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Bad Design Leads To Bad (Scofflaw) Behaviour 9

Red bicycle light in Amsterdam – Photo courtesy of Stefan Kuschnigg  In Copenhagen, traffic signals along “green wave” routes are timed to provide a constant flow of green lights to bicycles traveling at 20km/hour. Bicyclists who ride at this speed will never hit a red light all the way to the city centre. In the ...

Scofflaw Drivers Get Free Pass In Media 4

Police Radar – Trois-Rivieres – Photo Courtesy of Axel Drainville  In a recent media flurry, “scofflaw cyclists” were repudiated by several outlets after prominent Canadian environmental activist David Suzuki railed against bicyclists who break the rules. What these media articles fail to mention is that virtually all drivers break the law every single day. Photo ...

Quote Of The Week: Empty Bike Lane 1

Drivers sitting in gridlocked traffic stare at the “empty” bike lane, because I have already long passed them. Great quote by @pathlesspedaled.  (As long as the bike lane isn’t *too* empty of course.) James D. Schwartz is the Editor of The Urban Country and is based in Toronto, Canada. You can contact James at james.schwartz@theurbancountry.com ...

Grandmother Writes Apology Letter After Driving Like “Idiot” 2

BMW – Photo courtesy of Barry After carelessly driving like a “maniac, dangerous idiot”, a 52-year-old grandmother wrote an anonymous letter of apology to a man whom she cut off on the highway, narrowly avoiding what could have been a deadly collision. From the letter posted on the Toronto Star: “I would like to put in ...

Commuter Bike? Oh Please… 17

Our friend Carlton Reid over at BikeBiz.com posted an article about a high-end carbon fibre “commuter bike” (pictured above). You can put fenders and a rack on a racing bike, but it’s still a racing bike. Lipstick on a pig. This article has been updated from its original version to add additional commentary. People may ...

Direct Routes For Bicycles 4

Bike Map Holder – Photo courtesy of Mr. T in DC Cities in Canada and the United States have long catered to automobiles, providing drivers with a comprehensive network of roads with direct routes to their destinations. Bicycles, as a mode of transportation, have largely been ignored over the last several decades here, and people ...

“Not Much Can Go Wrong With That Bike” 4

Sofia on Daddy’s cargo bike – Photo by James Schwartz / The Urban Country  Last night my wife took her car to the grocery store and when she tried to start it again, the battery was dead. I grabbed my cargo bike and went to a nearby mechanic to borrow their mobile booster pack to ...

House Moves By Bicycle 5

Transporting cargo by bike in Portland, Oregon – Photo by Ryan Good  On a visit to Shanghai in 2010, I snapped dozens of photos of people transporting large objects by bicycle – including a bathtub and a full sized refrigerator – among other large household items. Here in Canada or the United States, it would ...

Urban Bicycling Is For Lazy People 76

Here in Canada, as in the United States, people tend to generally view bicycles primarily for recreation or sport. Thus, when someone asks me how I arrived somewhere and I tell them I rode my bicycle, they naturally assume that I am athletic, brave, unusual, always late, and I probably need to take a shower. ...

Using Google Search To Reveal Public Perception 2

Google Bicycle – Photo courtesy of Leon Hoffman  One useful and amusing way to identify current trends and to gauge public perception on a topic is to use Google Search Auto-Complete. To do this, simply start typing in a phrase on a topic of your choosing, and watch Google complete the sentence using data from ...