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.