Friday, May 31, 2013

Ginko's First Free Ride

I texted Jen to see what Brandyn was up to, he was trying to ride his bike in the back yard....hmmm would he like to go for a ride. Ten minutes later we were heading over to the school yard. I made him follow me around some obstacles to see if he had enough control to go further and he seemed pretty stable. We walked across Simpson and rode all the way south on Hardistry to the Kam River Park and then along the boardwalk. Round trip was about 5 km. As we approached the house it started to rain. I got him to the door and took off trying to keep one hand over my cell phone while shifting and braking with the other. And it came down. I was totally soaked but happier than he** that I have someone to ride with and show how much fun two wheels can be. It might even be better than Minecraft but we'll let him decide that one. Next time the bike paths or the tree farm.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Another Digit

My weigh in this morning showed 55 lbs. lost but what charged me up more is the middle digit going down. It has changed 6 times since January 1 and that puts me within 4 lbs. of the lowest point I got to back in 2008 just before the first conquer Cancer Ride.

I wasn't planning on taking the long way to work with the approaching weather but that number inspired me to risk a damp morning. Molly got the call for a fast 12km.

To all those people sitting in their cars on William Street,  just wanted to let you know that there was absolutely nobody on the bike path as I zipped under the line of cars that stretched from the Health Unit back to the entrance to the college.You could get out and walk faster than that line moves. Might be time to haul that bike out of the basement and pump the tires.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Two More Converts

This afternoon I had my neighbors on their bikes for a 13 km ride out to Parkdale. The haven't been out in a couple years. I gave them a comfy set of handle bars that solved a wrist issue enough to endure an hour long first ride. I have a pretty good stock of extra parts and know enough to fit someone to a bike, at least enough to get them comfortable for an hour. There's only so much you can do after the bike is purchased but she was pretty happy to ride that long without sore wrists. Not bad for a weekend's work.

Saturday, May 25, 2013


I picked up Brandyn today with a single objective, he was going to ride a bike today.
We went to Petrie's and he totally clammed up. Wouldn't even tell Farz how old he was. I got him to say he liked a bmx bike but Farz found a good used Marin mountain bike that fit him. Off we went with a helmet for him and high hopes for me. I still had serious doubts.
Farz said start him on grass. So I headed to the road inside the golf course. We found a spot and we got set. I held the seat for maybe 5 steps then put my hand on his back for another 5. I let go and told him he was riding as he pedaled off. He had some trouble stopping and banged various parts a few times but never fell. We came home, made some adjustments and went to Vickers park with Bonnie on the back of the car. He had trouble so we came back and dropped Sharon (the name he selected) off and came here to work. He helped load the car with scrap from the bathroom destruction as I removed nails and cut boards to size. I hope the afternoon will be as memorable for him as it was for me.
It was so easy I think I might have been played. The little so and so was just waiting for a new ride!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Bonnie It is

The Trek has a name, and a webpage. Bonnie after Bonnie Raitt, a favourite female guitarist who just happens to be a redhead.
Bonnie Raitt

The bathroom renovations are back on hold after a day of activity. Brian has the new fan and wiring all set and inspected. The sheet rock guy came by and checked everything out. I added in a bit of framing in a corner and then insulation and vapour barrier. Now we just have to wait til he gets the water out of his basement and projects back on schedule. Start time is set for Monday.

53 pounds lost as of this morning. I was afraid the long wet weekend without much exercise would put me in reverse on the diet front but I behaved despite everything. Since I'm doing the shopping, (I prefer guerrilla shopping or get in and out as quickly as possible) there are not a lot of tantalizing goodies in the house right now. I grab the basics and run. So even if I succumb to cravings, its crackers and cheese. Lord help me if I ever decide to gather up some ingredients and start baking.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

You Know Me Website

The story behind the cyclists in the city's "you know me " campaign is now online, you can check it out here.

A weekend where I planned some long rides ended with a short half hour test run on the new Trek. Just long enough to throw doubt in my mind about her future. Lots of time to decide. That was one long weekend that live up to it's title, so long I was happy to go back to work. Being home bound by the weather got to be a bit tedious.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Oh Oh

Just took the new/old Trek for a quick ride to check everything out, going to be very hard to leave her in Calgary. I really have to pay attention as the steering is quick and I don't even want to know how fast she could go, I only used about half of the gears and was doing 35kmph. I need to develop some trust before going much faster.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Choices: Veterinary Surgery or Bike Shop?

Something about the Farmer's Market always makes me feel there is hope for Thunder Bay. I don't know if it is the sense of community or just seeing people gather and support local business. But I always feel good when I'm there. There was live music, people wandering around shopping, eating breakfast and just having a good time.
This morning I covered the Petries booth and had more fun in five hours than I have in a week at my real job. Most of the people that stroll through have no desire to buy a bike but the models that Tom has selected are colorful and beg for people to stop and take a look. There is plenty of sticker shock, but then a lot are surprised at the color schemes and retro styles. The older crowd are taken back to bikes of their youth. Kids just want to ring the bells. An older English gentleman was checking out a three speed internal hub and was searching for the name of the old system that has been around for years. When I said Sturmey Archer, he was shocked that I knew what he was trying to recall. Three separate people wanted a price for Molly, my 74 Raleigh single speed which I had parked on a rack with the newer models. Sorry that one's not for sale, it's my ride home. I love showing people bikes and talking about them....hmmmm? I can usually fix most straight forward mechanical problems....hmmmmm? Have to have a long talk with Tom.
The one thing I was most disappointed with when Sal left for Calgary was that the two noisy budgie birds were still in a cage in the back room I use as an office. She knew it and agreed to selling them if I could. Lots of luck, maybe the cage but the birds would be tough. So with everything going on with the bathroom I just let it be. Of course one of them decides to die during week one. Today I went into the office and the other one is hanging upside down from a little perch with an Asian inspired tent like covering. I took a close look and the damn thing was caught like a fish in a gill net. It was wrapped around his neck and under one wing. So I grabbed a pair of scissors and began what I call an emergency Asian hideout ectomy. It took 10 snips, while trying not to dismember a wing or leg,  to free the stupid thing. I had to hold the cage with one hand in an attempt to keep him in the cage which they have never left. I finally gave up and freed him with both hands at which point he bit me and took off. I got him back in the cage and then he seemed to calm down and was looking at me as if to say thanks. Stupid yellow bird. Wish I could have just walked away and let stupidity run it's course.
When I finished at the market I went over to the shop to pick up the Trek. I haven't got a name for her yet but I think she looks pretty good for what I paid. Farz had her all tuned up with new shifters, red bar tape and a matching red bottle holder that I had picked. The picture below serves three purposes, gives Sal a look at her tulips, gives you a look at the bike and reminds me to cut the grass whenever it stops raining. Hopefully I won't like riding the bike too much so I can just leave her in Calgary as planned.
I have to warn anybody riding an orange bike with an orange jacket. My involvement with the city's "you know me campaign" is out there now and although it is designed to make it safer for cyclists, there are probably some hockey coaches that will run you off the road if you're wearing orange. Being the guy that signs all the suspension notices for a season doesn't tend to add new friends. I'm going to wear green just to be safe.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Thursday, May 16, 2013

50 Down

This morning's weigh in had me down 50 pounds since January 1. It felt pretty good flashing a first pump at 6:15am. I've been putting on the miles every day this week with 18 km in the morning before work and then another 17 at lunch with intervals at the road inside Chapples golf course. Burning 1200 calories by pedaling makes it easy to live with the restrictions of Lose It.
I decided to make the drive to Calgary in late June rather than fly. It will be cheaper and I can drag a bike with me. Speaking of bikes I found a nice deal on kijiji today. An older Trek 1000 road bike that needs just few tweaks to be a solid ride that will match Mike's bike speed wise. I plan to leave the bike in Calgary so if we fly in the future she will be there. Not sure what she'll be named yet.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

April Mileage

Had the snow melted only once instead of a dozen encores of "the last snowfall", I would have had some decent mileage for April.  As it was I have my cycling butt back in shape, now we're working on the legs. 

The city is busy starting up the construction season and one of my main routes to the bike paths is going behind barricades tonight so I'll be detouring for who knows how long. I mapped out a longish route at lunch and put in 13km so maybe all the detours will be a good thing.

April 345.11 km
2013 494.40km