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Our Streets Are Like A Giant Lollipop 4

Photo from Sotres, Asturias, ES courtesy of pablerax In North America there is a common perception that drivers “own the roads” and deserve as much surface area as can be paved. This perception exists despite the heavy subsidization that drivers receive through motorist socialism, which ironically, is prevalent in the United States where socialism is ...

81-Year-Old Gene Hackman Hit On His Bike 102

Gene Hackman in 1993 (AP Photo/File) On Friday at approximately 3PM, Oscar-award winning actor Gene Hackman was hit by a pickup truck on his bicycle in the Florida Keys. The incident was covered widely by the media which made sure to point out that the 81-year-old Hackman was not wearing a helmet. Though true, this ...

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 ...