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Living a Comfortable Urban Life Sans Automobile 4

All photos by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country  In 2006 there were around 250 million automobiles in the United States. That is an average of about one car for every 1.2 people. Worldwide there were 590 million cars in 2002, or an average of about 1 car for every 10 people. As the ...

Cyclists Paving the Way for Ungrateful Drivers 23

Photo by earcos / Flickr Sitting at a red light, a car driver yells out his window “Excuse me, is this the bicycle lane?”. The cyclist passively shrugs and slowly rolls his bike closer to the curb. The light turns green and the driver stomps on the gas pedal flying past the cyclist with less ...

Bicycles and Sidewalks Can Get Along 2

Bicycles and sidewalks can (and do) get along well together. All it takes is a little bit of common sense, etiquette and mutual respect. Two very unfortunate incidents in Toronto have provoked additional tension between drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. Two months ago I would have thought it absurd that tensions could escalate in a city ...

BIXI: Montreal’s Bicycle Sharing System 13

What do you get when you combine ‘bicycle’ with ‘taxi’? In Montreal they call it ‘BIXI’ and aside from a few technical glitches, the program has been a smashing success since it launched on May 12th, 2009. I arrived in Montreal on Wednesday after paddling for 11 days from Toronto. I spent the next 4 ...

Sustainable Commuting: the Bicycle

Here’s my latest contribution to blogTO entitled Sustainable Commuting: the Bicycle, excerpt: “The bicycle is the most efficient means of human-powered transportation, meaning it can travel the most distance with the least amount of energy exerted. Invented in the 19th century, bikes take up very little space, they’re quiet, and they don’t pollute. In Toronto, ...

Future of Electronics

As new technology perpetually increases power efficiency in electronics, the future of living “off the grid” becomes increasingly more attainable. While shopping for gifts this Christmas I came across a self-powered camping lantern that never requires batteries and never requires bulbs. The Freeplay Indigo lantern is powered by LED lights that have been tested for ...

Two-bit Congressman: Patrick McHenry 5

I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share this video of this two-bit Congressman, Patrick McHenry. In this video he mocks the democrats for suggesting that encouraging Americans to ride their bicycles will help get through the current energy crisis. I have to give some credit to this guy for being the youngest congressman in ...

$1.30/litre for gas? Who cares? 1

Tonight I experienced a whole new side of Calgary previously uncharted by me. As you may have read in my previous post, my new (used, child) bicycle is my ticket to disengage me from the restricted claustrophobic feeling of being confined to an area of 4 city blocks and to explore this (new) city. I ...

$29 happiness 1

Working in Calgary has been a huge shift in my lifestyle. I’m only here every other week, but when I’m here I am leaving behind everything that enables me to stay healthy (aside from my running shoes): The 16-foot sea kayak I bought a few weeks ago has been hanging in my living room since ...

Give it up for a week 1

I drove to Hamilton a couple times this weekend for a hockey tournament with my old Hamilton buddy Paul. During my visit in Hamilton I reflected on how much I’ve changed in the 5 years since I moved away from that city. Like many people I grew up with, we were raised as “car people”. ...