Happy winter cycling!

Dearest dandies,

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! We hope you are safe and warm and all have your power back following this massive storm in Southern Ontario. dandyhorse celebrated the season by giving away an Opus bike to our dandyCommute draw winner: Tania Szablowski. Congratulations Tania! Check out our dandyCommute recaps below.

Next up: our winter issue on with dandy staff picks for our personal must-have cold-weather riding gear.

In the meantime, here are a just couple upcoming dandy wintry events and promos: mention Boxing Week in the order notes (last page of checkout) and Crumpler'll take 50% off everything (even sale prices!) at from now until December 31. Until the end of January, The Mobile Bike Shop will be offering 15% off the retail price on all Volagi and Montague bike orders. Also, for dandy readers ONLY, 20% off all Nutcase helmet orders. Email for more information. BIG thank you to our new sponsor IceBreaker for offering their discount to dandy subscribers and contributors at Christmastime this year too. Oh and Hoopdriver's sale ends today at 6 pm. Stay tuned to for our personal dandy faves for winter riding gear.

The photo above of a snow-covered studded tire is by Vic Gedris from a past ice race at Dufferin Grove rink, hosted each year in February by the Bike Joint. Check out these dandy archival photos here and here and here. The early history of the ice race - now often referred to as "Icycle" - began on the Toronto Islands. Trevor Hughes has a fantastic collection of photos chronicling the courier scene in the late 80s and 90s. Here's a cool photo from the 1998 ice race on the islands; the St. Valentine's Day Massacre.

Want more winter cycling? Cycle Toronto will be hosting Bike Winter again this year. Cycle Toronto also recently proposed "snow routes" and City Council has promised to comment on an upcoming* staff report that will recommend specific routes. (*There is no firm date for the report.)

Meanwhile, we've got the Sherbourne cycle track, and it is being cleared when it snows. Wow! Someone give the City officials in charge of that a medal.

Speaking of placating the status quo…contributor Albert Koehl writes that -- contrary to recent political punditry in the Boston Globe in a delicious little article titled "Conservatives' new enemy: Bikes" -- there is no "war on the car" in Toronto. What's interesting about this article is that it pegs cyclists as a lobby worth worrying about, which means we (we meaning cycling activists, as a lobby) have arrived. It says: "In politics, you get attacked because you matter." It's time for Toronto cycling advocates to rise up and be more assertive in our demands for safe streets.

Stay tuned for our special bike plan election issue in 2014. We'll ask all the mayoral candidates about their bike plans, but we'll also ask you - the public - too! We will bring bike plans to life and publish the best concepts in dandyhorse.
~ All the best for 2014!

There is no war on the car, but maybe there ought to be

New on the dandyBLOG is our call to action aimed at cycling advocates from Albert Koehl, with a beauty illustration by Ness Lee (above).

From our article..."The car lobby’s “war on the car” rhetoric was successful in reframing and twisting the larger debate about an efficient transport system — built on transit, cycling, and walking — into a personal attack on motorists, many of whom actually share the individual and societal goal of moving people and goods from A to B in a rational fashion. The objective of the rhetoric was simply to divide the community along distorted lines."

Also this past month on the dandyBLOG: We met Cycle Toronto's Ward 14 advocacy group and learned what they are fighting for in the west end of Toronto. Just to name a couple: more contraflow bike lanes (ala West End Bikeways project) and the expansion of the West Toronto Railpath. We also asked the city to snap to it and replace dodgy grates in our blog post: Grate Expectations.

For the most part, rounding up the dandyBLOG this December, were many more great dandyCommute submissions. We had so many amazing commuter stories of all kinds, including one from Ben Spurr at NOW magazine, one that highlighted the new contraflow bike lanes on Shaw; some that were very long and others that were just quick jaunts. We also had dandyCommutes from London, Gormley, and Ottawa, Ontario and also Sweden and Scotland. Everyone wants better infrastructure (except maybe our contributor from Sweden) - most notably, more bike lanes.

So where are they?

In 2014, dandyhorse magazine, will publish a very special bike plan election issue in which we will bring to life proposed bike plans from mayoral candidates and the public. More details coming soon on the dandyBLOG.

Congrats to Tania our dandyCommute Opus bike winner!

Big thanks to Opus bikes for the Opus Classico bike and Bell helmet we just awarded to our dandyCommute contest winner; Tania Szablowski. That's part of her commute pictured above, featuring some sweet alleyway art by Elicsr, cover artist for issue 3 and dandy contributor extraordinaire.

Here are a couple (more) notable winter commutes from Amy Lavender Harris and Amanda Lewis too.

What surprised Amy the most about her winter commute?

"How much easier (and warmer) winter riding is than I had ever expected! This will be my second year winter riding, and I think it’s become my favourite time of year to ride. Riding home late at night on silent streets makes me feel as if there's only me and the wind."

Thanks so much again to the dozens of contributors to who sent us their photos and stories about commuting by bike during 2013. We'll be compiling a "wish list" of sorts, based on your answer to the question: What would make your commute safer?
Our dandyCommute Opus bike winner, Tania, above picking up her prizes. Tania is one of the parents who supports new protected bike lanes for the Richmond/Adelaide corridor. Read about those plans here and see Tania's dandyCommute submission here.
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