Doing stuff on a bike: Groceries

Ditch the backpacks and the slinging of bags over your handlebars.  You can shop efficiently and effortlessly using your bike.  Depending on how much you buy in a single outing, your set-up can be very basic or (like me) "family-size". Easy options for small shopping trips: They're not very expensive and you can use your own reusable grocery bags that you probably already have. Panniers - You can use regular panniers from any bike shop.  Arkel and others have "grocery panniers" with a drawstring closures. Your pannier can even clip onto the side of a…

Montreal on two wheels

No need to go to Copenhagen to experience better biking infrastructure – just go two hours east to Montreal. I lived in Montreal ten years ago as a student and never biked a single day in the city. It was partly because I lived within walking distance of the campus and partly because it seemed crazy. But now? Times have changed and bike paths and Bixi bikes are everywhere. It feels like a complete culture shift. Traffic calming is everywhere downtown. Narrowed streets, cyclepaths, speed humps, bulb-outs and reduced speed limits. Here’s a brief tour…

I Bike YOW

I work on Laurier Avenue.  And eat out a lot on Laurier during the week.  I wanted a way to show to businesses that I didn’t drive to get to their shop. Or need to park. In fact, I’d hazard a guess that no one has ever bothered to do a visitor survey to find out how their customers get to their businesses.  But that kind of information is overrated.  Especially when anecdotal evidence gets you in the newspaper.  Feel-ology.  It’s a new science we’re perfecting in the city. So, I had some buttons made…

Pedal pefect: The Basil Jada Shopper XL

Over the holidays I treated myself to a girly (but sensible) new bike.  For the last 12 years in Ottawa, I have been riding the same orange mountain bike around the city and it was starting to show its age.  That orange bike was one of my first purchases when I moved to Ottawa - it moved wherever I did, to Sandyhill, to various points in Centretown and finally to Centretown West.  It crossed the Portage Bridge for many years, back and forth, back and forth to work at Eddy Street.  In my university days,…