I know the year’s not over yet, but 2017 has been a good year for me. I started slowly, since I was recovering from a concussion, but my mileage (kilmeterage?) slowly increased as the year went on. I thought I’d post some of my favourite photos from the year:
I was recently asked about the difference between different bicycles and what each type of bike is best suited for. When I thought about these questions, I considered my own selection of bicycles and the specific purpose of each bike that I ride. I also thought about the question: If I only had one bicycle, what would it be?
Most cyclists I know use Strava to track their cycling activities. Prior to joining Strava in 2012, I kept a record of all my rides in a spreadsheet (dating back as far as 2002!), so when I found out about Strava, I bought a GPS and had it do the work for me. I’m a numbers guy so I like keeping track of my rides, distance and progress each month and year. With the popularity of Strava in recent years, third-party companies have jumped on board with additional features that make use of Strava data.
We’re now well into fall and winter is starting to arrive. For many, this means setting up the trainer or signing up for a spin class and riding indoors. For others (like me), it means getting out the warm clothing layers and getting out on the gravel roads!
First, a bit of history: I started cycling in the 1990s as a mountain biker (discounting rides around the neighbourhood as a kid). I used to ride once a week in Dundas Valley before mountain biking was popular. When I joined the Waterloo Cycling Club in 2002, I bought a used road bike and joined the group rides, although my passion was still on the trails. Continue reading
I’ve always thought that weather is perfect when we’re not talking about it. It’s easy to say it’s too cold or too hot or too humid or too windy or too wet to go for a bike ride. 2017 has been an interesting year, weather-wise. Summer was probably “average, in terms of temperature and rainfall, but it seemed like we didn’t have the heatwave that we normally get, and it seemed to rain every few days.
When I write these blog entries, I usually assume that I’m preaching to the choir. Most readers are likely people who actively ride bicycles. And that’s great! When I started this blog, my hope was to encourage more people to cycle but also to get cyclists to cycle more. Whether or not that’s happening, I can’t say, but I’m always interested in discovering what motivates people to get on a bike.
2017 marks the third year that I’ve signed up for the Share the Road ride (Greg’s Ride). Each year in September SharetheRoad.ca organizes a charity ride to raise money to support their cause. I have previously blogged about the history of Share the Road here. Founder Eleanor McMahon has created an amazing program to support cycling awareness and infrastructure across Ontario.
When I first took interested in bikepacking, a Google search took me to a review of a bikepacking adventure by a guy named Miles Arbour. In 2016, he rode a system of trails and roads called the Central Ontario Loop Trail, or COLT. His article got me interested, and my brother Greg and I started to gear up in late 2016 in preparation for riding all or portions of the COLT in 2017.
I’ve been at my current day job for about six years, and when I started in 2011, the commute was a short 9-10 km distance that I didn’t cycle enough. I even had the luxury of secure bike storage, a shower, and the Grand River Trail. In March of this year, my employer moved to Guelph, and my commute jumped to about 22 km. Strangely, I’ve commuted by bike this year a lot more than in previous years when I had a shorter commute.