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Dec 29, 2009

Winter Bike Polo Video

Bike polo - IMHO - is one of the funnest (is that a word?) things you can do on a bike, and here in Calgary, we have 2 dedicated polo groups that play regularly during the warmer months of the year.  The oldest, continuously running games are hosted by the Grassturds with those fellas playing for close to 20 years now.  In the last few years, the hardcourt game has become popular too - and its my personal favorite.  Hardcourt games, as the name implies, are played on a hard surface - parking lots, hockey rinks (sans ice) - they all work.  The rules are slightly different between the two games with "like" contact being allowed in the hardcourt game and mallets/balls are also different between the games.

If you like riding your bike, having the occasional bevvie, and hanging out with other bikeophiles - you owe it to yourself to come and try it out this summer - you will love it!

Dec 21, 2009

Winter Cycling Article in MetroNews Calgary - Featuring Mr.BikeBike

MetroNews Calgary asked me to help them with a winter cycling article.  Although the article is not long enough to get really indepth it does a good job of bringing winter cycling to the masses.  I think this paper is read by a lot of transit users - based on how many of the papers I find on the c-train and buses when I (rarely) use tranist.  Hopefully some of those transit users will consider giving winter cycling a try - even if only on the nicer winter days we frequently get here in Calgary.

Riding this winter has so far been a breeze.  The main roads are in pretty good shape and the pathways - well, the river pathways are almost always in better shape than the roadways.  Thank You Parks Dept!

(photo from MetroNews)

I have 2 observations so far -

1 - Motorists are much more patient and give you a lot more space when the roads are snow covered.  As soon as the roads clear, they revert back to self-absorbed, aggressive jerks - hard on the throttle, swerving back and forth and generally getting too close.
2 - When people find out you ride all winter, generally they fall into two camps.  Camp one is for those who understand and think its great.  Camp two is for those who think you are nuts and expect to be reading the obituaries section about you before winter is out.

BikeBike Inc. is almost open and we will have winter riding gear in stock, starting in October 2010.  Some of that gear includes studded tires, rust-resistant chains, warm winter helmets and liners, and clothing options like gloves, booties, and jackets.

Stay Warm!

Dec 7, 2009

Leading By Example

Well, I am about to be carfree in a few more days and I am feeling a little nervous about what that will be like - especially when I look at the thermometer this morning - it says -25c, and that doesn't include the windchill! Even without that horrendous temperature reading, I think living carfree is going to prove challenging for a little while.

I live in a city that is (in)famous for the highest per capita car ownership rate in Canada - 3.2 cars per family - the car is definitely king around here. Drivers are (in)famously clueless to the rights that bicycles have to the roadways and in winter, motorists feel that bikes should be banished from the roads - full stop. Riding here during the other 3 seasons is a breeze - winter, well, this could be interesting.

Thankfully my new bike shop is only 2 kms away from where I live so getting there will be a snap - I guess where my nervousness is coming from is simply the unknown. How do I get to my girlfriends house in winter? What about visiting friends? Shopping is no problem as we have everything we need within 5 blocks of our home - but the rest of it? What then? As an example, I need to get some snowpants for my son and the store is 5kms away. Normally that ride is no problem, however, it is so cold and the roads incredibly snowy and trecherous I don't want to ride over there with my son. Planning is suddenly becoming my new hobby!

I have had a vehicle of one sort or another for the last 12 years so I guess that some nervousness about being carfree is normal but I feel I need to "walk the walk" - or "bike the bike" - to show my friends and customers that indeed, using your bike for transport year round is a normal thing to do.

Leading by example. Here we go.

Dec 5, 2009

Here We Go!

Well, its happening. I am opening a new bike shop.

Dreams do come true - dont let anybody tell you different!