Monthly Archives: May 2012

Revised June trip plan!

For those following my blogs I posted on May 27th the tentative trip plan, and well they are always tentative for a reason J This morning Julie proposed the opportunity to extend the trip in order to visit some family β€œa little out of the way” hehe! Well I am not one to back down from a challenge, or more kilometres, so it is time for the revised β€œtentative” plan, adding 2 more days to the trip, and tweaking the hours of planning that went into the first itinerary.

This time dear readers you even get maps to follow πŸ™‚

Day 1 – Thursday May 31st

  • As I work until 4ish… leave Montreal around 4pm. Travel the canal to Beri, north to Sherbrooke Street, then to Lafontaine park. Here we can travel north on the Route Verte 1 all the way to cross into laval.
  • Continue crossing all of Laval on Route Verte 1 and cross at Pont David to the Laurentians area.
  • From Bois des Fillion follow the bike trail to St-Jerome where the Petit Train trail begins.
  • Stealth camp night 1 outside of St-Jerome.
  • We should arrive in the late evening with time to set up camp before dark.
  • Approx 55 km day

Day 2 – Friday June 1st

  • Leave St-Jerome and follow the Petit Train path to the Mont Tremblant area
  • This will be a big day for elevation gain, going from 100ft to almost 500 ft over a 100 km span. The day will start with a climb and will be a mostly uphill day. To end the day there will be a descent leaving us in the Mont Tremblant area (Village de Labelle)
  • Stealth camp along the trail
  • Approx 100km day

Day 3 – Saturday June 2nd

  • Leave the Mont Tremblant area an follow the Petit Train trail to Mont Laurier.
  • More elevation gain today but less than Day 2
  • Campground tonight in Mont Laurier means first shower of the trip!
  • Approx 100km day

Day 4 – Monday June 4th

  • Mont Laurier to Maniwaki about 45km
  • Maniwaki to Gracefield / Wright area about 45km more.
  • Continue to Low
  • Hope to stealth camp for the night, but campgrounds available in the area
  • This will be the biggest day so far with an anticipated 130km. We may cut a bit short but not by much!

Day 5 – Tuesday June 5th

  • Low to Wakefield is about 30 km
  • From Wakefield we will get in to the Gatineau Park area 42km later. We will then change course due West following the Ottawa River area toward Shawville are for the evening
  • Not sure about camping in the area, we will likely stealth camp for the night
  • About 112km for the day provided we are able to find our path easily πŸ™‚

Day 6 – Wednesday June 6th

  • We will leave the Shawville area and continuing on the trail toward L’Isle-aux-Allumettes, where Julie has family. We will stay for the night there!
  • What is exciting for me is this is a stretch of trail that we will use again when we are crossing Canada, though we will only travel the West to East direction.
  • A shorter day today with about 74kms

Day 7 – Thursday June 7th

  • Likely at this point we will be feeling the days on the road and taking a day off.
  • My calculation at this point is we will be between 570-600 km in 6 days!

Day 8 – Friday June 8th

  • This day we will start the return trip on fresh legs!
  • We will leave the L’Isle-aux-Allumettes area toward Shawville area and continuing on the trail toward Gatineau park.
  • We will likely stealth camp on the return path, will need to scout locations when we are headed the opposite direction
  • Looking at about 115km this day. Rides will be getting closer in kilometres to our cross Canada pace!

Day 9 – Saturday June 9th

  • We will continue our trip past the outskirts of Gatineau park and head into the Ottawa region
  • We will be staying with my brother and his wife and daughter. This may be an indoor sleeping night Also a shower and maybe some laundry. I expect to smell bad by now hahaha!
  • Approx 66km for the day, we may add on a bit with some side touring depending on the time and weather, as well as what our legs think of this πŸ™‚

Day 10 – Sunday June 10th

  • Today we will start the return trip from Ottawa back toward Montreal. Google maps provided a cycle route that I was unaware of and looks like a nice alternate route home. Having done this trip about 8 years ago we followed a very busy and scary route, which name eludes me now.
  • We will follow an old regional route through some smaller towns along the Prescott-Russel Recreation trail.
  • Hope to find a stealth camping spot near Hudson which is about 100km from our starting point for the day

Day 11 – Monday June 11th

  • Leaving from the Hudson area we will return home through Vaudreuil, Pincourt to St-Anne de Bellevue and back home
  • We have traveled this route several times and know it well
  • Approx 75 km this day and back to home base.

In all my calculations have this trip looking like 950 km so a bit more than the original plan of about 700-750. If we make good time we will likely tour a bit in Ottawa but with the extension on the trip we have less time for Gatineau Park and for Ottawa. This is not a major problem as we are able to return to this area more readily.

Here is one final pic of that the entire tour is going to look like:

Julie and I hope to take many photo and submit some blogs with great stories from the road, awesome images, and get the feel for our goal of writing a book about the cross Canada experience.

With this trip it will leave our summer tally well over 2000! That is 2/5 of the goal for the summer!

Thanks for reading! I hope to get in 1 more post before leaving with pics of our gear and a rundown of what we carry on a trip like this, and of course will be carrying across Canada as well!

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Training summary May 21 to May 27

Monday May 21, Tuesday May 22

no cycling. Following Sunday’s ride I was suffering from some stomach / digestive problems and felt really unwell.

Wednesday May 23rd

PM- Feeling much better and antsy from not cycling for 2 days. In 2 hours 3 minutes we biked 46.37km from home to Isle des soeurs the crossed the ice bridge. Cycled west to St-Catherine fake beach area. Returned via Jean Drapeau route. Beautiful ride and had good energy throughout.

Thursday May 24th

AM- Cycled 30.78km from home to Summerlea park in dorval and return. Legs were a bit tired from the night before but feeling great and enjoyed the ride. Perfect way to wake up!

Friday May 25th

AM- Cycled lachine canal to the end and Rapids loop total 30.08km in 1:11, pace of 25.1 kmph is my 3rd best for the season! Beautiful morning ride!

Saturday May 26th

AM- Cycled lachine canal to the end and Rapids loop total 30.21 nice morning for a ride but much more traffic on the path being a weekend.

Sunday May 27th

No cycling took the day off to visit with family and take care of some gardening and household projects.

Statistics for the week:

137.44 km total, 6 hours 26 minutes of cycling in 4 trips.

1 46km trip with Julie on a weeknight

Total distance for the season 1123.49 km. Distance to goal (5000): 3876.51Β  km

Goal report for the week:

1. Complete total kilometers of 200+ (way short at 137.44)

2. Complete at least 1 day trip on the weekend 72+km (incomplete. So far this has been a tough one!)

3. Wednesday get back on track for training following heat stroke (completed!)

4. Post 3 blogs other than training summary (incomplete, 2/3)

5. Take out cycling gear and photograph for a blog entry (incomplete will be done Monday)

Goals for next week:

1. Complete total kilometers of 300+ (bike trip starts this week!)

2. Complete at least 1 day trip 100 km (Saturday or Sunday)

3. Post 3 blogs other than training summary

5. Leave Friday for our trip through the Laurentians and Ottawa valley!

Goals for the following week

(since we will be away the entire week on a trip there will be 2 training summaries after the trip)

1. Complete total kilometers of 450+

2. Break 2000km barrier for the season

3. Write while traveling and transcribe upon return

4. Use trip to gather photos and write a mini travel-log

5. use all camping equipment and get a feel for X-Canada trip

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Cycling Etiquette

So this article has been a while coming and I really meant to write this last week after a ride, where I was very frustrated at the lack of respect and etiquette on the path. As I write this I am mainly talking about cycling paths and roads, for recreation sake or for commuting. I realize this doesn’t relate to “professional” cycling as in racing, etc, though some path users may need a reminder that they are not racing against everyone out there on the path.

My main focus is on safety and communication, which makes the cycling experience positive for everyone and to help prevent injuries from cycling.

Hand signals

My first point is signalling. I know that it is not law to signal when you are cycling, but honestly it’s not difficult and if more people did this there would be less frustration and much safer maneuvering. This is important for bike paths and I think even more important on the roads. Just as other cyclists can’t guess where you are going, neither can vehicle drivers. Taking the guess-work out of where you are going can save your ass from getting run over. I also find that when you signal drivers pay more attention to you and are less likely to “crowd” you at an intersection, leaving you time to go where you are going.

There is some confusion in the school of thoughts of hand signals. The attached image below will help explain this:

The main source of confusion comes from the right turn signal at the bottom left of the images. This one is confusing to cyclists and drivers alike. I would be more inclined to think that signal was for going straight rather than turning right. This type of signalling is leftover from the days before automobiles were equipped with turn signals. To signal the turn a driver had to stick their arm our of the left side window to signal. Left was apparent and right was the bent arm.

I personally use the fully extended arm in whichever direction I am turning. There is no way to misinterpret that signal, and lets everyone know where you are going. Equally I use a signal when I am passing and when I am merging back to my lane. I cannot locate illustrations but I use a diagonal downward signal when I am pulling out to pass and then when I am pulling back in. While this is probably a less used one I know on a few occasions this has shown the person behind me that I am passing, especially when they were likely to be starting the same maneuver. This keeps us from colliding when passing and lets your fellow cyclist know you are passing too. I signal when I am pulling in so that I dont surprise the person I have passed.

Passing

On the subject of passing there are some fine points of etiquette and safety to discuss. The first point is that if you are a slower cyclist (and that’s ok) you should stick to the far right of the path. This will allow others to pass you safely. If you hold the center line it forces cyclists to pull far left in the oncoming lane to pass you, and end up traveling closer to you in order to pass. When you are being passed, maintain your speed and follow a straight line. I have had people panic, drift towards me and almost crash. I have also had people speed up as I am passing them, this is a bad decision and puts us both in danger.

I hope this goes without saying but I am saying it anyway. Pass on the LEFT side only. Passing on the right is going to put you in extreme danger of collision or hitting the dirt / grass beside the path. That is a one way trip to the ground.

Also for the love of all things good wait till it’s safe to pass. Lately I am finding some cyclists who are out traveling at high speeds (racers) are passing in curves, around blind sections, in intersections. This puts them at risk for hitting oncoming traffic, for taking out the person they pass since they have to rush bask to their lane.

When you pass make sure there is enough room to get in safely. Pull far enough ahead before pulling back in. Last week Julie and I were cycling and we had a cyclist pass us. He clearly underestimated his ability and how fast we were moving. He ended up next to me for entirely too long as he couldnt get the speed to pass. He ended up pulling in so tight to me that I had to grab my brakes, his rear tire was not only going to hit my tire, he would have hit my front fork with his tire. This move was not only extremely stupid but he pulled in, forced me to fast brake then he pulled back of the path not 1 meters farther. He would have been much safer staying behind 2 experienced cyclists rather than try to show off passing us leaving everyone at risk.

Leave the person you are passing enough room. Again last week I am getting passed by a spandex-clad racer. Now I understand that when you are racing the rules are different and you have to take every advantage over your opponent. On the bike path I am NOT your opponent. This cyclist came flying up on my and passed so close that our handlebars almost touched. I was fully right on the path and I swear this cyclist didnt bother to change lanes despite there being room. He passed so close that I am still not sure how our handlebars didnt touch. I was traveling at about 25kmph and he was easily going 10-15kmph faster. Had we toughed that would have been a complete wreck, and Julie who was behind me would have ended up in the fray as well. I think what made me even more mad is about 2 minutes later we caught back up to this cyclist at a bridge ahead where he was stopped on the side huffing and puffing to catch his breath.

Multi-use paths

This is one of those things that leads to frustrations fast. If you are on a multi use trail please be respectful to people traveling at all speeds. high-speed cycling in this area is a definite no-no, dangerous and disrespectful. Take the multi use paths if you have time and patience, you are not the only path user. On the flip side there are some paths called BIKE PATH for a reason. Several areas have a bike path and a walkway set off to the side. People who decide to walk the bike path should show caution and realize these paths are dedicated for cycling. This goes equally for runners. I have no issue with people running safely on the bike path. Stick far right. What really pisses me off is groups of joggers taking up the entire lane and half of the other lane, this makes it dangerous to pass you safely. Then you get smart ass remarks about going too fast, passing, etc. This applies to rollerbladers too. You know the ones? instead of going in a straight line they are zig-zagging left and right, arms flailing, looking more like they are having a seizure than rollerblading. If you dont know how to rollerblade safely maybe stick to the parking lot or somewhere you can learn. Not trying to be mean but ifΒ  you are a danger to yourself, stay off the bike path.

For any and all paths… no mater if you are walking, cycling, blading, DO NOT STOP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PATH! You are not the only one out there. Signal that you are pulling over and get off the path. A few weeks ago Julie and I were cycling and it was raining. On the Lachine canal there is an area with a covered bridge, and the path pulls through it in a curve, so the turn is blind the way the entrance is made. I enter slowly as I know this is a dangerous curve, and luckily I was able to take the wrong lane cause there was some genius stopped in the middle of my lane taking refuge from the rain on the inside of a blind curve. If I were going too fast or there was someone oncoming I would have hit him at full force and had no time to stop.

I really think the bottom line is to respect one another. You are not the only user on the path and a little bit of courtesy and communication can go a really long way. Cycling is about freedom, about commuting, about leisure and recreation and to keep this fun and safe is everyone’s responsibility. Please respect one another and keep in mind that by cycling safely you are protecting yourself and others.

Thanks for reading and until next time, may the wind always be at your back!

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Trip plan June 1st to June 9th – Laurentians, Gatineau Valley, Ottawa

For those who have been following my blog I posted a few weeks back about a trip Julie and I were planning to undertake for our week of vacation the first week of June. For those who have not the plan is to leave Montreal and head north along the “Petit Train du Nord” trail to Mont Laurier, from there we will cross east to Maniwake then head back south through the Gatineau valley to Ottawa, then return from Ottawa.

Below are the specifics of the trip we are planning. I will not have the liberty of blogging during the trip but I will be writing and plan to transcribe my trip upon my return. Julie will be taking photos so we can have a few days of interesting and visual appealing blog once we return.

We are both very excited for the trip and will be digging out cyclo-touring equipment and getting ready this week. I hope to take some photos of the equipment and post about what we are carrying, as well as pics of everything and the bikes loaded for touring.

Day 1 – Friday June 1st

  • Leave Montreal around noon. Travel the canal to Beri, north to Sherbrooke Street, then to Lafontaine park. Here we can travel north on the Route Verte 1 all the way to cross into laval.
  • Continue crossing all of Laval on Route Verte 1 and cross at Pont David to the Laurentians area.
  • From Bois des Fillion follow the bike trail to St-Jerome where the Petit Train trail begins.
  • Stealth camp night 1 outside of St-Jerome.
  • Approx 55 km day

Day 2 – Saturday June 2nd

  • Leave St-Jerome and follow the Petit Train path to the Mont Tremblant area
  • This will be a big day for elevation gain, going from 100ft to almost 500 ft over a 100 km span. The day will start with a climb and will be a mostly uphill day. To end the day there will be a descent leaving us in the Mont Tremblant area
  • Stealth camp along the trail
  • Approx 100km day

Day 3 – Sunday June 3rd

  • Leave the Mont Tremblant area an follow the Petit Train trail to Mont Laurier.
  • More elevation gain today but less than Day 2
  • Campground tonight in Mont Laurier means first shower of the trip!
  • Approx 100km day

Day 4 – Monday June 4th

  • Mont Laurier to Maniwake about 45km
  • Maniwake to Gracefield / Wright area about 45km more.
  • Hope to stealth camp for the night, but campgrounds available in the area
  • Approx 90-95km

Day 5 – Tuesday June 5th

  • Leave Wright area to Low is about 40km
  • Low to Wakefield is about 30 km
  • From Wakefield we will get in to the Gatineau Park area and head in to find camping space. This will mean a shower again and leave us in the park for a ride the next day.
  • Approx 80-90km

Day 6 – Wednesday June 6th

  • Touring in the Gatineau Park explore some trails and take it easy, enjoy scenery and take photos
  • After the Park we will head in to Ottawa which is 35-40km where we will stay with my brother and his wife and daughter. This may be an indoor sleeping night πŸ™‚ Also a shower and maybe some laundry. I expect to smell bad by now hahaha!
  • Approx 80-90km for the day

Day 7 – Thursday June 7th

  • This day will be spent touring in the Ottawa region. We have not planned specific routes yet but want to get some sights in and enjoy the beautiful network of trails in the area
  • No set distance for the day, will be more casual and a day to visit, sightsee, and hope for nice weather.

Day 8 – Friday June 8th

  • Today we will start the return trip from Ottawa back toward Montreal. Google maps provided a cycle route that I was unaware of and looks like a nice alternate route home. Having done this trip about 8 years ago we followed a very busy and scary route, which name eludes me now.
  • We will follow an old regional route through some smaller towns along the Prescott-Russel Recreation trail.
  • Hope to find a stealth camping spot near Hudson which is about 100km from our starting point for the day

Day 9 – Saturday June 9th

  • Leaving from the Hudson area we will return home through Vaudreuil, Pincourt to St-Anne de Bellevue and back home
  • We have traveled this route several times and know it well
  • Approx 75 km this day and back to home base.

In all we are looking at 700km minimum for the trip. I did this one many years ago and it was 700km without any side trips and we completed the trip in 6 day. I am really looking forward to the time on the road and this trip will be a great practice run for our cross Canada trip. Cycling is not the main obstacle for us, the camping component will be the learning curve for the trip. Setting up camp, cooking with our new and unfamiliar stove, life on the road and all it’s bumps will be new to us.

Julie and I hope to take many photo and submit some blogs with great stories from the road, awesome images, and get the feel for our goal of writing a book about the cross Canada experience.

Thanks for reading this entry! Next week I hope to get a few postings in, then will be off the grid for the duration of our trip. Training logs for the coming week and the week following will be published upon our return. As it stands if we get a solid week of cycling in next week, plus the trip we will be rounding out 2000km upon our return! 2/5 of the summer goal!

Until next time cycle safe, respect and love your fellow cyclists and be safe in whatever you do!

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Sending a big thumbs down!

Ok so this is not related to my cycling across Canada, but I have to repost this as it struk a nerve with me. As a cyclist and an enthusiast I believe in the importance of encouraging people, especially youth; who tend to leade a sedentary lifestyle, to cycle more.

I read this article yesterday about students organizing a ride for the last day of school and getting punished for it. BOOO to Katharine Pennington, the principal from Kenowa Hills High School in Walker, Michigan. 2 thumbs down from the cycling community of the world!

Please note that I do not own the rights to the story, I am reposing this from the link below:

http://www.treehugger.com/bikes/60-students-suspended-biking-school.html

I believe the original credit goes to Richard Masoner from: http://www.cyclelicio.us

Who Knew Biking to School Could be Considered a Prank?

On the second to last day of school, 60 seniors from Kenowa Hills High School in Walker, Michigan, rode their bikes to school. It wasn’t an improvised things either, as they had police escort and did it safely, and even the mayor joined them (handing out donuts, which isn’t exactly health food, but nobody was forced to eat them). But their principal, out of some sort of “I’ll show you who’s boss” primal instinct, decided to reprimand them, calling the bike ride a “prank”, going as far as suspending them from a traditional year’s end celebration at that school.

But calling this a prank is taking the “letter of the law” too far and forgetting the spirit. This wasn’t burning dog poop, exploding toilet and naked kids running around. It was a safe bike ride with adult supervision, something that an untold number of kids do every single school day in many places around the world.

Schools Would be Empty in Amsterdam and Copenhagen…

Now it’s possible that this wasn’t done in the best possible way and that this slowed down traffic some (the school pretends it was terrible, the police escort says it wasn’t a problem — whatever), but it still was an act that should be commended, not punished. This could have been the beginning of a great tradition, and the next ride would have been even better organized, rather than a sour end to some kids’ high-school career.

I know I don’t have much pull in Walker, Michigan, but I’m calling for principal Katharine Pennington to come to her senses and apologize to the students for trying to discourage them from doing something that was safe, healthy, and much better than almost any other possible alternatives in that situation.

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Training summary May 14 to May 20

Monday May 14th

AM – Biked 30km to Summerlea Park in Dorval with Julie! Beautiful and calm morning, the water on the canal looked like a pane of glass, no wind yay! Having some bike issues with a crunching sound in the pedal / crank area

PM – Biked 16km to MTL Casino with Julie. Bike sounds even worse, cut short the ride as the sound was distracting and I was worried about having to walk the bike home. Later checked and seems the pedals were a bit loose and I am really hopeful that this is the problem… TBA tomorrow!

Tuesday May 15th

AM – Biked 27.17km rapids to canal loop. Pedal was definitely the issue yesterday and the ride this morning was so quiet and pleasant.

Wednesday May 16th

PM – Biked 31. 21 km to the end of lachine canal in some incredibly strong winds. Despite this maintained a really amazing pace into the wind. Strong tailwind for the return was really fun as I was posting over 30kmph. Decided to blow past exit for home and went to the old port and return. Felt a great sense of accomplishment for this ride.

Thursday May 17th

PM – Biked 30.61km to Summerlea park and return. Again tonight fought some strong winds coming from the west, some gusts almost grinded me to a complete stop. Almost got taken out by a truck leaving a parking lot and he didnt even look my way on the path. Luckily I saw him on time and I was able to cut really wide around the front and scream at him (twice) until he saw me and applied his brakes. Second time at this same parking lot, seems dangerous and I will for sure slow down leading up to this as no one seems to pay attention to cyclists. Return trip was fast with the tailwind.

Friday May 18th

PM – Biked 17.35km to La Cordee to get the rest of the equipment we needed for the trip coming in June. An expensive outing but at this point I think we have 98% of what we need for cross Canada. This ride was really stressful as we felt like we were dodging cars all the time despite being on a cycle lane. Many cyclists out too and seems the norm to come to a complete stop in the middle of the path to take a phone call. Frustrating ride but we got what we needed!

Saturday May 19th

For the past 3 mornings I have been completely unable to get up at 530 for my morning ride. cumulation of fatigue and stress from work and I am feeling very burned out. Original plan was to od a day trip today but postponed for Sunday, so that Julie and I can catch up on household chores, projects and gardening.

Sunday May 20th

AM – Early departure for a long bike ride! Cycled 71km in extreme heat conditions. The map below will give you an idea of where we went. Needless to say we took several breaks and drank lots of water.

Despite our efforts to remain hydrated this trip left me not feeling well. Too much sun and I was barely able to eat supper Sunday and I went to bed not feeling well. This carried through to Monday which was a day off. Sadly I didnt get to cycle at all.

Statistics for the week:

227.74 km total, 12 hours 50 minutes of cycling in 7 trips.

1 long trip to the East of the island

1 heat stroke that knocked me off my training for 2 days

Total distance for the season 986.05 km. Distance to goal (5000): 4013.95 km

Goal report for the week:

1. Bike every day at least once per day. (incomplete, will carry forward to a future week. Seems difficult to complete at this time)

2. Complete total kilometers of 200+. (success! 224.74km)

3. Complete at least 1 day trip on the weekend 75+km (so close with 71km Sunday)

4. Blog 4/7 days (incomplete, finding it difficult to dedicate an hour a day to writing)

5. Take some photos to use in the blog (incomplete, but will come soon with gear photos and bikes loaded!)

6. Break the 1000km barrier for the season (1/5 of total) (incompleteonly 14km away!)

Goals for next week:

1. Complete total kilometers of 200+

2. Complete at least 1 day trip on the weekend 72+km

3. Wednesday get back on track for training following heat stroke

4. Post 3 blogs other than training summary

5. Take out cycling gear and photograph for a blog entry

 

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The importance of setting goals

I know I have been MIA for a few days but I had some thoughts I wanted to share tonight, and I will get back with a new post tomorrow as well. For those of you who have been following my posts for thhttps://cyclingcanada2013.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post-new.phpe past few weeks have undoubtedly seen my “weekly training summary” pop up a couple of times. This is where I like to share a few stats of the trips I am taking, thoughts about my training and my goals for the week.

For tonight’s post I want to focus on the importance of the goals section. In order to achieve anything you need goals. It is no secret that setting these goals brings to life the personal challenges. What I am finding almost more important than just setting goals is to write them down, and making them public. I can easily make myself a bunch of goals in my head, never tell anyone, and then if I dont achieve them, only I know. If I put them on “paper” here, at the end of the week when I write my training summary, I have to go back to the goals of the week, and indicate if I reached them or not. It is not a place to make excuses, it is a place to reflect whether or not I was able to achieve what I set out to do for the week. Equally important is looking at them during the week for motivation and to see how I am measuring up to what I have set out to do.

So why is this important and why is it so relevant to me tonight? Thanks for asking! In my training summary for last week, here is one goal for this week: 1. Bike every day at least once per day. Let me tell you that I am running really tired this week and struggling to catch up on a bit of sleep so that my muscles adequately repair and that I can focus at work. This evening after work I had a meeting at 6pm. When I got home the last thing I felt like doing was going to the meeting then going cycling. Why, you ask again? Well it was a stormy afternoon and the weather network was posting winds of 33kmph from the west (I mainly bike west then return east) plus gusts of 55kmph. For a cyclist this is really significant, getting hit with gusts like that can grind you to an entire halt. So I see the forecast then I open my blog with my goals clearly written out, with goal #1 staring me in the face (side note I didnt bike this morning, I could NOT wake up). Just the thought of first entering “0” in my excel spreadsheet for the day made me feel like a failure, then the fact that I would have to report back at the end of the week that I didnt reach my goal was devastating. Had I not put that all in writing I could have easily skipped biking and thought nothing of it.

So after my meeting I got my ass in gear and was out on 2 wheels within 10 minutes of getting home. Was it a hard ride? Yes. Did I have a great time? Hell yes. I used the wind as an opportunity, and I swear I pushed myself to the limit going into the wind trying to maintain speeds of at least 22kmph, and at times I was 2-4 km faster. When I got to the end of the circuit and turned back east I was so rewarded. I got a gorgeous sunset warming my back, and the wind pushed me with all it’s might all the way back toward home. I posted speeds of 30-33kmph consistently on the way home.

I had such an awesome ride that as I approached the turn-off to go back home, what did I do? I blew right past it (pun intended) and tacked on another 6.5 km loop out toward the old port and back. I felt strong, energized and pleased that I kept my goal of biking 7/7 days alive, but I also took a small bite out of my goal for the year (5000km) and my goal for the week (200km).

This one is for all of my CRLT friends / alumni / peers / professors… SMART goals are goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound.

Thanks again for reading and I hope that you can find motivation from my story tonight to help you achieve your goals. Until tomorrow where I think I will tackle the subject of cycling etiquette, I wish you happy and safe cycling. There is nothing to compare with the feeling of freedom and contentment you get from cycling.

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Training summary May 7th to May 13th

Monday May 7th

AM – Biked 72.26 km from home to St Anne de Bellevue and back with Julie. Gorgeous day very minor winds near the water. Should have eaten before leaving. Definitely feel my legs are getting stronger as is my endurance. Was still going strong on the final stretch home

Tuesday May 8th

AM- Biked 25 km from home to the end of Lachine canal.Β  Heavy rain and winds coming from the South East meant a strong side wind all the way out and a side headwind back home. Picture rain being whipped in your face (or turn the shower up, get decked out in cycle gear, helmet, glasses, and fire the cold water in your face for 45 minutes. Nuff said.

Wednesday May 9th

Awful night of sleep and I would have been a danger on the path in the morning.

PM- Biked 30.3 km. Antsy from not biking in so long. Rapids path to canal, then to the end of lachine canal then home. No winds and clear cycling. Crushed my ride with 1:13:03 cycling time and a 25 kmph average time. Burned some fuel but if I were not pressed to get back I would have easily added 10 km to this ride.

Thursday May 10th

Though I intended to hit the path this morning for some reason (and I never do this) I stretched out on the couch and fell asleep. Woke up freezing and went back to bed.

PM- Biked 30.7 km to the Summerlea park in Dorval and return. Extreme headwind cycling west grinded me on the way out then sent me flying home. Felt like I was struggling for my motivation through being really tired and this grey weather. I am happy I got out and feel like my day is complete.

Friday May 11th

AM- Biked 26.7 km rapids loop to Lachine canal and back home. Misty and grey morning with minimal winds. As soon as I got home it cleared up and the sun came out!

Saturday and Sunday May 12, 13

Not feeling well, fighting off the start of a cold. Had a fever and decided to rest and listen to my body so I wouldnt get a full-fledged cold.

Statistics for the week:

184.94 km total, 9 hours 42 minutes of cycling in 5 trips.

1 long trip to St-Anne

1 cold caught and avoided before it got bad

Total distance for the season 761 km. Distance to goal (5000): 4238 km

Goal report from the week:

Goal for next week (May 7 to May 13):

1. Bike every day at least once per day. (incomplete, will carry forward to next week)

2. Complete total kilometers of 250+. (fell really short completing 184.94km)

3. Complete one day of 75km or more. (came really close with St-Anne de Bellevue 72.26)

4. Blog 6/7 days. (realizing that it is going to be hard to blog daily but will try to get more in!)

Goal for next week:

1. Bike every day at least once per day.

2. Complete total kilometers of 200+.

3. Complete at least 1 day trip on the weekend 75+km

4. Blog 4/7 days

5. Take some photos to use in the blog

6. Break the 1000km barrier for the season (1/5 of total)

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Trying to keep motivated and juggling a busy schedule

351 days to go!

The weather is getting consistently nicer and I am starting to really look forward to the June trip coming up in only a few weeks. I am also hopeful that I can make arrangements and do a 2-3 day trip on the upcoming long weekend! Sometimes if feels like our trip is forever away, but with the days, weeks, and months on the calendar lately flying by, I know the departure date will be upon us in no time!

One thing I have found really tough is since May 1st I have been trying to dedicate my time to training and to get as many kilometers in as possible. While I really enjoy this time on the bicycle, something that I had neglected to consider is the time commitment. When you figure in that a 30 km ride takes about 1 1/2 hours give or take, plus the time to get changed, leaded up, shower after, etc, you are looking at almost 2 hours every time. Twice a day can easily claim 3.5-4 hours of the day. Attempting to blog daily also takes a bit out of the time. While none of these are extreme commitments when you mix it with a busy work schedule, and attempting to continue running my home business (retrovintage) it means that there is little free time leftover. I am finding too that I need to tune my bike on a weekly basis and this can take a couple of hours.

With all of this said I am still trying to find my balance without causing too much extra stress. Short of cutting any 1 thing I am going to have to manage my time and also keep my energy up. Cycling, work, cycling, business is almost impossible to keep up with. I find that by 9pm I am totally spent on energy and need to get to bed by 10-1030 so I can get up at 530. While I know I am doing this for the big cross-Canada it is hard to find the motivation and to remind myself why I am working so hard on a daily basis. Maybe it is because I am an impatient person, I always want immediate results, immediate gratification. I hate waiting for things, and in the back of my head I know that we wanted to do the trip this year, and put it in 2013 to have time to save money and prepare adequately. Again I know it will come quick and there is tons to do before the departure date. I guess I need to take my time, enjoy the process and not lose my motivation.

Moving forward at least as far as my business goes I need to scale down what I am doing. I have a few tune ups in that are going to take a ton of time and realistically they are not worth the time I will spend versus what I charge. I need to complete a few projects and then set aside the rest for the bad weather season. Having to rush through some repairs, and miss cycling is not what I need to be doing. I have some great bikes for sale, so I will focus on moving them and worry about the rest later.

I am realizing this post is ranty and not the most positive tone. I promise a more interesting one next time πŸ™‚ Also I need a few numbers at home and will post my training summary from last week. For now back to work and waiting to get back out in this beautiful sunny day!

Thanks for reading and safe cycling!

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Retrovintage.ca

As I write this there are 355 days until departure!

Today’s blog is going to be a shameless self promotion… the best kind!

For those that know me already are aware I am obsessed with bikes and cycling. 4 years ago I decided to incorporate this into my hobbies and hopefully make a bit of extra income from it. I did all the work and opened my own business, RetroVintage.

The original idea came from me seeing so many bikes out to the trash, and thinking that I could bring these bikes in, like a bicycle Sheppard, and repair them to give them a new life.This worked out alright but I quickly discovered a few things. 1- you can’t save them all. Some are out to the trash because they are just that. 2- so many bikes needed new parts and it got expensive to repair them and still make back any money from them. 3- department store bikes suck. I am sorry if you reader are riding one now, and I dont doubt it would be your last. Made in China and meant to last just long enough to surpass any implied warrantee on the sale. They are heavy, made from the lowest of low parts, shined up and sold to unsuspecting customers. As I always tell my clients “you can put makeup on a pig but… it’s still just a pig”, DO NOT BUY THEM. Spend a bit more for something durable and reliable.

As I did this I really wanted to specialize in retro and vintage bikes. My slogan “Bringing the past back to life” really sums it up. I wanted to re-introduce awesome bikes from the past and get them back into the bike scene. Old banana seat bikes, vintage cruisers, anything really as these bikes are awesome and I wanted to see more of them.

My business evolved over the years and now I have 2 main avenues with the bikes. I seek out really cool bikes in original condition. These are the survivors and I still get that rush when I see one that has survived 30, 40, 50++ years. Maybe this is a bike that a kid got for xmas and was the best present ever. Maybe it is the bike you rode to school every day after your paper route. Maybe it is the bike you rode out to see your crush for your first date. For me the history of these bikes really fascinates me. Sometimes I wish they could tell me stories of where they came from long before I was born. I have a couple from the 1940s and I bet they have seen so much in their lives.

Beyond the bicycles I also have an obsession for all things vintage. One visit to Julie and I and you will notice that there is very little modern in our place (besides the TV). As I am a collector I cannot pass up an awesome retro piece at a thrift store, garage sale, etc, so I “rescue” as much as I can. As a result I often have cool stuff up for sale on my site. These items also have a history of their own and it brings me back to a time when things were simpler, made to last, and would get passed down to future generations. Not like the IKEA garbage of this time where you make the mistake of looking at it and it breaks.

If you are interested in vintage bikes please have a peek at my site: www.retrovintage.ca
…and know that if you buy anything this year all of the money is going directly into our cross-canada fund. I ship stuff and deal locally for bikes, parts and vintage items.

Also if you are on facebook and want to stay in the loop on new items check me out at: https://www.facebook.com/retrovintaga.ca

Thus ends my shameless plug! I am hopeful for time tomorrow and I will get back to cycling blogs and pick up on some previously mentioned topics. Until then thanks for reading and cycle safe.