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Meet Cog, the broadcast chipmunk.


He and I were introduced this morning in the hallowed halls of CFRC. Cog will be one of the smaller (but no less significant) parts of the bigger wheel that ably assists me this year. Together, we’re going to broadcast bike stories to the Kingston (and beyond!) airwaves via spoken word radio programming. I just want to colour him in and take him home!

I was visiting the radio station today to confirm details on my next project. Now that my book This Road Continues One Block North–a collection of sixty bike stories from the Greater Toronto Area–is published, I want to collect Kingston bike stories and read them on air. Starting the first week of May, I’ll be the host of the spoken word programme, Totally Spoke’d. The station manager has tentatively suggested airing my new half-hour program on Monday evenings. The idea just makes me all wiggly! Cog and I have that much in common, for sure.

For those who don’t know, Queen’s University has one of the longest continuous histories in radio of any association in the world, besides the Marconi Companies. The first demonstration of wireless telegraphy at Queen’s was given by Professor James Lester Willis Gill (B.A.Sc. 1896; M.Sc. 1904, McGill) in 1902.

In 1922, Professors Douglas M. Jemmett (M.A. ’11; B.Sc. ’13) and Robert L. Davis (M.A. ’21, MIT), designed and built an experimental wireless telephone (AM radio) station in Fleming Hall.


This location continues to house CFRC, which boasts an illustrious history of radio hosts, like Lorne Greene, Shelagh Rogers and Chris Cuthbert. As well as bragging rights on the continuous history, CFRC also has one of the best music collections anywhere.


CFRC hosts and programmers often do live broadcasts from events, both on and off campus.



Already I’ve been asked to broadcast a Cycle Kingston event this spring, and am hoping to be invited to events at schools during active transportation events. Wouldn’t it be great to interview children who rode their bicycle to school for the first time, and hear how they liked it? (okay, there’s that wiggly thing happening again)

For now, it’s enough that I learn the subtle yet very satisfying role of spoken word host, reading real-life bike stories on air and sharing some of my favourite music, adding even more colour to the stories. Every week, I collect half a dozen stories from people whose bicycles I’ve carded. Thank you Kingston, for being so gracious with your time.

I can’t wait to share these great bike stories with others, hoping to inspire more people to get out on a bicycle, for all the great reasons people give.

Arriving home just now, I’ve discovered that Cog has hitched a ride in my backpack. While I’m learning the ropes on being a DJ, Cog wants to learn more about bikes and how they affect my life. I said he could stay. Here he sits on my bedroom door. Yes, I’m officially behaving like a Queen’s University groupie again.