Friday, April 30, 2010

Critical Mass- Prince George

Good turnout for the event, 26.  Not big, but not bad for a first time in Prince George.  Well, for a long time, they did apparently used to have them before, but I didn't know that until after the fact.

There was some nice bikes including a chic cyclist!  Yeh!  It's about time... :)  She said she found it at a garage sale in pretty good shape.

Even some children towed along, which was great!  They really enjoyed the ride.

Now it was time to start the ride..leaving the Civic Centre/Library area, which was a nice bike friendly place to meet.  And oh look, someone brought some flowers along!  :)

We even tried out the local skateboarding ramp.

I can't wait till the next ride, the last Friday of May.  Come and join us, and have some awesome fun!

Critical Mass and Hiking Meeting

Tonight's a busy night, with both Critical Mass AND the Hiking Club's Spring meeting.  So not much time to post.  Hope everyone has an awesome Friday night!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Bike to Work 2010

In just over a month, Bike to Work Week returns to Prince George.  This will be the second year for it, and if last year was any indication, there will be a good turnout for it.  They will have booths setup around town for registered bike riders to stop and refresh themselves.

Bike to Work week happens all over North America, and it's exciting to see it come here.  You create teams from work and register online.  There is a BBQ at the end which is a good way to meet fellow bike commuters. I'm hoping also to volunteer a bit there manning the booths..

If you like biking, try biking to work for a week.  Freshen up that air, get some exercise, and most importantly, have some fun!

On a related bicycle note, I saw a Croozer Cargo Bike trailer in person today. It's much bigger then I expected!  I was all over it!  I need to get one one day, but not now, I spent way too much already getting tent, plane tickets, etc..... 

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

got outdoors genes from dad

I told Dad about the bike tour that I'm  participating in this Sumer selling out, and he said if he was 40 yrs younger, he'd do it!  When he was younger, he apparently did some bicycle touring in Germany.  Another cool fact about Dad that I just learned. :)

Image: djcodrin /

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Creative packing

This weeked I again tested my limits on my Basil Panniers.

I did some shopping at Walmart first and had bought some picture frames.  I made sure that they would fit in the bags ok.  I also had some supplies there.  I then biked down to another grocery store and after asking a person who was holding a raffle watch my frames, I loaded up on groceries.

I thought I had just bought enough, but I had to be VERY creative about putting the items in the panniers.  It just BARELY fit!  This is one of those times a bike trailer looks tempting.  I am not sure of the weight, but again, I felt like I was testing the bicycles limits.  Poor Pura Vida, she puts up with a alot of abuse.

Not to worry, I cleaned the chain tonight, and will give her some more lube.  Hope it makes up for the abuse.  :)  No, I love my bike, wouldn't dare abuse it, I just get full use of her!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Padded bike shorts and more, getting prepped for Summer bike tour

Today, I checked a bike shop near work called Ruckus.  It's a new shop in town and I had been in before.  This time around, I wanted to see if they got bike shorts in.  I had seen some at another shop in town for a ridiculous $180!!

Ruckus had a pair for much cheaper.  And it turns out, since they are a sponsor of the bike tour and one of the staff is the bike mechanic on trip, trip members get 10% off parts.  :) So padded shorts I got!  I tested them out on longer harder bike ride today.  I went up UNBC hill without stopping and looped around to Peden Hill and biked back down.  Shorts are good, not as uncomfortable as I envisioned.  I'm not a bike short person, but from what I hear and read, padded bike shorts for a long distance ride are a MUST, even for other people who normally dress in street cloths when they commute around town.

Next comes cages for the pedals, which aren't too expensive and can be put on my pedals since they are still in good shape. A cage keeps your feet steady on pedal and is a cheaper alternative to bike shoes/clips systems.  And you can use your shoes for everyday without clinking of medal connecting piece on sole.
Here's an example:

And here's view from up top on bike trip today, looking Northeast, you can see the snowy Rockies. Oh the owner of Ruckus LOVED my bags!  Should see if she'd order some in....:)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Little Teapot

It was a great day for hiking.  It was a short one, but well worth the drive.  We couldn't drive all the way to Teapot because of snow, so walked a bit up road to base of small mountain.

Apparently teapot mtn actually looks like a teapot from the distance..  But anyways, here's some pics from today.  In a few weeks, we will be hiking up Coffeepot, which you can see from Teapost. View from top is lunch spot...nice day to hang out up there and nice views!

Lunch Break

This little girl was so cute, she is from Kazakhstan.  She learned FLUENT English in only 5 months! Amazing!

Sunshine, somewhere.

Sunshine is hidden this morning.  But it will come out, for our hike today.  Here's to a great day!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

This weekend's hike: Teapot Mountain

In all my years of hiking, I've never hiked up Teapot mountain.  Sure, it's only a kilometre long, but the views are alright.  I know many non-hikers that have done it.  So, now it's my time.  We also will do some hiking on Crooked River.  Supposed to be a sunny day, which will be nice too.

I still get to sleep in too as the hike departs the parking lot at 9:30am.  Got to love that!

Here's a pic of the view I expect on top-

And here is more info on the hike

Friday, April 23, 2010

Critical Mass Returns

Critical Mass returns to PG!  I've never been to one, but now I've got a chance.  It's a mass bike ride held all around the world like this one in San Francisco-

Ours will be tiny in comparison, but fun nevertheless.  Mass bike ride!  So looking forward to it.  If you are interested, it's the last Friday's of the month, at 5:30pm.  Spread the word!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day everyday

Happy Earth Day all!

Hope you do your part today by walking, biking, or taking local transit.  Also, only turn on lights in the room you are currently using and if you haven't already, switch to cfl lightbulbs.

There are many reasons why I bike to work, but being good to the environment is a good one.  I've road over 2500 kms on my bike and didn't use one drop of gasoline.  Just a bit of lube to keep the chain going.  I also know that's not enough.  I should be recycling more then I currently do.  That includes using disposable stuff like coffee cups from coffee shops.  I really should be using my own.  And I fly at least once a year, but with distances to so far, and having no car, it's the most reasonable way of getting around.  Really, the Greyhound bus would be better, but who has 2-6 days to travel on a bus?  We need high-speed train service!  :)  Hoping my bike use balances out the once a year plane trip.

I realize too, I don't use the dryer, but that's because of the crazy cost of using one in an apartment.  So, I hang dry ALL my stuff.

Anyways...think this is a good day, but I think that everyone should think of every day as Earth day, not just this one day.

Image: Francesco Marino /

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Map of 2010 Adventures

prepping for long bike tour in Summer

I am fortunate to be able to bike a lot around the city as I don't own a car. My bike IS my car.  I shop, do errands, go to work, and enjoy the ride! But I also know that biking long distance is WAY different then biking around town, even if bike is fully loaded with groceries.

Yesterday, despited feeling tired because of sinuses..I biked a bit further out on the borders of the city.  Even though I recently adjusted my handlebar's angle (Hybrids come with special adjustment mechanism under handlebars, and you only need an allen wrench to adjust it), I found my back was getting sore. I will move it to the highest level it can go and try that out on a longer ride. If that doesn't work, I'll ask the shop if the handlebar can be raised.  I also lowered my seat a it still was a bit high.  Hopefully this works.  Normally not an issue, but if you spending 4 days covering 400+ kms you want to be as comfortable as possible.

I will do some runs, getting longer and longer to get used to it and to get stiffness out of my legs.  A friend of mine who is riding across Canada on the Sear's Kids with Cancer Ride in September has invited me to go riding with her sometime...I'll have to take her up on the offer.  She's done the tour many times, but can't this year because she wants to focus all her efforts on this cross Canada ride.

Cheap tickets

Sorry I didn't blog yesterday, Sinuses have been bothering me.

I got some cheap plane tickets yesterday, 50% off which is great.  I guess that what I've read about buying tickets (for some airlines and not international) was correct, you wait 3-4 months before flight and that's when the awesome seatsales go on!  Some airlines, like Cathay Pacific, which I flew to NYC, have a steady price, but which is fairly reasonable.  Others, like Westjet start off more, but with a seatsale are close to what airlines like Cathay Pacific regularly charge.

Tricky game purchasing plane tickets...the one to Costa Rica via Continental, went up over time, and I ended up paying $100 more because I waited a bit.  I still purchased that one 6 or so months in advance so I still got a good deal on that. 

Now I must get Cirque Du Soleil tickets (Regina),.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Just cruising along the by Nowell.

UNBC to Otway Road hike..Sunday, April 18th, 2010

Elton John coming to Prince George

Wow, Elton John has a concert here in July.  Wouldn't you know it, it is at the same time I am pedalling hard on my bike towards Jasper.  Sob sob!  Oh well, least I don't have to figure out a way to get someone to get me tickets since I'll be at work when they go on sale, and I can always watch him when he comes to Vancouver.  Still.....

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Greenway hike

What an awesome day for a hike!  Shorts weather, first time this season.  Despite it not being posted in local paper, 31 people showed up for the hike.  I think that me updating the site regularly is a good thing as that's how some found out about the hike.

We parked cars at both ends of hike, so there was a bit of car shuffling going on.

We then met at UNBC parking lot to start the hike.  It was pretty easy going all the way.  About 9 or so km in we stopped for lunch break.  It was warm enough to actually enjoy sitting outside in the sun, comfortably.  Very nice for so early in the year, it is usually much colder and more snow on ground.  There was hardly any on ground today.

Even though I hike lots in Summer, because I don't snowshoe or ski in Winter, the hike today, which was 18 kms, made me all stiff and sore.  The left leg more so, perhaps because of the way I walk or due to the fact I sprained the knee a few years ago while skiing.  So that last km seemed to go on forever!  I could take a hot bath, or take some ibuprofen..but I am drinking a little rum to mellow out.  It's funny, we didn't go up, but I had a hearty appetite and stiffness.  :) I guess 18 kms is a fair distance to walk.

At the end, we had a transportation problem, only 2 cars left (some left before) that could carry all but one person!  So all of us except for the lonely one drove to UNBC, and then one vehicle drove back to Otway to pick the person up. I felt kind of sorry leaving him there, but there were other hikers, bikers there. 

Thumbs up to a great day.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Symphony

I was lucky to receive a free ticket to tonight's Symphony. It's theme tonight, An Evening with Joe Trio.  Quoted from PGSO's website, "From Papa Haydn to Uncle Shostakovich, new works by contemporary composers, and their own arrangements of popular, jazz and rock tunes, Joe Trio will leave you with a new appreciation for classical music."

And I most likely will be going there by bicycle.  I am a bit nervous about locking it up there, but I will maybe bring my second lock and lock it up twice, for less worries.  I don't dress over the top, but will go in nice slacks/top, so should be ok to bike over.  Oh I wish I was as daring as the girl who has biked to Opera in Edmonton all dressed up!  :)

Image: Daniel St.Pierre /

No Silly Walks today I'm afraid.

Because of Volcanic activity in Europe, John Cleese had to take an expensive cab ride.  It's really crazy over there!


Friday, April 16, 2010

Homemade Xtracycle type bike

Sure there's no nice Dutch Style bikes, or the like (I wish), but today saw a homemade version of an Xtracycle.  Lot's of chicken wire on it. (!) but he can hold a lot of food.  So I asked if it was ok to take a pic and here it is:

I think is cool that he built it himself..and certainly gets lot of use out of it.  He says he has another one at home that he built.  I told him about Xtracycle, but he hadn't heard of it before.  But obviously the design is good for him to build something similar.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

This weekend's Hike: Greenway Trail

Well, hiking season is fast approaching.  I belong to our local hiking club (am on the Executive) and we have our first scheduled hiking of the season this Sunday, April 18th.

We will be hiking 18 kms along the Greenway, starting from UNBC (second green line on right,  above the one that also goes right on the bottom) and ending up on Otway Road (up top).  We'll have to park cars on both ends of the trail.  There are many little trails by Otway Road, so hopefully, we won't get lost!  We will bringing a few maps along to make sure we don't!

It's an easy hike through the forests, as there is no big mountains to climb.  There is too much snow up top to even attempt a mountain without snowshoes.

I'm looking forward to spending a day outside as I'm tired of having cabin fever.  I find that in the Winter I was unmotivated, but now that Spring is here, I have more motivation.  It should be a good Sunday!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Dr Who interview on the Q

Hah!  CBC radio show the Q, just aired an interview with Matt Smith from Doctor Who.

The podcast can be found here (it's on after the discussion about Iceland banning stripping, not kidding you!)

Definintely Spring

As I woke up I realized it was going to be a nice Spring Day.  I could hear the birds sings as I got my bike ready to go to work.  I sure miss those sounds in the Winter, during those short winter days and long nights, all seems quiet except for man made noise like cars, voices, and ambulances.

But yet, with the bird noises, it was peaceful and quiet as I set for my short ride to work.  I really don't have that far to bike to work, 5 minutes worth, but it is a nice ride.  After work I took a much longer route home so I could have more time to enjoy the ride!

Think Spring has arrived

There has been sun out for the last week, which has been nice.  But, it has been deceiving, there was an ice-cold wind to go along with it.  But not anymore.  Not sure what the high will be today, but tommorrow, it's an amazing 18C (64f)  Hopefully I will not need to use my wool mitts while biking now.  Of course, with me going up into the mountains, I may still need them for that as it can get cold up there, even in Summer.

One of the trees by work has leaves coming out, which seems 4 weeks earlier then last year.

Biking has become comfortable again, no need for lots of layers.  One of these weekends, I'll sacrifice a hiking day and go for a ride out of town.  I need to get the stiffness out of me before doing the bike tour this summer and a few good long rides will make it easier for me on the bike tour.  I was just waiting until it got warm enough to do that.  It's almost 3 months till the trip, and counting!

Here's to Spring and all it's glory.  (My favourite time of year)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Biking Safety

I had a close call today on my bike.  Someone decided that they weren't going to be waiting at a red light and so gunned on the gas and took off.  I was halfway across intersection going at a slow speed, so I was able to stop immediately.  Despite this situation, I still love biking!  You just got to watch the traffic carefully to try to avoid being hit.

Let's Go Ride a Bike blog has an excellent article on Bicycle safety, go check it out at Let's Go Ride a Bike- Getting Serious About Bicycling Safety

I have almost have 2500 kms on my bike now, so I think I've done almost 500 kms since January, which is pretty good since that's Winter here and we usually get lots of snow.  Not this year.

Monday, April 12, 2010

2010 Adventures

What have I planned for next adventure you may ask?  Well, even though I have just renewed my passport, I'll be staying in country this time.

First, in the middle of July I'm biking for 4 days on Tour De Jasper.

Then after a day of rest, I'm flying out to Sister in Regina.  It may not be as exciting as New York City was, but still, there's the Cirque Du Soleil, Imax, and camping.  Can't forget the RCMP training quarters there also.  Wish there was a place to rent bikes.  But my sister said I can borrow hers, heard that there's lots of bike paths around the city to explore.

Then off  to Vancouver to visit family and to see some awesome Fireworks  and rent a bike from Spokes.  I've got Lifetime HI hostel membership this year, so I'll make sure I get some use out of it this year.

I will try my best to make the travelling posts entertaining...:)  I just need to catch the spark that comes with travelling, it was a rather unmotivating winter for me.   Have any of you been to Regina before?  What do you recommend doing?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Excuses to go for bike ride

Sometimes I need a good excuse to ride my bike.  Today it was because I had to drop off  DVDs to friend.  I procrastinate when I return things sometimes.  It was nice day though, despite the strong bitterly cold winds going home.

Before going, I left my old hiking shoes on street to see if someone would take them.  Besides a hole or too inside, the shoes are in good shape..the soles are not worn out like they usually are.  I found that they hurt my arches ever since I bought them.  When I returned home, I ended up ditching them into the dumpster as I thought that was a stupid idea.  :)

It was a nice day to get out on bike, despite cold cold winds.  I biked near the house I first lived in, so swung by and took a pic of my tree.  Dad planted that when I was born so long ago.  Freshly pruned, but holding up after all these years.

This is bike path that I take a lot in the Summer when I go grocery shopping.  I have a choice of 2 bike trails from store, would you believe?  This city lacks them.  Still cold outside, snow is gone, but no leaves on tree yet.  Grass is just turning green.

Gobo's bathtime- April 11th


Welcome to my world.  After a few people have suggested that I start a blog, I'm going to try it out.  It may this is a work in progress.



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