Canadian Cyclist


May 2/09 9:09 am - News from the Cycling World

Posted by Editoress on 05/2/09

"I was the first Olympic medalist I ever knew" - Curt Harnett

Pedal power to the people - ride on!
There's an urban transportation revolution afoot, but it's not the one you think.

The British government recently launched a £250-million strategy to introduce the electric car to mainstream London. The initiative, which includes citywide charging points, battery-swapping stations and hefty consumer incentives, is well-intentioned, but you won't see me signing up for an electromobile any time soon.

As it stands, there is only one convenient way of getting around the modern urban landscape, and that is the almighty bicycle.
Read more at The Globe and mail

Students take to two wheels at Coquitlam's Hillcrest middle school
More than 100 students rode their bikes to school in parent-led bike trains Tuesday to promote physical fitness and car-free transportation.

Alexi Zawadzki of the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition (VACC) said it was a good turnout for the first-ever event, which he hopes will happen every year to encourage students to ride their bikes instead of cadging rides with their parents.
Read more at Tri-City News

The Mirror's guide to 10 biking trails outside the city centre
As Montrealers, we love to play in traffic, especially on bicycles. We relish adrenaline-fuelled shouting matches with motorists on St-Laurent and Ste-Catherine and the near-collisions from which they stem. If, however, you're looking to ditch the congested city streets and summer smog for a day, there are plenty of routes, on-island and off, that offer good rides. Here are a few picks from people who know:
Read more at Montreal Mirror

St. John's residents kick tires of new cycling plan
A draft City of St. John's plan to make the municipality more bicycle-friendly was a hit with people who turned out Wednesday night for a public meeting.

The city has been working with outside consultants for the past two years on the plan, which includes widening some streets to accommodate bike lanes.

The plan, which would require about $6 million over a 20-year period, would also widen off-road trails to allow cyclists.
Read more at CBC

Prevent brain injury
June is Brain Awareness Month and parents are being reminded of the importance of helmet safety. We all know that wearing a helmet can significantly reduce the risks of brain and spinal cord injuries in many sport and recreational activities, like skiing, biking and in-line skating.

Experts attest that brain injury prevention is key and parents should set themselves as examples. Children and youth make up 17% of the Canadian population, but account for a staggering 30% of all traumatic brain injuries seen in this country.
Read more at Sudbury Star

Bike touring: South America to Alaska
Filmmaker Gwendal Castellan presents a talk on Long Road North, a cycling pilgrimage from the southernmost tip of South America, north to Alaska, May 14 at 6 p.m. at Bike Doctor, 137 West Broadway.

Fundraiser in support of the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride
The world of high fashion will invade Barrie on May 31 at a special fundraising event in support of the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride.

Supermodel Coco Rocha, and 20 fellow models, will strut their stuff on the runway at the Roxx Nite Club, showcasing spring fashion by Nygard and Liz Claiborne.
Read more at Barrie Advance

Economic woes derail Tour de New York race
Citing "extremely" challenging economic times that have curtailed the ability to find enough title sponsors, organizers have canceled the inaugural Tour de New York professional cycling race.

The six-stage event was scheduled for Aug. 8 to 13 through the streets and roads of Rochester, the Finger Lakes and other parts of western New York. The popular Saturn Twilight Criterium stage through the streets of downtown, which has attracted crowds of 30,000 since its inception in 2004, also was canceled.

British Cycling announces measures to rescue road racing
British Cycling have today announced what it is doing to safeguard the future of racing on the British highways.

The sport's governing body has come under increasing pressure this year after several high profile races had been cancelled. Most damaging to the future of the sport was when the Bikeline Two-Day Premier Calendar race was halted by the Police as riders consistently crossed the white line.
Read more at Cycling Weekly

(At Least) Ten Reasons Why Cycling Is Not The New Golf
As I was flipping through TV channels on Easter Sunday, I came across The Masters Championship. It was around 4:00 p.m., so CBS was about halfway through their 6 hour continuous broadcast of the event. In vain, I continued to flip through the (basic cable) channels, looking for a mere glimpse of Paris-Roubaix.

No luck.

The infamy!
Read More Bike World News

The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition offers bike classes FREE to the newly unemployed
The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, a nonprofit bicycle organization, is opening up its bike safety classes to all workers who lost their jobs since the start of the economic downtown last fall at no cost to the unemployed. "Bicycling is an extremely practical way to get around in tough economic times," said Executive Director Rebecca Serna. "We decided to offer our classes for free to unemployed workers to make it easier for them to get around town while saving money on gas by riding a bicycle."
Read more at ABC

Dutch to New York: Ride Our Bikes, Please
Are New Yorkers ready for the Dutch bicycle?

Some, like Club Monaco, see the World War II-era bike as so retro that it's become fashion-forward.

But City Room isn't quite so sure that the masculine, messenger-centric bicycling culture is ready to embrace a style of lumbering, erect bicycling-riding that is reminiscent of, well, Pee Wee Herman.
Read more at New York Times

Free bikes a wheel great way to get around town
It's all about pedal power this summer.

Dozens of free bikes will be available to the public from May to October as part of a new program to get New Yorkers cycling.

The bicycles can be picked up in South Street Seaport and returned to one of four locations in Manhattan 2-1/2 hours later.
Read more: Daily News

Traffic Skills 101 for everyone (including steakheads)
While taking a dinner break on Friday around 7 p.m., a buddy and I were heading east on Fifth Street, just past Whole Foods. We saw two guys on fixies with no helmets run a stop light. They proceeded to run another one.

After the third stop light with this nonsense, I told my friend to follow these idiots. We witnessed the cyclists running two more red lights and almost getting hit by cars who had the green light in the intersection. Just about everyone in cars around us were honking their horns and spewing plenty of French verbage.

It was an ugly scene. And then my friend turned to me and said, "That's why people hate you guys."
Read more:

Lessons on Cycling Infrastructure from Holland's Most Progressive City
Using a bicycle for daily transportation remains an anomaly for most Hamiltonians, barring the hardy few, despite slow movement from the city to develop cycling as a greater component of its Transportation Master Plan.

As Hamilton continues along this process with a Spring 2009 update to its Shifting Gears policy document, it may be helpful to look to other jurisdictions for an idea of where our city could be going on this issue and what we might aspire to.
Read more at Raise the Hammer

Bettini to Compete in Ypres Rally
Retired cyclist Paolo Bettini will make his Intercontinental Rally Challenge debut when he contests the Ypres Rally in Belgium from June 18-20.

Bettini, a long-term rally fan, has contested a handful of events in his native Italy in the past.

He has linked up with fellow cyclist Franco Ballarin for an attack on the asphalt-based Ypres Rally in Belgium driving an Abarth Grande Punto. Ballarin will co-drive.
Read More

Halfords defies satnav slump with profits from biking boom
Halfords has shrugged off the collapse of the satnav bonanza, saying it will beat last year's record profits on the back of the continuing boom in cycling.

The retailer also said it expects a busy few months ahead as stay-at-home Brits head to Halfords to pick up their roof boxes, trailers, tents and cycle carriers and head into the countryside for their credit-crunch holidays this year.

Halfords today said profits for its financial year just ended are set to come in at between £92 million and £92.5 million, ahead of last year's £90.2 million.
Read More Evening Standard

EU Digs Deep in Public Rental Bikes
The huge popularity of public bike rental schemes like Velib in Paris didn't escape the attention of the EU government. The European Commission initiated an extensive study to the implantation of public rental bike systems in Europe over the past two years.

The outcome of this study was recently published by consultant agency SpiCycles that carried out the study. In close cooperation with six big cities SpiCycles gathered experiences related to specific areas of cycling policy in these cities.
Read More Bike Europe

DNV road money hits a bump
Needs of traffic calming, cycling routes, bus stops not being met
Read more at North Shore News

Wired mag does Sea Otter go to

Could Portland be America’s bike manufacturing hub?
Shortly after Joe Bike opened in Portland as one of the few American shops outside Los Angeles to sell Flying Pigeon bicycles, an angry cyclist stormed in through the front door and demanded to know why the owner would buy bikes made in China. The country’s poor industrial labor conditions have long drawn scrutiny from international human rights organizations, and Flying Pigeon is a Chinese brand.

“He wanted to know if the Chinese workers have pension plans,” said Joe Doebele, owner of Joe Bike, which opened on Hawthorne Street in November. “The shop’s just getting started. We don’t even have pension plans yet.”

The outburst came as a surprise to Doebele, given that about six to eight percent of Portlanders commute by bike, compared to less than 1 percent nationally, and the city has carefully cultivated its image as a cycling mecca. He assumed it was common knowledge among Portland cyclists that most bicycles, including those sold by the major American brands like Trek, Specialized and Cannondale, come from factories in China and Taiwan.

Why, many local cyclists want to know, can’t Portland itself become a bike production center?


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