Final Art Spin Tour of 2011 Thursday, August 25

The Art Spin team is poised to take art and bicycle lovers on one more engaging and entertaining ride this year. This time around there's live music, short films, puppets and much, much more. See the invitation below:

It is with great pleasure that we invite you to the season finale tour of Art Spin on Thursday, August 25th - it promises to be an exciting cap to our season. As usual we will be meeting in Trinity Bellwoods Park at the Queen St. gate between 6:30 and 7pm, with the tour leaving at 7 sharp. The Bike Pirates will be on hand for any quick bike fixes as well as a cycling inspired puppet show by Clay & Paper Theatre. We’ll head off to see a bicycle and musical performance by Evalyn Parry, bike drawings by the Tongue & Groove Collective, a selection of short films from the Bicycle Film Festival and the historic 48 Abell studios before it disappears forever – to name some of the exciting stops on this tour. There will be many surprises along the way and the whole tour ends at 99 Gallery where Art Spin has curated the inaugural show in a fantastic 6000 square foot exhibition space, with some stunning installations, sculptures, paintings and video work by TH&B Collective, Gareth Lichty, James Gauvreau, Keith W. Bently, Gillian Iles, Vuk Dragojevic, Sarah McCaw, Tom Ngo, Scott Eunson, Wrik Mead, Vanessa Maltese and Markus Heckmann. An after party with musical performances will follow.

Art Spin’s Annual Exhibition at 99 Gallery opens Thursday, August 25th and will remain on display until September 24th where you can visit it during regular gallery hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 12-5pm, or join us after the Art Spin tour for the opening celebrations from 9 until Midnight with drinks, musical performances, live video projections by Jerrem Lynch, performance pieces by Basil AIZeri and Maryam Taghavi, and a wheat paste installation by Faux Reel.

Whether or not you’ve been on Art Spin before, this tour and exhibition opening are poised to be two of the most exciting art events of the season and are not to be missed!

On behalf of all of us at Art Spin we would like to thank you for making the 2011 installment of Art Spin such a huge success and so much fun. We hope to see you all on the 25th!

For more info visit and or email us at

The Art Spin Team
Layne, Vanessa, Rui & Casey

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dandySHOPS: Merchants of Green Coffee

The September 2011 issue of dandyhorse magazine will be our first Food Issue featuring guest editor Bob Blumer of the Food Network. In preparation for the Food Issue the dandyBLOG will be posting stories related to the important fuel all cyclists rely on, food.

By Carolyn Pioro
Photos by Christopher Kaiser

Coffee and cycling, coffeehouses and indie bike shops—concepts not quite as ubiquitous as, say, coffee and cigarettes. However, at Merchants of Green Coffee in Toronto's almost-east end these pairings couldn't be more perfectly matched.

To point: the shop has ample bike parking out front and still patrons are more than welcome to bring their bikes inside. Merchants of Green Coffee also provides bike storage for their employees and the other like-minded small business owners who work and rent the offices upstairs. And daily—by means of bike and trailer—they deliver their freshly roasted beans to local cafés and businesses, like the newly opened ING Direct Café on Yonge Street.

Morgan Yew, the company's Green Bean Manager, waxes philosophical about this coffee/cycling connection. “Independent coffeehouses, like bicycle shops, promote a thoughtfulness,” says Yew, “which can lead to best practices and meaningful community involvement.”

In 1994, Merchants of Green Coffee began importing fair trade and organically grown green coffee from small-scale farmer cooperatives and independent growers throughout Latin America. In the last 17 years they've expanded to not only import high-quality arabica coffee, but to roast the beans daily (hourly even) and run a thriving café and coffee-information-super-hub.

The space, outfitted by a tasteful tangle of reclaimed-wood tables and chairs, is warm and charming—it provides a refreshing contrast to many of the city's overly chromed and polished coffee shops.

The store acts as home base for Merchants of Green Coffee’s myriad community involvements: Yew updates the shop's engaging social media feeds; they host and organize events like music shows and book readings, ongoing coffee research and education, plus corporate and private tastings; Merchants also has a strong presence at many of the city's seasonal farmers markets. All of this outreach, all of the education, helps in communicating their mantra: Fresh Coffee, Fair Trade, Green Business. And in doing so, Yew describes how Merchants of Green Coffee's green business model and fair trade ethos speaks to a concept that many cyclists hold dear to their heart: sustainability.

Merchants of Green Coffee's practices and policies strive to balance the desires of coffee drinkers with the goal of not compromising the future needs of the farmers, other workers and the planet. “We hope to inform by example, asking people to slow down (as we do with our Steep & Filter Coffee) and consider their role in the coffee-chain and the city.”

Hand roasting coffee beans at Merchants of Green Coffee

As he demonstrates their Steep & Filter method of coffee preparation, it's a wonder that all it takes to turn earthy green coffee beans into aromatic splintered grinds is a small countertop roaster, a grinder, a reusable hemp and cotton filter, a subtly warmed glass carafe and a stainless steel pitcher of boiling water. This method seems alien in a world of steampunk-inspired espresso behemoths and over-packaged single cup systems. The Steep & Filter method borrows from countries with rich coffee cultures like Ethiopia and Costa Rica.

Many a cyclist starts or ends her ride with a cup of coffee. Caffeine is the only legal stimulant allowed in bike racing. Pro riders travel with their personal espresso machines, some cafés will sponsor whole teams and a recent article in Bicycling magazine talks about consuming five to six cups to recover from a long ride. What makes Merchants of Green Coffee a little different is that the end goal isn't just about a caffeine kick, the java jolt or sweet candy-like coffee concoctions, it's about being mindful about consumer culture and leaving the smallest footprint, bit of grind, tread of tire.

“By itself [coffee's] not a sustainable trade-good—what is?” Yew muses, “The real question is whether it is socially sustainable, from farm to cup or between point A & B. In addition, how long can any generation maintain best practices if there is no infrastructure to support it? We are all engaged in this struggle. I think it is our job to make it meaningful.”

Merchants of Green Coffee
2 Matilda Street
Toronto, Ontario
M4M 1L9
1-888-741-5369 (Toll Free)
416-741-5369 (Local)

dandyhorse magazine is proud to have Merchants of Green Coffee as a retail supporter. The Food Issue is currently for sale at the cafe and they also have copies of the Food Issue for sale at the weekly Evergreen Brick Works Farmers' Market, Saturdays from 8am to 1pm.

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Revolution, Reform and the Role of Bicycles in Toronto

"Female cyclist wheeling bicycle up muddy hill on St. Clair Avenue West 1907" from City of Toronto Archives Fonds 1244, Item 0022

by Duncan Hurd

"Two legs, two pedals, a crank and a chain, two wheels and a frame. A revolution that keeps me arriving," sings Evalyn Parry to a group in Trinity Bellwoods park for the Women and Bicycles Picnic hosted by HerStoriesCafe.

Organized by Rose Fine-Meyer and Kate Zankowicz, the free picnic featured a talk by dandyhorse senior editor Steve Brearton and performances by Evalyn Parry and Clay & Paper Theatre's CYCLOPS troupe.

Taking the group through the past 140 years, Brearton establishes a link between the early rise in popularity of the bicycle and the reforms that lead to greater freedoms and equality for women. Unlike riding a horse, where a woman could still wear a long flowing dress and ride side saddle, riding a bicycle required more practical attire. The rise of "bloomers," a style of baggy trousers, is directly connected to growing numbers of women choosing to travel by bicycle in the late 1800s. This reform in fashion provides the legs required to further the cause of equal rights activists while the bicycle provided their mobility, allowing women to freely move around the city, to meet, to discuss, to unite. As a result, early women's independence was asserted by the bicycle Brearton tells us.

With these reforms also came resistance; from doctors who felt that bicycle riding was too dangerous for the "weaker sex" and from opponents who believed that less constrictive clothing for women could lead to immoral behaviour. Nearly 120 years later and this opposition still exists today. In June 2011, a women was reportedly stopped on her bicycle by police in New York City and threatened with a ticket because her skirt could distract drivers and cause collisions. "Women have legs for use like anyone else," was a reaction to women riding bicycles in the 1880s shared by Brearton and is a sentiment we still seem to be grasping today.

Long skirts and heavy fabrics made clothing restrictive. "Yonge Street at Queen Street [1908?]" from City of Toronto Archives Fonds 1244, Item 493

Performing from her critically acclaimed show, SPIN, Evalyn Parry introduces our group to Annie Londonderry, the first woman to ride a bicycle around the world. A adventure undertaken by a bet, Londonderry's ride, as imagined by Parry, paints us a picture of a savvy self-promoter who occasionally bends the rules (and the truth) to achieve her goals.

Londonderry's travels can be seen as a mobile marketing campaign, one not only for bottled water and bicycles but also for women's dress reform. An ever evolving wardrobe, one borne of the need for better mobility, brings with it shock and outrage from conservative communities more than a century ago. “To be free, a woman needs mobility, she needs to use her legs, her legs, her legs, her political legs,” sings Parry.

Bringing us back the the present, CYCLOPS perform the song "Bells on Bloor," a call to action to continue the political push for practical cycling improvements. "The current and former representatives for the Toronto Cyclists Union are women. Many of the city councillors who push for cycling infrastructure are women," responds Brearton to a question about the ongoing connection between women and bicycle rights. The bicycle has been a tool for change for more than 100 years and in a time of rising gas prices and frustrating commutes it still has the power to change lives.

Evalyn Parry performs for the crowd in Trinity Bellwoods Park for HerStories Cafe, photo by Tammy Thorne

For more information on future events visit

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Bike Spotting: What do You Think of the Plan to Install Barriers to Separate the Existing Bloor Street Bike Lane?

What do You Think of the Plan to Install Barriers to Separate the Existing Bloor Street Bike Lane? What do You Think of the Plan to Install Barriers to Separate the Existing Bloor Street Bike Lane?
What do You Think of the Plan to Install Barriers to Separate the Existing Bloor Street Bike Lane? What do You Think of the Plan to Install Barriers to Separate the Existing Bloor Street Bike Lane?

On July 13, 2011, Toronto City Council voted in favour of installing physical barriers on the existing Bloor Street East bike lane that extends from Sherbourne in the west over the Prince Edward Viaduct to Broadview in the east. Our Bike Spotting team took to the street to see what people on bikes think about the plan: What do You Think of the Plan to Install Barriers to Separate the Existing Bloor Street Bike Lane?

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An Exploration of Toronto and Pie by Bicycle

Delicious pie a la mode at The Canadian Pie Company, photo by Hyedie Hashimoto

Ask us at dandyhorse what the best way to see and learn about your city is and we'll always tell you it's by bike. Of course, all of that pedalling can sure make you hungry and that's why any ride we go on must include plenty of food.

Hyedie Hashimoto, founder of the Toronto Cupcake Ride, knows that the pairing of food and bikes is a perfect match. While the Cupcake Rides are typically a ladies-only event, Hyedie has teamed up with Joe Travers of to run several co-ed rides. Their latest, Sweet Ride: Pie Edition, took a hungry and adventurous group across Toronto to explore a few distinctive neighbourhoods and to eat some delicious pie.

For photos and a recap of the event visit: Sweet Pie Ride Report


dandyhorse magazine is proud to announce that Hyedie Hashimoto will be designing our upcoming FOOD Issue with guest editor Bob Blumer of the Food Network.

Find out why food and bikes are the perfect mix for Hyedie in her Heels on Wheels profile from the Spring 2011 issue of dandyhorse.

Hyedie Hashimoto photographed by Molly Crealock

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