copenhagen of course
i'm not dead. i just got fed up with toronto and moved to copenhagen instead, one of the best cities
in the world for cyclists. so obviously this blog is completely unnecessary now. sorry.
the ultimate snow bike
this is the reason i haven't been riding my bike.
i don't have one of these
the snow comes
i had to see if it was possible. i had to know if cycling in weather like this was viable.
didn't i? but it's not, it's just stupid. it took me twice as long and all i have to show for it
is a spare TTC token and a wet ass.
arriving at my destination i was greeted with "you're a fucking mental case", and dirty
look from the caretaker as he watched me drip sludge all over his lobby. if these places would
provide adequate bike storage it wouldn't be a problem.
but cycling when it's snowing is not cool. the roads covered in slush, spraying out from
underneath every car's wheels. deteriorating brakes, slipping wheels. freezing ears,
snow in eyes. calf muscles aching. it's just dangerous, and not even in a fun way.
cold i can handle, but not this.
i've not really stopped cycling
it's been a long time. does mean the roads have been safer? no not really.
halfway through october i came into possesion of a monthly TTC travel pass,
so that cut down on my road adventures somewhat. then i went back home for a while.
now i'm back and it's cold and dark. but i'm determined to not let that put me off cycling.
cycling in the dark is now unavoidable, but i'm refusing to cycle
on main roads when i do. they're too poorly lit and way too dangerous. i have trouble seeing
the cyclists with the most expensive and impressive arrays of bike lights, nevermind
the kamikaze cyclists with no lights. what is wrong with you? so these roads are out
of the question. and if there's no alternative i'm going to have to ride the sidewalk.
come fine me officer, at least i'll still alive.
and if you're going to point out the number of accidents due to people cycling on the sidewalk,
don't bother. if i'm in accident from cycling on the sidewalk at least it's my fault. not the fault
of some idiot driver. that i can handle.
bicycle road rage
i know you're not supposed to aggravate drivers, but sometimes they're too rude to ignore.
like this one guy down on bloor, west of spadina. you know the stretch, where it's really narrow and there's
cars consistently parked down both sides, their doors ready to open in your face.
you don't want to cycle within a doors width of the parked cars, and if you try to be nice and leave
room for the cars coming up behind you there's always some asshole who will drive way too close.
close like i wish i had spikes on the sides of my pedals. it may seem unreasonable
to take up the whole lane, but that section of road moves so slowly the cars have nowhere to go anyway.
if they overtake they're just queuing at the red light sooner.
so when someone starts honking at us to get out of the way, and forces past us only to be stopped
at the lights infront, i couldn't help but feel a little angry. what's a suitable response? in the future,
when then stakes are raised, i'll probably snap off his wingmirror as i pass. or bounce a molotov
off his windscreen. set fire to his tyres. but all i did was tap on his window and give him my
stiffest finger as i zipped passed. not really enough to warrant him blaring his horn again
(misuse under the ontario highway act?) for a good few seconds, but nevermind.
i'm sorry for further worsening our city's cyclists' reputation, and further escalating
the ever growing tension between drivers and riders, but sometimes it's too satisfying to
not fight back.
is your indicator broken?
toronto cycling tip of the day: cars don't indicate when turning right. if you need to know which
way a car is going you have to look at their place in the road and the angle of their tyres.
my favourite method is knocking on their window and asking them. my secret favourite method is using
my helmet to knock on their window and asking them.
bike pirates - victory
this saturday at bike pirates was quite a different experience. i still spent many minutes
staring at my bike hoping it would magically fix itself. there were still times i wanted
someone to just mend it. and times when i really needed help but everyone was busy.
the difference was how everything slowly came together, rather than fall apart.
i started with the easy problems and replaced my completely broken pedal. both of the pedals which came
with the bike have been scrapped now because they fell apart. is my cycling style to blame?
i don't know, but i doubt it.
then i thought i should probably fix up my back wheel, which was the main reason i was there.
but after a bit of fiddling i discovered it was getting too hard and moved on to my back
brakes instead, taking them apart and deciding to replace the whole lot. or at least i did
until someone said it was completely unnecessary.
back to the wheel. i loosened the cones up and everything just fell out. previously
caged bearings bouncing around the floor and splinters of broken metal cage sticking
into my thumb. the clues suggest my big mistake was putting the bearing cages
in the wrong way round. whoops. so i found some cones with dust caps that matched my
old ones (there were two left, lucky) and found myself a new axle (my old was was mashed)
and got to putting it back together. only there weren't any quarter inch bearings.
almost disaster, but luckily i found two bearing cages that fit perfectly (very lucky).
an hour later it was spinning beautifully.
back to the brakes. i got them all tightened up and even managed to get the squeak out
of the front brakes. it didn't last, but whilst they were silent it was magic.
i left feeling very happy. and also stuffed from the burritos. brilliant.