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Japan Earthquake & Tsunami: Role of the Bicycle 10

Photo courtesy of Toshifuni Kitamura, Getty Images / March 11, 2011 In the aftermath of the massive earthquake and ensuing tsunami that hit Japan on Friday afternoon, millions of people were left stranded at their workplace and tens of thousands displaced from their homes with few options to transport themselves to safety. Those who were ...

Snow Traffic-Calming Measures 6

Photos by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country Sometimes the best traffic engineering ideas are the ones that appear naturally. While visiting a client yesterday, I encountered this pile of snow that was blocking the entire right lane of this street (as you can see in the photo above). The only traffic calming measure ...

Billboard Hijacking To Promote Urban Bicycling 6

All photos courtesy of Dr. Paul Martin and Mike Rubbo After a week of very negative thoughts due to the Brazil Critical Mass mow-down, we are starting this week off in a more positive light thanks to the kind lady who handed out thank you letters and cash to bicyclists here in Toronto last week. ...

Anonymous Thank You Letter For Bicyclists 5

Photo courtesy of Tom Polarbear / TorontoCranks Earlier this week, random people on bicycles in Toronto received a thank you letter from an anonymous lady. On the outside of the letter was written “Thank YOU ($ gift inside)”. The lucky bicyclists opened the envelope only to find a $5 bill along with a typed letter ...

Sympathizing Road Rage 17

Photo courtesy of Spanish Flea  Friday’s extreme road rage incident in Brazil where a motorist plowed through dozens of bicyclists has revealed something about our society. Something that we already knew, but seems to be hitting epic levels. Motorists are angry. They are frustrated with being stuck in traffic while reminiscing on the “old days” ...

Bicyclists Must Obey Laws If They Want to Share the Roads 50

Photo of a hectic intersection in Groningen, Netherlands by tup wanders A common argument made to justify actions like Friday’s terrible incident in Porto Alegre, Brazil is that people on bicycles have no right to share the road and don’t deserve any courtesy from drivers until they obey all traffic laws. This is also a ...

Critical Mass Carnage (GRAPHIC VIDEOS) 133

Screenshot from the aftermath (see embedded videos below) UPDATE (April 20th): Brazil Critical Mass Update – Interview With Ricardo Neis On Friday night an angry motorist mowed down a group of about 150 people on bicycles riding for Critical Mass in Porto Alegre, Brazil. The motorist accelerated his vehicle directly through the group of riders, ...

Bicycles In Jamaica 2

All Photos by Tim C for The Urban Country A friend recently returned from a trip to Jamaica and managed to snap some photos of everyday Jamaicans using bicycles for transportation in that island country. Bicycles are an economical and efficient way to get around, so it’s no wonder that some locals use bicycles to ...

New Bicycle Advocacy Project: ratemyvelo.com 5

Screenshot of www.ratemyvelo.com – James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country Yesterday I officially launched my latest bicycling advocacy project – Rate My Vélo – a website that allows people to upload photos of people on bicycles, and vote on other people’s photos. The website mixes Mikael’s Cycle Chic™ style of advocacy with user-contributed content ...

My Dutch Family History 11

Oma & Opa on their bicycles on a visit home – Netherlands, 1990s / The Urban Country My Mother’s parents were born in Ravenswaay in the Province Gelderland in the Netherlands. They both grew up on small farms across the road from each other in the 1930’s. The Germans invaded the Netherlands on May 10th, ...