Hot Post Of The Month

May 31, 2011

City of Calgary Comprehensive Cycling Strategy Release

Ok folks, now is your chance to get involved with what could be the biggest thing to happen to cycling in Calgary since the decision to build the pathway network all those decades ago.  Calgary City Council will be presented with a new cycling strategy that aims (we hope) to make the roads safer to cycle on, make finding your way around the city easier, and help establish cycling as a legitimate transportation option in our car-crazed metropolis.  More info can be found in a previous post here.

All the information you need is below - so read on - and please take a few minutes toget involved any way you can.

Watch for the release of the City of Calgary’s new Comprehensive Cycling Strategy. It will be available for public review starting on Friday, June 10th and will go to the City’s Standing Committee on Land Use, Planning and Transportation for public comment on Wednesday, June 15th. CivicCamp will be holding the following workshops.

CivicCamp Public Information Sessions and Workshops - 7:00 pm, Monday, June 13th

There are four locations where you can participate:
  • Room 342, Earth Sciences Building, University of Calgary
  • Rosscarrock Community Hall, 4411 10 Ave SW
  • Old YMCA, 223 12 Ave SW
  • Forest Lawn Library, 4807 8 Avenue SE
CivicCamp will be holding public meetings for those interested in the City’s new comprehensive cycling strategy. Learn more about the strategy and offer your feedback about what does or doesn’t work for you.

CivicCampers and cycling enthusiasts will be on hand to walk you through the strategy, answer your questions (where we can) and guide a discussion to solicit your input. Information will be collected from the meetings and brought forward to the Standing Committee on Land Use, Planning and Transportation.

For more information, please visit

If you want to comment directly and publicly to Council members about the strategy, please plan to attend the Special Planning Committee on Land Use, Planning and Transportation.

Standing Policy Committee on Land Use, Planning and Transportation
9:30 am, Wednesday, June 15th
Location and Agenda to be Announced

Check this link on the City web site for the agenda and the location. Appearing in person before the LPT committee makes a powerful statement but if you can’t attend, be sure to write/email/tweet your Alderman beforehand to give your feedback.


May 22, 2011

Junk in 'da Trunk!

We love hauling all manner of cargo by bike and one of the more affordable and versatile options is to use a trailer.  Trailers are great for a few reasons - you can use your existing bike without major modifications, they are a lot less expensive than a purpose made cargo bike, and they generally attach/detach quickly making them easy to use just when you need them.

On the flipside, here are a few of the challenges sometimes presented by trailers - the added length can make tight spaces and maneuverability a challenge, the added weight of the trailer to your existing bike will change the way your bike handles, and curbs/bollards/posts all need to be navigated with extra care, being sure not to clip them with the wheels on the trailer.

We stock 3 cargo trailer models, all perfect for use in the city - the Topeak Journey $450, Burley's award winning Travoy $419, and the Croozer Cargo $225

First up is the Journey, Topeak's take on the single wheel trailer.  Single wheel trailers are popular with those that like touring and mountainbiking as the trailer tracks right behind the bike and make singletrack trails easy to navigate and only has one wheel making it more efficient over the long haul.  The attachment system needs a quick release rear wheel for attachment and uses an innovative mechanism to prevent the trailer from coming loose during use.  A review of this trailer can be found here.

Travoy with included bag.
Travoy as a golf cart.
Next up is Burley's award winning trailer design - Travoy.  The Travoy fills a gap in the trailer market for the bike commuter with a convenient and secure way to carry your stuff to work, including a change of office clothes, a laptop, 60lbs. of groceries on the way home - or even for golfing!  A friend of mine bought one so he can load his golf bag onto it, cycle to the course, unhook the trailer - and voila! - golf cart!  A review can be found here.

Last up is the Croozer Cargo trailer, our most affordable trailer.  This trailer is pretty basic but perfectly suitable as a grocery getter, recycling runner, or garden centre hauler.  The unit is pretty simple to use and will attach to virtually any bike out there, including bikes with internally geared hubs(needs an adapter), full-suspension MTB's, and road bikes.  It comes with an easily attached cover and folds flat for storage.  User reviews can be found here.

Here in Calgary, virtually every community is within a couple kilometres of a grocery store and easily cycled to.  Why not consider using one to reduce your automobile use for simple tasks?  You'll enjoy the bike ride, get fitter, save money, and avoid the inevitable parking lot chaos.

May 16, 2011

Safer Bike Lane Opportunity Missed?

While out riding today I came across a new painted bike lane on 66 Ave SW and was saddened to see that people (yet again) have been placed between the travel lane and the parking lane on a road that could very easily have had a treatment like this...

Portland Unveils Downtown Cycle Track from Mayor Sam Adams on Vimeo.

Instead, we have this...

Click on image for a bigger version
Hey City of Calgary, this could be fixed pretty easily and quickly, and be a great example of putting cyclists from 8 yrs old to 80 yrs old first and perhaps showing how easily this type of safe bike infrastructure can be installed. 

Here is another short video showcasing the concept.

What do you think? 

May 3, 2011

Mia Birk is coming to Calgary!

Mia Birk is one of the foremost transportation planners in North America and we are excited to find out that she is coming to Calgary May 12th for a book reading and to meet with City of Calgary officials.  Here are some details about the event...

Joyride: An Evening with Portland author and cycling advocate Mia Birk
7:00 pm, Thursday, May 12th
John Dutton Theatre at the Calgary Central Library. 

Co-presented by CivicCamp and the Calgary Public Library, in partnership with First Calgary Financial and with the support of Clifton Associates, Mistri, Sustainable Calgary and Thrive.

Mia Birk’s new book Joyride: Pedaling Toward a Healthier Planet tells the dramatic and enlightening behind-the-scenes story of how a group of determined visionaries transformed Portland into a cycling mecca and inspired the nation. Through a panoply of hilarious and poignant stories, Birk takes readers on a 20-year roller coaster journey of global and local discovery and education, while bringing into sharp focus some of the planet’s most pressing and hotly debated energy and transportation issues, policies, shortcomings, and solutions. See the Youtube trailer here.

Register for this free event.

Mia Birk is President at Alta Planning + Design, with 20 years experience in sustainable transportation focused on pedestrian, bicycle, trail, and greenway planning, design and implementation.