Wednesday, May 1, 2019

April Rides

April was still pretty cool, with a few warmer days...

Finnegan has taken over my mom's old Bike E as his get-around-the-city bike. It's in pretty good shape. She didn't ride it a lot.

And The Girl has taken over Finnegan's Linus.

Put away the Big Fat Dummy and got out the Yuba for Spring/Summer/Autum hauling. Still lots of ice on the river well into the month.

Still wearing winter helmet.

Spotted my first beaver amidst the ice in this gully by the art gallery.

Close up shot of said beaver.

New buildings still going up at Riverlanding. Starting on a third on that site.

Noticeably longer days. A few day with little wind.

Riding home from evening dance classes and it's still light out!

Summer helmet, summer gloves.


Still jacket weather, but Finnegan's at least transitioned to a summer helmet.

 Pretty sunset behind the Bessborough Hotel one night riding home form dance class with The Girl.

Got home before the rain.

Well, those bike lanes brought $12000 downtown from us - two kids braces! Too bad they voted to tear them out before 30 June the other day... I guess downtown don't want our money no more.

Lovely warm day just before Amanda's birthday - we rode out to meet my folks at Güd Eats for a late lunch.

Lunch at Güd Eats

Riding home from Güd Eats into the wind was a bit chillier.

Along the river.

While looking for her New Bike, Amanda rode the Jake 24 over to Doug's to see what they might give us for credit towards her new bike... it wasn't very much... so we're trying to sell it. Almost everyone that contacts us seems to be under the impression that it's a smoking' deal on a full-sized adult cross bike. Perhaps we should post THIS picture with it.

We did get out for ONE ride that was just for the fun of it.

Just a loop around the Meewassin Trail - up to the Circle Drive bridge and back down the other side.

This was partly a chance to try out the new (to them) bikes the kids will be riding this summer.

Finnegan tried out his new mountain bike (my old Surly 1x1)

The Girl tried out her new gravel adventure bike (Amanda's old Soma Double Cross).

She's at an awkward age/size - any kids bike she sits on is WAY too small - but this adult (Extra Small) cross bike is looking just a touch on the large side! Hopefully she'll grow some more through the summer.

The other reason for the ride was to check and see if the crocuses were out.

They were, but it felt like we were a little late - most were looking rather dried out and forlorn. It has been a very dry spring.

Continuing on, under the Rail bridge.

... and back across the Traffic Bridge.

And that was April. Hopefully we'll do some more FUN riding in May!

One Year

One year ago I bought a Bryton Rider 330 bike computer and signed up for Strava. I thought it would be fun to keep track of the kilometres I ride throughout a year and have a record of where I went. Also, I thought it was incredibly handy to have just ONE computer that could be put on all of my bikes instead of having a half dozen, each with different wheel sizes programmed into them - on and rechargeable - and all the data isn't lost when the battery dies. I'm really happy with it.

So, how did that year go...?

I rode about 3500km in the last year. Which is, I think, a pretty average year. When I've tried keeping track in previous years - tallying the odometers of all my other bike computers - I got about the same. for a year when I was MOSTLY just commuting and not doing a lot of fun rides or "training". I think the most I did in a year was about 8000Km. I'd like to do better this next year. Go for more longer rides through the summer. Get that up over 4000Km/year.

No surprise, there was less riding through December - January - February - March... But strangely there was also a week in July where I did less riding than any of those winter months...? Week of rain where I didn't HAVE to go anywhere, so I barely left the house?

Presented as mostly totals... I started off doing a lot of riding in May... slacked off through June (I was also on vacation for two weeks and while we did some mountain biking we mostly just walked around Calgary and Canmore). September I did a LOT of riding. This was because Finnegan was doing a Wellness class and he had to log a LOT of hours doing physical activity through the month and so we went for a lot of long rides. Rides dropped off to only commutes through November and December... not sure why I did so much more riding in January...? One of the coldest Februaries on record accounts for it being the lowest of the low, and slowly starting to put down some Klicks through March and April - though that was still mostly commuting - only one or two fun rides in there each month.

The Yuba is still my get-around bike for the greater part of the year. I did more distance on the Fargo because I've been using it for a few more commute trips around town, and it's the bike I do longer rides on out of town - those add up quickly! The Big Fat Dummy was the ONLY bike I rode through the winter. The Mikado seems to have sat completely unused this past year. I was using it for short trips around town when I didn't need to haul stuff in the Yuba, but I've mostly been using the Fargo or the Bowery for those trips these days...

That is all for now.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Amanda's New Bike

For as long as I've known her (plus a few more years), Amanda's main bike has been her Rocky Mountain Stratos. She'd bought it in the early 90s to tour on - replacing a purple Canadian Tire Mountain bike she'd been using for the same purpose. It's one of the early aluminum-framed mountain bikes - clear coat, originally had an orange fork. It's ancient (as modern bicycles go). Sure, she's had other bikes in the meantime; a recumbent, a BMX, the tandem, a road bike, the Jekyll, the Scalpel, the Moonlander ... but her main bike for getting around has always been that Rocky Mountain. Over the years many of the parts have been replaced - bar, shifters, stem, wheels, tires, pedals, saddle - slowly shifting it into a more upright, commuter bike than the trail-riding mountain bike it was originally.

One year for her birthday I got her slick tires and a Brookes Saddle - I went to where she locked up her bike at work and replaced the old bits. She noticed the saddle right away but didn't notice the tires until she was rolling down the bridge. This is probably the earliest (digital) picture I have of it (If I went hunting through old albums, I could probably find older ones and scan them... but I'm feeling lazy and this post really isn't about the Rocky - despite all the pics of it I've crammed in here!?). At this point she'd bought the Cannondale Jekyll for a train-riding bike and the Rocky had been relegated to riding-to-work-and-around-town, so I thought she could lose the fat knobby tires.

Amanda riding the Rocky - still with original handlebars - while she was pregnant - looks like the brakes have been upgraded to V-Brakes by this point.

It's been ridden year round.

Through slush and snow. Fenders were eventually added.

It's been a workhorse hauling kids around.

Sometimes BOTH at once!

She even took it on a little tour with the family a few years ago (Originally it was her touring bike - she toured around New Zealand and Australia with it before she met me).

Eventually replaced the original handlebar with a more swept back bar - to facilitate a more relaxed, upright position.

Eventually we added a CrAzY high stem to make her even MORE upright!

This spring she finally decided maybe it was time to get a NEW city commuter bike... She's be loathe to replace the Rocky - partly because of sentimental value, partly because... well.. it just keeps chugging along... even though she complains viciously about all of it's squeaks and rattles and ticks...

She made a list of things she wanted on the bike; upright riding position, swept back handle bars, full fenders, decent rack, disc brakes, enough gears to get up the bridge to work.

She spent a LONG time looking at various different bikes online. Then, finally, she went and tried some out at the local bike shops.

She had been interested in a Brodie Robson, but the local shop that carries Brodie didn't have one in stock, and she wasn't keen on just ordering in a bike she never actually tried...

She tired out a Linus or two...

Marin Nicasio

I think she went over to the Bike Doctor and had a look at a few over there... Giant Momentum...? Maybe a Norco?

After a lot of humming and hawing, I suggested she try out the Yuba Boda Boda they had over at Bike Universe. So we wandered over there this past Saturday to give it a test ride.

She really liked this one - it became a serious contender! She wasn't hot on the red though - they are also available in a bright lime green, with more of a step-through frame.

This one at Bike Universe is a couple years old, and now 25% off the original price... a pretty smoking deal... but as she is hoping this new bike will be her riding-to-work bike for the NEXT twenty years, she figured she should really get the frame and colour she wants! Unfortunately the difference between the on sale, couple-year-old red bike and the brand new, bright green, step-through-frame version was $800CAD!? Some of the other bikes she was looking at was less than that!!

There was a LOT of back and forth and eventually she decided she should maybe try out a few more....

On Monday, she and The Girl and I rode over to Doug's Spoke 'n' Sport to try out a couple others.

The first one she tried was a Kona Coco.

We took it across the river and tried riding up some of the longer steeper hills to see how the gears were.

Long slow ride up that hill...

But still smiling!

Back downtown by way of the new Traffic Bridge.

Shop Dog.

She also tried out the Kona Dew.

More gears...

But eventually she decided she like the more upright position of the Kona Coco... so she bought that one - and had them mount a rack and a fancy new bell and a different saddle.

Amanda and her new city commuting bike; the Kona Coco!