Sunday, November 15, 2009

Barrhaven Christmas Parade

Well, it's been a while since I wrote anything here. I rode a circus bike in the Barrhaven Santa Claus Parade with Recyclore tonight. Quite a way to send off year number 37. I got some pix, but need to find my card reader to upload them. It looks like this is my birthday celebration. It's mid-November, and I am still riding my bike and there's no snow yet! I am still volunteering at the bike co-ops and working at Cycle Salvation for 3 hours a week through Causeway Work Centre. I will make this short as I am tired and feel like I have ridden through a couple area codes! I will post pix as soon as I can and make a better update.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I've Found Yet Another Way To Get Dirty!

I decided on Friday to check out the other bike co-op in Ottawa, and was quite impressed. I met some great people who are interested in cycling, chatting, being helpful, and helping the environment by recycling bicycles. They even seem to like getting dirty like me! Please check them out at This is a small, but dedicated group of volunteers in Bells Corners, Ottawa, on the outskirts of the city. I've gone twice now, and enjoyed the cycling to and from, about twenty km each way. They sell bikes and parts at VERY reasonable prices and do quality work. They are in their second year, with the possibility of being open over the winter for the first time. I am sure they will find success in a short time. They seem well managed and know where they are going for a volunteer group. I've had fun here and want to go back. I just wish they were closer to Toronto. Maybe there's a move in my future??? I wish these community groups were more widely publicised so people could find them easier. Unless you know what you are looking for, you'd never find them. So, for all you community groups that benefit society in your own way, please lobby your local city to pubicise you more and get you more exposure, as you definitely save the community more in the long run in many ways. I should add that my last post about re-Cycles Bicycle Co-op is equally good in all the same ways I've mentioned about Recyclore, only that they are in downtown Ottawa, and have a larger facility and are accessible on more days a week. re-Cycles has been around for over 10 years, I understand, and Recyclore is based on the same theme in a different neighbourhood. This is what I could see myself doing in the long run as I get more experience, and with the help of the government amending the ODSP legislation toward funding education for people of differing abilities, possibly getting my certificate at . I also biked back along the Ottawa River Trail, at the suggestion of one of Recyclore's volunteers, Craig, who cycled with me about 2/3 of the way back downtown to show me where to go. He had some great info and advice on things to do. I want to take some pictures next time I go on the trail. He is off today to a conference of bike co-ops in Montreal today, so I wish him well on his journey. I hope to see him when he gets back. I am thinking of staying to at least October 4, when they do their Poker Bike Ride with salmon dinner for $20! The dinner alone is worth it, I'm sure, but the fun is an added bonus. I may even try to attend the Critical Mass for the first time here on the last Friday in September.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I've Found Something To Do!

I was at the Ottawa Public Library yesterday, just surfing and Googling anything that came to mind, and stumbled on re-Cycles Bike Co-op here. Please check them out at It is like Community Bicycle Network in Toronto, on a smaller scale, but still do amazing work. I dropped in last night and volunteered for three hours, and intend to keep going back for as long as I am in Ottawa. I am staying to get some dental work done and to see the local Mission Doctor to make sure that I haven't over done it. I've been very tired with my sinus infection, thanks to the fog from Napanee to Kingston. My teeth have been bothering me in the wind and when I eat, so I am getting a fresh opinion here. I'm not good at keeping my mouth shut, so I better get it fixed! I met some cool guys at re-Cycles and felt really at home. I will likely miss the place when I leave Ottawa. I want to get more bike repair experience under my belt and try to apply it to getting into Winterborne Bicycle Institute. I am determined to get my training and to help others while I am at it. The volunteering also helps alleviate my boredom (I need things to do with my hands), and gives me shop time and Mechanics help to ensure that my bike will be safe for the return trip. I don't think there's much wrong, just truing the back wheel that took a beating on highway 15 an the Cataraqui trail, and minor cable adjustments. Oh yeah, and tightening up the loose bolts on my carrier and lock box. Potholes are Hull, I mean Hell!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Light Show on Parliament Hill

I have been a little under the weather, it seems I have picked up a sinus cold in my travels. But, last night I was restless, so I took a little bike ride and discovered the light show on Parliament Hill, and it was free! It was music and speech and lights and images depicting Canadian life. Very inspirational. Just like the films we used to see in public school like "A Place To Stand" and "Paddle To The Sea". I wish there were more great ideas like this to remind us how great it is to be Canadian, and all we take for granted. I changed my mind and added a photo. The show was good enough to see again. The last show was Sunday, September 13, 2009, with a new show in the works for 2010. Do not adjust your legislation, Parliament is just off-lyin'! More again soon!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My Pix

Check out my pix. Especially the 24 Canadian Burgers from around Seeley's Point. I wonder if they are made with real Canadians, and how many to a Two-Four? I also saw an entry at the Air Museum that may be a relative? Careful, I don't know how to get back to my blog after seeing the slideshow

I Made It, Yee Haw!!

Well, I have a little updating to do. I left Kingston on Saturday morning, and it started to rain. I ended up staying in a Tim Horton's for a coffee and reading the local paper that a kind lady left for me. When the rain let up, I started out again. It was a cold windy morning. It seemed that the wind was from the north the whole way. I went up highway 15 to Elgin and turned onto the Cataraqui Trail to Smith's Falls. I had to stop on 15 to tighten up my rear hub as I was wobbling without any wobbly pop. I am glad I brought the hub wrench that I almost put back at the last moment. Otherwise, the phrase, "Up The Creek..." would have been appropriate. The only thing I didn't like about the trip north of Kingston was the total lack of amenities. I stopped for lunch at a diner on 15 about 40 km north of Kingston, and there was nothing till Smith's Falls. I enjoyed the Cataraqui Trail for the most part. The ride was reasonably smooth for a gravel trail. For anyone thinking of trying this trail (this means you Jens!) bring a bike with fatter tires as there are patches of gravel to compensate for beaver damage from making dams. The majority of the trail from 15 to Smith's Falls is on a creek or bog side. The scenery was typical countryside with the usual dogs barking at moving cyclists,(me!) I will put a couple pix of the trail up. I ended up bonking around 10km outside of Smith's Falls, with my first flat tire shortly after. The trail got a little rougher closer to town. I must get a better pump, I can't get the pressure I need to ride properly under load. When I was about 5 km from town, I saw a light at the end of the tunnel of trees. I just drove towards it as I was very tired, and the thought of a light at the end of the tunnel was very reassuring to me! I was also concerned as I had just lost two screws in a row from the left chainstay to my carrier and hoped that it wasn't an omen, orthat I would have to ditch my load until daylight and come back, hoping it was still there. I got towards the light, only to discover, to my delight, that the light at the end of the tunnel was the light from the Tim Horton's sign on Lombard Street in Smith's Falls! My saviour! I stopped for a Chili Deal and called for lodging with the Salvation Army(Thanks) who put me up at Shardon Manor on County road 43. I had a warm reception waiting for me when I pulled up on my bike from Sharon, who made sure that I had a hot bath, a safe bed, a drink of juice for my meds and food, if I hadn't eaten already. I had a good rest here! I checked my bike over after a good night's sleep and tightened up every bolt I could find. I didn't want to lose anymore as the bike shop in Smith's Falls was closed on Sundays (Gone Cycling). I left Sunday morning to go to the Smith's Falls Railway Museum and to ride out the hottest time of day. I had a good time looking at all the train cars, inside and out. I chatted with the museum staff, who were very helpful with train info, as well as trail info, as the trails I have been riding are old rail trails, one from their railway. I will likely be able to go back from Smith's Falls to Kingston without hitting the highway for very long. It seems that I missed out on taking the K&P Trail north to the Cataraqui. Maybe a bit longer, but more scenic, I'm told. I left Smith's Falls on Highway 15 north to Carleton Place. I had a little wet incident on 15, my water (bag) broke. I was wet from the bum down as the hose on my hydration pack broke off the bag. I had to change roadside:-( I hit the next Tim Horton's,(I sense a theme here!) and got air in my tires at Canadian Tire, where I got info to find the Ottawa - Carleton Trail. It wasn't clearly marked on my Ontario Bicycle Network Map. For those going on this trail, you come into Carleton Place, hang a left on Lake Ave., just in sight of Timmy's and follow the sign of hospital and keep going to Shopper's Drug Mart on our right, not the Shopper's at the medical clinic on your left. You turn right at the Shopper's (I've forgotten the street name), go forward to Rental Village, turn left at the dead end street, and you are at the trail. This was the easiest trail I've ever seen that wasn't paved. Nothing to see but trees, but smooth, flat and easy to navigate as there are no bends until you are on the outskirts of Ottawa. I'll post a pic or two later. I got lost, I thought, before the end of the trail, so I just followed my instincts, which turned out to be correct, and got downtown in about two hours or so. I am staying for now at the Salvation Army Booth Centre in Ottawa, and will see Mme Meilleur in the next couple days, I hope. I have emailed her, with no response, so I will call today for an appointment, or drop in tomorrow. I have to go now, or I will miss my free lunch. If anyone out there can help with expenses, it would be appreciated. Thanks.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Greetings From Kingston

After not having a chance to use the llibrary in Trenton, I carried on to Kingston. I got in at 1am this morning. However, I had a great time in Trenton, even though it was quite hot for cycling. I was put up for the night by the Savation Army of Belleville, at the kind request of the Trenton OPP. Woke up with a Charley Horse in my right leg, but worked it out real quick. So far the only real pain I've had thus far! In the morning, I decided to visit the National Air Force Of Canada. It was totally amazing. I must have snapped over 130 pix of birdies and outfits. I highly recommend this attraction. The staf were kind, courteous, and informative. I was shown around by a gentleman, who I believe was named Bill, who had flied in a plane nicknamed the "Widow Maker". Thankfully, it wasn't so successful with him! After, I walked outside to look at the planes and take pix, and to try to take shots of planes taking off. Unfortunately, you can't get closer than 3/4 of a km within the air strip, so pictures were almost impossible. I had tried earlier in the morning to visit with my former roommates' mother, but she was off to see the doctor, so I will try on the way back.
I cycled from 4pm at CFB Trenton to Kingston. I hope the hill into Kingston is the only one that bad. I've never seen a hill that ent on forever and didn't help coasting downhill one bit. It must have been 10km long! I will be trying another route out of Kingston on the way back. I stayed at the Salvation Army Harbour Light Centre in Kingston. Will likely be there tonight for a much needed break. It looks like my goal of Hull by Labour Day is realiseable. I have one stop in Smith's Falls before I get to Ottawa. I have a few pix to post as well, hope it works, otherwise I will have a chat with my IT guy. Thanks Charles.