Critical Mass April '09

Every month it seems like more people are showing up. Last April was a big mass, but I don't think it was this big.

After mass there I always have several hours of really good mood. It must be an endorphin high.


Bike Moving Company in Montreal

I got a comment of someone promoting their bicycle moving business in Montreal on my Moving By Bike post:
I just started a moving-by-bike company in Montreal. I began the operations only two weeks ago, and already completed 15 small contracts. Take a look at the photos on the webpage:


It looks like a cool business. I hope to see more of this sort of thing happening. If I ever have the good fortune of moving to Montreal, I might be in touch.


I have to clean my bike

A real low point of my day was when a fellow on a carbon fiber fixed gear bicycle made a cutting quip "I see you don't wash your bike as often as I do!" I summoned the little self esteem I had left and tried to gently instill, in this glorious and shining man, the thought that I have other bikes which are better taken care of. "Yes," I said, "It has been a while since I cleaned this one."

Nonplussed by my rhetoric, he breezed gently by, his aerodynamic position disdainful to the mere reality of atmospheric turbulence. The gentle wind wafting graciously over his bespandexed carapace seemed to silently exclaim “Only laminar flow will do!”

The days of chivalry are long over, but the demeanour of this fastidious man called back to a time of polished steel clad warriors ambling along on carefully manicured steeds, laughing as their horses splashed mud onto nearby peasants.


Bike Pirates' Alley Ride

The Bike Pirates' Alley Ride was one of the most enjoyable rides I've been on in quite a while. It had the feeling of the straggly late endings of a midsummer Mass. I love the simultaneous quiet and noise of a group of cyclists riding and chatting.

It was very much fun. If any of the organizers read this, I say a hearty "thank you!"


Laid Up and Laid Back

All winter long, you think to yourself how you can't wait to get back onto your fair weather friends, the summer bikes. Personally, I have two such friends, my fixie (pictured above, and awesome) and a Norco CRD3 (road bike, awesome, visible in my Moving By Bike post).

Both of these bikes are suffering from "no front wheel syndrome" at the moment due to various technical problems.

Crappily unable to ride these, I've prolonged my tenure on the Winter Beater. Surprisingly, it's very enjoyable. Maybe a bike is a bike...

New Bike Stands

The winning bike stand from the OCAD contest doesn't look nearly useful enough. For people who ride bikes with tight geometry, and use small U-Locks (ahem) it should be nearly impossible to lock up parallel to one of these mothers.

Too Bad Not To Fail

In November, I explained why I think that at least one major car manufacturer should be allowed to go bankrupt. I don't wish any financial hardship on the workers in the manufacturing jobs at these companies, but human civilization requires are large scale modal shift away from automotive and airplane-based transportation.

With our ignorant and corrupt government, we have no chance of making investments that will lead us in this direction, but south of the border, there is (the tag-lined) Hope.

Aside from the fact that GM is looking at filing for bankruptcy, the Obama administration is making huge investments in high speed rail. This is great news for the environment (and the economy). This map is very exciting (from Climate Progress, but very similar to one in this week's The Economist):

From the standpoint of a Canadian, it's nice to see Montreal an Vancouver connected. There is also talk of connecting Detroit to Toronto, which would be nice. I also like how the partitions of this network are shown to be so easily connected. If GM were to fail, and their ex-workers were to work on a national high speed train system, things would start to look a lot better for the environment.