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RIP Jack Layton: 1950-2011 4

Photo of bike lane memorial for Jack Layton on College Street by Martin Reis I was deeply saddened this morning to wake up to the news that Jack Layton had succumbed to cancer. Layton gave me hope for Canada, and hope for the world. That politicians can work hard to make things better in our ...

Baby And The Bicycle 15

Photo of baby Sofia by Jamie Morren – All rights reserved Today’s post is about two things that play a prominent role in my life right now: my baby and my bicycle. We took our baby Sofia for her first foray into modeling: an outdoor photo shoot. I decided to bring my bicycle with me ...

How To Win Over Non-Cyclists at a Dinner Party 18

Bicycle Film Festival Panel Discussion at the Gladstone Hotel (Aug 10, 2011) – photo by Erin Simkin / Bicycle Film Festival Toronto Last Wednesday I participated in a panel discussion for the Toronto Bicycle Film Festival. The title of the panel discussion was: “Building Bridges: How to tell good stories and win over non-cyclists at ...

When Driver Kills Cyclist, Media Shrugs… 21

Screenshot from InsideToronto.com article on 84-year-old Jack Roper, the cyclist killed last Friday On July 5th, a cyclist struck and critically injured a pedestrian in Toronto. The pedestrian survived, but this incident set off a flurry of media rage against cyclists. The Toronto Star’s first report on the incident (“Cyclist fractures pedestrian’s skull, gets $400 ...

Algonquin 2011: The Serenity of Human Power 20

Photo of Algonquin Park by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country Last week I returned from an epic 6-day trip in the hinterlands of Algonquin Park on my 8th annual canoe/portage expedition. (Read last year’s article on the history of the 7,652 sq. kilometre Algonquin Park.) Each time I visit the quiet, serene, picturesque ...

On Scofflaw Cyclists & Exemplary Motorists 59

“Amsterdam, girl cycling from A to B, multi-tasking, like so many do” by Amsterdamize / RateMyVelo.com You have heard it a million times before: Cyclists don’t deserve any respect on our streets until they obey all of the laws. The implicit message in this fallacy is that drivers have a right to be angry and ...

The Fixer Gets It Right 14

Mother and her three children riding home from school – by Brad Hawkins / Courtesy of RateMyVelo.com Two weeks ago I wrote an open letter to Toronto Star newspaper columnist Jack Lakey who calls himself “The Fixer” because he fixes things that are “broken in your neighbourhood”. I critiqued “The Fixer” for his angry rant ...

Wobbly Bicyclists Calm Traffic 40

Bixi Montreal – Photo by Xander / RateMyVelo.com I was a passenger in a friend’s car a couple months ago while she was driving approximately 55km/h in a 40km/h zone in downtown Toronto – a speed deemed acceptable by our car-centric society. A cyclist who was riding in the bike lane was swerving somewhat erratically ...

Roads Weren’t Built For Cars 20

Drawing from The Great Bicycle Protest of 1896” by Hank Chapot We have all heard the tall tale that roads were built for cars, so bicycles and pedestrians have no place on our streets. Perpetuating this myth might help some motorists sleep better at night to think that they have an exclusive, god-given right to ...

Friday Fun: The Future Of Toronto 16

Photo by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country Toronto City Council voted this week to rip out 3 existing bike lanes in the city – an unprecedented measure that may compromise Toronto’s world renown designation as “the best place to ride a bicycle in Toronto”. In return for the removal of the bike lanes, ...