The 365 Cyclist

Cycling Year Round in Canada

Archive for the month “March, 2011”

A bit of History – Bike License

Bike License 1956

In 1956 in Etobicoke, you had to pay fifty cents each year to license your bicycle. And what you got in return was a flimsy piece of carbon paper and a warning not to ride on the sidewalks.

via A bit of History | Fletcher Five.

Downhill bike race in Chile is insanity at its finest

Scott B. sent this link to me. It is nuts!

I have seen insanity and it happens on the streets of Valparaiso, Chile. The Valparaiso Cerro Abajo Race is a legendary urban bike race and is more extreme than skydiving out of an exploding F-18 piloted by Charlie Sheen – while chugging a 2 liter of Mountain Dew. The rider must brave jumps, stray dogs, and flights of stairs along the steep downhill path. The first person perspective provided by the excellent helmet cam lets us take in every glorious and frightening detail. Do yourself a favor and watch this one in full screen mode.

Video is here – Downhill bike race in Chile is insanity at its finest

BFF Bicycle Film Festival Compilation

Bicycle Film Festival

Helmets; Road vs Mountain

Scott and I were talking helmets the other night. I’m pretty much of the position that I’ve got one and I wear it. What else is there to talk about?

Well my eyes have been opened up to the world of helmets. Call me a little slow but I have just been tuned into the fact that there are different helmet designs for road biking vs. mountain biking.

In hindsight this should have been obvious. The awakening quickly prompted me to visit the garage and check my head gear.

Now recognizing that I am the owner of a mountain bike helmet I begin to rewind some of my recent road bike rides. Surely the added wind drag of my mountain bike helmet has suppressed some of my pedaling potential on the road bike. It explains a lot.

As a result of my helmet discovery I am now in skull cap awareness mode. For the short term I am going to be very observant of the fast riders. Certainly they must be wearing some aerodynamically modified speed enhancing head protection. It is very possible that some of the helmets have wing profiles in the venting system providing lift to the rider and a reduction in gravity.

It is probable that soon I will need to do some helmet modification or in the worst case, upgrading. It could be the performance advantage that has been eluding me.

As a starting point, I found some helmet basics for reference from How to Choose a Bicycle Helmet: Expert Advice from REI. The basics are:

Helmets come in 3 basic styles—sport, road and mountain bike helmets. All types are designed to protect riders from impact while being light, comfortable and stylish.

Giro Ionos Road Bike Helmet

Giro Xar Mountain Bike Helmet

  • Sport helmets ($35-$55): Economical models that work well for commuter, road and mountain bikers as well as skateboarders and inline skaters.
  • Road bike helmets ($60-$230): Their appeal lies in their low weight, generous ventilation and aerodynamic design.
  • Mountain bike helmets ($50-$130): Built to offer maximum protection from trailside obstacles. Typically these helmets include visors and more extensive rear-head coverage. Special retention systems provide a firm and secure fit on rough terrain. Cyclocross riders often seek out these helmets.

Bike Mount™ for iPhone 4 by BioLogic

Now that there is a Toronto Bike Map app available on the iphone this Bike Mount™ for iPhone 4 is on my wish list.

Iphone 4 bike mount

The BioLogic Bike Mount for iPhone 4 lets you attach your iPhone 4 to the handlebar of your bike so you can use GPS and an appropriate app to track your position, your speed, or distance travelled, while you ride. The Bike Mount is a weatherproof case with a welded touch-sensitive membrane so your iPhone is completely protected from the weather but still fully functional. The inside of the case is lined with silicone for shock resistance.

The Bike Mount pivots so you can use your iPhone in portrait or landscape mode. Membrane protected openings for the front and rear camera lenses lets you take video or pictures while you ride. Fully compatible with the BioLogic ReeCharge. Suitable for handlebars or stems with a diameter of 38 mm (1.5”) or smaller.


  • Convenience
  • Hard engineering plastic case protects against knocks and scratches
  • RidgeSeal case design protects your phone from weather, sweat, and mud
  • Welded, touch-sensitive membrane gives complete access to iPhone applications
  • Weather-sealed windows and ports for front and rear cameras, headphones, and charge cable
  • Double-pivot lock system for secure case closure
  • Compatible with iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G, and iPhone

via Bike Mount™ for iPhone 4 | BioLogic Bicycle Accessories and Bike Gear.

Toronto Bike Map – There’s an App for That

Just last night I was saying how much I love Steve Jobs and Apple products. Why? Because every time I think to myself … wouldn’t it be cool if … Apple delivers.

By example, last Sunday I was riding my Bad Boy downtown in Toronto. Earlier that day I had failed to find my printed map of the Toronto bike paths. In my excitement to get going, I decided to not waste time searching for a map. So I left home without it.

I had looked at a route on the computer before I left, but my brain just ain’t what it used to be. Midway into my city tour I inevitably lost my way. Admittedly, I kind of knew where I was. I pulled out the iphone and the GPS pin pointed exactly where I was. That’s a comfort. But I wanted to route a course on bike paths, not roads.

I was thinking, wouldn’t it be nice if my iphone could magically directly me around Toronto on bike paths.

Viola! – as if Steve Jobs (aka. GOD), sensed my need, this morning I discovered that once again Apple makes it possible.

Here is what I found in the App store … and it’s FREE. How cool is that?

What can I say. Love the iphone!

Rick Mercer at Velodrome in London

Ahead by a Century

Sunday March 21, 2011

Today was the first day of Spring. It didn’t feel like it when I woke to an outside temperature of -5c. It was sunny and the forecast was for the temperature to rise to 5c (it hit 4c).

I decided to ride to Humber Bay West. I prepared the Bad Boy and took off.

Long story short … I had time, I felt good, and I just kept going to complete my first Century!

And that is why I am Ahead by a Century.

I took a few wrong turns in Toronto. I have a Toronto bike map but I had misplaced it. I looked on the internet before I left to get a general idea of where to go. It’s tough getting old, my memory let me down after I passed through High Park and reached Annette Street. That was pretty much the last of the bike lanes. Traffic was pretty lite. Even zooming down University Avenue past the ROM and Queens Park I pretty much had a lane to myself.

When I was nearly home my Garmin indicated that I was 10k short of 100k. Then I decided to do a little loop over to 9th Line and up to Erin Center Blvd. That was enough mileage to hit 100.5 km.

That’s a long ride … on a hybrid. My legs held up, and even though I was not wearing padded bike shorts, my butt wasn’t sore thanks to my B17 now broken in and custom moulded to my ass.

Tonight the stairs keep reminding me that I did some distance. I’ll consider the ride a success if I am able to walk tomorrow.

Ride data here.

Biking = Joy


Bamboo Bikes

If you’ve never heard of Bamboo bikes then check out this youtube video and these links. This is anti-technology with a practical application.

Bamboo Bike Studio

New York Post Article on Bamboo Bikes

Calfee Design - Bamboo Bike

Calfee Design – Bamboo Bikes

Brano Meres - Bamboo Bike

BME – Brano Meres

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