Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream

THE FIFTH COLUMN: What Are Cyclists Lives Worth

While I cannot answer that question I can tell you what our society and its governments have decided cyclists lives are not worth.

Cyclists lives are not worth the cost of installing truck side guards on all large trucks.

Cyclists lives are not worth the cost of developing and installing better mirror or camera monitoring systems for large trucks and all motor vehicles.

Cyclists lives are not

THE FIFTH COLUMN: Reflections on My 2013 Biking Season

Now that I bike all year there is no end to the season but the putting away of the summer bikes and taking out of the winter bike marks the end of a season for me now. (Note: click on images in this blog post to enlarge them.)

Remembering Mario

As I reflect on the past season I feel a sense of guilt for feeling that I have had one of my best seasons yet, for how can I feel that way when we have

THE FIFTH COLUMN: Thoughts on Taking The Lane

As I am not an expert on cycling safety this post is not intended to be advice on how to safely take the lane but only my thoughts on the subject.

While I am not one of those “vehicular cyclists”, that oppose cycling infrastructure because they think that the best place for all cyclists is on the roads competing for space with car drivers, I do believe that cyclists have a right to be able to

THE FIFTH COLUMN: Kanata’s Secret Segregated Bike Lane

Yes, Kanata has a secret, or at least unpublicized, segregated bike lane on Huntmar Drive from Maple Grove Road to the Canadian Tire Centre parking lot, even if, for some strange reason, it is only on one side of the road.

This is not like the high profile (and more costly) Laurier Street Segregated Bike Lane (SBL). It is done on the cheap, with only the use of concrete curbs to separate the

THE FIFTH COLUMN: Stop Signs as Yield Signs for Cyclists – Ontario Cycling Strategy and The Idaho Experience

The following, based on a previous blog post, was submitted to the Ontario Cycling Strategy public consultation process.

Stop Signs as Yield Signs For Cyclists – The Idaho Experience

I am proposing that as part of the Ontario Cycling Strategy the Highway Traffic Act be amended to adopt the policy that has worked successfully in Idaho, and that is allowing cyclists to treat Stop signs as Yield

THE FIFTH COLUMN: "Tour de Sudbury" – Cycling in Sudbury

Our hometown of Sudbury is not known for it’s cycling infrastructure or even for a positive attitude towards cycling but there are organizations like the Sudbury Cyclists Union, the Rainbow Routes Association and the Sudbury Cycles Project that are trying to change that and there is even a proposed Bicycle Technical Master Plan For The City of Greater Sudbury.

It was the Rainbow Routes

THE FIFTH COLUMN: Ireland Bike Tour – Post Bike Tour Slide Shows

After the bike tour we stayed in Ennis for a few days and took a bus to Limerick for a day tour.

The most interesting observation we made was that while Ennis had narrow streets with one lane one way traffic and narrow sidewalks, much of Limerick had wide streets with one lane one way traffic and very wide sidewalks. And both towns had portions of their centre cores that were pedestrian only.

THE FIFTH COLUMN: Ireland Bike Tour – Cycling Day 6 Slide Show

This was the longest ride of the tour but not too bad as far as hills go, except for the last ride into Westport, up and down and then back up and down again. Lots of scenery but not too many photo stops because of the long ride and then drive back to Ennis in the van.

(select 720p to view in high definition and full screen to view full screen)

The slide show above starts with the obligatory

THE FIFTH COLUMN: Ireland Bike Tour – Break Day Slide Show

We took today easy, went for a walk near the lodge on Lough Inagh in the morning and managed to talk Jeff into driving us to the Kylemore Abbey in the afternoon where we explored the grounds and the remarkable gardens. There is some real interesting history about this place.

(select 720p to view in high definition and full screen to view full screen)

The slide show above features the

THE FIFTH COLUMN: Ireland Bike Tour – Cycling Day 5, Sheep Shearing, Flowers and More Slide Shows

If you’ve ever been to a county fair or watched a movie about Australia you have seen sheep sheering, but usually with electric shears. In this part of Ireland they use hand shears and probably sheer the sheep faster and cleaner than with the electric ones. This was a great day for photos, including a good number of flower close-ups. There was a really great mountain behind our Lodge that I was

THE FIFTH COLUMN: Ireland Bike Tour – Cycling Day 4, Discovering Ireland’s Sheep Slide Show

Today was a day at the beach as we stopped at a wonderful little beach along the route, as well as made a visit to the lovely town of Clifden. More scenery, and did I mention the sheep. The sheep in Ireland seem to have priority over the roads, followed by bicycles and then cars.

(select 720p to view in high definition and full screen to view full screen)

The slide show above starts with a

THE FIFTH COLUMN: Ireland Bike Tour – Cycling Day 3, The Aran Islands Slide Show

Most of the day was spent on one of the Aran Islands. It was a great day for photography as it was actually sunny and there was so much to photograph, from a remarkable fort to literally hundreds (maybe thousands) of stone fences from millions of stones dividing up the tiny allotments that people had to tend to survive from farming. Did I mention the dolphins swimming around in the harbour beside

THE FIFTH COLUMN: Ireland Bike Tour – Cycling Day 2, To The Burren Slide Show

Today we did a circle route through the remarkable Burren, a landscape that almost defies description, although parts of Ottawa’s Lime Kiln Trail with it’s underlying Limestone hints at it. And, of course it’s Ireland so there were more ruins. This was the second hardest climbing day of the tour.

(select 720p to view in high definition and full screen to view full screen)

The slide show

THE FIFTH COLUMN: Ireland Bike Tour – Cycling Day 1, The Irish Landscape Slide Show

Today we got setup on our bikes with our self-guiding instructions so we could ride on our own while Jeff went ahead with the van and then would mysteriously appear on his bike cycling towards us to make sure we were not lost. We rode to the Cliffs of Moher which reportedly has spectacular views, but all we saw was fog. But after the longest climb of the trip, 220 metres, we were not riding back

THE FIFTH COLUMN: Ireland Bike Tour – Ennis Slide Show

We arrived a few days early and got to know the town of Ennis which was full of stone walls, first thing we noticed, and lots of local shops and pubs – no Walmarts or big box stores. The only chain store we noticed was a large Irish department store, Dunnes. The other big attraction is the Fergus River.

(select 720p to view in high defintion and full screen to view full screen) The slide show

THE FIFTH COLUMN: Ireland Bike Tour Overview

In recalling our wonderful bike tour of Ireland at first it seems like one long uphill ride in the rain, the green being the only constant. But actually every day was different with many different landscapes and varied geography throughout the over 300 kilometre route. We even had some dry and sunny days with fluffy white clouds.

So let us look at it day by day as described officially in italic

THE FIFTH COLUMN: Reflections

This has probably been the longest I have gone between blog posts, despite my best intentions, but as I said I have not abandoned you. I have simply been busy with other things mostly related to mapping and biking and the South Match Highlands struggle.

But I have also been using Twitter a lot to express my political and social opinions so if you see nothing new in this space look to the right

THE FIFTH COLUMN: Winter Bike Final Modifications & Mid Season Review

When I first bought my new winter bike in October I wrote “It’s a bit small for me, but was about the largest they had in stock and with some adjustments to the handlebar and seat height I have it set up about the same as my mountain bike, which should be fine as my winter riding is usually confined to under 20 km rides around the neighbourhood.”

That worked, but I still wanted a more

THE FIFTH COLUMN: Cyclist Fatality Waiting/Designed to Happen

If you wanted to design a storm sewer grate to catch a bicycle wheel and throw the rider into fast heavy traffic you could not do better than this. These are located along Eagleson Road between the Queensway and Hazeldean Road. They seem designed to capture bicycle wheels and kill cyclists.

I’m not sure why anyone would want to use something like that rather than the design below, used along

THE FIFTH COLUMN: Watts Creek Pathway Construction Alternative Route

On Wednesday November 9, I noticed that a section of the Watts Creek Pathway running alongside the Nepean National Equestrian Park has the asphalt torn up and appears ready for construction work, barriers were ready to be placed across the path in two … . . . → Read More: THE FIFTH COLUMN: Watts Creek Pathway Construction Alternative Route

THE FIFTH COLUMN: Cycling and Mountain Biking Season in Review

I know it’s not over yet, and with the winter bike it is never over, but I feel it’s been a great season so far and now is as good a time as ever to put my thoughts down in print. The time will come soon enough when the trails are no longer rideable a… . . . → Read More: THE FIFTH COLUMN: Cycling and Mountain Biking Season in Review

THE FIFTH COLUMN: Bought My New Winter Bike

Well my old Supercycle winter bike finally died after two winters and I decided to go searching for something better to replace it with, something with a somewhat better derailleur and switchers.I went to look at bikes at the Ottawa re-Cycles and foun… . . . → Read More: THE FIFTH COLUMN: Bought My New Winter Bike

THE FIFTH COLUMN: The Most Annoying Thing About Cycling in Ottawa: Postscript

I was riding the shared bike path along the Ottawa River today and across from the War Museum on the pathway I noticed three yellow dots similar to the three yellow dots on roadways that mark where cars can activate traffic lights( I have tried using t… . . . → Read More: THE FIFTH COLUMN: The Most Annoying Thing About Cycling in Ottawa: Postscript

THE FIFTH COLUMN: The Most Annoying Thing About Cycling in Ottawa

We all agree that Ottawa is a great place for cycling, but it is not perfect. Apart from the fact that the City of Ottawa and NCC have to do a better job of completing the system and linking their pathways together there is the problem of a lack of was… . . . → Read More: THE FIFTH COLUMN: The Most Annoying Thing About Cycling in Ottawa

THE FIFTH COLUMN: Riding the Desecration Highway

This afternoon I rode over from Bridlewood, via the Trans-Canada Trail, Huntmar Drive and Old Carp Road, to the South March Highlands K2 trailhead to put up posters for the September 10 Celebrating the Natural World @ Beaver Pond Park and then returned… . . . → Read More: THE FIFTH COLUMN: Riding the Desecration Highway