Sunday, May 30, 2010

Bike Lanes Launched

I headed over to Bay Street for the opening of the Court St. bike lanes fully intending to volunteer. I offered and nobody gave me a job so I helped man the Petrie's booth and it was a good thing. Nathan picked the perfect bikes for the crowd. While the other 3 shops had a few mountain bikes and a hybrid or two, he brought a dozen. The new line of Electra bikes came in Friday and we had a few started when I left at 6:30, he stayed til 3am finishing them and it paid off. We had one ladies bike that had more test rides alone than the other 3 shops combined. One of them was complaining because we had too much room, though they had at least 100' of curb available to them but they didn't bother going for more bikes to fill it up. Our gang made two trips with two vehicles. The Electra 'Gigi' was drooled over by almost everyone who stopped in. Young and old loved the retro look and colour scheme. In all probably 30 test rides and at least 6 serious customers for the bikes on hand. I have to admit I really like the men's Townie (below). I was surprised that a few people didn't know where Petrie's is.

The event was deemed a success as about 500 people attended with 100 doing the mass ride of the lanes. As I came up Court on the way in there were trucks and a trailer parked in the lane so the education will be and ongoing event.

Week 4/7
3 coffee, dim sum, pork loin, fries, broccoli salad, water, chips and iced tea
Week 4/6
croissants, coffee, sausage, orange spritz, cheese, crackers, pepperoni, 4 pb cookies, pizza, vodka & orange

Week 4/5
toast, 2 coffee, 10 peanut butter cookies, curry, diet 7up, cheesies with Ginko
Week 4/4
toast, coffee, cheese, crackers, water, lemonade, grilled chicken sandwich, fries, frutopia

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dandelion Wine Anyone?

Ontario's new ban on chemical weed killers has sure resulted in a fine crop of dandelions. I took a ride to watch Brandyn's t-ball game, and I'm sure they lost a ball or 2 in the knee-deep stems. It was supposed to be worse on Tuesday as they all were white with seeds, which means by next week there will be a multitude more and we may lose a player or two. Not that things wouldn't improve if a few of the totally undisciplined kids on the Red team were to wander into the weeds and never be seen again. A totally unruly bunch, parents keep saying over and over "don't play in the sand" etc. but the kids just keep on creating dust.  People are actually bringing in chemicals from the states and Manitoba. Here's an interesting article that states "In fact, when counting overall nutritional value, the U.S. Agriculture Department puts dandelion ahead of broccoli and spinach." 

Week 4/3
toast, banana, 2 coffee, cheese, crackers, 3 glasses water, rhubarb/strawberry square, salmon, salad, fries, diet 7up
Week 4/2
toast, banana, coffee, 2 rhubarb/strawberry squares, pasta, scone, diet pepsi

Monday, May 24, 2010


Another 3 lbs. lost in week 3, feels pretty good. Sal and I washed the Impreza this afternoon, she went to see Shrek with Brandyn and I finished up. We went for an hour on the bikes before supper. I wish the streets were that quiet all the time. Kevin has purchased a used bike to ride when we get to BC so I guess Eowyn is making that trip too. That will be cool, riding in BC.

Week 4/1 - 248
strawberries, pineapple, banana, scone, coffee, cheese, rye bread, cereal, water, diet 7up, cantonese lobster and rice, popcorn

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Back In the Shorts

Sal and I made a visit to Mom and Dad's today, I rode out to Sturgeon Bay Road in just under 2 hours. I went out Broadway to 130. As I was passing Candy Mountain Road there was a vast field freshly manured. Normally you just hold your breath for a few seconds and the smell passes, not this time. After breathing the foul air for a few minutes I said out loud, "Holy s*** that stinks" and then laughed to myself at how dumb that was. When I hit 61 I was into a head wind that slowed things a bit. At least I never mis-shifted this time out. I haven't riden a bike with gears other than road testing and nothing with drop bars so I'm still getting used to the new controls on Jill. On the way home we saw something we haven't seen on Sturgeon Bay Road for years, 2 bears.

I mentioned the fresh pasta we had Saturday and Mom presented us with a pasta maker. I can't wait to give it a try. The recipes are certainly simple enough. With the sauce recipes Sal has we'll be making some money dishes very soon.

The best thing all weekend was getting into the shorts I haven't been able to wear. It's only been 3 weeks of trying so I'm very happy with the results so far. Tomorrow morning is another weigh-in, wish me luck. Another dumb statement, what the hell does luck have to do with it? Speaking of dumb I developed an
allergy to weedwhackers. Seems I break out when the line whips into my leg at full speed, don't ask.

Week 3/7
scones, pineapple, strawberries, 3 coffee, 2 hm hot dogs, 2 diet sprite, cantonese lobster w/rice and sausage, tort, kolache

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Hope and Bike Lanes

Sal and I went to the Farmer's Market for breakfast and to pick up some fresh pasta for supper. The market was jammed with people today. It always gives me such a feeling of hope for Thunder Bay. People doing business with others from the community. Meeting folks you haven't seen in years. Strangers sharing the one of the few tables available to eat at.

The first negative in the CJ 'Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down' for the new bikes lanes appeared today, there will be more. Court Street to Fort William road is painted and the 'big' kickoff is next weekend. I still don't think it's going to be a big thing but I guess I'll show up to lend a hand. I rode down Walsh tonight where the lines are just laid out with small marks and it's going to be confusing to say the least. Where the hydro towers are located the lane tapers to non-existence. There are sections that move riders into the middle of the road to allow parking and there's no separation, can you say 'doored'? The painted section on Fort William Road that I saw was not wide enough for a set of wide handle bars, even the bike outline painted to indicate the lane was too wide for the lane. Don't get me wrong I think they are a good thing but the execution is lacking. Not sure what happened to the education part of the launch. The bikers that show up will have info available but I can't see the driver who wrote his comments to the paper or any others coming out to get educated at the Bay Street party. News feature on the lanes.

Week 3/6
scrambled eggs, toast, bacon, potatoes, 2 coffee, lemon loaf, past salad, crackers, fresh pasta and diet 7up

Long Friday

Another split day between jobs, and a long one. I was still pondering my way through the bike that caused me grief yesterday. Way too much needed for the quality of bike but I guess the owner is attached and that I can understand.

Week 3/5
toast, coffee, banana, remains of big salad, pasta salad, water, bison steak, corn, potatoes, diet 7up w/cranberry

Where Am I Going Today?

A mixed up week as I keep having my schedule upended. We can't bring in more staff but we can change the schedule daily. It might be time to say something.

Brandyn is doing great at t-ball. He is hitting a ton. He likes the defensive part of the game only when the ball is hit to him. He rips all over the diamond trying to field the ball.

Sal has become a hit at Petries with the baking she brings every day I'm there. The gang really enjoys the snack as nobody really stops for lunch, they just grab something quick on the go. It's been super busy there. I put together a Felt X-City 5 today and it went very well. Two successful overhauls and one stubborn rear wheel that I partially destroyed. I called it a day after that one and asked Farzam to hold it until I could finish it properly.

Week 3/4
toast, banana, 2 coffee, lemon loaf, grapefruit juice, big salad, diet 7up and cranberry juice
Week 3/3
toast, banana, coffee, 2 granola bars, cheese and crackers, burger, sausage and pasta salad, diet 7up

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

He's Not Worried

Went to Ginko's t-ball kickoff last night. Got to ask 2 ladies not to smoke around the dugout and then force a catcher to wear his mask. Dad standing behind him says "he's my kid, I'm not worried". "I'm not worried about the ball, I'm worried about the bat and getting sued", I told him. He wanted to know if I was running the league. Brandyn was 2-2 at the plate.

Week 3/2
toast, banana, coffee, broccoli salad, iced tea, burger, sausage, pasta salad, diet 7up, birthday cake, iced coffee

Monday, May 17, 2010

3 More

Another -3 lbs last week and it didn't even feel like trying. A mile before work on the dreadmill, ride everywhere possible and eat a carrot when I need something to munch. I know it's going to get a whole lot harder very soon.

Week 3/1 - 251
toast, banana, 2 coffee, 2 hm muffins, lemonade, 2 burgers, pasta salad, broccoli salad, birthday cake and iced coffee, iced tea

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Nice and Easy

Ginko slept over Friday night. He wanted to play t-ball but it was wet and besides he hits the ball too far for our yard. We watched a bit of Avatar but his heart was set on games so we did that for a while. Saturday we went to the Farmer's Market to have breakfast but waffles didn't fill his pancake hankering. We came home and played catch for a bit but he wanted to bat. He was back later in the day when Curtis went for stitches and we found some new games that had him giggling.

Sal and I took along ride out through Parkdale and to her parents and then home. It was a great day. We did some yard work and then went to Boston Pizza for her birthday supper. She's having the kids over for a quick bbq tomorrow as she works on the actual day of. Now I get to be younger for 3 months.

Week 2/7
toast, banana, 2 coffee, kolache, chipotle chicken salad, iced tea and spinach dip, ships and diet 7up
Week 2/6
omellette, coffee, potato, carrots, clamato juice, salmon and fries, diet 7up
Week 2/5
toast, banana, 2 coffee, 3 lemon squares, meatloaf wrap, bowl nacho chips, clamato juice, hickory sticks, diet 7up

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Cold One

It was a cold ride home in the rain tonight. I had my rain suit so I was dry but my hands were frozen, the combo of wind temps and rain was brutal. Good thing I had Eowyn as the head wind going east was pretty strong. I finally got a seatpost that is long enough and she rides like a dream now. She's all ready for pictures and the Cyclofiend Singlespeed Gallery.

Go H**s. I can't believe they've knocked off the top two teams and players. Goes to show what a team effort can do.

Week 2/4
toast, banana, 3 coffee, 2 meatloaf sandwiches, 2 granola bars, carrots, clamato juice, diet 7up, lobster and rice
Week 2/3
toast, banana, 2 coffee, 2 pcs kolache, meatloaf, fries and corn, clamato juice, carrots, , cheese, diet pepsi
Week 2/2
toast, banana, 2 coffee, cheese and soda crackers, 2 clamato juice, pasta and sauce, carrots, diet pepsi

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Good Week

Just a quick post as I'm starting to doze off watching tv. First full week of work in months and with a bit more care of what I ate, -6 pounds. I added a mile walk in the morning before work today. Hope to keep that up and get back to where I was last year before we go to Calgary.

Sal and I did a half hour ride with her new bike tonight. Hope she likes it. Assembled a Felt Brougham today, nice and simple, well priced.

Week 2/1 254
toast, banana, 2 coffee, 2 hm muffins, salmon steak, pasta salad, clamato juice, carrots, strawberries, diet pepsi

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Sal's New Ride

For her upcoming birthday and Mother's Day I had picked out a bike for Sal. This morning we loaded Sherman onto the rack on the car and took the heavyweight in to trade or sell and she tried out a Felt Cafe 7. She was thinking about an Urbana but she took an immediate liking to this far lighter and easy riding comfort bike. Comes complete with mug holder, bell and kickstand. Now I just have to get her out there.

While she was at work I went to Mom and Dad's for supper with Jen Curtis and the Ginko. I've never seen him eat so much. 2 slices of bread and then pasta WITH (News Flash!!!) sauce, and then he asked for more...twice. We have to get that sauce recipe. He was smacking around the tennis balls with his bat and I pity the coach who has to toss t-balls to him in games, he better wear a cup.

Week 1/7
banana, 3 pb cookies, 4 coffee, dim sum, salad, 1 cooler, pasta and meatballs, 2 sl. bread, cheese cake

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Not Yet!

Sal and I headed over to the Farmer's Market this morning to look for something new to try. We had breakfast there and for $7.50 had toast, a great ham and cheese omelette, potatoes and coffee. They were all out of bison steaks so we picked up some mild italian (bison) sausage and some freshly made fire roasted pasta. She left me a message after she got to work saying that if I felt 'adventurous' I could try and make the sauce recipe she has been using lately, courtesy of the Pioneer Woman. So my 'adventurous bison sausage sauce' is simmering away right now. It won't be as good as Sal's but it tastes ok so far.

Mike is back home and has posted a few pix on the blog, well Mel probably did. Can't wait to get the whole story.

week 1/6
omelette, potatoes, toast, 2 coffee, banana, clamato juice, fresh fire roasted pasta with adventurous bison sausage sauce, wine

Friday, May 7, 2010

So Tempting

It seemed like a good day when I got a green light at the Harbour, something that rarely happens. That was the highlight. Went to FCD a bit early only to get chewed out for this and that, and was offered to do shop work only if I want to leave and go elsewhere. How nice. If I leave to go elsewhere I won't be coming back anytime soon, least of all to do shop work where a customer is charged up to 7 1/2 times my wage.

Went over to Superior Bowl and met with minor baseball coaches to draft teams and then home to read and relax. Caught a bit of the hockey game. Had a bit of clicking while riding Molly around tonight. The chain-ring bolts had come loose, not sure how that happened but shes good to go again. Got some nice looks today as I rode around in shorts with a toque under my helmet, especially from Sal.

week 1/5
toast, 2 bananas, coffee, jalapeno gouda, 2 hm buns, clamato juice, granola bar, 3 peanut butter cookies, 1 beer, strawberries, pot roast, potato and corn, diet pepsi

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Yes Virgina, Work Can Be Fun

It's been a long time since I went to bed looking forward to my next day of work.  A long time since work was fun. I spent 12 hours at Petries today, 10 working and 2 hanging out after. Not all of the work is fun. It can be frustrating, not knowing exactly what's next or how to pull it off even when I do know. Being in 'Farzam limbo' used to drive me crazy. But those times when I can't do anything because I have to wait for help or instructions or a decision are getting less and less often. I'm slowly learning enough to move on to something else until the wait is over. I still hate front derailleurs but love the whole experience. A repair can be going straight into the toilet and then something or someone comes along, we have a laugh or coffee and a  cookie or maybe a piece of garlic sausage and talk about the hockey game last night. I see at at least 3 people I know from outside the shop every day and it's okay to stop and talk to them. This may never be a permanent thing but it sure is a breath of fresh air.

week 1/4
toast, banana, 3 coffee, 3 pb cookies, 2 slices garlic sausage, handful chocolate raisins, pot roast with carrots, corn and potatos, clamato juice

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

2 Assembled 1 Saved

Half a day at FCD and half at Petries today. With repairs finally caught up I got to assemble 2 new bikes. First a Marin Stinson EZ Step (a path bike) and a Felt F75 road bike. The Marin went along fine until I came to the front derailleur. I just could not get it right. Finally got some help. The only other bike in the shop waiting for assembly had 'carbon' all over it. Nathan told me not to be afraid so into the box I went. Carefully went through everything and then Farzam took over to setup the shifting and share more secrets. Once I get my hands on something and understand how it works I seem to be able to think it through, just watching it done doesn't cut it for me. One of the other guys was packing bike boxes with garbage and sealing them and I gave him a hand to haul them outside. He joked that it's funny they had never thrown out a new bike. Not 5 minutes later as I grabbed one of the boxes I noticed how heavy it was and looked inside and saw nothing but the shine of a new cluster of gears. Sure enough the box had been damaged in shipping and resealed with tape making it look like one of the garbage-filled ones but actually contained a new bike. People regularly go through the garbage they put out so it would probably have disappeared overnight and wouldn't have been missed for a while inside. I guess I earned my keep today.

the Felt F75

week 1/3
2 pcs toast, banana, 2 coffee, 2 spring rolls, salad, water
week 1/2
2 pcs toast, banana, coffee, cheese, 2 hm buns, steamed rice w/pasta sauce, 5 strawberries, water and a beer

Monday, May 3, 2010


Mike leaves for Victoria BC today on a 5 day sailing trip around the Gulf Islands on SALTS with 24 students and 2 fellow teachers. The hardest part for him will be missing the Canucks games as there are no electronics allowed. He can bring his phone so he'll know the score but that'll be it. Ahh, the price you have to pay to sail on a tall ship for 5 days. Enjoy you lucky so and so...

I got out for 40km on Sunday with Jill. Not a great day for a ride because of the wind which just won't go away lately. That and my shorts keep irritating me. I did my good deed for the week helping a kid with a chain that had overshifted into the spokes of a bike he was trying to ride home from fishing. His chain was so dry I barely got my hands dirty. There sure are a lot of abused and neglected bikes out there.

I spent the day at Petries again today. Overhauled another 3 bikes and with another guy just about caught up on the repairs. I'm pretty much on my own other than the odd question but I'm still getting the worst case bikes. That's the way to learn I guess.

I'm going to try this again. No x- just put it out there.
week 1/1 - 260
2 pieces of toast, grapefruit juice, banana, 2 coffee, 2 lemonaid, (the best) spaghetti meatballs and sausage, hm buns

Sunday, May 2, 2010

One Horse Rodeo

Friday I was back at Petries getting frustrated by a piece of junk that someone wanted repaired. I wanted to put it and myself out of our collective misery. Nothing worked and without a major investment was ever going to work again. Myself, I would have retired the bike. Towards the end of the day electricians came in to change the ballasts and bulbs so the shop came to a standstill. Shortly after that a flood of people came in to claim their repaired bikes thankfully. There's nowhere near enough room to store bikes once they are repaired and people who are in a RUSH somehow don't show up for weeks. Tom sent a customer my way to write up a service tag so I guess he wants me to do more than adjust brakes and clean chains.

Saturday I went to Delaney to help out with a Bike Rodeo intended for 10 year olds. I assisted with the setup and then manned the Petries tent giving free basic tune-ups. Four bike shops all had tools and supplies ready to get participants into at least safe condition. Unfortunately there were more volunteers for the event than kids participating. It was clear that word never got out to enough parents. The kids that did come got a free tune-up, won prizes and had some fun learning some new skills. Another is being held in the north ward in 2 weeks and hopefully the promotion is better managed.

Brandyn stayed over last night. We had fund playing some games, watched a bit of Star Wars, pizza for supper and generally just goofed off til it was time for bed. I tried to at least teach him something on the computer while we searched for flash games, how to 'google'. Have to be careful with that as you never know what can pop out of the twisted mind of someone and end up in a search result.