40 km in New York City

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 brutal 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!

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

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

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

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Check out video by clicking on image above or click HERE

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

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

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

Gopro caught him stealing a kiss!

I entered the BIKE FOR BREATH Facebook photo contest. My photo is called “Gopro caught him stealing a kiss”. If you’d like to vote for my pic and help me win a cool jersey that would be awesome!

vote

A great day to reach 2,000 km

It was a beautiful day in Saint John, NB. It also happened to be the day that Marathon-by-the-sea was taking place. We were a little worried setting out as our regular Sunday route intersected with the marathon route in several spots. We were afraid of hold ups and being re-routed. Our worries were all for naught. Not only was the marathon not an issue…it was an advantage! Our timing was perfect. We avoided the runners for the most part and the orange pylons set up all along the route ensured that vehicles gave us a wide berth.

We did our regular Sunday route twice (total of 90 km) to get me to 2,000 km YTD!

photo collage 200 km

A Sappy Sackville Summer Saturday

The New Brunswick Day long weekend took us to Cap-Pele, N.B. to visit friends at their cottage on the shores of the Northumberland strait. The weather was ideal for a ride in to Sackville for lunch (44 km away). We arrived to find the main street of this quaint University town closed to vehicles and crawling with preppies and hipsters setting up booths for their 9th annual SappyFest. Live music from a nearby tent entertained us while we sat at an outdoor patio and enjoyed a brew and some good eats. Oh how easy it would have been to spend the entire afternoon people watching and taking in the events but, alas, the shore was calling to us. We stretched the ride home a little to get the total mileage over 100 km.

cap pele to sackville return

The Clifton Royal Photo Project

The top of “gas station” hill in Clifton Royal (Kingston Peninsula, New Brunswick) is one of my favourite places to stop, wipe my brow, catch my breath, have a drink and enjoy the view. The top of the hill provides lovely vistas of the Kennebecasis River, the shade of an apple tree and we get to watch the beautiful horse that lives here for a few minutes.

Hubby took a photo of me last year in this spot and again today. I came up with a great idea…. I’m going to have hubby take a photo of me in this same spot once a year so I can see the changes. Here’s years 1 & 2 to start.

I’ve also created a “page” to chronicle the project. I’m 46 years old now…I hope to keep it going to 20-30 years! To see that page click on the tab or click here

clifton royal first two years

A coffee table book signed by the 2014 winner of the Tour de France!

book

If you are in to art, cycling and/or the Tour de France you might like this crowd funding project. For a $25 pledge plus $22 (shipping to Canada) you would get a copy of the 192 page book full of beautiful & original 2014 Tour de France cycling art (signed by the artist). I purchased a painting from Greig called “A Hard Climb’s Reward” as a gift for my hubby a while back. Greig Leach’s cycling art is awesome! I think this would make a great coffee table book for any home or bike shop!

BUT THERE’S MORE…For a $500 pledge you can get a copy of the booked signed by the winner of the Tour de France 2014 (5 available)! When I read this I wondered how Greig could be so sure that the winner would sign 5 copies of his book so I sent him a quick note on Facebook. (where I first read about the project). Here’s what he said…

“My editor is very connected to the peloton, knows many of the riders personally. She has interviewed all of the major contenders and lives in the Cote d’Azur region of France where most make their homes.” and then also replied with “I wouldn’t offer something that couldn’t happen, it is important to be a man of my word.”  ~ Greig Leach

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour

Two countries…too hot!

Left yesterday morning for a spur of the moment getaway to the Rossmount Inn in beautiful St. Andrews-by-the-sea, New Brunswick. Arrived at the Rossmount mid-morning, changed in to our cycling clothes and hit the road. Our cycling route took us to St. Stephen, New Brunswick (a.k.a. Chocolate town) and then across the Milltown border crossing in to Calais, Maine. The U.S. part of our tour was brief…we re-entered N.B. at the St. Stephen border approx. 20 minutes later (and that included a very quick cheeseburger and bottle of water at McDonalds). I know…I know… McDonalds? We wanted something quick & cheap just to hold us over until our gourmet meal that evening.

Arrived back at the Inn after a very hot (30 degrees celcius/ 86 degrees fahrenheit) & hilly 65 kilometre ride. A quick shower and we were relaxing in the shade of the veranda with a cold beer!

Since we made our reservation last minute, the dining room could only seat us at 9 p.m. The meal did not disappoint and was worth the wait! Salad and appetizers were perfect. For the entrees I chose the duck and Rob chose the cod…both wonderful! We finished our bottle of Pinot Noir out on the veranda and, not long after, sleep was not hard to find!

I miss the Main Street protected bike lane!

It’s almost Canada Day. The Marigolds on Main are in full bloom but there’s no sign of the Main Street protected bike lane {sad face}. The City of Saint John has been great to install the barriers and bike signals for the last three summers but, alas, it looks like they won’t be doing it this year. Does anyone out there know why?

Does your city install temporary protected bike lanes each year? If not… do you wish they did? Here’s a great article I stumbled on called “‘READY, FIRE, AIM’: HOW TO MAKE A GREAT PROTECTED BIKE LANE PILOT PROJECT”

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Yup, that’s me (in 2013)… using the Main Street dedicated bike lane. Probably heading home after a great brunch at at the Queen’s Square Farmers Market!

 

East of Ordinary

I wanted to share with you this wonderful video called “An East of Ordinary Summer in New Brunswick” done by Saint John firm T4G Limited and featuring the music of David Myles. I love cycling along of the coast and was thrilled to see that cycling made it into the 60 second video (watch for it at 0:17). Seeing our province and city through someone else’s lens is always eye opening!

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