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Futile Bicycle Signals 4

Photo by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country  Toronto loves to take great ideas from cycling cities, and then implement them completely wrong. One good example – bike traffic signals. Cities that are more bicycle-friendly implement bicycle traffic signals to reduce the probability of conflicts between motor vehicles and bicycles. In New York, you ...

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 ...

China’s Mega 100KM Traffic Jam 17

Beijing traffic jam photo courtesy of Proggie (this is not the 100KM traffic jam) For several decades, the Chinese managed to transport millions and millions of people efficiently around their cities – primarily by bicycle. There are reportedly 450 million bicycles in China, and the bicycle has served as a great tool historically. Now, enter ...

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 ...

BIXI Coming to Town 5

Image courtesy of toronto.bixi.com  BIXI is coming to Toronto – for real this time. Well, unless it gets cancelled again. But it seems more real this year than last year – for real. I’m proud to say that I am now one of the 1,000 “founding members” of Toronto’s BIXI program. For less than a ...

G20 Healing With Positive Memories 1

All Photos by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country The outrage over how our government handled the G20 weekend in Toronto in June has begun to subside now that several reviews are under way to investigate how the Police handled the summit. In light of these positive developments, I thought it would be appropriate ...