Sunday, September 26, 2010

River's Day Festival

After days of going through a big storm and lots of rain, the sun broke out today. Which is great, as there was the River's Festival today at the local park. This year is it's 10th year in our City.

It was nice to bike there and hang around without having to bundle up. I waited for a friend I know to show up. I didn't call him beforehand, but figured because it was so nice outside and there was free music, that he'd show. And he did!  There were lots of bicyclists out today.  One lady at a stand asked me if I really had biked to there.  She thought it was a bit cold for that.   I told her I bike till the roads get really icy and that if I had a better winter bike, I'd bike through winter.

I got to see some good music including a fiddler who performed at the 2010 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony. You might remember him as the guy with the Mohawk. This time round he was wearing a hat. Good fiddler though and it turns out that I know his Mother! What a small world.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Isn't this the coolest?

Just discovered this cool pack that lets you be seen.

SEIL bag by Lee Myung Su design lab from Ben on Vimeo.

Change of seasons

Today is Fall.  It's been Fall for a bit here now.  The days are getting shorter and I've had to dig out my headlamp and use my knog.  I actually prefer it over my BLT light as it stays on my bike seat (hard to tell it's there) whereas the BLT light isn't as flexible where you can put it.  The knog goes on just anywhere.

I also got a Planet Bike BRT LED strap light from my Sister-in-law.  She doesn't need it but thought I could get some use out of it.  I sure have!  Any illumination helps.  I wear it on my right leg and it looks cool when it blinks.

The sun has been rising when I've been biking to work.  Next week I will be biking to work before the sun lights are a definite must!

I'll be biking as much as possible till the snow really falls.  I had luck and rode the bike most of the last winter, but I suspect more snow will fall this year.  I want to get a simple beater bike built this year- grocery getter, but I need to save money for a while.  I don't want to wreck the chain on my bike and I prefer fatter studded tires for the icy roads.  Mind you, I really miss shopping without the bike, it is not as enjoyable!  But Winter is not here yet, so still will be on the road.

I just hope I can keep my motivation up for this blog during winter as I often get the blahs. I have a Delhi2Dublin and an Arrogant Worms concert to look forward to this Winter, so not all is bad.  I think having to post here will help and so does working on the Rambler's hiking club website, keeps me going.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Upgrade bike paths or build new bike paths?

The city has got some funding to be used towards bicycle infrastructure.  When I was bicycling home from grocery store the other day, I noticed construction equipment on one part of the bike path I was using.  They added a little bit to the trail so it goes out to an intersection and eventually it will be paved.  Paved bike paths are ok, except I find they get 'root heaves' in just a few years after being paved.

On the parts of many paths around town, there are tons of root heaves on the paved sections.  Sometimes it's easier just to go off the path and ride around them.

I wonder what the preference is for riders on bike paths, pavement or dirt?  I suppose there would be no root heave problems if there were no trees nearby the trail.  Are there many paved bike paths around North America that have that problem?

I think the money would have been better spent building new dirt bike paths.  As long as the dirt bike paths are made the right material, so any bike can ride on it, I don't mind dirt paths.  I just think that our city doesn't have much for bike paths, and I prefer bicycling on them.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Margaret Tobin - day nine

My friend Peggy Tobin is currently riding across Canada with the Sears Kids for Cancer ride. They are in Ontario now- Co. I'm so proud of her! Check her blog and others out at links below

Margaret Tobin

and more about the ride

You go girl!


Thursday, September 16, 2010

More tour De Jasper Photos- taken by Mike Watt

Michael Watt was taking photos of us during Tour De Jasper and he got some really awesome shots that we would not be able to take.  He wasn't going to sell them, as he is planning to put a book together of Tour De Jasper trips through the years and then sell it.  I and other convinced him to sell them after the tour, just like they did when I was doing tours in Costa Rica.  I think it adds to the experience!

Here's a group shot and a few of me.
25 2010 Tour De Jasper participants and 4 or 5 volunteers.
Leaving town.
Taking tent down at 6:50 am on second day of Tour De Jasper.

Mechanic helping rider with a flat.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Baby Shower time

This past Saturday, I was invited to a co-worker's baby shower. It's been a while since I've been to a baby shower, so it was kind of neat going to one.  I was offered rides, but why would I need a ride?  I got my bike!

Bike all set up to carry vegetable platter.
I've been borrowing tour panniers from friend, so I was able to bungee the veggie dish on to the back rack.

It was nice to meet little Meadow, she is so cute!  Sometimes I miss not having children, so I admire others. The mothers all shared their birthing stories, and I can only imagine what it would be like.  Then there's the presents, lots of them!  I gave her a nice set of pjs.  I got another one to attend next weekend.

Beautiful Mother and child.

Time to unwrap the presents.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Hike to Red Mountain

After missing 2 consecutive weekends of day hikes, I managed to do a 2 night trip during the Labour Day Weekend.  I had so much fun at last year's Labour Day weekend backpacking trip, that I had to do it again!  This may become a tradition.  Like the one last year, it was organized by Vivien Lougheed.

There were 6 of us on the trip.  We had left the trip open to anyone who was interested, but there was only room for 6 of us in the cabin up there, so any more that were interested, had to tent it.  As the weather was miserable on Saturday morning, only us 6 showed up.

We drove for over 2 hours to get to the base of Red Mountain.  We parked at the Boudreau's, who have lived there in the middle of nowhere for all their lives.  Actually, the area was once a thriving place due to lumber mills being set up in area, but now as the timber industry has cooled off, so has the population.  People who move out are not being replaced.

It took us 5 hours to hike to the cabin, and we gained a thousand feet or two.  The weather wasn't too bad, but it did rain here and there.  As we settled into the cabin for the night, it started to snow!  Don't forget though, that we are high up in the mountains, and it can snow in July.  Can you believe that there are some high peaks in the background of this photo?

It snowed a few inches during the night, and as we waked up in the morning, it was like winter outside.  And it was STILL snowing.  As it was miserable outside, we stayed inside the cabin until 1pm, when it stopped raining/snowing.  We didn't want to get cabin fever and it would be a shame for all the effort it took us to climb up to the cabin, to not explore the area.  We hiked up to a ridge on Green Mountain and back, which took us 3 hours.  We didn't climb up to the top of Green Mountain or Red Mountain because it was just too miserable and there was no view to see!  It was definitely worth leaving the cabin for a bit though.

 It's cleared a bit and you can actually see some peaks, so we go out to explore.
Below:  That's where we are headed to.
As we get higher, the more snow there is.

There's me!
Would you believe we actually saw some blue sky?
On our way down, we saw some fresh Grizzly tracks and digs.  It was digging for bulbs to eat.  It took off when it either smelled or heard us.  Without the fresh snow, we would have never known that it was just there.

Above:  It looks like the top has been dusted with icing sugar.

Above:  Red Mountain

Below:  to get to Red Mountain Cabin, you have to walk through some Ancient Cedar.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tour De Jasper: Getting home

After bicycling for 4 lovely days, the time has come to pack up and head home. The Tour De Jasper crew has had 8 years of experience in packing up.  They will have to fit the largest number of bicycles ever, since the Tour began, into a 24 foot trailer.  They had 25 bicyclists participating in 2010, whereas in 2009, there was 22.

The mechanic takes off the pedals and moves the handlebars in for each bike.  The other crew sorts boxes tht will be used to divide the bicycles and help avoid any damage to them.

I can see how easy it would be to transport a bike by plane, train, or bus.  You just need a good strong bike box...and pack it good.  I felt pretty confident that my bicycle would be in one piece when I came home.

After a good night's sleep, we walked to Jasper, which is about 2 kms away.  We had a little bit of time to explore, and eat breakfast before the train we were taking would depart to home.  I got this cool shirt for my Birthday, which was on the train ride day!  It was XL, so it will make a good night shirt.  I like the theme though, and it is SO me!

We all met up at the Train station at noon.  The train runs from here to our city once every 2 days.  I have taken it once before, and it is a nice slow ride.  The CN cargo train has priority, so we did have to stop for a 1/2 hr twice to let one go through.  They are old cars, well, except for 1st class.  We were in coach, which still had great views. I believe that you can bring your bicycle on board in the cargo car, but there wasn't enough room for 25 bicycles!  There was enough room for our bicycle group in the Coach car, even though we filled up 1/2 of it.

Views from the train trip.  Notice that Mt. Robson is clouded over this day, and the weather is not so nice as we had on the bike ride.  We were so lucky!

Moose Lake

It was pouring heavily when these people left the train for their tour van.

I bought a bottle of wine to celebrate my Birthday.

One of 2 stop and waits we had for cargo trains.  We were allowed to go outside, but only did so when the rain stopped.  This is the Coach Car.  In front is the cargo car and the engine, so it is not a very big train.  But it was completely full!
Below:  This is the 1st class train and at the end is the dome car.  I was lucky enough on my last train ride to be able to sit in the Dome car, and there were lovely views.  But we still had great views in the Coach car too.

 So what did I think about Tour De Jasper?  I really enjoyed it, and it was a great way to experience my first bicycle tour, and I am sure the others felt the same way.  If you want to try out bicycle touring, but are too afraid to try, you should go on this tour.  I really liked that it was very reasonably priced.  I have yet to see any other fully supported tour around North America that is as cheap as this one.  Sure you camp, but I really like being able to hang around a campfire with your new friends, rather then hiding in a hotel room.  It added to the experience.  Good job Nicole!  I am sure I will return on this adventure, or any other one you decide to organize.


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