My bike is falling apart…

My chain keeps coming off. My gears are loose. My back brake isn’t working. And my back tire is fraying.

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My back tire has been wobbly for the last few weeks. But I’ve been ignoring the wobble until a fellow cyclist rode up beside me and told me I better get my tire looked at ASAP.

So I finally took it to MEC last night. Because my tires are so friggin’ fat on my cruiser, it’s going to cost a lot to get a new one.

Now as cool as my bike looks, my grandpa bought it from Canadian Tire … i.e. it was a Canadian Tire special. The cost to fix up this bike is almost the cost he would have paid to buy it new. So I’m torn here.

I think I have three options:

Fork out the money on this bike (since it’s pretty damn special)?

My Schwinn!

My Schwinn!

Fix up my old bike? (It breaks down often too, but always cheaper to fix)

My old bike!

My old bike!

Or invest in a brand new one (like an Electra!)?

Beautiful Electra

Beautiful Electra

Tough decisions … but I need to make one soon since my current bike is fairly unsafe.

Maybe I should keep my eye out for end of summer bike sales?!

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Help me pick a new helmet!

My good friend did a little research for me the other day.

He went down to Lakeshore on a Wednesday morning at 8:30 a.m. between Spadina & Colborne Lodge to get a read on how many Torontonians were wearing helmets. I thought his findings were actually pretty good!

  • 81 people passed him on bikes
  • 65 of them were wearing helmets
  • 16 were not wearing helmets
  • 7 of those not wearing were women in business attire
  • 2 had helmets strapped to their bikes (weird)

The percentage of people wearing helmets was actually quite high! So I was happy when he reported these findings.

Now I have to admit something … I’ve been like those 7 women in business attire not wearing helmets, because I lost it (either at a friends or at the bar) about a week and a half ago. As I mentioned in my previous blog, I’m clearly being an idiot. So it’s time I get a new helmet and I’d like you to help me pick one!

Here’s 3 helmets I like:

Nutcase - Got Luck?

Nutcase – Got Luck?

Nutcase – Got Luck?

I particularly love this one because it has a four leaf clover on the top! Since my bike is my Irish Grandpa’s old bike, I think this one could be a winner? After all, you need a lot of luck riding around those streets. Price $69.95.

Pro-Tec Satin Gumball Blue

Pro-Tec Satin Gumball Blue

Pro-Tec Satin Gumball Blue

Recently I’ve been admiring Pro-Tec helmets. I checked out their site and found this nice Gumball Blue! Another good option. Price $79.95.

Bell Faction Helmet

Bell Faction Helmet

Bell Faction Helmet

This is very similar to my last helmet but I think this time I’d go with a dark colour because white helmets get dirty very quickly. I’m mostly a fan of the price. Price $49.99.

Let me know which one you think would be best! Or please share another brand/helmet that you’d like to suggest.

Infographic: Why biking to work is good for you

I found this great infographic on the health benefits and $ savings of biking to work.

Completely agree that people who bike to work report feeling a greater sense of freedom, relaxation and excitement than car commuters. I definitely feel that every day I bike pass a traffic jam of cars.

Enjoy!

Infographic: Why biking to work is good for you

Be confident. You can do this.

For all the wanna-be cyclists out there, watch this video by Grist and follow their 7 simple steps:

1. Plan Route
2. Suit Up
3. Check Your Brakes
4. Mind The Door Zone
5. Claim The Lane
6. Careful With Turns
7. Don’t Run Over Pedestrians

But most importantly, BE CONFIDENT.

ENJOY!

The Wondrous World of Bike Accessories!

Happy Rainy Sunday,

Today, my plan was to plant my garden, but it’s ANOTHER rainy day so instead I’m online daydreaming about new bike accessories! There’s really a ridiculous amount of cool bike toys. Whenever I go into a bike store, I’m like a kid in a candy shop and typically I want to buy all the useless but prettiest baskets, lights, bells and whistles.

As mentioned in my last post, one imperative thing on my to-do list is to get a new front bike light. For the last three years, I had ‘Frog Lights’.

Knog Frog Bike Lights

Knog Frog Bike Lights

These lights are versatile and easily slip on to any bike (no wrenches or screwdrivers required) but I never felt super safe because they just weren’t quite bright enough. I think the company felt the same way because I can’t find these lights on their online store anymore. Since they are super easy to put on any bike, in any spot, at any time, I will still look into buying another Knog light, preferably one of those strobe lights … Knog Silicone Lights. I’ve been blinded by other cyclists super bright strobe lights, and I would kind of like to do the same. That’s safety.

Here’s some other cool / totally unnecessary / ridiculous bike accessories that are on my ‘please oh please’ wish list:

BIKE UMBRELLA

* Perfect for a day like today … and any day when the TTC is the most unappealing way to get around the city

Bike Umbrella!

iPOD BIKE SPEAKERS 

*you can’t have earphones in when you’re riding, so this iPod speaker is a great alternative. The water resistant speaker attaches to your bike frame, and the remote control mounts to your handlebar!

Bike iPod Speaker

BICYCLE WINE RACK

* totally unnecessary but perfect for a trip to Trinity Bellwoods to fit in and have a picnic with cheese

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6 PACK HOLDER

* any alcohol related accessory seems pretty cool to me! remember to drive responsibly, so share the 6 pack with good friends!

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What’s your favourite but totally unnecessary bike accessory?

Welcome to Life in the Bike Lane!

A little bit about my bike . . . 

For my first post, I want to share the story about my bike.

Papa's Bicycle

Papa’s Bicycle

It’s a very special bike because it was my Grandpa’s. My Grandpa passed away from cancer a year and a half ago, but he was a true fighter (he was Irish after all). He had cancer for 15 years and the doctors told us numerous times he only had a week to live.

But Grandpa wouldn’t have it. He beat the odds over and over again. And I truly believe it was partly because he biked everywhere to stay in shape and in good spirits.

One gorgeous sunny day, he was hit by a car. Very luckily he came out with only a few bruises but, of course, really shaken up. After the hit, he didn’t ride his bike ever again.

So now I have it and I’m bound and determined to take it on as many adventures I can because that’s the way my Grandpa would have wanted it. Especially if it means his granddaughter would also get the same long lasting benefits of cycling everywhere.

I'm sure the Guinness and scotch kept him fighting too. Cheers to you!

I’m sure the Guinness and scotch kept him fighting too. Cheers to you!

I’m looking forward to writing about my journeys and also talking about the various issues of biking. The driver who hit my Grandpa didn’t stop after he knocked him off the bike. That’s mind boggling. But the way some cyclists ride is also mind boggling.

While this will be a fun and light-hearted bike blog, it will also be a place to discuss the shortcomings of biking in the city and beyond.