It’s been a week since going to Toronto and I’ve logged only about 20 miles on my vehicle, this includes errands, work, etc. It rained a lot this week…the only element I don’t ride a bike in.

Here’s what I made for dinner this evening: pasta (made with brown rice flour) with tilapia and organic tomato sauce; also had a side of broccoli sauteed in virgin olive oil with garlic and hot pepper. This constitutes a perfect meal to me: pasta with tomato sauce and fish, and spicy, garlicky broccoli.

Crazy Weather

What is up with these temperatures…60F in Buffalo in January just doesn’t seem right. I’m enjoying it, yes, along with most other Buffalonians, but something about it being so warm when it is traditionally sub-zero is a little scary. I wonder if we’ll pay for it later in the season. But it is easy to live simply in this weather…barely had to turn on the heat…just enough to take the chill off the house…no need to fire up my wood burner…did all my transportation today either on bike or foot while wearing only a light jacket.

Toronto Bike Culture

O.k., first let me clarify something. I love biking but am not a “distance” rider. I ride mainly as local, urban transportation. I’m a commuter/utility/cargo biker. So when I go to cities such as Toronto with a great bike culture I get excited. I hadn’t been there in a while and did a quick two day vacation with my son. I dragged him to a couple of my favorite Toronto Bike shops: Curbside Cycle and the Urbane Cyclist, which both specialize in two wheeled urban transport. Curbside stocks a lot of Euro bikes, including this Dutch delivery bike:

Toronto also has thousands of these bike posts around the city, which makes it easy to park a bike anywhere.

And where in Buffalo have you ever read a sign that said this:

Here’s a photo of a sidewalk parking lot:

My favorite bike on Queen Street:

Day 2

The temperature was a little better today…around 25F, didn’t need as many layers when I rode the bike.

I did a bunch of errands on the bike today: went to and from the health club, did a small grocery trip, stopped at the bike shop, went to work to pick up my pay check (my last one, as I start a new job next week…yikes!), to the bank, coffee at Starbucks, then to pick up my son from school, we walked home. All in all it only tallied (I’m guessing) about 10 miles.

Tomorrow I’ll be driving my vehicle because my son and I are going to Toronto…about 100 miles from my house, well outside the two mile challenge. I haven’t had to put gas in my vehicle for a couple of weeks and was shocked when I saw the price at the pump: $3.44 for regular! $40.00 did not even fill up the tank of my little Ford Ranger. Just one more reason why I should ride more.

I’m in the midst of reviewing the book, How To Cook Everything Vegetarian, by Mark Bittman, for ChefTalk. It’s a good book. I made a recipe for homemade vegetable burgers, they were delicious. I ate them on this bread (honey-oatmeal bread).

Resolutions…My Two Mile Island…Day 1

I’ve never been one to make (and successfully keep) New Years resolutions, but I did make one this year. I made it sort of generic and sweeping, this way I’ve got lots of leeway. The resolution I made is to “get simple,” meaning to simplify my life as much as possible. Consciously and unconsciously I’ve begun this journey some while back… a few years actually. But I want to make a more deliberate effort at this and keeping this blog will hopefully aid in this: by writing my thoughts I will be reviewing my actions on a (somewhat) daily basis.

Another thing (besides the new year) that prompted me to actually start writing on this blog rather than just thinking about it was coming across a site called Clif BarTwo Mile Challenge ( Basically, it’s suggesting that if a trip is two miles or less (which is the majority of urban travel) that you should ride your bike rather than drive a car. You can even type in your zip code and it will highlight on a map your two mile radius. Interestingly, last summer I was going to change this blog name from Urban Simplicity to My Two Mile Island, and try to do the same thing but take it a step further and purchase only goods within my two mile radius. Well…that never happened, of course, but i am going to give this a shot.

I tend to be too difficult on myself in general so I’m going to give myself a lot of leeway. But basically, before I leave the house each day I’m going to ask myself If I need to drive or can I ride one of my bikes (or walk) instead.

So here’s day one: nothing too eventful, other than the fact that the day I decide to actually start this thing the temperature never made it past 17F. I had the day off so the only time I actually left the house was to go to the health club, which is about a mile or so away. I had enough layers on that by the time I got to the health club I was actually sweating. As usual, it felt great to be on a bike.