Bikes fighting for space since early 1800s

Bikes fighting for space since early 1800s

Columnist Lorraine Doiron talks bikes, bits and bots in this week’s View from the Porch.

July 10, two workshops: 9-10:30 a.m. or 10:30-12, H.R. MacMillan Space Centre ( will be presenting workshops at the Smithers Library. Children aged five-12 can sign up for a free workshop. This year’s engages kids in problem solving, design challenges and exploration using STEM (educational program designed with a focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Fun will be had working with “Little Bits” and “Ozobots.” Moms, dads and guardians can sit in with their child. There is a maximum of 30 in each session so you will need to pre-register. Contact the Library for more information at 250-847-3043.

Ozobots are a new way to introduce kids to coding and robotics. Little Bits are magnetic snap-together circuits. Kids will be introduced to maker mindset of being active, engaged, playful and resourceful.

In April 1815, Indonesia’s Mount Tambora erupted and sent so much ash and sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere that it blackened skies. 1816 became known as the year without summer in much of Europe and North America. Livestock died, costs for fuel for horses, mostly oats, soared. German forester Baron Karl von Drais needed a way to inspect tree stands without relying on horses, so necessity became the mother of invention. He built a simple wooden two-wheeler without pedals that he called the Laufsmaschine or running machine. Soon a lot of people were using this device to get around. Due to ruts in unpaved roads this invention led to the first conflicts between cyclists and users of other transportation modes including pedestrians as cyclists began using these brake-less bikes on sidewalks. Today’s technologies like lighter frames and better gearing, even electric bikes and share programs make cycling accessible to more people. There are still problems as urban infrastructure has been made for motorized vehicles and pedestrians, leaving cyclists to compete for space. Benefits of cycling: reducing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions; it is good for your physical and mental health; more energy-efficient than walking; streets become more human-centered. (From David Suzuki and David Suzuki Foundation senior editor Ian Hanington.)

I am selling my place, so much to do: packing, cleaning, trying for curb appeal. Brings me to closing with, “I will fight for it. I will not give up. I will reach my goal. Absolutely nothing will stop me.” – Ambition Circle.