Thursday, November 17, 2011

Before Voting Tomorrow

Just found this link to the BC Cycling Coalition's website. They've got a link to the Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition's site, with a list of the candidates in the municipal election. Read here for some questions and answers before you go vote tomorrow!
And yes, it matters if you vote. If you ride a bike, you already care about your body and your environment. Voting is one way to show that you're taking an interest in your community's bike legislation.
For me in Saanich, I'm making note of which candidates commute on their bikes. It's one more factor helping me feel like I'm selecting my votes carefully.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

More Work on the E&N Rail Trail!

Great news from the Capital Regional District of Greater Victoria. Parts of the E&N Rail Trail are now open! This path is being created to follow the route of the E&N Rail line from downtown Victoria through Esquimalt, all the way to Langford.
Check out this link to see some photos of the Trail being constructed beside the railway line in Esquimalt. I was down there yesterday and saw people walking on the nice smooth blacktop trail!
The route is already taking some of the traffic from the Galloping Goose trail, which sees a lot of commuters on bike and foot during the summer months. Even in winter, both trails are expected to see a lot of use. Recreational users as well as commuters are looking forward to the expected completion of the new trail.
Here's the latest press release from The CRD on the new trail:

CRD Media Release

For Immediate Release
November 14, 2011

E&N Rail Trail-Humpback Connector Closed from Esquimalt Rd. to Admirals/Colville Rd.

Victoria, BC – Construction of a section of the E&N Rail Trail-Humpback Connector from the
intersection of Admirals and Colville Roads in Esquimalt to Esquimalt Road in Victoria is
underway. Due to requirements by rail operator for public safety, this section of trail must be
closed until the intersection upgrades are complete. These upgrades are on hold until the future
of the railway is determined by the rail operator and other parties.

The first portion of work including construction of 2.3 kilometre of trail surface is nearing
completion. However, the second portion involving improvements to five road intersections,
including upgrades to rail signals and pedestrian crossing infrastructure is delayed due to
circumstances beyond the CRD’s control.

“While there is currently no passenger service running on the line, it is still considered an active
railway and therefore subject to all safety requirements to which the CRD must adhere,” says
Lloyd Rushton, General Manager of CRD Parks and Community Services. “We ask for the
public’s patience and cooperation as we work to construct our next regional trail.”

The E&N Rail Trail-Humpback Connector is a commuter cycling and recreation trail that is being
built largely within the rail corridor in Victoria, Esquimalt, View Royal and Langford. The trail is
being built in phases. Phase one is underway. It will provide a 14.3 kilometre contiguous route
from Esquimalt Road in Victoria to Jacklin Road in Langford. Eventually this multi-use path will
stretch from the Johnson Street Bridge in Victoria to Humpback Road in Langford. It will be an
important multi-use transportation link between Victoria and the Westshore. It will also form a
key part of the trail network managed by the Capital Regional District, which includes the
popular Galloping Goose and Lochside regional trails.

You can find additional information at (including a map of the Galloping Goose and E&N Rail Trails).
Attachment: Rail Trail Bulletin

For further information, please contact:
Laurie Sthamann, Communications Coordinator
CRD Regional Parks
Tel: 250.360.3332 | cell: 250.889.8030 |

Friday, September 23, 2011

Some New Designs

Gorgeous, right? It's an ebike designed by Ford and unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Li-Ion powered to a motor in the front wheel, it also features a Carbon Belt Drive System for getting your human power to the rear wheel. It's adaptively powered:
In the Ford E-Bike, the first application of this technology in the bicycle industry, the sensors read the revolutions in the inner bearing and relay this information to the control unit within a hundredth of a second. The control unit then instantly activates or deactivates the electric motor, providing a seamless integration of the power of the legs with the power of the motor.
It utilizes a trapezoidal frame profile made from aluminum and carbon, looks crazy cool, and will not be available for purchase. Ever. It's a "concept bike", much like the "concept car".

But, on the other side of the coin,
the very popular Brompton Folding Bike (available at both North Park and Fairfield bike shops here in Victoria),announced today (21 September 2011) that it will be offering an electric version of its folder; the eBrompton. Rollout is scheduled to be first in the UK and German markets during 2012 with a worldwide launch in 2013.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


OMG, guess what the public library in Victoria is doing now? They've got a Bikemobile touring the streets and attending local events.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Places You Can't Ride Bikes

Check out the blog at! Someone's posted a list of five places where you can't ride a bicycle.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

New Linear Trail!

Just got a press release from the Capital Regional District (CRD) here in greater Victoria. Looks like the CRD is trying to pick a new name for the new linear park. It's a trail that mostly follows the route of the E & N railway from downtown Victoria through to the western communities. The trail will be used by bicycles and pedestrians, much like the existing bike trails in the Victoria area.
The need for this trail has been obvious to anyone riding on the Galloping Goose trail in summer. The Goose has become a crowded commuter route! With any luck, the new trail will take some of the bike traffic along a convenient route. Here's the press release:

Media Release
For Immediate Release June 2, 20112
Be A Part of History: Name the CRD’s Next Regional Trail!
Victoria, BC – The Capital Regional District, in partnership with CFAX 1070, is launching a community contest to name its next regional trail. You can be a part of history by giving it a name!
This new commuter cycling and recreation trail will be built largely within the E & N rail corridor in Victoria, Esquimalt, View Royal and Langford.
“This next regional trail will be an important multi-use transportation link between Victoria and the Westshore,” said CRD Regional Parks Committee Christopher Causton. “With construction of the trail underway, it is an opportune time to create awwareness, enthusiasm and support for it through a naming coontest. The working name E & N Rail Trail is also a candidate.”
The contest is open to everyone. Make it memorable. Make it relevant. Make it fun. But enter a name before the contest closes on July 14th.
A jury will help to select a name. Final decision will rest with the CRD Regional Parks Committe and CRD Board.
For contest details and entry form visit
- 30 -
For further information please contact:
Laurie Sthamann, Communications Coordinator, Regional Parks
Capital Regional District
Tel: 250.360.3332 Cell: 2500.889.8030

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Tour de Victoria

The first Tour de Victoria took place today, and I had a great time without even getting on my bike. I was a volunteer marshal, one of over 400 volunteers for the bike event. In a perfect world, I would have ridden my bike to the spot I was assigned, but Bernie dropped me off as he took Karl & Stephanie's car to go bird-sitting.
It was a thrilling day! I got to see the host for the ride, Ryder Hesjedal as he rode past my location. I'm sure that one of those hard-bodied speed demons in the lead peloton was Ryder. They all looked muscular, and focused. Lemme tell ya, after a hundred and twenty klicks with a few hills along the way, fifty guys all wearing Lycra and a layer of sweat & road dust look a lot like Ryder. And that's the way it should be.
There's a reason I participated in the Tour as a volunteer rather than a rider. The route was 140 km long, and people were expected to complete it in less than six hours. There was an alternate route only 90 km long. And for those shrieking "ONLY?" there was also a Family Ride around Beacon Hill Park with Silken Laumann, which was a very inclusive alternative.
Out of the twelve hundred or so riders I applauded, there were three odd bikes on the course. One was a recumbent, another a tandem, and I spotted a folding bike's tiny wheels. One woman wore a helmet cover that looked like a yellow puffer fish -- very sporty! But my vote for Biker of the Day goes to the man riding next to a woman as their peloton of friends approached the hill on King George Terrace. He stretched out his arm and put one hand at the base of her spine, giving her a little boost as they took that first curving slope on the double-slope hill. Good man.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

My sexy new ride: Norco Heart

Just picked this up yesterday. I was looking for something inexpensive for noodling around town as I get a little paranoid leaving my Salsa Fargo locked up by itself. Sticker price on this bike is $390 Canadian (I could buy 5 or 6 of these for what the Fargo is worth).

It's a single-speed bike, the rear hub is a "flip-flop" which will let you run it freewheel or "fixie" for old-school riding (just turn the wheel around, there are cogs on both sides). I added the white pedals to go with the white wheels and white chain. And got a nice looking white cable lock to finish the look.

Another shout-out to the guys at Oak Bay Bikes, they gave me a great deal on an already inexpensive ride. Specs:

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Back to the Future part whatever...

The Victorians built them. There are still collectors looking for them and paying premium prices. Have a look at a Bamboo Bike being built.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Bikes. They're Not Just For Bikes Anymore.

Hackable. Open-source. Not usually phrases attached to bikes. But this is the age of Velosynth. Coming from EFFALO, a maker collective (EFFALO was chartered to synthesize, modulate, and deploy multimodal interaction environments that promote expressive feedback between humans, nature and technology)out of Portland, Velosynth is a bike gear add-on that  converts multiple inputs from your cycling experience into data read by a synthesizer. As John Lennon said; "Strange days indeed."
There's an excellent short article at the synthgear website, and the velosynth preview video should be embedded below.

velosynth release#001 from velosynth on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Bicycle Kitchen for Walker Repairs

Bicycle Kitchens Rock!
Well, we knew that. We knew that for certain when a Bike Kitchen was set up at the Student Union Building at the University of Victoria. We've been on the UVic campus, scooting around with a friend and her kids on bikes, and made darn sure to get everybody over to the SUB. There's the Bike Kitchen, with clamps and pressurized air, and all sorts of tools tethered to the posts.
Today we found another use for the Bike Kitchen: doing maintenance on a walker. Nope, not a pedestrian -- the wheeling frame that some people use for support when walking. Celu's walker had developed an annoying squeak in the front wheels after the December snowfall. When she mentioned it, Bernie's talents at tuning up bicycles got mentioned also. Could he possibly oil the squeak? He turned up on campus to meet her for tea, with some tools and a couple kinds of bike chain oil (I'm not sure what all was in his knapsack).
It was great, to see him take each of the four wheels off Celu's walker, clean them, lube them, and put them back. Who would have thought that walkers could get maintenance as simply as bikes? Hot damn! Three cheers for human powered transportation, in yet another form!