Cycling in London, UK

Took a quick trip over to London to join my husband on his business trip. Spent part of an afternoon cycling around the city on the Santander rental bikes popularly known by the locals as “Boris Bikes”.

We didn’t break any pace records but we got a cool map (below). Our 20+ km ride included some cycling along the Thames river on the bike path as well as on some bustling city streets dodging double decker buses and London cabs. Rides through Green and Hyde Parks were considerably less stressful! The entire exercise was not helped by the fact that we had to bike on the “wrong” side!

london-map

 

Cycling Montreal

Spent three days cycling in the fantastic city of Montreal. This city understands cycling infrastructure and does it right! The drivers are crazy and inconsiderate of each other but they seem to look out for cyclists and pay heed.

Day 1 – 60 km: Mostly along the canal bike path all the way to the bedroom community of Dorval. Our evening meal was wonderful Indian cuisine at Le Taj

Day 2 – 70 km:  An early morning ride through the McGill University campus followed by more cycling along the canal bike path with a stop at the Old Port of Montreal for lunch and on to a Mount Royal climb via Summit Olmsted Road (a wide road and gentle grade 6 – 7 km bicycle path that Continue reading

Grape-Nut ice cream

Went out for a group ride with the “Quick Chicks” last night. Gorgeous evening and a great group of gals. Stopped for ice cream at the Pumpkin Patch. Everyone was talking about their favourite flavour of ice cream. Grape-Nut for me.

If you’ve never heard of Grape-Nut ice cream it’s because, according to the Huffington Post, it’s a New England thing. Atlantic Canada is just north of the New England states and we’ve been blessed with this regional treat.

The article describes it as “a balance of creamy, sweet, crunchy, salty and malty. Adding Grape-Nuts to ice cream is basically injecting whole grains, vitamins and fiber into one of America’s favorite junk foods, which is the perfect juxtaposition of everything we love.”

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Photo Source: Huffington Post Here’s Why You Need To Try Grape-Nuts Ice Cream, New England’s Best Kept Dessert

 

Peninsula Princess

After a lovely 30 km early morning ride, we arrived at the Kingston Market at the peak of rush hour to find the line up for breakfast too long. We like to do breakfast inside the market because A) we can get out of the sun and B) we know that the familiar meal of coffee, bacon & eggs, toast and hash browns sits well on the second leg of our 100 km journey.

We were lucky enough to score one of the only shady picnic tables outside and decided to go with a non-traditional Korean brunch of Daeji bulgogi (marinated pork), Japchae (sweet potato noodles) and Pajun (vegetable pancake). The food was delicious and we didn’t eat too much! We finished our coffee while people-watching and enjoying the country crooning of a local artist.

I also picked up a hops rhizome to plant in my herb garden at home. The small root section packaged in a little plastic bag fit nicely in the rear pocket of my jersey. They claim it will grow an average of 20′ per year and make a nice vine. I will report back on that…

peninsula princess  100 km hampton route
Peninsula Princess Ferry & 100 km Route Map

Clifton Royal 2016

4 years ago I started the Clifton Royal Photo Project. The spot is at the end of a long ascent and affords a beautiful view of the Kennebecassis River. There’s also a horse that lives on this property. It’s a great spot to catch your breath, rehydrate and look around.  Here’s this year’s photo…

Looking at the photos I made a few observations. 1) The tree to my right is in every photo 2) My Monton “Cat” jersey is at least 4 years old & 3) I look slimmer in blue 😉 You can see all 4 years HERE

clifton 2016

Clifton Royal, New Brunswick, Canada

Mayor’s Ride 2016

Our community has a brand new mayor. He’s young, energetic and he cycles! The local cycling club thought it would be a great idea to get area cyclists together for a ride with the mayor to discuss cycling infrastructure & safety and to show our new mayor that there is a growing culture of cycling in Saint John.

Here are video highlights from today’s ride. SOUNDTRACK: “Who We Are” by The Candles

Broken Gear Cable

Out for a 50 km ride late afternoon. Broke the rear gear cable on my road bike about 10 km from home. Only 10 minutes from closing time at our local bike shop… no time to ride across town to get it fixed.

Our community had been working hard to promote cycling in our region and lobby for better cycling infrastructure & bike safety. Our brand new Mayor (Don Darling) is participating in a group ride tomorrow morning at 10 am. I guess I’ll have to take Molly for tomorrow’s ride. If you don’t know what a “molly” is, it’s the hybrid offspring of a female horse (mare) and a male donkey (jack)  http://messybeast.com/genetics/hybrid-equines.htm

I’ll have the gopro for the Mayor’s ride tomorrow…. stay tuned….

Hammond River 40 km

hammond river bridgeA beautiful spring day for my first ride of the season. The wind was unforgiving at times but we used it our advantage on the second half of the ride. Our friend Dale took us on a new route along Hammond River which included this lovely covered bridge.  40 km on the odometer and an exciting summer of cycling ahead…

A case of road rage!

This happened to me today.

share-the-road-posterWent for a 100 km ride on the Kingston Peninsula. Was a spectacular day until we encountered a local red neck with road rage and a severe hate on for cyclists. He came up behind us (not another car in sight in either direction) and buzzed us close… clearly to send some kind of message. It startled me and I let out a little scream…Rob flipped him off. He immediately pulled over and rolled down his window and waited for us to approach. Rob asked why he didn’t give us more room and he started with his rant about how we should not be on those roads and that “you people will never learn”. We kept cycling. He roared past us again and stopped and got out of his car. I was freaking by then. He charged Rob. Rob got off his bike to get away from him and he picked up Rob’s bike and started to walk away with it. We eventually got it back. It was a total scene! We stopped at the RCMP in Hampton and gave a statement, we had his license plate #. The RCMP know the guy and there was a similar complaint against the same guy 2 days ago. He drives a rust coloured sporty car…like a Cavalier. Constable says he lives near the Gondola Point Ferry and is well know to the police. My advice is be careful and if something like this happens, keep your wits about you and take photos with your phone if you can.

Bonjour mon amie

65 km cycling around Montreal, Quebec.

Montreal is a great cycling city! Lots of dedicated trails and well marked cycling routes throughout the city. Observation…most cyclist in this urban area don’t wear helmets. Yikes!

Soundtrack: Bonjour Mon Amie by Josh Woodward (album Sunny Side of the Street)
Licensed under Creative Commons

montreal banner

Check out video by clicking on image above or click HERE

Groovy Pavement

grooved pavement aheadHubby and I went for a 100 km ride today. I have to say it was NOT one of our more enjoyable rides. It held a lot of promise…The wind was favourable for the ride home which is when you want it but several things contributed to it being less than a perfect ride A) the closest ferry to cycling paradise (a.k.a the Kingston Peninsula) has been out of service for months so we have had to take an alternate route to another ferry 30 km away. That in-and-of-itself is not a problem but add to that B) the pavement torn up from that ferry landing to our beloved Kingston Market (4 km of dirt road!) plus C) Just as we turned the corner at the 50 km mark to enjoy the wind at our back… what do we find? 8 km of grooved pavement. To summarize over 10% of our ride was on torn up roads. Home now and I feel like a martini… shaken not stirred!

Acadian Coastal Drive

cape pele 2015 confed bridgeSpent a beautiful summer day cycling along the New Brunswick Acadian Coastal Drive. Our adventure started in Cap Pele and took us to the Cape Jourimain Nature Centre for lunch. Cape Jourimain is also the gateway to the Confederation Bridge to Prince Edward Island. The curved, 12.9 kilometre (8 mile) long bridge is the longest in the world crossing ice-covered water. The Confederation Bridge opened to traffic on May 31, 1997, at a total construction cost of one billion dollars. We would have loved to bike across it but, unfortunately, bicycles and pedestrians are not permitted. A fantastic day of riding nonetheless with sightseeing and a little Acadian crafts shopping along the way. We arrived back to our friend’s cottage mid afternoon for some great company and a lovely meal.

cape pele

VIDEO: 61 km cycling around Manhattan

*** sorry link to video was previously broken…fixed now! ***

Bike rental $35 per day, Cerveza Negra Modelo at that little Mexican patio $7, day spent cycling around NYC… priceless!

Click on the image below to view a 3 1/2 minute video of day touring Manhattan.

Soundtrack: 20/20 by Josh Woodward. Licensed Under Creative Common

cycling around Manhattan

tuned up & waiting patiently

Saint John, New Brunswick has received record snow fall this winter and the snow banks are still over my head in many places. If you have not seen this in the news just google images of  “snow saint john new brunswick 2015” to get a sense of it. The total snow fall is well over 400 cm (over 15 feet!) breaking a 52 year record. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/saint-john-smashes-52-year-old-snowfall-record-1.3001318

bike tuned up

Being the eternal optimist that I am, I took the bike in for it’s spring tune up. Come on spring!

60 km in 142 seconds

Sitting at my desk dreaming of warmer days like this one when we rode along the beautiful Kennebecasis River. Much of the footage is from the Kingston Peninsula but also takes you through Quispamsis, Rothesay and Saint John.

VIDEO URL: http://youtu.be/44EaTbJtMUs or click on image below

NOTE: This short video was complied using GoPro time lapse photos (every 30 seconds). I slowed down the shots where we are cycling at a slower pace or stopped.

60 km in 142 second screen shot

The winter cyclist

This Hour Has 22 Minutes uploaded a cute 50 second video which show the Canadian Winter Cyclist in its “natural habitat” (click image below). I have a lot of respect for the Winter Cyclist. My friend Holly often commutes to work in the ice & snow with studded tires. She’s a great story teller and cycling in the winter seems to provide her with excellent fodder! Not me…I’m lifting weights to stay in shape until St Paddy’s day at least!

winter cyclist

That’s Goal Jerry, Goal!

Reached my annual goal of 3,000 km on October 19th this year almost a full month ahead of last year. Yay!

The way we reached it was very different from last year. Most of our riding this year was long (65-100 km) rides on the weekends versus more frequent shorter (20 km) and medium (50km) rides spread throughout the week. Also, the weather was on our side this cycling season with most weekends being rain free and not too hot. Will be interesting to see what our final tally is…

goal jerry

Lack of energy on “energy tour”

This is a follow up to Monday’s post. Although it was a fantastic day and a great ride I was not in top form. The climbs and the wind bothered me more than usual. I was recently diagnosed with low iron and I’m thinking that may have been a contributing factor to my fatigue. Since being diagnosed, I’ve been eating more iron rich foods such as hemp hearts, smoked mussels & oysters and red meat. I’m also taking an iron supplement at bedtime with a glass of apple juice (the vitamin C is said to aid significantly in iron absorption). Unfortunately, from what I’ve read, it can take up to 8 weeks for my new habits to have an impact on my iron levels. To make matters worse, physical activity has been found to reduce iron levels in women so my cycling could be compounding the problem.

If anyone has any ideas or advice for me…please drop me a note in the comment section below.

Tour of SJ Energy Infrastucture

On Thanksgiving Monday hubby and I set out to tour the city. It just happened that our route took us by (or at least very near) much of our area’s energy installations. Our 75 kilometre ride took us west to the Coleson Cove power generating station. Next we headed east across the causeway and by the East Saint John Marine Terminal. We then rode by the Irving Refinery on our way out to Red Head. We didn’t quite make it out to the Canaport Liquid Natural Gas Terminal before heading back home. It was a beautiful fall day!

energy map

Energy Tour

Major milestone reached together

My husband and I have officially cycled 10,000 km together. This is the mileage we’ve registered since we started keeping track in 2010. When we started biking together we didn’t have the right equipment, the right clothing or the right gadgets for keeping track. It started with a bike ride around the neighbourhood after supper one night and slowly grew from there.

10,000 km translates into 400-500 hour. The bulk of those miles it was just the two of us. It’s safe to say that, individually, we would not be close to that number. When I’m feeling lazy he pushes me and vice versa. Cycling in the middle of nowhere with no distractions is when we talk about work, family, parenting, our health and our dreams. We also plan vacations (around cycling ) and our retirement…which we hope will include a lot more cycling! It’s been good for our relationship!

P.S. This is all the more remarkable when you realize that my husband lost close to a year when he was diagnosed with Leukemia (AML) in June 2011 and had a stem cell transplant in November 2011. The treatment nearly killed him and his recovery took time but cycling made him strong again!

bike date

Cartoon courtesy of www.bikeyface.com

VIDEO: Active Recovery Following Climb

Went out for an 11.4 km ride today. This was one of my shortest tides of the year. To be honest, I was nervous about even attempting it since I can barely walk up and down stairs following a Wednesday climb up Mt Katahdin in Baxter State Park, Maine. The ride went fairly well and was an important part of recovering.

If anyone’s interested in our climb, I’ve posted a 5 minute video which features the highlights. Make sure you turn up the volume. The soundtrack is called “Follow the Road” by Josh Woodward. Click on the image below to watch video>>>

katahdin climb screenshot