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Cardio Trek Personal Trainer
Cardio Trek
Sports Trainer
East York, Toronto, ON
Hours: Tues-Thurs 10-5:30, Sat-Sun 10-3:30
Cardio Trek is best known for teaching archery lessons in Toronto.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Vintage Cycle Shop in Vancouver seeking Bicycle Mechanic

There is a vintage cycle shop in Vancouver called "Rocket Retro e-cycles" that is looking to hire a bicycle mechanic.

Anyone interested in the job should phone Al Canale at 604-727-6114.

Below is an email from Al Canale:
"We are half way through our build in converting the warehouse. The name is Rocket Retro e-cycles. Our location is 2212 Clark Drive in Vancouver.

While our focus is e-cycles, all the bikes come with fairly standard components when it comes to brakes, wheels, frames and some with standard shimano gearing but with the addition of electric motors, controller, battery and throttles which are all basically plug and play. It would be great to find someone who has e-bike experience but I know this is a combination that is still somewhat of a rarity in the business at this time. I would be prepared to provide further education on the electronics component so if I could find the right mechanic, I would invest in the further education for this area of expertise.

The bikes we will be carrying to give some idea:

and we will also do custom builds in-house with hand-crafted frames

Thanks again,

Al "

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Gearheads looking to hire a bicycle mechanic in Pembroke

JOB POSTING - November 7th 2017.

A shop named Gearheads in the Petawawa area of Ontario is looking to hire a trained bicycle mechanic.

3067 Petawawa Blvd, Petawawa, ON K8H 1X9
(613) 687-4624
Contact Mark Johnson via

The location is north west of Ottawa and just east of Algonquin Park, so it is a great location for anyone who loves exploring the great outdoors.

Gearheads has already hired one bicycle mechanic from the Quadra Bike School and is looking for another mechanic with similar training.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Troubleshooting Bicycles Nuts

I cannot believe I have to spell this out, but sometimes it is necessary. (While writing this I have made an effort to not make any puns... But if you want you can read some of the sentences below and then just add the words "in bed" or "That's what she said!" after certain phrases...)

Here is a list of common issues that can occur with nuts on a bicycle and some troubleshooting steps to help you fix them:

  1. Loose Nuts:

    • Problem: Nuts can become loose due to vibrations or insufficient tightening, which can cause components to shift or detach.
    • Troubleshooting and Fix:
      • Regularly check and tighten nuts using the appropriate tools (e.g., wrenches).
      • Use a torque wrench to ensure that nuts are tightened to the manufacturer's recommended torque specifications.
      • Consider using thread-locking compounds or self-locking nuts for critical components like axles or handlebar stems to prevent them from coming loose.
  2. Stripped Nuts:

    • Problem: Over-tightening or using incorrect tools can strip the threads on nuts, making them difficult to remove or causing them to lose grip.
    • Troubleshooting and Fix:
      • Attempt to use a larger-sized wrench or pliers to get a better grip on the nut and carefully turn it counterclockwise to remove it.
      • If the nut is severely stripped, you may need to use specialized tools like nut splitters or grips designed for removing damaged nuts.
      • Replace the stripped nut with a new one of the appropriate size and thread type.
  3. Rusty Nuts:

    • Problem: Exposure to moisture and lack of proper maintenance can cause nuts to rust, leading to difficulty in turning or loosening them.
    • Troubleshooting and Fix:
      • Apply a penetrating lubricant (such as WD-40) to the rusted nuts and let it sit for a few minutes to loosen the rust.
      • Use a wire brush or abrasive material to gently scrub away rust from the surface of the nut.
      • If the rust is severe and the nut is not salvageable, replace it with a new one.
  4. Cross-threaded Nuts:

    • Problem: Cross-threading occurs when a nut is improperly aligned with the corresponding bolt or stud, resulting in damaged threads and difficulty in turning or tightening.
    • Troubleshooting and Fix:
      • If you suspect cross-threading, stop turning the nut immediately to avoid further damage.
      • Back out the nut carefully, realign it with the threads, and try rethreading it by hand before using tools.
      • If the threads are damaged or the nut still won't properly engage, replace the nut and, if necessary, seek professional help to repair any damaged threads.
  5. Missing or Incorrect Nuts:

    • Problem: Nuts can sometimes get lost or be replaced with incorrect ones during maintenance or repairs.
    • Troubleshooting and Fix:
      • Identify the correct size and type of nut needed by referring to the bike's user manual or consulting a professional bike shop.
      • Obtain the appropriate replacement nut and ensure it matches the thread pitch and size of the original.
      • Carefully thread the new nut onto the bolt or stud and tighten it securely.

Remember, if you are unsure about troubleshooting or fixing issues with nuts on your bicycle, it is recommended to seek assistance from a professional bicycle mechanic to ensure the proper resolution of the problem and to maintain the safety and functionality of your bike... in bed.

That's what she said!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Hypermiling and Cycling

Hypermiling is a term commonly used for driving cars (in an effort to save fuel costs by wasting less energy braking), but it is also sometimes used by cyclists.

In terms of cycling, your goal is to save effort and lower the total number of pedaling rotations that you do. (Or on an electric bicycle - save electricity.)

Hypermiling Tips for Cyclists
  1. If you are getting closer to a stop sign, cease pedaling and try to time it so you glide to a stop right near the stop sign - with little or no braking required if possible.
  2. Going downhill? Cease pedaling and get into a more aerodynamic position.
  3. On a flat surface? Only pedal once in a rare moment in order to maintain forward momentum.
  4. Whenever possible try to use a more aerodynamic position.
  5. Try to time green lights so you can pass through intersections on greens.
  6. Try to choose gear combinations that allow you to maximize distance and momentum vs the amount of energy expended pedaling.

Personal Thoughts on Hypermiling

I like to Hypermile sometimes. Mostly for me it means if I see a stop sign up ahead, I stop cycling and use the minimum effort required to roll to a stop close to the stop sign without needing to use the brakes, if possible. Hypermiling is slower obviously, but it is also more relaxing. I get to coast downhills quite a bit and just "ride and chill".

One time years ago I managed to cycle from my old apartment to the Eaton's Centre, a distance of 2.4 km, and only pedaled a full rotation 17 times. Thanks to the destination being downhill, I was able to get from my apartment to the mall with almost no effort at all. Coasted down Jarvis and Yonge most of the way.

The beauty of hypermiling is that it allows you to follow all the traffic signs / laws, while simultaneously relaxing and chilling.

Going so slowly (except on the downhill parts) you also get more time to focus on riding safely. On a downhill you really want to avoid braking and allow yourself to gain as much speed and momentum as possible while doing no pedaling whatsoever.

In theory if there was no stop signs or street lights I could have done it in less than 17 rotations. Maybe 15. But whatever. Still an amazingly low number of pedaling to travel 2.4 km.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Directory of Cargo Bike Manufacturers in Canada

Eastern Canada


Allo Vélobox bike, box trikeIn Montreal, carries cargo bike/bakfietsen from Metrofiet, Bullitt, Triobike, Butcher's & Bicycles MK-1 and Gazelle. They offer Canada-wide shipping and a Cargo Bike rental service for families visiting Montreal.
Bikes on Wheelslong-tailCarries the longtail style of cargo bike, the Xtracycle Edgerunner. Longtails are inexpensive compared to a box bike and work well in many applications but won't carry nearly as much as a box bike nor are as rubust.
Curbside Cyclebox bike, box trike, electric assistImports the popular Dutch Babboe box bikes in both the two- and three-wheeled versions, and accessories such as covers and "rain tents" when children sit in the box. Curbside can also add e-motors so you can tackle big hills.
Dumoulin Bicyclettesbox trikecarries the awesome trike bakfiets, the Danish Nihola, with wheels that steer independently of the box which makes turning much easier.
Urbane Cyclistlong-tailCarries Yuba longtail bicycles, the Mundo and the lighter Boda Boda. As well they carry various accessories for the Yuba including baskets, running boards, child seats, giant panniers, and two-legged kickstand.
Urkaibox bike, box trike, cycle truck, tandem, electric assistSells bakfietsen/boxbikes, Nihola, Gazelle Urban Arrow, Gazelle Cabby, Onderwater Family Tandem bike (carry kids and let them help pedal) and Azor cycle trucks with 440 lbs capacity. Free shipping most parts of Ontario and Quebec.
Wikecargo trike, box bike, trailersSells a box bike and a cargo trike (with variations). Wike is known for producing high-quality trailers as well. The cargo bikes frames are very similar to the Babboe brand. Middle of the road durability.


Bikewrightslong john, cargo trailerbuilds custom long john cargo bikes and custom bike trailers in Halifax.
Cycles Melimlong johnBuilds strong, functional cargo bikes in Montreal. They can build them with internal gears, disc or roller brakes. Email
Intercycle, of Au Coin du Pédaleurbox trike, cycle truck, pedi-cabBuilt in Quebec. The quality looks like these cycles are made for industrial or tourist use, and not for faster on-road use - they still have an important role even if they aren't made with the lightest cromoly, etc.
Manuel Cappellong john, cargo trailerBuilds beautiful cargo bikes and trailers in his Toronto Island workshop. Manuel uses used bikes but new components to create strong bikes that can carry heavy loads. The bikes are cheaper than newer bikes with a price of about $2000 for a built bike (powdercoating extra). Give Manuel a call at 416.203.7717 to arrange a visit to his shop to discuss requirements. It takes him about a month and a half to build.
Paul Laursen of Invodanelong john, cargo trikeLaursen occasionally builds bikes such as (images: long john with double kid seats, large work trike. He uses aluminum frames with all new components in the cargo bikes. The City of Toronto Bicycle Promotions uses two of the bikes and have worked well for them. He sells them starting at $2500. Email Invodane or call (416-443-8049) for more information.
Tom's cargo bike build-your-ownlong john cargo bikeHas plans for building your own long john. Fun, but not an option for most people.
Vélo Yalong john, cargo trike, cargo truckBuilds custom cargo bike for families or commercial use like promo stands, carrying water tanks. They even make cargo "trucks" to carry really large loads.

Western Canada


Bike Bikecargo bike, box trike, long-tailCarries Bullitt, Yuba, XtraCycle, Nihola. Is a Calgary bike shop that carries cargo bikes and long-tail bikes as well as other urban-friendly bikes.
Bike Doctorbox bike, long tailIn Vancouver, they carry Yuba long tails, Wike box bikes, and Babboe box bikes.
The Bicycle Familylong john, cargo trike, box bike, box trikeIn Vancouver, importing the Long Haul, Tri-Haul from CAT in Oregon in addition to making Vancouver-specific customizations (to the gearing and box) and building/customizing trailers. They say they will be fabricating cargo bike frames in Vancouver soon.
Citrus Cycleslong john, long-tailA bike shop on Vancouver Island, long-tail cargo ebikes from Felt (Bruhaul and Tote-m), long john Riese & Muller (full suspension and hard tail cargo ebikes with dual batteries), and Yuba long-tail.
Tandem Bike Cafelong john, box bike, racksA small bike cafe in Vancouver which imports CETMA (see below). They can connect people to Curious Cargo bikes and one of their mechanics builds longtails out of old mountain bikes.
Dandy Lion Cargolong johnIn Vancouver, imports the Bullitt (Danish-built, sleak, aluminum long-john).
VicBikeslong johnAn online store based in Victoria, imports and sells Douze family and professional long john cargo bikes from France (with a frame that separates and can be swapped out for other parts), Nihola family cargo trikes from Denmark and Winther family cargo trikes from Denmark.


Curious Cargo bikeslong john, box bike, trailerare custom, hand-built cargo bikes and trailers made in Vancouver.


Bike Fridayfoldable cargo bikeHaul a Day. They ship to Canada.
Center for Appropriate Transportationlong john, box bike, box trikeLong Haul cargo bike, Tri-Hauler. They can build them with a box (starting at $2600 USD) or with a cage. Tri-hauler is a tricycle recumbent cargo bike.
Update: CAT is now offering cargo bike building classes. Check their website for more info.

CETMA Cargolong john, box bike, rackIn Los Angeles, is a one man shop making versatile and very sturdy cargo bikes / long johns. The basic setup includes a large "no-skid" platform and he also sells boxes and rain covers to keep kids dry. Price: $3150 USD + shipping (around $300 in USA). Made in USA means no tarrifs! Shipping takes about 4-8 weeks.
Circe Cycleslong-tail, tandemBased in Cambridge UK, the same bikes switch easily between cargo or tandem--adults, children, or those with special needs. The Helios is upright and the front of the Morpheus is reclining.
Coaster Pedicabtrike, pedicabBuilds cargotrikes and pedicabs in Missoula, Montana. Ships anywhere.
Icycle Tricyclescargo trikeSells new and used tricycles out of Portland, Oregon.
Lightfoot Cyclesbox trikemakes trikes that can be built with a variety of custom platforms - flatbeds and boxes - for carrying cargo.
Madsen Cycleslong-tailA US company that makes long-tail cargo bikes with a large bucket in the back to provide more space for stuff and children.
Metrofietslong john, box bikemakes cargo bikes out of Portland, Oregon. They currently focus on the "long john" cargo bike. It looks pretty stylish and has a nice wooden box similar to the Bakfiets (starting at $3700 USD).
Workcyclesbox bike, sturdy city bikeAll bikes--GR8, FR8, KR8--designed in-house to be very robust with some smart additions to make them easier to service. Workcycles ships individual bikes to Canadian customers. Packing/shipping: standard format bike: €295, cargobike: €800. Import duties are additional. Another option is to purchase from an US Importers of Workcycles.
Worksman Cyclescycle truckA classic made-in-USA bike manufacturer of sturdy, basic industrial bicycles, including their Low Gravity cycletrucks.
Boxer Cyclesbox bikes, box trikesMake some interesting and stylish cargo bikes and trikes in the UK, including the unique Rocket. They ship to Canada.
Tern Cyclesfoldable cargo bikeCargo Node foldable cargo bike, a seemingly contradiction but useful for those who need carrying capacity but don't have much storage for a regular sized cargo bike.
Yuba Mundolong-tailNow being carried by distributor OGC. You can search their site to find stores carrying Yuba. As of 2014 there are 3 stores in Montreal, 1 in Ottawa, 3 in Toronto, 1 in Edmonton, 1 in Calgary, 3 in Vancouver, and 2 in Victoria.

Cargo Trailers

Surlycargo trailerThe Bill Trailer is really robust trailer. Any store that carries Surly bikes might be able to order this trailer.
Bikes at Workcargo trailerTrailer comes in different lengths and is made to carry the large Rubbermaid containers. Made in US so no tarrif fees when ordered directly.
Wikechild trailer, flatbed trailer, landscaping trailer, DIYBased in Ontario and will ship directly unassembled trailers. Carries flatbed, landscaping trailer with walls and a DIY kit. Also builds child trailers, including ones specific for children with special needs.
Tony's Trailerschild trailer, flatbed trailer, custom trailer, special needs, DIYBased on Vancouver Island, will sell directly, custom buld and ship to anywhere. Sells a wide variety of trailers for almost any purpose.

Cargo Bike Definitions and Jargon

cargo bike
  • Any robustly built bike that can carry a substantial amount of stuff, children or adults.

long john
  • A quite popular cargo bike with a flat bed in the front that first appearing in the 1920s in Denmark, Sweden, and The Netherlands. It's a long wheelbase bike with two wheels that can carry a lot of weight and can be quite easy to drive once you get used the feel. See more: "long john"

box bikes
  • Originally "bakfiets" in Dutch, literally "box bike" in English (pronounced "BUCK-FEETS"), this bike is structurally similar to the long john but has a wooden or plastic container on the flat bed on the front. This variety is popular for schlepping children and often comes equipped with seats, seat belts, rain covers and other things to increase the comfort of children.

box trikes
  • Basically a three-wheeled version of the box bike. Some people prefer the trike because of their stability but usually there's a trade-off with making it harder to make turns and more difficult to negotiate tighter spaces and avoid potholes.

  • Made popular first by the Xtracycle add-on for mountain bikes, but now has companies making dedicated bikes, this is a bike with an extra long extension behind the seat so that a much longer rack can be installed allowing for a lot more cargo and seats for children or adults. There a variety of long-tails and accessories for different kinds of cargo.

cycle trucks
  • Are of similar length of regular bikes, a large front cargo rack attached to the frame and not the fork, and with a smaller front wheel to allow stability in carrying large loads. Cycletruck designs have been around for almost a hundred years in Europe and North America.

cargo trailers
  • A trailer with a flat bed, a box or special attachments to carry a variety of cargo. Some are really robust and long so that large, awkward cargo can be carried although with some effort if going uphill.

child trailer
  • A bike trailer that is outfitted to carry children securely, often with a cover, padding. Some varieties cater to children with special needs

  • A bicycle that can carry two+ people--adults or children. Some varieties cater to children or adults with special needs that need more support.

electric assist
  • An electric motor when outfitted on a bike, the bike becomes an "e-bike" or a "pedal-assist" to provide oomph on hills, into the wind, and with large loads.

Bicycles for Parents of Babies

To clarify, these are bicycles designed to help parents get their baby (or babies) from Point A to Point B, without using the conventional Baby Stroller or Baby Carriage, etc.

The wife and I recently purchased a stroller, which sparked my curiousity as to what else was available on the market and might be more convenient.

Baby Stroller Bicycle

Bicycle Baby Trailer

Bicycle Baby Sidecars

Recumbent Bicycle Trailer

Bicycle Baby Carrier

Personally I think I like the sidecar option best.

And then there is the problem of WHERE TO BUY?

Well one place to buy is to go to:

Manuel Cappel of Toronto Island

Manuel builds beautiful cargo bikes and trailers in his Toronto Island workshop. Manuel uses used bikes but new components to create strong bikes that can carry heavy loads. The bikes are cheaper than newer bikes with a price of about $2000 for a built bike (powdercoating extra). Give Manuel a call at 416.203.7717 to arrange a visit to his shop to discuss requirements. It takes him about a month and a half to build.

 So yeah, that probably is not in the average person's price range to get a custom built bicycle like that. Plus while he does make plenty of cargo bikes, I am really looking for a sidecar I can install myself.

I shall keep looking.

New Official Sponsor: Cardio Trek Sports Trainer

The Bicycle Mechanic has a new Official Sponsor, replacing the old sponsor (Gears Bike Shop). The new sponsor is Cardio Trek, a local sports trainer / personal trainer. Cardio Trek is best known for teaching archery lessons.

Cardio Trek Personal Trainer

Cardio Trek
Sports Trainer
East York, Toronto, ON
Hours: Tues-Thurs 10-5:30, Sat-Sun 10-3:30
Cardio Trek is best known for teaching archery lessons.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Bike to Work Week, Yada Yada, Meaningless or Worth Trying?

Bike to Work Week is a "community event" in cities like Toronto and Vancouver (and doubtlessly others) that is called a "community event" because they are not sure what else to call it.

To me a community event is something where you go outside and socialize with other people - which means talking to them!

However Bike to Work Week doesn't really much socializing. Unless you count the confused coworkers who go "Huh? Did your car break down or something?"

At which point you have to explain "Oh, it is bike to work week. I am going to do this all week."

And they say "Oh. Okay. Whatever."

And then by Thursday you have given up on the whole bicycling to work thing because you have to pick the kids up after work from soccer practice and you realize that bicycling to work isn't always practical for your lifestyle.

At which point your co-workers make fun of you. "Oh, I guess you changed your mind about bicycling to work eh?"

And you mumble something about your kids and soccer practice.

So here is the thing...

The whole "Bike to Work Week" thing is designed to get people to at least TRY bicycling to work, to see if it is something that works for them. If it is convenient enough / enjoyable enough, some people may decide to start bicycling to work every day.

Depending on the type of work you do however, bicycling to work just isn't convenient. eg. Construction or landscaping, you will want a truck to be able to carry around tools, building materials, plants, etc.

On the other hand if your job is working at a graphic design firm, and the heaviest things you carry to work is your water bottle and your laptop, then perhaps cycling to work actually makes sense for you.

For example, my brother-in-law bicycles to his law office regularly (depending on the weather, time of year). He carries a brief case with his laptop and legal papers in a rack on the back of the bicycle. (A rack I helped him install.)

So for him bicycling to work makes sense part of the year. Other times of the year he might be more concerned about those precious legal documents and decide taking the TTC bus/subway makes more sense, as does staying warm.

So Bike to Work Week serves a single purpose - to get people who have the option, ability and the type of job where they could potentially bicycle to work to give it a shot and see if they like it.

It is NOT a community event. No matter if cities try to push the idea by offering free drinks, snacks, etc at "Celebration Stations" like the city of Vancouver is currently doing.

The people who show up at these Celebration Stations drink the free drink, eat the free food, and then they leave. They don't usually stick around and socialize.

Most of them will be people who fall into the following categories:
  • They already bicycle to work.
  • They are outside for a recreational ride.
  • They are currently conducting an errand.
The percentage of people who are actually bicycling to work for the first time will be very low. So really this "community event" is mostly for people who already ride their bikes to work, ride for recreational reasons, or just like running errands on their bicycle.

When I lived downtown I used to bicycle around doing errands constantly. I also rode my bicycle to work regularly during the warmer months.

Now that I live in Leaside (basically uptown suburbia) I really only ride my bicycles (I currently have 11) these days for recreational purposes. I don't ride them to work any more because I have too much things to carry, and I don't use my bicycle for errands any more because if I am running an errand I am either: Close enough to walk there, or far enough that the wife and I take the car.

And in the near future, with a baby on the way, I will be barely working at all and on diaper duty instead. Maybe then I will get a sidecar or trailer to carry the baby in and I might be outside running errands with the bicycle+sidecar.

Or maybe I will just take the stroller. We shall see.

In related news, I am browsing options with respect to sidecars or trailers suitable for babies.

MEC looking to hire bicycle mechanics for Victoria, B.C.

MEC is looking to hire a couple new bicycle mechanics for their shop in Victoria, B.C. They are looking for bicycle mechanics with training and have good attention to detail.

Job Posting Link

If you have any questions regarding the position you can direct them to:

Patrick Humer
Product Team Leader (Cycling, Packs)
250.386.2667 /

Victoria Store
1450 Government Street
Victoria, BC Canada V8W 1Z2


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About the Author

Charles Moffat is equal parts bicycle mechanic, cyclist, painter, sculptor, fantasy writer, poet, website designer and pun maker. For more details see



Do you own a bike shop and are looking to hire a bicycle mechanic in North America? Just email me with the job posting details and I will post it for you. (Also, please let me know when the job has been filled so I can update the posting.)


If your bicycle is basically junk and you don't know what to do with it then SELL IT TO ME. I will use it for parts. I will give you a fair price ($20 to $30) for your old clunker just so I can rip it apart for parts.

If you need repairs check out my Bicycle Mechanic Services in Banbury-Don Mills.