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Archive for the ‘Bicycling life’ Category

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Due to unseasonably warm weather, I decided to ride into work with shorts, and to commemorate the event, I took this selfie. Upon reflection, I’m posting it here since there is so much Fred in the picture.

… in other words, pretty much everything you see in the picture.

Some might argue that riding a folding bike to begin with is the epitome of Fred as well, but I won’t do that as it might get me in trouble with Brompton fans.

Update: I see that I posted more or less the same thing five years ago.

 

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This afternoon I had a little time on my hands so I took a somewhat circuitous route home, starting from the Lawrence subway station. I wouldn’t recommend this route as it had plenty of cycling along major streets with high speed arterial traffic, such as Bayview, York Mills, Wilson and Keele.

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However, if you look at my veloviewer map, you can see that this was another tile collecting run. Here is the before map on Veloviewer which shows a 6×10 rectangle.

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Afterwards, now up to 8 x 10.

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However I see that I didn’t plan my route carefully enough because there is one square not filled in on a potential ninth row.

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If I had just turned into that little Cul-de-sac, that would have done it.

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However, as a consolation, I got to see some truly fugly houses in that neck of the woods. This was my “favorite”.

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I’ll have to pick up that missing square at some point, but from now on I think that I’ll let my tile collecting happen organically.

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Today was a day packed with bike related activities.

First off was an early morning meet up of a few Toronto Brompton Owners. I don’t know whose idea it was to meet at 8 am on a Saturday, but here are a few of us at the foot of Spadina at Queens Quay.

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Of course, with any meeting of Brompton owners, there was the opportunity to admire how we had accessorized our bikes. I was particularly struck by the friction shifters on Tom’s number.

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We met up with Nathan at the foot of Yonge St, and as is the tradition, here is a picture of our machines in the kickstand position. Sorry about the crap lighting.

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A picture of the five of us at Polson Pier, taken by a bystander who didn’t fully appreciate the fact that you have to include the bikes in the frame.

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Obligatory repeat of picture with the bikes, taken by self timer.

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And off we go toward Cherry Beach.

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One very bad selfie, while everyone was distracted.

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At this point, I had to peel off the group as I had to rush back to Union Station to catch my next bike related appointment.

I took the GO train out to Rouge Park.

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Upon disembarking, I rode towards Rouge Beach along the Waterfront Trail. I came upon this ghost bike. If I recall correctly, this cyclist was killed by a train at a level crossing.

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I was riding out to Rouge Beach to meet up with James, who was a 10 year old who was riding from Whitby to Coney Island NY to raise funds for autism treatment. My story of riding with James and his dad and other supporters was posted today on the Dandyhorse Blog.

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My final activity of the day was an evening ride with the Hamilton Glowriders.

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It was am immense amount of fun, and as I have a bunch of photos and video to process, I’ll reserve that ride for a separate blog post.

All in all, a fun Saturday spent on the bike.

 

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One of my favourite things to do is to have a family bike ride to Toronto Island. It’s been a couple of years since we’ve done this, and we took advantage of the fact that the California branch of the family was in town to do this again. The first logistical problem that we faced was to get eight peoples’ worth of bikes downtown with one car. Here is what five bikes looks like with the six who will ride them. (you can’t see the Brompton that is tucked away in the van, and two will ride the tandem)

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(In addition, two of us rode down to the lake.)

And off we go to the ferry terminal.

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Just a reminder that at busy times, you should buy your ferry tickets online. Here we were in the left hand express lane, which we cleared in less than five minutes.

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Biking towards Centre Island from Hanlan’s Point.

DSC02995Well at least I’m all smiles.

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Compare this picture:

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to this one taken three years ago, the last time the daughters were on the island.

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The skyline from Algonquin Island.

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Over the bridge to Centreville.

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Our fleet parked at Centreville.

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On a crowded ferry at the end of a busy day.

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Three of us rode home through downtown. It was interesting to hear their perspective on the bike infrastructure. They were quite impressed, saying that it was much better than San Francisco. Of course, I led them through the very best of what we have downtown including sections of the Simcoe, Richmond and Bloor bike lanes.

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I hope everyone gets a chance to ride this long August weekend!

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Everything’s been pushed back this spring with the lingering cold. High Park sakura are probably not due for two weeks, unlike last year.

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So I’ve been collecting some more tiles with Veloviewer and it is definitely addictive. For example, this morning, my rides looked like this:

and you can see the annoying little gap in South Etobicoke. Thus, with a little more time on hand this afternoon, I took a somewhat circuitous route home.

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(normal route purple, this afternoon, blue).

Now my tiles look like this:

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and to add to the fun, I got to discover some new territory like this bridge.

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I’ve added a few rides from the last couple of years to my Strava account, and now if I zoom out on my personal heat map, the tiles look like this.

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Most of my riding is downtown, and some of the rides further afield are with TBN. You can clearly see one or two rides starting from Finch station going north that are not connected to downtown. Sadly, the longer rides that come from downtown are all ghost bike rides from the past year or two.

One more note: I’ve given up on the Strava phone app. Many people were reporting problems with iPhones not recording properly from about the middle of February. I’ve switched back to tracking rides with the Cyclemeter App, and then uploading to my free Strava account, which seems to work out fine. I’ll be tracking rides with my Garmin as well when I get back to doing those longer rides.

 

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When life gets a little stressful, I often find it therapeutic to set aside a little time to work on bikes. This afternoon, I took advantage of a break in the cold weather to do a little cleaning of the two bikes I have been riding this winter. I’m going to be overly optimistic in calling this a “mid winter thaw”, as it was a brutally cold couple of weeks from about Xmas up to a couple of weeks ago, and it’s not quite the end of January.

I put studded tires on the Haul a Day for the first time this winter, with a little assist from buddy Tim. You can see that it’s looking a little rough now.

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The chain looks especially bad, even though a quick wipe shows that it is not as rusted as it appears.

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My Norco doesn’t look nearly as bad, even though it is my regular winter ride.

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In particular, you can see that the stainless chain I put on it two seasons ago is doing well.

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Before I put a coat of Chain L on it,

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I wipe off some of the grime.

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You can see the strings of oil after application, while running the chain backwards.

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and here’s a video. This stuff is tenacious.

 

Back to the Haul a Day. Here it is after a little clean up. I also wanted to make sure that I cleaned up the rear disc brake caliper as I’ve gone through two avid units that have seized due to corrosion due to being on the rear of long tails where they are out of sight, out of mind. The rear caliper on the HaD was replaced this summer after about two years.

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The other odd thing about the HaD was that in the two weeks after I put on the studded tires, I got a flat on both the front and the rear on two separate days.

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The second flat was particularly bad as I was out and about, and it was bitterly cold. The picture above was the only one that I got since my hands were freezing, and my phone was almost dead from the cold.

There was a little chatter on the internet claiming that the 406 size of Schwalbe Winter Marathons can be prone to flats due to the studs coming through the inner surface of the tire. I don’t know why I got those flats. It could have been a combination of using very wide tubes, and inflating the tires to 45 psi (which is still below what I would use with the summer tires). ┬áJust in case, I decided to install some Mr Tuffy tire liners.

Here you can see that there is no evidence of the studs coming through the casing.

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Mr. Tuffy installed.

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The final touch was to replace the well worn seat cover that I got from Bike Law.

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I brought over the waxed canvas seat cover from the pink bike, made by Randi Jo Fabrications. It was the last of the Tarik Saleh editions.  The seat cover is great since it has a flap that protects the underside of the seat as well. (not necessary with fenders, but a nice touch nonetheless.)

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All set for the rest of winter. It’s not going to snow anymore is it?

 

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