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Save The Dates! 2015 Edmonton ride listing

Save The Dates! 2015 Edmonton ride listing

Save the dates! Here is a list of Edmonton rides & cycling events we know about so far for this summer, with links. Of course, the list includes the dates we’ve settled on for Kidical Mass and Critical Lass rides. We’ll keep this post updated as event listings go live and new things are announced. (Also check Bikeology’s Events page!) Ride on!

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Ride Report: June 2014 Critical Lass to LIVINGbridge

Ride Report: June 2014 Critical Lass to LIVINGbridge

We lucked out on June 25th. It had rained all day, but the skies cleared in time for Critical Lass.

We took a group photo before the ride began.
We took a group photo before the ride began.

We rode across the (reopened!) West side of High Level Bridge, up the separated path west of 109th Street, then through downtown on 102nd Ave.

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…past the Works Festival in Churchill Square.

We stopped to check out this moving art installation by Holly Newman one block up from the Boyle Street Plaza:

Each tag is an invitation to share your night fears.
Each tag is an invitation to share your night fears.
My moth for sharing my night fear (death by right hook).
My moth for sharing my fear (death by right hook).
It's on the site of the demolished York Hotel.
It’s on the site of the demolished York Hotel.
There are also postcards for the project on a nearby lamppost.
There are also postcards for the project on a nearby lamppost.

Next we checked out how the LIVINGbridge is looking so far. (You’ll remember we also visited last summer, later in summer when street bench entries and more plants were in place; their website is here.) Organizers had suggested that we come ready to plant, so I’d brought my gloves and a couple of trowels. Nobody was around to give us direction, so we did some weeding, and picked an empty looking bed and ringed it with some of the annuals waiting to be planted.

Just after this photo was taken, Coreen and I pulled out my wrenches, and she attempted to pull by rear wheel back a bit, to get rid of the chain case scrape and weird shifting. Isn't she the best? I'll need to bring it in to Bikeworks to repeat the process on a proper stand.
Just after this photo was taken, Coreen and I pulled out my wrenches, and she attempted to pull Sparta’s rear wheel back a bit, to get rid of the chain case scrape & weird shifting. Isn’t she the best? I need to bring it in to Bikeworks to try again on a proper stand.
We worked mostly on beds 23 and 24.
We worked mostly on beds 23 and 24.

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We wrapped up quickly and left when some guys who were hanging out there started hassling us – in particular, one native gent seemed upset by our presence. We headed back downtown and had a long wide-ranging chat at Remedy. I completely forgot to take photos.

On the way home, they were testing the newly-installed lights on High Level Bridge:

Of course we all had to take photos.
Of course we all had to take photos.
There were other colours too, but my photos from the red part of the cycle turned out best.
There were other colours too, but my photos from the red part of the cycle turned out best.
You can almost see the individual lamps in this shot. I was happy to see how unobtrusive the installation is.
You can almost see the individual lamps in this shot. I was impressed by the unobtrusiveness of the installation.

While we were taking photos, we met a 53-year-old res school survivor in distress, and walked him the rest of the length of the High Level Bridge to make sure he was okay. He had a lot of profound lessons for us (as elders and survivors do), which I’ll share in a blog post eventually. He taught us a phrase, pronounced cha-oon-day, that was his prayer to the Creator for a better day tomorrow. He faced the sunset as he was praying, and traced the horizon with his hands. (If anyone can teach me the proper spelling I’d be grateful. I’m not sure if it’s Cree or Dene.)

Sunset shot.
Sunset shot. Taken roughly 11:15pm.
Catbus street art on the sidewalk.
Catbus street art on the sidewalk.

Let’s all send a wish into the universe / to the Creator / good vibes to him, wherever he is now, for a thousand better tomorrows, and consider donating to organizations who work with homeless people or the urban aboriginal community so people in his situation feel less alone and hopeless.

2014 Critical Lass & Kidical Mass schedule and notes

2014 Critical Lass & Kidical Mass schedule and notes

I’m pleased to announce the 2014 dates for Critical Lass Edmonton and Edmonton Kidical Mass:

Sunday, June 15th, 1pm – Kidical Mass Bikeology ride, in Highlands meeting at Borden Park

Wednesday, June 25th, 7pm – Critical Lass, Bikeology edition, across the High Level Bridge to LIVINGbridge and a downtown patio – ride report here

Sunday, July 20th, 4pm (changed from 1pm to accommodate the Community Gardens Bike Tour!) – Critical Lass, #31DaysOfYEG splash park ride

Saturday, August 2nd, 1pm – Kidical Mass, at a splash park and playground (exact location TBA)

Sunday, August 31st, 1pm – Critical Lass, south-side tour de cafe to Under The High Wheel, Mikes Bike & Bean, and Cafe Bicyclette

Sunday, Sept 28th, 1pm – Critical Lass, leaf viewing river valley ride

Sunday, October 26th, 1pm – Hallowe’en Kidical Mass in costume

As the Facebook event pages are created, I’ll link them above. We may add dates as well, so watch this post, our Facebook groups (linked above), and the #yegbike hashtag on Twitter.

You also need to check out the new Family Biking Edmonton group on Facebook, Revolution Cycles’ womens’ ride tomorrow, and this year’s Bikeology Festival calendar for all the cool things happening in June, including EBC’s annual Bike To The Symphony next week.

I also suspect there will be a special Critical Mass ride today (always held last Friday of the month, meeting 5:30 pm at City Hall) to mark the tragic death of Wendee Hockney in a classic right-hook accident at an intersection many of us ride often as a marked bike route into downtown.

Quick reminder: bike thefts have been epidemic this spring! I have one friend whose bicycle was stolen within three days of purchase. Sadly, I think Edmonton might be turning into a two-lock town – check out Edmonton Bicycle Commuters’ bike registry and review of proper locking technique.

Critical Lass 11 May 2014

Thanks to all who came out to our May 11th CycloFemme ride! (More info about CycloFemme here.)It was great to see you, if briefly. I was so disappointed to have to bail and take my daughter home – turned out she wasn’t feeling well (so overreacted to having trouble shifting gears), was running a fever by the time we got back to the car, and by evening everyone in my household was feeling under the weather. It sounds like everyone had a wonderful time riding down to Gracious Goods Cafe in Belgravia, socializing, then carrying on to get a preview of the gorgeous new Bikeworks South shop. New participant Tammie posted a ride report on her blog (Thanks Tammie! She’s fundraising for the ride supporting the Alberta Cancer Foundation, so if you don’t already have a friend riding, send a pledge her way.).

Critical Lass Oct 2013 group photo sunset during Oct CL me on LRT after Oct CL

We also did an evening ride in early October, at which I learned that my daughter is absolutely terrified of heights. She was so excited to be riding with the grownups, and did great getting across the High Level Bridge – then melted down when she got to the other side, poor sweetheart, and we ended up taking the LRT home. Coreen wrote eloquently about how easily we forget these things can be scary when we don’t do them daily in her ride report – thanks, Coreen. We’ll make sure that we note when we’ll be crossing the High Level in our route info from now on, and plan some rides that don’t (like the July tour de bike cafe).

 

 

 

Bikeology Festival!

Bikeology Festival!

Passing on an announcement from the fabulous organizers of Edmonton’s bike month:

Bikeology Festival banner

Bikeology Festival – June 1-30

Bikeology is a mobile festival for the bike-curious and the seasoned rider.

During June you can go to any number of cycling events, at various locations throughout the city.  We welcome, encourage, nurture and celebrate cyclists with a regular menu of our own themed events, AND we support a growing number of unique and eclectic, one-off, cycle-oriented happenings all month long.

The options are endless, and varied. Come learn to about cycling in Edmonton, ride your bike, fix it, celebrate it, write (nay obsess) over it, or otherwise learn that cycling is a viable mode of transportation, an enjoyable recreation, and ultimately a community-building machine of glory.  Help spread the velo-love…

Our Vision: Edmonton is a city in which bicycling is increasingly celebrated, supported, adopted and enjoyed.

Interested in participating or volunteering?  Check out www.bikeology.ca or email info@bikeology.ca

Critical Lass video shoot

Critical Lass video shoot

We had a gorgeous, windy night for our Make Something Edmonton video shoot on Wednesday night, and a fabulous group of seven riders (and an enthusiastic passenger). Yvonne, Aaron, and their assistant made the process so fun and painless, and everyone enjoyed themselves thoroughly. The video will be out sometime in June. We met at the SitNChill bench at the south end of High Level Bridge, rode across the west side of the bridge (and really struggled a little with the wind gusts!), circled in the park at the North end of the bridge, took the residential streets through to Grant Notley Park (the one with the gazebo at the top of Victoria Park Hill) where we did a spoken bit (where little Eli got to have a starring role) and more circling, then along the sidewalk on Victoria Promenade with the river valley as a backdrop. Filming done, we then chose to go back the way we came, and a few of us had a snack at the Sugarbowl. I took these candid shots with my phone, mostly when we stopped in Grant Notley Park and on Victoria Promenade. Of course I didn’t think to do a panda shot at all, so the only photos of me were taken by the pros. I’m noticing that a couple of the fab ladies who rode with us are also missing from these shots, as luck would have it.

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This is Erin’s awesome Xtracycle conversion of an Electra Townie. Eli is pretty comfy in his seat.

 

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Waiting to film at Grant Notley Park
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Waiting to film at Grant Notley Park. L-R: Jaimie, Eli, Erin, Karen, Monica, Maggie.
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Waiting to film at Grant Notley Park
Chatting after filming on Victoria Promenade
Chatting after filming on Victoria Promenade. L-R: Yvonne, Karen, Mandy.
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Wrapping filming on Victoria Promenade

Incidentally, I got some bike grease on my sundress when I was loading the DL-1 back onto the car rack after the ride, and it’s not coming out with either of the stain treatments I have. Anyone got a magic trick to share for getting grease stains out of cotton?

Critical Lass: Cyclofemme and ride announcements

Critical Lass: Cyclofemme and ride announcements

On Sunday, May 12th, we rode together:

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Well, to be more accurate, they rode. I am recovering from a miserable virus that’s left my lungs achy and my throat raw, and my kids and husband are ill too. So, I only met the group at Bike Bottleneck to hand out the Cyclofemme tattoos and snap this photo. Karen is 8 months pregnant, and a total badass. Erin is riding a sweet Extracycle conversion with front and rear seats for her gorgeous children. Mary, Adele and her mom, and Coreen (who rode up on her CCM loop-frame just after this was snapped) rounded out the group. It’s hard to get people out to ride on a busy day like Mothers’ Day

criticallassmay13-atlegThe group went on the the Alberta legislature grounds, where Karen snapped this shot.

We have a few events to share! Mark your calendars:

 

Our ‘best-of’ list: most viewed and most commented posts of the last 4 years

Our ‘best-of’ list: most viewed and most commented posts of the last 4 years

Before we shut down the old website, I thought I’d take a look at the stats and list our most popular and most commented-on posts.

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We averaged between 2500 and 5000 pageviews per month, depending on what we’d written about, and had a total of over 108K views between Oct 2009 and March 2013 , with the majority of views from the major English-speaking countries (no surprise) plus Germany, Russia, France, and the Netherlands.  That blows my mind, considering we always thought we’d be lucky to get our friends and families to read this stuff. Thanks, you guys.

Our most popular posts on the old blog, with links to their new homes on this domain:

Laura’s Eaton’s Road King (Much of the interest came from the Czech Republic where it was built! It’s a super-sweet late-1950s design. Update: Laura has since found a new home for it, because it was just a smidgen too tall for her. New owner, if you stumble on this, please leave a comment!)

The Twins: 1983 Norco Folders (This one also generated a lot of discussion – we are really passionate about vintage small-wheeled bikes in our corner of the interwebs! Update: It turns out these little guys have a few mechanical issues, and are comfortable to ride for Angel but not for me. So, they’re still in the project pile. And I’m contemplating getting a Raleigh Twenty or one of its’ modern shopper clones, whose geometry works better for me.)

Antique Cycle Chic, part 1 and part 2. (Update: I do have quite a few more old RPPCs in my collection, and promise I’ll share them soon!)

1970s Made-in-Canada Raleigh Cyclone (Update: we named this one Gino, it’s in Angel’s garage, and it needs some work on the coaster hub.)

Gift Ideas For Bicyclists (due for an update, we think)

The posts that introduced Mary Poppins: a 1966 Phillips loops-frame and Bert the Bike:  1976 Canadian-built Raleigh and Salmon Ella the Sears Free Spirit mixte and the 1970s CCM Galaxie (who needed a bit of rust removed – lemon juice and aluminum foil are an amazing combination).

Bike Seats for Bigger Kids: part 2 talked about the Asian metal basket child seat we bought online through Bicycle Hero. In the end we installed it on a sturdy rack on the back of Angel’s bike Daisy as part of an upgrade to mamachari-ness that also included a couple of souvenirs I brought back from my trip to Japan, and I got a Bobike Junior installed on one of my 3-speeds to carry my youngest. He’s now graduated to pedalling independently, so I’m passing it on to Miss Sarah to use for Little D, but I realize I’ve never written specifically about it… stay tuned!)

Jen’s descriptions of Seattle’s Kidical Mass and the Neighborhood Greenways campaign in Ballard also garnered lots of views, but not quite enough to hit the top 10 – only because they haven’t been up as long, I think.

The awards for most comments on posts that didn’t make the most-viewed list goes to Gender Gap?, wherein we chatted about the barriers we personally face to using our bikes more and talked about how to remove those barriers; Cycle Chic, Personal Style, & Feminism, whose comments seem not to have been imported correctly; Everything Looks Better With Bicycles, which skewered the fad for using bikes to sell us stuff, also recently discussed here; the introduction by Nicki of gorgeous Winnie the 1951 CCM-built Garry loop-frame; and the Critical Lass Edmonton posts where we used the comment sections to do the planning, like the Facebook page  is now used.

It’ll be interesting to see how this list changes once this new domain has existed long enough to actually have stats!

Our new logo

Our new logo

You guys YOU GUYS! I had an idea to get stamps and hand-make a logo for our blog, and when I went on Etsy to look for a loop-frame bicycle stamp, I found this instead:

OOAK logo design by Cristina of sombrasblancasdesign.etsy.com

It’s PERFECT. So of course, the idea of making it ourselves made no sense at all anymore. The talented designer who created it is swapping the bubbles for hearts, using a different (less girly) colour combo, and changing the fonts for us. I am so excited.

Update: check our twitter feed to see the final version while we wait for the full-size files!

Update 2: Here it is! 

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(winter hiatus over soon)

(winter hiatus over soon)

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to drop a quick note here to say that it actually feels like spring here in Edmonton, so LFL will soon go back to being a multi-contributor blog. Angel won’t be back for awhile – she broke her wrist in a fall off her bike in early autumn – and I’ll be a bit busy while my family moves house (I’ve been writing about that on my other blog). But I’m going to attempt Thirty Days Of Biking to keep me sane as I declutter and pack, and I have a backlog of antique cycle chic RPPCs to scan and share.

Hasn’t Jen done an amazing job holding down the fort here in the meantime? *APPLAUSE*

Discovering my inner Mary Poppins

Discovering my inner Mary Poppins

One of my goals this year is to start using my bike for short trips around town. The local neighbourhood shopping district is about 2 miles away, which is outside of easy walking distance, but close enough that I don’t really need the car. Looking for a parking spot always annoys me, so I’m happy to skip that as well.

So, what do I ride and what do I wear? Though I love my road bike, these trips are better suited to something easier to just jump on and go. There are so many lovely city cruiser bikes, but, in the spirit of working with what I have, I’m using my trusty old mountain bike. It’s more upright and has better cushioning from bumps in the pavement. I replaced the quick-release fastenings on the seat and wheels with rods that have 5-sided hexkey (a pentakey?) as theft-deterence. Just a few weeks ago, I added a basket, so that I can use my purse instead of a backpack. I’d like to have a chain guard, but I don’t know if I can add one to it. I also want to add fenders.


I do wear a helmet, but am otherwise pretty comfortable in street clothes. Without a chain guard, I will use a pant leg strap when I need to. However, on cooler days, boots are a much more stylish option.

I’ve really enjoyed the more sporty side of cycling in the last few years – it’s fun to go fast and ride hard. However, I’ve really come to appreciate how much fun and how useful other styles of cycling can be. The simplicity of being able to bring a purse and wear my street clothes makes it much easier to use my bike as a routine mode of transportation. It’s also great to rediscover that cycling can be easy and relaxing.