May 31st, 2007
When I got my new bike about a month ago, I also got a helmet. I ride on the roads a lot and sometimes there’s a lot of traffic. The idea of going headfirst into the road, a car or a street sign doesn’t sit well with me, so I figure it’s a good idea to protect my brain.
If Alan had been wearing a helmet when he crashed last weekend, his head might not look like this right now:
Moral of the story: helmets are cool, not dorky.
May 30th, 2007
After driving my car home from work on Monday, my brother Mike told me May 28 – June 1 is Bike To Work Week. I’m not sure if it is an officially recognized week, but I figured it sounds decent, so I’m gonna go with it.
On this morning’s ride in, I got my first flat tire. It happened about 3km into my 7.5km ride. Of course, I don’t have a pump, a patch kit or a spare tube, so I had to jog/walk my bike the 3km home.
I’ve never fixed a bicycle tire before. I’ve seen it done a few times, but it still took me a while to figure everything out. I considered just leaving the bike and driving my car to work, but since it’s Bike To Work Week, I wrestled with the tire and got it all patched up. I put the tire back on and took it for a quick test ride up the street and back. Once I was convinced my quick fix was sufficient, I was on my way back to work.
I was about an hour late for work, and I was a lot more tired, sweaty and dirty than usual when I got there. But I did learn how to fix a bike tire. I also learned that it’s a good idea to at least have a mini-pump and a spare tube with you when you ride long distances. I’ll probably hit up the store tonight and put together a little emergency kit in case I find myself in this situation again.
May 28th, 2007
This past Saturday night I went to the Fall Out Boy concert at the Molson Amphitheater, which was pretty good. As expected, the crowd had an average age of about 13, but there weren’t as many disturbing little emo kids as I had thought there would be.
We missed Paul Wall, which was sad, because he would have been cool to see. +44 was the best band of the night, but Fall Out Boy wasn’t as bad live as I’ve heard they are. It was a good time overall.
I got home around 1:30am, and was thinking about heading over to a party that my friends were at, but it was kinda late, and I was pretty tired. I had a snack and decided to hit the hay. As I went to lay down in my bed, I noticed it was all wet. I switched the light back on and realized my bed was covered in barf. Not cool. It turns out the dog wasn’t feeling well and she barfed in my bed and somehow twirled it around through all of my sheets, so I had to find new ones.
I got my bed all fixed up and finally got to bed at around 2:30. I got a phone call at about 3:45am from Albert, asking me if I could come pick him and Alan up, because Alan needed to go to the hospital. It turns out Alan was riding a bike home from the party, and he smashed his face into a street sign. So my brothers and I headed over, picked them up and went down to the hospital where Alan received 12 stitches in his head.
I finally got to bed at about 5am and slept in until 2pm on Sunday afternoon. Good times.
May 25th, 2007
In a previous post I mentioned I was thinking of getting a new bike (bicycle, not motorbike). About a month ago I finally decided to go out and do it. I checked out a couple of local bike shops, and decided to get a Giant Boulder SE from Impala Bicycles in Whitby. Check it out:
The bike cost me about $400, and it’s much better than the department store bike I used to have. The quality of everything is so impressive – the gears always work, brakes are tight, and it’s really comfortable to ride. I honestly think it was worth spending a bit extra to get a quality bicycle, especially since I plan to ride it a lot.
I ride to work three to four times a week on average, and I really enjoy it. My setup with work is awesome, since they let me keep my bike indoors in a storage area. Plus we have a changeroom with a shower, so I can have a quick shower when I get to work and then change into my business casual stuff.
Between the riding to work and going out on weekends, I’ve been doing a lot of riding so far. I’ve put about 250km on the bike already, and I figure I should have close to 1500km on it by the time winter comes. I’m getting some good exercise, spending more time outdoors and I’m even saving some money on gas and parking.
May 18th, 2007
Here’s a little story about getting booked by the cops on the way home from our trip across Canada. After leaving Banff Thursday morning, we drove straight through to Ontario with only a few stops for gas, food and bathroom breaks. We stopped at a little diner in Wawa, Ontario, which is not too far from Sault Ste. Marie. It was probably about 8pm on Friday, as it was just getting dark. We were pretty tired from non-stop driving, so we pulled off the road at a little beach area for a rest. We noticed other people on the beach were having fires, so we made a little fire, grabbed a couple beers and relaxed on the beach, enjoying the view.
Down the beach, one of the fires went out and people started walking toward us. We figured they were coming by to say hi, or maybe even offer us some firewood since it looked like they were leaving. I was about to offer them a beer, but then we realized something wasn’t quite right. The two guys looked somewhat official, with their walkie-talkies and flashlights pointed as us. It turns out they were “Conservation Officers” and they had nothing better to do on a Friday night.
The officers weren’t happy about us drinking beers. It was actually only Spencer and I drinking, since Mike doesn’t like beer and he was going to be driving the next shift. Apparently we were breaking a law by “consuming liquor in other than licenced premises, residence or private place”, for which we received $125 fines:
I understand these officers have a job to do, but we weren’t having a party on the beach or anything crazy. Spencer and I just had a beer each, and just wanted to rest for an hour or so until we felt ready to hit the road again. But they gave us the fines, confiscated the whole case of beer and kept us waiting around for almost 45 minutes while they figured out how to write us our tickets. I swear it was their first time writing anyone a ticket, and they even seemed a bit nervous (Mike’s homemade bat, “The Winnipegger“, can be a little intimidating).
After we finished up with the cops, we left and ended up having a nap behind some building a few hours later. There was some consolation in the fact that I won $175 at the Thunder Bay casino earlier in the week. But most of that money went towards paying my ticket…