Thursday, 25 November 2010

Slow Going

We've had snow for the last few days and the streets are heavy with 'mashed potato' (according to one radio station) type snow.Our bikes have been tucked away in the garage for a few days now, but some people are still out on two wheels.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Google Maps Bike Routes Coming to the 'Peg

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

City bike routes going on Google next week

Google Maps will soon let the city's hardy bicycle riders find bike routes buried under the snow.   / NOV. 22  2010 ���v����v?���v� Stdup  Winter has arrived  and cycling season will be over for most bike riders .  In pic  several bicycles  were still locked in place  on Sherbrook St  at Wolseley Ave on Monday morning with more snow coming


Google Maps will soon let the city's hardy bicycle riders find bike routes buried under the snow. / NOV. 22 2010 ���v����v?���v� Stdup Winter has arrived and cycling season will be over for most bike riders . In pic several bicycles were still locked in place on Sherbrook St at Wolseley Ave on Monday morning with more snow coming

The snow and ice suggest otherwise, but life for the Winnipeg cyclist just became a little easier.

In an announcement at the Sustainable Mobility Conference in Ottawa Monday, Internet search engine giant Google has added Winnipeg to its list of Canadian cities that will have bike routes available online for those looking for the best path to take on two wheels.

With Google Bike Directions, scheduled to be added to Google Maps during the next week, users can pore over city-fed bike maps using the popular web atlas to chart a course for their daily commute.

Comprehensive maps of various bike routes and paths are already available on the city's website, but Winnipeg Trails Association director Janice Lukes was thrilled to find out Google has added the city to its new mapping feature.

"We have all this new infrastructure and many people don't know where it is," she said. "This will encourage those who are looking to get out on the weekends or do a little riding after work."

What has the cycling community excited about the Google Maps addition is the reach it will have to those contemplating ditching their vehicle for a bike.

Jeff Martin, owner of Alter Ego Sports, feels the undecided might finally decide to switch to a two-wheeler permanently, thanks to Google Maps. Not every trail or dedicated bike lane is visible from behind the wheel, he notes, so not everyone is up to speed with the layout of the city's active transportation framework.

"For the serious cyclist, they're going to ride their bikes regardless," he said. "But for the inexperienced rider, this will show them they can get from point A to point B in a safe way, especially for winter riding."

Google Bike Directions works like this: A click on the bicycle icon shows a dark green line indicating a bike-only path. A lighter green line signals a dedicated bike lane and a dotted line shows a city street that doesn't have a dedicated bike lane, but could still be suitable for riding.

The city planned to spend $20.4 million dollars on 36 bike-and-pedestrian projects under a federal stimulus program this year. Cold weather cut six of those projects short, with completion scheduled for 2011.

Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton, Vancouver, Calgary, Gatineau and Waterloo are the other Canadian cities involved in Google's announcement. Bike-trail data for U.S. markets was added to Google Maps earlier this year.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 23, 2010 A5

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Space to Spare

There was a skiff of snow this morning and I found very few bicycles in the lockup. Winter is on its way.

Friday, 12 November 2010

More Traction

Amazingly enough, we have no snow yet, but the streets were wet and frosty earlier today. The Geek thought it was time to put snow tires on her bike. She rode last winter on non-studded tires but she bought these Schwalbe studded tires this year to make life easier.
The highly reflective edges are a bonus.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Touch Wood

We have had lovely weather the last few days. Very warm for November.

And more than warm enough to wear a skirt and sweater, no jacket.
I hope it lasts

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Bikes at the Dump

The Geek took a load of old fence to the dump and saw that the collection cage for the Bike Dump was almost full.

It is so nice to see that people aren't just throwing out useful items anymore. Well, bikes anyway. There is still much waste to be seen in the dump proper. No wonder the administration doesn't want you taking pictures.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Hard to Find a Picnic

This cute little bike was hanging out in the locker room at the rowing club. I have no idea who owns it, as it is often there when we (who don't own it) are the only ones in the building.
I've never seen a bike like it before.
When I checked online, the only bikes I could find with that name were folding bikes, and this one is not.
It has seen use, but is still in good condition.
Internal hub gears are wonderful for salty roads.
I'd like to meet the owner.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Good Start to Thanksgiving Weekend

This is what I wore to ride to school...
...and this is what I wore to ride home.
The weather is beautiful. It is odd not to have a killer frost yet. And Thanksgiving is only a couple of days away!

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Mmmmm, Pumpkin

My mom said she was out of pumpkin. She had enough to make pies for Thanksgiving, but then her frozen stash was depleted. My sister, who usually has tons of pumpkins, had a major crop failure this year, so I stopped at the corner store and picked one up.

I wasn't able to strap it to the rack; I was afraid Eselin's big elastic bands would cut the little beast in half, so I put the pumpkin on the rack and walked home with one had on the handlebars and one on the pumpkin.
One must do what one can to ensure pies for next year!

Monday, 4 October 2010

A Matter of Perception

A few weeks ago, as an assignment for school, I had to spend a day in a wheelchair.
I considered taking Eselin to school and leaving her overnight in the lockup, but I was worried something would happen to her. So she stayed home and I took the bus.
Funny thing is, I had a wretched cold a few days later and I was ready to leave Eselin behind so I didn't have to spend valuable energy riding back to the house.
Amazing when I think she would be safe, and when I don't.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

A New Source for Bike Parts

We took a canoe trip down the Seine River this afternoon. In addition to rocks and trees blocking the stream, there were, in places, an alarming number of bicycles and shopping carts.

The Geek fished one smaller one out of the river.
These are probably stolen bikes but the police don't have the time or the resources to be dredging the river to find them. And if they are insured, they have undoubtedly been replaced.
It now is hanging in the garage until we decide what to do with it.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010


I learned yesterday that, in start-and-stop or slow moving traffic, a motorcycle can be a cyclists best friend.
A motorcycle rider caught up to me yesterday morning on St Mary's shortly after the three lanes merged to two. I managed to keep pace with him all the way to the diamond lanes and while he was guarding his lane, he was also guarding me. This was probably the most serene ride I have had on that stretch of road; the only thing I really had to watch for was potholes. I have no idea if that fellow knew what a favour he was doing me, but I'm going to have to try to find another motorcycle today.

Monday, 13 September 2010

And I Missed It!

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Trade shorts for knickerbockers

Steven Stothers and Joan Padgett will take a jaunt back in time for the endearingly old-fashioned Tweed Ride, which co­incides with Ciclovia on Sunday.

Steven Stothers and Joan Padgett will take a jaunt back in time for the endearingly old-fashioned Tweed Ride, which co­incides with Ciclovia on Sunday. (DAVID LIPNOWSKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

Cyclists have long known the importance of wearing proper attire when putting the pedal to the mettle.

"If you have a wheel, gentlemen, you need a Bicycle Suit," reads an advertisement from a popular Winnipeg retailer. "You need it because it is proper to be becomingly and fashionably attired, but chiefly because it will greatly add to your comfort while riding."

The days of $5 Hudson's Bay bicycle suits may be long gone, but a day of very stylish, old-fashioned bicycling is just up ahead.

Don some classic woollen duds and pack your parasols, ladies: Winnipeg's first-ever Tweed Ride takes place Sunday, and that means we're going to pedal like it's 1899.

A tweed ride/run is when hundreds of impeccably dressed ladies and gents wheel across town on vintage and vintage-inspired bicycles because, well, it's jolly good fun.

London reportedly had the world's first tweed ride in January of 2009, when 150 dapper cyclists pedalled from Savile Row to Bethnal Green. San Francisco, Chicago, Washington, Sydney and other major cities have since followed suit.

The chap in charge of Winnipeg's inaugural event is Steven Stothers, 48, a software manager and cycling enthusiast who also likes "history and old things," and who decided it was high time we all went for a slow ride.

"In this fast-paced world of Spandex and Lycra, it just seemed like a kind of goofy and traditional thing to do," says Stothers, who writes a dandy blog on the subject at www.

The 10-kilometre ride will sally forth from Assiniboine Park Pavilion at 2 p.m. sharp (come early to hear some old-time banjo tunes) and conclude at 6 p.m. with libations at the King's Head Pub.

Tweed riders are encouraged to pack a snack for a scheduled stop at Memorial Park, which will also include a croquet game. Popping into the Fort Garry Hotel for tea is another option.

The Tweed ride coincides with Ciclovia, the city's second annual bike-and-pedestrian festival, but is not officially part of it, Stothers says.

He invites riders to meet at the replica streetcar on Broadway at around 4 p.m. to pose for group and individual photos, which will be included in a Tweed Ride photo gallery to commemorate the outing.

As for what to wear, leave the fleece and stretchy shorts at home and opt for such fashionable (circa early 1900s) attire as newsboy caps, vests, knickers, pantaloons, cardigans and bow ties. Pipes, monocles, mutton-chop sideburns and handlebar moustaches are also a nice touch. Ladies will look sweet upon their bike seats in full-length skirts, high-necked blouses and flapper-style hats, perhaps twirling a parasol.

Vintage clothing stores and second-hand shops are your best resources. Visit Stothers' blog for inspiration. It has links to photo archives that show what free-wheeling SSRqPeggers wore back in the day. (Yes, bike helmets tend to clash with tweed, but safety first. Don't be a rapscallion.)

If you don't have a vintage bike, weave some colourful streamers through your spokes.

"It just has to look like a period piece; it doesn't have to be a period piece, says Stothers.

"But if someone could bring a penny farthing bike, that'd be awesome."


Tweed Ride

Starts at Assiniboine Park Pavilion

Sunday, 2 p.m.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 11, 2010 C6

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Rod Ends

Ruzter and K were in town last weekend. Ruzter told the Geek he had used rod ends from Princess Auto on his cargo bike and the mechanism worked well. The Geek bought the rod ends on Friday and installed them yesterday. The bike is much less wobbly now and the steering is much smoother.
I tried to upload an exciting video about how well the front wheel now moves, but blogger wouldn't capture it today. Ah well. It was riveting. It may have spoiled you for all other movies, so it is probably for the best.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Silent as a Ghost

Is the way Anders put it. Eselin had to go into the hospital aka NaturalCycle for a tune up. Her chaincase was making an awful lot of sqeeky noises.
I'm glad she is better. It takes too long to get to school on the bus.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Elm Tree Express

I was happy to discover that a six-inch plastic flower pot fits perfectly between the rack tubes on my bike. It is much easier to drop the pot into the rack than trying to strap a pot to the rack.
Hopefully these elm trees will be happy in their new home.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Windy Errands

I had to go to the University today to finalize a few things. Tho' it was rather windy, most of my ride was sheltered, especially under the St Vital Bridge.
I can't say the same about riding over it, but luckily I wasn't tossed around for long.

West of the bridge, you have a few options. The panoramic view on my camera makes it look a little strange, but this path actually goes straight.

Glengarry Park, adjacent to the UofM Fort Garry campus, is a study in 1950s architechture.

Even tho' classes haven't started, there are plenty of people here already.
I like the older, classic buildings on campus ,

much more than the newer ones.

The ride to the Fort Garry campus takes just as long as riding to the Bannatyne campus, but is infinitely more pleasant. Too bad I don't have a choice.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

The First Delivery

We took a pail of honey and the side rail of a crib (they are going to use the side to make a drying rack) to some friends. They sat nicely on the platform but the Geek had to drill some holes to attach the bungee-cords.
Now all the Geek has to do is replace the wood with some metal mesh so there are more places to hook the bungee cords when transporting cargo, add some gears for heavy loads, and tune up the brakes. Then we are ready to go-all we'll need is a purpose.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Testing Capacity

It took awhile for someone to come along willing to be a passenger on the cargo bike.
My brother-in-law J volunteered one afternoon while I was out with my sister.

The bike handles much better with his 190 pounds then it does with the lighter weight of my nephews.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Two Good Signs

The construction on Jubilee continues; one can actually see progress, tho' it is still irritating to be a cyclist there right now.
Riverside Drive is closed to cars, but I liked this sign. I guess the city has realized that bicycles to not do that much damage to the roads, nor make much noise to irritate the residents.

It also looks like construction will start soon on the shared-use pathway on the south side of Jubilee. Personally, I have been using the sidewalk in that manner off-and-on since the overpass renewals started, so I will be thrilled when it is 'legal'.
Too bad this won't be my route to work much longer.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Safe Parking

I asked the Geek the other day how I would go about getting a spot in the Health Sciences Centre bike lock-up where she keeps her bike. She advised me that her lock-up is for HSC employees only but she was sure that the University had its own compound. She was right.
Here is the email she sent me,

"University of Manitoba Bannatyne bike compound
The university of Manitoba has a fenced in bike compound just west of the Dentistry building. Access to the compound can be added to the ID card of U of M students or employees. See the Mail Room at S013 Medical Services Building to set up access. Contact the Mail Room at 789-3583 for more info."

I'll be heading over there tomorrow!

Monday, 9 August 2010

A Modern Penny Farthing

I went to visit Gooch's at their new location. It is much larger than the old one and the hobby section is now on the same floor as the bicycles.

In the entry way they displayed these two modern penny farthings, made by Ridable Bicycle Replicas.
They are rather elegant looking machines. Someday I may ask if I can take one for a spin.

Saturday, 7 August 2010


After mulling over the details, the Geek added another piece of angle iron to one existing pieces to form a square.
Here we see it looking down the long edge.
This has made the bike much more stable.A bit of orange paint for visibility, and we are ready for a load bearing demonstration.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

New Panniers

I have a shot of Eselin with the Cherry Pine pannier. I will do a review soon.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010


The Cherry Pine Pannier, my prize in Trisha & Dottie's Summer Games, has arrived. I'm thrilled!
It is a lovely brown colour (I was expecting something pinkish given the name) and it has a lovely scent, tho' I don't know if it is intentional. And much bigger than I was expecting.
Tomorrow I get to try it out!
And the Geek, who is on the quest for a new helmet, picked up these socks from Mountain Equipment Co-op. They are so cute. The ones with the daisy wheels are mine!
Some people laugh at my love of wool socks, even in the summer, but it has to be pretty warm before my feet stop being cold.
Fun, fun, fun.

Friday, 23 July 2010

I'm Noticing a Trend

A few years ago, most people riding bicycles, including me, were on mountain bikes. Given Winnipeg's rather...interesting...streets, they seemed like a very good choice. And I enjoyed off-roading and playing in the mud as well. My knees liked the geometry of a mountain bike while increasingly, my neck did not. So, while I can still think when my knees hurt, I am totally bazooey when my neck hurts. Enter Eselin.

While perambulating about the neighbourhood on my lunch hour the last couple of days, I noticed that there is a shift happening. While it may well be that I am ambling around the granola parts of town, there are many more classic bikes than mountain bikes.

What do you think?

Monday, 19 July 2010

The Cargo Bike Part 2

Yesterday the Geek put on the steering attachment and the platform base. The bike, however, has a great deal of flex. A great deal too much.She is now mulling over the situation and hoping for inspiration.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Under a Sunny, Blue Sky

Last summer, I took an up-close look, for the first time, of the Bishop Grandin Greenway when I rode it to explore the Bois-des-Esprit.
The Greenway runs under the hydro lines along Bishop Grandin Boulevard in south Winnipeg and provides a good east/west route separate from cars.
Today I found I was missing the key ingredients for supper and I took the long way around to the grocery store to avoid the Sunday drivers.
A small portion of the trail runs through a treed area,
but for the most part it is prairie.
You can't enjoy the sky and imagine shapes in the clouds if you are riding in traffic.
And as an additional bonus, this ride counts toward Trisha and Dottie's Summer Games.

I have it good!