100 clicks on a bixi

Whee! I’ve done more than 100km on Bixi bikes! Dunno if the small addition of gentle exercise into my daily routine has made any real difference, but I feel the better for it.

Fausto Coppi I’m not. I poddle along at an average speed of just under 12 km/h; that’s slightly faster than a gentle ooze. Bixi only measures station to station distances, so I’ve probably gone a little faster and a little further

One thing, the Bixi mobile map at toronto.bixi.com/stations is utter pants on a Blackberry. I mean, this is the best I could get it to work:

pressing bixi question

Should the bells face down?

Or should they face up?

When Bixi Toronto was launched, all the bells were down, but most of them are up now. Even though it’s less ergonomic, it’s what people are used to.


I’ve been using BIXI every day, despite the rain. They’re slightly different from the test-ride bikes; the ex-Montreal ones had 8 gears, while Toronto flatlanders only get three. The brakes work better too; I’m expecting to get rear-ended any day at a stop sign, since I seem to be the only one who even tries to stop at these things.

I’ve worked out a nifty route down St George and Beverley across the lanes to Simcoe and Queen. Takes me 10 minutes down, 12 back up. Fun!

Test-riding the Bixi

BIXI Toronto had a demo station outside MEC today. They had a few slightly beat-up (I suspect, ex Montreal) bikes on display at a station and for test riding.

I checked out one the bikes for a ten minute test ride. For such a solid bike, I was impressed with its swiftness. You won’t find yourself hopping curbs, but the big smooth tyres roll fast.

The bike’s pretty sensible, with a fully guarded chain, guards, dynamo lights and a front carrier.

A clever bash guard protects the hub gear settings

The pointy nose at the front locks into the Bixi station:

All the controls are where you’d expect them:

And a graduated seatpost for us tall forgetful types:

The one thing I was disappointed with was the brakes. My bike has similar Shimano units. They’re a bit gentle, but they do stop you. The ones on the loaner bike brought back memories of trying to stop in the rain on my steel-rimmed paperboy bike.

Still, I’m really looking forward to Bixi arriving in the city next year.