Creative breakthroughs while riding

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

Riding in Cap-Pele NB

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!!

B.K. Ride

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..

 

Cycling with my Valentine!

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

(The circumference of the Earth in kilometers is 40,075 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/

missed my goal in 2018!

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…

Canada Day

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!

 

Charlotte County Ride

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.

  

 

New year…new goals!

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!

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 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!

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.”

n-GRAPE-NUTS-ICE-CREAM-628x314
Photo Source: Huffington Post Here’s Why You Need To Try Grape-Nuts Ice Cream, New England’s Best Kept Dessert

 

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.

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!

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.

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.

 

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