Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Bike Maniac

For the most part I've tended to limit my blog posts to longer, more time consuming content, and while I enjoy writing longer posts, I don't always have the time or energy needed to sit down and write, revise, and edit posts. In the effort of increasing my posting frequency I'm experimenting using a Tumblr blog to post short messages, links, and photos on a more frequent basis than I update this blog. You can find this new "Tumblog" at bikemaniac.ca, and I'm also Tweeting as @taldanzig. I'll continue to post longer entries on this blog, likely as infrequently as previous posts have been.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Pacific Populaire

Last Sunday Ilana and I completed the BC Randonneurs Pacific Populaire bike ride. We did the 100km route starting from Riley Park, looping past UBC over the Arthur Laing Bridge to circumnavigate Richmond, back into Vancouver over the Canada Line bridge, looping past UBC again to end up back at Riley Park. Including the ride to/from the start point we did 107km in a little less than 5 hours. That day there was very strong wind coming from the East meaning that on several stretches of road we were battling 30-40km/h sustained headwinds. It was a good start to doing some longer distance rides and it made for a nice shakedown ride for my new Brodie Elan touring bike (more on that in another post). Having never done any riding in the Richmond area, I was really pleased with the route the ride took. Most of the time we were on quiet streets or streets with plenty of shoulder space to ride without having to worry about being buzzed by cars, and several parts of the ride wound through scenic views of the Fraser River delta. I'm always on the lookout for new routes to ride, especially ones that combine significant distance with relatively low traffic, and I suspect I'll ride all or part of this route again this year.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Night Riding - Solitary Pleasure

A couple nights ago I did something that I haven't done since last summer: I went on a mediumish length solo night ride. My ride was a loop starting from home, taking the Seaside Bypass bike route along Vancouver's Northern shore all the way up past Spanish Banks, along South West Marine Dr, up the Cypress bike route to 37th Ave, and back East then North along Cambie and home. The distance was somewhere around the 35-40km mark (my bike computer needs a new battery) making for a 75 minute ride at good pace. I haven't been riding as much as I'd like over the past couple of months especially since my commute to work is no longer long enough to justify biking over transit (ironic that too short a ride puts me off cycling to work), so it was nice to be out for a decent ride where I was able to push a bit.

Night riding is a great way to get out with minimal traffic interference as long as you have sufficient lights to make sure you can be seen. My route took me through a few unlit stretches where I really wished for a better front light. I'm riding with a BLT Super Doppler DX LED light that I've used since 2006. This light is great as a bright "being seen" type of light, but falls short as a true headlight on an unlit road. I'm still figuring out what to get as a proper head light for night rides, but until then this light will do.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Heart Rate

30min later and my heart rate is still up from my morning commute. Nothing like bad drivers to get the heart rate up when riding to work. First I got buzzed by a motorbike (you'd think our two wheeled motor powered brethren would know better), got passed way to closely by several cars, got overtaken by a car only to have it make a right turn and cut me off forcing me to brake heavily to avoid smacking into the back of it, and to cap it off I got passed by a guy in a convertible with mere inches between my handlebar and his wing mirror. I caught up to him at a light, told him he was way to close only to have him tell me that I should move over (into the parked cars presumably). Sometimes the lack of respect that cyclists receive from motor vehicles just gets on my nerves.

</rant>

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Riding for a cause

This summer my wife, Ilana, will be cycling from Vancouver to Seattle to raise money for cancer. Over the past two years Ilana has made the transition from a good weather recreational cyclist, to a committed, year round cycle commuter. When the opportunity came up to join thousands of other riders she jumped at the chance. Here's how she put it in her own words:

Dear Friends and Family,

This summer I will be taking part in a 2-day bike ride from Vancouver to Seattle called the Ride to Conquer Cancer. This is approximately a 230km ride to raise money for cancer research, treatment, and services. All donations go to the BC Cancer Foundation, a leading comprehensive institution devoted to cancer research and care.

I'm so excited to be on the road joining forces with thousands of cyclists raising money for a cause that is so important. Cycling is a huge passion of mine, and I'm thrilled to be able to use this passion to make an impact. Cancer touches so many of our lives, in so many ways, and I am eager to do what I can to help the fight.

As a participant of this ride, I am pledging to raise a minimum of $2500 in donations. Please consider helping me to meet this goal. Donations are tax-deductible, and can be made online at my page on conquercancer.ca

If you prefer to send a cheque, the website link above has printable forms that can be sent in with the cheque. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Thank you so much.

Ilana

I'm very proud of her commitment and her choice to dedicate her time to this cause.