Sunday, 30 May 2010
The Geek stopped and pulled a fallen tree branch off the path and we continued on our way.
We dressed for the fickle weather; the Geek wore her sunshine yellow boots and I was in my 'great pumpkin' cape. I bought the rain cape in Holland last year, and while I have worn it many times since, this was its maiden voyage on the bike. It was less windy today so I thought I would try it. Even if there had been as much water on the roads today as Friday, my seat (or rather both seats) would have stayed dry.The Geek practices her trackstands at stoplights, while I coast up slowly and try to gauge when the light will change.We had a lovely breakfast at Stella's and they were very busy; perhaps it is always that way on a Sunday morning.
I hope the weather changes soon. It is much nicer for Summer Games when it is warm.
Friday, 28 May 2010
Normally if we are having a rain shower, I may put on a jacket, but basically it is business-as-usual.
This morning, because I knew the roads were already soggy, I dressed a little differently. A waterproof jacket, quick drying trousers and rubber boots. I packed my stuff in my backpack because it has a raincover and my panniers do not. The panniers don't even pretend to be remotely water repellent, as I found out in a heavy rain last year.
The boots were fine for the smaller puddles, but I did ride through some very deep lakes and the wake from the front wheel washed over the boot tops; soggy socks. Oh well.
Thursday, 27 May 2010
Witnesses say she was rode out from a side street infront of a car travelling in the curb lane. Bad enough she didn't check for cars, she was apparently listening to something with earbuds in both ears.
She has apparently suffered some lacerations to her head and I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if she had spinal cord injuries as well. I hope I am wrong and that she is fine.
I was thinking of this as I rode to work this morning and the thought made me shudder. I hate all that noise so close to my brain, and the thought of anything like that interfering with traffic noises is frightening. "Don't young people know better," I thought to myself? Then one of my co-workers (who turned 57 on Tuesday) rode up beside me, and guess what he had in his ears?
I am occasionally a little too judgemental about 'young' people.
Sunday, 23 May 2010
Saturday, 22 May 2010
The 2-ton jack is sitting in a notch cut out of an old piece of 2X8 with a bolt holding the pivot points in place, and another bolt holding the front dropouts in place.
After jacking the cylinder to the full length, the forks bent a little but she found the bolts were bending instead of the forks; she found a bigger bolt.
Thankfully the Geek was satisfied with the results
However, later that night, N2 called the Geek and asked if she could put gears on this bike. She tried to persuade him that chopper bikes don't have gears, but he was unconvinced. We are now on the search for an in-hub gear to build into a smaller wheel; a derailleur would be safe that close to the ground.
Wednesday, 19 May 2010
And at the end of the day, I saw her again. I was about to cross this same intersection to where Eselin was locked to a post but had stopped when the light turned red. She came zipping up on the sidewalk behind me and darted through the red light, making dismissive gestures to those motorists who honked. I would have thought that even if she was gave little consideration to the integrity of her own skin, she would not want to scratch the paint on her bike.
(~sigh~) Cyclists like that give us all a bad name.
Tuesday, 18 May 2010
I went out at lunch to run some errands and a lovely girl on a very pretty white cruiser with apple-green fenders stopped at the light. I complimented her on her bicycle (she seemed very surprised). I then remembered that Trisha and Dottie's Summer Games have started, but between the bicycle lock and keys in my hands, I couldn't get my camera out in time, so no shot of that gorgeous machine.
I was a little more alert on the way home.
This fellow is one of the few people I have seen riding in regular clothes. We chatted about the weather, as Winnipeggers do, before the light changed and he zoomed off.
Monday, 17 May 2010
No better thrill on wheels, say pixie bikers
By: Carol Sanders
17/05/2010 1:00 AM
THEY'RE grown men on tiny bikes.
Not circus clowns, but daredevils who say they're young at heart.
Meet the pixie bike racers, the latest, weirdest and likely the most well-balanced breed of Winnipeg cyclist.
On Sunday, they raced full bore on their tiny homemade wheels down the steep grade of Garbage Hill, vying to be the first to make it between the pylons two feet apart at the foot of the hill.
They'd grab hold of the jersey on the person in front of them to slingshot ahead. The prize for the winner of the "death race"? Survival and the sheer fun of it.
Jean Madore, 42, has been organizing the races for two years, and wants to "take it big -- as much as BMX."
There are anywhere from a dozen to 22 pixie bike racers in Winnipeg, Madore figures. Most are male and many are bicycle mechanics.
The transplanted Quebecer is a proponent of the homemade novelty bike as well as being a mountain biking enthusiast. The tricky little pixie, though, is dearest to him.
"I'm like a kid again," said the Canadian Forces driver and driving instructor.
"I have no kids -- I'm the kid."
The bikes may look childish but require a high level of balance and co-ordination to operate without popping a wheelie or wiping out.
The pixie riders make it look easy.
Paul Dixon, 31, whips around the Garbage Hill course near Polo Park well-protected with a blue cape, shin pads and a full-face downhill helmet that says "Got Jesus?"
His bike is a hybrid of scavenged parts, including a pink L'il Princess handlebar and a boyish black banana seat.
Sometimes the bike mechanic will go for a spin down Broadway during the lunch hour.
"All the people looking grumpy see me coming and it makes them smile," said Dixon, who has a three-year-old daughter.
On top of Garbage Hill Sunday, the pixie bike racers warmed up on their "steeds."
"If you hit a gopher hole, you're gone," said KMO, a 27-year-old bike mechanic who wouldn't give his real name.
He said there are no real mountains or big hills in these parts, so to make the hills feel bigger, they make their bikes smaller.
The sport isn't for everyone, he said.
"It's for someone who doesn't take themselves too seriously."
Madore said they're planning more races later this summer with the dates and times posted on his Facebook wall.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 17, 2010 A5"
Tuesday, 11 May 2010
Warm breezes carry the smell of blossoming trees.
And then, too small to see, are the wretched canker worms. Later in the summer they have grown large from forging themselves on the the leaves from the trees. One can see them dangling from the branches by their silken cords, and dodge around them.
But not now. Tiny little horrors. I ride along and suddenly feel something against my lips. I sputter and ride down the street (phffttt, phfft) and no doubt people I pass wonder why I am riding a bike and making sounds like a motor.
I can only hope for a good frost.
Saturday, 8 May 2010
We went to visit Semantique a few weeks ago and found her loyal bike patiently waiting in the garage for the nice weather that, we hope, is just around the corner.
Thursday, 6 May 2010
Everyone smiled as they went by; a few curious souls asked me what I was doing but I was largely left alone to count all the cyclists (and occasionaly pedestrian) that passed my spot.
What I noticed on this particular day?
-More men than women cycle.
-Men were more likely to ride on the street than women.
-Most people were wearing a helmet.
-And I was the only one riding in my work clothes.
I have to hurry to get my 'official' results in.
Sunday, 2 May 2010
This weekend we went on a couple of Jane's Walks and learned alot about St Vital as well as other parts of the city.
The St Vital Walk started and ended at the St Vital Museum.
The museum is maintained by the St Vital Historical Society and they are a very enthusiastic group.
They have a great collection of memorabilia from the neighbourhood.
Old bicycle license plates.The last St Vital fire truck.
And a very cool bike with nice lines.