Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Friday Dec 19th
Promoting the idea of sharing bikes, this documentary film follows yellow bike sharing initiatives around the world.
Come join Bike Pirates with a night ride and film screening. Consultation after the film will talk of potential bike sharing opportunities for Toronto's cycling future.

Will be screened in the Bike Pirate work space.

Group Ride: 6:30pm sharp...
1292 Bloor St W

Film 7:30 pm sharp...
$5 or PWYC

Friday, November 14, 2008

Bike-In Film NIght

Please come out in the midst of November for a ride and a vidding.

Friday November 21st

Local Ride

Local Short Docs and Feature Film

Local Cyclists document their journey in Toronto on bicycle. Critical Mass 2008 Toronto Shots. Reclaim the Streets doc. Much More!

Come and enjoy, hot chocolate will be provided with a hotplate! Ride is free and filming will be $5 or PWYC.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

First Women/Trans Shop Day - Tea Party

The Pirates are pleased to announce a new day of programming for the project - every Sunday afternoon will be Women/Trans/Femme shop time, running from noon to 4pm. We also hope to schedule WTF workshops to run some Sundays from 4-6pm.

To celebrate we invite all who are interested in accessing this program to our first day this Sunday, November 9th. There will be tea and snacks and an opportunity to discuss how to best facilitate Sunday' shop time and make it work for those who want to access it. We are also looking for input into a discussion of language, the official name of the project, flyers, p.r. and volunteer organization.

Then of course we will fix some bikes.

Please come join us! Or if you are an ally and want to give input or help the project *outside* the shop hours, please drop us a line at: lunch (at)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Extended Hours!

Monday 12-5
Tuesday 5-9
Thursday 12-7
Saturday 12-7
Sunday 1-4

Coming soon... Women and Trans only Sundays.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Monday, August 25, 2008

Settling in

We are settling in to the new space, After a week of furious construction,  we now have:
  • less holes in the floor
  • a beautiful, wheelchair accessible washroom (its actually bicycle accessible until we find a door for it)
  • a fancy reception desk, propped up by very fancy stools
  • a functional, kickass DIY shop.
now what we need are more volunteers so we can extend our hours. Wanna be a volunteer? sign up here!

Monday, August 18, 2008

A new Home!

We have successfully moved into our new home at Bloor and Lansdowne! 1292 Bloor st.
And what a move it was! Stalled cars, shattered trailer hitches, screaming crazies from the street corners. Our convoy of 6 bike trailers and two cars took over the streets with much satisfaction. We could not have made a grander entrance. Heartfelt and sweaty thanks to the folks who helped us move, those who volunteered their trailers and vehicles, and those who rode escort and managed traffic for us.

Now... To make this pile of boxes into a bike shop.
If you have experience with plumbing, carpentry, electrics, banging on nails, or cleaning scary basements. we need your help.
write to

If you are good at scavenging construction supplies, here is a wish list of supplies, in order of necessity:
if you can give us any of these, write to
  • A working toilet.
  • laundry tub (for washing parts and hands)
  • washroom sink.
  • 2x4's preferably 8 ft long
  • Drywall, 4x9 sheets.
  • Robertson head screws, all lengths.
  • 1/2 inch copper pipe and fittings. no runs less than 4 ft please.
  • black plastic drain pipe, 4 inch and 2 inch.
  • counter top, (any size or colour.)
  • light fixtures

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Final Days!

Pirate's is officially closing it's doors at 457 Bathurst Street this week. Our last official day of business was Saturday August 9th, but we will have the doors open for last minute help and bike pick-ups this Thursday, August 14th from 12-5pm. Mostly we will be in the shop cleaning, packing and selling bikes, so come by and lend a hand.

Packing and cleaning will continue all day Saturday August 16th. If you want to help please come by any time during the day, but we will not be open for DIY business! The tools will be in a box somewhere!

Come by and cry a tear or buy us a farewell beer.

Friday, July 25, 2008


(Pictured: My pal Eldon's bike, stripped and miserable, being saved by the cops)

We are all reading the stories. We are all waiting for the final numbers. We are all shocked and disappointed. Not in the theives (shame on them) but on the city for letting it come to this. Taking action at this point, and trying to reunite 5,000 bicycles with their owners (after mashing them into trucks and loading bays, after taking them from crushed heaps in dilapidated garages) is absolutely ludicrous. Most likely the cops hope this makes them *look good*, finally taking down the bad guy, and making *all efforts* to get people their bikes back, but all in all it is too little too late. But their Bike Registry gets lots of press and they stand to make millions from the sales of abandoned bicycles on their ebay auction, so the cops will win in the end. Surprise surprise.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Bike Pirates Needs a New Home

Dear friends and community members,

We are looking for a new home for the shop. After two fantastic
years in our space on Bathurst Street with an encouraging
landlord and supportive neighbourhood, we now find ourselves
in search of space to accommodate the work that we
do – DIY bike repair, workshops, parts storage, bike sales,
and a little bit of cooking. We need to find an adequate space
in an accessible neighbourhood which will also fit into the
budget of a volunteer-run non-profit group.

Potentially we are hoping to find two separate spaces – one
small storefront for selling recycled bikes and an infoshop,
and another workshop space where we can house our tools,
stands and collection of used parts, and where most of our
work would be done.

Our impending move has the potential to help us reach more
people in the community by expanding our hours of operation
(from two days a week to five) and by situating ourselves
within a new neighbourhood who may not have previously
made it into the shop.

We are asking for your helping in seeking out a new space!
Please let us know if you have information on a location that
might suit our needs!
Feel free to contact us at or

Steady as she goes,
Bike Pirates.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Bike Pirate Birthday Flame

July 5th
457 Bathurst

7pm Bike Pirates
8pm Dufferin Grove Park

Group Ride to Dufferin Grove and bonfire

Free Treats and Eats plus prizes.

We are celebrating you so get in the spirit stocked and sparked!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Pedestrian Sundays

....or Pirate Sundays! Throughout the summer Bike Pirates will be participating in the Pedestrian Sundays festivals in downtown Toronto. Two weeks ago was the start of the season, in Kensington, and yesterday was p.s. Mirvish Village, where we spent the day baking in the sun, handing out flyers, tuning some bikes and generally getting into the spirit of summer.

If you've ever wondered what it takes to soften the hard exterior of a pirate - the secret is ice cream.

Join us at p.s. kensington on June 29th.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Bells on the Gardiner

Critical Mass took the Gardiner...

Friday, May 23, 2008

Cyclist Death May 22nd at 1pm

A 57-year-old Toronto cyclist died Thursday after he fell in front of a cube van.

Toronto police said the chain of events started just after 1 p.m.

The cyclist was eastbound on Eglinton Avenue West, just west of Avenue Road, when the occupant of a parked car opened the driver's side door.

The cyclist hit the door, lost control of his bike and fell on the road, where he was hit by the van.

The cyclist died four hours later in hospital.

I will be setting up a bike, the bike i used for my York thingy...please any help will be welcomed.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Should you treat your bike well? Yes.
Should you take every precaution when it comes to theft? Absolutely.
Should you treat it like a human child and invest in it a part of your soul?
Only if you’re the kind of person who falls in love with strippers.

Once the sun comes out and the ground thaws there are a few things we can count on happening:
- the city removes the rusty, abandoned bikes from posts and makes some cash or trash from them
- bike shops get overwhelmed with repairs
- the cops attempt to crack down on wild, erratic cyclist behaviour
- bikes get ripped off like sweaty t-shirts on a night of pool hopping

We tend to let our guard down over the winter when the city is in hibernation, including the bike theives, but we must have our wits about us if we are to keep our sweet rides safe and sound. Keep in mind that one good lock is better than 2 shitty locks, and two good locks are even better. Also keep in mind that *anything* will get stolen. If someone can get 5 bucks for it and get the score they need, it will get taken. So what can we recommend?

Learn to lock your bicycle securely.
Lock down any removable parts or take them with you (wheels, saddle, lights).
always lock next to a bike with a shittier lock!
lock up somewhere with a lot of traffic and that is well lit.
but most of all DON'T leave your bike outside unless absolutely necessary. Have a safe place for it to sleep in your house.

Over at the Bike Snob NYC blog they have some more, hard-hitting recommendations. Scroll part-way down past the bike-theft story.

While I understand his point regarding having a pretty bike (I often feel the heart-stopping stress of wondering if my bike is still safely where I left it), there is nothing like having a beautiful, well-crafted, and sexy bicycle. It makes the ride more enjoyable, it can be an expression of your personality, and it can make YOU feel sexy. But yes, it comes at a cost. Like anything beautiful, there is always the threat of someone else wanting it to be theirs.

To sum up: Trust no one. Happy Riding.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The first day of all spandex

Despite the inclement spandex-weather, this saturday went well, with a big heap of donated bicycles that we could not possibly have processed without all the extra volunteers that showed up.

Some important new additions to the shop:

A vibration dampened workbench in the shop. It is for taking apart wheels, having tea parties, and being quiet.

Another big workbench outside in the back yard, for hammering, sawing, bashing and generally making alot of noise.

A missed connections board in the bathroom, this is for you good looking, but socially awkward bike people. Leave that cute pirate a note, telling them how adorable that grease mark on their nose is. Just wash your hands after.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Blitz Warning

I just read a rumour that the cops were ticketing cyclists yesterday. Be careful as this is the season for the time-wasting and potentially costly bike blitz in Toronto.

You can get more details from our friends over at I Bike T.O..

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Spring has sprung and apparently hidden again, but while it was out we had a HUGE clean-up of the basement, with help from a number of volunteers. thanks to everyone who aided in this much needed subterranean overhaul. Pictures to come.

We are now trying to set up the workshop space to make it as efficient and comfortable as possible, and we may need some help to rearrange and clean up. If you've been thinking about volunteering now is the time!

We also got in a few loads of donated bikes this week, which is very exciting and we will need help fixing some of them up for sale, and stripping the rest for parts. It is a great way to learn about bike repair, and how all this stuff works.

Volunteer Orientation next Wednesday night. 7pm

Saturday, March 29, 2008



20 - EARTH DAY RALLY- Sunday April 20, in cahoots with a coalition of enviro orgs, join us for the Young & Dundas rally, parade & John Street street party, then…
22 - EARTH DAY PETITION CAR DELVIERY- Tuesday April 22, help deliver the Petition Car to Queen’s Park, in classic Streets are for People! style. Details coming soon!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Bike the Strike

We likely are due for another TTC strike, you know what rhymes with strike?


hell, even the weather should cooperate. get your bike road worthy this saturday and you will have no surprises on monday morning.

also, check out this site

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Bike Pr0n

Someone has created a website with 3-D (as in, red and blue plastic lenses) images of derailleurs.

If you reallllllly love those magical shifting mechanisms, then this is the site for you.

(Via MeFi)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Pop Quiz

How far can the average person bicycle on the energy contained in a gallon of gasoline?
a) around 50 miles
b) around 240 miles
c) around 630 miles

wait for it....

Answer: C. A gallon of gasoline contains about 31,000 calories, and "Bicycles can travel at least 10 times farther on a given amount of energy than the most efficient car," according to Nicholas Goddard, a graduate of Duke University who decided to see just how far he could bike on 31,000 calories. He rode the 633 miles over eight days, eating a wide range of foods, including "two Gatorades, five ham-and-cheese sandwiches, a steak burrito from Cosmic Cantina, a glass of sangria, a quesadilla, chips and salsa, and a pint of beer."

SOURCE: TreeHugger

Friday, February 29, 2008

Leap year Bash

Thanks to everyone who weathered the storm and came out to the party tonight. It was good times, and we barely had any leftovers! Here are some pictures on the flickr Toronto Bike Pirate Pool.

If you or anyone you know has taken photos at Bike Pirates please add them to the pool, or send them along to us via email. We would love to see them all!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Bike Pirate Bike Social and FILM NIGHT

Come one come all, bring an appetite and mind for talk. This week Bike Pirates, the collective of bicycle enthusiasts is putting on two social events and one film night...all are invited.

FEB 29 after Critical Mass, 7-8pm

Hot Chocolate and food for thought are rewarded to anyone that bikes in the heart of the urban jungle. And if you miss the bike ride, come in watch a film BEIJING BICYCLE

TUESDAY NIGHT DINNERS: Every Tuesday at Bike Pirates (457 Bathurst)

Come around seven or eight on any Tuesday nights and prepare to be feed. Bike Pirates wants to break bread with all cyclist in the city. We want to get to know you and you us. Food and talk over bike mechanics and community building.

Stolen: Home-made chopper

A friend of Pirates has had their bike stolen this week. If you see this bike grab the asshole riding it!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Q&A What is Bike PIrates

Q1. I read the Bike Pirates mission statement. Would you say that Bike Pirates is an anti-car culture movement? Would you say that car culture is the common "enemy" of Bike Pirates?

A: We make getting around town easier for people who cannot afford public transit or a private automobile. There are pirates that are not harsh critics of cars because they want to bring drivers over to the idea of biking.. In my view, less cars and more bikes creates a safer street. Car culture cannot be the enemy, it’s to bi and will win at every turn. We work for a compromise, a truce towards reasoning.

Q2. When was Bike Pirates established?
A: July 2006 was when the first Pirates set sail on to Toronto street.

Q3. Bike Pirates is volunteer-run and organized. Does the organization have a defined structure? Is it centralized and hierarchical or decentralized and egalitarian? Do members have defined roles?

A: The Bike Pirates is operated by consensus decision-making. You can call us a dis-organization. We can be considered an egalitarian system because we are trying to create a working system that functions outside the capital oriented sphere. We believe a better world is possible and that no one is alone.

Q4. From where does Bike Pirates receive funding?

A: By donations offered by people that come in and work on their bikes, by donated parts and labour , by fundraising events.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Around the World In 195 Days

Scot smashes world cycle record
Mark Beaumont at the finish
Mark Beaumont crossed the finish line at 1430 GMT

A British man has smashed the record for cycling round the world.

Mark Beaumont, from Fife, completed the journey in 195 days - beating the previous record of 276 days.

The 25-year-old crossed the finish line at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris at 1430 GMT after an 18,000-mile journey which began on 5 August last year.

Mr Beaumont passed through 20 countries on his way, including Pakistan, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand and the US.

'Some sleep'

His solo journey has been dramatic at times.

He endured floods and road rage, and was knocked off his bike in the American state of Louisiana by an elderly motorist who drove through a red light.

Mr Beaumont, who is originally from Bridge of Cally in Perthshire but now lives in Newburgh, also had his wallet and camera stolen from a motel.

However, he is now celebrating.

He said: "I'm delighted, although I think it will take a while for it to sink in.

"It's great to see my friends and family and now I'm looking forward to getting some sleep.

Mark Beaumont

"The challenge was one of those things which was out there to be done.

"I love the idea of being the first and the fastest and I felt I was capable of beating the record."

Mr Beaumont was met at the finish line by his mother Una, father Kevin and sisters, Heather and Hannah.

His mother has been co-ordinating his trip - paving the way with embassies, arranging flights, dealing with the media, organising transport and making sure his bike was serviced.

Mrs Beaumont said: "I am very proud of him. With Mark, the passion is being the first and the fastest.

"It's about pushing himself to the limit."

He has received messages of congratulation from Prince William and Olympic cyclist Chris Hoy.

Guinness World Records spokeswoman Amarilis Espinoza said they were aware of Mr Beaumont's attempt.

"We will be reviewing documentation from him and our researchers will go through the paperwork, but it has been logged as an official attempt and it seems everything is in order."

Source: BBC -

Monday, February 18, 2008

Bike Escalator in Norway?!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Ice Race

Last night the annual Toronto Ice Races took place at Dufferin Grove Park. Bike Pirates was represented well in the stands but not in the rink (we hope to change that next year!). Here are a few pictures from the night's events:

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentines Day

Even Pirates have a soft spot.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Fixie Sites

Hey - here are a few blogs/sites that I've come across related to fixies - please feel free to share any links/videos u have


Saturday, February 9, 2008

After weeks of construction, the Big trailer made its first haul today, The majestic beast brought us back a big donation of parts from Bikes on Wheels. Even though the trailer had to be pulled by hand (the hitch was not finished) it performed its task with grace, appearing to effortlessly float above the slush and ice. Onlookers could only gape in awe as the very pinnacle of pirate technology was dragged past them.

Next up on the drawing board is heart shaped wheels. Just in time for valentines day.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

This week the world lost one of the greatest, kindest and most helpful minds in cycling.
Sheldon Brown has passed away. One of the (if not THE) most enthusiastic and informative people in the cycling universe, his knowledge helped innumerable cyclists get geared - or ungeared, to solve their unsolvable bike problems, and to feel that they *can* do it themselves.

I went to his site for more questions than I can recall, and when I wanted to build wheels, there he was to teach me how.


Sunday, February 3, 2008

Bicyclist Beware

Bicyclist Question

  • I was wondering if I could pick your brains:
  • 1. Are there specific streets I can't ride on?
  • 2. I assume traffic rules are the same for bike riders as well, including the left turn and right turns?
  • 3. Which lock would be a good one?
  • 4. I have heard that it is compulsory to have a light and a bell on the bike as well as reflectors. Is there is a specific make one buys?
  • 5. Are lights and bells and reflectors prone to theft also?
  • 6. Are bikes not allowed on sidewalks?

Pirate Answer
  • 1. There is a free cycling map given to anyone in the city, go get one at any bike shop including Pirates.
  • 2. The city prefers all cyclist to obey the rules of the road...Its called vehiculer traffic, we obey their auto-motivated rules. I dont but who cares.... I stay alive.
  • 3. Anything Kryptonite, anything above thirty...but there cheap u locks to buy at general stores on west side of Spidina and the bottom of Augusta.
  • 4. Its the law for bell and light, and the auto-motivated police are able to fine you 170$??!! I dont wear lights but i haven't a drivers license so i dont pay the fine.??!
  • 5. Bike lights get stolen all the time, its Toronto's second biggest act of theft, second to bike theft. Take your lights with you or hide them, your seat and wheels are the bike parts that will be jacked the most.
  • 6. 80% bike on car accidnets in Toronto happen when cyclist cross from sidewalk corner to corner. Cars cannot respond...they don't see you, especially when their turning into you...take the lane from the car, they will not run you down. Feel the flow of traffic. Have faith in your cycling abilities and always lack faith in their ability to drive.
  • Practice Riding deep in Toronto's street by coming out to Crirtical Mass, mobile world-wide street party at the end of every month; Spidina and Bloor, last friday of the month at 6pm...ALWAYS! Not blocking traffic, we are it!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Wooden Bike!

Wow. This picture show a bike that is made completely out of wood (and a little glue). works. It was built by a 16 year old. Click here to see more.

All hands on deck

Pirate board meeting this Wednesday evening. In the shop at 7pm.