Sunday, February 27, 2011

Monday on two wheels.

Life is great. Had a quiet night at home with daughter on Friday, got some chores done on Saturday, then had a great dinner at Avenue restaurant in Comox, with Sister and Girlfriend. Today we had a nice hike in the snow out by Comox Lake. Nice and tired out now, ready for Monday.

Back on the bike tomorrow morning, barring major ice. It looks like the snow is done for now. Bring spring. Can't wait for daffodils and trilliums. And taking the hardtail and the dog out on the trails, when the snow is gone. Have a good start to the week.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

snowing again

What the hell is going on??? Its happening again. I guess I just have to wait a few more days. Hopefully next week. I am really glad that I have the opportunity to use a company vehicle, and didn't have to risk riding down to work in the ice and snow. It is slippery out there. Too bad my commute isn't flat, that may have made it easier to get on two wheels. It will come, its almost March, oh yeah!

I am now on twitter  @cynicalcyclist. Follow me. Have a good night.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Still snow, staying positive.

As I sit here on Sunday afternoon, wishfully thinking that I can get my bike home tomorrow afternoon, and continue on for the rest of the week. There is a mixed forecast for the weather. It looks like there is going to be some snow this evening, by the clouds and temperature. The sun could also come out at anytime. This weather is so confusing. If you don't like the weather, wait ten minutes and it will change. How true.

I am seeing some hope for cyclists in the Courtenay. The city wants to incorporate a North/South bike lane on Fitzgerald avenue. That is great news. Courtenay doesn't have any dedicated bike lanes along a major street. This is a step in the right direction. The City isn't sure how they are going to accomplish this, and still accommodated vehicle and leave parking space along Fitzgerald for home and business owners. My hope is a lane dedicated and totally separated from the vehicles. I hope that would encourage safe cycling for those who are hesitant about it. While it doesn't matter to me, I will ride any where with traffic, I am not scared. I also follow the rules to a T, am well lit and visible, many people are scared. Its a shame.

The Rotary club is also fundraising to create a paved path parallel to the railroad tracks in Courtenay. The first phase will be quite short, only from Fifth street to Cumberland Rd. Its a start, these things take money to accomplish, and I hope will breath some fresh air on a run down part of town. Eventually the path will run from 29th street to Fifth. All the way across town. My dream is for one day, if the railroad ever shuts down, it will become a rail to trail to Victoria. Sign me up, I want to be one of the first to ride this route. It would be a big tourist draw for the island.

Now if there could be a way to for some infrustructure money made available to create a cycling lane from Cumberland to the Highway off ramp. The road is wide enough for it. The shoulder is gravel and full of pot holes, the pavement on the road is really bumpy, and the cars have to take a wide berth around a bike, or slow down to let a car pass on the other side.

All these dreams, and there is no money. So many billions spent on making it easier to allow cars to travel from a to b. I think the best way to improve roads and bridges is to get vehicles off of them. I can't believe that the car company's aren't taxed for all these roads. Railroads are owned and built by the railroad company(mostly), sports stadiums are built by the owners of the teams(mostly), it just doesn't make sense that the auto manufactures got fat pockets on the backs of tax payer funded highways. When was the last time a bike manufacture was given thousands of kilometers of paved roads, loaned money in a bail-out, allowed to create a  product that isn't as efficient as possible. I will keep leading by example by riding my bike as long as it is safe and practical. Doing my bit for the world. My daughter is already learning that the bicycle is the transportation of the future. I think that every liter of gas should have one cent tax on it, to help fund cycling, and other carbon free modes of transportation(walking, skateboarding, roller blading, etc.) Transit is good, but only if the transit is full. A bus with only two or three people on is isn't efficient. Have you seen how much black smoke comes out of the exhaust on one of those transit buses. Its crazy.

Time to sigh off for today. Have a good week.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


So this weather has really gotten in the way of my commute. I rode in Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday morning. As I was cruising down the connector to Courtenay, it started to snow. There was flurries off and on all morning, until noon, when it really came down. About two inches fell in an hour. So I used my work truck to drive home. The shoulders were full of snow, so no room for me. It didn't feel safe. I am really glad I didn't risk it because this morning the roads were really icy. That scares the shit out of me, sliding around on a bike. And tonight there is a snow fall warning of 10cm, so I drove home again today. I am hoping that I can ride home tomorrow afternoon. I was just getting into the routine of the commute. Monday and Tuesday were really rainy and windy. I really didn't mind it one bit. Its a little slower, but I was dry and comfortable. I like to think of all the  vehicle drivers who look at me like I am an idiot when I ride in that terrible weather. Makes me giggle.

Positive thinking that this weather will smarten up and spring will be here any day. CC

Sunday, February 13, 2011

New week

I hope everyone had a great weekend. I spent it with my girlfriend, it was nice and quiet. I did some work at her dads house on Saturday. We had some good meals again, and a few walks. The weather was miserable on Saturday, blowing and raining. Glad it waited until the weekend and I didn't have to commute in it.

Speaking of commuting, my first full week went really well. The weather was quite good. There was some wind on Monday and Tuesday afternoon, and a light rain on Friday afternoon. Beyond that, it was really nice, especially for February. Not many other commuters on my route. There is one fellow who rides daily and did all winter, on a full suspension MTB. I am so impressed. Really happy with the amount of daylight as well. Today there is exactly 10 hours between sunrise and sunset. Spring is around the corner :)

I am so frustrated with pedestrian cyclists riding on the sidewalk and/or on the wrong side of the road. These folks are just asking to be hit. I want to holler at them all. I will just get worse and worse with the weather getting better. I really don't like to hear about a cyclist getting hurt, we need to be proactive out there. Use lights, bright clothes, follow the rules. Don't ride and talk on the phone. Don't ride after drinking. Use your brain, and you will keep your in your head, not on the sidewalk.

I picked up some shoe covers for my SPD shoes on Saturday. Now I don't have to worry about getting we feet. My waterproof system is complete. I will like to ride in a down pour and see how it all works. I have a MEC helmet cover, Sugoi Majik waterproof shell, waterproof/insulated gloves from Marks, packable rainpants from Marks and now these Sugoi Resistor booties. I also bought some new Specialized half finger gloves. My old ones lasted me all last year, about five months of riding everyday. They were gross. So much sweat and snot on them.

My Icebreaker order has arrived from the US. It is really nice to have an American address to ship things to. No sales tax and the exchange is almost par, plus the US prices are much less that the Canadian. I am stoked to get this package. Two long sleeve tops, two short sleeve tops and a pair of underwear. GF got me into merino wool, and I am a little addicted to it. My collection is growing rapidly. I really want to add a merino cycling jersey. Maybe this spring.

I hope your Monday is good. Hopefully I will have a chance to write something more this week.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Back at it

It was a good weekend. I spent all weekend with my girlfriend and her parents. Nice and mellow. Had some nice meals. I introduced them to breaded and fried fish. They are vegetarians, who eat a little fish. Never had it like that, they were amazed with it. I was happy and ate too much.

I watched part of the Canucks game Friday night, and the Super Bowl. Slash coming out at Half Time was the best part as far as I was concerned. Good to see the Pack win again.

I got out for a run on Saturday. I am just getting back to being able to run again. I have a tight IT band and my knee was really sore for a few months. It was really hard for me. I was really enjoying my new hobby, and it put me in a slump for a while. I am feeling great about it, and soon will be out often with the Pooch.

I ordered some waterproof shoe covers for my commute. I am really happy that I have a full waterproof outfit now. Nice gear. I will detail my outfit and its performance once I ride in a heavy rain. Fingers crossed that I won't have to try it out to much.

Getting motivated about home reno's. I don't know when time and money will allow it, but I do have some kind of a vision and hopefully I can get some things done. I need a change.

Have a great Monday.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Time to get it started

So today I officially/unofficially started my full time bicycle commuting. I am hoping to make it all year, maybe taking a break through December. It depends on daylight and snow. I am really quite scared of riding with ice too, so I will take it day by day until spring hits and I will be in the clear. The thought of my back tire slipping out sideways on me, while clipped into the pedals, and doing 40kph will give me nightmares. I can't think about it. I do believe that it should be fine, and I will keep on rolling. I have to ask a friend or my dad to drive me into work if I chicken out, which isn't a problem, but not having my own vehicle makes it easier to get on the saddle everyday. Plus I figure that if I don't want to lose weight, but not gain, I can eat whatever I like, no guilt. A huge bonus of the daily grind up the hill.Hahaha.

Soon I will be doing my commute and going for trail rides or runs after work. The days are rapidly getting longer(or so it seems). I can't wait to get in more exercise, as the time allows. Maybe runs in the morning before my ride in. Who knows. Never seems to be enough time in the day. Probably lots of time if I just get away from the tv and make physicality a priority. It will be fun to get out for walks with the dog and the daughter after dinner too.

Speaking of daughter, she is so close to riding her bike. Its been three years that I have been trying to get her on it. She is afraid of falling down and getting hurt. It is coming and I am excited. She has ten years to practice, since we are going to ride across Canada after she finishes high school. Its a lot over whelming for her right now, it will be awesome. I can't wait!

If you have a chance, and enjoy crude humor like I do, check out the "Jay and Silent Bob get old" Podcast. Its so funny, I can't stop listening to it. Not for everyone, especially kids and my Grandma, but its great comedy.

have a good one.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

First Blog, New season.

Hi. Here I go. I have been thinking about doing this blog thing for a while. It seems kind of neat, and gives me a chance to do some writing and maybe contact some new people, who like the same things as I do.

I am an avid cyclist, I commute to work nine kilometers a day each way. I also like to do longer rides on the weekends, up to 50 or so km. I ride a  hard tail mountain bike on the trails in Cumberland, with my dog, Marshall and sometimes with my friends, sometimes alone. My girlfriend just recently purchased a full suspension MTB, and I am really excited that she will be able to get out on the XC trails with me. I also like to take long rides on the logging roads to access places that are locked behind gates. Some favorite swimming holes and mushroom picking spots. My next foray into the world of cycling is touring. My girlfriend and I are going to be taking a tour through parts of the Yukon, Alaska and Northern BC this summer, which will include a trip to Haida Gwaii. This is going to be an  incredible trip, and we are so excited about it. This trip will include approximately 500 km of riding from Whitehorse, Yukon to Haines Alaska. The sights will be amazing, as well as long days of light, since we will be in the Yukon for the first day of summer. I have never experienced this before.

I guess the purpose of this blog will be to write about things I see during my daily commutes, adventures, training, gear. Really anything that comes up. I tend to get frustrated at "pedestrian cyclists" those cyclists who ride a bike as a fast way to get from place to place, rather than the actual love of the ride. These people also tend to ride on the sidewalk, and on the wrong side of the road. There is no bright clothes or lights. I have been know to remind these folk that they are doing a dangerous thing. They give all cyclists a bad name, and it makes it more dangerous for me because drivers have less respect when they see cyclists breaking the rules of the road.

Time to sign off, good night for now.