Showing posts from June, 2015

Bike Month 2015

June was Bike Month in Edmonton, a time to celebrate getting places on a bicycle, a time to consider that the story of the way we move doesn't have to be quite so much auto-biography, a time for some city councillors to stoke public opinion to remove bicycle lanes from 95 Ave, 40 Ave and 106 St. Here, from my Twitter feed, is a day-by-day lookback at bike life outside the political pyramids. While the politicians press rewind to get the bike-lanes right (and, while we're at it, the LRT right), let's keep riding forward, friends. Thanks to all who looked at the pics, shared or faved them, thanks to everyone I met on our city streets this month. :)







                        SMALL BLIND 

                                                                   IN THE FOLD

                                                                 LOFTY MORNING


Storm Talk

It was some kinda violent communication by storm on our trip down Highway 2 for a weekend in the mountains!

Here's a look at what it was like as the rain pounded the car in a kind of shortshortshortshort Morse Code staccato, while the wipers tried their best to respond with longlongs longlongs.


Televised professional basketball might be the perfect sport for automobile makers to exercise their free speech.

Ten men, ten big men, I mean, ten big, fast men constrained in a wooden frame, stopping, starting, driving, colliding. The squeak of braked shoes. The whistle of policed calls. A flurry of colour. And then it stops. And then it starts. And starts. Reminds you of real life on the road:

And then, mercifully, the NBA goes to commercial. And the sense of claustrophobiasketball resolves itself in the road to joy as Mazda, Honda, Jeep, Scion and Infiniti take viewers for a ride.

Where the game in the paint is so much zone or man-on-man, the car commercials are pure breakaway. Translated back into the grammar of the game, car commercials are LeBron and only LeBron. No opposing team.

That's because car commercials are notable for the distinct lack of what makes driving cars so annoying: other cars.

In the tonight's Mazda CX-3 commercial, no other cars.

In the Jeep Cheroke…

A Ride Of Note

Under the right influence, pedalling along the grid of Edmonton streets can make the bicycle rider feel more than a bit like a musical note.

And the right influence was in the air last night as we joined an Edmonton Bicycle Commuters ride to the Winspear Centre for a night of Gershwin music.

It's an annual event, but the first time riding with Shelagh that I felt part of a dotted (helmeted) half note. The women on the tandem were two joined eighth notes. The dude on the folding bike? A definite sixteenth note. Together, we rolled adagio along the measured blocks of the city, resting at lights, talking to each other, read by folks on the sidewalk as time took us by.

I added a few lyrics:

Kickin the clouds away with a nicely composed group, including George and Ira!
Chris Chan composed the ride to the Winspear Centre in the key of B icycle.
We headed home happy in Edmonton

as a way to say thank you to the musical folks on the ride I moved along with.

When we rode home after the music,…

Big Attendance

There is no denying that as a big city we must play on the big stage of the small screen, and that means dealing in the big messages that are sent by small images like this from our good mayor:

That throng was yesterday in Edmonton, as the Women's World Cup debuted at Commonwealth Stadium in front of the largest crowd ever to turnstile its way into the seats to watch a national side sporting match. In fact, Edmonton broke Edmonton's record, going back a few years to a men's soccer match against Brazil. Nicely done, hometown. Yes, the trees of Norwood have witnessed crowds of trembling size.

But it's not the whole picture.

Here's another soccer image from yesterday:

On the other side of the Glenora School fence, watched, tweeted, and retweeted by an audience of exactly no one, 10 or so middler-agers were in a pitched battle of their own. Evidently, no one wanted to play goal, because the players had planted hockey nets in front of the soccer goalposts, a clever inn…

Driving Write

Seeing Edmonton from the 21st floor of the downtown tower where I work makes clear one thing about the streets and the cars below where I pedal. It's a foolscap world in the city, friends.

(Foolscap. Just saying that word is fun. Foolscap. Foolscap. Foolscap!)

Foolscap, or course, was the marvellously medieval name for the sheets of lined paper we were issued in third grade, that year when we traded pencils for pens and were initiated into the slow mystery of cursive handwriting. The horizontal lines on those pages were our borders. They kept the stops and starts of the inky flow organized and moving in something resembling the right direction of a sentence.

From my vantage point, the concrete sidewalks are those foolscap lines. The asphalt roadways they border are the stacked spaces through which the coloured dots of cars trace their paths. Under this spell, the amber lights are reimagined as commas, and the red lights as periods that mark the ends of blocks of thoughts.

The rea…