Posts tagged bikes

The return of Ceiling Cat

Ceiling Cat finally made it to Montréal from California on Caturday, December 20. I got up on Sunday the 21st and needed something to do as a distraction from the rest of my life. Then I spotted Him, still packed flat and wrapped up in an old bedsheet. There was to be a Solstice celebration that evening in NDG Park with lanterns. Perfect:

Trailer Cat

I spent all day building, then We rode out during the first blizzard of the winter and had fun solsticing.

Thanks to jbailey for getting him here from and for taking the photo above!

Building-of photos here, including how he looked before folding.

For reference: it is possible to ride 47km at ludicrous speed with 3 of the best apple pies in the world in a shoulderbag, and have them arrive almost completely intact.

bike tours

Who else is doing the Tour la Nuit or Tour de l’ÃŽle this year?

Also: most of the graphic design for the tour advertising bothers me on a visceral level. No idea why.

Calvin and Hobbes, 1993-04-10

This has pretty much been my reality for the past while. As usual, I meant to do a pile of bike maintenance over the winter but never got a round tuit. But now I’m enjoying getting all my bikes clean and into shape. So far 2 of my bikes plus Robin’s bike are in reasonable shape and one is just ridable but still needs serious work.

The really good part is after years of working on bikes, I finally got a work stand. I don’t know what’s taken me so long – everything’s so much more pleasant now.

And if you’re in Montréal and reading this, feel free to bring your bike by for minor repairs or cleaning. I’ll do the work if you keep me and Aslan company, or I can show you how to do it.

Date I got my winter bike on the road last season: February 24
Date this year: November 24

Go me!

Alright! I’ve escaped Reno for the weekend! As soon as I was done teaching the course on Friday, I ran back to my hotel room, threw some stuff in a bag, got in the car, and headed west.

Reno is interesting.. a cultural experience, I suppose. It’s all very tacky – gaudy in a run-down way. You can tell it was once trying to be a gambling destination like Las Vegas, but it’s long ago given up its dreams of grandeur and settled for mediocrity.

I’m staying at a place called Circus Circus. It comes complete with a skytrain that runs slower than a walk, a wedding chapel, free circus acts on the hour, and of course lots of gambling. Mostly this means slot machines populated by retirees. They all have loyalty cards that plug into the machines, which I assume give them back a small percentage of their gambling losses in lousy buffet meals. These are typically attached to their belt or wrist via a plastic chain, giving them the appearance of being truly tethered to the machine.

So I had to get out of there for a bit. Right now, I’m at a Motel 6 near jbailey and auzure_skies. Despite the name, it’s not actually a motel, but the rooms are better than I’d expect given the price. Last night I visited them, Leif (big), and Sandy (who’s also visiting them this weekend.) We stayed up too late and played Guitar Hero. A fun but uneventful evening and we’re heading into San Francisco today!

I biked home from J&A’s last night. I can’t think when the last time I rode a bike was. More than a week ago – too long for sure. I’m riding a fairly good Specialized, well setup for city riding, that belongs to Google. I find that last fact more amusing than it should be.

Anyway, time to start this day.


Apparently RAMROD is not a movable feast. It will be happening on Saturday the 22nd, which means I’m not going to xkcd day – but the rest of you should still go…

For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of RAMROD, it is the Ride Around Mount Royal in One Day. Every year, Vélo Québec organizes a ride they call “le Tour de l’ÃŽle”. Unfortunately, it’s not actually a tour of the island, but rather a small section somewhere in the middle. RAMROD, on the other hand, is a real tour in that we will ride on the closest available road or trail to the water, all the way around.

cpirate did both halves on separate days last year. Unfortunately, doing that adds about 30km to each day—we live in the middle of the island so there’s a bunch of extra riding to the edge. Therefore, if we cut out some of that, the whole island is actually a very reasonable day’s ride. Plus we have better bikes this year :)

Hoosic River Ride

Last Saturday was the annual Hoosic River Ride – my third time on the ride, and it’s definitely the highlight of my riding season. cpirate and dfcarney, do try and come next year. I assure you it’s worth the drive. This year was my first time on an actual road bike. I was pleased to discover that my bike, despite having no granny gear, can actually climb, mostly by being really light. I got a flat in the parking lot and started 10 minutes after everyone else, but still managed to pass about half the riders on the first hill.

And yeah, I got back from there at 4 today, worked until 9, returned the car I borrowed for the weekend, and now I’m reading LJ briefly before bed. That’s pretty much how the past month and a bit have been for me. During the week: work, fun (planned in advance), sleep, repeat. Weekend: all fun (planned in advance of course.) So sorry to everyone I haven’t seen or talked with in a while. Life happens :)

Two weekends ago, Vic and Jen came to town to ride the Tour la Nuit and Tour de l’ÃŽle. They arrived on Friday evening just in time to scarf down some Southern Fried Tofu and head out for the night ride. Never missing an opportunity to blow 10,000 minds at the same time, I spent a few minutes covering myself and my cargo bike with LED lights. Spectators and cyclists alike were unsure if I was a Christmas tree or a billboard but all enjoyed the view. The ride was quite fun, from the botanical gardens to my neighbourhood and back, and there were lots of people out both riding and watching. I lost Vic and Jen fairly early on but it was easy enough for them to find me at the end of the ride. On the way home, we stopped by La Banquise because Vic hadn’t had real Québec poutine in far too long – a suitable ending to a fun evening.

On Sunday, we rode with cpirate and vierge_en_trop in the Tour de l’ÃŽle. This was a longer (50km) ride out to the eastern edge of the island and back. Some parts were actually pretty close to being a real tour since we followed the edge of the island fairly closely. There were fewer spectators than at night, probably due to the less metropolitan route, but there were far more riders.

I was supposed to work on Monday morning but I ended up having a leisurely breakfast with Vic and Jen at the café on the corner. At breakfast, I decided to accompany them on the first part of their ride to Québec City since I didn’t feel like working anyway. They strapped their suitcase trailers on (the suitcases hold clothes and camping gear while touring, and the bicycles themselves while flying/bussing/training) and we headed down Hôtel-de-Ville in a light rain. At Sherbrooke, we headed over to Berri and then east along the Notre Dame bike path, some of which was familiar from Sunday’s ride. A long, leisurely ride (with a few minor mechanical problems) took us to the edge of the universe island. Vic and Jen bravely rode on, and after a few photos I rode back along Rue Sherbrooke as quickly as possible to make a physio appointment.


So yeah, a great weekend all in all. Bye for now.. come back any time!

LightI’ve been pondering buying a road bike for a few years now, since I do a lot of recreational road rides where one would be useful. Then cpirate bought one – so now I need one to be able to keep up with him. Plus while shopping for his, he discovered a rather good deal on an interesting bike, my size, roughly within my price range. Under those circumstances, how could I not buy it?

So I am now the proud owner of a 2002 Trek 5900 USPS (yes, that model.) It’s used but in excellent condition – ridden 10814 km by a rich old man who really took care of it. He also upgraded the wheels and tires very recently and hey, 2002 Dura-Ace is still Dura-Ace.

I can’t wait to ride it. I wonder if I can double the odometer reading this year? Snow, begone.

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