Sunday, 6 May 2018

On a late start

Well, it has been a slow start to the year's biking partly induced by nasty weather here in Montreal. We had freezing rain a few weeks ago and call me a wimp, but I am not start biking on a day when freezing rain is in evidence.

Then I dropped my iPhone on the second biggest toe of my right foot causing a significant and surprising amount of damage and pain. As in |"I will probably lose the toenail and I may or may not have fractured the last bone." It was painful enough a day later that I sought a medical consult which suggested the treatment I suspected: apply Polysporin and wrap the toe in a bandage. While this was not a tremendous upset, it was enough to delay the start of biking to work by a week or so.

On the plus side, earlier this week, a co-worker pointed out a Vélo-Québec intiative of a month-long Vélo-Boulet (translation "Bike-to-work") website where you post how many kms you rode per day and why. So far it has been 15 kms to work. Slow start.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

On a couple of moose news items

Well, this is my first blog post of the year. It has been a cold and snowy winter so far, so no biking to report. I do have a couple of moose related news items that I have been wanting to share. The first comes from Newfoundland by way of the BBC. Good show there. The next is about a moose being released into the wild after being looked after by humans here in Quebec.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

On good and bad news relating to my trip to the Yukon

I fibbed a bit in the first version of this entry about my trip to the Yukon. At Margo's request on behalf of Louise, I had left out my guessing that Louise is pregnant. At that point, it was still early days and Louise, for all her virtues and abilities is something of a worrier. Being a worrier myself, I can very easily relate to her anxiety. If I remember correctly, the baby is due in January, which of course is a fine month to be born in.  As Louise's status is now been released to general public, I have updated the entry.  I wish her and Thomas all the best.
The bad news is I got an email from Margo today saying that David, Karen's husband, has died. He was the one I went on a short hike near Whitehorse with. Apparently, he was hiking in Scotland and suffered a heart attack on the West Highland Way. While he was no spring chicken, he was full of life when I met him barely two months ago. He will be mourned and missed by many.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

On recent biking related articles in the news

Well, first off, it seems that Montreal bike cops have just proven their chops with the arrest of a drug dealer who was on the American most wanted list.  This not only garnered them kudos from local media, but also the BBC. *

 The BBC also had an interesting article about the relative suitability of biking clothes as regards MAMILs and their ilk. I am afraid it kind of misses the point at one level, namely the posterior level. Assuming you are doing more cycling than puttering around town, going on longer rides will be much more pleasant with proper bike shorts. Not necessarily tight lycra, but something appropriate. Also, it delves into European bike commuters in contrast to British MAMILs which fails to recognise the fact that Europe has a great many MAMILs of its own. It is simply that they make up a lesser percentage of the overall cycling population.
 
* I don't bother with American news sources, but they have likely covered it. Part of me wants to look at Fox News coverage to see what umbrage about the Northern hippy cops they can extract. It is a small and ignorable part.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

On a wake-up surprise

Having gone to bed around 10, I got up around 7:15 Maritime time, 6:15 Quebec time. The car attendant was up and about so I asked him where we were vis à vis the schedule. We were only a half hour late, and just about pull into Ste-Foy, i.e. Quebec City. Somehow, I didn't twig to the full implications of this. Anyway, I went back to the Park car to get coffee and a better view. As I sat down, I wondered idly about that big bridge we were headed for. Then the penny dropped: We would be stopping in Ste-Foy which is on the North Shore of the St-Lawrence, not Lévis on the South Shore. This meant the train was going to cross the Pont de Québec, still the World's longest cantilever bridge after about a hundred years! And it did it with me in the dome. Unfortunately, it had been raining so there was water on the windows so the photos weren't very good.

Friday, 11 August 2017

On yesterday and today

I left the "Pedaler's Retreat B&B" a bit later than desired as I fell into a conversation with one of our hosts and a fellow guest (an man of about 60). He was from Washington, D.C. I gathered he was sort of in the market to acquire a cottage or land for a cottage on the coast. I commented that I had seen a sign in German advertising real estate services. He mock grumbled that Europeans shouldn't be buying up Nova Scotian waterfront. They should leave it for Americans to buy! He also grumbled about he wished he had a shotgun to deal with the horseflies. I refrained from pointing out that the second amendment to the American Constitution didn't apply to Canada.

As expected, the day was sunny and warm, bordering on hot with a wind that was contrary. I was faced with somewhat contradictory information about the distance to Dartmouth owing to the size of Dartmouth (it isn't a point target) and the fact there was two routes. I managed to navigate being me. I found the day particularly hot and dry. Strangely, I don't recall a "Welcome to Dartmouth" sign, unlike the countless such signs in evidence for the many Nova Scotian hamlets I passed through.

I arrived at Johana's house a bit earlier than expected. There was a note on the door saying she was out getting milk but that I should go in the back. I manoeuvred the bike into the backyard, lent it against the deck and went in. It was very nice and cool inside. I was pondering which chair I could sit in given my sweaty state, when Johana arrived.

 Johana is an old family friend of my parents. She bid me make myself at the home. I showered and put a load in the laundry. We chatted until the load was done. I hung it out to dry then headed upstairs for a toes-up.

Half an hour later, the phone rang. It was Philip seeking to confirm and coordinate supper. This was agreed as sushi which is a favourite of Dominique and company. Johana drove the two of us to the restaurant where Philip and the others were waiting. I let Philip and Dominique do the ordering. I think we had a merry time. As previously blogged, by the time I got backed to Johana's, I was too tired to blog.

 My sleep was odd. I woke up a couple of times thinking that I had a ferry to catch and another time woke up unsure where I was. The latter is a consequence of sleeping in a number of beds in the last three weeks.

I had breakfast with Johana who started to apologize that she didn't have a bike rack so she couldn't drive me to the station. I happily said it was nothing as I thought it would easier for me to bike it than to wrestle the bike into a car. Given that it was a bright sunny morning, it would also be more fun for me.

So after bidding my adieus, I rolled down to the ferry terminal. I took a ferry across Halifax Harbour. It was a shade early for the waterfront, so it wasn't packed. I moseyed along to the train station. I was waiting in line to pay for the bike when Philip and Family arrived.

In due course, we boarded and, once the train left, had lunch. I think Via Rail has redone the dining cars on the Ocean since my last ride as it seemed more genteel than before. Via Rail has added a stainless-steel Park car, formerly used on the Canadian. Owning to the difference between the couplings of the Renaissance cars and the Park car ("Tremblant Park" btw) there a special transition car which is largely empty aside from some equipment lockers and a display of flags of Canada, the Atlantic Provinces, Quebec and Acadia. I feel Via Rail could put the space to better use, such as a play area for toddlers.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

On my current status

I have safely arrived in Halifax, but I have too much sun and sushi today to care to write more. (Oh, the hardship. ;-) )