Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Archive for the ‘shameless self promotion’ Category

“On Bicycles” edited by Amy Walker

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On Bicycles cover

It is available at your friendly local book store: there was a discussion and book signing at The People’s Co-op Boosktore on Commercial Drive last night, and I know that they had some copies left. Or you can buy it on Amazon. When I have done here, I will be posting a review there too. Amy Walker is, as I am sure many of you know the cofounder of Momentum magazine and she also has a blog at

I was asked originally to contribute a piece on the environmental impact of cycling: I responded – “That will be the shortest chapter in the book. There isn’t any.” Well, ok that is an exaggeration, but a pardonable one I think. So my piece now carries the unwieldy title “The Environmental Good of Switching from Car to Bike” and it takes 8 pages. Out of 372 – none of which I have had an opportunity to read until I got my copy last night. Readers of this blog can happily skip over my pages, of course, and now I have read a few of my other favourite contributors, I can only say that I wish I had done a much better job. Todd Littman and Amy herself (she wrote 8 chapters out of 50) set a very high standard indeed.

Amy Walker signing books

If you do not have a bicycle and wonder what benefits you might enjoy I would like to present to you what I think will be some of the most compelling reasons: Youth, Sex and Cake. In the spirit of “you learn something every day” I have to acknowledge that Kristen Steele surprised me when she wrote that cycling makes you better in bed – and she has all the correctly cited academic articles to support that. Of course cycling makes you fitter, and you do burn more calories when you substitute a bike for a ride in a car (or even transit), which is why more people really ought to consider commuting by bicycle. And, as Todd Litman demonstrates, that has economic benefits too. But more and better orgasms ….


Does reading a book actually persuade people to switch mode of travel? Obviously the publisher thinks there is a market for this book for they commissioned it, and not only do I hope that they are right, but that there is a follow up volume. For the common thought that occurred to the contributors in last night’s discussion was “that ought to go in to the next book”.

Unoccupied parking space, useful hitching post

Or is this really a handbook for cycling enthusiasts to use in their on-going cycle advocacy? Certainly on the basis of last night’s event, we were preaching to the converted. But it is definitely the book that I had wished had been written when I started looking at cycling as a transportation policy issue. We have come a long way since my boss said “We mustn’t encourage people to cycle, we will only be killing more of them”.

Of course I hope you will buy this book – or at the very least get your local library to get a copy. Richmond has two.

Written by Stephen Rees

October 20, 2011 at 1:04 pm

I’m No 2!

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BC Politics Blog Ranking

Thanks to votermedia on Twitter I thought I would check in on the latest blog rankings. I was gobsmacked to see that I have achieved the not quite top spot – and that is behind the Tyee which is, of course a highly professional operation.

I have not been paying attention to this site so I was completely unaware of this ranking until today. The page views on this blog have been pretty steadily bobbing along at around 15,000 views per month. To those of you who went to the ballot site and supported this blog – thank you.

Written by Stephen Rees

February 1, 2009 at 6:41 pm


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Copied from “Beyond Robson” 2k8 in review

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Written by Stephen Rees

December 12, 2008 at 5:35 pm

Mount Baker

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Mount Baker, originally uploaded by Stephen Rees.

Cold clear weather and a stray beam of sunlight through the overcast. Remarkable clarity. Taken from the eastern end of Steveston Highway

This picture chosen by Claire Martin will be on the CBC Vancouver News at six on Tuesday November 25

Written by Stephen Rees

November 25, 2008 at 10:54 am

MicroPoll : Do you like the new look of this blog?

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Written by Stephen Rees

September 23, 2008 at 12:54 pm

They revised my theme and told me afterwards

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It took me by surprise and I do not know yet if it is an improvement. On principle I would rather that they offered me a choice first. I can switch back to the older style – it is still available. But should I?

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Written by Stephen Rees

September 23, 2008 at 12:50 pm

Political Savvy Meter

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I like Rafe Mair. He is, like me getting increasing green and radical as he ages. We are both grumpy old men. The Tyee’s Monday Headlines did not hit my inbox until after I had shut down yesterday evening (I wanted to watch “The Murder of Jesse James …” before I left for work if only for the steam train) so I have only just come across this gem

On the assumption that political columnists ought to declare their colours, I hereby disclose that I will vote Green. Under the Elections Act, the Greens will get $1.75 per vote cast and that, to me, is a better election return that anything the others promise.

The fact that the other parties have conspired to supress the Greens and refused to participate in the tv leaders debates if the Green Party was allowed in was another good reason for me to vote Green this time too. But I also like the Tyee as a source of news and comment, as they are not part of a media conglomerate – and their selection of stories “reported elsewhere” is often food for thought and blog posts.

I am heading out of town again this week. I want to take advanatge of the last week of summer sunshine. I remember from my school days that early September weather was always much better than that during the summer holidays – and of course venues like the Myra Canyon trestles should be much quieter than they were last month. The last time I travelled through that area, it was the summer when the whole province seemed to be burning. Our road trip had to be cut short in Canmore as I could not breathe due to the heavy pall of smoke everywhere. So we missed out on that section of the former Kettle Valley railway. The trestles have been rebuilt – and it has taken me some time to get orgainsed enough to get back there. Hopefully wifi access and a notebook computer will keep me in touch, and I will try harder to keep posting here. My summer holiday seems to have caused a considerable drop off in page views.

Written by Stephen Rees

September 9, 2008 at 7:48 am