Monthly Archives: June 2012

Brompton Oratory Jacket

One of the prime reasons people give for not wanting to ride their bike to work is that cycling gear doesn’t gel with work culture. And how right they are. I always enjoy the site of someone cycling in a suit, but I don’t enjoy doing it myself. And spandex jumpers don’t win respect in meetings. So here’s a solution:

Brompton Oratory Jacket (and a Brompton Oratory folding bike)

This jacket, the Brompton Oratory Jacket,  has reflective strips that become visible when you fold the collar up, and a high visibility flap you can pull down the back. It’s made of water repellent cotton, pockets lined with bamboo weave.

You can’t get them in Toronto (though if you’re headed to Montreal, Dumoulin Bicyclettes has them), but they can be ordered online.

Next fall, I’ll be watching out for the Bay Street gentry on their folding bikes wearing Brompton jackets as they crowd the cars out of the inside lane of Queen Street on their way to work.


The Y-Frame (from “Die Zeit”)

“Bike trailers have the capacity to make monsters out of even the most beautiful bicycles. If they are carrying children, trailers are often colorful and ugly, as if they were forced to match the helmets of the little ones. Luggage trailers are not really the solution. Just like family vans, they are seldom used to full. The most elegant trailers have been invented by the Americans. They consist of a simple plank, two wheels, and an axle. The plank can carry anything long and high and bulky much more conveniently than any box shaped trailer. You just have to tie it down well. Fortunately, bungees were invented before the Y-Frame..”

from “Die Zeit” 24/5/2012

Chief Coroner of Ontario releases Cycling Death Revue

“Ghost bike” memorial to cycling fatality. (Pat McGrath, The Ottawa Citizen)

If you’re male, between the age of 45-54, living in an urban environment in Ontario, and you are cycling in the spring or summer during clear weather, on dry roads, with good visibility, watch out, the statistics say that you are in the crosshairs of cycling fatality. This emerged from the report, released by the Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario yesterday, on All Accidental Cycling Deaths in Ontario From January 1st, 2006 to December 31st, 2010.

At first glance, a couple of points stand out:

“In terms of mortality, cyclists are among the most vulnerable road users worldwide” and “One of the hypotheses of the Cycling Death Review was that all cycling fatalities are preventable. This hypothesis held true in each and every death we reviewed. ”

Collectively, we have decided that people who choose a lifestyle outside of car culture are the most expendable users of public space in our cities.

Media response has focused largely on the recommendation for mandatory wearing of helmets for cyclists. This comes as no surprise. If cyclists die on our roads, surely it’s somehow their fault. But the report itself doesn’t even get to the topic of helmets before it makes the following recommendations:

Adoption of a “complete streets” approach – focused on the safety of all road users – to guide the redevelopment of existing communities and the design of new communities throughout Ontario.

Development of an Ontario Cycling Plan to guide the development of policy, legislation and regulations and the commitment of infrastructure funding to support cycling in Ontario.

A comprehensive cycling safety public awareness and education strategy, starting in public schools, and continuing through the purchase of every new and used bicycle and through driver’s license testing.

Legislative change (Highway Traffic Act (HTA); Municipal Act; relevant Municipal By-Laws) aimed at ensuring clarity and consistency regarding interactions between cyclists and other road users.

West Toronto Railpath Ride Tomorrow

Cycle and Celebrate the West Toronto Railpath this Saturday, June 16. Information from the Toronto Cyclists Union here.

Ontario Bike Month: a note from Jonah Schein

Cycling at Queen’s Park
Last Monday, I introduced a Private Member’s Bill to declare June Ontario Bike Month. Cycling needs to be on the agenda at Queen’s Park, and I hope this bill starts a conversation that will help encourage active transportation and investment in cycling infrastructure, and strengthen laws to protect cyclists on Ontario roads.

It has now been over 600 days since the McGuinty Government promised that a provincial cycling strategy was on its way. As an urban rider, I know that cyclists are put in danger far too often on the road and that’s why we need to take action now.

Alongside the new bill, I’ve presented a petition that calls on the McGuinty Government to release a cycling strategy with funding commitments to help municipalities invest in active transportation. If you would like to circulate this petition to your friends and neighbours, send me a message and I’ll send you a copy.

I encourage you to get on your bike this month. If your tires are flat, drop by my office on St. Clair or Andrew Cash’s office on College St. for some free air.

Cycle and Celebrate the West Toronto Railpath
Join me on Saturday from 1pm to 3pm on the West Toronto Railpath to celebrate cycling and our community. I’m always happy to answer your questions about what we’re doing at Queen’s Park to improve cycling safety.

Walking or Biking Berlin

Torontonians can get a taste of how Berlin is thinking about cities with fewer cars. Click here.