Why we need protected bicycle lanes

Can’t do this in a painted bicycle laneScreenshot 2015-04-24 at 14.46.36

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Safety Recall – Trek bicycles with a front disc brakes and quick releases

Got this in my inbox this morning, luckily my Trek which has a front disc brake, doesn’t have a quick release. Back before I had email my second mountain bike was a Trek 850 Antelope, it had a quick release, but that was before disc brakes became mainstream.  That reminds me, I put this awful one piece barends / aerobars on it — horrible.

“According to the CPSC recall notice, one incident resulted in quadriplegia, one in facial injuries, and the third in a fractured wrist.” via Bicycle Retailer

Safety Recall
Trek issues voluntary nationwide consumer quick release safety notices

Thank you for your purchase of a Trek bicycle. Our records indicate that you may have purchased a bicycle equipped with disc brakes and a front quick release lever that opens past 180°.

If the quick release is improperly adjusted or left open on a bicycle which also has a front disc brake, the quick release lever can become caught in the disc brake assembly. If this happens, the front wheel could separate or come to a sudden stop and you could lose control of the bicycle.

Trek wants you to be safe. You should always correctly adjust the quick release on your bicycle before you ride. Trek’s Owner’s Manual contains detailed instructions for proper quick release installation and removal. If you do not have an Owner’s Manual, see your local Trek retailer.

Additional information on proper quick release adjustment, including videos on quick release installation and removal, is available on Trek’s website on the Manuals pageand Safety & Recalls page, and more videos demonstrating proper quick release adjustment are available on Trek’s YouTube channel. We encourage you to review these materials and to consult your local Trek retailer with any questions regarding proper use of your quick release.

This letter contains important information regarding what to do next if you have one of these bicycles.

Your safety is very important to us. Therefore, if desired, Trek will replace the front quick-release mechanism on affected bicycles, while you wait, free of charge. This includes replacement of the specially-designed quick release with washers if it has already been installed on your bicycle.

Affected models

Any Trek bicycle equipped with disc brakes and a front quick release lever that can open beyond 180º and contact the disc brake assembly is affected. If you are unsure whether your bicycle has this combination, please take it to your local Trek retailer for a free inspection.

What Trek will do for owners of an affected bicycle

If you own a bicycle that is affected by this recall and would like a replacement quick release, Trek will provide you—through your Trek retailer—a free replacement quick-release, including free installation. In addition, you will receive a $20 coupon good towards any Bontrager product redeemable through December 31, 2015 at your local authorized Trek retailer. This coupon has no cash value. If you have any questions, please contact your retailer, or call Trek at the safety and recall hotline: 800.373.4594

Thank you for buying a Trek bicycle

We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this has caused you. We value you as a customer and want you to safely enjoy cycling on your Trek bicycle.

This letter was prepared in cooperation with the Consumer Product Safety Commission. If you have questions about the information in this letter, please contact your Trek retailer.

And an excerpt from my LBS (trek dealer)

A number of model year 2000 through 2015 Trek bicycles were made with a quick-release lever that opens past 180°. If the quick release is improperly adjusted or left open, the quick release lever can become caught in the front wheel disc. If this happens, the front wheel could separate or come to a sudden stop and the rider could lose control of the bicycle.

We have determined bicycle models that could be affected and list them below. Therefore, it is important that you bring in your bike so we can  inspect your Trek bicycle that comes into your store. If the front quick release lever can open far enough to contact the disc brake assembly, you should replace the quick release.

To ensure the your safety, please look at your Trek Owner’s Manual on proper use of a quick release. The Owner’s Manual contains detailed instructions on how to properly install a quick release, and Trek’s website and YouTube channel contain additional information, including videos. Additional information, including videos on quick release installation and removal, is available on Trek’s website athttp://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/support/manuals/ andhttp://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/support/safety_and_recalls/, and more videos demonstrating proper quick release adjustment are available on Trek’s YouTube channel: quick release without washers and quick release with washers.

POTENTIALLY AFFECTED BIKES BY MODEL YEAR 
Model Year Bike Model
2000 8000 LT, Hoo Koo E Koo, VRX 400
2002 4300 D, Tassajara D
2003 4300 D, 4900 D, 6700 D, Diesel Freeride, Liquid 30, Sugar 2+, Tassajara D
2004 4300 D, 6700 D, Attitude XV, Fuel EX 100, Liquid 55, Palamino SS, Sugar Race, Sugar Race XT, Tassajara D
2005 4300 D, 4500 D, 4500 D WSD, 6500 D, 6700 D, 6700 D WSD, Bitter, Bruiser 2, Bruiser 3, Cronus, Fuel 70, Mullet
2006 4300 D, 4900 D, 6500 D, 6500 D WSD, 6700 D, 7.5 FX D, Bitter, Cake 3 D, Cobia, Cronus, Fuel 70, Jack 2, Kaitai, Mullet, Mullet 24, Piranha, SU 200, Utopia
2007 4300 D, 6000 D, 7.3 FX D, 7.5 FX D, Bitter, Fuel EX 5, Fuel EX 5 WSD, Hifi, Jack 1, Jack 2, Jack 3, Kaitai, Mullet, Mullet SS, Piranha, SU 200, Tassajara D, Tassajara D GS, Utopia, Wahoo D
2008 3900 D, 4300 D, 6000 D, 6500 D, 6500 D WSD, 6700 D, 6700 D WSD, Advance, Advance GS, Cobia, Cronus, Fuel EX 5.5, Fuel EX 5.5 WSD, Fuel EX 6.5, Hifi, Hoo Koo E Koo, Kaitai, Marlin D, Monona, Montare, Mullet, Mullet SS, Piranha, Rig, Soho 1.0, Soho 3.0, Soho 4.0, SU 200, Tassajara D, Utopia, Wahoo D
2009 2300 D, 3900 D, 6000 D, 6000 D WSD, 6500 D, 6700 D, 6700 D WSD, 8000 D, 8000 D WSD, 69er geared, Cobia, Fuel EX 5.5, Fuel EX 5.5 WSD, Fuel EX 6.5, Fuel EX 7, Fuel EX 8, Fuel EX 8 WSD, Hifi, Hifi GS, Hoo Koo E Koo, Kaitai, Mamba, Marlin, Montare, Mullet, Paragon, Piranha, Police, Tassajara D, Utopia, Valencia, Wahoo D
2010 3900 D, 4300 D, 4500 D, 6000 D WSD, 6500 D, 6700 D, 6700 D WSD, Advance D, Cobia, Fuel EX 5, Fuel EX 5 WSD, Hifi Pro 29, Hifi+ 29, Hoo Koo E Koo, Kaitai, Mamba, Marlin D, Marlin D GS, Montare, Mullet, PDX, Piranha, Skye SL D, Tassajara D, Utopia, Valencia, Valencia+, Wahoo D, X-Caliber
2011 3700 D, 3900 D, 4300 D, 4500 D, 6000 D, 6000 D WSD, 6500 D, 6700 D, 6700 D WSD, 8000 D, 7.3 FX D, 7.3 FX D WSD, Advance D, Cobia, Elite 9.7, Fuel EX 5, Fuel EX 5 WSD, Fuel EX 6, Fuel EX 6 WSD, Fuel EX 7, Fuel EX 8, Hifi+, Mamba, Mamba 29, Mamba 29 WSD, Mamba GS, Marlin 29, Marlin, Marlin SS, Montare, PDX, Police, Sawyer, Skye SL D, Skye SLX D, Soho DLX, Transport, Transport+, Utopia, Valencia+, Wahoo D, Wahoo D WSD
2012 3500 D, 3700 D, 3900 D, 4300 D, 4500 D, 4900 D, 7.3 FX D, 7.3 FX WSD, 7.5 FX D, 8.3 DS, 8.4 DS, Cobia, Fuel EX 5, Lush, Mamba, Mamba WSD, Marlin 29, Marlin 29 WSD, Marlin SS, Neko SL, PDX, Sawyer, Skye SL D, Skye SLX D, Soho, Superfly, Superfly 100, Transport, Transport+, Valencia+, Wahoo, Wahoo D 29, X-Caliber, X-Caliber WSD
2013 3500 D, 3700 D, 3900 D, 4300 D, 4500 D, 4700 D, 4900 D, 7.2 FX D, 7.4 FX D, 8.3 DS, 8.4 DS, 8.5 DS, 8.6 DS, Cali, Cali S, Cali SL, Cobia, Fuel EX 4, Fuel EX 5, Lush, Lush 29, Mamba, Marlin, Mynx, Neko SL, Police 29, Skye SL D, Superfly Comp, Transport, Transport+, X-Caliber, Wahoo
2014 3500 D, 3700 D, 3900 D, 4300 D, 4700 D, 4900 D, 7.2 FX D, 7.4 FX D, 8.3 DS, 8.4 DS, 8.5 DS, 8.6 DS, Cali, Cali S, Cali SL, Cali SLX, Neko SL, Neko SLX D, Police 29, Skye SL D, Superfly 6, X-Caliber 4, X-Caliber 5, X-Caliber 6, X-Caliber 7, X-Caliber 8, X-Caliber 9
2015 520 D, 3500 D, 3700 D, 3900 D, 7.2 FX D, 7.4 FX D, 8.3 DS, 8.4 DS, 8.5 DS, 8.6 DS, Marlin 5, Marlin 6, Marlin 7, Neko SL, Neko SLX, Skye S D, Skye SL D, Skye SLX D, X-Caliber 6, X-Caliber 7, X-Caliber 8, X-Caliber 9
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Review: A perfect bicycle route in Utrecht

The bicycle route between the inner city of Utrecht, the Netherlands and its outlying university is what I consider to be a perfect bicycle route.  As far as I can tell, it doesn’t have a specific name, but it consists of a bidirectional bicycle path along the east side of Waterlinieweg, Pythagoraslaan and Archimedeslaan.  I’ll call it the Archimedeslaan path, or Archimedespad for short.

For virtual ride along the route, check out the following video by Dutch cycling blogger Mark Wagenbuur.  He starts roughly in the middle of the line on the map above and heads toward point A, which he reaches about 2 minutes in.

This bicycle path is far from exceptional in The Netherlands, I chose it simply because it’s a route I have used several times.  There are countless other routes in the Netherlands that are just as good.

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Introducing the Bikeway Report Card

I am planning to start reviewing bicycle routes, which got me thinking – what makes a good bicycle route?

So after a bit of brainstorming, I came up with a series of categories that could be applied to any bicycle route to come up with an overall rating.  I calibrated the weightings on some routes I know such that the overall score generated is consistent with the overall score I would have given it.

So without further ado, the grading scheme:

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Yo Winter, Smell Ya Later

It’s looking like Winter gives up its last gasp today and what a winter its been.

IMG_20150214_130124

This year I finally went out and got winter footwear, goodbye day hikers, goodbye frostbitten toes. It was my favourite winter purchase! (Warm footwear was my top lesson from the 2014 winter season).

IMG_20150210_162852 (1)

Idea for next year:

The communal Plow. I’ve got 8 months or so to build a few. Would anyone be interested in pulling? Inspired by Calgarians who forced their cities hand into winter maintenance.

Posted in Bicycles, Community, Commuting, Kitchener, Maintenance, Waterloo | Tagged | 3 Comments

Spur Line Trail – Public Drop-in – Feb 26 6.30pm

IMG_20140909_203723Tonight I’m heading to the Spur Line public information drop-in. It’s Thursday Feb 26 2015 from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. It’s at the Region of Waterloo Office – Front Lobby (150 Frederick Street, Kitchener).

(She tells me there’s going to be pie and punch).

The Spur line is a leisurely rail line (that at times carries hazardous materials through our neighbourhoods) that goes from the Kitchener Via / Go station connecting with Uptown Waterloo (it actually goes all the way to St Jacobs and Elmira but that’s a different project).

This pathway is already well established and has been used for decades, but it’s pretty stoney and not that comfortable unless its dry out.

Spurline

I’m curious about a few things:

  • How will safety be addressed, the track goes through some lonely parts of Kitchener. It’s kind of a hidden railway.
  • How will it be linked with the existing train station and the future train station? The current train station is pretty difficult to get to by bike or foot, this could easily be addressed by opening up Ahrens street, at least for pedestrians.
  • It would interesting to connect the trail through Arhens right to the Library, Regional City Hall, the KW Art Gallery and Centre in the Square.
  • 3 meter wide track is too narrow, it would better to separate cycling from foot traffic.]
  • Winter maintenance? Will the SLA between the cities be combined? Ie Iron Horse is better maintained in Kitchener than Waterloo’s portion.
  • Lighting? What will be the frequency of light posts?

Resources:

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Advice to a new cyclist?

Every now and then a new cyclists stumbles across this site looking for advice on how to get started commuting by bicycle.

I think the best advice is to just start, but with cycling its often a bit more complicated cause you first need a bicycle.

Here’s our correspondence…..

I stumbled on this website through Facebook and the winter cycling booth.  I’m a young student who would like to start biking, but I don’t know where to start! I have a brother in Toronto that is encouraging me to start but I would like some help in understanding what the best bike for me would be… or where in the city I can buy an affordable yet reliable bike.

I then asked a bunch of questions.

And got this lovely reply :)

Why do you want to bike?
Commuting would be the main reason since the GRT doesn’t run at the hours I need it to run near my house. I would also like to get fit while biking!
What are the distances you’d like to bike?  How long do you see yourself taking on a bike trip?
I have google mapped my route for work and back. It is about a 30 minute bike ride. Mainly going into downtown and uptown Waterloo. I don’t think I would bike for more than a couple of hours.
What kind of surfaces would you like to bike on?
I think the road would be the smoothest. But I mean I know that gravel would also be something I might be biking on.
What amount have you budgeted for bicycle? Or what is a bicycle worth to you?
I’m willing to put down around $200 this time. I believe a good bicycle could be worth a couple hundred dollars.
Have you ever taken a driver’s ed course? Ie. Do you know the rules on the road? How confident do you feel about riding in traffic?
Yes I have taken a drivers ed course, I have my G license. I don’t know how confident I feel riding in traffic… I feel like drivers in K-W aren’t really use to sharing the roads.
What kind of weather / seasons do you want to ride in? 
I would ride in all seasons expect winter! The snow makes it hard and the cold.
Well I can’t wait to start biking after this winter is gone!
Thank you!

Here’s my response. Would you add any thing different? Did I miss anything?

My recommendation on type of bicycle would be a hybrid or step-thru, upright bicycle. For city cycling my bike of choice is an upright, dutch-styled bicycle that can carry a load and is also comfortable. I’ve stated hybrid bicycle, because with a budget of $200 you’ll probably have better success finding a used hybrid rather than a used upright bicycle. These types of bicycles will handle pavement, smooth dirt trails and gravel roads just fine. And when you want to ride in cold weather, both of these will serve you well.

With a budget of $200, I’d recommend a used bicycle. You could look at either Recycle Cycles in downtown Kitchener or one of my favourite bicycle shops in the region Guelph’s Back Peddling. If you can’t find a used bike that fits at Recycle Cycles, you won’t be disappointed with the trip to Back Peddling. Fit is important.

Since you’re a licensed driver, you’re familar with the rules of the road :) However, as a cyclist you’ll want to be familiar with the portions of the highway traffic act that are meaningful to you as a cyclist. Here’s two resources; The Toronto Cyclists Handbook, Cycling Skills – Ontario’s Guide to Cycling.

You may also consider taking a CAN-BIKE cycling course, there are several excellent instructors in the area. I’ve taken a couple of these courses, hosted by the City of Waterloo and although they have a significant time commitment, they teach the skills needed to safely and predictably cycle in traffic. By teach, I mean taking these courses ingrains cycling skills in your muscle memory. Stay tuned and I’ll broadcast when the City of Waterloo has firmed their 2015 dates for CAN-Bike courses. Here’s what I learned in a 16hr course, in 5 minutes.

Did I forget anything?

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