Tag Archives: toronto

Some Assembly Required

IKEA now sells bikes – that’s right, bikes! The SLADDA is a city bike aimed at commuters who – like their typical customer – wants something simple and functional while not breaking the bank. If you are already an “IKEA Family” member, all the better for your wallet: the price drops from the regular $999 to $599.

Two SLADDA bikes greet customers at the Toronto/North York IKEA entrance

The highlights:

  • Aluminum Frame
  • Disc from brake + Backpedal rear brake
  • Maintenance-free Rubber Chain
  • SRAM “Automatix” Internal Gear
  • Available in 26″ and 700c

The SRAM 2-speed rear hub is notable in that it is cable-less like the Sachs Torpedo rear hubs — except that it shifts without requiring any back-pedaling. This can be both good and bad; it does shift relatively early, but is smooth-shifting.

As you can see, he’s very happy with his new SLADDA.

In any case, I welcome more inexpensive and decent bicycles to the market; it dilutes the number of garbage bikes in service from the likes of SuperCycle, et al!

S̶n̶a̶k̶e̶s̶ Feet on a P̶l̶a̶n̶e̶ Train

It’s wet, winter-y weather in Toronto! Know what that means? Of course you do. Wet boots. And with wet boots, most GO train riders know to start looking out for wet seats. The GO-transit-related blog ‘You. Me. Ride This Crazy Train’ sums up the annoyance that are ‘Foot Riders’ pretty well here.

Since GO is spending big bucks refurbishing their fleet of railway coaches, replacing seats and cushions, it irks me that seats less than 3 months old now have dirty edges from all the salts and dirt from shoes.

Dammit, Samuel – /walking/ on the seats now?

Unfortunately, there isn’t much one can do about it. GO transit doesn’t have any fine system in place for dealing with discourteous passengers, though they do have a bylaw in place. And since sometimes I am outnumbered by foot riders upwards of 5-to-1 (which happened today – prompting this rant!), there doesn’t seem to be any point to chewing someone out.

Hopefully GO’s transit officers start ticketing for dirtying up the seats, because I for one prefer getting up from a trip and not having to dust off the back of my legs.

Explorations: Panel Lamp

The University of Toronto is home to some pretty unique buildings. Many of the buildings – for one reason or another – retain much of their original fixtures. A great example of this are the old, open-bodied service elevators found around Front Campus. Walking into Gerstein Library, this gem of a panel lamp glowed to life upon visiting the old journal stacks’ elevator:

lightbulb

Housed in its red opal glass enclosure, it really did look like a little gemstone. However, upon closer inspection the side-spiralled filament caught my eye. This is an odd arrangement that you don’t seen any more – manufactures traded this in for shorter, more robust filament coils decades ago. Considering this elevator isn’t used much (maybe 2-3 dozen times per day at most), and that panel lamps last 10K+ hours,  I suspect this little indicator bulb is at least 4-5 decades old!

It’s neat to see something that has not been touched in ages still working as if it were just installed.