Saturday, December 31, 2022

Looking Back at 2022

I started the year with a plan to post pictures of my rides once a week and to do 6000Km... I kept up the weekly posts for 32 weeks - into August... and then just stopped. It got to be a bit much with all the other stuff going on... AND it felt like i was just posting the same pictures over and over again, because I just kept riding the same routes over and over again and stopped at the same spots to take pictures?! 

Am I just DONE with this blog...? I don't know... We shall see. 

I did not make it to the planned 6000KM either. 

Things started off well enough... but something happened in September - I think we all got sick and I was too sick to go anywhere for two weeks and... just fell out of the habit. In October I got buys with the drawing challenges - which took up a lot of time and it was hard to get motivated to get back into a routine of riding... and then it got cold and there was even less incentive to get up and out for a ride... and then it snowed and I strained my hamstring and that pretty much put me out of commission for the rest of the year... 

In the end, I did manage to ride 4764Km this year... which wasn't the 6000Km I was hoping to ride... but it was more than 2020 or 2019! 

Maybe next year will be better... 

Friday, September 30, 2022

October Critters on Bicycles Drawing Challenge!?

Kind of dropped the ball with the weekly updates. It was all just getting to be a bit much, when I'm never sure if anyone's actually even reading stuff!? I am on track to get to 6000Km by the end of the year. Just have to do an average of 20Km/day for the rest of the year (that will put me over, I can miss ten days and STILL make it to 6000Km!) 

This is sort of cycling related... 

I had this idea for an October Drawing Challenge...  

I like drawing critters. 

And bicycles. 

And often, critters ON bicycles. 

People often do drawing challenges through October (Inktober, etc) - sometimes working from a prompt list… 

So, I thought I might make my own prompt list this year. 31 Day of Critters on Bikes!? But what critters to draw? What bikes are they riding? What are they all wearing? 

That is where you come in! I thought I would draw 31 bicycle-riding-friends and followers as critters on bikes! 

If YOU were a critter of some sort, what would YOU be? 

What is YOUR favourite bike to ride? 

What do YOU wear while out riding it?  

More specific details are better - otherwise I have to just make shit up.  If you have pictures feel free to forward them to me in messenger or email. I will try to do the first 31 suggestions I get (there are NO GUARANTEES IN LIFE, however!). 

Just to be clear - these are, for the most part, going to be anthropomorphic animals, like the others I've been drawing recently - basically a clothed human body with an animal head (may or may not have tail) - unless you wish to be illustrated as a participant in World Naked Bike Ride Day!?

Fine print: 

You absolutely can use the image I post based on your suggestion (for non-commercial purposes- i.e. like, you can go ahead use it as a profile pic on social media, but not as a logo or in an ad for a business, without my permission.), but I would appreciate if you would link said image back to me (either my instagram or twitter accounts, or my art blog) 

I’m probably going to do these all in a sketchbook (I like keeping these things all together in one place!) so originals will not be for sale. 

I may or may not post the pictures here... They will definitley go on my Art Blog and Instagram and Twitter, so check them out there:

Art Blog:



Tuesday, August 16, 2022

2022 Rides - Week Thirty-Two


All this past week I rode up to the Rusty Mcdonald Library with Keiran on the tandem every the morning to drop them off at the Sage Hill youth writing program, and then rode back up to pick them up later in the afternoon! It was a 14m round trip each time! So I was doing 28Km each day just getting them there and back! 

I have to say, this kid has come a LONG way this past year. A year ago they were suffering from crippling social anxiety - they would barely leave the house at all, certainly not on their own. I highly doubt they would have got to any workshop with a pile of complete strangers for a week (no matter how much the might desperately WANT to)... and they definitely would not have just walked in there on their own... 

When I dropped them off Monday morning I suggested I could wait outside for a bit and they could text me a thumbs up when they got in and figured out where they were going and if it all seemed okay. They just said, "nah, you can just go..."

We DID ride up here the previous week - partly to scout a cycling route to get here, but also I made them go into the building on their own (after I had done so!) to see where the library was in the building and where the meeting rooms were that the workshop would likely be taking place in. 

It was lovely Monday morning.

By the afternoon it got really HOT - I thought I was going to die climbing the big hill up Pembina Avenue... 

All week we rolled past this cute little "free library" on the way to the public library... 

It kind of made me laugh... 

I have to admit, I was curious... but was a little afraid of finding thirty-seven copies of Fifty Shades of Grey in there... 

One of the mornings we spotted cormorants on the cables over the river. 

Part way through the week they closed off part of the trail to do some work on it... 

And the detour turned out to be a bit of a challenge - Almost hit that light post a couple times while dodging branches!? 

Thursday, on the way home, Keiran and I stopped for groceries at Preston Crossing and then checked to see if Amanda was ready to leave as we rolled through campus. She said she was... but then we ended up waiting while she finished "just one more thing!"

Riding home with Amanda. 

Friday we went to meet our new family doctor! Yay! 

I did a LOT of riding in the end this week... but not a lot of picture taking - it was mostly hauling and picking up Keiran from places and a few other errands... not a LOT of pictures were taken (thankfully! less to sort through and decide what to post!) 

I took Saturday off (I was tired, it was hot!!!) 

Sunday morning I decided to paint a portrait of the PURPLE SURLY KARATE MONKEY!

Afterwards, I decided I needed to actually go for a RIDE on the the Purple Karate Monkey! 

hit some of the easy single track along the river valley. 

And that was it! I did make my 200Km goal... but didn't do much extra to try and catch up the kilometres I missed the last two weeks.... 

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Bicycle Art - Purple Surly Karate Monkey!

 Felt like drawing today. Wasn't sure what to draw. Thought I might do a bike portrait of my Purple Surly Karate Monkey. 

(mostly done from memory, so somethings are a bit wonky... but... whatevs...) 

Purple Surly Karate Monkey! 35cmx28cm (14"x11") - ink on paper

I haven't done any critters on bikes for a while... maybe I should do more of those! 

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

2022 Rides - Week Thirty-One

 Monday, 1 August 2022, was "Saskatchewan Day" - a statutory holiday here in Saskatchewan - so Amanda had the day off and decided we should go for a paddle. 

There is a whole separate post about that... 

Saskatchewan Day Paddle

Tuesday I rolled over to the Broadway area to drop some stuff off at a friends and then rode down to the South Bridges, just to get some extra distance in... 

It had rained a lot the night before... and most of the day... and I thought I might just get rained on before I got home... 

Lots of sections of pathway through Gabriel Dumont Park were partly washed out - lots of these cones all over the place. 

Gulls out on the water. I stopped to try and take some pictures with the better camera... only to find the battery was dead... 

CrAzY clouds. 

I did not get rained on in the end. 

Wednesday I rode keiran over to dance class on the tandem and pick them up again later. Admired MORE crazy clouds while waiting for light to cross 22nd. 

Thursday I rode up to Chief Mistawasis Bridge and east through the swale. Hit some dirt trails along the river bank on the west side. 

View from the west side of the bridge. 

Lots of ducks and their babies in the wetlands. 

Our friend the Swainson's Hawk at its usual post.

As it was well past quitting time when I rolled past campus I check to see if Amanda was still working (and she was!?) so I convinced her to ride home with me. 

Friday scouted a route to the library Keiran would be doing workshops at all next week and art show

On the way home we stopped at City Perks to check out the Wild in the City art show that I have a few pieces in. 

Later in the afternoon I did a loop of the bridges. 

South bridges

Lots of Pelicans and Cormorants on the island by the weir. 

Circle Drive Bridge

By the weir on the other side of the river. 

Again, I met up with Amanda who was working late and rode home together. 

Saturday I made a quick trip to Broadway for supper fixings. 

Sunday up to folks and then back on other side of river. 

Later on Sunday, I went for a ride south of town. 

How long has it been since I went out this way!? Fields are turning yellow already!?

Lots of Black-eyed Susans along the edges of roads everywhere. 

In two separate locations I was startled by very well camouflaged Goldfinches taking to flight from clumps of Black-Eyed Susans as I rode past. (can you see the goldfinch in the picture above!?) 

There he is! 

Hit some sandy summer roads. 

Saw lots of other birds. Kestrels... Some other hawk I coudln't identify or get a good picture of... 

Raven on a power pole 

Young Mountain Bluebirds

Scores of Magpies! 

Heading back into town. 

more yellowing fields

Some kind of party on one of the islands in the river. 

That's all for this week. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Saskatchewan Day Paddle

 Monday, 1 August 2022 was "Saskatchewan Day" - a Stat Holiday in Saskatchewan and Amanda had the day off, so she suggested we go for a paddle. 

Not really bicycling... but it is a Human Powered, outdoorsy endeavour and I'm not about to start another blog for pictures of our few kayaking trips... so.. Also we haul them to the rive with trailers that are designed to potentially be hooked up to bicycles... though we don't have that attachment and just walk them down... 


attempted stow-away on my kayak as we were getting things out. 

Down at the boat launch. They have a new deck down there. It is not awesome... 

Out on the water, paddling past the water treatment plant. 

Heading south - up river. 

Amanda was thoroughly amused by a ducks butt as it was bobbing for food at a shallower point in the middle of the river. 

Lots of mid-ever sandbars with gulls on them. 

 Some with a LOT of gulls on them.

The South Bridges. Gordie Howe traffic bridge and the Grand Trunk rail bridge. 

Stopped for a break on the sand bars just south of the bridges. 

Super loud train rolled by. 

More Gulls

Heading back, I mostly stuck to the west bank of the river where there were loads of ducks sunning themselves on rocks. 

Back to the dock and loading up to haul the kayaks home. 

Amanda has some pretty grand ideas about a camping trip with these... I'm not so sure. we're both pretty sore from a short trip that didn't even get us OUT of the city limits. we'd have to do 2-3 times as far to get to anywhere that we might be able to camp... I think we'd need to be paddling more than we are now to get fit enough for that. Maybe if we started in JUNE and were paddling at least few times a week... then... MAYBE... 

Maybe next year. 

Of course, that's what we said LAST year...