Thursday, November 22, 2007

Best Cycling Video - Criminal Evading Police on Bicycle

Check out how fast this criminal is going in order to evade police!

First Real Snow Day in Ottawa!

Today, my daily commute to work was like snowboarding, blasting through snowdrifts on the paths along the Ottawa River, fully armored against ice-patches with my goggles and helmet! What fun!

I am preparing for the worst weather by investing in a Surly Pugsley off-road bike with 3.7" Large Marge tires to float over the snow. I'm being set up by Dave at Phat Moose Cycles on Hawthorne St. in Ottawa.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Dallas looks to bicycles to deal with pollution, congestion

Dallas, in oil-friendly Texas, is encouraging cycling for commuting to fight the city's air-pollution and traffic-congestion troubles. They are keen on increasing bicycle use for short errands, under a mile, and commutes to public transit. To do so they will expand the bike path network around the city. If Dallas is doing this, why can't more Canadian cities get around to providing facilities?

Notable quote from the article in the Dallas Morning News:
"We have this picture of cycling commuters as being like supermen, and that discourages other people from doing it," said P.M. Summer, transportation alternatives coordinator for the city of Dallas. "When I came into this job, our thinking was we needed to enable cyclists to make 40-mile bike trips. Now my thinking is we need to have development in place that allows a cyclist to make a one-mile bike trip."

Thursday, November 15, 2007

London-Paris cycling route planned

Just in time for the 2012 Olympics in London, a cycling route linking London and Paris by ferry is planned, according to an article in "The Avenue Verte, connected by the Newhaven-Dieppe ferry, will be the first designated bike path between the two cities."

While the route will, for the most part, avoid traffic and use existing cycle paths, incuding the Tour de la Manche on the English side and the Avenue verte on the French side.

Are we looking for a bicycle connection between Canada and the US anytime soon?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Bicycling to work up 18% in Sydney, Australia

According to the following article in the Sydney Morning Herald, cycling to work in Sydney is on the rise. Cyclists increased from 0.4% of all commuters in Sydney in 2001 to 0.6% in 2006. That is still a long way off from Ottawa's 1.9% cycling to work, which in turn is far off Copenhagen's nearly 30% who cycle to work! The article says that the relatively small number is due to the failure to accomodate cyclists as commuters.

Check it out here.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Tour de Fat

The New Belgium Brewing Company's "Tour de Fat", which involves cyclists dressed up in fantastic costumes to raise awareness for the two-wheeled lifestyle, doubled its attendance from last year's festival, with more than 12,000 participants.

Notable quotes (from the press release by the New Belgium Brewery:

"Living car-free is great. No insurance, no repair bills, no gas money," said Brendan Halpin, who traded in his car for a bike in Missoula, Montana and has been using a trailer on the back of his bike to help haul groceries, laundry, even camping gear. "It promotes a healthy green lifestyle that is easily achievable by anyone that is willing to put in the extra effort. The monetary and lifestyle benefits are well worth the sacrifice."

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Safety in numbers

See the following study, in which the author compared the risk of mortality of cycling with the benefit to mortality of getting daily exercise that a bicycle commute would provide, and found by a wide margin that cycling is the safer alternative:

The study was done in Oxfordshire, UK, where the roads are presumably more cycling-friendly than in automobile-centric North America. However, I think many of the conclusions are transferrable. In particular, I have heard the truth again and again that more cyclists on the road means fewer accidents. Safety in numbers!

A notable quote:
"Sedentary lifestyle is a major threat to public health. Walking and cycling for transport are effective ways for people to engage in regular exercise with all its commensurate benefits for health. A modal shift towards these forms of transport should reduce car use, thus further improving road safety, and reducing the environmental damage caused by current travel patterns. There would also be positive social and community effects, with greater social cohesion, higher levels of social capital, and a stronger focus on local communities; all these factors are likely to have a positive influence on health."

Thursday, November 8, 2007

One Got Fat

Quote from a New York Times article "Will bicycling to work get you killed?":

"Per kilometer, cyclists are 12 times more likely than car drivers to suffer a fatal accident, according to Rutgers University urban planner John Pucher and Lewis Dijkstra of the European Commission (the same study found traveling by foot to be 23 times more dangerous than driving, per kilometer).

"On the other hand, a Danish study found that people who do not bike to work suffer a 39 percent higher mortality rate than those who do. So, assuming you can avoid a fatal accident on the road, biking to work may actually help you live longer.

"The risks associated with cycling decrease dramatically when more cyclists are on the road, and especially when those cyclists obey traffic laws. This second point is hammered home in this bizarre but brilliant 1963 bike safety film, “One Got Fat”"

A note on the statistics. The harm is greater per kilometer for pedestrians and cyclists because even though accidents may occur at a similar frequency for each mode of transport, a typical commute by car is much farther than one either by foot or bike (possibly 12 to 23 times?)... Food for thought

Queens in NYC going ahead with bike plans

The Borough of Queens in NYC is going ahead with plans to increase bike paths, increase parking, and put in deidcated bicycle lanes on busier streets, in the interest of improving the daily commute of its residents. Apparently in NYC less than 1% commute by bicycle, and the city is impressed with Portland, Oregon, where 3.5% uses bicycles to get to work.

Check out:

Notable quotes:
“We advocate for the lane to reflect what the street is like,” Samponaro said, adding busier streets require protective lanes, whereas calmer streets can make due with shared lanes.
“The more cyclists there are on the streets, the safer they are,” Samponaro said. “There’s safety in numbers.”

Open letter to the Mayors of our cities

It's time for cities to put in bike paths to make people feel secure using bicycles as transportation, whether it be for commuting, doing the groceries, or visiting friends. To that end, there is a new open letter at which asks the Mayors of our cities to increase the existing cycle path network, build dedicated bicycle lanes at the side of the road, and increase the urban bicycle parking. Imagine how greener our cities would be, and how much healthier their residents...

Sign up and suggest your city!

Some pictures of bicycle paths in Amsterdam from, and what ours SHOULD look like.

About Me

I am an avid cyclist - I commute to work by bike, and I intend to continue to do so even in the worst of the Canadian winter. I just think that cycling, where it is possible, is the best thing that we can do for the environment, for getting around. Plus, it's fun (if the weather is nice) and gives us some much-needed exercise!

I am currently advocating for a tax rebate for the purchase of bicycles and cycling equipment and for dedicated bike lanes at the side of our roads. Sign the open letters to our Prime Minister, the provincial premiers and our Mayors at and make a difference!

During the day I am a patent lawyer at the firm of Andrews Robichaud in Ottawa, Canada, an intellectual property law boutique ( I draft and prosecute patents, and litigate when the need arises.

Supermodels Ride Bikes

"Local celebrities like the actresses Naomi Watts and Chloë Sevigny and the Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen have all championed living the green life in this most public and only incidentally calorie-burning way. “I go every day to work on my bike,” Ms. Bündchen told the Daily News a couple of years ago. “It’s faster than a car, and cheaper.”"

A quote from the The New York Observer, which can be found at:

The Wealthy Ride More!

Apparently the wealthy are more likely to ride bikes than the poor - overturning the belief that cycling is a poor person's transport.

The article in the Times can be found here:
The wealthy are more informed about the benefits of bicycles, both environmental and physical.

In particular:

"Studies have shown that regular cyclists typically enjoy a level of fitness equivalent to someone 10 years younger, and those cycling regularly beyond their mid-thirties add two years to their life expectancy."