Bike Share in Toronto

I've fallen behind on posting our experiences in each city, but now that we're taking a break from adventuring in California I'll try and catch up.

Toronto was so clean and beautiful after New York City.  Upon arriving and dropping off our bags with our generous host (found via couchsurfing.org) we went strait to a Bixi bikeshare station and bought a 72 hour pass.  It felt fantastic to be biking again after so much sitting and walking.  A 72 hour pass cost us 12 a person.  The bikshare works thusly; all trips under 30 minutes are free.  If you don't return the bike in 30 minutes you are charged a dollar or two for every half hour.  We were very interested in how affective the bikeshare would be.  We found the stations to be well within a 30 minute ride of each other and frequent enough that we could get anywhere within the downtown area easily.  Each station had a map with all other stations marked, so we could plan where to ride.  There were only one or two occasions in which we wished we had a smartphone with a bixi app.  The bikes themselves were heavy and very sturdy.  We ran into no flats or mechanical problems and we never ran into a station without a free spot, but if you do you can add an addition 15 minutes to your time for free at the station and bring it to another.  The roads were in awful shape mostly (due to rough icy winters I assume) and there were not many lanes (but quite a few sharrows) however tons of people were on bikes and drivers were very considerate.

Toronto was like Portland if all of the activists turned into nerds.  Needless to say we really enjoyed it.  There were more bookstores and comic shops (of excellent quality) than I've ever seen in one city.  And I satisfied my yearning for comic books by Moebius, Dino Battaglia and Jaques Tardí.  We ate lots of frozen yogurt and shwarma.  Also Pizza Pizza is a real place, for all you Scott Pilgrim fans.
The Toronto Fringe Festival was great.  We caught two shows and especially enjoyed The House of Bernarda Alba, by Federico Garcia Lorca.  It was very emotional and well produced.

We definitely want to return to experience more of Toronto.  In fact, we'd love to spend a summer there if we can swing it sometime.

More posts coming soon in which we'll tell you how much more we liked Chicago than we thought we would!



our new york experience

we've survived (and i'd even venture to say greatly enjoyed) yet another week of wandering!
Here's a couple photos from new york.  we stayed in a hostel in Brooklyn for the first 2 nights and then with a friend another two and loved braodway (we saw matthew broderick in 'nice work if you can get it') visiting comic shops (forbidden planet is fantastic, and desert island had a signed Moebius!)  and visiting parks. (where we watched people play table tennis with great skill and dexterity.)
And here's a few photos to prove it!

a separated bike lane on broadway for all you bike nerds

you'll have to take my word on those table tennis guys. boy were they good!

ride safe and stay tuned for our adventures in Toronto!



Portland... Maine, Boston Mass.

The adventure continues!
On Tuesday Sam and I wandered the streets of Portland, had lunch with a friend and then hopped on a bus down to good old Boston.  Spending the day in Portland made me realize what a fantastic downtown it has, and I began dreaming of renting an apartment there for a summer.
We really liked the Portland Velocipede, a great bike shop which carries box bikes, and a great assortment of commuters and city bikes from Linus, Biria (which I'm not familiar with) and even Pashley.

We also love Casablanca comics, where we purchased some fantastic french books for cheap.  (The art in Noé is amazing.)

Boston has been great as well.  I hadn't seen the Boston Pops' firework show since I was maybe 8 years old, and it was great.  A thunderstorm prompted the police to issue a temporary evacuation notice and the fireworks were delayed.  When the show finally started and we had returned to our spot, the rain hit hard, but exhausted and fed up with walking, we all just sat on our blankets getting soaked and enjoyed an amazing fireworks show.

Happy Independence Day

we miss riding our bikes, but look forward to NYC bikeshare this weekend!


ps: Boston has a bike share now!



We survived the almost 72 hour bus ride from SLC to Maine better than I ever would have imagined, and without much mishap. (ok, one lady refused to leave the bus and was taken off by police, and our bus driver got lost once and yelled at everyone, but hey, we made it!)
We didn't take photos of that.
But we did take a few photos while hiking and biking around Acadia National Park (perhaps the most beautiful place in America)

I've also been sketching a bit, so more of that soon when I get to a scanner.
anyhow, we're off to Boston tomorrow to celebrate Independence Day and then New York City on friday!