Not a bad way to spend a lunch hour

Lunchtime Oak Ridges Corridor Trail loop.

rSogn at the ruins

rSogn at the ruins

Oak Ridges Corridor Trail

Oak Ridges Corridor Trail

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Elbow Beach, Bermuda

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Rocket fuel

My “performance enhancing drug” of choice.  This rig should do the trick.  Baratza Preciso grinder, Rocket Giotto Premium Plus espresso machine and fresh, locally(!) roasted People’s Daily Espresso beans from the Social Coffee & Tea Company.

Rocket fuel

Rocket fuel

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Wrapped, twined & shellacked

Wrapped and twined

Wrapped and twined

I used the Fizik microtex bar wrap.  I’m certainly no handlebar wrapping wiz, but I had a heckuva time getting this stuff on the bars.  I think the larger size of the brifters also gave me trouble. I’m used to either cork stuff or cotton.  The bar isn’t evenly wrapped, and the twine is a bit wabi-sabi but whatevs.  The bike is for riding!

I still need fenders.

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It’s rolling!

Rawland rSogn first incarnation.  This is my initial build of the the frame. I still need to fine tune the saddle & cockpit, wrap the bars, get & install some fenders and figure out what to use for a handlebar bag.

It was -16 C today, but I couldn’t resist a 10 min ride around the ‘hood.  The wide 42mm Hetres seemed to soak up the bumps nicely.

Rawland rSogn 1st incarnation

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Just about there

Grand Bois Hetre 650B

Grand Bois Hetre 650 beautiful!

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Getting closer

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  • VO Grand Cru touring hubs and 650B Diagonale rims, built by Hoopdriver in Toronto with an 11-32 SRAM cassette
  • SRAM Rival drivetrain and shifting
  • Paul Neo-retro stoppers
  • Nitto Noodle handlebars
  • King Iris cages
  • Fizik micro-tex bar tape.
  • Shimano M520 SPD pedals
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Quick thoughts on Venezuela

I’m back from another work assignment in Venezuela.  Our work sites were situated such that we had much more road travel to do than the last trip. Some quick observations:

  • Roads are generally in very bad shape, and drivers tend ‘float’ between lanes on the high speed highways trying to avoid potholes, debris and dog carcasses;
  • Traffic laws are mere suggestions and generally ignored
  • The highways are dangerous, and people don’t seem to wear seat belts.  I saw the aftermath of two very nasty fatal accidents in the week I was there.
  • I saw more bicycles this time, but not many.  These are mostly folks getting to work or getting shopping done.  I saw two sport cyclists riding on the highway.   With the oppressive heat & humidity, heinous roads, cheap gas and correspondingly cheap prices for shared taxis (Carritos por puesto) I’m not surprised bikes are rare.
  • These folks have the re-use part of the three ‘Rs’ down pat.  The shared taxis are 30 or 40 years old and while falling apart, still run.
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A Taste of Cycling Vancouver

I’m in Vancouver for work and staying with family for the weekend.  Yesterday I was treated to a tour of some of the bike paths in the city by my Brother-in-law.  Leaving from the Broadway and Main area, we used the extensive bike path network to connect to Stanley Park where we did the seawall loop and bombed around on some of the gravel paths.  The highlight was stopping at Prospect Point for a pint & snack. 

I was riding in street clothes on a borrowed bike several sizes to small making it hard to get a full pedal stroke.  The underinflated knobbies buzzed angrily on the pavement, sucking away speed.  The front derailler was stuck in the middle ring and couldn’t be trimmed,  and the rear derailler clattered as it was out of adjustment.   The front shocks bounced in a most disconcerting way every time I applied the front brake.  In short the ride was a blast and I wouldn’t have changed a thing!

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A New Chapter

For my entire career, I’ve lived and worked in York Region.  Sure, it’s not the easiest place to get around by bike or transit but I’ve made it work.  I’ve come to know several decent bicycle routes and have built up a familiarity with the potholes, bad sewer grates and the flow of traffic during rush hour. 

This is all to change.  My York Region office is closing down in an effort to manage overhead costs, and the employees will be distributed to other GTA offices.  It looks like I’ve drawn downtown Toronto.  This isn’t all bad, as a) I’ve still got a job, and b) there are more transit choices available.  

From a bikey perspective, this means that I’ll probably be riding a lot less.  Some 80-90% of my time on the bike is commuting.  I may be able to ride to a GO station (2.5 km, seems hardly worth it!) or a subway stop (~14 km).  The latter is about the length of my current commute, all in and then I would need to add another 30-40 min on top of that.  I’m not sure I can find that kind of time. I guess it’s good to have options!

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