Big Tires

Revel upgraded to Maxxis Hookworm 2.5″ tires. Took the bike out for a ride in wet grass and dirt. Came home covered in dirt. I’ll need fenders.

Found a front fender which didn’t fit a 2″ tire but which fit the 2.5″ tire just fine. Now I need to buy a fender set to add a rear fender for the winter. I will be running Ice Spikers 2.35″ tires. They throw up a lot of debris onto the front derailleur shifter which is installed right beside the rear tire. Without fenders the shifter will quickly get plugged up with dirt and ice. This year I bought a second set of wheels to permanently mount winter tires on.

The tire on the left is a 2.1″ Ice Spiker with 304 studs. The tire on the right is a 2.35″ Ice Spiker with 361 studs. Last winter I didn’t have a very good front tire to use the ktrak with. Hoping this will help if I put the ktrak on the backwheel. For now I’ll run the two tires and see if they handle deep snow any better.

Spent two hours installing Ice Spikers on my Bicycle Snowplow. This photo shows it with tire chains. Another half hour installing the plow towbar. All ready!

Added dual headlights for night biking. Very bright.

This five foot plow is as long as the bicycle. Tows very nicely.


Smokey says good-bye

Smokey was a grey kitten, the only grey one among Blackie’s  many litters of kittens. So when the family moved, we took Smokey with us.

People said, you’ll lose that cat. Every morning Smokey would climb up the tent and dig his claws in. He was there every morning meowing after wandering around many different campgrounds across the country each night.

One summer day on the new property, I saw Smokey outside and went to pet him. He purred then proceeded to walk through the tall grass. I followed him into our 10 acre field.

He took me on a slow, meandering walk. I would stoop down to pet him when he stopped and looked up. Then he lead me back to the house and after one last petting we went our own separate ways. Smokey had taken me for a walk and in sharing that walk we were also sharing love. He seemed so proud of this accomplishment. I was proud of him too.

Smokey went missing for a week. One night I saw Smokey’s face very clearly in my sleep and knew he was gone.

A week later dad announced Smokey had eaten poisoned food one of the farmers had left to kill off pests in the neighbourhood. Smokey’s death was no shock to me. We had already said our goodbyes.

We may have difficulty talking to animals but our love for them is not something that’s difficult to show.

Turning a mountain bike into a heavy hauler

Add a low rider front rack and panniers.

Add a rear rack and bag with panniers.

Add a Burley Travoy trailer (60lb capacity)

This is the top view of the trailer rear rack adapter and hitch.

Side view of rear rack hitch adapter

Took the rig up some steep hills. About 20 lbs in the front panniers. A few more pounds in the rear rack. Trailer was almost empty. Climbed 15-18% hills. No problem.

Nice view of Confluence Park switchbacks.

How to fix broken waterbottle mount

Eventually water bottle mount threads go. If you’re lucky as me, the whole nut inside the frame will turn and then the flange on the outside of the tube will break off.

Crazy glue the threaded end into the tube. Clamp vise grips on the head of the screw to hold on to it while cutting.

Take a hacksaw and carefully cut off the head off the screw. Find a fibre locknut that will fit and screw it on carefully. Threads may be damaged so gradually turn the nut back and forth lightly with fingers until it screws on.

Find a metal water bottle holder that has a thin base so the nut will screw in far enough.

Use a nut driver and cautiously tighten the nut, careful not to break the crazy glued end loose.

Done! Never remove it again!


As long as I remember

As long as I remember, waves have been crashing down
Something in the solace, a muse upon the shore
Ripples race upon my feet, amid sounds of hushing waves
Draws the heart to listen to life’s constant surging rhymes

How and why I travel, or frolic in the sun?
Waves seep through rock and sand, like birds that know the wind
Man has neither gills nor wings, for doubt has seized his heart
Something speaks in the breaking waves that draws us up above

A traveller brings the boat ashore, a burly hand upon my back
Your anchors are of no use, for you cannot hold love back
Listen to the sounds within, for love is a living source
The way is the guide and you, foretold by the wailing wind

We rise upon the waves, like freedom rising in the sky
We ride the waves of reverence, the traveller steers the only course
We hear a joyful sound, from very long ago
The song of life is infinite and plays in our waking dreams

As I look upon Soul’s journey, its like I’ve always been
Churning waves of mystery, like a child longing for the sun
All the ages passing, like dreams that rise upon my dreams
Yet now Soul has awakened, in the moment the journey has begun

The Simplest Question

Do we know what lies within the heart?
What makes us weep and thrill with joy?
What lies outside and within all things?
Or how to arrive at love?

Love can humble the hardest man
Like a heart broken child needing love
A musician can write a note
Both are incomplete in time

When love ignites the heart
Sees the journey from start to end
Hears the notes now complete
We are witnessing eternity within ourselves

The 19 minute 9 second Race

A Time Trial is a bicycle race of 10 or 20Km where you pedal as fast as possible. Instead, I chose to gradually improve fitness this year and just ease into training.

There was no one in my age category to race with. I could easily win by default for just signing up and then racing the final competition in August.

That night I went to bed wearing gold and silver medals won during my last race 2 years ago where I rode against the clock without a speedometer. That race was a race to manage one’s speed and arrive back at a predicted time. The medals I wore to bed were comforting. This race would be my first Time Trial riding at maximum speed with a speedometer.

The race was only a few days away. There was no time to train and make any fitness gains. I decided to rest up a lot instead, forcing myself to remain in bed and rest even though this was difficult. I didn’t feel like resting after all the extra sleep I had lately.

The rain stayed away but it was very wind. The route was over rolling hills.

As the group left the arena and cycled leisurely to the start line a few kilometres away, I noticed that no one was doing a warm up.

I dropped down into my lowest gear and started pedalling fast to warm up. We climbed a hill and I eased into a higher gear and pedalled easily to the start line.

The 20Km cyclists lined up ahead of me. I was the first 10Km rider. Every 30 seconds the front cyclist in the line would race off. Finally it came my turn. The jitters faded away and I was given the signal to race.

Within a half km I was into my deep breathing routine and pedalling at an effort I felt I could sustain. Within about 1 km I sped by the first cyclist like he was standing still.

A short time later, passed another. Then even more slowly passed a 3rd racer. At the 10Km turn around I was only a short distance from passing a 4th cyclist. I had gained almost 2 minutes on the racers ahead of me.

The return trip had me passing another 10 racers. People were cheering me on, apparently quite pleased with my speed.

The last few kilometres up hill into the wind was tough. The pace I sustained seemed easy at first but as the hill and wind worked against me, the effort increased. I was struggling to maintain my best effort.

I passed the finish line marker and pedalled slowly back to the arena where I discovered that I was the first one back. This felt very unusual.

My speed was 31.6kph average. Tom said I rode a very smart and good race.

The time keeper said that having ridden a heavy bike and having turned in such a low time meant I had cycling skills. I was surprised by her comment. I have been told before I had talent but was never quite sure what to do with it.

I was surprised too that I had turned in such a low time. Gold medal. 1st place.

I had raced myself and turned in my best time ever. Sometimes all that keeps us from success is getting out of our own way, put aside the nervousness and doubts, and just do your best.

Dangerous lack of snow clearing by Calgary Roads Dept

Airport Trail pathway has already been plowed this morning yet 96 Ave NE pathway past the Blue Ring is still knee to waist deep in snow.

I’ve been told that Calgary Roads Dept clears 96 Ave. The plow trucks also blast snow off the road and onto the freshly plowed pathway (even after the pathway is infrequently plowed).

Parks frequently clears Airport Trail (its a developing park area in progress so I’m told).

The City of Calgary has mandated dangerous conditions for people crossing the two 96 ave bridges in the winter time through a lack of plowing of the pedestrian overpasses in a reasonable time after snowfalls.

96 Ave is a divided 6 lane 60kph road which often has speeders going 100kph on it. The wide median is knee deep in snow which makes it impossible to get onto the eastbound lanes when cycling.

The pathway to the pedestrian crossing is buried in even deeper mounds of snow from road plows which prevents using the pedestrian crossing at all.

The only option is for pedestrians and cyclists to risk their lives getting across the bridge by cycling and walking in traffic, sometimes on the wrong side of the road.

The City of Calgary had no problem wasting $471,000 on the ugly Blue Ring but hasn’t provided sufficient finding or effort to plow the pedestrian overpasses or to allow snow angels to plow them.

The abandoned pedestrian overpasses and pathway is impossible to use unless plowed.

The city planned and installed a steep switchback pathway into Harvest Hills. This also is infrequently plowed, causing black ice to build up underneath the snow. When snow angels keep the pathway cleared of snow and ice, the usual response is that this is more dangerous than letting it ice up. There are a lot of dog walkers and handicap people who use the switchback daily.

The city doesn’t want snow angels to clear the pathway overpasses either. In effect, the City of Calgary has made laws to ensure that lives are put at risk. So when people are injured crossing in traffic because the city won’t permit any safe option, they should be on the hook for all liability and injury claims caused by mismanagement and the elimination of using a reasonable amount of common sense.