Stylocycle’s Blog


Aside from cycling instead of driving…
March 14, 2010, 10:28 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

…there are other things we can do to make urban living better, cleaner, safer, more congenial.

Here in my new neighbourhood we have a nearby community farm. I’m not likely to join the community farm simply because I know that my running around kind of lifestyle can take me away for periods that are harmful to plants.

So, this year we are ‘donating’ a sunny portion of our backyard to a local urban farming group, Urban Harvester. In exchange for the use of a portion of our backyard, we will receive a share of the vegetables they grow there, and an organization that can’t itself afford to buy land nonetheless gets to harvest enough freshly grown food from gardens located around the city to take that food to market where it can be sold relatively cheaply.

Everybody wins.

Market shoppers get locally grown, organic produce for a reasonable price.

We get a harvest garden without having to do the maintenance or deal with the over-abundance that can so frequently go to waste in a small single-family garden

The organization gets access to land without having to buy it.

We promote community, sharing, and better use of urban space.

It’s an awesome idea and I hope you will think about it for your community, or look to see if you already have something like it where you are.

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Driving is a pain in the ass.
March 12, 2010, 7:40 pm
Filed under: hazards

Usually my blog traffic is pretty quiet, but wow! Swear a little and the internets sure do take notice! My single line post about the guys who commented on my bike drew 50 hits in one day… about 4 times as many as I usually have. I can just imagine what will happen with the title for this posting… but seriously:

Driving is a pain in the ass.

Yesterday Boy and Spouse and I had to come from three different places and get to the same destination all the way across town. The 3 departure points were all en route to the final destination so BOy picked me up in the car, and then we headed off to get Spouse to go on together to a meeting (about home schooling arrangements and university entry etc).

But Boy is a new driver, and I am an old passenger… and so I was chatting to him the way I chat to his dad if ever we are in the car (or, frankly, as we chat now while we bike home together each day). I distracted Boy with my patter and Boy accidentally rear-ended the car in front of us. Not a big deal… we were at a light that had just changed to green, the car in front of us accelerated and Boy followed suit; that’s when I caused his distraction and he failed to notice the car in front of us suddenly stopping. our nose mounted his tail and crunched the tail-gate a little bit. Off to the accident reporting centre we had to go. Rest of the day: blown to hell.

That said, I”m really proud of the kid for how he handled the issue. Last year at this time he would have blamed me, been a horrible shit abut it, and likely would have had a tantrum. He’s not had a good history of taking responsibility for his shit. But yesterday? Yesterday he made me proud. He filled out the report for the police, and wrote: “I was following too closely, got distracted and failed to notice the car in front of me had stopped.” And on the way home from it all, he asked if I was sure I was OK because my lap belt had pulled a bit across my left hip, and he didn’t come down on me at all… and when his dad got home later Boy came down from his room and said, “I’m sorry about the car. I should not have looked away.” Our car isn’t even damaged except for a wee crack in the plastic piece below the bumper.

If only we’d each taken the bus…



Overheard
March 7, 2010, 3:48 am
Filed under: comments around town, Overheard

As I rode by 3 young guys who were working for the city clean-up crew:

[One to his buddies –>] “Dude! That’s a fucking cruiser!”

Yes. I was amused.



Night Rider
March 3, 2010, 2:51 am
Filed under: around town, winter riding

In a fit of inspiration my dear spouse decided this evening that we ought to go out for dinner to our favourite Northern Indian food place (Masala Bay) in uptown. We planned at first to take the bus because although it’s only about a 20 minute brisk walk his toe is healing from being squashed (accidentally) last week during a bit of furniture re-arranging. Boy feels very bad about squashing his dad’s toe (for the record).

On our way out, Spouse asked if I’d rather bike (yes!), but I told him to check his own ability to pedal first before we set out. Lo! The pedalling was easier for him than walking and so within 10 minutes we were uptown, cozily and happily seated in the warm and aromatic restaurant.

On arrival I discovered, much to my dismay, that my camera was absent of batteries. Perhaps more accurately: my camera and batteries had been separated by the household battery poacher (Boy!). I really wanted a photo of our bikes — his and my Batavi… 🙂 — parked by the massive snowbank, with twinkling lights all ’round, but it was not to be. Even the batteries I went ’round the corner to buy turned out to be dead.

The weather forecast says that tomorrow is our last day of below-zero daytime temperatures. The bird songs today concurred. Spring is upon us, folks!

And I pedalled all the way through winter.