Monday, April 7, 2014

Porcupine!

While riding home from the kids evening dance classes, Keira and I spotted a porcupine in the bush just off the trail! Keira had a quick look, but then rode on ahead to try and chase down Finnegan who'd rode on without us...



Can you see it? (click on the pictures to see a larger version)



I tried my flash - which I very rarely do - which probably scared the willies out of the poor critter.



Ooh! There you can kind of see his eye. I started to move away and he climbed a tree so I walked around to see if I could get a better shot...



Up in the tree... again with the flash...



Prickly porcupine butt.



One last try... Curse these cute nocturnal creatures and my crappy little not-so-good-at-taking-picutres-inpoor-light camera...

Then I had to chase down the kids who were a couple hundred metres down the trail. I passed a couple on the way that felt the urge to admonish me and tell me to hurry up and that my kids were "very worried" about me (Seriously!?). When I caught up to them Keira was almost on the verge of tears - thinking I had taken too long and the porcupine had attacked me!?

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Spring


I ditched the chunky tires and kids off the back of the yuba this week and it feels like I'm riding a whole new bike... a whole new carbon fibre road bike - it's THAT much easier to pedal and maintain momentum!?



Next to me, the girls seems to be the most exited about getting to ride her own bike again.

The boy... his attitude was "well at least I won't have to hop off and run up hills after you anymore"

That's the spirit...



Swapped the tires and got Amanda's trusty old Rocky road ready...

Well... road ready enough to make it to dance class and back. It needs some serious love.



Nice to have the ice off most of the roads and paths...

I'm not holding my breath or anything. If this year's anything like LAST year we're in for another blizzard yet and I'm going to wish I hadn't taken off the Ice Spikers...



Maybe if we do have another blizzard I just won't leave the house until it gets warm again and all clears away...

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Frosty Foggy Night Ride

I rode to my friend John's this frosty chilly evening. When I got to the river I was met with an eery  view - i couldn't see across the park, let along the river or the other side of the river for all the fog coming off the river. 



The park near the Vimy Memorial



Near the Bessborough Hotel.



I had to drop off some books at the Library - parts of downtown were a bit foggy too



Heading down towards the University Bridge.



Tree along the riverbank.



The University Bridge - you can just kind of make out one of the arches there.



Near the Mendel on the way home.



The Mendel Art Gallery.



The fog, the cold, my breath left me with the craziest frost beard ever!


When I got home I checked on the weather and found it had been almost -40°C, again, with the windchill (better than the weekend - we hit -50°C!)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Critters in the City


We live close to the Meewasin Trail - a series of multi-use pathways that follow the river that passes through the heart of our city. It is our bicycle freeway that gets us to pretty much everywhere we need to go. 

Riding along the trail daily affords us the opportunity to check out wild life in the city. I often see beavers - usually at dawn or dusk. Last week I spotted a rabbit:



It was tearing along the riverbank super fast and kicking up a bunch of snow - I couldn't even tell what it was until it stopped.

Earlier today as we were heading home from violin lessons we saw a Bald Eagle soaring over the river - and being chased by a crow and a magpie!



I dont' seem to have gotten any pics with the magpie.



Because they're so small and close together, Keira thought this one looked like "a cat falling out of a window"...? I'm not sure what window she thought it would have been falling out of.



I've only even seen bald eagles in the city once before. It was while crossing the same bridge on Xmas day a few years back.



Soaring past a nervous pigeon.



Last we saw of it was when it disappeared over the other side of the bridge heading south.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Snow Again


As of Monday we were "winter riding" once again. I can't say were caught off guard or weren't expecting it... but we weren't entirely prepared... In the spring we packed away all of our winter gear - and a lot of other stuff in boxes squirrelled away in the basement and garage in preparation for a renovation that was to begin in the spring and be done by the end of July - which, in theory, would give us lots of time put finishes on and reorganize the house and put things back in their usual places... Well the renovation didn't start until the end of July... and, despite being told it would all be done by the end of September (still plenty of time to get ready for winter, right?) it has dragged on into November... 



So Monday morning saw a mad scramble to locate winter items such as pants (I generally don't wear pants until it's -10°C) and boots for the kids and so on.



I haven't even been able to properly winterize bikes or do maintenance as the garage is still full of stuff we had to move out of the house for the renovation and piles of stucco supplies!? There's barely enough room to get bikes in and out - I have to lift the Yuba over supplies (and a very hot electric heater!) piled up by the door everytime I go in or out. The Yuba is not light.

Despite the chaos and panic, we've been out and about and made it to work and lessons and such... (Well... we didn't make it to the Monday night dance classes - the streets were like skating rinks and we decided not to go out. By morning they'd gotten out and spread sand and gravel at most intersections and the going was a bit better).



It was grey and chilly when we made our way to violin wednesday morning.



It was sunny and considerably warmer on our way home. (can you spot the fellow cyclist in the picture above?)



It's a tad warmer today as well, but it will be dropping again over the weekend.



Despite the extra effort getting places (or even getting ready to go out - with all the added layers) the kids seem to take these things in stride. Finnegan may try riding his own bike at some point this winter, but for the most part he will probably keep riding on the back of the Yuba.



Pretty, but I sincerely hope this winter isn't as long or cold as last year...


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Cold Rainy Daze

It was cold and rainy on our way to Irish dance today. Today might be the last day without snow for some time. The forecast is calling for 10cm of snow overnight, more tomorrow, and no plus temperature days in the near future... 


Not sure what we're going to to for winter riding this year. 



We did get a mountain bike for Finnegan this year - and I have some studded tires on order... But who know when they might show up!?

 

The two kids are getting a little heavy for me to haul both all winter!!


Whatever we do I guess we'll have to figure it out soon!



Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Warm Fall Evenings

Just some pictures of riding to and from dance class on a beautiful fall evening in Saskatoon. 












This last picture is Hugh - and artist friend of mine we ran into as we were about to cross the bridge on the way home. He was on his way home from his "day job" at Art Placement. I love running into people while we're out riding. Especially fun people on cool bikes.