Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Thanks for the Feedback...

Thanks for all the well reasoned feedback on which direction to take this blog. The response was almost exactly 50/50 in support of keeping everything in one spot and having separate blogs for each topic. I can certainly appreciate the arguments in favour of both concepts. At first I was baffled as to how to proceed since there was no clear consensus, but then I realized it was possible to make everyone happy. I'll be splitting up each content stream into its own blog, but I will also publish all the posts on a unified blog. Blogger isn't setup to do this automatically, but the additional effort should not be major issue. I have a friend who is a heavy duty web developer so perhaps I'll end up with a custom site that will be able to provide multiple feeds in a more flexible way than blogger, but for now I'll keep using the blogger tools. You won't see any major changes overnight. I still need to ponder how to make things work the way I want them.

Momentum Long Tail Article

The Mar/Apr 08 issue of Momentum Magazine has an article about the rise of the long tail bike..=-) Since Momentum provides free PDFs of the whole magazine and posts the text of many articles to their website I figured they wouldn't mind if I posted an image of the article with photos on this blog.

I'd encourage you to check out Momentum on a regular basis. They seem to be one of the few bike magazines in touch with practical non-race oriented cycling. What a refreshing change from the mainstream cycling press.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Calgary Fast Foward Bike Article

....from Fast Forward - thanks to Sarah for spotting it.

Sometimes even Saturday is a Friday...

Calgary Herald Xtracycle Article

Juergen [Xtracycle Canada - eh!] turned me on to this article in the Calgary Herald. It is nice to see mainstream media giving some attention to cargo bikes.

Fixing the Fujin Fender

My Fujin's rear fender needed some love. I removed it completely as minor adjustments weren't working out. The forward mount had come loose and that allowed the tire to touch the wheel. I reattached the front mount, but I'm still not 100% satisfied with it. Due to the low clearance between the tire and the fender I can't secure it with a bolt. I reapplied copious amounts of electrical tape to keep the mount from sliding back and forth on the fender. If this doesn't hold for the rest of the season I'll pull the whole thing off and use some epoxy to bond the mount to the fender.

Although it was a fiddly job I'm glad I got it done and my Fujin is back in service. I'll give it a good test run this afternoon.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Sarah says...

..."...thank goodness it's Friday!..."

Ortlieb Velocity 5 Month Review

Hansel says..."....Ortlieb is sooo hot right now!..."...=-)

Read my initial impressions here.

I bought this backpack at Rarified back at the start of December 2007. I love Ortlieb products and although I probably didn't need a new backpack the shinny black waterproof goodness of this bag called to me...=-) 5 months later it has become my favourite backpack supplanting my old favourite a Camelback Transalp. Part of the reason the Velocity has become my go to backpack is that it is a very useful/comfortable design. I can carry several days or groceries in it by leaving the top open and over stuffing it. I can carry a 17" wide screen laptop in it with total confidence that rain or snow will not reach my computer. It is very durable so I don't baby it. It gets plunked down on a slushy sidewalk while I root through it for something I need. The other part of the equation is the Velocity looks a whole lot less grubby than my 6 year old heavily battle worn Transalp. I'm not trying to look like Derrick Zoolander everywhere I go, but us single cyclists have to at least pay a little attention to our appearance...=-)

Back view: love the ergonomic harness - I added the mobile phone pocket.

  • 100% waterproof
  • extremely durable fabric
  • ergonomic shoulder straps and waist belt carry moderate loads well
  • Comfortable foam padding on back - also allows for ventilation
  • Derrick Zoolander would approve the aesthetic even if he couldn't spell aesthetic!
  • removable organizer pocket good for small items
  • useful size without being too large
  • can carry a 17" wide screen laptop

Interior organizer pocket: great for key, camera, notebook, etc..

Although I do love Ortlieb products this bag is not perfect.
  • It lacks a tab on the back to mount a red blinkie.
  • It has virtually zero reflective material on it. Given it is stealth black to begin with visibility at night is an issue.
  • Like all Ortlieb products it is essentially a big waterproof bag. It does have a small removable interior organizer for small items - which I use a lot, but that only provides a limit amount of potential organization.
Ortlieb's Specs for the Velocity.

SNEWS Review of the Velocity.

Rarified Velocity sale.

Love the Fold!

What happens when the author of a SE Asian folding bike blog discovers the beauty of a Surly Long Haul Trucker? Tune into Love the Fold and find out. The pictures alone have me checking that my passport is valid!

Also have a look at this.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Future?

If you are a regular reader you'll have noticed some changes on the right side of the screen. I've added a slide show and organized the links into different groups so they are easier to use.

I have been pondering more changes and wanted to run them by you for some feedback. This blog covers quite a few varied topics and I've been thinking it might be better to split them up and have a dedicated blog for each topic. I'm already doing that for my Bike Friday Tikit and it seems to work well. When you go to that blog all the posts and links relate to the Tikit. As you read the blog it flows nicely and the posts relate to one another quite well.

Assuming I make this change here is what you'd end up with:
  • The Lazy Rando Blog - covering bents, brevets and other rando related topis
  • Bike Touring Blog - covering my touring bikes, touring/camping equipment, tour reports and touring links.
  • Mountain Biking Blog - covering my mountain biking exploits in the Canadian Rockies
  • Commuting/Utility Biking Blog - covering all my "useful" bikes and rides
You would be able to read all the content if it interests you and if you only want to read specific content - such as bike touring - you could easily just tune into that blog.

Ultimately a blog only has value if people read and enjoy it so I'd be interested in getting your feedback on this idea. Feel free to leave me a comment or send me an email. While you are at it if you have any requests or suggestions for other improvements I'm open to any ideas you may have.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Bike Culture

I like this Xtracycle sticker. It's good to be proud of how you roll. I'd go one step further though. Bike culture is already here. I see it everywhere I go - on the streets and online. If you are reading this you are part of it.

I'd like to feel like I am pioneer. That I am part of something new, but the reality is the bicycle has been empowering humans with freedom and mobility for more than a hundred years. From the start bicycles carried our loads, got us to work and put a smile on our faces. My discovery of the joy and usefulness of the bicycle, first as a child and then again as a young adult, is just another echo of that shared experience.

I suppose I am part of something new - the online cycling community that has sprung up with the advent of global computer networks. I'm proud to continue a velocipede tradition. Joining with people like you. Taking our love for pedal powered conveyances into the internet age.

With the rising costs of fossil fuels and a growing awareness that the dominant car-centric culture isn't sustainable - nor particularly good for us - the status and awareness of bicycles in our society is likely on the upswing. That's great! I'm excited to see more and more people realizing how wonderful life can be from the saddle of a bicycle. Life is indeed beautiful.

There is an inherent truth in cycling that needs no words or explanation. Put someone on a bicycle that fits them reasonably well and the bicycle will teach them everything they need to know. Turning the pedals provides an instant karmic pay back. Demonstrating your thoughts and actions shape your world and your world shapes your thoughts and actions. Perhaps we need to update the old Zen koan from "...before enlightenment chop wood and carry water - after enlightenment chop wood and carry water..." to "...before enlightenment ride bicycle and lube chain - after enlightenment ride bicycle and lube chain..."????

Keep the rubberside down....

Monday, April 21, 2008

Schwalbe Marathon XRs for Sale

Update: Sold - thanks!

I'm selling two Schwalbe Marathon XR 26 x 1.75" wire bead tires. They have about 100kms on them and look new - very gentle use. I love XRs, but I need some 2.0" fatties for my Inuvik tour. I bought some already and then decided to use them for a different project so I need two more. These tires sell for $59.95 US + shipping each. I'll sell the pair for $85 US/CDN shipped to you.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Old & New Shoes

I can't believe my feet have grown so much since last year. The Sidis [outside] fit me last year and this year I needed to buy the Specializeds [middle]!!! I hope that doesn't keep happening...yikes!

BTW - if you have a wide forefoot give Specialized's line of MTB shoes a try. As you can see there is quite a difference in width and the front of these shoes.

Adjusting the boom...

...on my Fujin to work with the thicker soles of my new Specialized MTB shoes and the thicker bodies of the new Time pedals I'm using.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The problem with Calgary...

I got a sunburn last weekend riding my bike and this weekend....

Do I wear a helmet?

Bike helmets are a contentious issue. Some people won't ride a bike without them and others think they are a complete waste of time & money. I take a philosophical approach to the matter. I don't feel bike helmets are an essential safety item. They protect you from a very finite set of circumstances that are, in my experience, very low probability. In my whole biking career, spanning 34 years, I haven't had a single accident where a helmet prevented me from suffering an injury or where a helmet reduced the severity of an injury. This isn't to say I think helmets are not potentially useful.

What I do is a risk analysis based on my personal experience and based upon what I've heard from other riders. I look at all the factors I see as relevant and decide what safety gear to employ. This analysis goes further than just if I should wear a helmet or not. It includes things like what gloves to wear, reflective gear, sandals/shoes?, lights? Not all rides are created equal.

Some examples of choices I often make:
  • I pretty much wear a helmet 100% of the time I go mountain biking. Although I don't crash often this type of riding has the highest likelihood that I'll end up on the ground.
  • On casual urban rides close to home I almost never wear a helmet. I ride slowly and tend to spend a lot of time off the bike drinking coffee, eating dinner, shopping, etc... I ride defensively on these occasions which I think is more important than wearing a helmet.
  • I always wear a helmet on brevets. I think it is a club rule, but regardless when riding fast for long hours day and night the chance I may have an accident is greater making a helmet a good investment.
I'm not suggesting my methodology is the best or the smartest. I'm just sharing how I look at helmets and safety. To my mind the most important thing is that each rider evaluates the risks they are talking and uses the equipment/tactics to keep themselves safe - whatever that means to them.

If you have a moment leave me a comment and let me know how use helmets.

Are helmets safe?

From an interesting article in the British Medical Journal:

"The statistical wrangle over the effectiveness of helmets is actually a side issue; what we need people in authority to understand is that cycle helmets inevitably damage public health. Even for cyclists on Britain's roads, the health benefits exceed the risks by a factor of 20. The health benefits of cycling are so great---and the health injuries from driving so great---that not cycling is really dangerous. By telling people that they need helmets for an activity that for a century has been regarded as "safe"---and in fact has a fine safety record---you inevitably engender the impression that cycling must have become more dangerous than driving and walking. That deters cycling. That reduces cyclists' presence on the roads. That increases the risk of death. And if wild claims about helmets saving lives are published in the media, helmet users are bound to feel overly secure, thus compromising their one vital safety feature---a sense of caution. In addition, over time most people--- and especially parents---will come to believe that it is wearing a helmet that matters, not acquiring skilful technique. These effects have been noted in every country where helmets have come into general use, including the United Kingdom. Millions will die early because they did not cycle. "

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Strathmore 200K - Ride Report

My Fujin SL @ the start

I should start by saying that everything good that happened on this ride is totally the result of my fine choice in bicycles and everything bad that happened was due to the fact I am truly a lazy bastard. How do I know this? Well I sure can't say that my massive recumbent base mileage of 63kms was responsible for the good bits can I??? I know I know - don't send me any emails. 63kms is beyond stupid when it comes to preparation for a new rando season. They probably haven't invented a word for how ridiculous it is. I have my excuses of course, work, bad weather, etc... Of course the other club members with thousands of kms under their wheels so far this year have demanding jobs and live in the same spot on the planet. Let's face it I'm lazy. At least give me credit for not falsely advertising when I named this blog!

I got up at 05:30 after a terrible night of sleep - no doubt a result of nagging guilt at my lack of preparation! I had my gear and bike largely ready so I was able to sip a cup of tea and spend a good 15mins surfing blogs pretending I didn't have to ride a recumbent 200kms today. Eventually I had to face facts and load my stuff for the ride across town to the familiar A&W in NE Calgary. I must say I was totally unconcerned about the day's ride. The forecast was for sunny skies, light winds, +15 deg C and a whole lot of suffering for my legs - it didn't disappoint on any accounts. Although I didn't ride many brevets last year I did work hard at getting comfortable on my Fujin. The pay off was that I knew I could ride 200kms regardless of training and that allowed me to be very relaxed at the start. Last year this time I was a bundle of nerves - meeting new people who were hardcore riders, not knowing what the route was like or how I'd feel. To be frank I didn't miss feeling freaked out!

Given that this was a post PBP year I thought we'd have a low turn out of 5-6 riders. To my surprise 12-13 fine members of the Alberta Rando Club showed up. After a quick briefing from the Ken Myhres, the club president, we were off at 8am sharp. Naturally I was the only recumbent rider so I took up my place at the end of the casual pace line.

Riders waiting @ the start

I don't mind riding with a small group of DFs, but this posse was too big and having to stay at the back meant I missed a crucial attack last year and I never made contact with the lead group for the rest of the ride. I had no illusions I was going to beat any of the fast riders today. These guys are HARDCORE and they have a ton of rando experience. My job this brevet was to 1) embarrass myself as little as possible, 2) get some training KMs in, 3) learn as much as I could and 4) have some fun. So in keeping with objective #1 I decided to spend some time at the front of the ride. I accelerated the Fujin up the pace line and had planned on settling in 10m up the road, but going faster felt so good I just kept my speed up and let the main group disappear in my mirrors.

I rode solo to the first control in Crossfield enjoying the beautiful Southern Alberta prairie scenery. Traffic was light and quite friendly - nice! The rolling terrain and crosswind was ideally suited to my Fujin so I made the most of it and enjoyed being at one with my bike. I had programmed my Garmin Vista CX the night before so I was able to relax and just follow its cues when I needed to turn. I sometimes feel like a GPS is cheating, but I cannot deny how useful it is. As a contrast last year I was fumbling with a small laminated cue sheet trying to read signs and make sure I was on track. The 41kms to Crossfield where eaten up at a brisk pace and I arrived in good spirits without anyone else in sight. I made my stop brief using advice from Jan Heine about managing time off the bike at controls to good effect.

Back on the road to Beiseker I saw a lone rando heading towards Crossfield and guessed the rest of the group were close behind me. Heading East on HWY 72 with a tailwind and a largely flat or downhill route I made some good time. It was fun to keep my speeds in the high 30kph to low 50kph range. It's moments like these that riding a lowracer seems more like flying a jet plane than riding a bicycle. I encountered a bunch more motorists who honked and waved. I didn't know Southern Alberta was bent country!...=-) The 60kms to the next control were one long ear to ear grin. Rather than ride into Beiseker I did as Ken has suggested and kept going to HWY 9 and stopped at a gas station just off the highway. I rapidly got my brevet card signed, used the washroom, stocked up on water and ate something. As I was pulling out a couple randos rolled in and informed me the lead group was nearby having stopped in town instead.

I could tell immediately that my time at the front of the brevet was going to come to an end. I was faced with a headwind, a general uphill trend and two legs that were starting to get a little cranky. Nevertheless I pushed on enjoying the sunshine and gentle whir of my drive train. Within 10kms I saw a DF rider surging towards me. Normally that's my cue to slowly raise the pace putting the hurt on my less aero opponent, but reality sunk in and I conceded that I was the one hurting. It turned out to be Stephen Kenny our cheerful club treasurer. We chatted for a few moments before he drifted back to the rest of the lead group and brought them up past me. I jumped on the back of their pace line happy to have some company after being alone all day.

I managed to stick with them for a while, but within a dozen kms they were gone. I had mentioned to Steve that it really wasn't fair of the 5 of them to work together and crush the lone recumbent rando. He replied with a cheerful"...we don't care!..." All is fair in love and brevets....=-) I turned East onto Hwy 564 and ran into the lead group taking a break. Riding flying furniture meant that I really didn't need to take breaks between controls so I waved as I rode past and enjoyed one last stint at the front of the ride. As expected they caught up quickly and I didn't have the legs to stay with them. Being in the middle of the ride was kind of nice. I could relax and had the chance to meeting club members who were passing me. Speaking of which I was joined by a club member [sorry I forgot your name...=-(] near Strathmore and we rode into the control together.

My stop in Strathmore was quite a bit longer than the previous controls. I was feeling pretty tired so I made sure I ate a bit extra and hydrated myself properly. A bunch of the lead riders were heading out so I decided to join them. Having ridden 160kms so far I knew that no matter how bad it got I could ride the last 40kms and have a successful brevet. The question now was how much time would I lose on the last stretch? I didn't stay with the lead group long. One advantage to being totally knackered was that there was no temptation to push myself into the bonk-zone trying to stay in contact with the riders in front of me. The only way I was staying in touch with them was if I was towed by a motorcycle!

To be honest the last 40kms went on forever. It was a full on slow motion sufferfest. I watched my overall average speed plummet from a high in the mid 30kph range. The worst part was I couldn't blame it on my bike, the bad weather or any external factor. I was reaping the rewards of being a lazy randonneur. Okay - maybe I could blame my bike a little. With about 25kms left to ride I realized my rear fender was rubbing my tire. I stopped to fix it and was shocked that the rear wheel was hard to turn by hand! Yikes - just what I needed - a drag brake...=-( I fixed the problem and rode on with quite a bit less effort. Ken Myhre and, the always cheerful, Bill Bakke passed me shortly after my fender repair. Their good spirits were infectious and I got my second wind. Of course it could also have been related to the fact the road stopped being a gradual uphill and started heading down as we neared the city. Either way I managed to speed up enough to keep my dignity as I merged with the thickening weekend traffic. I know conventional wisdom says you aren't supposed to be able to safely ride lowracers in traffic. I just can't figure out why and I do it again and again...=-)

I was overjoyed to see the A&W in the distance and know that my poor legs would soon be getting a break. I jammed as best I could the last kilometre so I could keep my ride time at or under 8hrs. The lead group had their bikes loaded in their cars and were smiling and joking as I pulled up. The finish line of a brevet is such a fun place to be. Everyone is pumped on endorphins and happy to be off their bikes. War stories start immediately and can last for years. Since I haven't been to PBP or any of the other "Big Rides" I just settle in and enjoy the dramatic tales of more experienced riders. Hopefully someday I'll be in their shoes inspiring a new generation of randonneurs.

I managed to complete the ride in 8hrs with about 7:30hrs of riding and 30mins off the bike. Complete ride stats are here. Not bad as I was able to improve over last year's time both on and off the bike.

Looking back on this ride with a few days of rest I'm quite happy with my performance and the way everything came together. I could have had a much better ride with some real training, but ultimately it is a matter of being a little disappointed in not reaching my potential rather than being disappointed because I had a bad ride. Of course how can you be truly be disappointed when you got to spend the whole day riding your bike in some beautiful countryside under sunny skies?

I've got a few things to tweak with my setup before the next brevet:
  • I'll pull off my rear fender and rethink the mounting system.
  • I need to extend the boom slightly as my new pedals/shoes seem to be thicker reducing my leg extension compared to last year's setup.
  • I'd like a way to carry my camera while riding so I can take more photos.
  • I'd also like to be able to eat while riding rather than waiting for stops.
  • My tool kit was missing a key item [box wrench for my fender bolts] so I need to carefully check it and restock as needed.
  • I need to come up with a comprehensive check list for all my rando gear. My memory is simply not good enough to be sure I leave the apartment with the essential gear on ride day.
Lastly I want to thank all the Alberta Randonneur Club members that organize and ride these events. You are a great bunch of riders and I'm glad to be a part of the organization.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Chrome Shins

I wasn't 100% sure about these Chrome Shins [capris or man-pris as some of my female friends call 'em] when I was in Campione picking up some parts. I tried them on and liked them enough to take 'em home to do an extended trial on them. Their first mission was a late night dance party some friends were throwing. Not cycling related, but you definitely need comfy clothes to shake your butt all night. By the time the sun came up I was sold. They fit really well, looked good and had lots of pockets. I love pockets! They've got the normal two front and back pockets plus an uber secure zippered cargo pocket on each side. If you've got a little organizationally oriented OCD like me you'll be in heaven...=-)

Built from a durable 4 way stretch fabric they move with you so you can throw that round house kick or complete an urban assault obstacle course on your folding bike. If you are familiar with the new soft shell fabrics in the outdoors clothing line ups you'll recognize the same breathable, mostly windproof and abrasion resistant qualities in these pants. I've been a big fan of softshell jackets for a few years now. They are very versatile and go from the mountains to the city without complaint.

These capris have a lightly padded butt for biking comfort, however, you don't look like you've got a diaper on when you are playing frisbee or hanging out at your favourite java joint. The fit may seem slightly snug at first, but there is enough give to the fabric that it is quite comfortable and never feels constricting.

They only come in charcoal - good thing it looks good and is a neutral colour.

Expect to pay ~$145 - they're worth it.

You can see me styling it up in them here, here and here.

I like them so much I'll be looking for a second pair.

Here is what Chrome says about them:
  • Three quarter length technical cycling knickers. 4-way stretch, mid-weight, highly wind resistant, and breathable. Water resistant and quick drying. Feels like a fresh pair of Dickies except a little lighter, softer and super stretchy. Cut higher in the back and lower in the front. Features include cargo pockets, articulated knees, zippered fly, belt loops, lightly padded moisture wicking chamois seat.
  • Lifetime guarantee against defects. Made in San Francisco, USA. Machine Washable and Dryable
  • 91% Nylon 9% Spandex
  • Small: 28"-30" / inseam 21" Medium: 30"-32" / inseam 22" Large: 32"-34" / inseam 22.5" X-Large: 34"-37" / inseam 23"

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Anna: "...700c that's how I roll..."

Sarah Styling @ the Lights

Goofing Around on the Tikit

Karen's Got Dahon

Karen's loving the Schwalbe Big Apples.

Strathmore 200K - Ride Summary

I've got to head out of town for a meeting so I thought I'd throw up some ride stats and then post a full blown report later. Cole Notes - I had a decent ride, but the last 100kms was a suffer-fest due to an appalling lack of recumbent base mileage [63kms joke!]. The weather was quite nice so no matter what it was a great day to be riding a bicycle...=-) If I could actually get some real training in prior to the start of the brevet season I might be able to pull off some fast ride times. A 30kph+ on bike average should be achievable if I can just avoid cratering during the second half of the ride.

Ride Stats [last year's stats in brackets]:

Total ride time: 8hrs [9:44hrs]
On bike time: 7:30hrs [9:04hrs]
Off bike: 30mins [40mins]

Overall Avg speed: 25.3kph [20.8kph]
On bike Avg speed:27.0kph [23.2kph]

2007 Strathmore 200K Ride Report

2007 Strathmore 200K Ride Stats

Ortlieb Sale @ Rarified

The folks at Rarified are having a sale on some of their Ortlieb messenger bags and packs. I've been using a Velocity pack I bought from them for the past 4 months and really like it - review on the way. I just thought I'd pass on the info in case anyone is looking for some durable waterproof bags. As a disclaimer I have no financial interest in the store or these bags.

The prices below do not include shipping.

Zip City [small] grey/white or silver/black [not shown] - $100cdn

Zip City [medium] black - $116cdn

Velocity - $100cdn silver/black

Velocity $100cdn yellow/black

If you are interested in any of these bags contact Rarified at:
  • 403.939.4042

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Icefield's Parkway Tour September 2006

Update: I had this posted on my personal blog and decided to move it over to my more bikey blog.

So the labour day long weekend rolled around and I had not done a real mountain ride all year. Add to that a new touring bike and what else could I do, but go for a trip through the mountains. Anna has a new touring bike as well so it was easy to convince her what a great idea it would be to ride from Jasper to Calgary.

Anna guards the bikes while we stop at Lake Louise for a rest stop. Thanks Bob for the lift to Jasper. It only took 5hrs to drive there, but it took us 4 days to ride back - we must be out of shape.

Anna psyched to ride - just waiting for the coffee to kick in.

My Surly Long Haul Trucker loaded and a bit rear heavy.

Finally on the road. HWY 93 winds through two mountain passes 230kms from Jasper to Lake Louise.

Taking off my thermal underwear - in full view of passing motorists - where else?

Reason #1 why you might want to bike (or at least drive) the Ice Fields Parkway.

Keeping an eye on Anna.

The weather was wonderful - cool mornings and hot days with lots of sun.

She is an "Adventure Cyclist."

Hwy 93 was lightly traveled and in great shape. The wide shoulders were nice for biking and 99% of cars gave us lots of space.

We only saw two other touring cyclists. They were headed north to Jasper.

Reason #2.

A little stretching for some tight shoulders.

Reason #3.

The bikes on lunch break. Food was over priced and low quality along the parkway, but for hungry cyclists it did not matter - we ate everything in sight regardless.

Reason #4.

Vik spots Mount Edith Cavell using his extensive knowledge of Alberta geography.

Reason #5.

Giving it all on the downhills. BTW - did you know that Serratus means 100 in Indonesian?

It is hard to tell, but I am having a nap on this picnic table.

Ou est les mouflons? We didn't see any.

The rarely photographed Blue Alberta Yeti.

The parkway featured lots of beautiful flowers and grasses to keep us entertained on the long climbs.

Home sweet home - Jonas Creek Campground on our first night of the ride.

Anna checking out the Athabasca Glacier.

Hydrate or die was our theme. Even I "the cammel" drank a ton of water and gatorade.

The top of Sunwapta Pass - hard work!

Offroading in the campground.

There were so many spectacular views they almost became ordinary.

Anna was hard to photograph. She moved so fast she was a blurr.

Our motto switched back and forth between - "...slow and steady wins the race..." & "...lets take a rest break..."

The Num-Ti-Jah Lodge was the only good food on the parkway. We ate till we nearly burst and then we each stole 3 cookies for later. I would love to tell you the guilt gnawed away at me, but the truth is the only thing that got gnawed were the cookies.

Anna reflecting on Nature's beauty.

Strike a pose.

We saw some Elk on the drive up to Jasper, but no big animals on our bike trip.

Reason #6.

No flats and no broken spokes - sweet!

Reason #7.

We spent 5 to 7 hrs riding each day. With all our eating and rest stops we pretty much rode from early morning till dusk.

Reason #8.

Anna's bike lacked a kickstand - luckily she made do with a Vik-stand.

A room with a view at Waterfowl Campground on night two.

Barba-trick! Barba-Vik!

The campgrounds we used were really nice and had lots of room in the hiker/biker walk in campsites. They even had drinking water and clean toilets - what more could tired bikers ask for?

This little guy was trying to hitch a ride. He said he wouldn't bee a bother. Anna kicked him to the curb - she is tough like that.

The freedom of the open road.

Reason #9.

Treacherous mountain roads. I though I might slide right off on my way to Bow Summit.

Reason #10.

Did I mention we did a lot of riding.

I had to stop and soak it all in - okay my real reason was I was tired, but the Alberta Wide-Screen Channel was hard to beat for back to back great shows.

Reason #11.

Due to a beauacratic SNAFU at the Canmore Alpine Clubhouse (details to be featured in a special rant later this week) we had to stealth camp off the road near an equestrian centre. The horses caught us, but they didn't tell anyone.

Considering two of the freeze dried meals I ate were from 1989 they were reasonably tasty or perhaps I was just really, really, really hungry?

Keeping an eye on things.

Our rogue campsite. That is the Alpine Clubhouse road just past the trees. Our stealth tent was hard to see. No one noticed us.

Making my get away from our hidden campsite.

On our way to Calgary.

It was supposed to be downhill to Calgary, but the 1A had some tricks in store for us.

Seems like I was always pulling up the rear. Just call me "the turtle."

Getting fired up for that next hill.

See no stinking hill can ruin our happy vibe.

Everything checks out, we are go for launch or was that lunch?

My truck vs. his truck. I bet you he isn't running 90psi!

Mount Yamnuska.

I often felt like we were being followed.

Rolling through the foothills.

Reason #12.

Anna on the 1A past Exshaw - notice the lack of shoulders.

Anna breaks out the stove at Ghost Resevoir.

Getting into a full tuck for the downhill run into Calgary. There was the uphill horror show called the Cochrane Hill, but we'd rather just forget about that!

Cruising the bikepaths back to downtown Calgary.

5 mins from home - yeah!

We made it! 450kms ridden over 4 days. Zero flats. Zero broken spokes. Zero rain. Two sore butts and two big smiles. We are ready to do it all over again - just not this week...=-)