Pick your ride: Choosing the right Bicycle for your Lifestyle

If you’re considering taking up cycling, you’re taking a step in the right direction. Not only will it boost your fitness level, but it will also make you feel stronger, healthier and live greener. It’s a great way to enjoy the outdoors and reduce the impact you have on the environment. The biggest task you’ll face is finding the right bike for you. The choices are plenty when it comes to the selection and variation of bikes so it all depends on what your personal preference and the type of riding you’ll likely be doing.

Here are a few of the most common ones you should consider.

Which Bike is Right for Me?

If you picture yourself picking up flowers from the nearby market and heading to a nearby beach, the cruiser is probably your best fit. They typically have baskets in the front or the back, a strong steal frame, upright seating and the balloon tires make them a no-fuss, easy ride.

Road bike
Road bikes come in varying sizes, but are all light with thin tires and dropped or flat handlebars. They are good for travelling at high speeds on paved roads and are associated with triathlons or day trips along the countryside roads.

Touring bike
Just as its name describes, touring bikes are meant to go the distance. With a sturdy frame, multiple mounting point and dropped handlebars, it’s great for carrying cargo and has multiple gears to help a rider face a variety of terrains. These bikes are great for commuting to and from work. Touring bikes are also great for weekend trips or longer ones if you’re feeling adventurous.

Mountain bike
Created for off-road cycling, mountain bikes are popular because they can be ridden anywhere in an upright position. They have suspension absorb shock, heavy-duty wheels and larger, knobby tires to handle rough and bumpy terrains. They also have more powerful brakes and have multiple speeds to facility easy uphill climb or rapid descent.

Hybrid bike
A blend of road and mountain bikes, the hybrid is probably a step up from a cruiser. With an upright position, it’s meant for a leisure cycle along a waterfront path or even for commuting. Quicker than a cruiser, but not as fast as a road or touring bike, hybrids offer a comfortable and stable ride. They also light and usually have mounts for water bottles and other items.

Think of a stationary exercise bike that can move and you basically have the recumbent bike. The rider is placed in a reclined position, which allows for a more comfortable and stable ride because weight is evenly distributed. It’s great for allowing a rider to sit back and enjoy the scenery a little more, but can be more difficult to ride when travelling uphill.

Electric bikes are a bit more pricey, but are great for commuters who don’t want to arrive at work drenched in sweat. They come with a motor that can go up to 500W and can travel speeds up to 25 to 35 km/h. Be sure to check your province’s rules and regulations around electric power assisted bicycles because they vary.

Sizing: Choosing the right fit
Once you’ve narrowed the search on what type of bike you’d like, you should choose the right size frame for your body. This will ensure that your bike handles the way it’s meant to and in turn make it more comfortable and fun for you to ride. Different types of bikes have different sizing charts so you’ll need to know your height and your leg inseam (from your crotch to your foot) when consulting with them. You’ll also need your stand-over height, which is the distance from your crotch and the cross bar. As a general rule you should have one to two inches of clearance on road bikes and two to four inches on mountain bikes.

Categories:Go Green!, Kijiji Tips

Inside Kijiji Local Heroes: From Rags To Riches

As we continue to explore the next phase of Kijiji Local Heroes, we’re looking back at some of the most exciting and popular contributions we’ve had to the site since its launch in the fall. Last week, we gave our readers an inside look at our trip to Gatineau, Quebec to visit Amanda Hansen and hear her remarkable story, Kijiji Gave My Daughter Mobility.

This week, we’re excited to tell the story of John Smith from Barrie, who forms, with his wife Tammy and their kids, a true-to-life Storage Wars family.

The Smiths started buying storage units as a hobby several years ago, betting on the possible treasures each forgotten unit may hold. When John and Tammy realized that they could start their own business of buying units and selling the contents, they decided to give up their day jobs and founded StorageFinds, based out of their home.

While it’s easy enough for the Smiths to find units to buy across the Greater Toronto Area and beyond, the random assortment of furniture, clothing, and more made it a challenge for the family to figure out how to successfully market and sell their goods. For this they turned to Kijiji; they felt it was the perfect marketplace to not only show off and sell their exciting finds, but also the ideal place to find individuals and charities to give items to due to the breadth of customers and the family-friendly nature of the site.

John Storage

As John explained to us when we travelled to Barrie to meet the family and see ‘Rags to Riches’ in person, each storage unit has the possibility of holding everything from couches to lighting, and from carpets to sporting equipment. However, a number of units also have large quantities of used clothing, books, towels, and linens. With that in mind, the Smiths have made a conscious effort to utilize Kijiji to market to individuals and charities in their community who can make use of these items, allowing the family to give back on a frequent basis.

The Smiths’ adventures with Kijiji, however, don’t end with storage units. While filming their story, our team was introduced to the family parrots – Homer the Macaw, Casper the Cockatoo, and Wizard the African Grey – who were all adopted through website. Giving the Smiths yet another reason to consider Kijiji itself as their personal Local Hero!

Check out their story here, or submit your own Local Hero story here.

Kijiji set to transform into a full service delivery system!

Here at Kijiji, we’ve been brainstorming the best way to make buying and selling within your community even easier than before, and we are excited to introduce our new innovation: a fleet of remote-controlled solar powered cars, devoted to delivering Kijiji items to buyers.

Through bitter weather and snow, Kijiji delivery will be there to help!

Through bitter weather and snow, Kijiji delivery will be there to help!

With these brand new remote-controlled cars, no delivery is impossible. Their winter-ready tires and sturdy frames make them ideal for our rough Canadian terrain. Rain or shine, snow or sleet, nothing can stop our new remote-controlled cars! Each vehicle contains a chip that allows you to control them and track their progress through our GPS app (available soon in the app store). If you’re nervous about having to control the cars, don’t fret: we’re currently working on pre-programmed delivery vehicles.

GPS systems will take the guesswork out of delivery!

GPS systems will take the guesswork out of delivery!

How will the system work? Easy as 1,2,3:

1. Request a Kijiji remote-controlled car on our website. You can subscribe to the service with a monthly flat fee for all your sales and purchases, or, you can purchase the service à la carte when you need it.

2. Once you have an item to deliver, enter it in the Kijiji system and follow the instructions to load the car. We recommend using PayPal on delivery for payment, as our cars are equipped to handle this exchange.

3. Log on to our website or GPS app to control your car and follow its progress. Both buyer and seller will receive push notifications when the car is a half hour away from the destination, and upon arrival.

Don’t expect the transition to be instant: you can keep making your regular Kijiji transactions for the time being. We will launch test initiatives in major Canadian urban centers in the next few months. Stay tuned to find out when the Kijiji fleet is coming to your area!

Kijiji takes your items on the road!

Kijiji takes your items on the road!

Kijiji takes your items on the road!

Kijiji takes your items on the road!

EDIT: April Fools!

Which Vegetables Are Best to Garden in Canada?

In the age of clean eating and organic everything, being extra aware of what we put into our bodies has become the new norm. The reality is that healthy eating can often become costly, which unfortunately can be a hurdle for many. One great way to have your cake and it too (in this case, eat healthy without breaking the bank), is to embrace the world of DIY gardens at home creating your own little vegetable and herb sanctuary to shop from whenever you please, free of charge!

Keeping in mind that most of us here in Canada don’t exactly get to enjoy 12 months of prime plant growing weather outdoors, here is a short list of some of the most common and useful plants you can grow in the comfort of your own home to get you started!

Wondering What Vegetables to Grow in the Canadian Climate?

Tomatoes, Peppers, and Eggplant

These three vibrant vegetables will not only provide you with flavourful vegetables to eat, but beautiful plants to look at while they’re growing. These can be grown outdoors during warm weather with plenty of sunshine and moisture, but in the event that space is limited or the weather is too brisk, all three of these vegetables can also be grown indoors in planters or pots placed on a sunny windowsill. Kitchens are ideal places for these edible plants.

Lettuce, Kale, and Spinach

While many plants require plenty of sun to grow, it’s not always possible to find that ideal spot with bountiful sun. Unexpectedly but luckily, these three leafy greens can be grown in shade. Keep in mind, Kale and Spinach can be grown in cooler shady weather, while Lettuce tends to thrive in shady, summer heat.

Basil, Chives, Fennel, Dill, Rosemary, and Parsley

These delicious herbs add a zing and a zest to salads, meat, and pasta and are actually quite easy to grow. For the most part, all these herbs can be grown in the garden beginning early to mid spring, outdoors. They need to planted deep into the soil in rows in areas with sun. If your space is limited, try planting them in hanging planters. For basil and rosemary, these two herbs can be grown indoors in areas of lots of sunlight in planters with holes at the bottom so excess water can drain.

These tips should get you started, but if you find yourself completely overtaken by the gardening bug, you should definitely get online for some more expert advice and ideas, or go to a nearby nursery to get a more in-depth idea of the endless possibilities for your edible garden.

What are your favorite foods you can grow in your Canadian garden? Let us know in the

How to create an edible garden from seed

Home-grown food is becoming more popular as people are looking to save more money, be healthier and know where their food comes from. More and more people want to ensure they consume food that is safe and healthy and what better way to know what you grow then to start it yourself. To create an edible garden, you’ll need to buy seeds online or at your local nursery or garden centre, save some empty egg cartoons and gather a few desk lamps (or any other artificial lighting fixture). While the Old Farmer’s Almanac suggests starting to sow seeds of most vegetables and flowers indoors about six weeks before the last frost in your area, it doesn’t hurt to play it safe and start a little later around the end of March or beginning of April, especially with the unpredictable weather Canada has been receiving over the past few years. If you’re really worried, consult your local gardeners group or nursery.

Have your (edible) garden, and eat it too!

Starting seeds

Prepare your egg cartons by poking a hole in each pocket to ensure proper drainage. Use a seed-starting potting mix, which is lighter than regular potting soil, to allow germinating seeds to sprout more easily. Wet the soil and let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes before proceeding with the next step.

Sowing seeds

Make sure you follow the instructions on each seed package you’ve chosen, but as a general rule for sowing seeds, make a shallow furrow in each pocket with a pencil or chopstick about 1/4 of an inch deep. Sow the seed by dropping one in (each seed should be about a 1/2 inch apart, so you can probably sow two seeds in each egg carton pod).

The best starter vegetables and herbs for beginners are tomatoes, basil, dill and chives. You’ll start to see seedlings germinate between one to two weeks.

Creating the best conditions

Seeds need warmth to grow so setting up some grow lights about two to four inches away from the top of your egg carton tray for about 14 to 16 hours will ensure you have the optimal conditions to grow healthy plants. You should also keep the seeds well hydrated. Placing them on a tray of water until the soil at the top is moist will promote deep roots. Cover the egg carton with plastic wrap to conserve moisture and create some humidity and prick some holes to allow for ventilation. Once it starts sprouting you can remove the plastic wrap completely.

Transferring pots
After a couple of weeks, you’ll notice true leaves emerging on all the seedlings. Each seedling, which is about two to three inches in height, can now be transferred into a larger flower pot to allow it more room to grow and develop. An old fork works well to scoop up the ball of soil and move it into a bigger pot.

Preparing it for the outdoors
The plants will need some time to adjust and acclimatize to outdoor conditions prior to being planted outdoors and the best way to do that is to place it outdoors for a few hours each day a week before your transplant date and increase the time spent outdoors by an hour each day.

Moving the project outdoors

Create a raised bed for your edible garden if you’re unsure of the quality of your soil. This method also helps keep children and pets away because of the defined space and improves drainage on heavy soils as well as divides your plot into manageable chunks. Be sure to have the bed about a half of a meter deep to allow plant roots to grow. Fill the bed with topsoil and make sure it is in a sunny spot.

Maintaining your edible garden

To keep your newly food supply in top shape, mulch it so it retains moisture, feed it some plant food every few weeks (this can be bought at your local nursery) and protect it from outdoor pests by using a thin sheet of chicken wire.