Friday, February 25, 2011

Winter is Slow: (anyone want to sell me a chromo frame?!)


Well just like the title says, the days just drag on and I find myself missing riding my Surly LHT, just cruising around the streets in the hot night air. Cycling is so much easier in summer, and so much more enjoyable.

The weekend before last I managed to get out for a ride. It was only short, around 10.5km or so, but it was nice just to get out. I managed to see a little of the park on the southern shore and a little of the downtown area. I'm still getting used to the area, but know enough to not get lost (the gps in my android phone helps).

(train tracks are a new thing for me, as there are no trains in Newfoundland)

So much muck and snow! But it was a fun ride. I stopped into a place called Boneheads for lunch. it is a southern style BBQ restaurant. I had a pulled pork sandwich and fries, which I know the sandwich is a bit of a staple in southern BBQ. Now I'm not a huge pork lover but it was okay. the helpings were massive, I didn't eat it all as I didn't want to throw up riding home.

On the ride home I had some knee pain in my right leg, and it was pretty tender the rest of the night. I attribute it to not being on the bike much since October/November and also riding in -7 C before windchill.

I think I've finally figured out a winter clothes routine that works for me.

I've been wearing my Sugino long sleeve technical thermal with a MEC fleece over that. I bring my MEC windbreaker with me just in case the wind is biting or it is a little colder, but it is not waterproof.

I have my MEC Switch gloves which I really love. They are not biking gloves, but they are made of leather and are windproof and water resistant. I've also given them my own water repellent treatment. They keep my hands pretty warm. So far I've been down to -7 or -9 C and my fingers only got a little cold when I stopped for a bit.

On Bottom I have my Sugino themral tights. These are not of the windproof variety, but they keep me pretty toasty. However I find them a little restricting, it seems to be a harder ride with tights on then without. I have some 3/4 knickers over that which are from the GAP but I got at Value Village for $12. These really help keep the wind off and keep me warm. Not so great in summer riding. I have MEC technical knickers for that.

I also have an MEC headband, and an MEC fleece bandanna which works great as a scarf without the trouble. It is a triangle of fleece with velcro in the two corners. You simply velcro it around the back of your head, and pull it down to your neck or up to your nose, or whatever! Probably the best thing I have for cold weather.

The only thing I haven't figured out is footwear... I don't have the money to spring on partially insulated/water resistant hiking boots, which is what I think I would like to wear. So I've been wearing my Chuck Taylors with a pair of cotton and a pair of wool socks. It's not so bad, but start to get cold after a while, and if they get wet I'm screwed.

I could also use a pair of goggles for those colder days.

This past weekend my lovely girlfriend was able to visit me for 5 days on her reading break from grad school. It was great. She is gone again now so I'm lonely again and have nothing to do but work, and update my blog. While she was hear we ate out a bit. We tried a greasy spoon diner called Johnny's Snack Bar, which just tasted like cafeteria food. I could have made better chicken strips and fries. We also tried a place right next door to that a few days later called the Brooklyn Warehouse. It was fantastic. All of there food is organic and fresh and boy could you taste it. I had the best burger, made from local organic beef. Best burger I've had. I could actually strongly taste the beef as opposed to seasoning or sauce. It was delicious. Alanna had fried Haddock and chips which she was also extremely satisfied with.

Now besides having a tasty burger, there was something very important discovered in that restaurant. Asking for a drink in a restaurant is always a negotiation with me as I love Pepsi (a little too much probably) and am really not fond of Coke.

Me: I'll have a Pepsi please.
Waitress: Coke okay?
Me: Root beer?

Now here is where the magic happened. The waitress suggested something called Propeller Root Beer. So Alanna and I both agreed to try it. We were a little concerned with out decision because she said it came from a brewery and we didn't ask if it was non-alcoholic (I was driving). The drink arrived in a cool brown bottle. All natural ingredients, brewed locally here in Halifax, and it was the most delicious Root Beer I've ever tasted.

I know. Two "best I ever tasted" in one place. I can't help it, it's true!

Anyways, needless to say we headed down to the brewery in the next few days and bought a half case of Root Beer. We also ate at the Keg, which we love, and baked a whole chicken and then made a delicious pot of chicken soup with potato and tomatoes, from scratch.

Well I've already written tons so I'll end it here, but if you are in Halifax, Nova Scotia, be sure to check out The Brooklyn Warehouse, Boneheads (which I also had a shredded chicken sandwich at the other day which was WAY better), and The Propeller Brewery. Really glad I found these spots.

PS: here is a new pic of my "command center" with new monitor and keyboard.

Wanted: A semi-vintage, affordable steel bike
I'm looking for something like a Miyata, Peugeot, Trek, or Nishiki road bike from the 80's. Looking for a chromoly frame, something with reynolds or columbus tubing would be great. The frame should be in good condition. I'd really like to get a frame, fork, headset, stem, and bb if possible extra parts in good condition is a bonus. I need something with a 56 or 58 cm and don't want to spend a whole lot of cash on it. If you have something you think I might be interested in that you can ship to Nova Scotia for a reasonable price, leave a comment with the bike make, and your contact info and I'll get in touch with you.

I want to set this up as a road bike, with only a large old school seat bag, and possibly a mini front rack. I'm looking to build it up slowly so if I can just get frame/fork/headset that would be great.