Jun 30, 2009


(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


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?


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


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


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


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.

Jun 12, 2009


Road to Amsterdam from Let It Ride Ride Ride on Vimeo.

these fellas have been adventuring around northern europe on their fixies - and this is a great little video they put together.

i think its funny that the one guy kinda looks like t-binx and the other guy looks like kent.


this guy is glad to see that a naked bike ride is finally gonna happen in alberta. i was beginning to lose hope that something as "out there" as a naked bike ride would ever happen in our province. thankfully, i have been proven wrong.

sadly, i cant be there as i am in edmonton for the canada cup xc mtb race - le sigh.

i am sure it will be fun. lets hope the fun spreads south next year.

Jun 11, 2009


...click on the title to see more pics.

what a beautiful ride, with a beautiful girl, on a beautiful day.

Jun 10, 2009


thanks for this TTT - still poignant today.

Jun 9, 2009


yesterday, 2 bottle-pickers collided under this bridge resulting in serious injuries to both men.

if you have ever ridden through here you will know that this section of the pathway system was an accident site waiting to happen. it is impossibly narrow, has blind corners and has a descent to the bottom in both directions. simply put, it is an accident trap that was finally sprung by these two unfortunate fellas.

(picture pulled from cbc webstory)

sadly, this section is not the only death-trap on our pathway system - there are many, many more areas that are just as dangerous.

say what you want about the city's responsibility here - the reality is that our current pathway system was never designed with the amount of bike traffic it is seeing now - and the situation is only going to get worse as more people choose to get out of their cars for commuting, exercise, eco-consciousness or what-have-you.

the thing that i am most concerned about is that through all the media reports and news articles is the focus seems to be to make these two guys look like irresponsible idiots and to chastise them for not wearing helmets. irresponsible? maybe. wearing helmets? who the fuck cares???

helmets are not mandatory for adults in this province. full stop.

yesterday afternoon, i was listening to the homestretch and the host jeff collins going on and on about this story, he made no effort to put the focus on the actual pathway system's difficiencies but instead kept talking about the fact that these guys were not wearing helmets. helmet use is not the issue here - the issue is our pathway system. i had to phone into their talkback line to voice my frustration at their focus on helmets and not on the pathways.

the real issue is that the city has made virtually no effort to establish functional on-street bikeways that average folk can use safely. instead, the city has consistently directed bicycles onto the regional pathway system and the conflicts with other users is growing. if the current situation is allowed to get worse we will probably be reading a story soon about someone getting killed on the pathway. on top of that, you have you have "bylaw bruce" saying that they will be using radar to ticket speeding cyclists this summer - it appears that there is an effort to disuade people from commuting by bike.

what needs to happen is that the city needs to make a real, long-term, sustained effort to establish safe on-street cycling facilities and routes that will allow commuting cyclists to get to work/home without using the regional pathways. the speed limit on the pathways is 20kph (10kph in many areas) and it is impossibly easy to break that speed limit without trying. 20kph is also too slow to make commuting viable for most folks as an average rider can attain 30kph without really trying.

until the city "gets off their wallet" and begins to direct the required funding to the transportation solutions department we will continue to see these sorts of collisions and cycle commuting as a viable form of transportation will never become as popular as it should be.

we need to the city to allocate 2% per year of the roads budget to cycle-commuting facilities and we need to start now.

you know, its sad really. calgary already has inplace an incredible "skeleton" of roadways that could be easily modified to include bikes without adversely affecting motorists.

what we lack is the political will to make it happen.

Jun 7, 2009


what a good time! even if it rained on us a little...

30 hearty souls gathered inside and out of tubby dog's on saturday nite for a fun ride along the river. with the rain coming down sporatically and overcast skies there was not much hope we would see the "strawberry" full moon...

with vladimir's tunes booming out of his cool improvised sound system we departed tubby dog at 1030pm and made a run for the river paths. once on the pathways, the group cruised along at a nice pace, heading west towards edworthy. the rain was falling on us lightly as we departed but eased up - and eventually stopped - revealing the beautiful full moon!


it was so cool to see all the blinking lights rolling along in the pitch black. the sparklers were super nice too and of course, a few fireworks here and there just added to the "renegade" feel of the ride.

good times!

Jun 6, 2009

Object of desire - for some

"Just south of the Globe building in Toronto is a thicket of shiny new glass towers reaching toward the sky. These are the dwellings of the Condo People - hip young multiracial 20- and 30-somethings who labour in our city's knowledge industries. They have all the stuff you can fit into an 800-square-foot condo - iPods, iPhones, flat-screen TVs, and (for couples) fluffy little condo-sized dogs.

What they do not have is cars.

They don't need them. They can walk to work, or take the subway. If they need a car, they can walk up the street and rent one for 11 bucks an hour. Not only is a car not a necessity for them. It's an expensive nuisance."...

...more commentary on the coming auto-apocalypse and subsequent lifestyle changes that will be forced on the late-adopters.

i too was once seduced by the hype surrounding automobiles. in my case, my lust was for a VW EuroVan - which i eventually bought new back in 2003. i saved my pennines, ordered if from germany - then waited. finally it arrived and i too had my picture taken standing beside it in the dealer's lot.

so proud of myself.

then, 2 years later i lost my job, almost went broke and had to sell it at a loss. that hurt. alot.

but lusting after it, saving for it, finally owning it, and ultimately having to unload it taught me a badly needed lesson - cars cost a lot of money, they never fullfill their promise, and i dont want to spend money on one if i dont have to.

dont believe the (auto makers) hype!


snow, snow, go away - we want to ride our bikes today!

hopefully the weather cooperates in time for our club to host this fun bike event. i know i was tempting fate by trying to organize a ride in june, considering that june is calgary's wettest month - however - tempting fate is fun sometimes, especially when everything works out.

i guess one of the benefits of all this moisture is that there will be less of a chance of something catching on fire from the fireworks i will have with me!

Jun 4, 2009


here is a picture i took of 26 ave sw looking east towards crowchild trail a few weeks ago.

over the last 3 years, the city spent $5million dollars on pathway and bikeway improvements - including fixing a vital pathway link to the south near southland and realignment of the vehicle lanes and addition of bike lanes to 26 ave sw. there was a article in the calgary herald last week touting the improvements and hoping the improvements will draw more people out of their cars and onto bikes.

this is all well and good - however - if the roadway pictured is to be considered an improvement, who is the improvement for? cars? people? bikes? none of the above?

the paint is gone after one winter - all the paint. yellow centre line gone. bike lanes gone. bike sharrows gone. cars have reverted back to their original "lanes". cars are parking in the bike lanes. there is no indication whatsoever that any amount of money has been spent here on improvments in the last 10 years, let alone last year. even the calgary herald has seen this situation to be bad enough to write another article.

i think this is just a "symptom" of a transportation department that does not have enough resources to do the job right the first time. it is also a symptom of a city administration that seems to throw just enough money at alt-transport projects to keep people quiet and to check off their projects as being completed - when they clearly are not!

i say bullshit. do it right the first time. give the transportation solutions people more money and more staff.

Jun 2, 2009

SELF-PORTRAIT - 530am commuter cycling survey

coffee? check.

muffin? check.

pen and paper? check.

numb bum, toes, and fingers? check.

Jun 1, 2009

Farewell, consumerism.

"Piles of dusty books. Junk drawers. Overstuffed garages.

Homes across Canada are filled with useless gadgets and rarely worn clothes, evidence of a society that often associates status with personal belongings."...

timely article methinks.

i know that i am in the minority, but this topic is something that i have been pondering for a few years now. i was wondering whether the demise of consumerism could actually be for real - or - whether this is just a figment of my own imagination.

after reading jeff rubin's new book, i began to look at the scourge of consumerism with a little more clarity. not because I woke up after reading it and decided that wal-mart is bad, multipacks are bad, SUV's are bad - NOPE - i knew that already. consumerism appears to be on its way out because - very simply - you wont be able to afford all the crap you currently buy when the price of a barrel of oil reaches $200+. read the book - pretty interesting.

in the near future, your life will be made simpler because you wont be able to buy as much stuff - period.