Saturday, December 18, 2010

Changes and a serious lack of biking

So two things first:

1) As I had mentioned before, a while ago I came out to stay with Alanna before we go. Her place is actually in the city an much closer to the university. After being there for a day or so I went home and got my winter beater bike, anxious to start commuting again. That day I developed a throat infection and cold that I am just now over. So I have done no riding. zip.

2) Even if I was well, there is NO SNOW! It is just RDF (rain, drizzle, fog. We say it so much in Newfoundland that we just abbreviate it to save time). Especially for the last couple of has been pouring rain. So I wouldn't even really get to try out my studded tires.

But change is a foot.

I am currently in my lab, completing my final experiment of my physics masters program. It is Saturday, and I will most likely be here until very late tonight to finish it, but it is the last one. As tedious as it can all be sometimes, and how I always feel like I'm missing something, or I'm not smart enough to keep up with it all, there are several things I will miss about being an experimentalist.

I'll miss the inventing and ingenuity around designing a new technique, and building the small pieces needed to complete the task. I'll miss the microscope, sitting in front of it, looking for elusive particles or system behaviors. I'll miss the thrill of working on something for months, and then when you are most desperate and it seems like everything will fall to pieces, everything falls into place and you make a wonderful discovery. The problem is, that discovery then leads to 6 more months of suffering trying to understand the next thing, waiting for the next moment of clarity. As wonderful as that moment is, for me, all the stress, and anxiety, and suffering is just not worth it.

I don't want to have to take the work home with me. I don't want to lay in bed wondering if the work I've done over the past few days will end up being a total waste of time. I don't want to have to worry about explaining phenomena, and making excuses for why it's different from what we expected, and massaging things to make it look better instead of developing a better experiment... That last thing, I think that is the kicker for me. I would rather toil for days, months to improve technique, and apparatus, than spend 1 day figuring out how I can take the "okay" results I have and finding the physics in it.

It is the tinkerer in me I fear. I realized this year that I'm not cut out to be a professor. I just don't have it in me. These men and women I see in our department, live and breath this stuff, and I do not. I'm much rather suited to hands on, technical stuff, than theoretical, writing papers stuff.

I had to go start my next experimental run...where was I...

I think in that regard working in the industry as a Technical Representative for Microscopes will be an interesting change. I get to try and sell microscopes, set them up, do demos, tech support, etc. I'm looking forward to the work, I hope I won't be awful at it.

We leave for Florida for Christmas Vacation soon, then shortly after we get back I leave for Halifax. On New Years Eve, my father and mother are driving their truck and a U-Haul trailer, and Alanna and I will drive my new Honda Civic across the province of Newfoundland from St. John's to Port aux Basques, take the ferry to Sydney, Nova Scotia, then drive to Halifax. The whole trip will take a little under 2 days. We should get into Halifax around lunch time or a little later on January 1st. Mom and Dad will then drive home, and Alanna is staying with me until the 9th to help me get settled in. Then she is flying back to St. John's to continue her folklore masters program. I have to visit her as often as possible. I'm going to miss her, but we are very much in love and I have no doubt in my mind that the distance won't keep us apart for long.

It is also my first time not being in a school system since I was 5 years old.
I've rarely been out of Newfoundland.

It's going to be a big change. And I've also got to look forward to writing my thesis on the side when I move there.

Wish me luck.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ready to Roll, not slide...

Just installed these bad boys.

The winters in Atlantic Canada can be messy, and I'd rather be a little overkill on my winter commuter than slip under some cars. For a little less rigorous tread check out the Marathon Winters from Schwalbe, I've heard good things.

Got a nice deal on them from Harold at Earle Industries, I'm going to miss that guy. He told that when I want a roof rack to call him up and he'll hook me up with some Thule stuff and ship it to me.

Oh yeah the rack is for this

My 2011 Honda Civic SE Sedan.

It also has winter/studded tires (but I have the nice aluminum 16" wheels for summer too).

I needed to buy a car for the new job. I'll be doing a fair mount of traveling, so I wanted something reliable, good gas mileage, and a nice drive. So I splurged a little and got the Civic. I'm hoping it's quality and reliability will pay off in the long run.

I'm planning on using it for travel purposes mainly, or if I want to take my bike out of town somewhere for a weekend. As I will work from home, I don't need to commute, and I will be close to amenities so I plan to use my bike for running errands.

The less I have to use this car the better!

Monday, November 15, 2010

New Beginnings- Thanks Ben

"Hey, I've recently begun following your blog, and I think it's great! Just bought a used '09 LHT (olive) via CL, and I couldn't be happier with it! It came with a diff set of drop bars (31.8 Bontrager race lite), stem (FSA 150), and brakes (Shimano BR-R550 cantis)... so far so good! I'm on the other side of Canada (Vancouver), and rain is everywhere. I just need some decent fenders, rain pants, and shoe covers, and I should be ready for the worst of it! I'll check beck often, and can't wait for the next great post on a certainly great bike!"


So I'm not a very good blogger when it comes to tardiness, sue me. But thanks to Ben's recent comment it made me feel like I should at least make a bit of a blog with some excuses, post some old content I've been meaning to publish for a while (see one post down), and talk about what is going on with me. So thanks for the kick in the butt Ben, I'm sure you will love you're new steel beast.

The Surly Long Haul Trucker has had a good first year. With 2262km under my belt of almost pure commuting I'm pretty happy with my first year of serious cycling. Last year as you know I bought my first decent bike and dipped my toes into the hobby, but this year was all about the commute. After moving back home with the parents in Paradise, I had an 18km commute, each way ahead of me in the mornings and evenings, with a headwind mostly everyday on the ride home. I didn't cycle as often as I could have, 2 or 3 days a week most of the time. I avoided the rain most of the time and either borrowed my parents car or got a ride with my lovely sister. There were a couple of times where I would bike for almost a full week, and one time when the car was broke down where I biked back and forth for 10days straight. It's not as much as most people do, but I think it is a good start. St. Johns is not bike friendly with no lanes, shoulder or signage for bikes, and the terrain is rigorous, and the wind feels like it is always a headwind, but I guess I shouldn't complain. In the coming years I hope to bike more and more and avoid using a car only when necessary (more about my commuting and car usage in a bit). The temperature has dropped and frost has started to appear, so the Surly is now tucked safely away from the road salt for the winter.

I've got a busy month or two ahead of me.

I'm still working on finishing up the experiments for my Masters thesis, it is going well, it is just taking time. Looks like I will not finish up for December, but will have to write my thesis in an extra semester...from away (more later I said!).

At the end of the month Alannas parents are heading to Florida for vacation. She lives in Cowan Heights, an area of St. Johns fairly close to campus, only about a 6 or 7km ride. I plan on staying with her while they are away and will attempt to commute by bike! Yep that's right the winter beater is back in the running for actually being ridden! For those of you who don't know, last year I built up a beater bike but never finished it, and because my commute was so long and the winters here are so awful, I never used it. Well now she is prepped and ready to go, all I need is my studded tires which I will be picking up this week.

Then as a christmas gift, her parents are flying us to Florida to spend the holidays with them for a few days! Awesome! I've never been to Florida and it will be a welcome break from winter.

Then when I get back I am moving to Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Now let me might take a while.
In my research I do a lot of Microscopy, on Nikon microscopes. As I started feeling more and more weary about academia, I decided to keep my eye open for positions. On June 3rd a job was posted on Nikons website for a Technical Representative in southwest Ontario. the job description seemed to be written just for me. With at least 6 months left in my masters, I figured there was no way, so I did nothing. A month later the job was still posted. I figured "what the hell!" They can either reject my resume, or offer me something and I can tell them I'm still in school, it wouldn't hurt to apply. So I did. And then nothing.

THREE MONTHS LATER... bam. An email from Nikon HR asking me if I was still interested in the Technical Representative for the microscope and instrument division for EASTERN CANADA.
Long story short:
-I had a phone interview
-I did an online assessment
-They flew me to Toronto for an interview at Nikon HQ (how cool is that!)
-They offered me a Technical Representative position for eastern Canada based out of Halifax to start in January and I accepted!

So the plan is to start work in January and write my thesis part time, fly back as often as possible to visit Alanna who is still completing a Masters thesis in folklore, and try to do a good job. So like I said, I'm going to be busy. I have to find an apartment, and because I will be traveling around Atlantic Canada doing sales and tech service, I need to buy a car. ICK! But I will be working out of a home office so no commuting! And that lets me save up all my energy for fun rides around Halifax and surrounding area. I hope to use the car solely for business, travel, and when it is really nasty out, and bike the rest of the time. Halifax seems to be more bike friendly with a full network of lanes, shoulders, and signs, so we'll see how it goes.

So that's it.

That is what is happening in my life. I'm really hoping everything is going to go at least somewhat according to plan.

I will not be posting much still, as I do have a crap load of stuff to cram into the next month and a half. I will try to make a post once I try the Winter Beater, but other than that I probably won't be able to update much until I've situated myself in Halifax.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The End of Summer

A lot has happened since my last blog post. I've been exceptionally busy trying to get work done for my masters thesis and at the same time trying to have enough fun so I don't loose my mind. So blogging has taken kind of a backseat.

I'll post some short points of what I've been doing since we last spoke.

-August 22 - Bike Trek 2010

I did a fundraiser ride for the Newfoundland and Labrador Lung Association called Bike Trek. It was a 90km ride through the northeast avalon peninsula. Good turn out. I only paid the required $25 however, didn't have time to fund raise. Rex and Lou were there, fast as ever, and a gentleman named Gary riding a very well loved (see: ridden to hell and back) Surly Cross Check. Posted below is the elevation profile and and the route (in Elevation (m) vs Distance (km)).

View Bike Trek 2010 in a larger map

-Haven't done much riding besides commuting

-Got two new lenses for my birthday a Nikon 35mm f/1.8 and a Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OS.

Pics from and respectively

sample pic from the Sigma 18-200mm of Targa Rally 2010

-Tuesday September 22, 2010 Hurricane Igor struck Newfoundland pretty bad. Some parts were cut off with roads totally washed out. Luckily my area wasn't hit too bad. But we had some serious water.

-Sunday September 26 - Alleycat Race
I did a race around St. Johns based on clues and checkpoints. Went the wrong way at the start but still came 8th. It wasn't really competitive, just a fun run.

[All this was started a while back, below is new as of November 15th]

Summer is long gone now.
There wasn't much to it. Due to trying to complete my masters degree I only took a short vacation, and most of my riding, 99%, was just commuting. Having a 36km commute over hilly terrain really makes it hard to get out for fun rides.

Fall is here now (aka Winter light in Newfoundland).
And I'll update the rest in a new blog I'm writing right now.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

New Brakes and Photography

Finally was able to get my Shimano Deore V-Brakes onto my Surly Long Haul Trucker. I mentioned a while ago that I was unhappy with my stock Tektro cantilever brake performance on the LHT. So I decided to give V-Brakes a try after reading some posts on the Long Haul Trucker and Cross Check owners google group. V-Brakes need more cable travel than cantilever brakes so you need to make sure that you get levers that are compatible! The stock levers on the LHT are no good for V-Brakes, so I switched to Tektro RL-250 levers made for drop bars but compatible with V-Brakes. There are many levels of V-brakes you can get from shimano, but once you get past Deore you're getting pretty expensive, the benefit most likely doesn't out weigh the cost I think. I stuck with Deore at $30 each for front and back.

The braking power increase is awesome! Before if I was going down a steep hill I would have to go into the hooks and really pull on the brakes to stop. Now I can lock up my wheels from the hoods! So happy I made this switch. To anyone else riding a LHT and is only so-so about your brakes, just throw some linear pull/v-brakes on there and try it out! I am real happy I did.

I've also been playing with touching up my photos a little bit, and am starting to watch some tutorial videos to try and get a better result straight from the camera. Here are my first two retouches.

Alanna in Petty Harbour

Angel in Flatrock Grotto

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Life, the Universe, and Everything

As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a scientist. (Bare with me this gets a little convoluted)

Not quite as cool as the infamous line delivered by Ray Liota in "Goodfellas," but true none the less. My mother had a book called "School Daze" where every year (until I was of a certain age and didn't care anymore) I would put in my pictures, and fill in all kinds of questions like, who my best friend was that year, what I learned, and what I wanted to be when I grew up. Well even before I can remember, apparently in the first grade I wanted to be a scientist.

So now I guess I am. I have a physics degree.

This curiosity about things was always with me. I would take apart old VCRs and was a very quick learner when the first computer entered our house. Within a week or so of my dad teaching me how to use it, I was teaching him how to do more, and more importantly how to fix stuff on it. Now a days I'm what you would call a tech head. I build my own computers and install everything myself. I play video games such as Half-Life, Team Fortress 2, and Call of Duty. I use linux (and windows) and love it.

I never really fit into a mold, at least I didn't seem to. Never really had a close group of friends. I got called a fag and gay a lot high school because that seemed to be the default thing other guys would call you if they disliked you for no reason.

It is for this reason, as well as common sense and human rights of course, that I am extremely pro-gay rights, in every respect. I am not gay, and I had to deal with all that discrimination and segregation. I can only imagine how hard it is for someone discovering their homosexuality at that age, and having to deal with the ignorance of youth. Many people use religion or ignorance as excuses for hating people for who they are. As MLK said "...will not be judged by the sex they love, but by the content of their character." Or something like that.

Speaking of religion. I am a very strict and outspoken atheist. I do not apologize for this, nor do I "respect" other peoples religion. I respect that people are free to do and say as they please within all confines of the law, but that doesn't mean I have to agree with them or take them seriously. As a scientist I cannot say with absolute certainty that no such thing as a god exists, mind you. "Ahhhh," you say, "So you're an agnostic!" No. No I am not. As Richard Dawkins put it, I'm as agnostic about god, as I am fairies in the garden. Just because I cannot disprove gods existence (one could argue by definition), doesn't mean I don't think it is utter nonsense. Any good scientist should come to the same logical conclusion. Proving something doesn't exist is a pretty challenging thing to do, deity or not. Now, I don't hate you because you are religious, in fact I have some good friends who are devout Muslims, but I do hate the institutions along with the intolerance and ignorance they and their source texts propagate. I enjoy having rational friendly conversations with religious people especially on religious topics, however it is my experience that there are few "believers" that can have a friendly rational conversation on these topics without turning into the Hulk, but they do exist.

The Hulk of course being the big green strong angry man from Marvel Comics. I'm more of a DC fan myself (these segues are going great tonight). Another fun fact about me are some of my hobbies/interests other than bicycling and science. Comic books, being a big one. I started collecting comic books last year sometime. I was always captivated by them at the grocery store news stands, and was very rarely allowed to have one. As the years went on I always had an interest in the lore and myths of comics, but it seemed such a daunting task to jump into. I slowly bought some of the more famous trade paper back collections of comics such as The Dark Knight Returns, Kingdom Come, Batman: Year One, Batman: The Killing Joke, and Crisis on Infinite Earths. I was hooked (as you can see, I am a Batman fan). So I jumped right into buying single issues and have been reading ever since. Lots of great stuff, and a good chunk of just okay stuff, and almost a full long box!

Another crazy hobby I was into for a while was yo-yoing. Not so much anymore, but I still pick them up every now and then.

So to summarize and expand in point form:
-Pro-Gay rights (last big civil rights struggle in my mind)
-Comic book geek
-YoYo geek
-Self proclaimed movie buff (can quote movies for hours)
-Hobby photographer
-Interested in tattoos (have 2 want more)
-Been in a very happy relationship with my best friend and partner Alanna for almost 4 years
-Currently doing a M.Sc.
-And I like riding my bike

So now you have the background.

I come to the conclusion of my masters program in December (hopefully). I've been working with colloidal suspensions in electric fields. It's all a little complicated unless you have a background in soft matter physics, but it is essentially little spheres in a liquid and pump electricity into it and see what happens. The plan has always been to go right through and do my Ph.D. and some postdocs and try and get a faculty position somewhere. Start my own research group etc. As the my bachelor degree went by, and now my masters degree I realize looking at my supervisor and other professors, I am totally not cut out for this and do not want to be. They live for their work. When 5 O'Clock rolls around I am ready for some me time, or some me and Alanna time. Not go home and think about what papers to read tomorrow, and what projects to start. This means for the first time in my life I'm not really sure what I'm going to do.

After four years of living in a city apartment, I'm back living with my parents just outside of St. Johns. An attempt to save money to buy touring equipment, and start paying off a $5000 credit line. This has been relatively unsuccessful, Since November I have acquired a good chunk of touring gear, still would like some more stuff to cross the country though, and have paid nothing on my credit line. My idea for my Cross Canada Trip requires me to pay off that credit line, get a job from January - May 2011 and save enough money for the trip. At this point I see no way I can pay off 5 grand and save a whole bunch of money for a trip of this scope. As such I am CANCELING MY 2011 CROSS CANADA TRIP. It is very sad for me to do this but I do not see a choice.

So what to do what to do. Five months left to do most of my experiments, and write a thesis, then what? I suppose I will try to find some work. I don't know if I can stand another four years of school. I have 7 university years under my belt now. Work will probably take me away from Newfoundland, away from Alanna. I hate to do that, we could survive long distance but I would hate to be away from her. But maybe if I find a job that pays me enough money, I could save up, fly home often to visit, pay off my credit line and student loan quickly, and when I'm ready quit, travel and live off savings until they run out.

I don't know. I could end up doing an Ph.D. in physical oceanography yet... we'll see.

So that is me, and what is going on in my life. It may be boring and most of you probably didn't get this far, but this was probably more for me than it was for you guys.

Oh yeah. 42.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Lightening the Load

It is hard to break habits.

A habit of mine is over packing, over doing, and over thinking things. As such when I go for a bike ride, I usually end up with at least half a pannier full of stuff. First aid kit, snacks, way to much clothes for if it gets hot or if it gets cold, a bike lock when I really don't need one, etc. etc.

This past Sunday I attended the Bike the Street NL group ride to find some more performance oriented fellows had shown up. They were older guys but in very good shape and on very nice bikes. Lou and Rex in particular. Rex had a really nice steel Marinoni Sportivo. I love steel bikes. Any way the 40km-ish ride was nice but those two guys were moving! I really beat the crap out of myself trying to keep up, which I did not succeed in doing. I did go a good bit faster up the hills than normal and passed a few guys but I didn't even get to see the dust that Lou and Rex had left in their wake.

(From left to right: Keith, Mike, Rex, oops don't remember, Wally, and Lou)

So there are a couple of things.
1) I realize I'm in no where near the shape of these two guys, not to mention being 6" taller and probably 30lbs heavier.
2) But I think I could be considerably faster if I trimmed down the weight.

On this particular ride, I had my huge bike lock and my full DSLR kit in an Arkel GT-54 pannier. Not to mention my rarely used Surly Front Nice Rack. So last night I decided to trim down the weight a little. I removed the front rack and switched back to an MEC World Tour 50L pannier (25L for just one) for commuting and only use the Arkels for touring or hauling larger loads like groceries or stuff for spending the weekend at Alannas house. I also mounted the bottom water bottle cage (I ran out of water on Sunday) and a new mount for my Planet Bike Superflash on my rear rack.

Tom from Click-Stand saw my make shift light mount and emailed me to ask me if I would like one of his design! He sent me up one chop chop and I just got it yesterday. Thanks a lot Tom! Tom is super friendly to deal with and his products are AWESOME! If you don't have a clickstand and are tired of your bike falling over in the wind or laying it down in the dirt, go buy one, you won't regret it. I did have to change the mount around a little as my rack is really low, but it does the job (which is lucky cause my light fell off my makeshift mount the other day, lucky it didn't break).

So anyway, I have the front rack taken off for now (feels so different!) and I have my commuting load lightened slightly. What else? I am also thinking about switching seat bags. The people over at Rivendell Bicycle Works have some really nice bags, in particular the Sackville SaddleSack XS,

as well as the Brand V Seat Bag.

Both are a little over sized compared to regular saddle bags (2.3L and 2.9L respectively) in accordance with the form and function of traditional bicycle bags that Rivendell follows. Right now I just have a Topeak bag that holds a small tool kit. But with one of these bags I should be able to store a jacket, and a snack, tool kit, first aid, and my cell phone and perhaps more! This would be great for those long recreation rides when I just really don't need a pannier and want to go light. Couple that with a handlebar bag (already have an MEC one but might upgrade to Arkel eventually) for my DSLR and I'm set. On top of that I think I might go to a thinner tire and store my 37mm contis for touring. This also might limit my ability to ride on the tracks depending on how thin I go, which is unfortunate. Any suggestions on a tire size and model?

I'm thinking of riding a 90km fundraising ride for the Newfoundland and Labrador Lung Association called Bike Trek. It is a 90km ride, which is more than I've ever done in a sitting. But I think with the amount of riding I do, and the distances I've done with large loads, it shouldn't be a big deal. I'd like to have that seat bag so I can remove my rear rack temporarily, to travel real light. It is not a race, it supposedly leisurely and has mandatory rest stops. I think it could be a lot of fun. Will keep you posted.

Basically, I want to go faster. I love my Surly Long Haul Trucker, and wouldn't trade it for the world. I just have to lighten the load a little. That is pretty much it on the bicycling front as of late, haven't done a whole lot. Have been busy with school.

Maybe I will make a personal post tomorrow, and really introduce everyone to me and what is going on in my life right now.

Thanks for reading.
Keep riding.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Vlog+Plog+Blog = A long update...

Last week my bike computer passed the 1000km mark on the Surly Long Haul Trucker. It's actually more like 1150 because I put some miles on it before attaching the computer. Anyway, it was a pretty cool thing to see being new to riding. It also makes me happy to know that almost all of that was commuting. I saved a lot of money and a lot of CO2 from going into the atmosphere by doing that 1000km. So for me it was a big deal. Still have the whole summer to go yet, and with the weather getting better should have no trouble putting on the miles. About 150kms after this I replaced my chain.

They say if you replace your chain every 1500km you'll save yourself from having to do a drive train replacement (chain rings, cassette, rear derailleur) for a long time. So that is my plan. I sauntered over to Harolds (my LBS) yesterday after work and slapped on a Sram PC-971 chain. Will do another replacement in another 1500km or so. Then I went to the comic shop for this weeks pull.

And then I commuted home.

Now for some fun riding stuff!

Sunday I went to a group ride. First one I've been to in a while. This one started a bit early, 10am on a Sunday, but I was game. but only two others were. Matt and Wally. We had a route planned but Wally pipes up, "We could go to Cape Spear!" Wally is a little older than us, and not as an experienced rider, but great guy and really interested in riding. Me and Matt, having done this ride kind of looked at each other and said, "um...are you sure? It's not easy." But he wanted to do it so off we went. From our start point in Bowring Park to Cape Spear (the most easterly point in North America) and back is only around 30km out and back. It's not the distance that gets's the terrain. Notice the Elevation (m) vs Distance (km) graph (thank you HTC Legend!).

View Cape Spear Ride in a larger map

We all struggled. Wally had to walk a couple of the hills but I must say he did a fine job for his first Cape Spear ride. The up hills are brutal, but speeding down the other side almost makes it worth it. (I hit 75km/hr going down into the last hill, fastest I've ever gone!)

When we rode down into Cape Spear we had an interesting encounter! There was a group of antique car owners from all across the country starting a cross country ride from Newfoundland to British Columbia! I whipped out the phone video camera to get as many of them captured as I could.

(England is over there somewhere...)

On this ride I was informed that Freeride, a downtown bike shop, actually had some Surly's in stock! A Long Haul Trucker, a Steam Roller, a Cross Check, and even Pugsley build! Only having seen these online and being a huge Surly fan boy I vowed to go see them. I also wanted to get a good GPS track of the old railway bed I have previously mentioned from start to finish (and by finish I mean to where the track is no longer maintained). The track starts downtown, so today I left work a little early and headed down to Freeride to take a look.

Much to my dismay all of the Surlys he had were gone! Except one, but I was already a little familiar with this one...

Truckaccino looks much nicer than I thought it would in person. Regardless I chatted to the guy a bit about steel bikes, touring, and Surlys. Good guy and a nice chat. They have a crazy special on Steamrollers for $750 right now. If I only needed another bike, or a single speed/fixed gear, or had $750. That is a lot of if's. Haha.
So then I headed out of the main downtown area to the Costal Railway Museum to get on the tracks and head home.

View Downtown & The Tracks in a larger map

Caution Bad Dancing Ahead?

The Start of the tracks

Neat Monument/Info about Newfoundland Rangers right on the tracks!

Oh T'Railway...I get it. In Paradise the trail gets a little more...urban.

Good to know, but why do I see trail bike track marks then?

The "end" of the trail. Lot's of signage.

The long steady incline in the center corresponds to the trail right until it peaks. So it is a slow steady incline the whole way with a couple of flat spots. I still averaged 18km/hr. It's a nice ride. I say that is the end of the trail, because I explored a little past that point last week and it wasn't very pleasant on the Surly. I mean she took it, but it wasn't comfortable, especially when it started raining. The gravel is a much coarser grain left over from the original train bed, and full of bumps from erosion.

It gets much worse further in.

Well that is about it for ride stuff. I'm still waiting for Harold to put through the order for my new bar, brakes, and levers, but I am in no rush. Also have to place another order for touring/camping gear soon so I can get out and enjoy the summer with the misses. I'll leave you with some of my photography since getting the Nikon D50 and just some encounters with friends.

Research Group Meeting (the guy with the "is he taking a picture?" face is my supervisor)

I Love BBQ

Not much of a steak dinner...

That's better. Did I mention I love BBQ?

BBQ at my friend Marks house...

With Marek...

After Gyp-rocking Marks basement ceiling.

Now for my attempt at fancy shmancy picture taking...

Trying out my ND 8 Filter at Bowring Park

Bowring Park

Thomas Amusements (if you can't tell, I like long exposure stuff)

Mmmm, International Flavours. Thanks Talot!

Memorial University of Newfoundland Campus

And last but not least, the view from my front door.

Good night everyone.