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Winter Cycling in Toronto 4

This morning I set out for a pleasant bike ride along Lake Ontario in Toronto. I originally brought my dog with me, but her paws didn’t fare well with the salt that was plastered on the sidewalks here to melt the ice. It also didn’t help that it was –15C (5F) (or –26C (-14.8F) with ...

2010: The Year of the Tiger

I can hardly believe that another decade has now ended – how fast time passes. We are now in 2010 – the year of the Tiger (officially beginning on Chinese New Year – February 14th, 2010) Tigers do not find worth in power or money. They will be completely honest about how they feel and ...

2009 Urban Country Mash-up Video 4

2009 Urban Country Mash-up by James Schwartz on Vimeo. A tradition that began in 2005 on The Urban Country is an annual mash-up of video clips that I took with my digital camera throughout the year. The central theme of the video is to promote living a healthy, active, lifestyle and to cherish the outdoors. ...

The Sit-Up Cycling Revolution 16

Photo ‘Toronto Morning Rush Hour’ by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country (May 2009) A few days ago I was propositioned by a sales rep for an online retailer to promote their cycling clothes. Such E-mails are very common when you run a website, and 99% of the time I simply ignore them. This ...

Leaders Should Learn from Copenhagen 7

Photo courtesy of Rob Inh00d  The 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen has ended – and not surprisingly it lacks a binding agreement between the parties. This conference was particularly significant because it was identified by the 2007 Bali Road Map as the point ...

Toronto Yearns for Bicycle Superhighway 8

Photo and video by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country On October 30 2009, the first section of the West Toronto Rail Path officially opened. A 2.1KM stretch from Cariboo Ave. in the north to Dundas St. West in the south, the rail path provides cyclists an automobile and traffic light-free route. Although a ...

A Cycling Revolution With Mikael Colville-Andersen 2

Mikael Colville-Andersen is no stranger to the spotlight. Colville-Andersen is the founder of Copenhagen Cycle Chic – a hugely popular blog that profiles stylish female cyclists who take to the streets in Copenhagen. Colville-Andersen has become somewhat of a worldwide ambassador of a cycling movement that is captivating much of the western world. This man ...

BIXI is ready for Toronto, is Toronto ready for BIXI? 16

Photo by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country The BIXI system is coming to Toronto – and I can hardly contain my excitement. If you haven’t already heard, BIXI is Montreal’s bicycle-sharing program which was inaugurated on May 11th, 2009. It cost $15 million dollars to start and began with 300 stations around downtown ...

Australia Got it Wrong – Time to Roll Back the Clock? 21

Photo courtesy of Matthew Knott Australia enacted its mandatory bicycle helmet law for all riders in 1991. Cycling participation dropped 30-40% after the law was enacted while other nations have enjoyed an increase in cycling during the same period. Head injuries and concussions by cyclists were declining prior to to the helmet law and continued ...

Barriers to Cycling: Debunking the Myths 68

Photo courtesy of sindändùne Cycling is a great way to get around. It’s healthy, efficient, fun and sustainable. As such I’m always perplexed when people in North America find every excuse to avoid utilitarian cycling. It’s not necessarily that people here are inherently lazy; in fact in many cases it’s on the contrary – many ...