My bicycle is from the 1970s, and is quite old. It even has a label that says “Made in Canada”, it is that old. Triumph brand. Yet its steel frame, heavy but strong, lives on. I make it live with maintenance. As with most of my bicycles, this one was used and abused by a Chinese neighbour, and then left for dead, rusted and in terrible shape. I took pity on it.
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Old tech Triumph Bicycle: Bottom bracket bearings replacement
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Vintage Canadian looper bike, no brand nor model, est circa 1950s. Photo by Don Tai
A neighbour here in Canada gave me this bicycle. She had started riding this when she was 8 years old, and the bicycle was well used and handed down at that time, so this bicycle could be over 70 years old.
This bicycle is a “loop bike”, for its classic swooping top bar, single speed with a coaster hub, a reverse pedal brake. The bike runs on 800c, 28×1.5″ tires. Vintage it is, with a slew of problems. Overall I do like the look, but the ride is pretty bad and somewhat scary. For cruising around in a flat are this might be Ok.
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Vintage Canadian Bicycle: Nice Lines, Dubious Quality
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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.
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Witnessed Car-Bicycle Crash, 2017 Oct 20, Toronto, Canada
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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.
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 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.
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Beto Bicycle Floor Pump Repair: Valve Head Pin Replacement
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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.
Parking Costs in China's large cities is becoming prohibitive. And so it should. Too many cars in a city reduces the quality of life for everyone.
Anyone who has recently visited China and Beijing knows that there are too many cars on the streets, thus clogging the free flow of traffic. Gone are the days of riding a bicycle. Public transit is the only way to get around, but buses are just as slow as cars. Beijing has started a lottery for potential new car buyers, which helps. The solution may lie in a scarcity of parking spaces. If you have no parking space you have no place to park your car.
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.
Which Toronto Chinatown is better? Uptown or Downtown? I test both.
It is rare for me to visit Toronto’s downtown Chinatown because I live in North-East Toronto, where we have the highest concentration of Mainland Chinese in Toronto. Today we went to MEC.ca (Mountain Equipment Co-op) for cycling gear, so stopped and had lunch in Chinatown at Spadina and Dundas. Having not been there for many years, it was interesting.