Saturday, July 21, 2012

The LSD cell phone ride.

I'm not sure if my head is always on straight when it comes to opportunities to ride my bike... This morning around 7:45 I received a text from my friend Greg:: "do you feel like riding to Georgetown and back? 160 kms approx." Me: "sure", Greg: "Agnes (Greg's wife) forgot her cell there", Me: "OK I'm in".

Now this ride ended up being 183 kms. and that is a long way... Plus we went via the Three Sisters, which are three pleasant hills in a row, then once you cross the 6 there are a few more hills to deal with. Needless to say it was a long hard day in the saddle of  6 hours and 20 minutes (I think I have the right to say day).

The destination is Greg's friend who has build a custom pizza oven... it's very very nice, and if I had time I'd have one in my backyard, with a custom smoking pit. mmm food.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Old College Mates....

One of my dorm/house mates from LeTourneau University showed up on my doorstep Monday night. He's traveling around North America for two months, I'm one of the lucky people on his list. We were both in the DSP or Delta Sigma Si. and from there I went off to Texas A&M, but funny thing is most of my contacts of that era are still LeTourneau friends. 

John and his wife Donna showed up in Brantford Monday night and we had a nice visit. I had just rolled up to my house from a ride with my local friend Greg as they drove up in their van. The evening was just cooling off and we were able to sit in the back yard and catch up, as the dogs showed off in the grass. The next day I had work that had to be done, so we planed for a 3:00 bike ride to Port Dover and have supper. The "girls" did a quick tour of Brantford and walked around Port Dover looking at the shops. The Dover run is a pretty straight and flat run with, 4 "hills" and John's not too fond of hills so he was keeping me accountable to the hills... there a few "false flats" along the way too. Any how to Texas boys rode in the heat and has a good 50 kms (30 mile) ride down to Calahan's Beach House for perch dinner. Sitting out on the back deck we could not have ordered up a nicer evening. The sun was not too hot by this time and as it wend down it cooled off very nicely. Very good seeing old college friends. 

Enjoy and have safe travels on the rest of your trip John.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Out meeting people

Today's intention was a recovery ride, after two harder days in the saddle. So I headed out my normal route, and saw a rider who was going about the pace I wanted for the day. I caught up with him and introduced myself. It was nice riding with an avid cyclist about the same age. Bob and I were able to talk about work, families and cycling. Quite refreshing after being around two 24 year-olds for the last three weeks!

While traveling one forgets how nice it is to have a riding "buddy", and how much you miss all the "homies", that's you  "Brantford Boys and Girls".

Bob was out for about a 2 hour ride, and I was able to get on some roads that I had not been on before, and figured out the roads that I had gotten lost on last Saturday. This was a very good day to get out and enjoy the day between having company on a ride, talking about life at a level my age group is interested, it just made it better. I wish I had run into him last week, as he was telling me how to get down into Washington the "easy way" on a bike. With that information I could have ridden into D.C. and seen the sights but that would have prevented me from enjoying the day with Ben and Cam. Hopefully we can get another ride in when I'm back in the area.

Friday, June 8, 2012

A Fantastic Day for a Ride

We had some time today, not much to do, therefore I mapped out a 96 km ride. Part of the ride ended up being big chip and no tar (or I did not see it), but at the risk of saving tires we took a detour along the bike trail which was the mule trail for pulling barges up and down the C&O canal system. Here we actually saw some cyclist out riding, it was very quiet and shady. We also went past an abandoned Ferry crossing used by the Union and the Confederates, and I also found out that Poolesville had a few confederate son's and a few skirmishes around the area to me this is all pretty cool as I studied Civil war history in University.

Not to mention today was as about as nice of a day as cyclist could ask for, if only the cars were off the road it would have been better.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

More Washington D.C.

This time Cam did not join us and it was just Ben and I. We went off to Capitol Hill, then to the American History Museum.

On my ride this morning I went past a restaurant in a small town west of us and they were having a great Sunday Brunch and the smoker was going preparing ribs for the evening rib special... BBQ has to be pursued in the South and if smells good in the morning it's going to be good for supper. All three of us got in the car and headed to Poolesville and the Basset restaurant and sat on the porch and drank REAL iced tea. By the time we went through all the food we were all full.

Now That's what I'm talkin' about!

Yesterday I took direction from an older guy on a nice bike... I ended up lost and in city traffic (not bad traffic, but still in the city). Today I went my own direction and I found country roads... The kind of roads cyclist live for. The thing that surprised me is the lack of cyclist. Even yesterday the "big" group had 15 guys in it. Today I saw a total of 4 cyclist on the furthest most part of the course, their loss.

A short Ride, then into Washington D.C.

This is more of a photo journal today as our ride was a fitness ride more than anything else.

Then the tourist... With Cam Brehn and Ben Clark

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Off to Bear Mountain.

I met a cyclist on Tuesday and he told me Bear Mountain was a good climb and it was 30+  miles north of here... Well, I had to do it...
This morning I Google mapped it, downloaded Firefox and used an app to convert Google Maps to a GPX file  then I went to another website and converted it to a TCX file... then I loaded onto my bike computer. I later found out that Google maps does not use as many pick points as Map My Ride, and I would have had a better mapped course. 

Not having a great map allowed me to do the way of yore. Ride along a cyclist and ask for directions. I found such a cyclist and they had to stop in a LBS for air in their tires and the owner finally got my rear deralur dialed in after weeks of messing around with it, now I have all 10 speeds in the back on command! yea. Now for you cyclist, I had a 12-23, as I thought this area is flat, and no hills, I wished I had a 12-25 to get up Bear Mt. it was not hard, not much different than the Gatineau's climb... 

Once I got up, descending is easy but the ride home had some major "rollers" along the way, not to mention that a Thuderstorm was developing, but I can read them pretty good after all these years on a bike, and I made for a Motel, front room with chairs just before it started and sat out one hour of a major Thunderstorm. WOW it came down, and the thunder was fantastic! at the tail end I rode in the rain, cyclist can ride in the rain and I'm a "hard man" of cycling... I got to the small town of Nyack, NY where the bike shop was and it is at the bottom of the Appalachians, right on the Hudson and the streets were 2 feet deep in water... the bike got wet. I then climbed out  of town thinking I was a pretty darn "hard man" of cycling riding through all that, and head home on the last leg.... and I was on my last leg, this long in the saddle is hard, I'm good and strong for about four hours but this ended up being a six hour ride.

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Central Park Loop.

OK, so I can see New York form our Condo, and the Empire State building on our way home. I had to ride in Central Park. Cam Brehn is working with me on this project and wanted to do ride tonight so I said Central Park and he was in. We started at our place and headed up the Hudson, we climbed up to the George Washington Bridge over the Hudson River and worked our way onto Broadway. Lot's of TV shows shoot on that section of Broadway as I recognized it from Serpico, and NYC cop shows.
We arrived at the North end of the park, went into the entrance and once there the southbound section of the park had been closed to traffic for the weekend (cool), lots of runners and cyclists. I talked Cam into going out in the traffic and getting a photo in front of the Plaza... not too keen on riding down Times Square, his crazy dad might have done it and scared the crap out of me, but Cam has some common sense Robert is missing. We then got back on the North bound section was just closed to traffic, as we got to our Northern exit we threw caution to the wind (getting home in dark without lights), and rode a second lap. Beat up on a few NYC boys, with VERY nice bikes. Then hit our exit at the North end happy we had ridden Central Park.

Both ways we rode through Harlem, on the way back Cam showed me the Apollo theater, Cam wanted his photo in front of it... He took a second look around and said "nah, keep moving" Got to the Bridge, this guy (Cam not me) has a fantastic sense of direction. I knew where we were going because I Google mapped but I'm never positive. We got back and both were happy for a great ride on Friday night in NYC.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

OK, I'm on my last day here and I want to eat Cuban food and I want to see and photo a gator...
I did find a good Cuban restaurant that was "modest" in price and had home cooking. I took the daily special Rabo Encendido, with plantains and rice. Most likely the the Ox Tail was a bit fattier than what I should be eating and fried Plantains are! Oh well, until I get to Cuba for their Jazz festival this will have to do.

I then waited to see if it was going to rain again, it was cloudy windy and very questionable all day but no rain so I decided to venture out, I took a state highway that went through the everglades hoping to find my gator for a photo op... no luck... but I saw air  boats and a lot of swampland! And I do mean a lot. I got my second flat in Florida, my first was on my first ride there at the beginning of March, second at the end of my stay at the beginning of May. Their roads are not really cyclist friendly. ON THAT note. I saw the Weston cycling club out riding... Idiots taking up TWO lanes on a state highway and had 10 cars backed up... come on guys most drivers hate us when we behave... and that just gives them all the more reason to hate us.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

From City to City

It has been quite a while since my last post. When I was home I got in one ride then I was to Winnipeg for my Father-in-Law's funeral over Easter. After that I got the Flu or something that made me so sick I could hardly get out of bed never mind I had a full week of work, so no riding.

Back to Minneapolis where I stayed just north east of the U of M, in a house that was used by university students. around the corner I found a community school... and it IS all about ME! HA.

At the University there is some nice architecture and this building is quite cool looking, there are a lot of real nice buildings in Minneapolis.

Then I was off to Florida, land of the Sun, and I've gotten in a few rides, most with lots of cars and I'm the only Road bike on the road... Nerves of Steel. Tuesday I rode up to north end of Ft. Lauderdale and to the Everglade national park... well till I ran out of paved road, and back home by dark. Tonight... Well, once again nice temps (yes I'm showing off for my homies), and Rode to the beach... and saw how the poor 1% live.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A "fake" Saturday morning

I don't ever get to sleep in on Saturday's at home, between the dogs (Darcy specifically) and riding it just does not happen. Today I slept in till 8:00 a.m. and then went to the Pannekoeken Huis and had a Fresh Strawberry Pannekoeken for breakfast... I may have to take a nap after eating this!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Finished our Minneapolis IKEA.

We were able to finish our project today, therefore having the afternoon off. So as any guy in his right mind would do, I took a nap! 

After I took my nap we ran an errand and then I got on my bike to do a "real" training ride! After my ride I ate dinner and as I write this enjoying a local Beer, brewed about one mile from where we are staying in St. Louis Park, MN! Tomorrow a.m. I plan on going out for Pancake Breakfast and then I will have to come back home and work on quotes. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunny Sunday in Minneapolis

Today I went to John Piper's Church, Bethlehem Baptist Church (or BBC), my local church is Brant Community Church (or BCC) I enjoyed worship and his sermon. The only problem of the morning was that when I went to get a photo with him my phone camera crashed, and now I have to figure out why it won't take photos... Darn. That would have been cool to have that photo.

Oh well, the worship was good, the coffee tasted like church coffee and they had goodies galore for coffee time. I then headed back home the non-highway direction looking for some place to eat and via wandering down a road I ran into a neighbourly cafe with a lot of people standing out in front. I had to wait for quite a while, this is Victors 1959 Cafe, which is Cuban... No Cuban food in Ft. Lauderdale but in Minneapolis I manage to eat Cuban.

Time to let some of the food settle then out in the sun for some riding.Which was a bit cool today... but I still got in two hours. Along the green-way there is a bike shop call Freewheel and they have a coffee bar. I stopped in for an espresso and an inexpensive bike lock so that during the week and on my return trip I will be able to stop at some of the other shops for nachos or beer or whatever... I don't want my bike to go AWOL!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

LSD Ride in Minneapolis

Today was again supposed to be sunny and nice out. Jeff and I were both tired but we were planning our rides last night, we had picked up a MTB/cruiser type rental for the week for him and he is still on the trail at 6:30 p.m. and I am not expecting to see him till much later tonight.

My plan for the ride was to do an appropriate ride for this time of year a LSD (Long Steady Distance) and I fuelled up the bike and planed on a five (5) hour ride, I was not positive if I could do 5 hours of trails but if I could do it anywhere it would be here. I looked at the map and there is a loop that went around the "lakes" and to the Mississippi River then down and back to the lakes. This was my first go around, I got a chance to see some fantastic architecture on the river, so I did a bit of sight seeing took some photos and went on to do another loop and this time I went a wee bit further north seeing what there was to see, and when I came back toward the river I connected up with a young engineer named Ben out for a ride. We got chatting and I was able to join him on his ride and he took me over to St Paul, up a couple of good climbs (oh boy at this time of year those HURT!). We then went through the U of M (the university of Minnesota), and through a couple of other campus' in town. Looking at more fantastic homes. We finished up our ride down the green belt where we met up with another U of M cyclist who's studding physiotherapy (sorry I don't remember you name). They pulled off at their respected exits and as I arrived home I peeled my butt off of my saddle with a total of 5 hours and 15 minutes of riding time in the saddle, a good day! Two bottles of Recoverite, a shower, a beer, and a nap... and at 6:45 it's still sunny and gorgeous outside!

BTW, I don't take photos too well when I'm tired sorry Ben...

Find more in Minneapolis, MN

Monday, March 19, 2012

From Florida to Minnesota

Well, I thought that this would a big change in weather Florida in March and Minneapolis in March... Hmm... Well, NO when we arrived all I could think about was get to the house unpack get groceries and go for a ride...

Friday we had finished all our work and so we headed off to visit Naples on the other side of Florida. Down we drove "alligator alley" I was driving and so Jeff and Robert saw numerous Gators sunning and I did see two big ones out of the corner of my eye as most the drivers in Florida are twice my age and drive twice as fast as I do, I did not want to die.

Saturday in Florida was a good day, Robert and I got up early to ride with the Weston cycling group. Robert's about a month a head of me in training and he sat toward the front I sat in the middle of 75 to 80 riders and moved to the front 30% once I knew I would be o.k. then we got on a road and the pace went up a bit faster than 53-13 could sustain without peddling at 120 r.p.m. and I thought I'd be spit out again, but it slowed down "a bit" and I was good with that. On the home stretch there were a few guys who were beyond their limits and the guy right in front of me went flying out of his position and took out 10 guys.... lucky me I just went inside and was safe. Robert was safe two riders in front of him. This was the end of the speed for me as once the gap was there I had no hope of catching back on again.

Now as far as "team tactics" go if Robert and I were racing I have to say that the Paris 1880 kit is fantastic, it stands out and I knew where Robert was and when he a 4 others went off the front I would know to make sure that his break stayed. Good kit and I have enjoyed wearing all these years.

With all the work we had done and the great rides, we then spent the rest of the day "by the pool" at our "house" it was a good laid back day in the sun. We had a nice dinner of chicken, potatoes and peas (most on the BBQ), and off to bed for Jeff and I to get up VERY early in the a.m. for our flight. Early a.m. drop off the rental car, check in with 100's of cruse ship people and go through security (all of my favourite things about travel, Homeland Security, Yea).

We arrived in Minneapolis before noon, and got to our house and unloaded by noon... groceries bought, bike unpacked by  2:30... Hmm should I go for a ride in a bike friendly town? WHAT! you bet! I went out about 3... and came home at dusk, There are so many bike trails here! I spent three hours ON the bike... never mind a few minutes figuring out the one way cyclist around the lakes, the stop at the bike-shop on the bike trail to browse try and find a ride for the week and a double espresso... Greg they did not have apple strudel or I would have had one for you. I also spent several minutes talking to a young couple out on their matching Surley Cross checks. VERY cool, only in cool since (well, with ice still on the lake the breeze was cool too).

Monday, we showed up to work and turned out a great day.