Sunday, 30 August 2009

Paint and Pedals

N1's road bike is starting to look quite different.

The Geek painted the frame and the fork with hammer paint and the de-rusted (I suspect that is not a real word) the chrome.

The wheels, handlebars, pedals and chain have been reattached.

It looks a little more promising than it did a few weeks ago.

Thursday, 27 August 2009


As a motorcycle, this one is very cute.

However, I'm sure it is a very smelly bicycle.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Cyclovia is Coming to the 'Peg

On Sunday September 13, Winnipeg becomes the first Canadian city to host this festival. Considering cycling is not very 'big' here yet, this is amazing!

This is what I found in the Winnipeg Free Press:

"Cyclovia coming to downtown

Inaugural street festival to celebrate day without automobiles

By: Bartley Kives

A portion of Broadway will be closed for one Sunday in September as the city holds a new bike-and-pedestrian street festival called Ciclovia.

In what amounts to the first large downtown street party since the Get Together Downtown events held during the Glen Murray years, the westbound lanes of Broadway will be closed Sept. 13 between Main Street and Osborne Street to make room for buskers, food vendors, a farmers' market, a straw maze and activities such as skateboar

ding, street hockey and sand sculpting.

Ciclovia, which means "bike path" in Spanish, is modelled on a festival that began in Bogota, Colombia and has since taken root in dozens of La

tin American cities as well as U.S. centres such as New York City, Miami, San Francisco, Cleveland and Portland, Ore.

"It's a day for people to get acquainted with their communities and celebrate a day without a car," said Stefano Grande, executive director of

the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, the event's main organizer. "This is a pilot project, and if it's successful, we'll extend the (street closures) north, south, east and west next year."

Winnipeg's version of Ciclovia, which will wrap up with a concert at The Forks, comes with a $50,000 price tag to cover the cost of policing, barricades and bus rerouting. Grande said the city and corporate sponsors will split the cost, which is a small fraction of the $700,000-plus price tag for the Get Together Downtown festivals, which took place on Portage Avenue in 2001 and 2002.

The Ciclovia plan calls for the Broadway street festival to be connected to The Forks with a closed curb lane on northbound Main Street. West of Osborne Street, closed curb lanes on Broadway, Balmoral Street, Young Street, Westminster Avenue, Furby Street, Sherbrook Street and Maryland Street will connect the festival with regular Sunday street closures on Wolseley Avenue and Wellington Crescent. The event is being held in conjunction with Manitoba Homecoming 2010, a provincially sponsored effort to boost tourism in the province by targeting former residents. But the main impetus is to encourage more people to explore downtown without using a car.

St. Vital Coun. Gord Steeves, city council's community services chairman, said he likes the idea of a festival that might encourage people other than hardcore bike commuters to ride downtown.

Steeves said he's both amazed and pleased by the increased interest in both recreational and commuter cycling in wintery Winnipeg over the past four years.

"It's almost to the point where (commuter cycling) is mainstream," he said. "It's not quite there yet, but for cycling to even be considered as a viable mode of transportation is a big deal, because that's definitely a challenge in the Canadian climate."

An officially sanctioned cycling festival may also be seen as a response to Critical Mass, the unsanctioned cycling demonstrations that have occasionally appeared on Winnipeg streets. But that was not the organizers' intention, Grande said.

"We just want to encourage people to come downtown, on foot or on a bike," he said.

Almost two dozen businesses, environmental organizations, cycling groups and other non-profit organizations plan to participate in the festival.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 21, 2009 B2"

Monday, 24 August 2009

If the Cat-in-the-Hat Rode a Bike...

it would probably look like this...

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Rejuvenating a Road Bike

This weekend, the Geek started working on N1's triathlon bike.

It has been torn down to its individual pieces for rehabilitation.

The wheels took a great deal of scrubbing and the liberal application of Pink Solution to break down 20 years of grease and hayfield dust.

The wheel hubs are amazingly clean; more so than I expected.

The Geek replaced the bearings and is now looking for a dust cap to fit the wheel.

This box of bits are the next step. Maybe we should buy shares in the complany that makes CLR.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

An Old-Fashioned Word

On August 17 I published my first instructable (instructables describes itself as a 'make, how-to and D-I-Y site).
Later that day, I received an e-mail from them, as follows,

Your Instructable "Bicyling Modestly in a Skirt" was just featured by one of our editors!
Look for it on the Instructables homepage within the next 30 minutes. Being featured means we think you are awesome. Keep up the great work!

Now that is pretty cool; who doesn't want to think they are awesome?

Then yesterday I received this e-mail,

"Your Instructable "Bicyling Modestly in a Skirt" just became popular!
Look for it on the Instructables homepage within the next 30 minutes. Being popular means lots of people are checking out your Instructable and telling us they really like it. Keep up the great work!"
I was frankly a little puzzled. As an instructable, it isn't that exciting or ground breaking. If you want to ride a bicycle in a skirt, you put a pair of shorts underneath. Big deal. But last time I checked, 4,690 people have looked at it.

The Geek and I figure it must be because I used the word 'modestly' in the title. People either don't know what that means, or they think it means something opposite to what it really does.
And who can blame them? There are a great many immodest people in the news these days. Young who dress inappropriately and, while getting out of cars, give cause to change the old rhyme to "I see England/I see France/ I see, YIKES!/No underpants."

Saturday, 15 August 2009

No Fig Leaf Required

An oft mentioned item on many of the blogs I read is the joy and difficulty in riding in a skirt. Dottie and Trisha have offered some suggestions to keep one properly covered, as well as making reference to Sigrid's fig leaf concept.

During the winter, I made a pair of pantalettes out of rayon lining fabric to wear between my wool tights and trousers on the days I would walk to work. The layers would keep me warm, and would resist the friction that would occur between the tights and pants.

This spring, I started to wear the pantalettes under skirts, as they are much better in my windy city than a petticoat (as my dad calls it) or slip. And since I will be a tomboy to my dying day, I find I can still climb trees, fences and lately, ladders into the nose of antique aircraft without worrying that I may be shocking someone.

The transition to bicycle was easy and now I don't worry about what my skirt might be doing as I watch for traffic around me.

I made a second pair for my lighter coloured summer skirts, and decided they should be called cyclettes. Just because.

Friday, 14 August 2009

A Sleek Wooden Bike

Ruzter sent me a link to a website on Renovo wood bicycles. I wonder how a Dutch bike would look?

Thursday, 13 August 2009

The Quest in the Bois-des-Esprit

After the thunderstorm last night the air was much cooler. I decided to ride to the Bois-des-Esprit in the Royalwood area of Winnipeg in an attempt to find the three-metre tall "Mhtik" (wood spirit) who protects the woodst.

I started on the Niakwa trail and then across Fermor at Archibald and through Willowdale Park to Bishop Grandin.
After crossing Bishop Grandin at Lakewood, I rode again down the Bishop Grandin Greenway and turned south down Shorehill Drive.
Royalwood is a fairly new development; construction is rampant and bicycles and pedestrians are thin on the ground.

I found a trailhead off of East Oak Drive and decided to try the right fork first.

It was lovely and cool in the trees, but after riding around for about 45 minutes, I still had found no trace of the carving.

I asked directions of a fellow who was out for a stroll. He said to look for a dirt path eight feet wide and the spirit would be a way in. Suspecting that the width of the path and the distance to the figure would be subjective, I turned down the first dirt trail I came to.

Eselin was slightly out of her element with the twisty paths and muddy patches, but she soldiered on gallantly.

I found the foot prints of people on mountain bikes at the point where I dismounted because of very soft ground. That made me feel better, especially since other people on mountain bikes behind us had turned around.

The path meandered around the equally meandering Seine River.

A doe, well conditioned by the people on the paths, hardly moved as I rode by. She was so still, in fact, that I initially thought she was a statue.

It was as I was zipping through this dip, avoiding the tree, and noting the bench and the fire pit, that I missed my objective and had to come back.This is Woody, a three meter tall wood spirit. Walter Mirosh and Robert Leclair, members of Les Gens de Bois Woodcarving club, are the men who carved him. The tree from which Woody emerged from was scheduled to be cut down due to Dutch Elm disease.

Our mission accomplished, Eselin and I continued west along Bishop Grandin to River Road, and then home.

Eseiln even managed to bring a souvenir of her journey.

The only downside of this lovely little trip? I had such a sore derriere that the last hour in the saddle were ...tricky.
The Geek is in Calgary right now. Maybe I'll ask her to see if anyone there sells Brooks saddles. I have heard so many good things about them, the price would be worth it.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

One Worn-out Back Wheel

The Geek is rather pleased that she has used her bicycle so much the the rear wheel shows signs of metal fatigue.
The rim has cracks and related deformation in two places.

Of course this means she will have to buy a new rim, but she thinks it is worth it.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

A Very Colourful Bike

This morning we saw this bike in the weight room at Winnipeg Rowing Club.

I don't know which one of the fellows there rides this bike, (and I say fellow since, as far as I could tell, Semantique, The Geek and I were the only women there, and it is quite a big bike) but he must be very confident since most men in this city would not ride a bike that colour.

Monday, 10 August 2009

One Day on My Stay-cation

I have been thoroughly enjoying my time away from work. Eselin and I did some errants today that got us out on one of the warmest days we've had yet this summer.

This morning we went to water the flowers for some friends who are visiting family in Europe.

Then this afternoon, I went to mail a package to our Dutch friends but found the closest post office to our house had been closed. So I continued down St. Anne's Road to Sobeys, the next available outlet.

After I mailed the letter I travelled for the first time in about three years down the Bishop Grandin Greenway to Dakota so I could connect with St. Mary's Road. I was pleasantly surprised to find a community garden as well as

some art work along this section of the trail. I may have to ride the whole length to see what else is new.
After a few more errands along St Mary's, I stopped by the BDI where Eselin chatted with some cruisers while I picked up my ice cream.
I then enjoyed a leisurely ride home admiring the pretty gardens.

I love summer.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

A Load of Potential

This week Garbage Eve netted The Geek this very neglected Supercycle. It is now sitting in the yard with one of two bikes from a previous trip.
And when I came back from the farm yesterday, I brought with me these two bikes.
This is a Venture Caprice that I bought second hand in 1985. I rode it all over that year and it travelled with me to Flin Flon. Now we will have to see what further adventures it will have.
And this well used Supercycle bike is destined to be a road bike for N1 in his future triathlon endeavours.

And, of note. As of this moment, there are on the property 12 bicycles of various sizes and stages of usability, one bicycle frame, eight assorted wheels, parts, and one unicycle.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Fare Thee Well, Specialized!

I sold the Specialized to a sweet young thing from St. James who was so enthusiastic about buying it. She couldn't believe I was selling it and that no one had snapped it up earlier, considering I had posted it on Kijiji on July 25.

Because she is a good three inches shorter than I am, she is much more upright on the Specialized than I was. I offered to let her try Eselin so she could compare the two, but she said she wasn't 'old enough' to want to consider a bike like the Batavus.

I just smiled. How can you possibly explain the appeal of a Dutch bike to someone who thinks they are just for 'older' people?

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Back in the Saddle

Last Friday I brought Eselin home again. The good people at Natural Cycle could not find anything mechanically wrong with her, so I guess what I feel is just a quirk.

On Tuesday I went to the Western Canada Aviation Museum to see one of the last two flying Lancaster bombers.

I had considered cycling there, as it is only about 11 kilometers from home. I am however, glad I didn't.
The lack of bicycle parking could have been managed, but there were so many drivers who were not paying attention that I had to do some fancy footwork on my six block walk to avoid being hit. I would not have managed such nimbleness on my bike.

I did however learn a great deal and my respect for war veterans only continues to increase.