Old Girls

Lapierre RCR300
'Jill' was named after Jill Homer, a writer who lived in Alaska and rode the Iditabike and Tour Divide. I follow Jill's blog and have read her two books on adventure/distance cycling.

I purchased 'Jill' at Petrie's Cycle and Sports in April of 2008 after training through the winter on a singlespeed mountain bike and an old exercise bike for the inaugural Ride to Conquer Cancer in June of '08. The ride was 200km from Toronto to Niagara and the 100km required each day would match my longest bike ride ever. I tested both 'Jill' and myself with a 100km ride in March of '08 and she came through with flying colours dragging me up the hills leading west out Kakabeka Falls and then back to Thunder Bay on highway 102 with its famous Strawberry Hill. I completed two Rides to Conquer Cancer and managed to raise just over $10,000.

In 2008 'Jill' was still brand new and other than Ergon grips she was pretty much showroom floor stock. My wife Sally had decals made with the name as a surprise when I picked her up just days before we left for Toronto. A wireless Sigma computer kept mileage and stats. In 2010 I had Farzam install drop handlebars and a set Shimano 105 shifters and brake levers so she's much more of a road bike currently. Marathon Plus tires were installed when she was new and I'd swear by them. Some riders in the Conquer Cancer had 4 flats on the opening Saturday and I never had even one over the course of 2 events.

With my hands both ailing from carpal tunnel I haven't riden her much lately as the stiffness of the frame and tires is painful but hopefully we can do some long rides soon.

2012 update: Regretfully I decided to sell Jill as the ride was just too tough on the hands.
Prepped and ready for the long drive to Toronto

The day before Conquer Cancer 2008, Toronto waterfront

Jill and reminders of our 2 accomplishments

100km training ride, top of Strawberry Hill

In Niagra Falls after Conquer Cancer 2008

Niagra again, 2009

Bonnie - 1990's Trek 1000

After carting a bike on the back of the car in 2010 I thought it might be a good idea to buy one and then just leave it in Calgary. I found this mid 90's Trek 100 on kijiji at $200, tested it out and paid $150. The shifter for the rear derailleur wasn't working 100% so I put in a few more dollars and had Farz install a new set. Just a few tweaks and she was ready to ride. Two days after purchase I took her for a quick ride on the rainy long weekend in May 2013. I only had 10km on the tires when the rain started so I quickly headed for home. Quick is the key word, this bike is light and geared to fly. I named her for my favourite female guitarist, Bonnie Raitt. She's a redhead too.

Only problem is that after just 30 minutes I simply didn't want to leave her in Calgary. She was sold in May of 2015 as I had not ridden her since Sophia was acquired but she got me back into road bikes.
after first ride - May 19, 2013
view of the 'redhead' from the cockpit

Eyowyn - Giant Acapulco converted to singlespeed
I was making a delivery to a garage in the fall of 2009 and saw an old mountain bike sitting in a corner in rough shape. I asked who it belonged to and 4 hours later I did. Over the winter of 2009 I stripped the parts and sandblasted the frame and added a few dozen coats of orange and then a few of clearcoat. I had the most important component already to mount, a rear wheel with singlespeed hub and drivetrain that Farzam at Petrie's made for me. To this day some three years later I've had it on numerous bikes and riden a ton of miles and never had to do any work to it and I'm no lightweight. I added On One Mary handlebars, a 48 tooth Sugino crankset, Avid single digit v brakes and levers with Jagwire cables and hit the road with only the original frame as the only part from her original life as a mid 80's Giant Acapulco.

Farzam checked her over and suggested a cartridge style bottom bracket but everything else passed inspection. With the steel frame and 26x2.125 Maxxis Holy Roller tires she's a dream to ride. In the summer of 2010 she made an epic road trip to Calgary and Vancouver Island. Mike will never forget the 80km ride we did to downtown Calgary and back, at least his butt never will.

I've added an Allay racing saddle, a threaded headset adapter and a cannibalized 36 tooth crankset but other than that she's remained a very simple but comfortable ride. A go anywhere (slowly) ride. She was named after my favourite female character in the Lord of the Rings triology.

Update, a broken and seized seatpost has caused another, permanent retirement.

Sturgeon Bay Road, a long way with one gear!
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Bow Valley Parkway, Calgary 2010

At Mission Marsh

Louise - 1980's GT Talera
What began as a search for a reasonably comfortable ride for a long time friend, ended in a new commuter for me. Named for the colour which reminds me of Lake Louise. She currently has been outfitted with single speed rear wheel and studded winter tires.
Update - 7 speed drivetrain re-installed and given to daughter Jen so she can ride with Ginko
As purchased
After reworking

Bridget, Marin Bolinas Ridge
In 2007 I started cycling to help with losing weight. I grabbed an old CCM mountain bike that was in the basement then moved on to a 'new' full suspension bike from Canadian Tire that lasted about two months before it stranded me halfway through my first Conquer the Dog. Tom Petrie loaned me a bike to finish and instantly I knew what a real bike felt like as I flew over the rest of the course.

Later that day after returning the crap bike to Canadian Tire,  I met Farzam at Petrie's and we hit it off immediately. He put together Bridget, a Marin Bolinas Ridge. Over the next few years I added some components and rode her back and forth to work daily. She was stolen from our back door early one morning as I was getting my work boots on.
At Mission Marsh, with some artsy filtering

On the trails behind Centennial Park

At the Bluffs

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