OR Rader Pocket Cap…

12 06 2013
My 50 Mision cap...

My 50 Mision cap…

Often I tour with just a baseball cap on my head – particularly if it’s going to be hot all the time. It’s light, comfortable and keeps the sun out of my eyes. Oh yeah it stops people from noticing my common bad hair days on tour! ;)

Skid lid...

Skid lid…

If I judge that the tour has higher than normal risks of crashing [ie. technical MTBing or I am riding with Scott] I’ll wear a helmet.

My trusty toque...

My trusty toque…

I almost always have a toque with me on tour. Canada gets cold at night and in the AM even in the summer. Plus they make everyone look so sexy [see image above]… ;)

OR cap...

OR cap…

A toque folds up and can be crammed in any nook or cranny. The issue with a normal baseball cap is where do you stash it in bikepacking bags when not in use? It’s easy to screw up the brim and then you look goofy. If you are a goofy looking guy like me you don’t want to go further in that direction.

So small...

So small…

One option is a packable cap like this OR Radar Pocket Cap. It folds down into a small thin package that can be carried in a bag pocket without coming back out looking goofy. It weighs 50g for the gram counters and is made of rugged quick dry  nylon fabric.

Blue Steel? - perhaps not!

Blue Steel? – perhaps not!

This cap is non-adjustable and although I would normally wear a large or XL hat I’m fine in a medium size for the Radar. So beware if you are ordering online. It’s best to try this bad boy on or go one size smaller than normal.

If you are in Canada MEC.ca sells these.

These caps come in black, bright blue and tan.





Rocky Mountain Bike Music…

1 05 2013

I owned a Rocky Mountain Instinct many years ago. Back when they were all 26ers and nobody would have conceived of rolling through the forest on road size rims.





Bike Portable Hot Tubs…

8 04 2013
Very Clever Cycling... ;)

Very Clever Cycling… ;)

I saw this posted over at Clever Cycles. I love this hot tub and if it wasn’t so expensive Sharon and I would find a way to buy one. The climate here on Vancouver Island is cool and damp most of the year so coming home from an adventure and being able to fire up the hot tub to soak our weary bodies would be so great. There is a ton of free firewood on the island so we could operate the tub for very little $$.

Who knows? Maybe one of these days the cash will be there for such a luxury…at the moment I’d rather update my FS MTB!  ;)

BTW – I wouldn’t be planning to tow it anywhere with my bike. I just like the design!





Pannier Plus…

27 03 2013
Couldn't get it all in the Ortlieb...

Couldn’t get it all in the Ortlieb…

I frequently head out on an errand run with a single pannier. It’s actually a smaller Ortlieb front pannier that I keep loaded with tools/pump and locks. More often than I would like I collect enough stuff on my ride that I can’t fit it into my single pannier so I have to get creative.

A jacket and some bungees...

A jacket and some bungees…

On this particular day it was getting warm so I took off my extra jacket that was necessary when I headed out into the chilly morning air hours earlier. I wrapped it around my extra items and used a couple small bungees to strap it to the top of my rack.

It wasn’t the most secure way to carry cargo, but it held together for the bumpy ride home.

I really should start out with 2 panniers, but then I have to carry them around when I lock up my bike which is a drag. My ad hock cargo solution may not be elegant, but it’s low hassle!





Toronto Tidbits…

19 03 2013
NHL Hockey...

NHL Hockey…

Not a ton to report from Toronto. I’ve mostly been hanging at one or the other of my parents’ apartments. That means I had a rare opportunity to combine TV, cable and lots of time with not a lot to do. I have to report TV still sucks – so many channels and so little on. I mostly watched sports. I have a slight addiction to any sport that’s televised and is holding some sort of championship tournament. Tennis, curling, hockey – whatever…if it’s a best of the best tournament I can get into it….problem is I can’t easily get out of it! Luckily the only championships I could find was in figure skating and they didn’t get out of hand. I also watched a bunch of NHL games. It’s a novelty not to have to head to a pub to watch a game. Of course not being able to buy a pint of beer was a clear downside to the home viewing experience.

iPhone internet...

iPhone internet…

Sadly both my parents have crap internet connections and neither has WiFi…how can they live??? ;) Happily I was able to tether my laptop to my iPhone so I could work and surf the net during the trip. I haven’t used that feature much before, but it works great.

Jun...

Jun…

I did get out on my own Friday for a bit of a jaunt downtown. I met up with biker, blogger and all around nice guy – Jun Nogami for lunch at Sansotei Ramen. I’m not a ramen expert, but the meal was fresh and tasty. The place was bustling so they are clearly popular and worth a try if you are in downtown TO and have a hankering for ramen noodles.

A Rocking Lobster...

A Rocking Lobster…

Jun was riding a cool pink Rock Lobster. He’s an uber commuter and cargo biker. He was on his way to a human powered helicopter record attempt and invited me along. I was interested in checking it out, but I had to decide if I wanted to spend a few hours travelling around the city to see the helicopter or spend the time chilling in downtown.

Since it was my only day “off” on the trip I decided to roam the core on my own.

Bike crime scene...

Bike crime scene…

I headed over to The Urbane Cyclist LBS. It reminds me of a much bigger version of The Fairfield Bicycle Shop in Victoria. They both specialize in practical bikes for getting around with a nod towards the funky end of the bike spectrum. Quite a few years ago I bought my first folding bike [a Dahon Speed D7] at Urbane so we have a bit of history.

Water bottle cage budget bling...

Water bottle cage budget bling…

It was quite cold outside so I spent a lot of time just geeking out on bikes and chatting to the staff. I left with a cool metal bottle cage and a 2013 Ortlieb catalogue. Yes I am a bike nerd and I like my Ortlieb porn! ;)

Cool design...

Cool design…

I saw some cool architecture near Urbane and really enjoyed tromping along the busy streets with music pumping in my headphones. When I was young that was how I spent a lot of my free days and something I rarely do anymore. Having a soundtrack to your aimless wanderings is fun. My ears are probably happy I don’t use headphones a lot anymore.

Magazine porn...

Magazine porn…

I’m not a huge magazine reader, but when I am travelling having a few mags in my backpack makes the inevitable waits, planes, trains and buses more enjoyable. My iPhone is an older 3GS version with a limited battery so I can’t really expect it to entertain me on the move too much if I want it working for navigation and other mission critical tasks when I need it. There are a few magazines I really enjoy so I scored copies of: Bicycle Quarterly, Surfer’s Journal and Dirt Rag. I also grabbed a Mountain Bike Action and a Bike Magazine – neither of which are on my A List of sports journalism, but like a donut the occasional empty calorie is fun as long as you don’t go nuts! ;)

Surfer’s Journal and Stand Up Paddle Journal [sadly I had already read the current issue of SUP Journal] are truly excellent magazines with quality writing combined with stunning photos. You only get halfway through an issue before you start thinking about your next surfing trip. I’d love to find a mountain bike equivalent.

Jun made me a member of Tarik's Bike Club...thanks! ;)

Jun made me a member of Tarik’s Bike Club…thanks! ;)

With some reading material in hand I cruised the core stopping at a few gear stores to see the latest shiz and warming up. I’m well stocked on camping gear and clothing so I kept my wallet safely stashed in my pocket. I’ll save my gear fun tokens for travelling this year and wear out some gear.

I found myself in a nice pub for a couple hours to beat the cold and enjoy some draught beer in a comfy setting. Once again the iPhone and laptop came to my rescue as I was able to get some work done while relaxing for a bit.

to9

Jun and his daughters make these ribbons…

Eventually my free time ran out and I joined the throng for a Friday rush hour commute to the burbs where my dad lives for more family time.

I can’t say I really like Toronto. I’m not a big city guy, but it is fun to visit for a change of pace. :)

Ortlieb 2013 goodness...

Ortlieb 2013 goodness…





Urban Adventures…

5 03 2013
The Selkirk Trestle...

The Selkirk Trestle…

Being banged up means I have to give the dirt a miss for a while, but it’s not so bad when you have a road bike you like to ride.

Ducks were MIA from the pond...

Ducks were MIA from the pond…

Luckily Victoria in winter offers some great urban riding options. Not only is the scenery nice, but there is excellent coffee along most routes… :)

Urban art...

Urban art…

We got caffeinated, did our errands and got some riding done. Another good day in the books.

Sharon looking Surly...

Sharon looking Surly…





Fat Sands Bikes…

15 02 2013
Fat Sands on the beach...

Fat Sands on the beach…

No walking in sand...

No walking in sand…

Going the other way...

Going the other way…





Doping – the Big Picture…

5 01 2013
Click image for more dope...

Click image for more dope…

Velonews has an interesting interview with Dr. John Hoberman that paints a disturbing picture of collusion and corruption at the UCI, IOC and other top level sports organizations when it comes to the fight against doping. If you were wondering how LA and his doper buddies could get away with such a long and successful run at cheating in cycling the interviews offers some clues.

Updatethere is a rumbling on Velonews that Lance may come clean in exchange for a less than life ban on competition. Just a rumour at this point, but that would be an incredible end to the whole Armstrong saga.





Happy New Year!

1 01 2013
Excellent Photo: Dave Silver...

Excellent Photo: Dave Silver…

My 2013 To Do List:

  1. Ride Sedona AZ
  2. SUP and kitesurf in the waves on the Pacific coast of Baja
  3. Ride Cumberland BC
  4. Attend 2 Moontribe full moon gatherings
  5. Ride Squamish BC
  6. Bikepack from Nanimo back to Victoria on dirt
  7. Finish my Santa Cruz Nomad upgrades
  8. Ride Harbourview @ Sooke BC
  9. Get Sharon out for her first overnight bike tour
  10. Get a new consulting contract or job for 2013
  11. Clean out my office
  12. Get a solar power camping setup
  13. Try 4 new restaurants in Victoria
  14. Drink fresh beer from Phillips brewery more and bottled beer less
  15. Catch a salmon by rod and reel
  16. Fillet a salmon I caught for Sharon & Midnight
  17. and cook the salmon I caught on my new BBQ [birthday present from Sharon!] ;)
  18. Ruthlessly get rid of all the clothes my I can’t fit into anymore and that I will never fit into again unless I go on a hunger strike to protest against BC’s mandatory helmet law
  19. Figure out a way to hang my hammock in the backyard…bonus points if I figure out a way to hang my hammock inside the house!
  20. Find some new peeps to ride with that are not so fast they make me puke!
  21. Sell 1 kiteboard and 1 bike
  22. Buy 1 new kiteboard and 1 new bike
  23. Learn to manual my MTB confidently
  24. Reorganize the cat sunroom [aka catio] to be more lovely for the cat
  25. Get out for 1 day of trail maintenance at Hartland MTB Park




Merry Christmas!

25 12 2012
Santa waiting for Mrs. Claus to go tandem riding... ;)

Santa waiting for Mrs. Claus to go tandem riding… ;)





There is a God! ;)

18 12 2012
Google Maps are back on the iPhone!

Google Maps are back on the iPhone!

Click here to read all about it. I’m stoked with my iPhone again! ;)





The Purr-fect Balance!

15 12 2012
Just replace the first kid with a cat and it would be perfect!!!

Just replace the first kid with a cat and it would be perfect+yay!!!





Feeling Surly…

19 11 2012

High five!

I got out for two rides on my Surly LHT this weekend. Sharon came with me for a ride into town on Sunday. She injured her knee playing squash and has been laying low while the inflammation subsided. She needs to see a doctor next week and will need 1 or 2 operations to repair the damage. Happily her physio said biking was okay as long as her knee wasn’t in pain. Sharon did great so she’ll resume her daily bike commutes.

I’m leaving town Wednesday so these were probably my last Trucker rides of 2012. I miss my LHT already! ;)





Barrack the Vote!

6 11 2012

Just do it!

I’m not American and I don’t get a vote in the election today, but I do care who gets the launch codes to the most dangerous nuclear arsenal on the planet. I think Obama did a good job this last 4yrs given the system he had to work within and the condition the US was left in after 8 years of being Bush-wacked. Barrack’s not perfect. He could do better. No doubt, but over the last 4yrs the US hasn’t invaded any sovereign countries. That alone is something to celebrate – especially if you aren’t American. The US economy is headed in the right direction which is good for Canada. The idea that everyone deserves access to basic health care regardless of income is slowly seeping into the American consciousness. A black President that supports LGBT rights and has the courage to get behind a rationale approach to immigration reform is a game changer in a country that fought a civil war over slavery.

Although I am one of those damn socialist Canadians I was an army officer for a decade so hearing what Colin Powell had to say about Obama resonated with me. He’s a republican who’s voting for Obama because he’s the better candidate to lead the US.

Just so I don’t come off as totally pro-Obama I think Josh Whedon makes some excellent points about why you might want to support Mitt Rommney.

Barrack rides a bike!

Mitt thinks bikes are for homeless people and poor people with DUIs who can’t afford a limousine! ;)





Macaskill vs. Hoy…

1 11 2012




Adios Amigos!

27 10 2012

Good times in the dirt!

Sad to say both Scott and Aaron are leaving Vancouver Island and moving to Alberta in the next month or two. :( Alberta’s economy is booming with Black Gold running in the gutters everywhere. I can certainly sympathize with the desire to cross the Rockies and take advantage of the good times. Vancouver Island’s economy pales in comparison.

We had lots of fun on and off the bikes. I wish both of you the best in your new adventures in Albertistan! The Rock won’t be the same without you.

In the words of a great Vulcan – “Live long & prosper!”





Lance launches his new cologne…

12 10 2012

EPO – the scent of victory!

So a whole slew of Lance’s US Postal teammates have come forward and admitted they doped while on the team and that he not only doped, but was instrumental in pressuring/aiding them in doping and that he was involved in witness intimidation to aid the cover up. You can read USADA’s case online here and a summary is here. I’ve heard more than one lawyer who was not involved with the case on either side review the evidence and describe it as devastating. From rider testimony, to financial records, to emails and other documents what stands out to me is that so many different sources of information all say the same thing – there was an uber sophisticated doping program going on at US Postal and that LA was at the heart of it.

I think this whole process has been important and I’m glad USADA had the courage to go after US Postal and Lance. Why is it important? Well everyone in the peleton knew what was going on. As young riders came up the ranks Lance was the undisputed king. It was clear if you wanted to have any chance of rising to that level you had to dope. If you have any doubt about this reasoning just read the doping admissions of Levi, Big George and gang. By destroying the legacy of LA the myth that you can cheat and get away with it is busted. You may not get caught in the race you doped, but one day you will be held accountable and your legacy will be in ruins. That’s a powerful incentive to race clean.

What I think we need to ask next is why the US Federal Prosecutor that investigated the same evidence before USADA took up the case decided to drop the matter without filing any charges. It’s clear that there was overwhelming evidence to support the charges of doping at US Postal. My guess is Lance had friends in high places that were able to shut the investigation down. If that’s true than we ought to appreciate the work that Travis Tygart at USADA has done, because there was probably a whole slew of behind the scenes attacks we have not heard about.

Here’s a few perspectives on the USADA case from the media.





Lose the helmets…

2 10 2012

Click to read the article over at the NY Times…





Mountain Bike Retirement Plan…

18 09 2012

Photo: Knolly Bikes…

Eventually all good things must come to an end. I’d hate to think of the last ride on my Santa Cruz Nomad, but one day it will happen. That could be next month, next year or a few years from now. Whenever it happens I’m going to be down an expensive rig that’s not easily replaced. So I’ve decided to start a bike retirement fund and put a bit of money aside every month so that when I need a new full suspension mountain bike I have the budget to get a nice one. Any money I get from bikes I sell will also go into the savings pool.

Photo: Knolly Bikes…

I’m great at saving money when I have a goal and a sweet mountain bike is a pretty motivating goal… ;)

BTW – these photos aren’t a hint that I am planning on buying a Knolly Bike. They just have some lovely MTB porn on their blog. If you have some time to kill I highly recommend a visit to their site.





Lance Armstrong Guilty & Banned…

24 08 2012

Lance at the Tour de France…

Lance Armstrong decided not to fight the charges the USADA brought against him and was found guilty of doping and banned from the sport for life. His Tour de France wins may be stripped from him as well as his other wins from that era. You can click on the image above to read an article over at Velonews on the subject. By not fighting the charges he avoided having all the testimony against him end up in the news and managed to save his image to some degree. He knows what the folks who were going to testify would say and his lawyers would have advised him what his chances were at coming out of that process without being found guilty. One thing you gotta agree on about LA is that he surrounds himself with experts and uses their advice to make smart choices.

As for the issue of his doping past it’s not a surprise to anyone who watched the pro racing of that era. Almost every other contemporary with a shot at the podium at the Tour has been found guilty of doping. In the current peleton Contador has been stripped of his last Tour win and a Shleck has been charged with doping. To believe LA was one of the only top pros not doping despite all of this and a retinue of witnesses ready to testify for the USADA is ridiculous. On the other hand it does change the landscape within which we judge LA’s actions. Everybody was doing it. It’s still going on today.

Kudos to the USADA for having the courage to go after Lance. With the UCI, the US Government and the US public behind LA that was a brave choice. Building a case by collecting evidence through witness statements and uncovering documents is far harder than getting a doping positive, but as we’ve seen the professional cycling peleton can take a load of doping products and pass all sorts of laboratory controls without getting caught. The guys that do get caught didn’t start doping that morning just before the race. They were doping for a while and finally didn’t follow the right protocols of dosage and timings or got surprised by a test they weren’t expecting. So when LA gives his “I was the most tested athlete in the peleton.” speech I just roll my eyes and my inside voice says “With the best doping doctors in the world on your staff.” USADA charged that LA’s team had managed to get a TdeF doping positive suppressed back in 1999. I hope we hear what happened in that case. It might shed more light on how LA kept things rolling for so long without getting caught. It might also explain why the UCI was so unhappy with USADA’s pursuit of LA; they may well be implicated in the cover up.

It’s funny when you read folks criticizing the USADA for taking up the LA case as if they are doing it to an innocent man for some evil reason. On one hand you have a pro athlete in a sport rife with doping who can help himself and his team generate millions of dollars of profit as well as build himself up as a huge celebrity on the other you have some guys at the USADA paid modest salaries who are responsible for enforcing the WADA code. They will never be famous, they won’t make millions and they’ll make a lot of enemies in the process of pursuing LA. Not to mention they have to face two panels of independent arbitrators with their evidence including the at the well respected CAS if the athlete challenges the charges. Note that LA didn’t want to face these arbitrators and have them hear the evidence which is why he gave up the fight.

Will this change anything? One benefit of Lance getting banned is that the doping fairy tale of LA’s career won’t be there to let young racers fool themselves into thinking they’ll get away with doping if they are smart about it. On the other hand people are greedy and they want fame and fortune. In a challenging sport like cycling there will always be the temptation to cheat by doping. We continue to charge and convict murderers even though we know it won’t stop folks killing other folks. Doping won’t stop in cycling, but the more energy we spend fighting it the less successful doping will occur.





Lance and the King…

16 08 2012

Photo: AFP

Click on the image above to read an interesting article about UCI President Pat McQuaid’s response to the USADA’s charges of doping surrounding Lance Armstrong.





Salsa Anything Cages…

19 06 2012

Salsa Anything Cage…

Salsa Anything Cages are a hot item at the moment. Sadly they seem to be breaking as fast as they are selling. I know of one bike tourist who is on his fifth Anything Cage. I suspect we’ll see a new improved version from Salsa just as soon as they finish selling the current batch and need to order more from Asia. If you want some of these cages and can hold off a bit I think waiting for a more robust version is the smart move.

BTW – if you do buy some of these cages Scott over at Porcelain Rocket makes some sweet bags that fit them perfectly.





Aaron’s Sedona Fat Tire Bike Shop Thoughts…

8 06 2012

Looking out from the Bike and Bean…

Aaron writes:

Sedona, AZ was an awesome sensory blending experience and I’ll write up my impressions of the trails/territory in another installment. Primarily I’d like to mention the humble huts that make your riding experience all the more enjoyable, and in the case of a major mechanical, possible. Vik and I went to several different shops to see what the scene was like. The Bike & Bean is essential if you want great espressos, americanos, or just a regular coffee while you ogle the merchandise or solicit the staff for some trail advise. At Over The Edge you’ll find some good riding gear, friendly staff, cool bikes, and more good suggestions of where to ride. Absolute Bikes is fairly large and well stocked with the usual casual, friendly folks.

Interior of the Bike and Bean…

And then there’s The Fat Tire Bike Shop. I realize there are more bike shops in Sedona but I only had so much time. The Fat Tire Bike Shop (TFTBS), owned and skillfully operated by one Dave Cichan is a famous institution in mountain bike circles. I’ve had the pleasure to be employed by the industry that I love for over 12 years and I’ve never come across a shop that is like this one. If it were the only shop that I ever worked at then I’d be starting out at the top of the heap. Those of you reading this likely read other entries of Vik’s and have read his write-ups about TFTBS so I won’t get all deep in history. Rather I’ll relate my experiences and observations as a TFTBS first timer.

The Fat Tire Bike Shop – Sedona AZ…

Always affable, and possessing a nonchalant professionalism, Dave will invariably take the time and ask the right questions to make your cycling experience more enjoyable and the service will leave you moderately stunned. At least that’s how I felt for a bit when I first walked in the door with Vik. I believe that it was back in 2009 that Vik last visited TFTBS. Immediately Dave recognized him and offered greetings to the both of us. After intros I felt like one of the tribe. Besides Dave the other thing I noticed right away was the absence of piles of merchandise. This is not to say Dave isn’t well stocked, he has everything he needs & likely what you’ll need as well. Rather than find out what you think you want & then try and push whatever he has that’s related on you, Dave will ask intelligent questions and then offer up a bull’s eye suggestion.

Dave and Aaron talk shop…

Many people came in the shop over the times I was there and invariably they were dealt with in a professional manner. Myself included. My poor bike took a great deal of thrashing and the door to TFTBS was always open. My rear tire wore out, the rear brake pads got contaminated, and my Rock Shox Motion Control damper started to leak. All theses issues were dealt with immediately with the greatest speed and assistance possible. Not just allotted to me, Vik and any other who wandered through the door were treated the same. Often I marveled at how this was possible, Dave puts in a lot of long days at TFTBS.

Inside the Fat Tire Bike Shop…

The worst issue I had, the leaking damper seal turned into one of the most satisfying experiences I had at Dave’s. The stock part wasn’t on hand but Dave put in a call on the red phone to Rock Shox HQ and had one shipped out immediately. On morning of our last day of riding we went over to TFTBS to see if the part was in. Through no fault of Dave’s it was not in yet. Rather than leave it at that, Dave dove into some drawers and managed to find what I needed.

Rock Shox upgrade…

Apparently what I needed was a gleaming, titanium/carbon fibre Motion Control unit of the BlackBox persuasion. That of you who don’t know, BlackBox is Rock Shox’s ultra high-end, factory only kind of goodness that us mere mortals can only slobber over. Before I could rub the dazzle from my eyes Dave had my Kona in the stand and was draining the factory oil.

Dave and Aaron working on his fork…

Fresh oil at a different viscosity ( Dave’s recommendation ) and the new damper was in. “How much?” I asked and his response was “go ride it and see how it works for you”. Again, not your usual shop experience where stepping out the door without first leaving collateral is akin to going #2 without wiping after, it’s frowned upon. After what felt like a reversed payment agreement was reached Vik and I hit the trails.

Aaron testing his fork out…

Immediately I noticed the small bump compression sensitivity was vastly improved over the original, plastic damper and the fresh oil made for very smooth operating suspension. Even though I was physically beat after all the days of riding I was still excited to be riding in fantastic Sedona and having had the pleasure of dealing with Dave Cichan. As far as I’m concerned you couldn’t do yourself and your bike a bigger favour than going down to TFTBS for the very best that Sedona bike shops can offer. Be forewarned that TFTBS is a time vortex in the most wonderful way possible. Huge thanks to Dave for making a sweet holiday all the more excellent.

Dave working it at the Fat Tire Bike Shop…





A ruthlessly streamlined fleet…

4 06 2012

Santa Cruz Nomad – mountain biking….

I was war gaming a really aggressively stripped down bike fleet recently.

On One Scandal 29er – bikepacking…

These are the bikes I’d keep.

Boulder Bicycle All Road – brevets/road biking…

Not saying I’m about to do anything rash.

Surly Big Dummy – cargo bike/touring bike…

This is just a mental exercise at this point.

Bike Friday Tandem Traveller XL – road biking and touring…

But, you never know!

Bike Friday Tikit – commuter bike and errand rides…





Ryder Wins the Giro!

27 05 2012

Way to go Ryder!

Local professional cyclist Ryder Hesjedal is the first Canadian to win a Grand Tour with his victory in the 2012 Giro today.  Awesome!….=-)

Podium benefits…





Velo Village – Bike Ferry…

26 05 2012

Click image for more info…

Scott @ Porcelain Rocket pointed me at this interesting bike event on Salt Spring Island this summer.

“Salt Spring will be bicycle-heaven-on-earth, the most welcoming place on the planet to be on a bike, between June 21 and June 23, 2012. There will be fun, games and knowledge exchange when the largest of BC’s Gulf Islands transforms itself into Velo Village.

The BIKE FERRY  is the big event that everyone will want to be part of. On Saturday, June 23, BC’s first bicycle-only vessel sails for Velo Village. The MV Skeena Queen will carry 400 cyclists from Swartz Bay to Fulford Harbour where they’ll be joined by local cyclists for a 15km Fun Ride to the Velo Village Hub in Ganges.

 And what a ride it will be! The cycle route will be decorated with dozens of beautiful hand painted bikes. Created by local artists and amateurs both, the bikes will guide riders along the winding rural country roads of Salt Spring Island.

The three-day Velo Village event has something for everyone! The Canadian Premiere of Reveal the Path will be shown on Thursday evening and art produced by 24 Salt Spring artists will be auctioned off at a Gala event Friday evening.

On Saturday, cyclists can leave their bikes with the Velo Village parking and valet service and walk to bike-themed and powered performances, take in vintage bike and photo exhibits and participate in electric bike, cycle tourism, bike economics and rural safe cycling workshops.

The centerpiece for decision-makers, planners and cycling advocates is Friday’s Cycling and Rural Mobility Conference where speakers from the Pacific Northwest and beyond will share solutions for connecting city cyclists with their country cousins.

Velo Village is an official Velo-City 2012 pre-conference event and is coordinated by Island Pathways. Island Pathways is a Salt Spring not-for-profit organization that has been working for almost 25 years

in support of safe and accessible pedestrian and cycling services and facilities.

Salt Spring is located approximately 30kms from Vancouver and is the largest of approximately 450 gulf Islands along British Columbia’s southwest coast. Spanning 175 km2 and supporting approximately 9,500 permanent residents, it is recognized around the world as a remarkable rural destination. In the early 1970s, the rare ecosystems and exceptional variety of species of birds, fish, intertidal life, wildlife and plants were recognized as unique provincial assets and placed within a regional trust.

For more information and to register, please visit http://velovillage.ca

MEDIA CONTACT: John Rowlandson, 250 653 4049 velovillage2012@gmail.com

Since Scott was keen to share the info for this event and plans to attend I’m hoping he’ll act as a Lazy Rando Correspondent to take photos and report on what it was like…=-)





I need stoke!

13 05 2012

That’s what I am talking about….=-)

I had reasonably firm plans to ride a my longest distance ever this weekend. I had a GPS route loaded. My bike was tuned and mostly packed. The weather looked awesome. I had the time off from any other commitments to do it. I am as fit as I have ever been in recent years. I had little doubt I could complete the ride.

But, despite all that I bailed on the ride during the last 24hrs before departure.

I could give you a long list of reasons why this happened and I think they are all valid, but the bottom line for me is I ride my bikes because I like doing it. Sometimes the rides are hard and I am not having fun every second, but under the suffering deep down there is a part of me that’s still happy to be on my bike.

On this occasion I lost that stoke. Without it the whole point of riding is lost to me.

I could have made myself do the ride and hoped to get into it at some point along the way. But, I have a really, really, really hard time rationalizing that when the ride would take up my whole weekend and served no useful purpose other than for the sake of some arbitrary achievement.

Instead I slept in Saturday morning. Had a leisurely breakfast. Surfed the web and wrote this post. My mountain biking gear is packed and in an hour or so we’ll head out to the trails for a ride. After the ride we’ll pick up a few supplies we need to start building up Sharon’s purple Pugsley. Game 7 of the NY-DC NHL playoffs is tonight. We’ll probably go mountain biking tomorrow as well and have a backyard BBQ afterwards.

I’m stoked about all of that!

Now none of this is to say that a challenging ride is a bad thing nor is it to say I won’t be lining up for a big adventure down the road. However, when I do you’ll know it’s because I’m excited to be on my bike.





Why I do [don't] read your blog?

8 05 2012

Where are the pictures????

I’m pretty picky when it comes to the blogs I read. There are a ton of bad ones out there, but also quite a decent number of good ones. I won’t name any in particular since I don’t want ninjas attacking me in my sleep!

Here is what I like in a blog:

  • topics I am interested in
  • minimum of a photo with every post ideally lots of photos
  • high quality photos
  • decent writing
  • reasonable spelling [I'm not perfect - you don't have to be, but quick isn't spelled kwik!!]
  • blog template/layout/colours that are comprehensible and easily readable
  • regular updates [less than once a week and I lose interest]
  • on going stories/topics I can follow

Here is what turns me off:

  • no photos = no reading on my part
  • few and/poor photos = less reading and maybe I’ll stop visiting
  • terrible spelling and poor writing = I’ll give up trying to understand what you are on about
  • post your heart rate/power meter data frequently and my eyes glaze over
  • post endlessly about trips and bike builds you are planning, but never complete either and I lose interest
  • post less than 1/week and I stop coming by
  • post erroneous info regularly

The key thing for me in a blog is that I get what I expect to get from it. I can accept infrequent updates if you are on a tour in a remote area. I can accept mediocre photos from a someone on a great tour who is able to write well. What I can’t deal with is randomly posted content that is never what I expect to see when I expect to see it.

As a blog author it’s very important to set the reader’s expectations to match what you are going to deliver.

Let me leave you with one tip to make your blog better [something that I learned the hard way] – post about things you have done – not things you hope to do. Especially if looking back you aren’t scoring about 90% on achieving your goals/projects. We have all read blogs that go on endlessly for months about gear selection, route planning, etc… for some major bike expedition that fails after the first week because they didn’t train or prepare well in real life – despite spending so much time on the blog. It’s lame, but not as lame as when the same person starts blogging about racing the GDR next year and spends a year going on about that only to fail to start or fail after day 3.





The Crazy Randonneur Blog…

18 04 2012

Click to jump to the Crazy Rando Blog...

Ty is a randonneur and has started a blog to document his various crazy adventures. Click on the image above to check it out.





Obama Spokecards

27 03 2012

Time to spoke up!

Update: I have spoke cards ready to mail. If you didn’t ask for some, but want some it’s not too late. Just leave me a comment with your mailing address.

I have quite a few Obama spoke cards from the last election. If you want some email me your mailing addy [or leave a comment with your email] and I’ll fire a bunch off in the post to you. They are plasticized and meant to be put in the spokes of your bicycle, but they can be used just about anywhere as they are weatherproof. They are free and I’ll pay for postage.

My Boulder Bicycle spokecarded...

I will delete any political comments on this post so don’t bother. I support everyone’s freedom to vote how they wish, but I rule this blog with an iron fist…=-)~