commuting

February 20, 2013

car2go

Like many cyclists, I own a car. Truth be told, I own two.

Despite the fact that it’s rarely driven and sits mostly idle in my driveway there are times when the convenience of a car is tough to ignore – especially if your car is paid off, cheap on gas, and the insurance costs aren’t crippling (as mine is).

With that said, I still have trouble justifying the cost of gas, parking and the time spent sitting in traffic just to have a car available whenever I’d like, especially when I generally have more attractive means of transportation at my disposal. But there sure are times a car would be nice to have around…

Enter car2go. – Read More –

February 13, 2013

Backpack vs. Panniers

I prefer my bike to be as clutter free as possible. Panniers, racks, fenders, bells, baskets, streamers, spokey-dokes… All of these things offend me on some fundamental level.

Despite efforts to keep my bike unadorned, the practical matters of riding to work everyday has made certain accessories worth their affront to my clutter-free preferences.

With all the paraphernalia adorning my rig there is no choice but embrace the “commuterism” of it… During the fall, winter and spring I’m sporting a bell, lights, fenders, rack and panniers. And while my commuting bike has never been exceptionally svelte, it now bristles with clydesdale-ness. – Read More –

January 8, 2013

Gettin’ Old & Stayin’ Young

Amongst friends, co-workers and family there’s been a lot of talk lately about getting old. Arthritic hips. Aching knees. Tweaked backs. Fading eyesight… The list goes on, and it’s less than inspirational.

Now, I can’t in good conscious say that there are parts of me that haven’t been affected by the years going by, but I think there’s something about riding a bike that keeps you a little younger at heart, body and mind than everybody else.

As people get older I think they have a tendency to move past certain activities. I can’t really say why. With cycling specifically, perhaps it’s because they view it as childish, something only the young do – Without realizing that reason is precisely why they should embrace it.

As I reflected on 2012, I noted how much cycling had given me. It made me think of what cycling offers everybody and the benefits are pretty wide and deep – I pulled together a list. It’s just five things. But, to me, they’re big:
– Read More –

November 7, 2012

Cycling vs. Driving

Most days I ride to work. I enjoy it. And while it’s true that I gently guide and help coworkers and friends who want to cycle more or commute, I’m by no means a ‘cycle-nazi’ – I still drive. Be it looming deadlines and late nights at the office, cross-city running around, or simple apathy, there are times I’ll trade two wheels for four.

Case in point – As my recent schedule became increasingly overwhelming I begrudgingly put the bike in the garage and grabbed the keys. However, rather than mindlessly meandering between locations I was keen to get something more out of my time behind the wheel – I decided to carefully monitor my mood, feelings and actions on my drive as well as my observations of others.

While perhaps not shocking, and definitely not scientific, here what I found:
– Read More –

June 6, 2012

I don’t ring my bell

I have a confession… I don’t ring my bell.

Well – At least, I don’t ring it nearly as often as I used to.

Along with a transition to a new office in a different part of town came an adjustment to the route of my commute. Now, instead of cutting through the heart of downtown amongst the traffic, I spend most of my time on Calgary’s pathway system. 

Now on the surface, this may seem like a perfect scenario, but the pathway system deals with a rush hour all to itself… Cyclists of every experience level, dog-walkers, runners, Tai Chi-ers, geese, ducks, squirrels and everything in-between.

Prior to my new routing my time on the pathway was somewhat fleeting and through a much less populous area. During this time I rang my bell religiously, merrily ‘ting-tinging’ my way to work. But if I were to ring my bell with that level of frequency along my new route I’d end up ringing my bell faster than I’m turning the pedals.

So I stopped.

– Read More –

March 28, 2012

An end to gridlock?

Is the answer to a smooth, rush-hourless commute, free of road-rage as simple as ending car ownership? Computer scientists at the University of Texas think so.

As our cities and populations continue to grow, the realities of limited auto-opportunistic travel are quickly becoming apparent and the stress cracks and fractures of overtaxed infrastructures are already showing in all major cities. From multi-hour gridlocks to astronomical parking fees.

The key to not owning a car is ensuring the benefit of owning one close at hand – It’s a convenience the first world is not going to part with easily. When it comes to autonomous driving models, the technology is already here, it’s just a matter of getting the infrastructure in place to manage it. And when things work as they should it will not only be like you have a car, it will be like each member in your family has a car.

The key to the whole thing is that you won’t be driving.

– Read More –

June 16, 2011

Cycling Un-Strategy

For those unawares, the City of Calgary recently unveiled their proposed cycling strategy. Cyclists in Calgary are obviously excited and I’m sure visions of a Portland-esque cycling wonderland are dancing through many a-cyclists mind.

However, this post isn’t about getting into the details of the strategy, nor my thoughts on it – This post is about how simple, daily actions are unravelling things before this strategy even has the ability to gain traction. – Read More –

March 24, 2011

Bikes in Japan

When I lived in Japan, it was impossible not to notice what a major role bikes play in day-to-day life. They aren’t at all seen as ‘toys’ or a way to stay-fit, like we see them here. I didn’t see any roadies in skin suits out on training rides. I didn’t see hipsters on single-speeds hangin’ at the coffee shops, or BMX-ers in the parks building dirt jumps. In fact, oddly enough, single-speeds may actually have banned there – though I’m not sure about that. Instead it seemed to me that the Japanese see bikes as purely a practiacal means of transportation –  you see the Japanese wearing business suits as they ride to work, or balancing their kid in a bike seat as they also carry groceries home from the local markets. Near almost every train/subway station in Tokyo, you’ll find a massive bike-rack/lot, just PACKED with bikes (see photo – it’s nuts!). In a city like Tokyo, with a daytime population of more than 27 million, bikes free people from the extraordinary costs of owning, parking and operating a vehicle in such a space-starved metropolis. Even with the amazing public transportation system that they have, and believe me, it is amazing – bikes are still a common choice for transportation. – Read More –

December 14, 2010

Bike Wars

Do yourself a favour and read this article. With the distance between social-economic classes growing and the rich dictating more and more cities policy and direction, this is a very thought provoking take on driving. The New Class Warfare over Bicycles Don Cherry and Rob Ford twist it backwards. The elitists are pro-car politicians, slowing – Read More –

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