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Archive for April, 2011|Monthly archive page

The weekly wrap for April 29, 2011

In Coming events, This week in the neighbourhood on April 29, 2011 at 12:05 AM

Heritage Toronto begins its 17th year of free historic walking tours all across the city with a guided walk of Madison Avenue on Saturday, April 30th, 1:30PM. [Heritage Toronto]

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U of T is giving UTS the boot. The university wants the school for brainiacs out by 2021 so the pile at Bloor and Spadina can be redeveloped. [Globe and Mail]

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Councillor Vaughan invites you to a public meeting about a proposal for a hotel and condo development at Dupont and Kendal. Join him and Planning staff to discuss the redevelopment of 328 Dupont, Tuesday May 3rd at 7:00PM at St. Alban’s the Martyr Cathedral, 100 Howland Avenue (on the grounds of Royal St. George’s College). [Ward20.ca]

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The local condo boom is good for business at Hazelton Lanes.  The Yorkville mall announces a $10 million makeover and a 50,000 square foot Whole Foods expansion. [Yonge Street]

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What to do if the City has removed your bike from a bike ring. Duncan tells you how to recover it. [Duncan’s City Ride]

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And, about the election:

The real swing factor in Trinity-Spadina isn’t the downtown condos. John Bowker nails what’s a stake in our fair riding. [All Fired Up In The Big Smoke]

The battles for Bathurst Street are among the key races in the city. [InsideToronto.com]

“There is a special place in hell for the inventor of inflatable thunder sticks.” Rick Mercer spends a week on the campaign buses and planes of each of the three federal leaders. [Macleans]

Does Parliamentary crime pay? Peter Russell trembles at the thought of the message sent by a Harper win. [YouTube]

Do not adjust your set. Andrew Coyne really has endorsed the Liberals. [Macleans]

Anyone but Harper? Catch 22 and Project Democracy have tools to help you decide how to make your vote count. And since strategic voting can’t help stop Harper in Trinity-Spadina, consider signing up with VotePair.ca to swap your vote with someone willing to vote strategically in a riding where it can.


The Maven’s Election Diaries: If you love Canada, vote strategically

In The Maven on April 27, 2011 at 12:05 AM

Image credit: abadallahh

By The Maven | After all is said and done we have to make a decision on who to vote for. For some it’s easy. They always vote the same party. For others a certain issue or subset of issues has driven them to a party. Still others are concerned with strategic voting.

I have pretty much always voted NDP. But not always.

In every election the Conservatives have been the boogeyman. When the Liberals are favoured to win I feel free to vote my conscience. But with the Conservatives slated to win I always give consideration to strategy.

Here in Trinity-Spadina there is no concern that the Conservatives could win so the decision comes more easily. It’s not that simple in many ridings in the country.

But it seems unfair to the NDP and the left in general to always have to weigh conscience against strategy. And it plays into the hands of those who believe in a two-party system.

Many question whether it matters if the Liberals or Conservatives hold power…they are both small ‘c’ conservative and pro-business. But I think that is not a realistic appraisal of the situation.

Under some red Tories and some conservative Liberal leaders the difference may not look too great. But if, say, you were poor or disabled or lived in a city, Mike Harris in Ontario meant an awful lot to you. Whether welfare cuts or amalgamation in Toronto, you were hit hard. And the deficits that result from  screwball right-wing economic theories prevalent in conservative circles are frightening.

No, Stephen Harper isn’t just a Conservative. He is a Republican-style conservative of a type we don’t see often here in Canada. His style is acutely partisan and autocratic. He has prorogued Parliament. He has fired civil servants who disagree with him. He has waged dirty campaigns against whistle blowing bureaucrats–all in complete contradiction of his espoused views while he was in opposition.

He invited the military to his first Throne Speech, an action which I find particularly troublesome and very American.

But, honestly, what worries me most is his economic policies which seem determined to drive Canada into massive deficits and which have seemingly no strategy to encourage competitiveness. Like after Mike Harris and Brian Mulroney, we are going to be painfully digging ourselves out of debt for years after the Conservatives are through with their mismanagement of the economy.

I do agree with the Conservatives that this election is about the economy and that is why I am in absolute dread of them achieving a majority.

I don’t like having to vote for a party whose policies are not as tuned to me as my preferred option but I think this election is indeed a turning point for Canada. Harper is one of those politicians who has the potential to do long-lasting harm. He will be destructive to the economy and is very dangerous to the culture of Canada–the political culture.

I think Harper’s Canada is a game changer. And the polls put him on the doorstep of a majority.

If ever there was an election to vote strategically this surely is it.

I would urge anyone in a riding where the Liberals are leaders to abandon the NDP and vote Liberal. Likewise I would urge Liberals to vote NDP in those ridings (eg: in B.C.) that seem likely to defeat a Conservative. While I really would like to see a Green MP in the House, surely this is a time to vote against the Conservatives… unless a Conservative doesn’t threaten in your riding. Five years of ignoring the environment isn’t going to be good.

Unfortunately the party with the most seats will form the government. That party is almost certain to be the Conservatives. The Canadian electorate has been miseducated by the Conservatives to believe that it is illegitimate for several minority parties to try to form a government if none of them have a plurality of seats.

I only hope the Conservatives can be held to a minority.

As for me, as I said, I have the luxury of voting my preference. Yes, I know the NDP is not the party many would like it to be. At times I don’t feel like it has an understanding that there is actually an economy and businesses out there that need to create wealth to pay for social services. I often feel that it doesn’t consider productivity issues enough. And it certainly seems to have lost much of the grand vision and settled for tax tinkering (like the other parties). And it nearly faltered on the gun registry. But if we wait for a political party that reflects all our concerns, we will hand the future to the Conservatives.

Please vote and please think about the larger implications.

If you are not certain about what is your best strategic option, may I suggest you check out Project Democracy. They list, riding by riding, your best shot at defeating a Conservative candidate after analysing every public opinion poll as it comes out.

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In Election Diaries, The Maven comments on the leaders, the parties, the issues and the campaigns for Canada’s 41st federal election.

Read more of The Maven’s Election Diaries at www.tomaven.wordpress.com.

For past articles by The Maven on the West Annex News, visit The Maven archive.

Visit abadallahh’s photostream on Flickr.

The Maven’s Election Diaries | The Liberals and NDP battle for Trinity-Spadina

In Election diaries, The Maven on April 22, 2011 at 12:05 AM

Image credit: Michael Loudon

By The Maven | Thankfully, this is a riding where we don’t have to worry about the Conservatives winning. We can vote as we wish without having to worry about voting strategically.

Or at least so we thought.

Olivia Chow has held the riding for the NDP since 2006. Before that Tony Ianno held it for the Liberals between 1993 and 2006. Although Chow won in 2008 with a 3500 vote lead over Liberal Christine Innes, the latter ran a terrible campaign. She doing a better job this time around. Rumour has it that this riding is a toss-up right now.

I was at the Trinity-Spadina all-candidates meeting on Wednesday, April 20, and some of my thoughts follow.

What I find interesting about Innes’ campaign is what isn’t being discussed, or at least not by her.

For instance, I feel strongly that a candidate be judged on her own merits. The fact that she is Tony Ianno’s wife should theoretically not be held against her. However, I do find it interesting that she has made no mention of their relationship at all in this election. In fact I cannot find out much of anything about her. Aside from having four children and being involved in the Annex Residents Association and her church, she is a self-described community leader of whom very few people seem to have knowledge.  The bio she provides on her website suggests she has a long history of political backroom activity within the Liberal Party and works now as a political appointee to a provincial Liberal cabinet minister.

She really sounds like the proverbial backroom boy. Not a lot different from our previous Liberal MP, her unspoken husband. You may remember he was called out for having the worst participation record of any Toronto MP in the House of Commons and for supporting causes–like the Toronto Port Authority–hostile to Torontoians’ interests.

There are some questions that some people in this riding would like addressed:

  • Given that Mr. Ianno, your husband, is under investigation by the Ontario Securities Commission, what is your stand on ethics in government. Debate moderator Gus Sinclair didn’t do you any favours when he called this question out of order at the debate. Yes, I know that you and your husband are two different people, but I think the voting electorate has a right to know if there are ill-gotten gains involved.
  • Given the legacy of the sponsorship scandal and the concerns around your husband’s trust funds to get around Elections Canada rules about campaign financing, would it not have been better to let someone fresh carry the banner for the Liberals locally, rather than pursue an Ianno/Innes dynasty?
  • How can we trust  your commitment to public education given your choice to send your children to private school? In fact, what then is your commitment to Medicare given the context of the choices you make in your private life?
  • What is your stand on same-sex marriage  as well as access to abortion?

Well fellow Trinity-Spadina-ites, without those questions answered, I don’t feel comfortable with Ms Innes. The previous Liberal government left power with an unfortunate reputations for sleaze. It’s important that all Liberals make a clear break from that era. Innes’ close ties with the last Liberal member don’t do much to dispel old perceptions. I think people can be  judged by the company they keep and it’s company I am not comfortable with.

Frankly, from what I saw at the debate of Rachel Barney, the Green Party candidate, I quite like her. But while I would love to see Elizabeth May have a seat in the House, I am not going to vote Green and take a chance that the Liberals will take this seat, much as I would prefer to see the Liberals form a government. This last statement is based on my belief that only the Liberals can get enough seats nationally to have a realistic chance of unseating the Conservatives.  New opinion polls just out this week may change this scenario. More in the days to follow.
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In Election Diaries, The Maven comments on the leaders, the parties, the issues and the campaigns for Canada’s 41st federal election.

Read more of The Maven’s Election Diaries at www.tomaven.wordpress.com.

For past articles by The Maven on the West Annex News, visit The Maven archive.

Visit Michael Loudon/thorneypup’s photostream on Flickr.

Chow, Innes in a dead heat heading into Trinity-Spadina all-candidates meeting Wednesday, April 20, 2011

In Coming events on April 19, 2011 at 12:05 AM

Olivia Chow and Christine Innes | Image credit Medmoiselle T/candidate website respectively

By West Annex News | According to Project Democracy, NDP candidate Olivia Chow and Liberal Christine Innes are running neck and neck in Trinity-Spadina. Projections based on the most recent polls say only 15 votes separate the two candidates out of an expected 60,000 to be cast on election day, May 2, 2011.

Close polls should make for a lively debate at the Trinity-Spadina all-candidates meeting on Wednesday, April 20 at 7:30PM at Trinity-St. Paul’s church, 427 Bloor Street West.

Trinity-Spadina riding map | Image credit Slyguy/Wikimedia Commons

The riding of Trinity-Spadina encompasses most of the western part of downtown Toronto, and is one of the most ethnically diverse in Canada, containing Toronto’s Chinatown, Koreatown, Little Italy, and Little Portugal. More than 41 per cent of residents listed other than English or French as their first language. The Annex, West Annex and Seaton Village make up the northern part of the riding, from Bloor Street to the CPR tracks north of Dupont Street.

Although the riding has been described as the most left-leaning in all of Toronto, it has changed hands regularly between the NDP and Liberals since the riding was created in 1988 out of the former ridings of TrinitySpadina, and smaller parts of Toronto Centre—Rosedale and Parkdale—High Park.

In the 2001 Canadian census, the population of Trinity-Spadina was 106,094 people, of which 74,409 were eligible to vote.  Since then explosive growth has taken place in that part of the riding south of Queen Street where there has been a boom in residential condominium construction. The Star reports that twenty-seven new highrise condominium buildings containing 8,170 new units have been added since the last federal election alone. The Star, CBC.ca and others have speculated that young downtown condo dwellers bring right-wing voting tendencies with them from the suburbs where they grew up, and that Chow’s 3,475-vote margin of victory over Innes in 2008 is at risk.

Election results since the creation of the riding are:

  • 1988: NDP incumbent from the Spadina riding Dan Heap eaked out a 483-vote victory over Liberal Tony Ianno.
  • 1993: Liberal Tony Ianno won handily over NDP Winnie Ng with a 9,339 vote margin.
  • 1997: Liberal incumbent Tony Ianno defeated NDP Olivia Chow by 1,802 votes.
  • 2000: Liberal incumbent Tony Ianno defeated NDP candidate Michael Valpy by a 3,709 vote margin.
  • 2004: Liberal incumbent Tony Ianno defeated NDP candidate Olivia Chow by 805 votes.
  • 2006: NDP candidate Olivia Chow defeated Liberal incumbent Tony Ianno by a 3,681 vote margin.
  • 2008: NDP incumbent Olivia Chow defeated Liberal Christine Innes by 3,745 votes.

Both Chow and Innes have famous husbands, Chow federal NDP Leader Jack Layton, and Innes former Liberal incumbent Tony Ianno.

Rachel Barney of the Green Party and Gin Siow of the Conservatives will also be participating in Wednesday’s debate.  The Gleaner online has a good indepth overview of the riding, and interview with the candidates on the issues.
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The Maven’s Election Diaries: Nothing happening

In Election diaries, The Maven on April 18, 2011 at 12:05 AM

Image credit: screen captures from televised Federal Leadership Debate 2011

By The MavenI haven’t posted anything for a while about the federal election. It’s just not happening for me. We started off with some sparks but the past week has been really dull.

The Conservative ads have now turned to “the vision”. There is Harper talking about what Canada is and can be. Only problem is that beyond a strong military and lots of jails, he really doesn’t have anything to say. He doesn’t like government, except when using it to try to buy votes. His whole economic plan–until the opposition forced him to take action–is essentially to do nothing. His ‘stay the course’ really means ‘let things go’. He is an old-fashioned laissez-faire capitalist (again, unless he can buy power with targeted spending).

But if any leader has a vision, I think Harper’s vision of a more militaristic, conservative, individualist nation is the most clearly expressed. It’s unpalatable but it is there.

So the Conservative campaign is really a boring old hash of nothing with a small dash of something rotten.

And the press coverage? We keep hearing that the Conservatives will only allow reporters four questions per day. Wow, where is the press on that issue? Nowhere. I would have thought this incredible assault on democracy would be in the news daily. Where is the reporter writing the Prime Minister once again refused to answer questions. That would be headline news every day if I ran a media outlet.

The NDP feel they can smell power…well, power of the sort the NDP refers to. They think they are within reach of Official Opposition status.

But where once there was an NDP vision of a just and more egalitarian Canada, there are now only families and targeted programs. Now, I don’t really blame them. When I was younger I railed against the NDP for not remaining true to the concept of a movement and not just another political party. As I have grown older I realize the usefulness of a party on the left that actually seeks to attain power even if it means watering down some policy. It’s easy to criticize progressive parties for the compromises they make to get elected.

I suppose the alternative is to keep shouting from the sidelines but I don’t find that terribly useful and neither does the NDP. But I still can’t help but feel that there has to be something more to the peoples’ party. Is this all it’s come to: tax deductions?

The Liberals, now there is a letdown as well. Not because I think they would change the world. It’s really because I’m afraid the Conservatives would change the world. That’s why I am so concerned about the Liberal Party. Who else can stop the Conservatives?

The Liberals owe it to Canadians to not be so stupid. Where once they had a brains trust, there now seems to be no one at the helm. It is interesting to think about what a Liberal government might look like. Except for Iganatieff who is on the conservative side of the party, there are a number of NDP types who would be in any cabinet. Think of Bob Rae, Gerard Kennedy, Ujjal Dosanjh, Ken Dryden. These are people who could easily be in the NDP and who do, I think, have a vision of a better Canada.

But, alas, a Liberal government is not to be. And that is partly because the left, unlike the right, have refused to co-operate, but also because the politicians, the press and we Canadians have let the Conservatives define democracy for us. I mean how many parliamentary democracies have majority governments today? New Zealand, the United Kingdom and almost every European country have coalition governments. Canada has a long history of minority government either nationally or provincially. So majority governments which used to be the norm in Canada, are certainly not usual globally.

Yet Stephen Harper, with the acquiescence of a docile press, has convinced us that parties representing over 60% of the vote do not have the right to govern… either in coalition or co-operation. Just how can it be that this ahistorical and constitutionally incorrect interpretation of parliamentary democracy can have won the day?

Why does our press ape Harper’s pronouncements without question? Why do they accept his isolation and lack of accountability without ridiculing him over it?

Maybe it’s time to ask the press some questions. But first, let’s do whatever we can to keep this clown Harper out of a majority government.

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In Election Diaries, The Maven comments on the leaders, the parties, the issues and the campaigns for Canada’s 41st federal election.

Read more of The Maven’s Election Diaries at www.tomaven.wordpress.com.

For past articles by The Maven on the West Annex News, visit The Maven archive.

The weekly wrap for April 15, 2011

In Coming events, This week in the neighbourhood on April 15, 2011 at 12:05 AM

Sonic Boom at 512 Bloor Street West is celebrating Record Store Day on Saturday, April 16th, with live bands playing from 1PM to 9PM, and guest DJ. Details are on the Sonic Boom website. [Sonic Boom]. Meanwhile, the imaginative window displays are earning more plaudits. [blogTO]

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The young and the selfish.  Kate Allen reports how condo dwellers in the new buildings below Queen St. bring their conservative values from the suburbs and are changing the mix in Trinity-Spadina. [thestar.com]

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A bike store, an art gallery, a day nursery, an art supply store, a several fashion-related shops. Bert Archer reports on the results of the public meeting about the proposal to convert the Leal Rentals building at 555 Dupont Street. [YongeStreet]

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What’s your house worth, and how will it affect your taxes? Catherine Farley discloses the latest data on property values in the city of Toronto. [thestar.com]

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Finding beauty in Toronto’s post-war architecture. Alexandra Shimo interviews Michael McClelland, architect of the Wychwood Barns conversion. [YongeStreet]

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Toronto 1818: population 1000. Adam Bunch displays a historic map, and links it up with census information for a fascinating glimpse of the beginnings of the city. [The Toronto Dreams Project]

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DON’T FORGET: Trinity-Spadina all-candidates debate: 

Date:  Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Time:  7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Location:  Trinity-St Paul’s United Church, 427 Bloor Street West
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Visit the Weekly Wrap archive for previous weeks’ columns.

OLDER POSTS >>


Ask the Bike Maven: bike fitting 101

In Ask the Bike Maven on April 11, 2011 at 8:05 AM
A properly fitted bike: seat positioned so legs can deliver maximum power to the pedals, elbows slightly bent when hands resting on the hoods

By the Bike Maven | It’s spring, prime bike-buying season. Whether you’re buying new or used, you need to know a bit about bike fitting before you make your purchase.

I know that not everyone is into long distance or fitness riding. Sometimes a quick toodle to the store is all you’re out for. So who cares how your bike fits and what position you are in on your bike? Well, l it can make a real difference. Your position on the bike affects both the efficiency with which you pedal and your comfort in doing so.

And if you are more comfortable and more efficient, you are going to enjoy riding your bike more. Unlike Stephen Harper, I admit to my agendas: I want to see as many people as possible on their bikes, and I want to see them riding as much as possible.

So what’s involved in making sure your bike fits and that you are properly positioned on it?

Your body contacts the bicycle in three areas; your hands, your seat, and your feet. Their position determines your comfort and efficiency on the bike.

The parts of a bike: note the seat tube, cranks (crank arm), stem, brake hoods, and hub, all of which I will refer to in this article (click to enlarge)

The wrong size bike can’t be made right by a bike fitting. So your first priority: buy the right size of bike. But what size is right? I am often dismayed to see “bike fittings” take place in bike shops with staff who have little or no qualifications to fit a bike. The customer gets on the bike, the bike shop employee asks “how does it feel?” Well, if you’ve been used to riding a wrong-sized bike, or you’re an adult getting back on a bike after many years, or if you’re used to riding a bike with a straight handle bar and you are getting your first bike with drop bars, a new bike will feel weird and unfamiliar. Asking you how it feels is a useless question.

Bike fitting has some scientific aspects to it. It’s not just an eyeball affair, and it’s not just how it feels to the individual rider. I’ve lectured U of T Phys. Ed. students on the basics of bike fitting–a quick overview–and it’s taken me almost 90 minutes. A proper fitting on a road bike can take an hour.

But I’m not going into that kind of detail here. What I am going to try to do is give you the basics so you at least walk out the store with the right size bike. As you get more proficient and interested in better performance on your bike, you can then go to a qualified bike fitter who will help you dial in the fit exactly to your body specifics.

Step one: proper seat height. Your leg should not be not quite fully extended at the bottom of the down stroke (leg in foreground). Aim for 20 to 30 degrees flexion at the knee

Step one: get the  seat height right. When I look at casual bike riders out on the street, the most common mistake I see is that their seat height is too low. When stopped, they can put both feet on the ground while still seated in the saddle. When I look at serious cyclists, the most common mistake I see is that their seats are too high. When at the bottom of their pedal stroke, their leg is fully extended.

When your seat height is properly adjusted, your leg will be not quite fully extended on the down stroke. You want about 20 to 30 degrees flexion at the knee at  the bottom of the pedal stroke like in the photo above. Note that the bottom of the down stroke is when the crank is parallel to the seat tube (the tube that your seat sits on top of) and not when the crank is vertical.  Also note that the ball of your foot should be on the pedal, and your foot should be level to the ground. Don’t let me ever see you riding with the heel of your shoe on the pedal, or I will stop you and chew you out.

Why is this the desired seat height? Muscles have an efficient dynamic range. Stretch them too much and they won’t contract back as strongly (think of a rubber band). If the seat is too high, your legs will be extended beyond their point of efficiency as well as comfort. Additionally, you will be swiveling your pelvis from side to side to reach the pedals. That is going to chafe your private parts. That isn’t good for you or your significant other. If the seat is too low, you aren’t getting all the power you could by stretching your legs out more, resulting in a more tiring ride.

Step two: get the bike saddles fore-and-aft adjustment right. The front of your knee should be just in front of the pedal spindle

Step two: get the seat fore-and-aft adjustment right. Correctly placing your seat over the pedals helps efficiency as well as knee comfort. With your foot parallel to the ground, the front of your knee should be just ahead of the spindle of the pedal.  The proper way to gauge this is to either drop a plumb line from your knee, or a metre stick or other straight measure (see photo above).

My choice of saddle: the Selle SMP Strike: minimally padded with good sit bone support, and radical cut-outs for long ride comfort

A quick word about saddles. Those over-padded, big-ass bike seats are much less comfortable than a smaller, firm seat. Think of wearing a Birkenstock sandal (firm, molded) compared to slippers on a long walk. You are looking for a saddle that flares a little at the back to support your sit bones. Women’s saddles flare a little wider than men’s since most women’s pelvis are wider. Rather than being heavily padded, these saddles are indented or entirely cut away at the common friction points between rider and saddle.

The tilt of the saddle also needs attention. You often see bike saddles with the nose tilted radically down. This is usually done to try to ease the pain of an uncomfortable saddle. But with the nose tilted down, the rider’s weight is thrown forward on to the handlebars, resulting in numb hands, and wrist, arm, shoulder and even neck pain. Get yourself a saddle that you are comfortable sitting on when it is flat so that your pelvis is level, and your weight is properly distributed. If you are going to splurge on any part of your bike, make it your saddle.

Step three: with your hands on the brake hoods, your elbows should be slightly bent

Step three: get the distance from saddle to handle bar right. So now that your seat is in the proper position, put your hands lightly on the brake hoods, and rest your fingers on the levers. There should be some bend in your elbows so they act as your suspension as you go over bumps and other imperfections in the road.  See the photo above. Now look down to your front wheel; the handlebar should obscure the hub.

If you have to straighten your arms to reach the handle bar and when you look down, you can see the wheel hub well behind the handlebar, you are on too large a bike frame. Conversely, if your elbows are deeply bent and when you look down, you see the wheel hub well ahead of the handlebar, you are on too small a frame. If the reach is just slightly off, then the frame size is probably okay, but you need a different length of stem (that part of the bike that connects the handlebar to the frame). Reputable bike shops will have a variety of stem lengths on hand to swap out with yours to make the fit right.

In conclusion. A full bike fitting involves many more adjustments, including adjusting handlebar height, width and stance as well as several other contact points on the bike. Tires, handlebar tape, wheels, and gear ratios all contribute to a bike’s comfort. Most of you likely won’t care about a detailed fitting. But the three basics I give you above should at least get you on the right sized frame. If the shop where you’re test riding a bike doesn’t offer at least these adjustments above, run, don’t walk to another bike shop that does.

And if you start to develop an interest in rides of greater lengths, or in racing or triathlon, then you will want to take your bike in to an expert and have a proper fitting. While we are lucky to have several good bike shops in the neighbourhood, none are equipped to do an advanced fitting. In my view, Heath Cockburn at La Bicicletta, 1180 Castlefield Avenue is the best bicycle fitter in the city. Go for the fitting, and enjoy the eye candy while you’re there; this is THE bike store in Toronto for high performance cycling. La Bicicletta has the most wonderful, luscious, sexy, fabulous bikes you can imagine. Try not to fall in love–it will be an expensive affair.

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If you have any particular bike comfort question you want to ask the Bike Maven, or you want to know more about bike fitting, post your question in the comments section below.

The Bike Maven is a Serotta-certified bicycle fitter who lives, works, and cycles in the Annex. Visit his blog at www.TOmaven.wordpress.com.

For other articles by the Bike Maven on the West Annex News, visit the Bike Maven archive.



This month at the galleries

In Coming events on April 8, 2011 at 12:05 AM

This month at the galleries in and around the West Annex:

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Mixed Context by Max and Oliver Heinrich at Ideasincorporated, 1081 Bathurst Street, opening tonight 7:00 to 9:30PM

Regular gallery hours: Wednesday 12 to 3PM, Thursday to Sunday 12 to 5PM, show

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La Parete Gallery, 1086 Bathurst Street

Gallery Hours Monday to Saturday 10AM to 6PM

A continuing show of the works of La Parete’s distinguished stable of artists.

Medusa Sky by Jan Wheeler, oil on canvas

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Delinear Group exhibition at Barbara Edwards Contemporary at 1069 Bathurst Street

Gallery Hours: Wednesday to Saturday 11AM to 6PM.

“A group exhibition examining the relationship of drawing to the artistic process. Showcasing new linear work from a select group of artists, this exhibition illustrates the use of drawing through a range of artistic intentions: the sketch or blueprint for sculpture, painting or installation; the initial tracing of a conceptual idea; the idea formally realized through the drawing medium.”

April Gornik Forest Light

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Leah Rainey’s Edits at Communication Art Gallery, 209 Harbord Street

Gallery Hours: Monday to Friday 12 to 8PM, Saturday and Sunday 12 to 6PM.

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And don’t forget Edward Burtynski’s Oil opening at the ROM on Saturday, April 9, 2011.

ROM hours:  Monday to Thursday 10AM to 5:30PM; Friday 10AM to 8:30PM; Saturday and Sunday 10AM to 5:30PM.

Fifty-three large format photographs. “With an unflinching eye, Burtynski’s images explore the hotly debated effects of oil extraction and our international dependency on the substance.”

torontoist review of Edward Burtynskis Oil

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A: Ideasincorporated

B: La Parete Gallery

C: Barbara Edwards Contemporary

D: Communication Art Gallery

E: Royal Ontario Museum

OLDER POSTS –>

The weekly wrap for April 8, 2011

In This week in the neighbourhood on April 8, 2011 at 12:01 AM

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Three local shops shine in blogTO’s “Best fruit and vegetable stores in Toronto”.

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Three local restaurants join Veggielicious, Toronto’s celebration of all things vegan April 9th to 24th.

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RoFo, redressed. Shayla Duval renders the Mayor’s revealing image in NOW magazine fit for human eyes. [The Conquelicot Projects]

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Battle of the Bubbies is on at Caplansky’s gefilte fish derby on Saturday, April 16th at 4:00PM [Taste T.O.]

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Too cool for hot dogs. In what is fast becoming Bloor Street’s most boring and sterile stretch, the Mink Mile’s BIA has banned hotdog carts. [cbc.ca]

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Ten million trees, storing 1.1 million metric tonnes of carbon. Nate Hendley adds up the numbers for Toronto’s urban forest. [OpenFile]

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BlogTO rounds out the week with a nice reference guide to cycling in Toronto, and reviews of Curbside Cycle and The Bike Joint.

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Review: Zero Hour. The Life of Zero Mostel, at the Al Green Theatre until April 16th, 750 Spadina at Bloor. [Mooney on Theatre]

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Visit the Weekly Wrap archive for previous weeks’ columns.

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