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

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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

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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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enthusiast versus aficionado

en·thu·si·ast     enˈTHo͞ozēˌast/

Definition: a person who is highly interested in a particular activity or subject.


 a·fi·ci·o·na·do   əˌfiSH(ē)əˈnädō,əˌfisyə-/

Definition: a person who is very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about an activity, subject, or pastime.


I’ve always called myself a cycling enthusiast but for some reason I recently used the word aficionado. I love linguistics and always try to use “big words” correctly so I started to question which word describes me best.  I love my bicycle but I don’t know how much it weighs or what type of derailleur it has. I love that it’s comfortable, goes fast, is a pretty colour purple and I like to ride it a lot. Based on that alone, I would say I’m currently an enthusiast. I could become an aficionado but the “nuts & bolts” of cycling really don’t interest me. Besides, I know a few cycling aficionados and it seems it’s often a slippery slope to the next stop… “zealot”


zeal·ot    ˈzelət/

Definition: a person who is fanatical and uncompromising in pursuit of their religious, political, or other ideals.

Coconut oil for your lady parts

I stumbled on to this great article on 76 uses for coconut oil. I must admit I’m a huge fan of the stuff and came up with several right off the top of my head including getting rid of head lice and blending with coffee but the one that really jumped to mind today was rubbing it on your lady bits (#55 on the list) before heading out for a long ride. I forgot to do that yesterday and I was hardly out of the neighbourhood when I was starting to regret forgetting that part of my pre cycling ritual…lubricate my parts! I’m happy to report that I’m no worse for wear but I will remember today!

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First Ride of 2014

Got a break from the freezing temps. The sun came out and dried the roads enough for us to get out for a short ride. I was dying to try out my new Garmin Edge 200 that “Santa” brought me. I’m very excited to have better stats and my own cool route maps. (I’ve used my hubby’s maps in the past).  11 km down….2,989 km to go!

Giant Night

Giant night, roly night!
All is calm, all is bright.
Round yon cyclist, women with smile
Holy chick so slender and riled,
Ride in safety and peace,
Ride in safety and peace

Giant night, roly night!
Cannodales quake at the sight.
Glorious streamers from ha-an-dle bars fly
Heavenly buns sing Alleluia,
A Giant fanatic is born!
A Giant fanatic is born!

Giant night, roly night!
Gift of God. You’re sure light.
Environmentally green you help set the pace
At early dawn or in evening you race,
You help me reduce my girth!
You help me reduce my girth!

Not exactly what I was looking for but click here to see the “Giant” bicycle Christmas tree.

O Cannondale

This version of “O Christmas Tree” courtesy of my friend Shelley Wood. Not sure if she can take credit for the lyrics. If anyone knows the origin let me know…

NOTE: Stay tuned for the rebuttal… my own personal version of “Silent Night” 

O Cannondale, O Cannondale!
Your carbon frame is gleaming!
O Cannondale, O Cannondale,
Those new Ultegra parts are beaming!

We’ll ride outside when summer’s near,
Just need the cold to disappear!
O Cannondale, O Cannondale!
One hundred days ‘til spring time!

O Cannondale, O Cannondale,
Much pleasure do you bring me!
O Cannondale, O Cannondale,
Our indoor trainer time completes me!

Twelve hundred bucks to drop three pounds,
My love for you clearly abounds
O Cannondale, O Cannondale 
One hundred days ‘til spring time!

Bright lights, red tape, a red tire too
Festive bling for fat cat to chew …
O Cannondale, O Cannondale!
Best two-wheeled tree in history!

Photo courtesy of Shelley Wood

 

Drum roll please….

My final tally for 2013 is 3000 km. Winter weather is settling in with sub zero temps becoming the norm. Time to put away the bikes and take out the Christmas decorations.

I’ve decided to take it easy for the rest of the year and start training at my local Crossfit gym starting on January 1st. That will give me three good months of conditioning before next cycling season gets in to full swing. See ya’ next year…

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the music that moves me

The forecast looked promising for today but turned out to be full of empty promises. The sun never really made an appearance other than for a brief moment. When the temps drop, even with several layers: balaclava, full finger gloves and shoe covers… the cold bites…literally and figuratively! 

Despite the weather, we persevered. It was a milestone day with hubby reaching 3,000 km. While trying to distract myself from my numb fingers I got to thinking about songs that would be appropriate for the circumstance. The route is beautiful along the winding Kennebecasis River and the song “Just Around The Riverbend” from Pocahontas came to mind but the one that really stuck in my mind was Barney’s “Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun please shine down on me”. Sadly, begging for sun didn’t work!

Link to JUST AROUND THE RIVERBEND from Pocahontas

Barney’s MISTER SUN songImage

GoPro handlebar mount review

We installed the new GoPro handlebar mount on my hubby’s bike close to the handlebar stem. The basic mount would have the camera pointed to the side but comes with two additional pivot arms to get the camera facing in the direction you want.

With the camera mounted on the pivot arm the camera sits quite high. This is good because it helps get pics/video without the brake cables taking over the shot but bad because the greater the distance between the camera and the bike the greater the chance of vibration. Thankfully vibration wasn’t really an issue for me today because I was testing out the time lapse mode.

Overall impression: this mount is a much better design that the cheap one I purchased on ebay. It stays in place fairly well. The angle of the camera did have to be adjusted a few times as the joints will move slightly when the bike is subjected to major bumps or vibration. This is fine when the camera is mounted in the front but would be an issue if you had it mounted on your seat post facing backwards since you’d really have no way of knowing if the camera angle needed adjusting.

I’m pleased with the results of today’s shooting. I got some great shots. I put together a video called 60 km in 142 seconds. Check it out here

or click on photo collage below

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New bicycle handlebar mount – Testing tomorrow

Some of you may have read the review of a knock off handlebar mount that I purchased on ebay which failed on the second use. If not, you can find that post here. Hubby did repair the ebay mount but we quickly realized it doesn’t fit our new road bikes. 

The fall leaves are beautiful and I’m dying to take some still photos on our ride tomorrow . I find the chest mount a little cumbersome on the bike so I splurged on a genuine GoPro handlebar mount. The package is labelled Handlebar/Seatpost/Pole Mount.  Stay tuned for a review of how it worked for us

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The Inside Ride in support of kids with cancer

Cancer is a subject that is near and dear to my heart! My husband is a Leukemia survivor!

That is why I’m doing the Inside Ride this Saturday. It’s a fantastic high energy fundraising event that is memorable and meaningful.

One in every 330 kids gets cancer in Canada. 100% of the receipted donations from this event help childhood cancer charities and the 10,000 kids living with cancer across Canada.

Just $5 or $10 would make a huge difference! Please sponsor me!

You can help us make a meaningful difference for kids with cancer. Please make a secured online tax receiptable donation now using PayPal or your credit card at the link below:

SPONSOR ME HERE

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In or out?

A local trail shop posted a short video on their Facebook page recently which really made an impression on me! It’s a video/advertisement created by Merrel which contrasts climbing a real mountain with simulating a climb on a stair master. The video is well done and really make me wonder why anyone would chose to workout inside when they could be outside communing with nature. I realize that going outside has it’s challenges i.e. inclement weather, a greater element of risk (think cycling in traffic versus spin class), sun exposure, bugs… but I gladly put up with all that to ride by sparking rivers/lakes/oceans, majestic trees and breathtaking views.

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Every ride is a new personal best

My previous best total mileage in 1 year was 2,055 km (2012). Today I’m at 2,221 km and the fall is blessing up with some gorgeous cycling weather. If the sun and nice temps hold up we should reach or even surpass our new goal of 2,500.

It’s a great feeling to realize, after each bike ride, that the odometer is registering a new personal best. We’re certainly going to have our work cut out for us next year is we want to keep achieving more.

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New Stretch Goal…2,500 km

It’s only the second week of September and we’ve already surpassed the mileage goal we had set for ourselves.  Until recently, I wasn’t sure if I was ready for a stretch goal but I’ve come to realize that a goal should be difficult to reach. Despite the fact that the weather is getting cooler and it’s getting dark earlier, we should be able to get lots of great cycling in this fall so bring it on!

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5 Ferries and a Covered Bridge

115.09 km cycled today. A new personal record and enough to blow away our goal of 2,000 km for the year. New YTD total 2087.7 km. and lots of great cycling weather yet to come.

Map of route taken today and highlights along the way.

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The goal is in sight!

Hubby’s employer is having a family picnic tomorrow complete with barbecue and bouncy castles. Our kids are too old for such nonsense so we’ve decide that it’s a perfect opportunity to best our previous cycling record. The ride is 110 km return (if we survive it). The wind is not reported to be in our favour…. 30 km per hour with gust to 50 km per hour. Ouch!

The ride includes our usual Saturday stopover at the Kingston Farmer’s Market for breakfast. Kingston is at the 30 km mark so breakfast will be extra sweet tomorrow as I will have passed the 2,000 km mark for the year.

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Too sore to cycle!

If you’ve been following our progress towards our goal of 2,000 km, you might have noticed that my odometer reading hasn’t changed in a few days. This is sad because we are so close.

Towards the middle of last week we started “tapering” in preparation for climbing Mt. Katahdin, Baxter State Park, Maine on Saturday August 24th. We wanted to have fresh legs. The climb was amazing. The weather was perfect. Since the climb we’ve been suffering from severe DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) in our thighs and calves. Makes it very difficult to navigate stairs let alone ride a bike.

It’s Wednesday and the legs are feeling much stronger. The weather forecast is really shaping up for the weekend. Will we reach 2,000 km by Labour Day? Stay tuned to find out…

If you are interested in seeing a 3:40 video I put together of our climb up Katahdin CLICK ON THE PHOTO BELOW.

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