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Life Hack: IKEA’s $2.00 Bicycle Ski Rack

Life Hack: $2.00 IKEA Bike Ski Rack – Photo by James Schwartz / The Urban Country Two years ago my girlfriend Roxy and I each picked up a pair of Nordic skis, which allowed me to re-take-up cross country skiing; a hobby that I had thoroughly enjoyed as a kid. Over the past couple winters, ...

What am I Going to Ride Tomorrow?

Waterloo Bikes Article A story of bike theft and recovery from Waterloo bikes: Remember how that feels? I’m sure many of you have had a bike stolen at some point, it’s kind of par for the course in bike ownership. There’s the hassle of reporting it. Calling the police. Calling the insurance company. The feeling ...

The Stolen Bicycle Recovery Operation

Craigslist ad for Dylan’s stolen Trek hybrid bicycle It all started with an instant message from my friend Dylan, who had recently had his bike stolen from downtown Toronto: “James, look at this. It’s my bike for sale on Craigslist. What should I do?” Dylan knew that I had a bike blog, and I had ...

My Dutch Cargo Bike Stolen & Recovered in Less Than 10 Minutes

James’ Babboe Dutch Cargo Bike – Photo courtesy of Andrea E. It was only a few minutes after my 5 year old daughter’s school concert production came to an end when I received the phone call from my friend Brad. My ringer was still muted to avoid disrupting the concert; but I could feel it vibrating ...

The “Get The F#ck Out of My Way” Attitude 10

BMW SUV – Courtesy of Curtis Perry A few days ago, an article was posted by a bicyclist into the Craigslist “rants and raves” section. The poster highlighted a road rage incident in which an angry driver in a blue BMW SUV screamed and honked at the bicyclist to get out of the way, in ...

Quick Update From China 1

James’ fixed gear bike in China – Photo by James Schwartz / The Urban Country Wow. It has been an inexcusable amount of time since I last wrote an article on here. For the past two and a half months I have been living overseas in the southern most part of China (Hainan Island). I ...

Slow Down – Other People Make Mistakes 3

Speed ad – Mistakes – Screenshot from YouTube video  Here is a very powerful video highlighting the virtue of driving cautiously and slowing down in anticipation of somebody else making a mistake: When you are behind the wheel of a car, please know that you are in a killing machine, and your actions can negatively ...

Too Cold To Take Public Transit 90

The last two days have seen immensely frigid temperatures here in Toronto. I have still been using my bike on a daily basis throughout the winter, but Tuesday proved exceptionally cold when a friend and I pedaled a few kilometres to a computer store that evening. This was a rare occasion in which I was ...

When Highways Are Art

Edmonton highway photo by James Schwartz / The Urban Country Massive highways and bridges are often ugly structures; normally the furthest thing from art. On a recent flight home from an Edmonton business trip, the highways were lit up and the reflection of the street lights blurred from the snow looked almost magical out of ...

Should Distracted Bicycling Be Banned? Umm, No. 4

A bicyclist talking on her cell phone – Photo courtesy of otzberg  The Atlantic City’s Eric Jaffe asks whether distracted bicycling should be banned: “Whether you’re for or against distracted cycling rules — more on that in a moment — you can’t deny that using a cell phone changes the way a person rides a ...