Bicycling Revolution


I've returned to bicycling after nearly 7 years. The last time I cycled somewhat seriously, I bombed around on a Giant XTC, until it was stollen. The loss was at the perfect point for the insurance company to basically give me the finger on rates. I could either claim, pay the deductible and have the blood suckers extract it from me over a few years with higher rates, or I could suck it up and just go buy a new bike. I didn't want to claim it, knowing that the single claimed theft would be on the records for years, and I also refused to get a new bike. Bicycling died for me at that point

I learned that MEC had designed a series of bikes, and were now selling them. MEC is a wonderful company, which is aligned with a lot of my beliefs, so I decided I would both return to cycling and support the co-operative at the same time. I was set back a little misreading the catalog, believing I needed to travel to Edmonton to buy a bike when Calgary did in fact sell them. Eventually I prevailed, settled on a bike and purchased it.

Talks of geometries, cassettes, tooth counts, cyclocross, clincher rims, fixies, lacing, grouppos and saddles had to be waded through before I could decide on a bicycle. The cycle ecosystem has specialized in several areas and with that specialization the usual slang followed. I decided on a hybrid style bicycle as most of my terrain is going to be cleared paths or the bike network around Calgary. It leans more towards the road bike, but does have a heavier frame and knobbier wheels.

Next was a vicious lesson in how far bicycling has come since I was last immersed in the culture. My new ride has a pedal system in which you clip in specialized shoes; these shoes needed to be put together. Have you ever had to read an instruction manual for a pair of shoes? It was quite a humbling experience. Technology progressed since I last tuned a bike, and I'm happy to say that most of of the changes make tuning a bicycle easier. The one exception is air pressure, as the tires on this bike have presta valves. I have never seen such an animal before, and every piece of pressurized air equipment I have is useless until I get an adapter.

Excitement rains over me, as this weekend is supposed to have good weather, and I have a new toy with which to play.

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50mm Challenge: Day 6

50mm Challenge Day 6

I did in fact go out of my way on Saturday to capture this image. Although, some circumstances happened that resulted in me not being in a state to make a quality posting about it. I learned years ago, that you don't drink and blog.

Standing out in the cold, attempting to get as close as possible with my 50mm and still keep things in focus, I tried my damnest to capture this rare Calgarian frost.. My 50mm 1.4 has a frustrating 1.5 ft minimum focus. Shorter than most lenses, but still far enough away that you really can't get in there. If you feel like nitpicking on the original sized image, you can see that the bottom is markedly softer than the top, but still reasonably sharp. At a smaller size, it's impossible to tell, and even filling the monitor the image looks alright. I did make curves adjustment to get the frost to jump off the window.



Curious Aren't We

Today marks the start of a two week road trip. The route we are taking can be seen here:

View Larger Map

Weddings, visiting with family and friends, as well as a few days camping will undoubtably make the time slip by faster that I would like.


Out and About

Go Get it Ginny

I was fortunate enough to get out of the city this weekend, and kick off the camping season. Easing into the year meant that we were car camping, and mother nature co-operated to make a very enjoyable weekend. As soon as the weekend had started, we made our way out to Sibbald Flats. The drive was nice, as it's a very short distance from Calgary and we managed to get out of town without being caught up in the weekend rush. Shortly upon arrival we had set up shelter and were sitting around the campfire talking with our company for the weekend. The campground was virtually empty, with our group sharing the loop with only another two other parties.

On Saturday we fired up a campfire breakfast, and after much deliberation, set out to find a Geocache. The trek towards the cache was about as straight as we could manage, which unfortunately took us straight up a respectable incline. We moseyed around the ridge and down by the lake, where the dogs were played out in the water.

Sunday a late morning and tasty breakfast set us in motion of clearing up the camp. All morning, as the whiskey jacks and chickadees yelled at me, I went out of my way to be in the moment. No thoughts of the day-to-day, what needed to get done, what was coming, what was had past or anything else that would ripple my pond of Zen. I took in the air, tainted with the smoke of deadfall, and loved every minute of it.


Game 3


Last night the Flames brought the Stanley Cup playoffs to Calgary. Fortunately I was able to attend the game, and right from the start I could tell it was going to be a different kind of game.

Upon arriving, the front of the Saddledome was crawling with tailgaters having a great old party. The weather this particular Sunday was poking at the twenties and I'm sure a lot of the crowd was there all day. Just walking up to the Saddledome was deafening. Even before the warmup the place was already over half capacity. The majority of people were sporting an authentic game jersey. The opening was electric and you could feel the energy in the air. The stadium almost ripped in half when the announcer said: "Let's show the Sharks the true meaning of: Home Ice Advantage".

Despite the rush of energy, jitters got to the Flames and the game got off to a terrible start. Not even four minutes in and the visiting team was up 3-0. At this point we pulled our mainstay goalie, the legendary Kipper, and inserted our substitute: CuJo. Here they managed to hold the Sharks back, and then the hit was layed. The crowd exploded, and the team turned around. The second period of play was some of the best hockey I've ever seen from the Flames. Coupled with the energy of the playoffs, it was some very exiting hockey.

Against the odds, the replacement goaltender and a field of dedicated Flames managed to pull out a 4-3 win against the Sharks. After the first four minutes of play not a single puck made it past CuJo and we managed to create some amazing opportunities with enough capitalization to pull off the win.

The fourth game of the round is on Tuesday night, and I'm pumped to see another amazing game