Monthly Archives: March 2012

Other Cyclists I

As the first whiffs of a false spring washed across Southern Ontario this month, the other cyclists started to fill the roads. I always greet this time of the cycling year with mixed feelings. The cold roads no longer belong  just to me, my fellow winter-cyclists, and the much feared bike couriers. Now we share the bike lanes with the double-riders, the distracted, the fair-weather pedallers, the newly-equipped, and the velociferically indecisive. Harbord Street is suddenly awash with bikes of all stripes and their equally all-striped riders. As I pass and am passed, wait and weave, I welcome the crowds, waiting patiently for that critical mass that will claim the streets as our own.


Hybrid techologies

I’m just not sure what to think about this.


I really want to believe it’s a good idea, but then, why would you want to?  – use your bicycle like this? – cut grass the hard way? – cut grass at all? – encourage oversized lawns? and so on. At least it looks more comfortable than this:


If you want to see more, take a look at treehugger’s page.

(Thanks for the tip, I! I’ll cut your lawn for you, as soon as you have one).

Community Meeting on Jarvis Bike Lanes

Courtesy of

This just in from Toronto Cyclists Union
Event date:

3 April, 2012 – 18:30 – 20:30

Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam wants to hear from the community about the future of Jarvis Street.

If you are a cyclist, this is your chance to defend our bike lanes. We need to let the Councillor know that ANY future design for Jarvis Street should preserve dedicated lanes for cyclists.

If you support keeping the bike lanes, join us at the meeting wearing your helmet!! Let’s make sure people know why we are there!

When: Tuesday April 3rd, 6:30pm
Where: Jarvis Collegiate Institute, 495 Jarvis Street (see map)

Mexican interlude

Last month I found myself, together with A and S, in a little village in Quintana Roo, 2 1/2 hours by bus and a short ferry ride away from Cancun. There I knew we could walk barefoot through town, swim in the water at sunset, and wake at sunrise to an empty beach. When you unload your luggage from the bus, the drivers of the Tricitaxi Syndicate are waiting to transport it the 50 steps down the dock to the ferry.


There are no cars, so most people get around by golf cart, the two-stroke, burning-oil kind, not the most eco-friendly means of transportation. The golf-cart versus the island, this is how it starts looking after a while. Last year when we were here, we hired a cart ourselves, drove north-east out of the village along the beach, to the point where the sign prohibited motorized transport, but the road continued, and so did the little buggies.

This year, there was no sign, and a sand road instead, weaving its way between the shore, where the turtle emerge and the line of mangroves, where they lay their eggs. We had rented bikes, and S loved the long ride next to the shore, watching the water from the vantage of the child seat.


Waterfront property costs as much as houses in Toronto. Meanwhile two worlds struggle alongside one another. The tourists feed a strong local economy of elite landowners and a proto-suburban population (if you can use that word where there is barely even an urb), while the staff serving the hotels and restaurants are their neighbours. And many villagers have come from more drug-ridden and violent parts of Mexico to make a safer life for their families. Will Cancun ever come here? Will they start raking the rotting weed from the beach so as not to offend more delicate noses? Perhaps it is true that the ground won’t hold the pylons needed for the big hotels. But if the ground doesn’t protect itself, the Mexican Minstry of the Environment SEMARNAT (Secretaría del Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales) probably won’t protect it either.