Airport Trail Pathway Condition

Have not ever seen Airport Trail left in such a mess after plowing. We had a winter cycling congress in Calgary at the beginning of February but in no way does it guarantee pathway plowing is improving. This is much worse and downright dangerous. As some people dig in their heels to improve winter cycling, others dig in their heels to do half a job.

Very dangerous to bike across here and almost impossible to do! Persevere!!

Was this even plowed?

This is on 96 ave near the Blue Ring.

Even sidewalks aren’t plowed because construction workers are parking on the sidewalk. But the grass is plowed🙈.

Fatbike required! Always wear a helmet when walking through badly plowed pathways and sidewalks says no one. Looks like you will need it here! Danger of avalanche?

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Nobody rides a bicycle in the winter: Councillor Sean Chu (Calgary)… despite the fact many do!

Construction closure at Coventry Lake Pathway
Harvest Hills Lake Pathway is being plowed this year. 👍🏻
Spectacular morning!
Pathway plowing ends here. School property ahead.
That’s not fog.
The snow is colder than the air and cools the air right next to the ground.
Here is a better photo showing the air flowing uphill and cooling into ice fog.
Does somebody have a bicycle snowplow here? Nice little walking path around the side of the lake.

The lock is to hold my pants up. 🤪 Just kidding. This is a convenient way to carry a Kryptonite bike lock and chain if your waist size is 34-36″. -25C feels a lot warmer on a bicycle. Nicely plowed pathway at the Giant Blue Ring dripping with icicles. All smiles.😁

Most bike fenders are too short

If you look at most bike fenders you will notice the bottom of the fender is at axle height. This ensures lots of mud and water will be thrown up.

On this particular bike, the fender brace screws are of soft metal and strip out when trying to remove them. Sometimes removing them is more trouble than it’s worth.

A second option is a downtube fender. Easily made from corrugated plastic sheets, you cut to size and poke a couple of holes through it on both sides of the downtube and secure with zip ties. Then paint to match the bike.

I made the downtube fender wide enough to cover the front of the crank, chain and chain guard to keep the chain clean. The short front fenders throw a lot of debris into the crank area. This will keep that rust prone area clean.

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For most bicycles, front fenders are too short!

Bontrager front fenders which I use on a couple of bikes are far too short. As a result, the front tires through up lots of crud onto the chain and crank area which leads to problems like poor shifting due to grit getting on the shift cables and front derailleurs. Here’s a fix.

You’ll need 3 sets of fenders to do 2 bikes. The Bontrager fenders have screws on the bottom of the front fenders which can be removed. Remove the rubber mud guard and screws on the fender you want to lengthen. If you cut the spare fender just above the two holes and below the fender bracket, you can insert that cut piece on the inside of the mounted fender and screw it on. For a second bike, cut the remaining fender to length and drill 2 holes to mount it on a second bike where you also removed the rubber mud guard at the bottom of the fender. it should look like this.

Boar 350 electric fatbike USB issue

The Boar has a USB port to plug in electronics or run lights off. However, the frame is too close to the ports to plug anything in unless the battery is removed. The typical USB connector plugs are too long to make it possible to connect or disconnect cables, including the battery charger.

The solution is to get a right angled USB cable set. This allows phones with mapping software to be mounted on the handlebar and to charge directly off the bike’s battery. Since many phones have to be set to the highest brightness level to read the displays in daylight, it means that the phone’s batteries go dead quickly.

For long night rides you could run a USB light off the main battery as well. Many lights run dead in about 90 minutes on full brightness. You will need to check if the lights will operate while charging. Some won’t and some will not allow the lights to be mounted with a charging cable plugged in so you may have to shop around for one that works.

The Bicycle Repairman

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=54CpPlCnM4I

Unlike the Monty Python video, my first need for a bicycle repairman was a broken green tricycle. It may have become broken after my dad stomped on it after I took a dare and rode it down a very steep hill toward the village when I was only a few years old. Or perhaps I broke it. I don’t remember how it became broken but it would make sense he might not like me doing that again even though I had almost reached the bottom of the hill when it tipped over. Tricycles are like that when there is too much weight on the front wheel going down a steep hill.

Mom couldn’t understand how I managed getting that far but it may have had something to do with the neighbour’s terrifying dog at the first half mile of the trip which kept me from heading back home after my brother dared me. My butt still hurts from the wallop I got. Maybe that’s why I still rebel against popular opinion of bicycles being toys and had to do a few hundred mile rides as an adult?

For a long time I wished dad would fix it but it never happened. There were bent spokes on the front wheel which rendered it useless. Every day I walked past it I was reminded how much I wanted it fixed, but it never happened.

So when I found this in the park… the regular super hero in the laundromat turned into the bicycle repairman (not as glamorous as Monty Python’s repairman though.)

The chain was rusted solidly in place. I had kept old chains in the house for making fatbike tire chains but I could put a slightly worn one on the bike! Ta dah!

It took a little longer than expected. I had to hammer the crank straight and remove the bend that was causing it to hit the frame. Same thing happened to the family’s first bicycle from all us kids dropping it on the same side all the time until the pedal arm cut halfway into the frame.

My wife wondered what the hell I was up to. I couldn’t tell her I had a secret identity as the bicycle repairman. Could I?

All those years of dad showing me how to maintain my own first bicycle kicked in. I wished that the parent of this kid’s bike had shown him how to fix the chain easily with a chain breaker. I rode my old childhood cast iron cruiser from Tappen BC into Salmon Arm after rebuilding a wheel with scavenged spokes from my sister’s bike. It was a miracle that I managed to get the wheel straight and round again from following directions in a library book. If you’ve ever driven over that steep hill you will be impressed that I could even cycle it as a teenager.

After a few days the BMX vanished. I hoped the owner had taken it home, finding it rideable once more.

Ice Spiker tires are the best

Took the Revel out for a ride in deep snow. The tires had great traction. Snowfall depth was about 9″. There were deeper sections of drifts. I was surprised to be climbing hills at maximum traction. Occasionally the rear tire would slip and then regain traction. Felt very comfortable ride because at no time did the tire totally lose traction. It was more effort going through deep snow. Even had to cross over frozen piles plowed against curbs.

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.