Sunday, August 2, 2015

Day 2

While I use a bike exclusively to get around, I often forget to just get out and ride for fun! I let it slide... get into bad, lazy (why would i leave the house if I don't HAVE to" habits and next thing I know it's been TWO YEARS since I last went out for a road ride... or it's been summer for a few months and we haven't gotten out our flatland bikes yet!? Well for the month of August I've decided to get out and go for a road ride with The Boy every day (or perhaps we'll throw a little mountain biking into the mix at some point). I also promised The Girl that I'd get out and flatland with her every day... (I did actually start with the flatlanding a week ago (or so...).


We got The Boy this Kona cyclocross bike (which I then hunted down some slick road tires for) in the spring when Amanda signed him up for the Horizon 100 Club Youth Cycling Program. He did go (just about) every week, but hasn't been on the bike since...

Given his lukewarm enthusiasm about the Cycling Club, I wasn't sure how excited he'd be about going for rides with me... but yesterday we went out for a bit over an hour...

...and today we were out for and hour and forty minutes (I really got to get a bike computer back on one of our bikes so we can start clocking the distances and such) and he seems pretty excited to go out every day this month.

He was TIRED when we got back today - and conveniently we got back just as Amanda and The Girl were getting up and making oatmeal - so the boy got to have "second breakfast" (hobbit style!).

I did get out and do some flatlanding with the girl yesterday, and after lunch we'll do the same again...

Friday, July 24, 2015

Protected Bikes Lanes in Saskatoon - again

The city of Saskatoon has created a short video to inform citizens how the Protected Bike Lane on 23rd Street is supposed to work:

That's me and my kids (and a woman who works for the city) in the video!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


Back at this again... 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Protected Bike Lanes in Saskatoon

I rode downtown with the kids this morning for the official grand opening of the 23rd Street Protected Bike Lane Demonstration Project in Saskatoon.

We actually USED the lanes to get downtown.

Don Cook, Manager of Long Range Planning at the City of Saskatoon speaking to a rather large crowd of cyclists!

His Worshipleness Don Atchinson, Mayor of Saskatoon, was present for the ribbon cutting. Sadly he didn't jump on a bike and ride the new lane with everyone else... at least he didn't drive down it in a convertible...

After the ribbon-cutting we did a complete tour of the lane from city hall to Idylwyld Drive, back all the way to Spadina Crescent and back to City Hall.

I'm pretty excited about these. My only concern was the placement of the turning boxes 9for cyclists travelling along the bike lane - like the one in the pictures above and below... then look a bit... exposed...?

The cyclist basically has to turn into an area where there could be cars going straight through the intersection...

This turning box - where there's been a traffic calming bulge installed - worked out a lot better.

It's a new development for Saskatoon and there will be some growing pains and lessons to be learned - which is why it's called a "demonstration project"...

of course, it being Saskatoon, we couldn't have an official opening of a bycicle facility without at least one person parking their car in the middle of it... (actually a bus stop they've pulled into and parked...)

or two... (again, bus stop...)

Oh and these signs, that are supposed to be reminding people driving motor vehicles to watch for - and yield to - cyclists in the bike lane... can you see it there? In the mess of parking signs...? yeah, I'm not entirely sure anyone in their car is seeing it - I rode half the length of the bike lane before I noticed them... If I were king of the world I'd try and put them in the buffer zone between the cars and the cyclists.

Overall I'm feeling pretty positive about the whole project at the moment (I was a bit apprehensive at first, for... reasons...). Overall I think the city's done a pretty darned good job at this one and I'm relly looking forward to them adding 4th Avenue next summer!

This may become my new route to get down to the library!

Friday, May 29, 2015

New Bike for The Boy

Amanda signed The Boy up for the Horizon 100 Cycling Club Youth Program, so I thought maybe we ought to get the lad an actual road bike... 

I found this Kona Jake 24 instead... close enough...

It has since had the tires replaced with 24" Schwalbe Duranos. Hopefully this will get me our road riding again this summer!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Again with the Flatland

So we were doing really good with going out everyday for almost a week... but then that fell by the wayside later this past week, but we all got out again this Sunday. The Grrrlz actually started things off with a trip to the skatepark and I just slept in a bit... but then they came back to do some flatlanding and dragged me out to do some with them...

Not really sure what she's really trying to do here... but she's smiling... so, whatever...

The Grrrlz working on scuffing.

So I've been working on this spinning around thing - riding into this position and then spinning around on the front pegs so I'm coasting backwards... I just about had it a couple of times, but none of the times Amanda had the camera pointed my way.

an awesome picture of me not-quite-so-nailing it...

Amanda trying to balance (and pogo) on the rear pegs.

So I can sort of do something...

not sure what this is called... I should really learn some of the terminology... but it's a thing, right?

Teh Grrrlz trying something new.

Showing her how it's done.

nailed it... for a second or two at least...

Amanda trying some peg wheelies.

One more try at scuffing...

and then on our way home...

Friday, August 8, 2014

Flatland Fever Rages On...

Well what have we here…?

Yep, new bike.

I’m a big believer in “if you’re going to do something, you might as well have the right equipment…” and as The Girl is excited about flatlanding, I thought I’d see if I could find her an actual flatland BMX as the park-riding BMX she had was a little too unwieldy for the kinds of tricks she’s trying to do.

Out of the box.

I’m also going to point out I am usually a big believer in buying local and supporting local bike shops… but… Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a smallish-girl-sized flatland BMX!? There really aren’t many options. If fact, as far as I am aware, there is one - the Ares STN 16” and was about to hook me up with one…

I have to say, if you're into flatland and the buying online sort - or need a part or bike that you just cannot pick up locally - I had absolutely fabulous service from Flatland Fuel - from speedy responses to emailed questions to having my order packaged and shipped the same day I placed it! I would highly recommend checking them out. 

On the stand.

Packing stuff off – Oh yeah, it’s purple. The Girl’s favourite colour. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a PURPLE smallish-girl-sized flatland BMX!? Never mind, we’ve been through this…

The Girl had been down the street at Grandma’s when the bike arrived, but she gothome while I was still adjusting it and insisted on “helping out”

Assembled, adjusted, and ready to go!

As with pretty much every BMX (ever!) the hubs and bottom bracket were cranked super tight at the factory – but with a little adjustment they spun freely. I swapped out the freewheel – because I had a few kicking around and the one I put on I actually have a freewheel removal tool for – the one that came on the bike I was able to get off without the proper removal tool because it hadn’t been cranked on super tight yet and I gave it a few taps with a flat screw driver and mallet and then able to twist it off with my fingers… Altogether though, I’d say it’s a pretty sweet little bike.

So then we went riding…

We were only able to head out for a short ride Wednesday evening when it arrived as I had to get ready for a book club I was hosting and Amanda was heading out to teach yoga…

But we were out again Thursday morning – after picking up The Girl’s new helmet.

While picking up The Girl’s helmet, I also picked up a big-kid-sized flatland bike for Amanda to tool around on.

Trying to figure out that first elementary… I don’t even know what it’s called…? Spinning from this position to facing backwards (toward the back of the bike) with the fork/handlbars reversed… anybody know what I’m talking about…? What’s that called…?

The Girl isn’t quite to spinning, just trying to get balance and standing on different pegs.

And scuffing…

The Grrrlz and their new bikes. 

Okay, I have to admit I’ve been messing around on it too… I can almost do that spinney thingie… and I can scuff or coast backwards more than either of the Grrlz… but what Amanda took a picture of was me making a fool of myself pogoing on the back pegs (I can also do this on the front pegs… sort of…)

Then Amanda - figuring if a fat oaf like me could do it… - tried pogoing on the back pegs herself and realized it’s trickier than it looks.

Now to get out and ride these beasts EVERYDAY…. (until it snows…)