Living in Atlantic Canada does not allow us to cycle year ’round and we don’t really have a winter sport that we enjoy doing together (other than walking to the pub all bundled up) so we tend to spend the dead of winter in front of the roaring woodstove with a glass of wine in hand and a Netflix marathon on the TV. It’s not ideal… We gain a little weight, lose some muscle mass and notice a decline in our cardio fitness. We are not the kind to measured these things closely but our pants are a little tighter and we get a little more winded during our winter outings. That being said, my fitbit does provide this insight. A fairly steady decline in resting heart rate between January and July. I feel good and my pants fit a little better.
Winter has arrived in to our corner of the world in Atlantic Canada. A hike in the woods today was a real treat in the sunshine but even the hiking trails were ice covered… road could be tricky/dangerous in spots. I realize today that I had not uploaded the last ride on my Garmin so just did that. Fell short of my annual mileage goal but we still had a great season of riding. As I was digging around my gear for my Garmin, I also noticed that it might be a good idea to throw all of our cycling clothes in the laundry before we settled in for our long winter nap! See you in 2020…
I came across an article this morning on the mental health benefits of cycling. I’ll be honest “healthy addiction” was listed as one but I can’t say, even after all these years, that I’m addicted to cycling. There are days when it’s still a struggle to suit up and get out on the road but I’m always glad I did for several of the other reasons that are listed such as 1) promotes an overall healthy lifestyle 2) improved self-esteem and 3) better sleep.
One of the benefits listed is reduced stress. I can see how it could reduce any stress I might be feeling related to works and/or the kids, for example, but riding in traffic can create a different type of stress for me.
They also list “creative breakthrough” while riding. I ride almost exclusively with my husband and this definitely applies to him. While I might be focusing on the pretty flowers in the ditch, he’s thinking about problems at work and how to solve them. I can always tell when he’s deep in thought because he slows down. I sometimes have to snap him out of it in order to get back to our normal pace. Me – “what ya thinkin’ about?” Him – “oh…sorry…work”
Want to read the entire article? Click HERE
1000 km down… 1000 km to go!
#roadcycling #goals #giantbikes #livcycling #stravacycling #garmin
Accepted an invitation to Cap-Pele again this summer. Our friends have a great cottage there on the Northumberland Straight. After a quick breakfast we hit the road. Our friends have been renovating their summer place and admitted they had been so busy that it was there first time on their bikes this summer. Yikes!
It’s always windy in Cap-Pele but the relatively flat terrain makes up for it. Our friends biked with us for about 20 km and bailed… we stretched it out to 34 km. After the ride, our friends took us to a sweet little restaurant and art gallery called Le Chat Bleu which is housed in a historic general store in nearby Baie Verte, N.B. We shared a few delicious plates…my favourite way to try a new restaurant!!
Getting back in the swing of things with a nice long ride on a sunny day. This is a route we’ve done many times. The first section (18 km) is a hilly route through Bayside NB with no shoulder (nerve wracking!) then on to a rural road with a nice shoulder. A 30 km stop a Burger King in St Stephen, NB for a little energy break (1 cheeseburger) then on to the highway for a little stretch (not as bad as is sounds) taking us back through Bayside and back in to town. 66.5 km total ride..
Mother Nature finally blessed us with a beautiful day to go riding. We recently got our bike tuned up and we’re promised they would perform “like new”. They did not! Neither of our bikes would shift gears properly. We got our mandatory minimum 20 km’s in and then loaded the bikes on the car. Back to the shop they go…
Yikes! We are getting off to a slow start this year. The spring has been cold, wet and windy. It was an icy winter which meant a lot of sand was spread on the roads and the bike lanes are still full of grit. To make matters worse, our road bikes have been in the shop for weeks. They both have more than 10,000 km on them and our bike mechanic informed us they needed some significant maintenance. When he quoted us $600 per bike, we considered just getting new ones but to replace the one we have now we’d be looking at $2500 each so we said “fix em!” I know this all sounds like a bunch of lame excuses for not riding and you are probably right. Hoping for a nice weekend to break the dry spell!
My husband and I have cycled over 18,000 kilometres together. That’s close to 50% of the circumference of the earth and we’re just getting started! Yes, we are in our 50’s but we foresee even more cycling in our retirement years. At 2,000 – 3,000 km per year it should take less than 10 more years to reach 40,000 km
“Combining your hobby or exercise routine with time spent with your significant is not only efficient, but it can increase your emotional bond. When you ride together, you are in a way coordinating your actions. You’re moving in the same direction, with the same movements, and matching your pace can create a connection that goes beyond your time spent in the saddle.” Source: www.ilovebicycling.com/cycling-with-your-partner-why-you-should-ride-together/
We had a busy year! I’m using that as an excuse for why I fell short of my cycling goal. We built a new house and had a lot of fun doing it but it was distracting. To compound matters we had a short autumn. The cold arrived very early which prevented us from enjoying those typical great fall cycling days. Yes… I’m a wimp. When the winter winds start to howl, I’m curled up inside with a hot toddy!
2018 Goal – 2,000 km
Cycled – 1,485.47 km
There’s always next year. Stay tuned for another year of spinning the wheels in 2019…
Spent two nights in Cap Pele NB with friends at their cottage. Day 1 had us riding in to Shediac and back. It was a beautiful day… not too windy!
Day 2 was very windy so we took a 35 ride with the wind and had someone come pick us up. It felt a little like cheating but after a night of Canada Day celebrations it was all we could muster. We enjoyed an ice cream cone on the church steps while waiting for our “sag wagon” to pick us up!
We are building a home in Saint Andrews by-the-sea. It’s a seaside resort town in Atlantic Canada. It will be a weekend and summer place for a few years and will eventually be our retirement home. Spent my hubby’s birthday cycling in the area. It was a great 61 km ride with a stop at our new home builder’s office in St Stephen to drop off an installment cheque.
UPDATE: removed hiking goal. We continue to go a lot of walking and hiking… I just keep forgetting to track it!
ORIGINAL POST: I mentioned earlier that my cycling goal for the summer is 2,000 km. We are close to 400 km YTD so tracking pretty well. I also added something new to this site… a hiking goal. I was not sure where to start so I plugged in 300 km in 2018. I do a fair amount of walking in the city to and from meetings etc… this doesn’t count towards the goal. In order to count, the hiking must be on a trail with my hiking boots on!
Happy Spring everyone! This blog has been sorely neglected but that is about to change. Weather is finally warming up and snow is melting.
2017 was the third year in a row that I fell short of my cycling goal. After we climbed Mount Katahdin in late August we started seriously talking about hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2022. We had a beautiful fall last year and we got the hiking bug so the bikes didn’t get used as much as usual. We still got plenty of exercise and fresh air just nothing I could track here!
I expect that this year is going to be similar. We are becoming obsessed with hiking plus we’re building a house this summer so, taking those two things in to consideration, I have revised by cycling goal to 2,000 km for 2018. Stay tuned for adventure and mileage updates coming soon!
After a weekend of biking our asses off (figuratively and literally) in Montreal (that story HERE), I have now surpassed the 50% point of my annual goal of 3,000 km. WooHoo!
This is the third year we’ve cycled in Montreal on the August long weekend. It’s no coincidence that it’s the same weekend as the Osheaga outdoor music festival which my teenage daughter likes to attend. We arrived Thursday evening. There was not enough daylight left for a ride but we enjoyed a nice walkabout, gourmet burger and refreshments.
Day 1 – 92 km. Our day included cycling on Ile-des-Soeurs and on the canal bike path. Unfortunately, at about the 50km point, I missed a sharp turn in the bike lane, lost control of my bike and fell. Luckily I had Continue reading
I’ve added a new photo to the Clifton Royal Photo Project but after getting home I realized that all the other photos were taken “landscape” and my hubby snapped this one “portrait”. I may have to switch it later in the year if/when I get a chance to retake it.
This is the 5th year in a row that I’ve taken a photo in the same spot (the key is to get the tree & the fence in the shot with river in the background). My original plan was to take a photo in this very spot, on my bike for the next 20+ years but I realized this past weekend that it will be more challenging than I thought. My husband and I purchased a lot in a town which is 129 km (80 miles) away from this spot. We plan to Continue reading
Got up early one morning on our vacation and rented hybrids near Central Park. We headed straight towards the waterfront. The rush hour traffic was heavy while trying to navigate the New York streets but the worst part was the pedestrians… they were crossing against the lights, walking and/or standing in the bike lanes. It was brutal! Once on the dedicated bikes lanes it was smooth sailing. Could have biked longer but had to meet up with our friends for lunch in Chinatown at the Deluxe Green Bo. Soup dumplings! Yum!
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!
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
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.”
Photo Source: Huffington Post Here’s Why You Need To Try Grape-Nuts Ice Cream, New England’s Best Kept Dessert