black ice walking across the parking lot. walking, not riding. figures i crash walking, not cycling. probably should have been wearing my pedestrian helmet!

$150 later, we're loaded up and ready to go! success!

one thing i noticed when running errands with this bike is that there is nowhere on the bike to keep things stored securely, i mean, out of sight. this is a problem that needs to be solved, and i think i have a solution.

i am going to make a full deck that will sit right where the seats are now. it will fit snugly in where the seats are, except that when it is in place, you will not be able to see whats underneith it. once it is complete, i'll post some pics.

otherwise, the madsen is doing what it is suppose to do. nice.
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Oct 29, 2009

Bike to Work Guide

this 52-page online magazine is packed full of very useful information on what to do if you want to start commuting to work. i would also suggest that this guide is very useful for people who simply want to add local bicycle trips (shopping, errands, etc) into their daily lives.

click on the picture and read through. also, make sure you pass this link onto those in your own community who need a little push to try biking again.



found here.

Oct 28, 2009

Madsen kg271 Bucket BIke

madsen is based in salt lake city and has been selling bikes for a few short years. this is their first model and enters that market as an affordable box bike.

it arrived at my door in the biggest bike box ever, was fully assembled and mostly ready to go. i had to do a few adjustments and tire seating before the first ride - that was about it. braking duties are handled by a cable disc brake on the front and a v-brake on the back. shifting is provided by a sram 8-speed rear derailleur. a bell, full fenders, chainguard, 2 seats and 4 seatbelts and super-sturdy kickstand are also standard issue. i am especially happy to have the seat and seatbelts for transporting andreas around.

being that this bike is slotted into the "affordable" category (under $2000) of box bike it does come with low-spec parts, tires and hardware, although, this doesnt seem to be noticeable when you are riding the bike. i will be curious to see how some of these parts hold up over the long term.

how does it feel? fast! man-o, this thing feels pretty fast, of course you have to consider its length and weight. the only bike i have to compare was my old xtracycle "tankbike" and the madsen feels much tighter, faster, and sturdier. it proudly states it weight limit right in its name - kg271 (thats almost 600lbs folks!) but definitely doesnt ride like a bike that is basically a pickup truck. the gear range is more than enough for me but others may find themselves wishing for one more easy gear on some of the steeper slopes around here and the sram shifter and derailleur performed perfectly.

my only real complaint (and its not really a complaint as i knew i would have to change a few things) is that the handlebar that it came with is too narrow for me on a big bike like this and the tires and saddle are pretty cheesy.

cant wait to do my first grocery shop and farmers market run soon. i hope andreas likes it too as this will be the way he gets to school everyday.




Oct 27, 2009

The Bloody Ball Halloween Alley Cat!



see you there? what are you dressing up as?

Oct 16, 2009

Move Over Lance - There's a New Super(Urban)Cyclist in Town!

do you recognize this man?

yes? good we can move on.

no?

if you answered no, you are either really young, super uncool, or in need of some music education. maybe even some education on recent bicycle advocacy news.

this is a photo of david byrne. bicycle advocacy's first superstar supporter posing with one of his bike rack designs.

in a very short period of time he has become bicycle advocacy's highest profile booster and the timing could not be better. cities all over the world are starting to take the first steps towards creating more safe places to cycle and he is exactly the kind of person we need to push the "bicycles for transportation" agenda forward.

here he is chatting with a journalist while riding in NY. here he is chatting with george strombo, and whats cool, is they talk about bikes before anything else. here is the youtube page with a bunch more videos of him and bikes. the point i am trying to make is that in what seems to be a very short period of time, he has placed himself squarely in the bikelane and is happy to be spreading the good word about transportation cycling and why more cycle infrastructure is good for cities.

i recently picked up a copy of his latest book and have been very slowly working my way through it. the book is not so much about bicycles, but more about exploring places by bike and how the bike can transform the way people see the world around them. he has been using bikes while touring the world for decades - here is a short passage -

"this point of view - faster than a walk, slower than a train, often slightly higher than a person - became my panoramic window on much of the world over the last thirty years - and it still is. its a big window and it looks out on a mainly urban landscape. ...through this window i catch glimpses of the mind of my fellow man, as expressed in the cities he lives in. cities, it occurred to me, are physical manifestations of our deepest beliefs and our often unconscious thoughts, not so much as individuals, but as the social animals we are."

interesting perspective and the more i think about it, the more those statements make real sense. have a look around the city you live in and think about those statements he made.

anyway, i am hopeful that transportation cycling issues can be moved forward by the superstar power a guy like david byrne generates.

keep it up david!

Oct 13, 2009

The Wave


i was reading an article in an american paper about bicycling and bicycle advocacy and one thing in that article really struck me - the author talked about how we (cyclists) are in fact, all more or less the same - whether we are racers, commuters, or bottle pickers, or anything in between.

it doesnt matter whether you dodge traffic downtown all day delivering packages, ride once a week on the pathway with your kids, slip into your lycra and head out into the wind to crush yourself with some intervals, or shred trails in the mountains on your full-sus'd mtb.

we all sit on a saddle, push pedals, and move forward. we all have to deal with the weather in all its forms. we all fall off eventually.

we are all members of the same tribe - the tribe of bike.

and, as like in every tribe, there are families within the tribe with their own customs, likes/dislikes, and ways of doing things to get from sunrise to sunset. these families include...

- messengers
- commuters
- racers - all of 'em in all their forms
- recreational riders, aka weekend warriors
- freeriders/downhillers
- bmx/flatland riders
- xc mtb riders
- errand runners
- pathway users
- urban hipsters/fakengers/posengers
- and some i cant think of right now. you get the picture.

the point is this - we all have to share the same spaces, deal with the same issues, and feel the same exhileration by simply pushing the pedals.

simple - push for pleasure.

which brings me to "the wave". one of the ways that we (cyclists) can begin to acknowledge our tribe is to employ "the wave" - as demonstrated by the happy fellow above. here are the steps...

1 - using your eyes, spot an oncoming cyclist
2 - using your hand (either one will do, but the left is best), simply remove your hand from the bars and acknowledge the other cyclist.
3 - if removing your hands would be dangerous, a nod to the oncoming cyclist can achieve the same effect.
4 - bask in the feeling of connectedness with your fellow tribe member and ready yourself to wave again.

this simple gesture will undoubtedly catch some of guard and they may not wave back. do not fret. simply do it again at the next cyclist. this simple gesture lets others know that you see them, you are a cyclist too, and you are part of their ride too. this simple gesture can brighten someones day and embolden them to wave at someone else. pay it forward if you will.

be an active part of the tribe of bike. wave at me. i promise to wave back, or nod if i am afraid i might spill my drink.

Update - it appears i need to add brompton owners to the list above - especially after watching this...

Oct 9, 2009

Urban Legends Fashion Show



i had the opportunity to watch this while i was in las vegas attending the interbike show. good music, free beer, and plenty of rad bikes with stylish riders.

fun!

Oct 4, 2009

Movie Trailer for Calgary Hardcourt Bike Polo



have a look - pretty good effort by sean speer - aka seanbob. looking forward to the full edit, which i understand is being premier'd at the year end polo party.

Sep 28, 2009

Las Vegas Baby!



keep your eyes peeled for me (green shirt), james from campione, and john from bow cycle. so awesome to play polo in vegas!

also, check this link for photos from the Interbike show floor, as well as a couple videos of CrossVegas and the Urban Legends Fashion Show.

Sep 14, 2009

Bike Shorts Film Fest Tomorrow!


for more information on the programming, tickets, and times - check out www.bikecalgary.org.

Sep 7, 2009

European Hardcourt Bike Polo Champeenchips!

Polo from RockSteady! on Vimeo.

polo is so fun it should be illegal!

Sep 4, 2009

Dead Cyclists (sadly) Not Really Unexpected

the airwaves and internet has been abuzz all week with news surrounding the death of toronto-area cyclist Darcy Allan Sheppard.

anyone who has ridden a bike on the roads for any length of time will find this situation to be shocking, sad, and not really surprising. we have all had run-ins with irate motorists that can be something simple as drivers yelling the ridiculous standard "Get Off The Road!" (which immediately demonstrates the motorists ignorance of the rules of the road) or the equally stupid "Roads Are For Cars! Paths Are for Bikes!".

sometimes drivers will use their vehicle as a weapon by not giving you space and buzzing you, passing so close you could reach into the vehicle. sometimes drivers will pass you then jam up against the curb trying to prevent you from passing them. really big assholes will swerve their vehicle right at you. really really big assholes will throw things from their moving vehicle as they pass you. personally, i have been spit on, been hit by beer cans, hit by spare change (that hurt alot) and too many beer bottle near misses to count. on every single occasion, i was riding along minding my own business and simply trying to get where i was going.

variations on these incidents have been experienced by probably every single cyclist. every one of these incidents serve to create quite a bit of animosity and mistrust towards motorists. that animosity and anger felt by many cyclists towards motorists can occasionally boil over and explode. personally, i can see why many cyclists lose it and fight back - u-lock justice we'll call it. u-lock justice comes in many forms, and experienced cyclists have their own responses - keying vehicles, smashing taillights or side mirrors, spitting into vehicles - retribution takes many forms. none of it is good, but completely understandable.

the truth is, legislators and administrators still view bicycles/cyclists as second class citizens. dont believe me? see what happens if you have a run-in with a motorist. police rarely side with the cyclist and usually try to find some way to let the motorist off-the-hook. another truth - more cyclists are going to die on canadian roads before we are given the protection we deserve. by protection i mean more designated road space, equal protection under the law, and proper education of motorists (and cyclists) relating to our collective responsibility on the roads.

many motorists see bicycles as pests, merely a insect to be smeared on their windshields at the first opportunity. many motorists see cyclists as second class citizens because they are on bikes and not in a car. motorists see the roads as THEIRS ALONE - not to be shared with other users. dont believe me, read the comments at the end of this news item. or this news item. or this one. or this one.

get the picture?

so, where to go from here?

hopefully this tragic incident will push toronto's city council to finally get on with creating safe bicycling spaces for cyclists. hopefully this incident will inform other cities as to the very real threat that cyclists face almost daily. hopefully no one else needs to die.

Aug 29, 2009

Building Tall Bikes







the full set of photos can be found here.

Aug 28, 2009

Calgary Critical Mass Organizer Pulls the Plug


long time critical mass organizer, grant neufeld, is finished with organizing this ride. you can read his blog post explaining his reasons by clicking on the title of this post. you can also get more info on this ride by checking this out.

ending are also beginnings.

does calgary have enough "bike culture" to support a monthly advocacy ride?

is there a need for an advocacy ride at all?

could calgary cyclists raise bike-awareness with a different ride? maybe a ride that is more focused on having fun and less on agitating motorists? i think so.

maybe the end of critical mass with birth a new monthly fun ride? i could support that.

Aug 27, 2009

Haultain and 1st Urban Festival

what are doing on sunday the 13th? nothing? perfect. why not check out this cool little event.

my understanding is that the organizer is encouraging people to bring their bikes down for a show-and-shine, trackstand comp and freakbike showcase.

got a cargo bike? bring it.

got a freaky tall bike? bring it.

got a beautiful cruiser? those are cool too!

a few of us are (hopefully!) going to build some tall bikes this weekend and we are talking about bringing them down to the show-and-shine.

i cant wait to swing my leg (way!) over my very own tall bike - stay tuned for pics if it is indeed built.

Aug 18, 2009

Bow River Flow


this sunday, from 10am-4pm the two eastbound lanes of memorial drive near kensignton will be closed for a one-day trial of a "ciclovia" type event for the first time in calgary's history.

the initial idea floated by ald. farrell was to hold the event on 4 consecutive sundays in august - however, after a huge amount of critisism from other aldermen and some media in the city, the event has been reduced to one day this year. if all goes well there is a chance that this type of event could expand to include a longer route and more days. i say - BRAVO!

calgary's love affair with cars has been allowed to go unchecked for long enough. the time has come to take back some of the streets for a few hours a week for people, bikes, and the community in general. fighting car culture will be hard, but with events like this, we may begin to have a chance to show car-loving calgarians what this city can be in the future - if we just get out of our cars once and awhile.

all of us who love this city and want to see a more sustainable, ped/bike friendly community need to support this event and events like it.

streets are for people too! see you out there!

Aug 13, 2009

Hypocracy on the Pathways?

the calgary herald has an article in the paper today about speed enforcement on the pathways.

why hypocracy?

simple. the city has been actively encouraging calgarians to get out of their cars and to try and find other ways to commute to work - including cycling - and invariably, many of these cycle commuters end up on the regional pathway network because calgary lacks a connected network of crosstown, on-street bikeways that are safe, well signed, and maintained.

the problem is that the speed limit on the pathways is 20kph - and 10kph in many other areas - and any reasonably fit person can cycle at 25-35kph without much difficulty - possibly resulting in a speeding ticket from bylaw bill.

so, from the saddle of this guys bike, calgary bylaws seem to unfairly targeting cyclists on the pathways. i have never seen an irresponsible dog owner or clueless pedestrian receiving a ticket, or even a warning - yet bylaws feels that cyclists are the user-group that needs to be punished more than any other.

i guess what i am getting at is this - bylaw bill would not need to worry so much about speeding cyclists on the pathways if there was a well signed and maintained city-wide network of on-street bikeways (pained bike lanes) with route-finding signage. if we had such a network, people could travel from all over the city on a direct road network and maybe never need to be on the recreational pathways during their commute.

less cyclists on the pathway = less conflicts with slower user-groups.

what is this city waiting for?

calgary has arguably the biggest "network" (term used loosely) of pathways (and some on-street bikeways) in north america yet this "network" is not yet connected to itself in so many places, making use of this "network" becomes an exercise in route-finding, map-reading, and urban exploration. all of that is fine on the weekend, not so fine when you are trying to get to work on time.

Aug 1, 2009

PathwayPedalPotluck - August 15

everyone is welcome to join us!

hope to see you there!

Jul 30, 2009

JUST FOR LAUGHS - BICYCLE RACE



just a little something to giggle at today. i think this might be fun to do during the "commuter olympics" that happens every morning along the pathways into downtown.

Jul 28, 2009

STOLEN!

























about 10 days ago, during a weekend evening, some folks walking down the alley behind my house felt brazen enough to waltz into my yard and steal 4 bikes from me - including my sons trail-a-bike.

thankfully, the trail-a-bike was found along with my dads bike and the brown bike but the fuzzy bike is gone. keep your eyes open for it - its kinda hard to miss and we really miss having its fuzzy-happy-vibe here.

so, after the bikes were stolen we decided it would be a good idea to move the rack to a more secure location down the side of my house. you cannot see the bikes from the alley now and we were feeling better about continuing to keep bikes in the rack and not worrying about bikes being ripped off.

well, that doesnt seem to matter as someone has again stolen bikes from me - this time it was one of my dyno cruisers and i am pissed! its obvious to me that whoever stole bikes that first time has come back and pinched another bike from me and i think that fact is what is bugging me the most.

i have been targeted by someone and they feel comfortable enough that they can trespass on my property and steal bikes from me at will. well, mr.bikethief, i have some news for you. if i find you riding my bikes you had better be feeling fit because i am going to chase you down, take back my bike(s) and offer some "hard education" on the results of thieving from this guy.

please keep your eyes open for me and if you think you have seen these bikes, let me know.

Jul 23, 2009

BICYCLES X HIPHOP



here is another, somewhat related satirical video

LEGO CITY BIKE SHOP

i dont know if you are a lego fan or not - but you have to admit that a lego bike shop is pretty cool.

the set has been added to lego's "city" range and includes a bike shop, pizzaria, transit bus and a bike mechanic. no indication yet whether the mechanic is certified to perform repairs on lego bikes, but i am looking into it.

Jul 21, 2009

NEW POLO VIDEO



ottawa hosted their NSPI a couple months ago and this cool video was born from that weekend. the video illustrates how tight the game can be, how rough it can be at times, and most importantly how discombobulated the action can be sometimes. with bikes going in all directions and mallets flailing about, its easy to see how intense the games can be and the mad bike riding skills required to play at the highest level.

on a separate note, calgarybikepolo will be hosting a series of new player nights, starting july 31st and running on successive thursdays until the end of the season. if you have been wanting to give the game a try but have been a little nervous or intimidated - NOWS YER CHANCE! come on out and play with us. you are guaranteed to have a good time!

Jul 20, 2009

Pops - Ramsay, Alberta

Some photos from the ice cream ride this weekend and a few hilites...
- watched a home burn down on memorial
- stops at amato gelato, northeast grocery, and pops in ramsay
- great to see a few new faces (mikie, leslie) and some familiars (dan, john, sherwood, stewart)
- 30+ temperatures made the frozen treats even more delicious
- nadia's awesome radio was tuned into baba's grooves for most of the ride

next up is the PathwayPedalPotluck august 15. details to come soon.

Jul 7, 2009

RAMSAY BOWL II BIKEPOLO TOURNAMENT



hey you!

ya, you!

ya, i am talking at you - mr. or ms. urban dweller. what are you doing this weekend? wanna watch some seriously awesome action - complete with crashes, bashes, bands and beers?

come on out on saturday and sunday this weekend for the second annual ramsay bowl hardcourt bikepolo tournament. teams are coming from as far away as ottawa, nyc, portland, and eastvan. there will be kegs to quench your thirst, beef-on-a-bun to soak up that hangover, and mad poloaction!

see you there?

Jul 2, 2009

CANADA DAY BY BIKE PHOTO ESSAY




















photo 1 - on our way to enjoy canada day.

photo 2 - t-binx - look at this handsome devil ladies!

photo 3 - fellow bikecalgary.org director, stewart midwinter, enjoying lunch at the ship and anchor

photo 4 - FFWD readers voted the ship and anchor staff as the sexiest and surliest. geez, i wonder why?

photo 5 - fort calgary festivities

photo 6 - regional pathway along memorial drive

photo 7 - the hoards invade princes island

photo 8 - festive rafters at edworthy park

Jun 30, 2009

GLIMPSING THE FUTURE (i hope!)

(spotted outside pulcinella)
i was standing outside molly malone's in kensington a few weeks ago, waiting to depart on our pubcrawl when this handsome machine rolled in - complete with twin boys, their bikes, a happy dad - and big smiles all around.

this is a "bakfiet" - basically dutch for "box bike" - and these are very popular in some european cities like copenhagen and amsterdam. there are many versions available, but they generally offer the same features:
- a (removable) bench seat and seat belts for kids
- integrated lighting
- fenders
- wide gear range
for many european families these bikes are used everyday for shopping, errands, and kid transport - basically allowing a family to live with only one car, or no car at all or to facilitate deliveries of products/services in a more economical fashion for businesses.

after eye-balling the bike for a few minutes i had to walk over and take a closer look. the owner (i think his name was eric?) was very receptive to see another person who knew what the bike was and after a brief conversation, eric asked if i wanted to ride it. my answer, hells yes! i am not going to give you a roadtest report here, lets just say that riding it was unlike anything else i have swung a leg over and was more akin to driving a truck than riding a bike. it is so big that cars cannot miss seeing you and i noticed right away that motorists were giving me lots of room (this may have had more to do with the swerve-inducing pints consumed earlier than the size of the bike, not sure) and it was really easy to ride.

seeing this bike in action got my thinking - are we witnessing the birth of a more sustainable, urban calgary? new city bike sales are on the rise, the media seems to be paying more attention to commuter cycling, more people are trying to find alt-transport options for commuting, plan-it calgary has brought "new urbanism" into the spotlight and a new generation of city dwellers is choosing to eschew car ownership and suburban lifestyles for a more sustainable, compact life.

i hope so.

calgary has the highest per-capita car ownership rate in canada and this city has always been seen from the outside as a "frontier" town. many calgarians view car ownership as a birthright and that birthright also extends to everybody deserving their own litle piece of lawn in the suburbs and 3 cars in the driveway. thankfully, there is a movement of people who choose to say "BOLLOCKS!" to this birthright and the movement is getting bigger and more vocal everyday.

this bike offers us a glimpse into a future calgary that could be more sustainable, community centred and healthier. all we need to do is to keep the pressure on the city decision makers and make lifestyle choices today to live more efficiently and closer to your community.

Jun 29, 2009

POLE RIDERS


i think i may have posted about these folks before and after reading another story about them i was compelled to post their link again.

pretty "out there" - but fun all the same.

Jun 22, 2009

New Kranked Freeride Movie Coming Soon

Kranked - REVOLVE Teaser from KRANKED/ReJeK+ on Vimeo.

did you ride your bike like this today?

no?

why not?

are you washed up?

Jun 19, 2009

Lords of Cowtown 2009

the 6th lords of cowtown longboard and cruiser pubcrawl is tomorrow and this guy is pretty stoked.

my liver is quivering in fear as i type this.

Jun 18, 2009

BIKEPOLO IS THE NEW COOL


there are quite a few bikepolo videos out there and i think this is one of the better ones.

in calgary, we play every wednesday and thursday from 6pm till dark at the knobhill community rink and new players are always welcome. all you need is a bike and some enthusiasm.

if you like riding bikes, you owe it to yourself to give this game a try.

Jun 16, 2009

SELF-PORTRAIT - crescent rd nw


i'm diggin' my new hat!

thanks to heather schade for these great caps.

Jun 15, 2009

BIKE COMMUTING ON THE NEWS TONITE


tonite, at 6pm, bike commuting will be on the evening news on global tv calgary.

last week, you will probably remember the news story about the two guys that collided head-on on the pathways. well, that story has seemed to have the effect of jump-starting the conversation surrounding bike paths and bike commuting in the media here in calgary too.

none too soon is what i think.

well, one of the directors from bike calgary will be discussing some of the issues with the reporter from global tonite. hopefully, this will serve to keep bicycles as transportation on the front burner for a little while longer and help us move our cause forward.

UPDATE - there will be another news piece again tonite (tuesday) focusing on the current pathway/bikeway network. here is the link to the news items.

Jun 14, 2009

2010 NORCO SPADE SPY SHOTS



norco bikes has introduced this fine little number recently as a 2010 model. it is called "the spade" and should retail for just under $800.

this is norco's first real entry into the "urban fixed gear" category and i think they have done a good job. the bike is sold with front and rear brakes, flip-flop free/fixed, lots of chrome bits and - of course - the all white style is the new punk rock! the frameset is steel, as well as the unicrown chromed fork.

below are a couple fuzzy shots of some nice detail work and the required bling(chain, cable clamps, blue stuff, chrome), which seems to be necessary these days for bikes in this category. god forbid making it all flat black or boring looking.

very cool seat binder bolt detail.

i also liked the "N" carved in the dropouts.

all and all, i would say this is a pretty good bike for that person looking for some urban style without breaking the bank.

now all you need to do is put on your messenger bag, roll up your tight pants, slip on your vans and fakenger it up with the other urban hipsters.