Oh my gawd, it’s a blog post!

Wow, this place feels empty. The more I ride bikes, the more it just becomes a way to get around and have fun and seemingly the less I have to say.

What I’m doing

  • Bike commuting! I have a great route to and from the office and I don’t have much to say. I’m mostly using local low speed streets and MUPs where I can. I even won a ‘cycling superstar’ thingy from my local Smart Commute group for bike month.
  • Road biking. Just a little bit. I haven’t had as much time or interest to fight traffic on the weekend. I had an epic ride with a buddy of mine while visiting his cabin in Combermere. Big hills, big fun and cold beer. My 650B Rawland was made for that kind of riding!
  • Mountain biking. As one my kids had soccer practice twice a week near the local trailhead, I got quite a few hour to hour and half rides in. I feel like I finally know the local trails a bit better. Good fun, even if TRCA has shut down about half of the area in Jefferson forest. I checked out Centennial Park trails in King and they are still fun, and rode the Dagmar North trails, which were awesome. I’ve been riding my Krampus aka green monster, but have “graduated” to a full squish MTB which has been a revelation.
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Rust in the bush

Someone, sometime dragged this car into the Jefferson Forest.  How much effort did that take?  Thanks to Christine for showing my a cool loop through these trails!

Tire vs Tire

Tire vs Tire

Rust in the bush

Rust in the bush


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Berthoud shakedown

Berthoud on the rSogn

Berthoud on the rSogn

I’ve been using this gorgeous handlebar bag for a few weeks now.  So far it’s been working great on all types of terrain including gravel paths, pavement, easy trails and gravel roads.  It holds just about everything I need for a long ride.  There are a couple of things I’m not crazy about.  Pet peeve #1:  the elastic closure for the lid goes over the decaleur a bit strange and doesn’t look great.  I don’t know if this is an install error or if it’s “just the way it is.”  It seems to be holding everything well though.  Pet peeve #2:  the Berthoud decaleur seems to rattle on uneven pavement.

Look for updates as I get more distance with the bag.

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The bike fairy strikes again!

BikefairyRing a ding ding! The bicycle fairy was back at the office bike rack today with another bell and another ballot!

Dear bicycle fairy, next time please leave beer!



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Look what the bicycle fairy left for me today

I found this hanging on my handlebars today!  It’s a small thing but it made me smile.

Smart Commute Bell and Note

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I’m a bike commuter again, and wheel bender racks suck

Wow, two posts in one week! I’m pleased to say I’m a bike commuter again. I’ve been hesitant to ride as the route to the new office is problematic. The Good: as part of the Viva transit project, bike lanes have been added along Highway 7 from Chalmers Road to East Beaver Creek. The Bad: the bike lane ends at the construction zone eastward from East Beaver Creek. The road is a mess and I hope it gets fixed up soon. Riding it wasn’t as bad as I had anticipated. I just took the lane.

Curve It Rack

Curve it Rack. Newer, but it still sucks!

The only bike racks available at my workplace are the dreaded “wheel benders.” And these aren’t even the GOOD wheel benders! Remember those awful bike racks at public school that are oval loops of metal about 9″ high?   Yep, those ones. Actually my kids’ public school still has these pieces of trash. It makes for much difficulty for a secure lock-up as it’s almost impossible to lock through the rear triangle. I hope my u-lock and cable lock are up to the task. Then again this isn’t downtown Toronto.  The picture to the left is a contemporary one.  They still suck.

A few months ago Smart Commute was doing a survey in the building, and I let them know that these racks were terrible and that was a barrier for active transportation.

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Oh my gawd, a blogpost! Really??

Surly 3" Knard vs. Logging Truck tracks

Surly 3″ Knard vs. Logging Truck tracks

I originally started this weblog as a way to keep in touch with my family and to share some of my outdoor pursuits, which at the time was mostly cycling.   Now I use facebook for that.  I used to bicycle to work for about 3/4 of the year, but my place of employment changed negating most of the content I’d ponder while to-ing and fro-ing.   Somewhere along the way I stopped riding bicycles much and would use them only infrequently.


Here’s the stuff we’ve been doing since my last post:

  • Geocaching.  This has been a whole lot of fun that all of us enjoy.  We get to mix lots of other stuff with it as well!
  • Camping.  The kids love it.  We get out summer and fall.  We missed the spring season.
  • Snowshoeing.  Great for getting around on the trails for winter walks and geocaching.  M0dern snowshoes are nothing like the ones I remember as a kid!  Good fun.
  • Snow biking.  After getting talked into this over a weekend camping trip in October, I elected to buy a “one trail bike to rule them” and ended up with a Surly Krampus.  It’s not a “fatbike” but rather a “chubby bike” that’s been fun to ride on snowy trails.
  • Mountain/trail biking.  What a hoot the Krampus is to ride on trails.  I bought the stock bike that has super wide handlebars which have caught on trees in narrow spaces, but so far it’s been fun to ride.    It’s also a good vehicle for geocaching pursuits.

So what’s next?  Who knows.  Perhaps more blog posts now and then.

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More Geocaching

I’ve been using my bike to get to and from geocaches over the last few weeks. It’s been a blast! On road, off road, gravel roads and hike-a-bike excursions have all added a new dimension to riding for me.

I’ve added a Garmin handlebar mount for my GPSr so I can use it for navigation while on the bike. It’s a “so-so” item as it attaches with zip ties. I’d much prefer something that uses a different mount like the Planet Bike battery lights, but there wasn’t much choice. For $10 it will do the job.

I found that the bicycle was the perfect vehicle for a “power trail” that was set up in my area. The caches are placed at regular intervals at something like the minimum distance of 161 m. This particular trail is located along a country road, so cycling is way better than having to pull the car over. I did one segment (just one concession) of the trail, and I’m not sure this kind of thing is for me as the hides are all pretty similar. Still, it was a fun morning out on the bike!


Geocache & GPSr

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Having recently “discovered” this sport/game, our family is hooked!  We’ve had lots of fun over the last few weeks hunting for geocaches in our neighbourhood.  Right now we’re using the Geocaching iPhone app.  It works pretty well, and it’s great to be able to use it on the fly for impromptu geocaching outings.  However, the battery drain is pretty severe.  We’re now looking for a handheld GPSr unit.

I think geocaching is going to add a lot to bicycling and hiking outings.  Our kids hate to “go for a hike” but even in the cold weather the’ll quickly don their boots and mitts to go treasure hunting!

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Fun with maps

I like messing around with maps.  I’m one of the few in my family that “gets” them. Recently, I’ve been putting the MapMyRide app on the iPhone through it’s paces.  It works pretty well most of the time and it’s fun to replay your ride afterwards.  I do like to keep track of the distance I put on equipment like chains, so it’s a good tool to use when you don’t have a cyclocomputer.  There are also lots of maps you can pick that other uses have uploaded.  I’ve used some routes in my neighbourhood that are great rides.  Fun stuff!


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