Friday, June 15, 2012

As stupid as it gets

It is a very unfortunate fact that, still to this very day, cycling is seen as either a "choosing the right bike" thing  or "individual freedom/choice/civil right" issue. Not many have made the connection between cycling rates and cycling infrastructures, even though the lack thereof is the single reason for low cycling rates in North America, along with the worship of automobiles.

For years, I have been bitching and complaining about the de Maisonneuve bike path inaugurated in 2008 for being poorly planned and, barely 4 years later, already totally congested.

In the name of design, the stupid planners in charge of this project incorporated the bike path on what was, is, and will always be a sidewalk as you can see above.  For information, there is AMPLE road space right on the side. It is not clear on the picture but what we see on the left is not a sidewalk but a "design" road separator with yet another road on its left.

They could have simply blasted that useless "structure" and organised a real road infrastructure including a real cycling path that does not reduce the pedestrian's share of the road to a joke. This, by the way being the main reason why pedestrians keep walking on the path; just look above and below at how much space is left for them!

But worst, and this is where the issue transforms from mere stupidity to a major scandal, those dumb asses didn't take into account the fact that the area is ALWAYS hosting all kinds of festivals, starting at the end of May to mid-September, i.e. during a period covering the entire core of the bike season.

How much of taxpayers' money got wasted in this entire mess?

Surprise, surprise!!!

Someone must have kissed the moronic princess awake from her lethargy and suggested they built an alternative path to this bullshit.
Of course, it didn't exactly happen, right? Would require too much brain. Instead of reworking the entire path, they only created a "temporary detour" around the festival area. Not quite "it" yet, but better than nothing.

There we go, it starts on St Dominique St.

Below, the beginning of the "detoured" area with all the festival preparation in the background.

On the left of the image below, a concert scene being set up. As you can see, the festival really takes place smack along the bike path.

The bike path, inaugurated in 2008, condemned to being condemned every summer because some dumb asses cannot take into account that on the "Place des Arts" area, the piazza where most of Montreal's festivals have been taking place for ages, there will be well... ahem... festivals every year....

The "detoured" path continued. Notice the decrease in standard from a fully segregated bike path to mere bollard-ed paint on the road.

End of the detour.

Regular path starts again.

A real, fully segregated path.

The only reason the authorities proceeded with the detour is because cyclists resisted the administration's attempt to have them cycling into traffic without any protection. They improvised alternative routes that tried to get cyclists to run with the bull-shit.
We never accepted that. So most cyclists kept going onto the blocked path, forcing their way into the forbidden area, rolling over the security agents who tried to block them. More than once, there were riot-like movements with cyclists waiting on the side until the group got big enough to over-roll security: just like in political riots, someone would give a "go!" and all the sudden, everybody moves onto the target, i.e. our bike path, the access to which is a RIGHT, and seeing security agents first gather, and then run away when they realise we wouldn't stop was a real joy.

It seems that they kind of got the message this year. Let's hope it lasts...

Monday, June 11, 2012

Un tour la nuit 2012

I won't comment too much.
Last Friday (June 1st) Un tour la nuit took place, the 20 km night tour of the city.

A little glimpse into the event...

This guy below was distribution free red bike lights!!

Yep, this is a boat!!

Myette a moving company on bikes.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Share the road

This year again, Vélo Quebec is campaigning for a courteous sharing of the road by all users. Experts have already given us a piece of their minds on the "sharing the road theory" but hey, everyone is free to be wrong and years behind. Too bad this misconception is perpetuated on public funds... Ahem...

Well, despite these shortcomings, some elements of the campaign are interesting. Please note they are exactly the same as last year! They are just being recycled.

"They get along so well in our garages. Why not in our streets?"

The main TV spot.

"Être visibles" (Be visible) 

The most important one: Get freaking lights, goddammit!!

 "Rouler avec enfants" (Cycling with children) 

Very important to address this issue and get kids on bikes as soon as possible.

The rest is hogwash, you can skip it!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Basket case

I should have known better. That this basket was going to be a total pain in the ass. I did see the reviews on Amazon. But hey, I though mine was going to be different, bla bla bla.

Well no, this one was no different.
Anyways, this basket got shot in less than a year. This particular line within the Nantucket brand, the "Lightship" is a real piece of shit.


Now, I may not have been sweet with it, granted. But nothing beyond the normal and expected use: handbags, jackets, groceries, U-locks, etc. everyday life!

The weakness in this basket is actually structural: the fibers are flimsy and are just not solid enough to hold any decent weight. 

However, if anything is to be taken out of this, I realised that I cannot do without a basket. I do have tons and lots of accessories, bike bags etc. but there is no replacing a basket. Especially in Spring and Fall, I dump gloves, scarves, all of cold weather accessories, locks, the camera etc. 
Yet, I am not willing to get one of these wire/metal baskets: 1. they are permanent, and I don't want that  2. they are totally ugly  3. I have front suspension so I couldn't even if I wanted!!

I'll probably get on the market very soon for another basket, but right now I am carefully researching my options for something solid yet elegant. All suggestions welcome, but remember, nothing that attaches permanently to the bike...