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Saturday, October 15, 2016

Ways to Store your Bicycle

Need a way to store your bicycle indoors within your house or apartment that reduces how much space it takes up / makes your bicycle fit the decor? Here are 13 ways to store your bicycle(s) so they take up less space and makes them look very stylish.














Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Bicycle Mount Cellphone Holder


Earlier today I went for a ride around Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Toronto and the surrounding area. With me I took my cellphone and decided to try out a new accessory:

Taotronics Bicycle Mount Cellphone Holder...

Which I purchased via Sunvalleytek Canada / via Amazon.ca. They also make cellphone mounts for cars and a variety of other devices. The name of the device on Amazon is really long, apparently because Taotronics is trying to squeeze as many keywords into the title as they can.

They also sent me a follow-up email to make sure I received the package in the mail, and some additional information:

Dear Charles,

We’re sending this email to check in and make sure that your order arrived and is working well for you.

Just so you know, the bicycle phone mount are covered with a 1-year warranty which can be extended by another 6-month if you register the product online with warranty card included in item package.

If you have any problems or questions about our product, please respond to this email and we will do our best to resolve your issue within 24 hours.

Below are some tips before you install the phone mount to your bike.

1.Do not ride for long time on road with too many bumps which is not good for your phone and also the mount. Put a piece of cloth to the handlebar before you try to install the clamp to the bicycle which could prevent the clamp getting loose after a period time of riding.

2.If you are not able to fix the clamp to your bicycle handle bar, please check the below picture.

3. If the cradle which holds the phone comes off from the clamp which is fixed to the handle bar, please try to put the cradle into the clamp oppositely to have a try.

Finally, we hope that you will be willing to leave an honest review of our product on Amazon. User reviews are vital to our research and development, and having your input will enable us to continue making a product that you enjoy using.

Thank you again for choosing TaoTronics. We are committed to providing you quality products and top notch customer service, and hope to serve you for years to come.

Best regards,

Ella

So yes, a review. But I shall be posting it here, not on Amazon.

Review Note #1.

The most important part of any product is that it needs to work. This product works. So that is a success right there.

Review Note #2.

I managed to purchase this bicycle accessory on sale. $13.99. Regularly priced at $29.99. So huzzah. I got a deal. Sucks to be the people who have to pay full price.

Review Note #3.

The stretchy rubber device did not completely fit my Samsung Galaxy S6 (plus case), height wise. It had no problem fitting width wise, but it was too short to go over the top of my phone, over the back of the mount, and over the corners of the bottom of the phone. So instead I simply placed it over the top of the phone and then jury rigged it to the side clamps, thus ensuring that my phone wouldn't bounce out while riding over bumps. (I also double checked how tight it was

A smaller phone would not have had this problem, but I managed to get it to work.

However if I were to give the manufacturer a piece of advice, I recommend including two of those stretchy rubber devices in the packaging, that are two different sizes. At present they do give the purchaser two of them, but they are both the same size. A larger version of the stretchy rubber thingy that fits taller/larger phones would be handy.


The Stretchy Rubber Thingy, Horizontal

Review Note #4.

Build quality and usability. It was well designed and well built. I have no qualms about the quality of the materials. It was very easy to use and install. Takes less than a minute to attach to a bicycle, even less to remove it. (Which unfortunately means thieves might grab it. I decided to remove it from my bicycle after I was done cycling today, which means the next time I intend to use this accessory, it will at least be easy to use.)

Review Note #5.

I like how when you press the side button the side clamps slowly go outwards, releasing your phone in a nice, slow and orderly manner. It was so cool I showed the wife. Oooooooo!

Overall I give this product 4 stars out of 5. If they included a larger rubber thingy that fits larger phones it would be 5 stars.

SAFETY NOTE

Don't play on your phone while cycling. Avoid the urge to press buttons. If you have to do something on your phone, slow down and stop, go to the sidewalk and do what you need to do.

Distracted Cycling Kills Cyclists.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

30+ Bicycles Donated from Condo for Youth Program "Charlie's FreeWheels"

Press Release from Charlie's FreeWheels

Received the following earlier today:

Hello!

This Friday, at 10 a.m., staff from Charlie's FreeWheels will pick up 30+ bicycles from Merchandise Building. These bicycles will be built up by young people in our Build-a-Bike programming.

For more information, please see the media release, attached.

Warm regards,
Katherine McIlveen-Brown
Director

242.5 Queen Street E. M5A 1S3 Toronto, Ontario
t. 416.546.2200
www.charliesfreewheels.ca

Charlie's FreeWheels
Inspiring a spirit of exploration in youth




The historical Merchandise Building (located at Dundas St. E and Church) will donate 30+ abandoned bicycles to Charlie’s FreeWheels’ Build-a- Bike programming. The bicycles will be given a second life by youth who will learn to re-build the bicycles from the frame up. Youth participants of Charlie’s FreeWheels’ free programming will get to keep the bicycles they build and they will also learn how to safely ride and maintain these bicycles.

A student metropass costs $112 per month and so each bicycle donated has the potential to save youth ~$800 per year, assuming they ride for eight months of the year. Bicycles that are beyond repair will be stripped for parts.

When: On Friday August 12 th at 10 a.m.

Where: The Merchandise Building: 155 Dalhousie St, Toronto, ON M5B

Bicycles will be picked up from the loading dock on the east side of Dalhousie Street just north of Dundas St. E

MEDIA CONTACT
Sohel Imani
sohel@charliesfreewheels.ca / t. 416.546.2200 / c. 647.295.5496

ABOUT CHARLIES’ FREEWHEELS

Charlie’s Freewheels is a non-profit organization on a mission to inspire a spirit of exploration in
the youth we serve, largely from the Regent Park and Moss Park communities. With our Build-a-Bike, Group Rides and Mentorship programs, we support young people to build new confidence, connections and skills.

Charlie’s FreeWheels operates out of Ya Bikes! on Queen Street East at Sherbourne Street.

Visit charliesfreewheels.ca for more information and updates about our current programming.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Arrogant Cyclists give Cyclists a Bad Rep

Just moments ago I was nearly hit by a cyclist who had the arrogance to think I was at fault. I was standing on a walking path in a park and giving directions to two lost strangers.

We were not blocking the path and there was plenty of space for the cyclist to go around us and still be well on the path. The path was paved and approx. 14 feet wide (more than enough space for a garbage truck to drive on).

So the cyclist had plenty of space. More than enough.

So why did he make a big fuss and claim we were "blocking the path"?

The incident got me thinking about why cyclists have such a bad reputation amongst car drivers and even amongst pedestrians we have a bad rep.

And I think it really comes down to arrogance and a sense of entitlement (and those cyclists who ignore safety don't help our reputations either).

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Yikes! Sam Reynolds Mountain Biking

This video is scary to watch. You half expect to see him fall to his death. Fortunately he does not, but still. Wow!

The video is from October 2015 so I am a bit late sharing it, but oh well.


Monday, February 22, 2016

Martyn Ashton's Bike Stunts

Move over other bicycle stunt riders, it is Martyn Ashton's turn to shine. Along with friends like Danny Macaskill, who may be familiar with already from past posts I have done about Danny Macaskill.



Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Trippy Bicycle with Lights and Other Bizarre Extras

A friend and I were in Leaside at a shopping plaza and saw this bicycle outside of a South St Burger place. The bicycle was covered in accessories, lights and lots of bizarre weirdness. I am not sure what half of the stuff on the bicycle was for, I can only guess. If you know whose bicycle this belongs to please let them know and maybe they can leave some comments below explaining all the stuff they have on their rather trippy weird bicycle.





Saturday, January 30, 2016

Why do people put up with shoddy bicycle assembly?

By Smokey Dymny,
of the Quadra Bike School

Edited by Charles Moffat,
The Bicycle Mechanic

Just before I closed up my shop on Quadra Island, B.C. for the Christmas break a young woman brought me a $3000+ downhill bike to straighten the derailleur hangar she had bent for the second time. (The bike was three months old.) She said the first time it had been straightened by the shop in Squamish, B.C., which had originally sold her the bike. Now she was living on our island off the east coast of Vancouver Island.

I cautioned that I could only straighten the derailleur if the back wheel was true, and she agreed I could true it if necessary. (A minor truing usually takes less than 15 minutes.) Now, this wheel was actually laterally true, but the spoke tension was terrible. Half the spokes on the drive side were close to the correct tension, and the alternate spokes were drastically low. After I re-tensioned this wheel I had to check the front wheel too, hoping it wasn’t as bad. But it was.

In under half an hour I saved her wheels from a potential catastrophic failure. What was deplorable was that a bike shop in a town known for hard-hitting downhill riding, a bicycle shop there would let an expensive cycle go out the door in such pathetic mechanical shape. They even had a chance to correct their sloppy work when she returned to get her derailleur hangar straightened.

I urge everyone buying bikes anywhere in Canada to start demanding that their local bike shops prove the proficiency of their mechanics. Take every bike from a “professional shop” to a community bike shop or clinic, get the volunteers to show you how to use a tension gauge and use it to check every spoke on the drive side of the rear wheel to see if it measures close to 100-120kgf. The front wheel should measure 80-100kgf (measure on the left side if it has a disc brake). If the wheels are not close, go right back to the shop and ask for a proper wheel truing or your money back.

Up till now bike shops have been slow to send their mechanics to professional training schools. I think they’re afraid they’ll have to pay them more. And they will. This has been an industry sleazing by with minimum-wage starting salaries, and only rising above that in minuscule increments. The riding public is suffering, only they don’t know it. When a wheel or other component fails drastically, I’ve seen service managers blame the customer for the fault and then charge them for the repair even within the very short warranty period offered by most shops.

Only bike riders who won’t take bad treatment will make these shops shape up.

Being a rider on the streets of Canadian cities is not for the faint-hearted. Riding a bike assembled to shoddy standards should be an offense under your local highways act.

Editor's Note: Some bicycle shops don't even have a spoke tension gauge. A true sign they don't know what they are doing. They're not even expensive, and they really should be mandatory in every bicycle mechanic's bag of tools. There are many different kinds of spoke tension gauges (like the three shown below) and there is no excuse for not having one and learning its proper use.



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Looking for a bicycle mechanic school in Canada? The Quadra Island Bike School in British Columbia is a Canadian bicycle mechanic school that trains professional bicycle mechanics against the backdrop of the beautiful Quadra Island.