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.

10/07/2007

Hot & Cold... with talking cows.

Friday evening Julie said I had a fever & perhaps I should reconsider my trip... but she left the decision up to me & would support me either way. I loaded up on pills and cough syrup before going to bed, hoping I would wake up miraculously healed.
The next morning I felt... sort of kinda better. (not really... but I wanted this last trip)
The forecast called for rain in the afternoon and a high of 15c.

-I believed I could get to Granby before the rain started.
-I believed the daytime cold medicine would work.
-I believed that 110km would be a piece of cake.

I also now believe that cold medicine can make you believe in just about anything.

I left at 7:00 am and for the first 55 km everything seemed to work in my favor. (the weather & the pills) Sometime after that however I began to sweat... allot. I was drenched and felt dizzy. I emptied my gatorade and popped some more pills. For a time everything seemed to fall back into place.
Then I stopped to take a picture of some cows by the side of the path, most of them where lying down (that means rain). I also believe that some of them where trying to speak to me. (that means fever) A slight drizzle began & I was now getting cold. I figured if I rode harder for a bit it would warm me up. The drizzle became rain, steady non relenting rain. I now know that it is possible to sweat & freeze all at once. I discovered that Granby was 10km further than my original estimate & the fine town of Farnham decided to encourage cycling tourism by laying down new gravel on their bike paths... 4 inches thick of the stuff. The tears on my face were kinda warm. When I arrived at Granby, I put on a (fake) smile & asked a woman wearing a poncho walking her dog for directions to the hotel. " OH!?... that's way on the other side of town... no where near the bike path... you could take a taxi?" An ambulance was more my train of thought. I rode another 6km to the hotel. (126km total) After a bath, some beer , a nap & Julie's arrival... things seemed better. Sometime later that evening at the Cage aux Sports, after the Canadiens loss in overtime... I decided to return home with Julie the following day. The Scrambler (who's performance was beyond reproach) safely tucked in the back of the minivan.

I did however go apple picking the next day...

10/03/2007

Granby








This is it... my last big trip of 2007. The Scrambler appears ready for the challenge & so do I. Over the last 2 weeks I have adjusted to changing weather conditions & increased my distances. The trip consists of over 230 km during 2 days, the promise of a Cage aux Sports, a motel & a nice warm body upon my arrival in Granby. I can't wait... (for the trip)

Ok maybe the other stuff too...

10/01/2007

Itchy...

With a long week-end coming up... there is an itch that needs to be scratched. Perhaps some sort of voyage to a far off land.
The new link in the sidebar may be a clue.
Monteregie - Cycling

9/29/2007

Motivation.

I went for a lunchtime ride again today at work. I had a bit of extra time so I decided to do the Verdun loop as I call it.(24km)


Today was a day for real cyclists. It was sunny but only 14c and pretty windy. I started off pretty easy averaging only 2o km/hr. I needed some motivation. At one point a squadron of "road freaks" passed me in formation. (like the yellow and blue shirts) I like to sometimes use other cyclists as motivation to work harder & go faster... but I do try and stay in my range.(middle age male, slight beer gut) Well lo and behold 10km in my ride I get passed by similar dude...(MTB & slight beer gut)Perfect. I noticed that he actually had to work to pass me & his pace had reduced once he believed he had cleared and gotten rid of me... Believed. Within a few minutes I caught up to him but stayed back. I established the same pace as him a waited for my move. I did not want to make the same mistake as him & run out of steam. After awhile he noticed I was tailing him... looking back every so often trying to figure out my intentions... he knew... he picked up the pace... so did I. I became a thorn in his side... he could not shake me... the pass was inevitable. I knew there was a slight hill coming up then a nice long downhill. Like Lance Armstrong... I would take him in the mountains.
I pulled up next to him... side by side in the hill. Both of us not giving an inch. Then a mistake... he changed gears (anticipating the downhill) too soon. His paced reduced... I passed him moments later... and then "click,click" off I went. I never looked back... (to afraid) to see my opponent. I rode hard for the next 10km... and never saw him again. Hey... motivation is where you find it.

9/20/2007

"Kanawaki!?"

I have been doing my lunch time ritual everyday this week. (punishment for not doing a long ride in a while) I stopped halfway to read the sign with the map of bicycle paths on the Montreal Island... trying to find some secret area I may not have covered yet. On the top left corner I noticed a partial map of the South Shore... I had passed near it many times... just never actually crossed the bridge. I studied what you could see of the fractioned map and noticed there was actually a path that seemed to go along the the St Lawrence. It would go threw places like Brossard, La Prairie, Ste. Chatherine, Kanawaki... "Kanawaki!?" I actually said this out loud... "What if...?" You know that grin you get when you think of something completely diabolical?
(ok it's important that you start humming the Mission Impossible theme at this point... I did)

Kanawaki: Indian Reserve where one may procure illegal cheap cigarettes.

The government does not approve of us buying this merchandise... therefore may seize and confiscate you're car if caught. "CAR!!!" Are you guys paying attention? (Mission Impossible theme gets louder) Who would suspect a cyclist?... It was brilliant! ( I know it goes against all cycling morals... that's why I love it) I would go after work... penetrate the reserve disguised as a cyclist... load the booty in my bag and return to Montreal completely unnoticed. The excitement and the humming would build all afternoon.

15:45 : Departure from Westmount (humming Mission Impossible)
16:20 to 16: 40 : Had to wait for the suspended bridge to come down (stopped humming for 20 min.)
17:30 : Penetration of reserve ( actually pretty easy... it's not like going to Mexico or anything)
17:40 : Purchase of Smokes (I actually whore sunglasses)
20:00 : Arrival (booty successfully transported)



Distance: 77 km
Cost: $16 (carton of smokes)
Don't you love it when a plan comes together.




To any law enforcement officials reading this blog: carton of cigarettes was found by side of road... unknown origin.

9/18/2007

Mid cycling crisis... of sorts

All is well with my ass... more specificly my legs. Took a break over the week end (again). The seat position seems good. I however (once again) feel I must regain my shape. I`ts not fair... just a few days off... & I feel all wrong... lazy... & fat (food, beer, wine & chocolate will do that to you). My lunch time ride (16km) wich is very benificial & time saving... has become very boring. Oh I still do it... use it as an excuse to not ride after work. Basicly... I beleive I need to plan something new... big... soon... but what? I guess this is mid cycling crisis of sorts.

Supercycle repairs have begun... I may however invest more in repairs than originaly planned... we shall see. (I like getting my hands dirty... what?)

9/13/2007

What's wrong with the way I sit?

I have put about 450km on the Norco.
Lately however I have felt pain in my legs while riding... Am I getting old? (rhetorical... no comments)
Have I somehow over done it? (keep in mind I'm smoking a cigarette & having a beer while writing this) Perhaps some old football injury? (all that bench warming time finally catching up to me)

Apparently... seat positioning could be the cause. I adjusted the seat just like anybody would, for comfort. Well... after speaking to some experts... (guy at work who's biked longer than me)
Just having the seat a few millimeters different from what I had on the Supercycle... could cause this. So I've lowered it a bit & moved it back some... we shall see.

Haven't forgotten the Supercycle...


I bought a new (second hand) shifter. I will get new tire and inner tube over the weekend... maybe next week the repairs will begin.

9/09/2007

97km... sound familiar

Friday I did the West Island... again... counter clockwise this time. Just as hot and humid as last time... could not find any yellow and blue shirts however. Just as well... I did not have the energy.

The Scrambler (just call the new bike that) has settled in nicely... still having some disc brake rubbing... but minor. I've done 360km so far on the new ride... so guess what? Over 2000km done this year... about 2000km more than I expected in April.

9/06/2007

Responsibility...


I used to use plain old (bicycle/lawn mower/hinge/rusty stuff) oil.
I have now upgraded to this fine "midrange" product.

With a reasonable bike... comes reasonable responsibility...

200km break in...

Well here we are...
After spending allot... I mean allot of time adjusting everything... here are my first impressions on the new ride.

Positive:
- Shifters are great (one click done)
- Front suspension is handy (Montreal, the pot hole capitol)
- Disc Brakes are neat (can actually stop where I planned to)
- Cup holder... WOW! (Supercycle did not have the screws for it(insert macho innuendo here))
- Looks good (babe magnet... not me the bike)

Negative:
- Front & especially rear derailleur were a pain in the ass to adjust & need continuous check ups... (It's not me... just delicate is all)
- Quick release... (Quickly stolen...)
- Disc brakes scream like a banchy when wet (How do I know what a wet Banchy sounds like?...?)
- Fragile? (I haven't really ridden it rough yet... (insert more macho innuendo here))

Over all very happy...

Tomorrow is my day off... do I hear "DAY TRIP!"

9/04/2007

Young "wipper snapper"

When I picked up my new bike... the young "wipper snapper" behind the counter was all excited to tell me that he had prepared the bike himself... that it was all "adjusted" and ready to go.

Well... ( insert rant here) Not only did the chain grind against metal at any flick of the shifter... Not only were the handlebars as loose as... (insert sexual reference here) Not only where the quick releases just about to release... Not only did the disc brakes grind at rub (perhaps another sexual reference) It took me a week to realize that the tires only had 30 psi. in them. (Actually that was my fault... I honestly thought I was just getting out of shape)
The "adjustments" for the front and rear derailleur where so far out of whack... I had to go to SHIMANO to get the specs in order to do it properly.


Anyhow... let's just say the the maintenance is going to be handled by me from now on... OK!

Yeah... I couldn't wait to get my grubby hands on it...

8/30/2007

Ooooooo! Bells & Whistes!!!

I honestly was not planning on buying a bike before next spring. I wanted to spend a long time studying and getting information on what where the best brands & components. I also wanted the biggest bang for my buck. I had an idea of what I wanted... possibly an entry level mountain bike, something simple, strong & reliable... just the basics, no bells & whistles. I had also established a maximum price of $350 to $400.(tax included)

About a week ago I went to my friends place in Ste Anne des Plaines (small town) for dinner. On our way there he said there was a Norco retailer in town... would I want to check it out? "Shure... just a peak... not buying anything..." I had already researched some of the models... and had an idea of the price range. We went in... and I noticed there was still allot of 2007 models left. (very small town) They where all lined up in ascending order. I knew that only the first 3 (MTB) models where in my price range... after that well... I would be eating Kraft Macaroni for awhile. (not that there is anything wrong with that fine delicious product) As I was admiring the bikes, I heard my friend do a "Ooooo!... look at the red one." I knew which model he was talking about... and I knew it retailed at $489 before tax. I walked over to look at it, I noticed an error in the price... it said $429. That was the price of the model before it... seems that someone made a mistake with the tags. Even at that price I was hesitant. Then I heard the young lady say... "All bikes are 30% off..." to which I replied "Oh so they are already marked down then?... ... ... NO!?"



The Norco 2007 Scrambler
Front suspension, disc brakes, aluminum frame...




I like bells & whistles... what's wrong with bells & whistles?













$300... what would you have done?

8/25/2007

Emotional day for the Supercycle


Friday was my day off so I planned yet another daily trip.
Thursday evening during the Supercycles regular time spent on the operating table... (grease the chain, adjusted the Rear Derailleur, repacked the bottom bracket, etc, etc) I had made a decision. I had found a new bike on on sale and was planning to purchase it Friday evening. My friend Julie who works in Laval was all part of the plan. After my ride I would go meet her at work... and would go pick it up together in her minivan. The Laval daily trip was just a ruse to keep the Supercycle busy for awhile... The Supercycle did not fall for it... It was hot, humid & windy... I had problems with the rear shifter & I also noticed a bump on the rear tire... everything seemed more difficult than usual. After 70 km... two blocks away from where I was to meet Julie... I had a blowout... not a flat... a bang! The Supercycle knew... just like a girlfriend you're about to dump... it knew. This was to show it's discontent... 45 min. later a shinny new sexier model was leaned up against it in the minivan. I felt guilty... this bike had changed my life... I would have never dreamed being able to do over 120km in one day, or over 1700km in less than four months. This blog was created in part for it's achievements... not only mine... it deserved better. The Supercycle will be repaired... I will eventually change the lower bracket, change the rear shifter & repair the the flat... but the next time it will be taken for a ride... it will be cold and dark, and will only be used to commute to work (that... it has done so well), the long days of sunshine and travel to new and far off places a distant memory.

Then again... you never know.

- Departure : April 27th 2007
- Arrival : August 24th 2007


Out of respect... the details of the new bike will only be revealed after a few days... to let the Supercycle enjoy the headline.


8/19/2007

East end... done.

Finaly went around the east end of the island of Montreal. I saw where I zigged instead of zagged when I ended up in Repentigny.

It took 87km to go around... no incidents to report. The bottom bracket (new biking lingo) is begining to become loose again. I will probably have to do same repair that Ridi Bobo did on his.

- Departure 11:45
- Arrival 16:15

8/18/2007

Just... fell off!?










The Bracket holding the kick-stand... just fell off... just like that.
It actually happened a few weeks ago... just wanted to share.

Oh by the way... I've done approx. 1600 km this year. Rarely without incident...
Check out The Bike of Doom... and you will see I got off easy.

Lazy... Me?

The week started well... with my usual lunch time rides. A dentist appointment, a computer crash, and smokehouse ribs... have however slowed my riding ritual. I will try and plan something for Sunday. (If I'm not too lazy)

8/07/2007

Repentigny???

I wanted to go around the Est end of the Island... somehow I ended up in Repentigny!?
There is a bicycle path that goes around but...
SIGNS WOULD BE GOOD!

I still managed to do 94km... just saw allot more of the oil refineries than I would of liked.

- Departure 11:00
- Arrival 16:15

No coma or cramps to report...

8/06/2007

Let's see... what's next...

I did the West end of the Island... perhaps I should give the East end a whirl...

8/03/2007

Another "mini" trip into madness

After an aborted camping trip... suddenly finding myself with nothing to do on a Friday.
"Hey let's go for a ride!... It's only 35c in the shade... why not?"
I will go downtown, up the bike path to Gouin Blv. Go threw Montreal north, Pierrefonds, Senneville, St Anne de Belleview , Bai Durfe, Beaconsfield, Pointe Claire, Dorval, Lachine, Lasalle & back. ( 97km) piece of cake.

- departure 09:00
- arrival 14:30

On my way from St Anne's I ran into a group of cyclists with these fancy bikes and yellow and blue shirts. It was part of some sort of organized "Thingamajig". I rode non stop until Dorval... passing at least 40 of them with my Canadian Tire Supercycle. Was I showing off?... was I trying proove something?... was I insanely jealous of the cool shirts they had? It felt good either way. I was averaging 29km/hr... & I did this after 65km of riding... for about a distance of 30km. I was impressive.

Once I reached home... I got myself one of those really nice Sloche drinks from Couche Tard. (add a little vodka... hmmm)

One hour later I awoke from my coma on my couch in a pool of sweat with one of the worst leg cramps ever...( not so impressive ) with the thought of those yellow & blue jersey's laughing at me. After some soul searching... ( the cramp went away ) I thought to myself.

F*** you Yellow Dudes!... I still blew you're doors off!
Ouch!... still sore.

Another repair...










Tic... tac... toc... very annoying.
Took it apart... greased it... it's all good.

7/29/2007

Ok ... time to plan something new.

After the trip I did not ride very often during my vacation. I have continued to ride to work however. I will now endeavor to regain my trip form. I will also look into another trip... where, when, how?, not known yet... stay tuned.

Day 4

- Departure 09:00
- Arrival 15:30

Beautiful sunny day with only 80km to do... easy right?
On day 1 I had noticed the the last 16km arriving at St.Jovite was downhill... a steady descent which was very much appreciated considering my broken spoke & wheel problem. I knew however that I would have to go up this 16km stretch on my return. I did it in one shot... no stopping. The "grimace" on my face during this uphill climb must have been quite a site. The bikers I met going downhill seamed to fear me. The rest of the day was quite pleasant... but when it was finally done... let's just say that staying off my bike for a few days was not a problem.

Day 3

- Departure 09:45
- Arrival at 17:45

A full day with absolutely no mechanical failures of any kind. WOW!
I only left at 09:45 because I had breakfast at the hotel & I was waiting for the local Home Hardware to open so I could buy an inner tube. I was taking no chances on a second flat today. During my search for the proper inner tube... I noticed my ass was a bit sore... actually very sore. So I also purchased a new bike seat.(gel very cumfy)

The weather however was a different story... rain, thunder, lightning & more rain... let's just say I felt very close to nature. I tried to wait for the heavy rain to stop underneath shelter, but I had no choice but to ride during the storms. The sun came out for the last 15 km. I was wet & hot... that's good if you're... never mind.

121km problem free.

7/19/2007

More pics...

I added some more today...Flickr

I will tell you about Day 3 & 4 soon.

Day 2

- Departure around 07:00
- Wheel alignment problem around 08:00, 15km.
- Flat tire around 09:30 34km.
- Repaired and back on road around 10:30
- wheel alignment repair done manually 12:00 60km.
- Back on road 45 min. later.
- Arrival at Mt.Laurier 16:00, 121km.
- Beer & further spoke adjustments...in the hotel room, 16:45

Nice sunny hot day marked by heat, "the wheel" & a flat.
I discovered that the wheel the bike shop in St.Jovite sold me... had not had the spokes tightened or the wheel aligned. (Stupid C*** SUCKER) I also in my haste had not replaced the inner tube properly in the "new wheel"... which caused a "kink" and an eventual flat tire. All problems where more or less sorted by 13:00. However I still had 60km. to get to Mt.Laurier. I made it on fumes... stopping every 5km. for the last 20km.

Day 1

- Left St. Jerome at 07:30.
- Stop for a bite after 20km.
- Arrived at Val David around 10:00, about 40km.
- Broken spoke at about 64km.
- Arrived at St.Jovite at 14:30 with crooked bad wheel, 84km.
- Found bike shop around 15:30.
- Found cheap Motel around 16:00
- Drank first beer at 16:01.

The first day was marked by rain & the recurring wheel problem. As you will remember from my previous post:
"I was encouraged strongly by my friend Julie to have a "professional" repair it... something about my safety... women!?"

Well apologies to Julie...
However... I did have to repair the wheel myself again. The Bike shop where I purchased the "new wheel", had no repairman available.

7/12/2007

I'm Back!!!

I'm alive... barely. I'm off camping now... I will tell the whole story when I get back.

I added some pics from
Flickr in the right column.

7/07/2007

NOTHING WILL STOP ME!

On Friday I did my usual lunch hour bike ride from Westmount to Ville St Pierre. Apon my return I heard a "Ping!"... not good! The back wheel seemed to be a bit crooked. Apparently I broke a spoke. At first there was no panic... simply something I would have to repair. I got a spoke from a local bike shop in order to repair it. After removing the tire upon further inspection... the spoke was broken on the side were all the gears are... I would have to take apart the whole wheel (bearings & all) . Most bike shops at this time of year have a 3 to 4 day waiting list for repairs... this would not do. (I guess most bikes break down in July?) I took it upon myself to repair it. I got the attachment to remove the gears... and of I went... 3 1/2 hours later of sweat, swearing and blood... I was almost ready to give up & simply buy a new wheel. I was encouraged strongly by my friend Julie to have a "professional" repair it... something about my safety... women!? I believed however I had repaired it properly... I just needed to adjust the bearings better. Well this morning I took it to a "professional"... and he confirmed that my spoke repair was done perfectly... I had simply tightened the bearing bolt to tight. The bike is now repaired... NOTHING WILL STOP ME!

7/05/2007

Equiped?

Can I do this? Yes God dammit!




Well... I need something to carry my shit in.

Read it & weep...














Click on image to enlarge.

The Plan!


I only did 14km on it... I swear.

We have now arrived at the point of madness.
« Le P’tit Train du Nord »



St Jerome to Mont Laurier... 200km of hell... & I'm going to do it... twice!
Hey maybe I'll even make a blog about it!
Ok you're now officially caught up...

How fast was I going?

Well what did you think would happen? I wanted to know how how far & how fast...

Hooked...

I actually found myself looking forward to riding... and seeing how far I could go. A trip after work from my house in Cote St Luc to Pointe Claire... made me realize the potential. I looked up all the bicycle paths in Montreal on the net... & was amazed. I actually began to go biking on my lunch hour... I know... WTF!

3 weeks later...

Biked to work everyday... rain or shine. I actually began to like it. I began to "ride" ( biking lingo) more often for recreation... I began to actually try and improve my pace... I kept track of how much time I spent per day riding... I... got rid of the stupid Supercycle stickers on my bike.

Here is a picture of my newly improved blue bike.









Even got a rear fender... was tired of getting my ass wet.

In the beginning...

The next few posts are a retrospective 2 1/2 months on how I got to this point.

The idea of buying a $65 bus pass every month seemed quite excessive. I certainly was not willing to cut back on the smokes or the beer. Biking to work seemed to be a possibility. However the question would be... how long before it became just passing fancy? How long before a bicycle would simply clutter the hallway of my small apartment?

With all this enthusiastic pessimism... I decided a cheap bicycle would be the way to go in the beginning... or the ending.

Introducing the Canadian Tire Supercycle.... more specifically the





(18-speed Supercycle 1800)
$99.99