dandyhorse February newsletter is here

The dandyhorse newsletter is here!

We recapped January’s events and dandy bike news, and then looked back further: this lovely “Sweaterbike” (above) by Canadian artist Janet Morton is from 1994.

In January, we looked back on our winter cyclist series and pulled out some of the top tips for winter riding: Layer up and slow down were among the most common. We were also at the Coldest Day of the Year Ride and did an interview with the new Chair of Public Works.

Check out the entire new newsletter here.

Upcoming in February: Our interview with the City’s new cycling manager and the Icycle Ice Race at Dufferin Grove Park, and much more.

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http://dandyhorsemagazine.com/newsletter/

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Don’t call it a spin class: Indoor cycling at Sweet Pete’s

Don’t call it a spin class: Indoor cycling at Sweet Pete’s

Story and photos by Jeff Carson

 It’s easy to let your fitness slip during the winter months, but Sweet Pete’s Bike Shop on Bloor Street West has started an indoor cycling class to keep you in race shape for the spring.

The biweekly class allows riders to bring their own bikes and pedal in the warmth of the shop while engaging in a directed workout. The cycling specific workout combined with a Tacx trainer, which connects to a smartphone through a dedicated app, allows cyclists of any level to keep track of their progress while refining their riding mechanics.

The class is led by Rob West, who has 25 years of experience as a triathlete and four years of experience running indoor cycling classes. West gives instruction throughout the class and calls out exercises to help riders make their pedal stroke smoother and boost their endurance. The hour-long class moves at a brisk pace, with short drills breaking up the time.

But it’s not a spin class. The Tacx Satori smart trainer allows people to bring their own bike and even allows for gear changes to get a very realistic riding experience. Bringing a bike that will get lots of outdoor use in more favourable weather allows cyclists to get comfortable on their frame before hitting the streets. And when it comes time to hit the streets, Jill Allen of Sweet Pete’s says riders will be in much better shape than if they relied solely on riding around the city. “An hour on the trainer is that of an hour-and-a-half outdoors,” says Allen. “When you go back on the road in March, April, May, instead of taking a month, you’ll be taking a couple weeks to get used to being on the road.”

Aside from a bike to bring, the only piece of specialized equipment needed is trainer tire for your back wheel. A regular road tire on the trainer will melt, ruining the tire and gumming up the trainer in the process.

Allen says the turnout, in this first year of indoor cycling classes at Sweet Pete’s, has been excellent, with most classes full. “It’s been really well received. It’s been different people each time, I’ve got certain people who can only come Wednesdays, I’ve got certain people who can only come Sundays and others that come all the way through,” says Allen.

Classes will run from now until April 29 on Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings.

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Cyclists bundle up for the Coldest Day of the Year Ride

Coldest Day of the Year Ride draws hundreds

Story and photos by Sonya Allin

Around the time that ice starts to appear on the sidewalks, I typically retire my bicycle for the season.  I’m not alone; apparently, only 10 percent of Toronto cyclists currently ride all year round.  This year’s Coldest Day of The Year bike ride, however, has made me seriously rethink my cold weather transportation strategy.

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Review of Frostbike: New book about winter cycling from Calgary

Is it winter cycling, or just winter? A review of Frostbike by Tom Babin

Story by Jeff Carson

For Tom Babin, writer, journalist and bike blogger, the central question at the heart of his book, Frostbike, seems simple enough: Is winter biking viable? But as he becomes more dependent on his bike for commuting, the more problems he seems to find. From the icy Calgary streets he navigates to work, to the quest for the perfect winter bike, Babin explores the challenges of the season for us lovers of two-wheeled travel.

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Yvonne Bambrick on her new book, The Urban Cycling Survival Guide

Yvonne Bambrick holding a copy of her new book, The Urban Cycling Survival Guide: Need-to-Know Skills and Strategies for Biking in the City, in Pamenar cafe in Kensington Market.

Q&A with new author and cycling advocate Yvonne Bambrick

Interview and photos by Jenna Campbell

Yvonne Bambrick’s new book, The Urban Cycling Survival Guide: Need-to-Know Skills and Strategies for Biking in the City, is a how-to source of information on cycling for all road users. The book includes a section on winter cycling, which was the timely topic of this interview. (Stay tuned for our upcoming full book review.) Bambrick grew up biking in Toronto and was the founding executive director of the Toronto Cyclists Union, now Cycle Toronto. She is currently an independent urban cycling consultant, an event photographer, and the executive director of the Forest Hill Village Business Improvement Area. She is also a co-creator of the popular Pedestrian Sunday event in Kensington Market.

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