Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Back in April 2008 while riding at Critical Mass, two friends decided to go ahead and try to motivate more people to get on their bikes in Montreal. Melanie Gomez and Peneloppe Riopelle got some help from their friend Jean-Michel Simoneau, a webmaster of sorts, to slap together a blog and promote cycling. They called it "À Vélos Citoyens" (To your Bikes Citizens).

They started to post, linked the blog to their Facebook page and even created a group with over 1400 members. Then one day they came up with a scoop on the blog, a spy photo of the upcoming City sponsored self serve bicycle program bike, now known as the "Bixi". A lot of people couldn't wait for this program to get off the ground and there was a lot of buzz around it.

Now here's the kicker, turns out these three people don't exist. An article published by cyberpress exposed the whole thing as a scam. The PR company, who is really behind all this, doesn't think so, they say it was a viral campaign. All of a sudden, the three "crusaders" don't have an account on Facebook anymore and the blog is now labelled as the official Bixi blog. I learned today that this is called "astroturfing" where someone emulates a grassroots movement to sell their stuff.

It's really too bad, the Bixi is a noble cause and I don't feel that this fact alone permits someone to scam people into wanting the product. Right now I feel violated as much as I find the scam absolutely brilliant. I guess you learn something new everyday.

The Bixi program officially started in Montreal on May 12 2009 in the downtown core.

Until next time, ride safe and Godspeed.

Gerry :) (I actually am a real blogger)

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


I finished the extension, hooked up the brakes and installed the fender. I managed to cobble up together a rack from some steel brackets and a piece of flooring. Right now, I'm at a loss to make this rack work and bring it into a real practical mode. I have one problem: WEIGHT!

This bike would be great at doing double duty as a battleship anchor. It weighs a ton. I guess it's what you get for building it yourself for free. I was expecting this of course and I had changed the wheels from the original steel jobs to alloy to get at least a little break. Going up any incline, this bike will remind you that it's no Ally McBeal. The other side of the medal is that whenever you point something that heavy downhill, it doesn't require much effort from you to go fast.

Handling is a bit weird but the bike is very comfortable. The addition of V-Brakes was a good idea as well. All and all I am pretty happy with my monster since it will make me grow legs like the Hulk in no time. :) Now if I can only figure out this rear rack thing!?!

Until next time, ride safe and Godspeed.

Gerry :)