Archive for ◊ August, 2009 ◊

• Friday, August 28th, 2009

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities ( is offering a course from their Green Roof Professional (GRP) accreditation program in Montreal on September 30th. The course is Green Roof Design 101, the first of the 4 GRP courses. The venue for the course hasn’t been announced yet.

For more information about the course  or to register, see the link below:

(A piece of information not mentioned through the link is that there is a discounted student rate of $200.)

• Monday, August 17th, 2009

I’m not sure why Montreal needs windmills given the enormous hydro electric resources in Quebec that already churn out some of the best sustainable energy in the world, but why not? It’s only taxpayer money, right?

Via: Montreal Gazette

St. Laurent will be getting one of the island’s first wind turbines, its whirling blades making enough power to light up a public sculpture and paths in one of the borough’s parks.

The borough council this month approved the $37,000 installation of the turbine at Philippe Laheurte Park.

“This is one illustration of our sustainable development plan,” said borough mayor Alan DeSousa.

A Laval company, Enseignes Valois, will install the 30-foot turbine in a wooded area in the park, which is on Ernest Hemingway Ave., west of Cavendish Blvd.

The turbine is expected to provide the borough with about 800 watts of lighting power. The park’s pedestrian and bike paths will be lit using energy from the turbine, DeSousa said.

Energy created by the turning blades will be stored in batteries which have a capacity of seven hours.

Category: Peak Oil  | Leave a Comment
• Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

While a Sports Utility Bike (SUB)  is only useful about 7-8 months a year in Montreal, I wouldn’t be surprised to see someone modify an SUB to make it stable enough to ride in light snow (maybe a 3-wheeled version?). Also, the idea that an electric bike is just a new kind of moped is missing the bigger picture.

Via: Culture Change

As gas prices climbed in 2007 and 2008, and people started looking around for relief, the Xtracycle was there. It was still being produced by the same company that Evans had started, out of its small headquarters in the Bay Area of California, a fitting location for the start of such a revolution. The tripartite of high oil prices, concerns about Peak Oil, and concerns about climate change came together to make at least some people start thinking about alternatives to automobile-centric business-as-usual. The possibilities engendered by a bicycle that could easily carry people and gear (lots of it) became much more apparent. This culminated with an article in Salon magazine about the Xtracyle, along with significant shortages of the product due to unanticipated demand, in the summer of 2008.

Things have calmed down since then, but the idea that we need to move towards a future of less reliance on fossil fuels stuck in many people’s minds. The Xtracycle continues to help a steadily increasing number of people gain automobile independence for their daily errands. And with the likelihood of future oil price and supply shocks, the people who are getting set up with an alternative like this now are ahead of the curve.

Electric Cargo Bicycle

Electric Cargo Bicycle

…And that’s where the Xtracycle fits in. It takes an old concept and makes it work for places where there is less available space on the road, where people want gears, and where people generally demand a more aesthetic solution than duct tape and bailing wire. It may have been a fortunate accident that the Xtracycle has a narrow profile and is thus amenable to on-road use in places like the US. It was designed for use on narrow, winding foot paths; some people even use it for mountain-bike camping.

Most importantly, the Xtracycle has given people a very important idea: It is possible to build a bike for on-road use in North America that is practical for carrying cargo and passengers. In some areas of the US, such as Portland, Oregon, cargo bikes like the Xtracycle are the trendy new family transportation alternative to the Sports Utility Vehicle – the Sports Utility Bicycle (SUB). This new revolution is slowly, but surely, making its way to other areas of the US, as well.

N.B. The Extracycle cargo bike does not come pre-fitted with an electric motor. To install one, see Stoke Monkey. To get a brushless, inline wheel motor, consult the online bike shop Cycle9 and they can help you pick a motor right for you.

Also, the electric cargo bike pictured above is the E-Mundo, Electric Yuba Mundo cargo bike.