Monday 30 September 2013

Congratulations to Ziggy's

This might be old news to you, but I just found out, that on September 10 Ziggy's Cycle and Sport was recognized as "Independent Bicycle Retailer of the Year 2013" by the Bicycle Trade Association of Canada.

Bill Yetman, Executive Director of BTAC: "Ziggy's is a prime example of a retailer doing great work in their community and we're happy to recognize their work with this award." [more]

I couldn't agree more! Congratulations to Ziggy's!!!


Wednesday 17 July 2013

Together We Travel Ride for Angels

On May 13th, 2012, over 500 people gathered with their bicycles near Hawkesville, Ontario to ride in memory of Barrie Conrod.  Barrie was killed on May 6th after being struck by a vehicle while riding his bike.  For those that attended, the large gathering was a powerful event and it showed the strength of the cycling community and the importance of remembering those killed or hurt while cycling.

Barrie’s widow Heather Caron says, “May 6, 2012 my husband Barrie Conrod was killed by an inattentive driver.  It was a clear day, we could see for miles.  There was no justifiable reason for the crash.  We did everything right that day.  The accident was horrific, catastrophic and it has changed my life forever.  Together We Travel Ride for Angels will serve as a reminder to motorists and cyclists to respect each other and remember those who have been affected.  I hope we can continue to remember and honour until the time comes that we don’t need to promote safety on the roads.  Safety for all.”

Please support Together We Travel Ride for Angels in its inaugural year, as we build on the momentum of Barrie’s ride and pedal to reinforce the need for all road users to share the road – motorists and cyclists alike. Funds raised will help cover the substantial cost of Ontario Cycling Association (OCA) insurance for the event.  Any funds raised in excess of 2013 costs will remain on deposit in a designated bank account to seed the 2014 ride.

Together We Travel Ride for Angels will include all cyclists in a family-friendly, police-supported ride through Uptown Waterloo.  The ride is open to everyone with a bike and a helmet, and there is no cost to participate.  We ask that all participants wear a white t-shirt.  Red armbands will be offered to all who have been affected by a motorist-cyclist accident.

Event details:Saturday, July 20
CIGI parking lot, Caroline and Erb Street in Uptown Waterloo
4:30 registration; 5:30 ride
Short police-escorted loop using Erb Street, Weber Street, Bridgeport Road, and King Street
Conclusion in Waterloo Town Square

Please donate, join us on July 20, share the details with your networks, and most important - be safe always.

Tuesday 9 July 2013

Bike2Work 4 Life!

I had such an amazing time participating in the #BikeKitchener Bike2Work challenge this year that I plan to continue this way of life into the future. I can easily see the ability to bike to work influencing major life decisions like whether I choose one job over another, or where I decide to live. I feel heathier and more connected to my community and these are values that are now core to who I am. I've always felt this way but the Bike2Work challenge really helped pull those out and make them realized!

If there's one takeaway I'd share with the general public out there it's this: get on a bike a ride. Don't make a plan. Just ride down a road, then another, and'll discover an amazing world out there.

And watch for the potholes!
- Ty

If you’re reading this blog, you could win a free bike by completing the
BikeKitchener cycling survey. Fill it out online at #BikeKitchener

Saturday 29 June 2013

Take the Pledge!

Just as we are wrapping up this year's Bike2Work Challenge, I came across a couple of interesting articles online that talk about safe and responsible cycling. The title of the first one sounded rather surprising, but makes a valuable point: As cyclist, we should always obey all traffic laws and not endanger ourselves or others by riding like a "scofflaw":

David Suzuki joins chorus of activists railing against scofflaw cyclists seen to be ruining it for everyone else

The article links to an "Urban Cyclist Etiquette Guide" for cyclist, pedestrians and motorists that makes not only the obvious recommendations, but also some you might not have thought about before.

Talking about safe cycling: the statistics about accidents involving cyclist in Waterloo Region are quite shocking, as this article in The Record and the numbers at the end show:

Cyclists at fault in majority of bike-vehicle collisions

The statistics are from 2010 and I'd be interested to see how they hopefully have improved since.

In any case, I encourage every cyclist to always ride responsibly and go by the rules. Only then can we expect to be respected by others on the road, namely motorists, which brings me to a really cool initiative by on their website people are encouraged to take a "Ride and Drive with Care" pledge. It asked everyone on the road - whether in a car or on a bike - to commit to safe traffic behavior:

Check it out and Take the Pledge yourself!

This, by the way, is an initiative in cooperation with CAA, which - in case you didn't know - offers road-side assistance to its members not only when they drive, but also when they cycle: see CAA Bike Assist

Now, to finish off, I'd like to share this little YouTube video, showing Bicycle Rush Hour in Utrecht (The Netherlands). It's certainly impressive and in many ways also a bit funny to watch how tons and tons of cyclist go by on their way to work and back. It made me wonder if this might be the future of cycling in Kitchener as well???

Happy and safe cycling, Chris

If you’re reading this blog, you could win a free bike by completing the BikeKitchener cycling survey. Fill it out online at #BikeKitchener

Friday 28 June 2013

Thanks for the Adventure!

My final day of week four was yesterday and the month certainly went by fast!  The rest of the summer and fall stretches ahead, with several months yet to ride to work. 

The hotter days of last week reminded me that sunscreen and sweat are a big part of commuting to work!  I really don’t like the greasiness of sunscreen- yuck!  Instead I practice sun safety by wearing loose cotton clothing that covers arms and legs, and get away with sunscreening my face and hands.  Since I don’t have access to a shower at work, I have had to make friends with sweat!  Having a change of clothes along helps… J

It was great to see you all at McCabe’s on Tuesday- the video taping of the ride together was a hoot!  Thanks, Josh and everyone at City of Kitchener, for organizing a great Challenge- and for giving me the opportunity to take part in it.  And thanks again to Ziggy’s for the terrific bike and gear… I’ll be enjoying them for a long time to come!

Safe biking, everyone!
Cheryl W.

If you’re reading this blog, you could win a free bike by completing the BikeKitchener cycling survey. Fill it out online at  #BikeKitchener

Not the end just yet...

My oh my have the last 4 weeks gone by quickly. I averaged 4 days a week on my bike and in total have biked over 200KM! Luckily I only work 2KM away :) but ever since this ride has started many changes in the aspects of my work and personal life! My confidence is higher, enjoy the scenic routes to work everyday, and even notice that in my summer football and ultimate frisbee rec leagues that I've been able to run faster/ longer, jump higher, and gain that extra edge on my opponents.

When I first started biking, I thought it was going to be a long month - what with all those cars along victoria riding so close, it was a bit intimidating. But after the first couple days, I was used to it and really started to enjoy my rides. I've also started riding around parks, and hope to start doing some post-work rec biking to explore more of Kitchener. I never knew there were so many places that I haven't seen before!

This challenge was all I expected and more. Thanks Ziggys and to the City of Kitchener for organizing such a great initiative to engage us all into more healthier and green lives! I will for sure continue biking daily after this challenge.

I hope to see more bikers out there in the future!

~Keep Biking


Changing Routines ....

I used to bike a lot back home in Germany. And even when I moved to Waterloo in 2005 I started of with biking. Then came the car and I got lazy … well … not really, cause I do work out a fair bit. Through this Bike2Work Challenge, however, I realized that it was mostly my routines that kept me from cycling. A lot of what we do every day is based on routines; they are what makes us efficient. On the other hand, when we attempt things that we haven't done before or at least not in a while, they tend to take longer. And that's what got me!

I'm a morning person: I like to get up and get going. But often, if I woke up on a nice day and spontaneously decided to bike, just getting all my stuff ready and out of the house took me too long and got me all frustrated. I'd do it once or twice, then give up and go back to my old routines of driving instead. So if you are thinking about biking to work in the (hopefully near) future, here is my advise:
  • Don't do it spontaneously! Plan and prepare for it instead:
    • Get your bike tuned up by one of the local bike stores!
    • Get all your biking accessories (lights, panniers, rain jacket, …) ready!
    • Take what you need at work (toiletries, towel, …) ahead of time!
    • Pack your lunch and clothes for the day the night before!
    • Plan in some extra time in the morning!
  • Do a dry run the day before you start:
    • Prepare and collect everything you intend to take the next day!
    • Pack your panniers: Play with different variations of what to store where and try to balance the weight!
    • Hop on the bike and go around the block! Once back home, leave what you can on or near the bike; but put your lunch in the fridge :-)
    • Now, the next morning, all you need to do is change into your cycling clothes, grab your lunch box, hop on your bike and off you go ….
  • Don’t just do it once or twice! Commit to it! For at least a week or 2, better a month:
    • The first couple of days, you will likely need some extra time to get ready in the morning and bike to work. Plan for that and don't get frustrated over it!
    • Keep going and fine-tune your morning routine and commute (nicer/faster routes?)!
    • As you go more regularly, you will notice how your new routine gets smoother and soon you'll find that it doesn't take much longer to bike to work at all. So keep it up!
This Challenge was exactly what I needed: A commitment to bike to work not just randomly, but consistently for a couple of weeks. Now that I've developed a slightly different morning routine, I find I'm just as quick biking as taking the car. And my 11km commute by bike is really just a few minutes longer. So when are you changing your routine?!?
Happy riding, Chris

If you’re reading this blog, you could win a free bike by completing the BikeKitchener cycling survey. Fill it out online at #BikeKitchener