Category: bicycle

Lowering Blood Pressure: HIIT or Moderate Cardio

Any exercise is better than no exercise. That said, for cardio exercise there are nuances that can affect you. HIIT is quick and stressing, and moderate cardio is slow and time consuming but gentle. Are the results the same for both?

High intensity interval training HIIT requires you to go all out in your cardio workout, but for extremely short periods of time, such as one minute. You then rest for a couple of minutes and repeat. A couple of cycles of this, and three times a week, and you’re done. You may not even do cardio for an hour per week, cumulatively. Maybe you do this for only 15 minutes a week.

Witnessed Car-Bicycle Crash, 2017 Oct 20, Toronto, Canada

Car bicycle crash in Scarborough, Toronto, Canada 2017 Oct 20 11:40am. The driver of the minivan did stop at the red light but did not look for pedestrians or cyclists, and hit an old Chinese lady on a bicycle.

Car bicycle crash in Scarborough, Toronto, Canada 2017 Oct 20 11:40am. The driver of the minivan did stop at the red light but did not look for pedestrians or cyclists, and hit an old Chinese lady on a bicycle.

Today was not a good day for the old lady cyclist in front of me. She trusted that the right-turning driver of the minivan would wait for her to cross, and he hit her, 2017 Oct 20, 11:40am, Scarborough, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. While it might have been unintentional, thankfully the crash was very low speed, the car driver stopped, and no one was hurt. While I believe the car driver was at fault, we all need to pay much more attention, especially when vehicles are concerned. That old lady could have been a mother and baby in stroller.

Xiamen’s Bike Path Includes Highway Overpass

Bicycle path over highway overpass, Xiamen, Fujian province, Feb 9, 2017. The overpass looks long, but the length allows a gradual ascent and decent for cyclists, improving safety

Bicycle path over highway overpass, Xiamen, Fujian province, Feb 9, 2017. The overpass looks long, but the length allows a gradual ascent and decent for cyclists, improving safety

Back in the late 1980s there were more bicycles than cars in Beijing. I thought it was heavenly. People were healthy, Bikes were like a swarm of insects, clustering together, and riding was safe for everyone. While the air during spring had sand swept down from the Gobi desert (风沙), the air was relatively clean most of the year. Fast forward to a 2008 trip where Beijing’s air pollution was terrible and cars choked the city. There was a yellowish haze present in the air even when looking at the building across the street. Terrible air, terrible for your health, and preventable. Xiamen has built a bicycle path that looks very enlghtened. At 7.5km long it includes a highway overpass. If you could use it I think your life would be much better.

Our Kids are Busy but Not Active: Consequences

The way we choose to live goes a long way to determining how long and how well we will eventually live. More troubling is that our choices are observed and learned by our kids, who then take on very similar choices and lifestyle. While kids theoretically have a choice, in reality they follow their parents, for better or for worse. This study from Active Healthy Kids Canada is really troubling, in that it points to what I call “Rich Country” disease, where here in Canada we have lots of organized sport activities, lots of proper environment and equipment, but not a lot of actual physical exercise. It would be more appropriate to have the best of organized sport, with great facilities, that results in the fittest, most healthy kids on the planet. This is certainly not the case.

Beto Bicycle Floor Pump Repair: Valve Head Pin Replacement

Beto bicycle floor pump V1, early version, bought at MEC in Toronto. The pin in the valve head broke. Photo By Don Tai

Beto bicycle floor pump V1, early version, bought at MEC in Toronto. The pin in the valve head broke. Photo By Don Tai

Bought from MEC a decade ago for $25CAD, this pump has served me well pumping up kids schrader low pressure tires, as well as the odd presta style. A litle bit of inattention from the Big Weed and she broke the valve head. Specifically the plastic pin that holds down the valve head to the valve. A repair was in order.

Bicycle BMX Freewheel to Fixie Hub Conversion

Sometimes you search on the internet and simply do not find the info you need to solve your problem. Bummer. You then need to think about it yourself and figure out a solution. I think this is what people did before Google and the encyclopedic internet came along. I wanted to learn to ride a bicycle backwards and possibly fab up a giraffe uni, but did not have the money. Central to both endeavours is the fixed rear hub, one that when you pedal backwards it goes backwards, and when you pedal forwards it goes forwards. This is how I converted a 20″ bmx bicycle freewheel hub into a fixie hub.

Scarborough, Canada Bikeability Rating

Here is a great map on the bikeability of various cities. Seeing as I am from the suburb of Scarborough, in Toronto, Canada, I naturally wanted to see my areas’ score. Thankfully, you can use a Google maps tool to drill down to your street, making the whole experience much more useful.

I am unsure how they get their scores, because I don’t think the area is very bikeable. There are few streets in the area that encourage bikes, and plenty of fast thoroughfares and dangerous drivers that discourage biking. That being said, we have a fair share of bikers, namely the geriatric Chinese group, who ride all year. They are not insignificant.

Darren and Nick in Unicycle Basketball Game, Toronto, Canada

Some things stay the same, and that is just fine with me. When they stay the same and I see them in the news, I am ecstatic. Keep rolling, guys and keep your balance. Hey Nick, how is Zach? Learn to ride with the Toronto Unicyclists.

Nick (left) and Darren Bedford (right) and the Toronto Unicyclists play unicycle basketball at St. Josaphat Catholic School, Toronto, Canada

Nick (left) and Darren Bedford (right) and the Toronto Unicyclists play unicycle basketball at St. Josaphat Catholic School, Toronto, Canada

Darren Bedford (left) and the Toronto Unicyclists play unicycle basketball at St. Josaphat Catholic School, Toronto, Canada. A Bedford Unicycle with a fat knobby rests in front.

Darren Bedford (left) and the Toronto Unicyclists play unicycle basketball at St. Josaphat Catholic School, Toronto, Canada. A Bedford Unicycle with a fat knobby rests in front.

Toronto Bicycle Bylaw, Riding on the Sidewalk

Bicycle riding prohibited in certain parks in Toronto. The bylaw 319-69 was repealed in 1997.

Bicycle riding prohibited in certain parks in Toronto. The bylaw 319-69 was repealed in 1997.

Sometimes finding certain information on the internet is much more difficult than it should be. I was looking for the City of Toronto, Ontario, Canada bylaw that allows bicycles with less than 24″ tires to ride on the sidewalk. I could not find it. I emailed the city clerk about the bylaw but got no response. This bylaw is heavily mentioned but almost never referenced. After about two years of searching the web, I finally found it.

Daou Unicycle or Bicycle

Daou unicycle or bicycle, Chengdu Bicycle Parts Factory #3

Daou unicycle or bicycle, Chengdu Bicycle Parts Factory #3

Living in North East Toronto, Canada is a very large community of Mainland Chinese, many who are recent immigrants. When they ship their lives half way across the world to Canada they bring with them some surprising gems. I picked up this Daou unicycle at a garage sale. It has a 12.5″ rear coaster wheel with back brake, and a skateboard truck up front. The seat is unicycle style, with a black steel handle in the front. Apart from the “Daou” label, under the seat there are two quality stickers from the Chengdu Zixingche Lingjian San Chang, or the Chengdu Bicycle Parts Factory #3. After a couple of key changes this contraption rides much like a unicycle (no left-right stability), but has anterior-posterior stability, allowing the rider to coast. You can pedal backwards to brake, which is good enough to skid the tire. This unicycle rides quite well, can travel at faster than walking speed and allows the rider to coast. Due to the small skateboard wheels up front it can endo if you hit a large sidewalk crack.