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Sunday Afternoon Traffic in China 20

Pedaling in Haikou, Hainan, China – Photo by James Schwartz / The Urban Country Last Sunday afternoon I hopped on my Giant folding bicycle and headed from where I am living in the “suburbs” and headed into downtown (a 5 kilometre jaunt). What ensued was a thrilling ride among a myriad of other two-wheeled travelers ...

How Apple’s “Macintosh” Almost Became The “Bicycle” 5

Steve Jobs and Apple’s “Think Different” Campaign Before leaving for China I picked up a Kobo e-reader (comparable to a Kindle) so I could read on my travels without hauling 4-months worth of books along with me. The Kobo has transformed how I read books and I have found myself reading more than I have ...

Democracy Is Good, But… 43

Traffic signs in China – Photo by James Schwartz / The Urban Country Winston Churchill once said that it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried. Like all other good things, democracy certainly has its flaws. In North American democracy, transportation policy often ...

2011 Year End Wrap Up 26

James posing as a hipster on a fixie in Baltimore, Maryland in October 2011 – Photo by James Schwartz / The Urban Country As we approach another new year, I have been reflecting on the events of 2011 and how they have shaped both myself and this website. In many ways, 2011 has been a ...

Bicycles & World War II Spies 10

Agents practising being interrogated. The rural situation of camp X can be glimpsed from the background. (From the Pelham-Burn collection, reproduced by courtesy of Lynn-Philip Hodgson) On 6 December 1941, just one day before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, a British spy training camp opened in Whitby, Ontario, some 50 kilometres east of Toronto. The ...

Canadian Cyclist Harassed At U.S. Border 24

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers on the lookout for “terrorists” – Photo by Mateus_27 With the United States mulling over the possibility of building a fence across the Canada-US border and a Secretary of Homeland Security falsely claiming some of the 9/11 terrorists entered through Canada, it’s not surprising to hear about Canadians encountering ...

Toronto’s Urban Repair Squad Strikes Again 12

Guerrilla bike lane – photo by James Schwartz / The Urban Country At approximately 10AM this morning, Toronto’s Guerrilla bicycling advocates – the Urban Repair Squad – re-painted the intersection at Dundas and Sterling, the location where cyclist Jenna Morrison was run over by a truck and killed last month. Bike lanes were painted on ...

‘Rethinking Transportation’ Talk 7

Today I presented my Rethinking Transportation talk to a group of 50 children at an elementary school in Toronto. The kids belonged to an “eco” group that meets once a month – their ages ranging between 9 and 12 years old. I started out by asking the children how many of them had rode their ...

Is Bicycling Gaining Momentum in India? 6

Bangalore traffic congestion – Photo by Kiran Jonnalagadda Although bicycles have historically been viewed as the poor man’s mode of transportation in India, there are signs that the working class are starting to view bicycles as an accepted mode of transportation. A recent article in the Indian news publication DNA highlights the rising interest in ...

Avid Urban Cyclist Clothing 41

Photo by Marc van Woudenberg / Amsterdamize Cycle clothing and gear is a topic I seldom cover here on The Urban Country, for there is no shortage of bicycle blogs out there already reviewing the latest bicycle clothing and gear. But with the winter fast approaching for me here in Toronto, Canada I thought it ...