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Only the poor ride bicycles in Shanghai 12

All photos by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country When it comes to using bicycles as transportation, there are few cities I have visited that intrigue me more than Shanghai. Shanghai citizens have a knack for utilizing their bicycles to their full capacity. From carrying fridges, to bathtubs, to beds – to the far ...

Oakville’s Grand Opportunity 1

Photo “Groningen: Colourful City” courtesy of Akbar Simonse The following is an excerpt from an article I contributed to Oakville.com that discusses using bicycles as transportation in Oakville, Ontario: So how exactly can Oakville improve its current state? The first thing Oakville needs is a master cycling plan. It needs a vision that encompasses active ...

Bicycles in Vietnam 8

All Photos by Mark Green / The Urban Country Our Asia correspondent Mark Green snapped some lovely photographs of bicycles in Vietnam on his last visit to that fascinating country. These photos show how bicycles are used by normal people in normal clothes as transportation – the way bicycles were meant to be used when ...

Bike Helmets Not Warranted 34

Photo Courtesy of Marc van Woudenberg / Amsterdamize  The topic of helmets often comes up on The Urban Country. It’s not really a topic we like to waste a lot of time on, because there are so many more important things we can focus on to improve the conditions for bicycles in North America. The ...

Interview With Cycling Newcomer Kerri McKenna 2

Photo of convert Kerri McKenna – 2010 2010 has been an interesting year. I have had countless friends and acquaintances come up to me and ask me for advice on where to get a bike, or how to find the best route to work. The number of cycling “newcomers” has been astounding, and it gives ...

Car Culture Bleeds Our Society 12

Photo “Toy Cars” courtesy of Andrew Dai In North America, everywhere you look car manufacturers are trying to entice you to buy their brand. Car ads are absolutely everywhere. It’s part of our culture and you can’t avoid it – our society is brainwashed to have an affection for automobiles. As a kid, I distinctly ...

Refusing To Be Herded Like Cattle 2

Photo courtesy of Mully Children’s Family  A good friend of mine bought a thoughtful gift for me for my Champagne Birthday back in June. The book was written by BikeSnobNYC (Eben Weiss) and it provides an amusing and entertaining dissection of the world of cycling. From the back cover: “In this wickedly funny rant and ...

Wear a Helmet And Get a Cycling Utopia 15

[Photo] This photo of a “frivolous and reckless” Santa Monica cyclist courtesy of Bike by the Sea Shawn Micallef recently wrote an article on the Spacing.ca Toronto blog where he argues that anyone who wants better bicycle infrastructure in Toronto should wear a helmet if they expect to be taken seriously. Micallef claims that anyone ...

Why Do Cyclists Blow Stop Signs? 13

All photos by James D. Schwartz I came across this unique stop sign while walking the dog at the Exhibition grounds here in Toronto. It is a regular stop sign outfitted with a secondary stop sign that reads “CYCLISTS MUST STOP”. The implicit message that I gather from this stop sign is that regular stop ...

Bicycles for Transporting… [fill in the blank] 6

All photos by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country Earlier this month I posted 30 photos of Utility Cycling in China. That post generated a lot of interest because like me, you are probably intrigued by how the Chinese use their bicycles for practical purposes – like pizza delivery, garbage pickup, cargo shipping, etc. ...