FortiNOs: a bicycle parking conundrum

West end Fortinos had bicycle parking from the start, something TLC Hamilton insisted upon during construction. But like so many bike rack installs, they can’t seem to comprehend the simple way to maximize the rack design. Turn the rack 90 degrees so the rack can be used from both sides. Currently the one available side fills leaving no room to lock up for more bikes.

I’ve written about this phenomenon previously but in this location, I’ve spoken to store managers and had a response over twitter from the parent company (Loblaws).

But nothing changes.


Here’s the Elvis Direct Action Fanclub attempt to get results (it didn’t last)

20171106_172446So despite having Loblaws reply on twitter that they would have “operations” look at the issue/request – nothing has been done.

Acknowledging that they have bike parking is a good thing. But a slight adjustment to the layout would be a simple, cost-effective (i.e. $0.00) improvement.


Cannon Cycle Track to Lake Ontario: new GoPro video (Hamilton ON)

Here’s the video of the ride (sped up!) through several Hamilton neighbourhoods — with a few “watch-out!” moments as cars approach intersections from side streets — to give you a glimpse of the route from the point of view of a cyclist in the saddle.  Please remember to ride carefully, especially along the part of Cannon that is one-way westbound, as drivers coming from side streets don’t always check for eastbound traffic (which is only bikes in the contraflow cycle path)

Here’s a Google map of the roughly 10k route through Hamilton, heading east to Lake Ontario where you will find several kilometers of beaches along the waterfront trail, as well as Go Carts, and classic beach food options like Hutches. A great way to spend an affordable summer day in the city.

Would you like to see more rides presented like this? I’m open to suggestions (and advice), hit me up in the comments!


Note: the battery on the GoPro died before I get to the end of the Hamilton section of the waterfront trail at the canal lift-bridge. I’ll go back recharged to complete the trip to Burlington‘s beautiful downtown!


Bike security à la Pee Wee Herman

Seems there’s been a rash of bike thefts in Hamilton, according to the police, and lots of the bikes are going missing from unlocked garages and sheds. Which I am assuming is the place that unlocked bikes are being stored.

Locking your bike is important, as is the choice of a lock. Investing in a good lock is worth the money since it keeps your sidekick safe from mean people who would steal your treasured travel companion. I use a u-lock and a cable combo since I have quick release on my wheels, I want to make sure someone doesn’t walk off with them. When locking my bike I sometimes feel a bit self-conscious, remembering this scene from Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure:

Consider this a gentle reminder to use a lock no matter where you are storing your bike, because you know you don’t want to go through the trials Pee Wee had to endure to get his bike back.

If you have any advice on preventing theft, or on the best locks, let us know in the comments!

It’s the system

Any cycling issues can be related back to pedestrian issues. We are indeed self-powered cousins. Even car drivers have to eventually walk, if only through a parking lot. Which is all to say, we need to have a way that we can all get around safely on foot.

Our bipedal evolution to this day has been pretty fascinating, but with the advent of cars, and then a growing and aggressive car culture that built up around the motor vehicle, well, we are faced with a legacy that makes walking dangerous, and at times, ridiculously so.

Take this one example. I walk down Dundurn Street north from my home to go to the plaza for groceries. Instead of walking directly across King on the west side of Dundurn, due to an absence of a crosswalk I am forced to cross Dundurn to the east, then King, then again across Dundurn to the west side. Three-stage crossing involving fourteen lanes of live traffic.

I recorded the return trip on my phone here:

There is no reason for King Street to be five, then six lanes wide here. It encourages high-speed traffic (and this is why Hamilton Police can almost daily be seen doing radar further west) and means that it is unsafe to stand on the corners or near the roadway, and to simply cross the street.

This kind of intersection is found in many places in the city, and really is a discouragement to walking, which is a mode of getting around the city is supposed to be prioritizing.

I know this blog is about cycling, mostly, but this situation just speaks to the lack of concern for those of us (and deters others) who choose walking, cycling, and transit to get around.