The best $7 I ever spent…

31 10 2010

 

Holding up a full touring load in the mud...

This $7 aluminum kickstand should have broken a long time a go.  It shouldn’t be as useful as it is.

My amazing silver buddy is back for [hopefully] several more years of bike holding up service.  After talking it off to try the Xtracycle Kickback center-stand I used my Surly Big Dummy without a stand for a month or so.  Until I put my trusty kickstand back on recently.  It really is handy to be able to stand your bike without leaning it against something or laying it down.  It’s also really handy to be able to swap in your Xtracycle attachements with a stand to hold up your bike rather than a stand that not only doesn’t hold up your bike it gets in the way.

I'm back!

Testing out lots of gear can sometimes be a PITA and can definitely be expensive, but one thing it does for sure is let you know what works and what doesn’t.  Back to back comparisons don’t lie. I put this stand on my Big Dummy when I built it up as a stop gap measure until I got something better.  As it turns out it has been a rock star bit of gear from me.

I didn’t fully appreciate this stand back when I installed it, but now I can’t give it enough praise.

Thanks little buddy!

Sup? No Problemo!





Bike Locking Case #1

28 10 2010

My Big Dummy locked during a coffee stop...

I use lots of different locking strategies with my bikes depending on the circumstances of each situation.  I tend to be lazy so I carry and use as little locking equipment as I feel I can get away with.  I haven’t had a bike stolen in years so I must be using reasonable precautions.  I’ll be sharing my thoughts on specific locking situations over the next month or two.

In the photos above/below I was riding my Big Dummy around town picking up and dropping off various items in a big To Do List push.  I stopped at a cafe for an espresso and muffin.  Since I was only going to be inside for a few minutes I decided to just lock the frame to a metal railing next to the cafe. My wheels weren’t locked and the rear is a $1500+ Rohloff so that could be expensive, but trying to get the rear wheel out of a Big Dummy is a PITA if you know what you are doing because of the Xtracycle bags.  I didn’t think anyone would even notice there was an expensive hub on the bike, care about a Rohloff and then go to the trouble of trying to steal it.

If I was going to leave the bike for a longer period I’d add in a heavy duty cable through both wheels that joins up with the chain lock.  That would be reasonably secure given the threat in Victoria BC for bike theft.  Someone could still steal my Brooks saddle or other components, but at least the bike itself would be secure.

Kryptonite chain and padlock...

One thing you can’t see in this picture is that there is a patio full of coffee drinkers sitting in view of the bike who saw me ride up on it and walk inside.  I’m confident that if anyone tried messing with my bike someone would make a fuss on my behalf – especially in a bike friendly town like this.

 





Interview with Russ & Laura

27 10 2010

Russ & Laura on the move...

Elise Giddings from Cycle9 will be interviewing bike touring vagabonds Russ and Laura from The Path Less Pedaled today at 9pm Eastern and I believe there will be an transcript of the interview available if you miss it live.  You can check it out here.

Path Less Pedaled event 28 Oct...





GSI Tuna – Seaglass Project

24 10 2010

GSI Tuna - finless surfboard

I’ve been doing some research into surfboards recently and came across this cool board from GSI called the Tuna.  It’s designed by Tom Wegener and it’s part of what will be a series of finless surfboards called the Seaglass Project.  Checkout this article and the video below for more information.

I really enjoy seeing people try unique designs and take them from a concept to a working product people can buy.





Pro Bike Stand

23 10 2010

Pro Bike Stand in action...

I’ve got a garage now which is awesome for storing bikes compared to my old apartment.  The only trouble is I have to organize my bikes in a way that is flexible as I ride different bikes at different times of the year or as my moods change.  Leaning bikes up against one another works, but they get damaged and it’s a real PITA to get out a bike that’s near the inside of a six bike pile up.

Simple and effective...

So I picked up 5 of these Pro Bike Stands. They are simple aluminum stands that you just drop a bike into.  They stack if you don’t need them and they work fine inside or out because they don’t rust.  They have worked with all my bikes [700c, 26" & 20"] – although I haven’t tried them with my 16″ wheeled Tikit yet.

Great for changing storage needs...

They hold a bike securely enough that you can do maintenance tasks as long as you don’t really have to torque on a BB or crank or something  like that.  I can change up the configuration of my garage in a few minutes and it’s reasonably easy to space the bikes so I can conserve the available room and still get a bike out of the middle of the pack without a huge hassle.

Rubberized fork holds bike at the axle...

I can drop a bike into these stand with one hand on the saddle lowering the left side rear axle into the rubberized fork on the top of the stand.  A bike comes out just as easily.  I paid a bit over $100 for a box of 5 and I would recommend them to anyone looking for some help organizing their fleet or even to the single bike owner who lives in an apartment and doesn’t want to mark up the walls by leaning a bike against them.





Surfing a River in China…

22 10 2010




Planet Bike Rack Bracket

22 10 2010

Superflash mounted to a rear rack...

At the end of September I was trying to be helpful when I mounted a 2nd Superflash to Sharon’s rear rack with a ziptie.  It worked, but the light was stolen within a week…=-(  John commented that MEC sold a Planet Bike braket that fit rear racks with a Euro style light mount at the back – thanks!  So I ordered one and installed it.

Simply useful...

Now Sharon can have a 2nd light mounted somewhere useful and she can remove the light when locking the bike up in a sketchy spot.

Nothing to steal now...

I’m really glad John told me that MEC sells these brackets, because I had seen them on the PB website, but it maks no sense to order a $3 braket and pay $10 shipping.  Since MEC had them I paid $0 shipping…nice!  BTW – these mounts will work for a Radbot as well.

Two rear blinkies...sweet!

Unfortunately none of my racks have this type of light mount so I can use it on my rigs…=-(





Sector 9

21 10 2010

Bike lanes aren't just for bikes...

I have a bike lane at the end of my driveway.  Lots of smooth pavement that slopes downhill towards the Galloping Goose MUP.  I’ll be the first one to admit that bikes are a more efficient means of transport than skateboards, but riding a low slung longboard is a lot of fun when you aren’t going too far and you aren’t in a rush.

I'd rather walk than ride rough pavement...

I’m just starting to work out the best routes to skate around my house.  The MUP is great because it’s smooth and goes downhill to downtown at about 3% a lot of the way.  Some of the local roads are freshly paved, but there are lot that are uber rough.  I’d rather carry my skateboard than get a high intensity foot massage!  I live near the top of a hill so that means a lot of pushing to get back or I walk – which is okay.

I haven’t found the perfect hill to bomb yet.  I’m not confident at high speeds so I like moderate slopes, wide roads with smooth aphalt, low traffic and a safe runout.  I found one parking lot that is will be pretty good early on a Sunday morning.

The search continues…





Israeli SUP…

20 10 2010




Grocery Run…

20 10 2010

Only two panniers?

I took a quick run to the grocery store yesterday.  I was supposed to just grab a few things for lunch and dinner, but I’m so used to riding a cargo bike that I kept adding more and more large items to the cart.  I was getting a bit concerned as I packed my panniers at the checkout that I might have to sling some bags over my bars.  Luckily I just got everything to fit.

It’s pretty funny when a touring bike feels puny!…=-)





Ocean Rodeo 2010 Rise Kites [8m & 10m] For Sale

19 10 2010

 

Photo: Kiteboarding Kingston

 

I bought new Ocean Rodeo Rise kites in August 2010.  I love these kites for their wide wind range, quick turning speed and jumping abilities.  I’m only selling so I can ride the 2011 Rise.  I haven’t even had time to write my review and snap photos yet!

Rise 8m: [sold - thanks!]

  • colour – black & neon yellow [shown above]
  • been used 10-12 times
  • in near perfect condition [stored out of sun in its bag, dried & cleaned after each session]
  • has three tiny holes [2-4mm diameter repaired with matching colour tape] in centre of canopy [from over eager person who put a rock on my kite to hold it down after landing]
  • comes with bag and OR repair kit
  • Cost = $650USD + shipping [kite in Victoria, BC]
  • Cost w/ bar = $950USD + shipping
  • Cost for new: Kite only = $959USD, Kite & bar = $1400USD

Rise 10m: [still available]

  • colour – black & neon yellow [shown above]
  • been used 3 times
  • perfect condition [stored out of sun in its bag, dried & cleaned after each session]
  • comes with bag and OR repair kit
  • Cost = $750USD + shipping [kite in Victoria, BC]
  • Cost w/ bar = $1050USD + shipping
  • Cost for new: Kite only = $1079USD, Kite & bar = $1520USD

 

2010 Rise - mine are black and neon yellow...

 





Ocean Rodeo Mako King For Sale [2010]

19 10 2010

 

Mako King...

 

Board is sold – thanks!

I’m selling my 2010  Mako King.  If you read my review here you’ll see I love this board so why am I selling it?  I’m keen on the 2011 Mako King graphics! Functionally there is no difference between the 2010 and 2011 Mako King…*sigh* lame I know…=-(

This board is setup with a deckpad and surf straps.  You can ride it as a directional with 3 fins at the tail and the straps moved towards the rear or you can ride it with 1 fin on each end and the straps in the middle of the board.  You can also ride it strapless in both configurations.

I bought this board new in August 2010 and have used it about 10 times.  I store and transport it inside a surfboard bag to keep it in minty fresh shape.

You get:

  • a 2010 Mako King in excellent condition [no damage]
  • deckpad [installed]
  • surf straps [installed]
  • OR 85mm surf fin
  • OR H156mm fins x 3
  • Cost = $600USD+shipping [board is in Victoria, BC]
  • Cost for a new 2010 Mako King is $825US and it doesn’t come with surf straps and deckpad
  • click here for more detailed pics of this board

 

Mako King with deckpad and surf straps...

 





Ortlieb Uber Alles!

19 10 2010

 

Ortlieb how I love you...

 

My friend Tanya has been getting serious about using her bike for transportation over the last 12 months.  She no longer has a car and her bike is her goto way to get around.  Naturally she has been working on how to carry cargo.  She started with a backpack and has gone through several sets of panniers.  I held my tongue as she bought and returned one fairly crap pannier after another.  I did provide specific feedback about panniers when asked  and of course I’ve been using my Ortliebs around her the whole time.  Last night as she was stuffing her birthday present into her latest set of panniers she looked over at my Ortliebs and told me she was returning her current panniers so she could buy some Ortliebs.  A year ago the price tag of the Ortliebs would have seemed crazy to her, but now that she has tried the rest she understands why Ortlebs reign supreme and are worth every penny.

I was so proud…=-)





Surfrider & TLC Jordan River Paddle Out…

18 10 2010

Double over-ankle surf!

The Surfrider Jordan River Paddle Out yesterday was a lot of fun.  It was nice to meet a bunch of local surfers and hang out in the sunshine.  The weather was perfect – the waves not so much.  Of course on a SUP almost any waves are rideable so a few were caught!

Surfrider.org

I didn’t realize that the beach access at Jordan River was owned by a forestry company and was being offered for sale.  Surfrider.org and The Land Conservancy [TLC] want to buy the land to protect access and water quality in the area. I think they need $3million+ so no small task.  I donated to the cause and joined Surfrider.

Thanks for caring...

After my forced junk food extravaganza in the Yukon I decided not to eat any burgers at the BBQ and stuck to some snacks I brought with me. Although the BBQ was tempting my tummy thanked me for the rest of the day!

I didn’t participate in the wetsuit changing contest, but I did shoot a video…=-)

Waiting for the waves...

Everyone paddled out into the kelp and formed a circle to generate some good vibes. Being on a SUP I stayed high and dry which was nice.  Even sitting down I was able to cross my legs and sit completely out of the water – one of the benefits of paddling an aircraft carrier!

Another great day on Vancouver Island...

I paddled around for a while after folks started leaving to try and catch a few micro waves.  I’m glad I made the trip out to Jordan River and I’ll definitely be back when there is a some bigger swell rolling in.





Bag your stick…

17 10 2010

My precious Mako 140 in its bag...

No this isn’t a post about safe sex. But I am a big believer in protecting your valuable equipment. So I guess it’s a similar message…=-)

Whenever I buy a new or used board I get a bag for it.  Doesn’t matter if it’s a snowboard, SUP, kiteboard or surfboard.  I even have bags for my SUP paddles.

Why bother?

  • protective bags cost about $30-$100 depending on size [my 11' SUP bags were $80]
  • boards cost $500-$2000
  • bags last 10 years+
  • riding a pristine board = priceless
  • selling a used board in excellent condition will recoup your cost for the bag and you can use the same bag for another board
  • bags make it easy and fast to pack your gear because you don’t have to spend time worrying about damaging it
  • bags protect the inside of your vehicle and house from the boards that have sharp edges or wax on them

The economics of protecting your valuable gear is straightforward.  For about 1% per year you can keep your boards in tip top shape as well as protecting your vehicle and house from the boards.  You’ll easily see that investment returned when you go to sell the board used and personally I absolutely love pulling out an old board that looks sweet because it hasn’t been bashed around in the bed of my pick up.

No board is too big to bag...

 





Stolen Tikit San Francisco Area…

16 10 2010

Stolen Tikit info...





Jordan River Paddle Out…

16 10 2010

 

Surfrider Event Poster...

 

I just found out about this event yesterday so I think I’ll reward myself for a lot of hard work around the house with a bit of paddling at Jordan River Sunday so I can support the Surfrider Foundation.

“Surfers are once again taking to their boards to raise awareness about public access to beaches along the Juan de Fuca coast. The Surfrider Foundation Vancouver Island Chapter is hosting the 2nd Annual Paddle out for Public Access at Jordan River to raise awareness about the importance of public access to coastal areas and preservation of coastal ecosystems.

The event will include a paddle out, beach cleanup, BBQ, yoga for surfers demonstration and speeches by local community groups working to protect areas along the Juan de Fuca coast.

All beach enthusiasts are invited to join us and celebrate our coastal spaces. If you would like to participant in the Paddle Out, please bring your own paddling device, wetsuit and warm clothes.

Event sponsors include: Moksha Yoga, Coastline Boardshop, Ht0, Sitka, Incite Screenprinting and others…

Contact:
Dan Adelman
drades@hotmail.com
250.415.2059″

Getting there will require a bit of driving, but not nearly as much as going to Tofino and in return I get free yoga, free BBQ, get some SUPIng in and meet some more local folks – seems like a reasonable trade.

I better get back to work so I don’t have to feel guilty about ditching chores Sunday afternoon…=-)





CETMA Light Upgrade

16 10 2010

Thorn Accessory Bar...

My bikes are, for the most part, all weather day/night machines.  Mounting a taillight to my CETMA cargo bike was no problem. I used one of the Radbot lights I reviewed a few weeks ago.  a front light was a bit more hassle.  Putting a light on the bar didn’t work very well as the cargo box and passenger [if I had one] got in the way.  So I mounted a Thorn Accessory Bar I had in my spares bin above the front wheel.

Wheel's eye view...

This worked great.  There is room for two Dinotte 200L-AA lights or just about any other bike headlight that attaches to a handle bar.  The mount is very secure and doesn’t get in the way when I don’t need to use it.  You can of course achieve the same effect with an old stem and a cut down section of handlebar.

Ladies can't resist a well lit cargo bike...

Dual Dinotte LED lights provide a ton of light up front. I added a some battery powered glowstix for some bling.  The CETMA was a total chick magnet…=-)

CETMA lighting in full effect...





Reality Bites…

15 10 2010

My kingdom for a SUP!

I’m back from the Yukon.  4 days of driving and nearly 5000kms round trip under my belt plus a bunch of field work in cold rainy conditions. Needless to say I am glad to be back home!

I was literally working 16hrs a day so no time for any goofing off.  On the drive home I was thinking of all the fun stuff I might do this weekend.  My GF is headed to Vancouver for a Girl’s Weekend with her friends so I am on my own. My initial thought was to load up my truck and head to Tofino for a couple days of surfing to get some much needed practice time in on the waves.  That sounded like a great idea – at least until I started to ponder the 4hrs in the truck driving each way.  Usually that wouldn’t phase me, but after a long hard drive to and from the Yukon I don’t think I can handle a road trip at the moment.

So instead I’m going to stay close to home and take care of the huge mound of errands that has piled up after a summer of fun.  Nothing sexy about organizing my office, cleaning up the garage, fixing a couple tents, wrenching on a couple bikes, etc…but I know I’ll feel better having these things accomplished.  I’m really good at getting my top priorities happening and I’m lousy at everything else.  Unfortunately after a while you can’t go kiteboarding if your tents are all busted and your camp stove doesn’t work.  On the upside a good push through my To Do List will mean more time for fun stuff during the rest of the year.

Of course I’ll be riding my bike to get around town when I need to pick up supplies to complete a mission so it’s not like I’ll be deep in a coal mine…=-) And at some point in the evening I’ll quit working to sip a few beers and get my Netflix on!

To those of you who will also be embarking on domestic adventures this weekend – I salute you…=-)





Longloader 101

11 10 2010

Tanya and her shelving unit...

Sorry for the lack of posts….=-(  I have been and still am super busy in the far north!

Tanya needed a shelving unit picked up recently so I rode over on my Surly Big Dummy and strapped it on using a Xtracycle Longloader and a Wideloader to keep the front end of the box away from my left leg so I could pedal normally.  This works great and they are the same accessories I use when hauling a bike box or a SUP on my Big Dummy…very handy.

Room to pedal!

I keep my Wideloaders, Longloader and a bunch of tie down straps in the pockets of my Freeloader bags so I am always ready to roll on a cargo mission.  I keep a set of Footsies in there as well so I can collect passengers along the way!





My Surfing Report Card…

7 10 2010

Photo: Starboard SUP

By the time you are reading this I’m on a ferry headed towards the mainland on my way to the  Yukon.  I wish I was off on some epic late season bike tour, but in reality I’m just road tripping to a project site for work.  I enjoy long drives in beautiful country and I’ve never headed north from the coast through British Columbia.  I assume it will be lovely and I’ll be rocking out to my iPod in a caffeine fueled frenzy of adventure planning as I eat up the miles.

One of my future adventures will be more surfing lessons and practice.  First I need to assess where I am at and what I need to do next. I managed to get in 1hr of SUP surfing lessons and 5hrs of longboarding lessons on Mon/Tues. So here is my report card from my recent lessons in Tofino, BC:

  • I can get through the impact zone okay on my SUP and on a longboard.
  • I’m pretty good at paddling a SUP in the waves.
  • I need more practice catching waves on my SUP [conditions were too windy this time for good SUPing]
  • I need to work on my arm strength to longboard better.  I was getting tired too easily just paddling out through the breaking waves.
  • I can catch most waves I try for on a longboard, but I need to work on my pop up so I get up on the board more easily.
  • I’m doing pretty well at spotting the waves I want to ride.
  • I’m doing pretty well at spinning around and getting into position to paddle onto the wave.
  • My longboard swimming [paddling] technique sucks and I am not getting good power transfer to the water which is tiring me out unnecessarily.
  • I’m okay in a small lineup and understand the right of way rules in the waves, but my spatial awareness isn’t great since I’m so focused on what I doing when I’m trying to catch a wave.

The first question is whether I should spend my time SUP surfing or stick to a longboard until I get better and then go back to the SUP?

  • My SUP skills are more advanced and a SUP is more efficient so I don’t get as tired.
  • It’s easier to catch waves on a SUP.
  • SUPing is warmer since you are out of the water and the water on Vancouver Island is cold.
  • I own some surfing SUPs.
  • Longboarding is fun and a better workout for me in a weak area [arms] than SUPing.
  • Longboards are ubiquitous so if I travel I can always rent a longboard cheaply.
  • Longboards are easier to use on windy days.

I think working on both makes sense.  I can’t really SUP surf if it’s windy and I don’t have the arm fitness to longboard for 3hrs+.  I own the SUP gear and I’m further ahead in that area so I’ll prioritize that, but a used longboard can be had for $100-$200 so I’ll get one next time I run across a good deal.  If it’s windy I’ll longboard and it it’s not I’ll SUP for a few hours, longboard until my arms hurt and then if I’ve still got some energy left I’ll SUP again.

I found a surf instructor [Adam @ Pacific Surf School] who teaches both traditional longboard surfing and SUP surfing – very handy!  I’m at the point where, as long as I am conservative about the conditions I paddle out in, I can practice safely without further lessons.  That will let me take my time and go for the best waves and also let me take a break on the beach without a clock ticking.  I expect if I put in another 6 or 7 more days in the waves I will be ready for some lessons to hone my technique.  For now I know what to do I just need some time making it happen and getting a bit more fit in the process!

I’ve never enjoyed swimming in a pool, but my appalling swimming skills and fitness may just force my hand and convince me to get a few lessons in the pool so I’m not splashing around like a wounded seal in the water!…=-)

In the meantime I’ve got a few surfing books and videos to absorb. Something I’ll do a bunch on this trip to the Yukon during any downtime.





C4 Paddle Grip

6 10 2010

Pretty in pink...

SUP paddles come with bare shafts – usually black ones due to the carbon fibre or fibreglass construction.  They are slippery when wet and hard to see in the water if you drop your paddle in the waves.

Sharon's Werner paddle...

Some folks put surfboard wax on the shaft of their paddles to increase grip.  This works and it’s cheap, but it’s messy and doesn’t help with spotting your paddle in the waves.

C4 Paddle Grip installed...

I like the C4 Paddle Grip.  They are durable, very grippy and really make your paddle visible.  I’ve put them on my other two SUP paddles so I figured it was time to sort out Sharon’s Werner paddle.

Pink grip installed...

It is easy to install [read the instructions twice] and looks great.  SUP paddles are expensive [$150-$300+ for a decent one] so I don’t mind buying a $20 factory grip. If it makes the paddle work better and helps me avoid losing it.  This grip will last for years so it’s a one time investment.

I used some of the extra material I trimmed off to add a second smaller section of grip higher up the paddle shaft.  This is an adjustable paddle so having more grip is useful and I couldn’t cover the area where the adjustment holes are located.





Wingnut’s Complete Surfing…

5 10 2010

A surfing textbook..

I’ve checked out quite a few books on surfing.  There is probably no single book that has all the information you could want for a sport as complex as this, but Wingnut’s Complete Surfing is a standout as a guide for the beginner.  It covers all the major topics from understanding waves, to understanding surf boards to basic maneuvers.  It’s all you’ll need [plus some lessons] to started wave riding.  There is enough detail here so that this book will retain your interest as you develop your skills.  By the time you are done with it you will have received your $20 worth of value and you can pass it on to a new aspiring surfer to spread some positive karma.

The only two things I can be critical about this book are: 1) the pictures are B&W and not particularly beautiful [get your surf porn elsewhere] 2) no SUP surfing content [it's like we don't exist!].





Opportunity Costs…

4 10 2010

Riding at Hartland...

I’m only an average athlete.  I can get good enough at any sport I spend the time working on to be reasonably good at it.  Not great, but competent enough to have a blast and be safe…that’s fine by me.  There are many people that can’t do any sports so I’m not going to complain.

Having spent so much time kiteboarding this last year I’ve gotten fairly good at it - especially considering it’s a hard sport to master.  The downside to my investment of time kiteboarding is my mountain bike skills have atrophied.  I blame a bit of that on the new terrain and riding conditions on Vancouver Island, but mostly it’s just a lack of time riding on dirt. Even from the start to the finish of a 3hr ride I can notice a big improvement in my skills, but then I have a 3-4 week gap before I’m back on the dirt and I loose all those gains.

It’s a bit frustrating….*sigh*

I have just about as much free time for sports as anybody with a full time job can have so making more time is unlikely.  I guess it all comes down to deciding what’s important to you and prioritizing that.  I must admit I am a bit envious of those folks that only have one or two really passionate interests.  If I could stick to a couple things I’d be really good at them and that would be that.  If you read this blog regularly you know that my interests are all over the map.  And I haven’t even bothered with some of the things I am keen on like paragliding and fencing.

Ultimately I think one of the really important missions in life is to accept the realities of your specific situation.

I know that I can get better at anything if I spend time at it.  I know I have a finite amount of time.  I know I have the ability to choose what I want to do.

So it’s up to me each day to decide what I want to do knowing that picking one thing means ignoring another.  When I look at it that way rather than get frustrated it makes me appreciate the time I’m spending kiting or riding across town more since I am fully aware that  there is a significant opportunity cost to my choice.





Wave Progression

3 10 2010

Surfs up...

I spent just about every free moment this summer kiteboarding.  I’m addicted for sure.  For the most part I’ve been kiteboarding on wind swell on lakes and oceans.  That’s fun, but it’s not the same as surfing.  Surfing is when you use the power of the wave you are riding to move you forward vs. using the power of the kite.

I’m stoked to kite in the waves, but it’s a bit intimidating because the consequences of crashing are much more severe when you are attached to a kite.  You can of course ditch your kite and swim to shore, but that gets expensive fast.

Tofino and area...

I’ve had one day of SUP surfing lessons which taught me a lot, but it also made clear the fact I need to learn a lot more before I can play in the waves with ease. Calling around Vancouver Island it seems SUP surfing lessons are not popular so I’m headed to Tofino [Long Beach] on Monday and Tuesday of this week to get some straight up longboard surfing lessons.

Ultimately surfing on a longboard, a SUP or a shortboard w/ kite is all about making friends with the waves and finding your balance on the board.  So I figure any time I spend riding waves will translate across all three flavours of wave sports.

Long Beach...

I’ll be bringing my SUP and my kiteboarding gear just in case there is any extra time to mess around and conditions seem right.  I expect that I’ll be pretty tired after 3hrs of surfing lessons so I probably won’t get to use them, but who knows?





Fall Foliage…

2 10 2010

Fall in Alberta...

I had a quick work related visit to Calgary this past week.  It was a bit weird to be back after spending the whole summer in Victoria.  One thing that’s very different in Alberta is that the trees are turning lovely shades of fall colours….while it’s still summer on Vancouver Island!

Very pretty!





Liquid Force Envy 2010 Kite 10m For Sale

1 10 2010

Liquid Force Envy...

The 2010 Liquid Force Envy 10m kite I reviewed is for sale.  This kite is in mint condition and has only been out of the bag 5 or 6 times.  Read my review of it here and check out detailed photos of the kite by clicking on the image above.

This is the easiest kites to fly I have ever used.  If you are getting into kiteboarding an Envy should definitely be on your short list.

The kite plus bar is $850USD+shipping.  It’s currently located in Victoria, BC Canada, but I can have it shipped from the US if that works better for you.

This kite is being sold to make room for 2011 stock and I’m looking forward getting a 2011 Envy to try out.





Making Good Choices…

1 10 2010

Glad I rode my bike...

I like riding my bikes.  I have useful bikes.  They are setup for transportation/utility riding.  Even still it can be easy for me to drive when I’m stressed out and short on time.  Like yesterday I had a ton of work to do and an appointment 6kms away.  As the time got close for the appointment I could hear my inner voice justify the time savings of driving so I could work a bit longer before I left and come back faster.  I was planning a Big Dummy cargo bike run in the evening to help a friend move furniture across town so I also used that to justify driving.

Thankfully I’ve done this enough to know that I never regret biking and that biking is important for my health and happiness.  So I shutdown the complaining/worrying voice and got on my bike.  2 mins later I was smiling and so glad to be pedaling along instead of pushing down on a gas pedal.  It only took me 16mins to get there and I found out the MUP near my house actually goes a lot of the way there [I normally head the opposite direction into town on the MUP].

My trusty LHT...

Going through the mental process of defeating my laziness really demonstrates to me why it is so important to make good choices if you want to establish a healthy lifestyle.  If a guy like me who is into biking can be seduced by the car in a moment of weakness than folks who are just starting out on the path of cycling for transportation are going to have it even tougher.

Here are some suggestions for success:

  • make biking the default option for getting around and justify each car trip
  • have a practical bike ready to roll in good condition
  • have a pannier with tools, lock and your bike clothing close at hand
  • make sure your bike is comfortable
  • pay attention to how you feel after riding to get somewhere vs. driving [use this as motivation]
  • when you are ready to justify driving make sure you’ve prioritized your health and given that enough weight in the decision
  • work out safe/enjoyable bike routes to the areas of town around you that you often travel to