Archive for the ‘cycling’ Category

Haeundae Bicycle Service Center

April 16, 2014

At the Haps, I learned of the Haeundae Bicycle Service Center.  I love the idea and hope it does well.  Now to get my son and I out there to ride.

korea law and cycling

April 14, 2014

The Korea Law Blog has  a post on cycling in Korea.  There’s a lot of good stuff there but here is a piece:

2. Rules Applying Only to Bicycles

a) To stay on the far right side when riding a bicycle on the road.

b) To get off and drag one’s bicycle when crossing a crosswalk.

c) To refrain from riding a bicycle on the sidewalk.

d) To refrain from operating a bicycle while being drunk, etc.

e) Overtaking through the “right side” is allowed.

3. Rules That Do Not Apply to Bicycles

a) Regular speed limits do not apply to bicycles.

b) Driving w/o a license do not apply to bicycles.

c) Drunk driving (forbidden, but no specific punishment for a cyclist is currently outlined).

d) The ban on the use of cell phones (while cycling) do not apply to bicycles.

 

Via James Turnbull.

Cycling, in October, and more

October 4, 2013

I’ve been trying to cycle to work every other day, weather permitting, and really enjoying it.   I’d always been an early riser and my son really is so I am definitely up and ready in good time.  The weather has been cooperating, too.  It hasn’t always been sunny, but it has been obviously poor or obviously great in the morning so I haven’t been caught in miserable conditions.

One fly in the ointment is my weekend work.  This weekend are two rides I’d like to be involved in but I am scheduled to lead some cub scout activities at my workplace.  On Saturday, in Nobel, a village near Parry Sound is a 7.6km ride.

October 05th (Saturday) Parry Sound Area Active Transportation presents a “Fall Fun Ride” starting at the Parry Sound Mall and wrapping up at the McDougall Recreation Centre (7.6kms). It’s a free event with registration from 09:00 am to 10:00 am, with the ride starting at 10:00 am. Register and ride for an entry into a bike draw. The Rotary Club of Parry Sound will have a BBQ at the finishing point. For information call 705 746 5801. www.psactivetrans.org

This would be a great event for my son and I, again, if I were not working.  While searching for online info about the Nobel ride, I found the Sudbury Cycling Union page, which has information about work to create bike trails around Georgian Bay.

On Sunday,  the United Way is running a series of rides from 25 to 100km in Simcoe County near Barrie.

 

On Facebook, friends shared two videos that fit with today’s topic.  One is about a man who was fined for not riding in the bike lane in New York and so wen tout of his way to show how dangerous the bike lanes were  The video is interesting but his method - crashing into obstacles left in the bike lanes - seems a little too personally costly to me.

The second video was made by a Dutch visitor to the US and compares the cycling culture in the two countries.  Briefly, he feels that the way cyclists locally (Canadian bike culture is nearly identical to American) dress up and prepare for riding shows it is not yet normative or entirely accepted.  I get this: one doesn’t really need spandex and lycra to ride.  The situation reminded me of hiking in Korea.  Korean hikers often dress in brand name hiking clothes and boots, and with poles and packs suitable for Nepal when shorts and running shoes are entirely sufficient.  Perhaps Thorstein Veblen’s views on conspicuous consumption are still relevant.

Back to the video.  The Dutch rider also compares infra(structure) in the two countries and this is fair although I think geography is at least equally relevant.  I don’t know much about the Netherlands but my impression is that it (they?) are pool-table flat and so more bike-friendly from the get-go.

 

Two pictures from recent rides I have taken.  The first can be found in a previous post but is worth showing again.  It is a Dekay snake or Northern Brown snake that I shooed off the bike trail.

DSC09531 bThe colors are just turning around Midland and the views are only going to get better in the next two weeks.  I predict an incredible Thanksgiving next weekend.  The bike trails around Midland, Penetanguishene, Tay and Tiny Townships will be the places to go!DSC09564 b

Northern Brown Snake – my first sighting…and my second, and third

September 28, 2013

 

I’m in the biz, so I don’t expect to see a snake new to me very often.  I’m happy (ah, not quite ecstatic, but thrilled enough to write about it) to say today is one of those days.

Lots of info about North Brown snakes can be found here.

Here is the first of the three I saw today.  I found it on the Tay-Midland Trail at the mouth of the Wye River.DSC09534 b

 

I included my cycling glove to give scale to these scalies.DSC09531 b

I don’t know it was because they were sliding on the asphalt, but they really seemed to side-wind across the cycling path to escape. DSC09529 b

What precisely is an accident?

March 25, 2013

@bellevillebikes (their website)  tweeted today a link to an article about pedestrian-car crashes, who was at fault and if the word ‘accident’ should be used.  The first paragraph:

In 2010, the last year the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHSTA) published such figures, a startling 4,280 pedestrians were hit and killed in traffic and 70,000 were injured. For many states, this past year was one of the most deadly in a decade, ending a general decline in pedestrian fatalities. Even still, there is a disturbing cultural willingness to accept these deaths as a necessary evil. The public increasingly blames the victims. The police rarely prosecute, and if they do, the courts are often lenient. In 2012, 136 pedestrians were killed and another 11,621 were injured in New York City alone—and in all that time, only one sober, unacquainted driver was charged.

As a fan of alternative forms of transportation, I try to follow news on the subject.  From Korea, and even more appropriate for a cycling advocate, comes news of this ‘accident':

Seoul – A truck driver who killed three South Korean professional cyclists in a road accident has admitted he was watching a television mounted on his dashboard at the time, police said Thursday.

Tom Vandebilt, author of one of my favorite books, Traffic, has an entire blog category for misuse of the word ‘accident‘.  One excellent example is of a ‘bicycle accident’ caused by a  taxi.

The LAPD issued a directive instructing officers that a motorist can be held responsible for causing a bicycle accident even if he or she did not make direct contact with the rider — and can be arrested for fleeing the scene, Box said.

In other words, striking a bike with your car is “causing a bicycle accident.”

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Updated:

Salon.com Asks “is it time for the NYPD to investigate bicycle accidents?

Advocates for pedestrians and cyclists have long argued the NYPD should dedicate more resources to collision investigations. For Stephan, the issue hits close to home. A year and a half ago, two good friends were struck and killed by motorists in the same week, and Stephan was struck by a vehicle earlier this year while biking along Kent Ave in Brooklyn. He said the NYPD’s reluctance to carry out full investigations of these incidents points to a larger cultural bias that tends to favor drivers and views cyclists as menaces to city streets.

“I think there’s a culture of windshield perspective in the NYPD,” he said. “A lot of the officers are from Staten Island or other places where they grew up driving. Drivers don’t want to see other drivers prosecuted.”

There’s some encouraging news for cyclists, however. Earlier this month, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly sent a letter to the City Council outlining a new policy in which the department has increased the size of its collision investigation squad and loosened the conditions for dispatching investigators. According to the letter, posted in full on StreetsBlog.org, the squad had previously responded only to accidents where a victim was either dead or likely to die. Under the new guidelines, the squad will respond if there is serious injury or if a police department duty captain believes circumstances warrant action.

I saw the completion of the 4-rivers project.

January 22, 2013

I’m leaving soon.  I depart on January 31 and don’t know if I will be back.  As I wrote on Facebook (names removed),

“My work these past three years -and also at Kwandong before that, has been great but I am returning to Canada next year. I can’t say for how long.

The Little Guy’s English is barely sufficient for day to day conversations with me and falling far behind his Canadian cohort so we (TLG and I; my wife will remain in Korea) are moving to my mother’s home in Penetang for at least one year. TLG will attend school and I will look for some kind of work. If I find useful and valuable work, my wife will emigrate and join us. If not, we will return to Korea to work I love and have shown an aptitude for but with the real concern about what high school will be for TLG- and any Korean child.”

I am not ready to talk about Canada, but that will come.

I am ready to talk about my long stay here and how connected I feel to Korea, even if only as a foreigner.   Case in point, my views on the Four Rivers Project.  I started blogging only a year before Presidential candidate Lee Myungbak proposed a crazy project, then withdrew it in favor of the Four Rivers Restoration Project.  I was here during his transition and throughout the Four Rivers work.  I also learned about flooding (one thing his project was designed to reduce) caused by North Korea.  Although I am not at all satisfied with the result of the project, I feel a strange satisfaction in my deep understanding of it.  I’ve been here long enough, and been aware long enough, to have real opinions on the subject.  I remain impressed with the bike trails built along the rivers and experience a thrill when I see the “Andong, 380km” sign near my home at the mouth of the Nakdong River.

For the record, I still have no opinion on who owns Dokdo.  I don’t know how long I would have to stay in the country for that to happen (Hans Island is, however, clearly Canadian).

I feel so connected to farming in Korea.  Even though I am unable to plan or schedule when or what crops should be planted, I have been involved in that work for several years.  I don’t love rice like my wife does, but I know it grows.  I don’t know how hot my in-laws’ peppers are but I know how productive the plants are and hot to recognize a pepper from a leaf at a metres’ distance.

I even sorta understand why Korean lifeguards are so cautious about letting people swim here.  Full understanding is beyond me, but I have seen so many non-swimmers launch themselves in tubes into deep water that I would be equally draconian in running a beach.  I now only grimace when I see a two-metre deep pool only filled to 1.4 metres so non-swimmers are safe.

Maybe I am leaving just in time.  Everytime I see a car or truck running a red light, I plot about bringing a realistic doll to the intersection and tossing it in front of a red-light-running vehicle.  I have held back because I can imagine the result of a car swerving wildly to avoid the ‘baby’ and because I don’t have such a doll handy.  I’ll leave it to you to guess which influence is greater.

I don’t know if I will write a ‘_-things I love in Korea” or a “__ things I hate in Korea”.  With my current blogging regimen it will be July before they finish. Still, I should take some time to review my time here and my future plans at such an obvious demarkation point. What better place to put my private thoughts then on a public blog?

hadan to Kadeukdo bike ride

October 13, 2012

Indeed the ride was “to” but not actually “around” Kadeuk Island.  It’s been a while since I last rode and I was concerned about aches and pains if I went much further.  Still, the trip there along the ‘Gull’s Way’ was enjoyable on its own merits.

Near Myeongji Ocean City, I looked out and I swear that this must be some form of children’s castle made impregnable due to its location.

I’ve seen close-up what agriculture looks like in Korea and I have to admit that it is so intensive that it doesn’t look very attractive (this is probably true outside of Korea as well).  Aquaculture is at least as horrific to the eye.

The Gulls-Way to Kadeukdo is well-marked, but keep an eye open for the signs as you go through the final industrial areas before crossing to the island.  I missed a turn and went a little out of my way before turning back.

On Kadeukdo, I saw an old lifeboat.  Thirty-something years ago, my scout troop tried to refurbish one like this into a sailboat.  I guess it remains rusting away in the Scouter’s backyard.

There is a tiny island next to Kadeukdo and the Gull’s-way goes through it as well.  I followed most of that route, until steep hiking trails stopped me.

There is a school on the island but the students are unusual.  Click to enlargify to see the horses that make this field their own.

I climbed these stairs, and hiked further, to see if it was worth-while to carry the bike over.  Instead, I chose to make this the turn-around point.

From those stairs, I took a picture of this front yard that would seem so natural for Canada, but totally out of place here.

Possible in the above picture was this collection of jars.  I think they might be crab or octopus homes, that can be pulled up for harvest.  Considering how little I know about aquaculture, the above sentence might make me (more of) a laughingstock.

Looking across the bay to another island, I saw more fishing vessels.

I’m not sure yet if I heart Kadeuk, but I do like it and plan to return.

Athletic fundraisers in Muskoka that I am missing.

September 28, 2011

I have participated in several ‘marathons’ – in Korea, that is any distance beyond five kilometres – and have found my training improves as I prepare for them.  A few years back, I carefully, but relentlessly piled on the kms in preparation for a Terry Fox run in Seoul only to find it cancelled*.  The week before I learned of the cancellation, I ran more about thirty km.  The week after, about five km.

There were two events in Muskoka that I wish I could have been home for.  The Terry Fox run was ten days ago and a ‘Ride For Refuge‘ occurred last weekend.  I agree with the motivations for these events, but would probably have joined either one for the athletics alone.  The “Ride for Refuge” helps various charities that bring aid to impoverished regions in Africa.

There were two strange things about the write up for the Ride for Refuge that I want to touch on.  First, the opening to the article tells us that cyclists will be “putting their pedals to the metal”.  I wonder how precisely they do that?  Like the write-ups for the swim team that seemed required to include “made a splash”, “making waves”, “Dive in to competition”, or, I don’t know, some reference to “wet behind the ears”, this is a valueless cliche and unlike those latter ones, the ‘pedal-metal’ isn’t even a bit fitting.

Secondly, one featured charity, Listen to Learn, will “bring Bible resources via mp3 players to impoverished regions of Africa”.  ‘Feeding the homeless’ or ‘housing the hungry’ would be far better than supplying bible resources via mp3 players.

I imagine “Hello to the people of drought-stricken Malawi.  I heard that someone in this country has supplied a little electricity for his town (1, 2).  I propose you use it to recharge our mp3 players so you can listen to stories that will not fill your belly nor put a roof overhead.  You’re welcome!”

As I wrote in the previous post, I do enjoy Christian and religious culture, but think the poor in Africa would prefer food first.  Then they would feel more inclined to listen to the MP3s.

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* I do understand why the people in Seoul cancelled the Terry Fox Run.  The run is far less well-known here and the requirements the Canadian leadership made regarding safety and insurance were overly costly.

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Not Really Related:

The Gravenhurst Town Council is working to provide various non-profit organizations free meeting rooms.  I approve.

Ex-pats cycling

August 4, 2011

My friend Brian Perich (and here) is busy cycling through the Himalayas.  I think Facebook pictures are publicly accessible.  To me, it is a great adventure to read about.

The purpose of my expedition is twofold. First, to raise awareness and support a non-profit charity called IDEAS (Intestinal Disease Education & Awareness Society, Canada) with their work helping people with incurable diseases of the gastrointestinal system, known collectively as IBD (inflammatory bowel disease). Secondly, I am partnering with a non-profit school outreach program in the United Kingdom known as ETE (Education Through Expeditions) which takes the explorer into the classrooms so that students can learn by firsthand reports of what the world (ecological, environmental, physical, geographical, topographical, science and social science) is all about.

From his facebook photos page:

Tibetan-Chinese Yak herders came to my aid, 6 liters of Yak butter milk, grains and straight butter dissolved to drink, another 4 liters for the road, 4000 meters up to 4340 meters, Ji Chou Shan Mountain, China …1232km to go! HimalayasX2011 going strong Northwest Xinjiang (Uighur Autonomous Region) completed 2000km, currently in mountains of Sichuan and Yunnan, China (:

Another interesting bike trip, and one that will wrap up in Busan is a charity ride through Korea for Love North Korean Children.

Less intrepid cyclists may have turned back when faced with rivers of mud in place of cycle tracks at their revised starting-point on the Han River at 6 a.m. Saturday.

But the pair, joined by some other friends for the challenge, carried their bikes for three hours through the knee-high sludge until they came to passable ground. 

The next five days saw them endure adverse weather, steep ascents and broken bikes but they were determined to reach Busan by Thursday. 

I’ve casually brought up my own bike rides in conversation and they are significant, but both of these trips make me realize how much of a fair-weather cyclist I really am.  Unless the schedule is really tight, if it rains on the first day, I’ll wait for a sunny day to start.

All the best to these adventurers.  Perhaps I’ll make it out to Haeundae to see Yim and Foster finish their trip.

Apparently successful ‘sharing bicycle system’ in Changwon

July 4, 2011

I was in Changwon on the weekend and noticed many people on similar bikes.  Changwon has its own ‘sharing bicycle system’ -my previous article article here- and it is doing well.

In my previous post on bike-sharing systems, I suggested that Busan would not be a good place for one due to its steep mountain slopes (I was corrected in the comments and learned that Haeundae, at least, has one).  Changwon is a lot flatter but almost too spread out to be a good place for bike-commuting.

Changwon is (locally) famous as a planned city and it is well-organized with a consistent gridwork of streets and great bike paths along the side of most major streets.  Those bike paths are even well-shaded under broadleaved trees.  However, in my visits, almost every street seems to be six-lanes wide + bike paths and nothing feels close.  Timmins, Ontario, Canada was famous as Canada’s largest city in geographical area even though its population is still under 50,000.  It was just very spread out.  Changwon has that feel for me.

Still, I am happy to see the program exists in Korea and hope I can find an opportunity to use it.


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