A few of weekends ago I was able to catch more fall colours with this lovely couple:
We met up at a cute mid-town cafe called Rachel’s Coffee House (thanks for the rec Rhonda!), so that Andrea could have another entry for her Coffeeneuring Challenge which she’s signed up for a 2nd year in a row. It was also a nice, quiet cafe where she could do some lab marking and I could drop by easily after checking out an exhibition space (I’m going to be showing some new paintings in February guys!).
After we indulged in the huge cookies and some warm drinks we biked up to Broadway, to take Broadway east to enter the Don Valley Trail through Serena Gundy Park.
It was such a beautiful ride!!
We noticed that despite the many trees with glorious colours there were still a lot of green trees as well. So there may still be time to take in the last of the fall colours yet!
Both Andre and Denise have been long time fans but for years and years but I shunned the Toronto made and designed YNOT pedal straps because I thought they were so thick and industrial looking. For some reason I didn’t find them aesthetically appealing at all.
But after having ridden a bike with step-in pedals, I really missed the power gains from pulling up on the pedal when you have foot retention. So slowly, I started to see how YNOTs were a great alternative to step-in pedals. Plus you can wear your regular shoes because the velcro system of the YNOTs make them really easy to adjust the straps to any shoes you are wearing for a perfect fit.
I had to purchase new BMX style pedals so I could slip the YNOT straps through. And tada! I can go faster on my bike!
The frame of this bike is a bit heavier than the previous grocery getter, however the geometry isn’t as aggressive so it’s definitely a more stable ride.
The last thing I have to figure out is what to do with my lock. Before, I had the lock holder on the seat stay tube, but now the mixte top tubes get in the way of being able to mount it there. For now the lock stays in the basket, but it gets really rattly and annoying.
Maybe it’s time to retire this Igor Kenk lock and get a smaller, sleeker one.
In any case, in addition to the mild temperatures I hope the weather is dry this weekend. I want to ride!
Ever since my front fork got damaged at the Mini Drome practice session, I’ve been in a sort of bike funk. Riding around a wobbly bike is not fun.
So for Christmas Andre, knowing my love for vintage bikes, went on a mission to find a vintage mixte for me to replace my wobbly grocery getter.
His mission was successful and he presented it to me for Christmas!
And check it out, it’s in pristine condition:
Andre went out to Oshawa to purchase it from a man who’s wife wanted to get into bikes, but only rode it a handful of times and then stored it in their basement for the past 25 years. The bike has never seen rain! It has all the original parts, down to the brake and shifter cable housing.
Isn’t it amazing?
Look! The old school ‘lego’ brake pads still have full tread!
Unfortunately, the bike’s ‘vintagey-ness’ is it’s downfall. Despite being a road bike the frame is a bit heavier than the frame of my current grocery-getter. Plus the bike is more of a middle of the road model, so the old steel components on this bike add a lot of weight. This makes the ride pretty smooth, but man, it makes for a heavy bike.
So now the bike is stripped of parts and will get a lot of the parts from the grocery getter transferred over.
Can’t wait to ride this new-old bike soon and christen it with a ride to go do groceries!
Good-bye grocery getter!! Thank you for being an amazing ride (until this September) and I’ll never forget all the adventures we had together for the past three and a half years.
These are photos from a bike ride last year when my friends Bianca (in the middle) and Dom (at the back) came to stay with us. I realized I never shared these photos last year and the recent drop in temperatures made me think of our fun ride.
Bianca and Dom are pretty regular cyclists in London, England so it was interesting to hear their opinions on cycling in Toronto.
Yesterday morning I witnessed a cyclist get squished between a parked car and an SUV lane changing to park.
It was quite horrifying because it happened so quickly and the cyclist tumbled off of his bike hitting the pavement quite hard.
Luckily the cyclist didn’t break any bones and his bike didn’t sustain any mechanical damage.
I offered to call the police to file a report a few times but the cyclist declined each time and I think the driver was being extra contrite to keep the cyclist from getting the police involved.
So do you know what’s really terrible?
After I reamed the driver out and we all exchanged contact information, I couldn’t help myself. I just had to give my two-cents to the the cyclist about how he passed me really, really close (because he didn’t want to hop into the next lane and cross over the streetcar tracks) at a high speed and failed to ring his bell. This was right after a stretch of clear road and then some parked cars were coming up, so I was shoulder checking and then woooosh. If I had veered even a centimetre to the left we would have totally collided.
I even shot down his excuse for not having a bell telling him it was the law.
I know. I know. Talking about kicking a guy while he was down, but I couldn’t help it. I had to tell him!!
And it gets worse. In my head I couldn’t help but think ‘Karma’s a bitch isn’t it?’
TERRIBLE!! So ya, that’s me. A sanctimonious cow*.
Hope everyone’s long weekend is filled with alert and considerate drivers and courteous cyclists and most importantly accident free. Happy cycling!!
*a term that Lainey Liu uses as a nickname for a certain Hollywood A-lister. While it isn’t a term that is used exclusively by her, I like it as much as her made up words like ‘thinnification’ and ‘gorgessity’
How I stumbled upon this beauty is beyond me, however, I could look at those 4 rotating photos on their website forever.
Why is it my dream bike?
1. It’s SUPER light (something that I really look for in a bicycle). It’s only 0.2 kg / 0.45 lbs heavier than a Fuji Feather. And compared to other bikes on the market that are similar (like the Bobbin Madam or Linus Mixte) this bike is almost 10lb lighter.
2. It has a lugged steel frame. I love steel frame bikes but these days all bikes are welded and I find welded joints to be fugly, which is another reason why I’ve been sticking to vintage frames. Lugs are beautiful.
3. It comes with fenders, a sleek chain guard and a pannier and it’s still super light!
Oh man I want this bike so much! It would be my grocery-getter replacement for fair weather riding.
They don’t seem to have a Canadian distributor yet.
.. although I must admit, I’m scared to ask how much they sell them for.
Yesterday the Toronto Bike Union hosted a Coldest Day of the Year Ride so Denise and I decided to check it out! Bixi even provided bikes for free to people who stored their bikes away for the winter.
It was pretty warm for January, but standing around in the shade, outside made it feel like the Coldest Day of the Year.
But then the sun came out and after a few words from Andie Garcia (Director of Advocacy & Operations), a Bixi executive (? I didn’t catch her name!) and Councillor Mike Layton we coasted down University to the Royal York for some free hot chocolate!
Not a bad way to start your week! Thanks Bike Union for organizing this short but fun ride!