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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Toronto raises fines on drivers in bicycle lanes

CANADA - On February 6th 2012 the Toronto City Council agreed to adopt a motion to relieve rush hour congestion due to unlawful stopping, standing and parking. The motion included a number of changes to city bylaws governing traffic.

Note: Mayor Rob Ford and his brother Doug Ford were absent during the vote, apparently boycotting the vote because they felt it was bad for car drivers and they just love traffic congestion in the city core apparently.

One part of the motion increases the fine for the illegal stopping of vehicles (other than a bicycle) in bicycle lanes. The fine for this offence is to be increased from $60 to $150.

So huzzah for that!

To do this, the City's bicycle lane bylaw (886-8) will be amended. However in order for this increased fine amount to be enforced, the Senior Regional Justice of the Ontario Court of Justice must now receive and adopt the application made by the City Solicitor. This process typically takes 3-4 months...

And then its just a matter of whether police will increase the number of times they fine drivers for stopping or parking in bicycle lanes. I have only ONCE seen police give a fine to a driver for parking in a bicycle lane (and too close to an intersection, so it was double the reason).

Perhaps the higher fine will increase police incentive to do their job instead of looking the other way so often.

Now if you don't know why parking in a bicycle lane is dangerous, think about this. You are bicycling along in the bicycle lane... you come to car. You go around it by going into the car lane. Right away you are taking 2 risks.

#1. You are more likely to get hit by traffic, especially if its a busy street, which is usually the case if it has a bicycle lane.

#2. The biggest danger is being hit by someone who opens their driver side car door. Not only is it typically a trip to the hospital, insurance claims, etc., but it also a hefty fine and carries possible criminal charges for "dooring a cyclist".

In other news here is a funny video about car drivers who hate cyclists:


Monday, February 20, 2012

100 Year Old Man sets Cycling Record

HEALTH - The health benefits of exercise are a foregone conclusion and cycling is no different.

An hundred year old Frenchman has set a world record for cycling 24.25 km (15.1 miles) in 60 minutes... a feat never done before by someone over the age of 100, thus making it a new record in a new category.

Robert Marchand has always had lots of energey. At the age of 14 he entered his first cycling event under a false name because he was too young.

Marchand's new feat of 24.25 km (15.1 miles) in 60 minutes was watched by crowds of cheering supporters at the International Cycling Union (UCI) velodrome in Aigle, Switzerland. It doesn't even come close to the 49.7 km (30.8 miles) achieved by Czech cyclist Ondrej Sosenka in 2005 at the age of 29, but it is recognized by the UCI in a new over-100s category.

"But I’m not playing at being a champion,” says Marchand. “I just wanted to do something for my 100th birthday.”

Marchand made the trip from his studio in Mitry-Mory (near Paris) to Switzerland to attempt the world hour performance on the center’s velodrome. The suggestion came from Gérard Mistler, president of the Ardéchoise Cyclo-Promotion, an annual cycling event that Marchand never misses. Mistler took care of the administrative side of this new record.

Marchand had four days to familiarize himself with the track before the 1 hour timed event. While his ability to ride non-stop for an hour was not a concern, Marchand's personal cycling history brought back a lot of memories of competitive cycling.

"I haven’t cycled on a track for 80 years. You have to get used to the fixed gear. I prefer cycling outside but that is impossible at the moment,” said Marchand, while it was snowing outside. "I don’t want to catch the flu. So I am short on training."

The velodrome is small and the cyclist is essentially just cycling in circles (a bit like Nascar).

Marchand had been told not to go raise his pulse over 110, but it was not a huge concern for the man. Marchand’s first ever cardiograph last week revealed that his heart was in excellent condition. Still he decided to stay within his limits.

“For the last five years I have decided not to go for rides of more than 100km. There is no point going overboard. I want to keep cycling for some time yet.”

Marchand last competed in the Bordeaux-Paris race at the age of 89, completing the 600km in 36 hours. He has been in so many events in the last 86 years of cycling that Marchand has a mountain pass named after him.

So what else is the secret to Marchand’s great health?

"I’ve never abused anything. I don’t smoke, I never drank much. The only thing I did in excess was work. I retired at 89 years old."

Marchand's many jobs include looking after cattle, working as a gymnastics instructor, 8 years in Venezuela as a driver, 3 years in Canada where he was a lumberjack.

He also enjoyed other sports and competed in them: Boxing, gymnastics and weightlifting.

"My advice to anyone, young or old, is to keep moving. I do ‘physical culture’ every day. It works out my whole body and keeps me supple. Some people when they reach 80 years old, start playing cards and they stay immobile. Not me. I’ve never been able to keep still."

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines from the Bicycle Mechanic

Happy Valentines from the Bicycle Mechanic! May all your dates be cycling ecstasy!



And may you end up with 6 kids and one crazy looking bicycle!!!


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Danny MacAskill does it again

You may recall the older Danny MacAskill video we posted in which he defied gravity. The former bicycle mechanic turned pro stunt cyclist is now working for *cough* Red Bull, but if you ignore the blantant commercialism it is still a very awesome video of bike stunts set on the backdrop of Scotland.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Kona Police Bicycle

CUSTOM BIKES

The Safariland/Kona Patrol Bike is a custom bicycle designed for police use. Police Sgt. Troy Gielish provided helpful input during the design process to create this custom bike which is now available for order.

The bike features:

• lightweight / heavy duty frame
• Shimano 30-speed drive train
• hydraulic disc brakes
• 29-inch wheels (26-inch wheel alternative available)
• Integrated rear rack
• RockShox high-performance forks
• Heavy duty kickstand
• 7005 aluminum tubing shape, wall thickness for durability

Price tag? Still waiting on that info. Based on the prices of other Kona bikes I am guessing between $2000 and $3000.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Cycling Shirts = Funny

Ignore the photo on the right... its not really a cycling shirt. ;)

What I want to pass on this time is clothing. Specifically cycling shirts from sharethedamnroad.com

The shirts feature a variety of slogans like the following:

Share the Damn Road or Else

If You Can Read This, You're Too Close

*infinity symbol* MPG

I'M A TAXPAYER

DON'T RUN ME OVER

STOP UR TXTING

29 INCHES AND RIGID

And my favourite, apes evolving into men evolving into a cyclist.

:)

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