9/17/2008

After all... it's only a Supercycle...

Summer has come and gone.
I spent the better part of it with my newborn son... so the Supercycle and the Scrambler spent most of it in the basement.
Seven weeks and **lbs later... (**= mystery weight) I went back to work. For about a month now the Supercycle has reinserted itself nicely in the daily commute. I ride about 12k and leave it at the Metro (subway if you prefer) for the day. I have never had to worry about it not being there upon my return in the evening. After all... it's only a Supercycle...

September 16th 2008: The case of the unlocked Supercycle.

I arrived that morning like I do every morning... slightly out of breath looking at my watch to see if I was on time for the 5:55 am Metro. I pulled into the bike rack and riffled thru my back pack for my keys and my bike lock. You know when you realize something and in an instant you process all the information and know there is only one solution. I realized I had forgotten my bike lock at home and would have to leave the Supercycle unlocked all day... unprotected from those who may wish it harm. I had no choice... no time... no other alternative. My initial feeling was that if it wasn't there when I came back in the evening... the Scrambler would take it's place as a commute bike and a new fancier bike would join the family. (talk about the body not even being cold yet)

The rest of the morning went as usual... with the occasional thought going to the unlocked situation... but I did not stress over it. At lunch time I went for a walk and started to think about how I had not written on the bike blog in a long time. I thought about how this could make an interesting story... among all those other stories I had written... a lot of them about the Supercycle... good ole Supercycle... you know the one that started the whole thing. The famous trip to Mont Laurier, the many repairs, changes and modifications you had made. You Know... YOU'RE FRIEND!!

Ok... maybe I kinda hoped it was still there... "Snif"
The afternoon seemed to go quite slowly... "I'm sure it will be fine..."
It just dragged on... "Please be still there".
The 37 min. Metro ride seemed like an 1 hour..."Come on!!!"
Who wants a transmogrified hybrid Supercycle anyhow? ... "I do!!"

As I came out of the Metro and walked up the stairs (ok... almost running)
I went out threw the spinning door... immediately headed to the bike rack only to find the Supercycle....

Still there? "What the F***!!!"

What... my bike is not good enough for you? You think it's a piece of s**t!
I will have you know that this piece of S**T! bike has done more than many other... "It's not a piece of S**t!!!"

I rode home that night confused, embarrassed, not knowing how I should feel. "Is this what love feels like?"

4/22/2008

Back to work!!!



Off and running... finally.
Last Wednesday I did a reconnaissance ride to the Laval Metro stations. The idea was to figure out routes and distances... also to make sure the Supercycle was up to the challenge. Everything seemed in order and I was more than ready. The next morning Julie offered to drive me to work, fearing I would have some sort of mechanical failure with the ever so dependable Supercycle.
She told me she had dreamed I had a flat tire on my way to work.
"I checked everything sweetheart, no worries."
My first ride to the Metro went without incident. I did have to get used to the dark bicycle path, morning critters and the odd snowbank... over all no problem. On my return however... you guessed it... FLAT TIRE!!!. (Julie has to learn to dream more precisely) The flat was no fault of the Supercycle... sometimes a flat is just a flat. (20lbs extra doesn't help) Spare check, tools check, pump... pump?"F***!"
I made the dreaded call and Julie came to the rescue with a grin that clearly meant "I told you so" even if she didn't.

Since then I have done 100 km without incident.
Once I get back in riding shape... I look forward to taking the Scrambler on a nice long ride. (with a pump!)

4/07/2008

I will be attempting...

After spending the last four months in winter purgatory... spring has finally arrived.
I have used my winter months wisely...

Julie is expecting my first Child. (what else are you going to do on a cold winter night?)
We bought a house in Laval which we spent the last 2 months renovating & moving.
I have worked very hard on gaining about 18lbs. ( is was actually not that hard at all)

But now... it's time to get serious... get back on the Supercycle.
(of course it made the move.)

Time has become an enemy as well as the gigantazaur amount off snow which has fallen in Montreal this year. Technically bicycle paths open on April 1st. Snowmobiler's in Laval have not been informed apparently.

I will be attempting a commuting test run within the next few days... oh wait... mmmm something smells good in the kitchen... Julie must be cooking. Got to go.

12/19/2007

Lost dog... no reward.

Ok... 40 centimeters more of the white stuff came down this week. I've decided to officially be done for the year. Snow covered roads and traffic in Montreal just make it to dangerous. I will restart in the early spring. If I don't... I'm counting on Julie & you guys to nag me back into it.

I was taking the bus home the other day and saw at least 6 or 7 forgotten bicycles in the snow. This poor Supercycle looked kind of like a lost dog... waiting for its owner. Unfortunately there it will most likely remain until the city picks it up in the spring... rusted and unwanted.










I wish I could help it... but I've got 2 of my own.

So I guess that's it for now... MERRY CHRISTMAS.

I will return in the New Year.

12/03/2007

Temporarily closed...

Rode for a whole week & encountered some snow... no biggie. Also had some -16 Celsius weather... no problem.

30 centimeters of snow has blanketed Montreal in the last 24hrs. "I think we shall call it a draw"

Well at least until the roads clear.

11/27/2007

Call me Frankenstein



Snow has arrived in Montreal, in a small dose... but here none the less. The Scrambler has been put away for the winter, still bruised from the accident. A new rear derailleur is on it's way from E-Bay, but the repairs will wait until spring. Last Friday Julie dropped me off at work with the Supercycle and a big bag full of mixed parts. After work I made full use of the workshop & began rebuilding and making the 1800 road worthy again. What began with a shifter and a rear tire, soon spread to more drastic changes. How drastic you may ask? The 6 speed second hand shifter I found, just could not cut it. I actually installed a 7 speed Shimano rapid fire shifter with the original 6 speed cassette. (call me Frankenstein) It actually kinda sorta worked... mostly. Then I decided to be more traditionalist and change the cassette.

Sooo... the 18 speed blue machine is no longer 18 speed.

It is now the Supercycle 2100... 21 speed.
(I hope I have not offended any purists)

A new tire, a rear brake lever & brake pads were also added. Then when I was done... well I had to see if it all worked? (not just the bike... me too) I rode home... hoooray! Monday morning I started commuting to work again. Was I rusty? ... you bet.

The good news is... I still love it.

11/20/2007

Extraordinary!

Not long after I began this blog... someone quickly took an interest in it. Perhaps he was attracted to my extraornadinary writing skills.(e-x-t-r-a-o-r-d-i-n-a-r-y...?)
Considering he's a professional writer & must cringe every time he reads one of my entries, I believe that it was something else.(like maybe... cycling?) Actually the Canadian Tire Supercycle I chose for my entry into the sport was all part of a blog dedicated to it. The Bike of Doom chronicles the results of buying a low cost department store bicycle. This blog helped me along my journey this summer with it's many resources & feedback. It also help introduce my story to other cyclist just like me. (well in better shape than me but...) We two bloggers also share similar weather. (not quite the same... Winnipeg tends to do winter bigger & badder) Cold weather, rain , sleet & snow tend to slow a cyclist down. So he has decided to hang it up for the winter "Last ride, last post — 3,204 Km". I myself am trying to continue... but the longer the ribs take to heal & the worst the weather gets outside, the harder it will be to get back in the saddle. Everything seems to be winding down & I just wanted to say thank you to The Bike of Doom. Thanks for everything.

11/15/2007

Slow recovery...

The Scrambler has joined the Supercycle in inactivity. My ribs are still very sore. I have thought of trying to ride but... just getting up in the morning is very painful. I work in a nursing home and have asked many nurses "how long?". They all say it could be weeks. So it is very likely that the Scrambler will be put away for the winter & the Supercycle will have the job of helping me back on the road when I feel up to it.

I have no idea if the ribs are bruised or cracked. Spending 3 to 5 hours for an x-ray (only to be told that there is nothing to do) is not on my list of priorities right now. I use the hopping up & down test. (hop up & down & see if it hurts... duh) When I can do it with an acceptable amount of pain... I will start to ride.

11/06/2007

It was bound to happen eventually...

It was bound to happen eventually... I've had a few falls here and there... mostly in the beginning... mostly clumsy. After awhile you get comfortable & cocky... that's usually when you get nailed... right?

When I commute to work, I prefer taking Sherbrooke street instead of the boring old bike path. Early in the morning there is hardly anybody on it... and I just fly right work. I also fly threw red lights & stop signs. (who the hell wants to stop every second block?) In the evening there is significantly more traffic... & those same pesky red lights & stop signs. Well... I do look both ways before crossing an intersection. ( when it's red... yellow & green mean go!) The last km on Sherbrooke on the way back home is slightly downhill. (that means go fast) The light at the intersection was red... but out of the corner of my eye I could see that it was turning yellow for the intersecting traffic. So... no reason to stop... right? However the other corner of my eye neglected to see the intersecting vehicle... a full size white Suburban (the kind the F.B.I use to drive over terrorist & stuff) This vehicle didn't care what it intersected on it's way to making this yellow light. (it's important to note at this time that it is me writing this story and not a grieving widow) I did not in any way shape or form hit the Suburban. The pavement however... took quite a beating. (disk brakes work way to well...) It appears I applied just a little more pressure to the front than the back. (I've actually performed this little stunt in front of my father when I was 12) The result... a forward somersault. (in both cases) I wish I had someone video tape it for me... would have loved to have seen it in slow motion... so I could have pointed out the exact moment I said F***!!! Somehow... I ended up on all fours... don't ask me how. I quickly got up... (probably not) with the wind knocked out of me. For a split second, my reaction was to go yell at the driver of the "Monster Truck", but starting breathing again seemed more of a priority. I realized I was at much at fault as he or she was. (never made actual eye contact) The driver was probably relieved I was alright... but was most probably afraid of my reaction. I finally I began to walk in that direction... ("lock the doors!!! he' coming this way!!!) only to pick up my Scrambler of the street. I was more worried of it... than me. The light for driver turn green and he or she rolled away... neither one of us exchanging a word or a glance. Weird I know... but what are you say?

The Scrambler sustained a bent rear derailleur & some scratches to the right shifter. ( nothing major)

I sustained what I believed originally to be a scrapped knee, a sore right hand, a bruised ego and a slight pain to the ribs. Later that evening... the slight pain... became... well... not so slight. I took the day off today. Nothing broken I'm sure... some swelling... but the beer seems to be helping the healing process. Overall I think I walked away from this one... pretty good.

(always important to note the walking away part)

11/04/2007

Still here...

The Supercycle... forgotten and left behind waits. It has spent just over 2 months sitting in my bedroom... being used occasionally as a clothes rack, lonely and forgotten. Next week - end I plan on bringing it to work and getting it winter ready. (I'm not even sure if I'm winter ready) Sorry if I keep bringing up the winter thing... but I never figured on making it this far.This part of my cycling adventure is the one that scares me the most. (so far...) I fear that if I stop for the winter months... I may not start again in the spring. I fear that if I go on... I may get fed up of the weather... and give up. I fear that after being on a superior bike... that this one may let me down. I have been lazier lately... but have tried to do the minimum. I still commute every day and have the occasional excursion. Sometimes life gives you more important things to do... and exercise takes a back burner. I have not given up... but I do feel weak. I want to continue... I want more trips, more adventures and blog entries worthy of being read.

Forgive me if I wander of the trail... from time to time.

10/31/2007

Happy Halloween

















Posted by another cycling dude: Two Cities Two Wheels

10/27/2007

Jedi Master?

I awoke at 9:45 to a beautiful sunny day... looking forward to a nice ride. Julie also had the day off... and she seemed to have plans of her own. (as girlfriends tend to do) She wanted to spend the day with me... doing something woodsy requiring lots of walking... completely non bicycle related. After some discussion and suggesting that a drive up north on a Friday may not be the best idea traffic wise... we came to the conclusion that a nice bike ride would do me some good. (old Jedi mind trick)

I actually managed a 70km ride in the west Island, went shopping & was sitting back on the couch having a beer by 5:30 pm... while Julie was cooking dinner. (Jedi Master)

Actually... Julie is very supportive of my cycling & I love her dearly for it.

I've also promised to cook dinner at one point this week end...

10/25/2007

Need motivation... again

I had Julie's car for the last 3 days... got kinda used to it. Tomorrow I'm off once again. It's supposed to be nice... yet cycling is not first on my list. Sleeping in, not showering, watching "the Price is Right"... would appear to be at the top. I need motivation... again.

MUST... GO... RIDING.

10/19/2007

Unexpected but good

Last night before going to bed I checked the weather forecast. It was not good... 60 to 70 percent chance of rain with 20 to 24 mm to come in the next 24 hours. A nice ride on my day off seemed unlikely. Lately the weather has not cooperated at all in this area. So off to bed without setting the alarm... with plans of sleeping in and having a completely non productive day. I awoke at 9:30 am to an unusually bright bedroom. As I peered outside with pillow marks still stamped to my face, I saw a beautiful, sunny, not a cloud in the sky day. I checked the forecast again on Meteo Media (they always get it wrong... but anyway) It was 20 Celsius outside. The rain would only come in the afternoon. I would like to say I was out the door in 15 minutes... but that would be a lie. It was still my day off... and when you've geared yourself to be lazy all day... you can't just get "unlazy" in 15 minutes. So I left at 11:00 am... well no... actually 11:30 am. (I went to Second Cup first... good muffins) When I finally got going... I was bitching and moaning about how windy it was... but motivation came in the way of an old plan. Mission Impossible anyone? I actually found a slightly different route and shaved 9km of the trip. (68km instead of 77km, lazy... remember?)

I had a bit of rain upon my return... but overall a good ride... unexpected but good. I will take what I can get.

10/11/2007

You can smell it...

I'm still not quite recovered from my cold... (coughing up some nasty stuff) I still however commute to work every day. My nose has returned & has begun to smell that smell in the evenings...that fall smell... you know the one.
I gingerly prepare myself for my first winter as a cyclist. I ask myself this question... will I be able to continue cycling this winter? I know that my day trips are drawing to an end. I know that the bicycle paths in Montreal close on November 1st. I know it can also snow here... from time to time... ok all the time.
I was in unknown territory last spring when I began this odyssey, but I had some other cyclists to guide me threw the basics. The winter months belong to a select few... will I be one of them?
I may not know exactly what I'm in for, but I have begun to make purchases.
I got one of those fancy coats that breathes and stuff. I used it to go to Granby. Waterproof yes... but not for ever. This was the same coat I was sweating & freezing in. (could have been the fever)
The darkness in the mornings made me get a rear blinking light... ok... everybody else had one... I wanted one too. My hands where cold... needed some gloves... it's October... figured I would get in the spirit. I still have many other things to get. The thought of not cycling for 3 to 4 months does not sit well with me. The suggestion of a stationary bike is just depressing. I will attempt the winter... I have experience to acquire... but an honest effort to attain it will be done. At the first sight of ice or snow I will not shy away. I will however humbly ask the Supercycle for it's help... if it will have me.