Sunday, January 23, 2011

Back in the saddle

Well it's been over a month since my last post. Since then I've finished up my experiments for my Masters program, went to Naples, Florida for a week during Christmas, moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia, started a new job, spent a week in Mississauga, ON for training, visited friends in Guelph, ON for a weekend, and have my first real week of work under my belt. It's been a busy month. I won't get into the stuff much as none of it is cycling related and this blog has been lacking some serious cycling talk lately. But first I'll share one real nice shot I got while in Florida.

Straight from the camera, basic jpeg, no adjustments. I'm pretty proud of this, it was taken on Christmas day. And here is me trying something new in Florida!

I saw recumbents on display outside a shop and just had to try one out. Took it around the lot a few times, turning is real tricky with the small wheel and little rake, but definitely an interesting ride.

So I finally got to get out on my bike again. Last weekend I made a grocery store trip on the bike. The store is around 1.5km from the house, and I just wanted to get out. So rather than taking the stinky old car I hopped on the winter beater hooked up all the lights, horn, and bags, and a box for overflow (which I totally needed). It took a lot of organizing because a lot of stuff was still tucked away from the move, but I got out. It was a nice little ride, there is something about doing a mandatory chore on a bike that is very rewarding. Commuting, grocery getting, running errands by bike just gives me a very good feeling. So far still don't have a good boot/shoe for winter riding. So I've been riding in my Chuck Taylors with a pair of cotton and wool socks. haha.

The bike feels pretty hefty with all that grocery weight on the back. So I think I may try and pick up a used child trailer. Nothing brand name. Just see if I can find something local for hauling junk around in. Also I had to take the mirror in the picture off, it was really getting in the way of my bar ends, I need a better mirror solution...any suggestions?

We had a good bit of snow the other day too. I took my bike out for a little 10.4 km jaunt around town to run some errands. Had to drop some film off to be developed. Cutting through the powder in the back yard on the bike felt very interesting, and fun. I had no problem riding over icy patches and frozen chunks left over from plows on the sides of the road with the Schwalbe Ice Spikers, they make me very confident in my riding. I actually cut across a large field that had been packed down to pretty much ice by pedestrians. The studs dug into the ice no problem and I felt completely stable. In the coming weeks I look forward to checking out some trails. I was hesitant to the aggressive tread of the Ice Spikers and they're 300-something studs. Saying they are not a fast tire is a huge understatement, but if you're a rider in Canada and you want to be 99% confident you aren't going down on ice these are the puppies to get. All it takes is one fall to get a bad injury, and these tires will certainly help in preventing that.

So that is it for now, most of my blogs have been too long winded lately anyway. Now it's audience participation time.

What kind of weather rider are you? Do you ride in snow, rain or shine? Or are you a seasonal rider?

For you winter riders, what do you wear on your feet?!

Also, I find I don't take many pictures while out on a ride. I always have my smartphone but never bother to take pictures. Maybe when I get to do some more scenic riding again I'll take more.

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