Top 10 Things I love from 2011…

15 12 2011

Best new addition to our toys of 2011...

Bike Friday Tandem Traveller XL

By far and away the best thing to happen to us in 2011 is this Bike Friday tandem. It has radically changed out bicycle reality. We used to struggle to ride together on single bikes trying all sorts of strategies to make it work and neither of us being satisfied with the result. From our first ride on this tandem we’ve been all smiles and never looked back. It’s a very rare day when we leave our house for a road ride and we aren’t on this bike. The small size of the Bike Friday means we store her inside the house and we can transport her more easily than a conventional tandem. We haven’t flown with her yet, but that’s only a matter of time as Sharon is keen on some touring.

If you are a couple of unequal riding speed give a tandem some serious thought.

Dinotte mountain bike lights...

Dinotte Mountain Bike Lights

I fell back in love with these Dinotte LED lights this winter. The symmetric light beam that’s so annoying on the road/MUP is awesome for trail riding at night. They are powerful [relatively given they are 3-4yrs old], rugged, waterproof and lightweight.

Winter riding!

Winter BC MTBing

Riding my mountain bike all winter has really changed my perspective on the seasons here. We aren’t just making the best of a bad situation. The fact is winter riding conditions are awesome and it’s a great time to spin some knobbies. With trails close to my house it’s so easy and fun to ride that I’m boggled why I didn’t get on it last year! The only problem is you need some reasonably powerful bike lights to ride weekdays when it’s dark at 4pm – hence my love for the Dinottes above.

Let's go rando!

BC Randonneurs

I had a lot of fun riding brevets with the BC Rando Club this spring. I’m slow and unremarkable on these events, but I have fun and completed the rides in the time allotted. For me that’s all that matters and I wear the badge of The Lantern Rouge Club with pride…=-) Sharon asked me if I would be training more [ie. at all] for rando events in 2012. My reply was no – unless riding my mountain bike counted. I’m lazy – what can I say?

She's a Green Machine...

Surly Pugsley

Rebuilding my Surly Pugsley after getting it powdercoated really made me re-appreciate this bike. I’ve got some fatbike trips planned for 2012 and hopefully Aaron will get fully infected with big tire stoke so he gets one as well. Scott from Porcelain Rocket is building me a set of bikepacking bags for the Pugsley so I can roll down the trail and across the sand in style and comfort…=-) My Pugs will be sitting in the showroom of the Fairfield Bicycle Shop while I am gone to Baja. The plan is to demonstrate the latent fatbike enthusiasm in local riders by exposing them to 4″ of rubber! Devious I know….=-)

Thin for the Win!

MacBook Air

Although I didn’t post about it I upgraded my 1st generation MacBook Air to a 4th generation model. I do a decent amount of blogging on this computer as well as a ton of research for the blog not to mention working to make $$ to fund this blog. So it’s fair to say this little computer is an essential tool in my life. The size, convenience and pleasing interactive experience of my old MBA was enough to sell me on a new one. Especially as the price had dropped from $1800+ to $1000+. What’s really great about the new MBA is that with a solid state HD standard and enough power to really crank up my applications it has become a fully functional computer that can do everything I need to rather than simply a travel/convenience computer. I’ll be buying another one in 3yrs most likely!

Fox just keeps on going and going and going...

Fox Suspension

The Fox Float 36 fork and DHX Air 5.0 shock on my Santa Cruz Nomad are ending their 3rd year of MTBing with me and have needed an amazingly small amount of maintenance [new air sleeve in the rear shock only – fork’s never been serviced at all] while performing better than any other suspension I have tried. Lots of buttery smooth travel and they rarely need to see the inside of a bike shop…what more could you ask for? Okay they aren’t cheap, but well worth the $$. Some additional props to Santa Cruz’s VPP pivots for also being extremely maintenance light.

650B - low trail goodness...

650B Low Trail Road Biking

My Boulder All Road 650B rando bike really opened my eyes to some new possibilities for what a fast efficient road bike could be and the 42mm Grand Bois Hetres made me smile on every ride. I doubt you’d see me riding any brevets in 2012 if it wasn’t for how much fun this bike is to pedal. Given my propensity to tweak and tinker the fact I won’t be changing a thing on my rando bike setup for next season should say something. I think this is my first rando season where I haven’t swapped whole bikes in the search for a better experience on brevets. Two thumbs up…=-)

I love this place!

Vancouver Island

Sure having to ride a ferry or take an extra flight is a pain when you want to leave the island, but in exchange you get a huge under utilized year round playground for so many great sports.

  • world class kitesurfing [lake & ocean]
  • world class surfing
  • world class MTBing
  • world class road and dirt touring
  • world class sea kayaking
  • year round bicycling and motorcycling
  • easy access to Seattle and Olympic Peninsula
  • relatively few people using the various recreational resources
  • only rains 25% of the time in the winter leaving loads of mild sunny days to be outside
I’m not sure what the future will hold as I will be searching for more work in 2012, but I don’t see myself leaving Vancouver Island unless it’s for points south that are warmer and even mor recreationally bountiful!

Thumbs up for good friends...


The best gear and the greatest spot on the planet aren’t that much fun without some good friends to share the experience with. Sharon and I haven’t been making friends at a brisk pace here in Victoria [which by all accounts is normal], but on the plus side all the people we’ve gotten to know well have become quality friends – you know who you are!. In that department I’ll take quality over quantity any day…=-)



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: