Yo Winter, Smell Ya Later

It’s looking like Winter gives up its last gasp today and what a winter its been. 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). 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. Continue reading Yo Winter, Smell Ya Later

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

Tonight 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 … Continue reading Spur Line Trail – Public Drop-in – Feb 26 6.30pm

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 … Continue reading Advice to a new cyclist?

10 Winter Riding Rules [guest post]

You should nose that Kleenex is necessary. Dressing for the ride will take as long as the ride. Learn to be at peace with your own company. If 3 layers are good, 4 are better. Road choice is hard because main roads are busy but clearer of snow and side roads are more slippery but have fewer cars. Ride down the centre of side roads, they are melted because cars going both ways use the centre area.  Keep looking for traffic. Hill climbing is good exercise because you can’t go fast on the flat or downhill. Don’t brake and turn … Continue reading 10 Winter Riding Rules [guest post]

Frustrated citizen takes bicycle path clearance into own hands

When I moved to Waterloo, I was initially impressed by the winter path maintenance – the fact that there was any at all.    In the part of Toronto I lived in, the city made no effort to keep any paths clear.  But this year, snow clearance of the Laurel Trail has been so poor that the path is basically unusable.

During my commute last Tuesday, the state of the path was so poor that I was really pushing my limits in terms of bike control and physical exertion.  On top of that, the ride was so bumpy that my bike’s chain jammed three times within the 300 metres I travelled along the trail.

The fact that the worst part of my commute is along a bicycle path says something about the state of the cycling network in winter. When the only way to travel by bicycle is to share space with fast-moving cars, few people will travel by bicycle.  It doesn’t matter if it’s twenty degrees below freezing or twenty degrees above.

So I decided to take things into my own hands, and shovel the path myself from Seagram to University.

The Laurel Trail after I cleared it
The Laurel Trail after I cleared it

Continue reading “Frustrated citizen takes bicycle path clearance into own hands”

Winterloo – Photo Journey of standing outside on the coldest days of my life

When we (WaterlooBikes and TriTAG) talked about a Winter Cycling booth at Winterloo 2015 no one expected the record setting temperatures. Both  days (Feb 14 & 15) had windchill temperatures in the -35C to -41C range. The goal of the booth was to … Continue reading Winterloo – Photo Journey of standing outside on the coldest days of my life