Sunday, 28 March 2010

On photos

Just an FYI, a comment by a co-worker on Friday lead me to review last September's portion of this blog and then notice that I hadn't put in very many pictures. Not only that, but I still had pictures to add to Picasa (link on the right) from that trip. Both failings have now been remedied.

Monday, 22 March 2010

On the arrival of Spring

Well, Spring has sprung upon Montreal with something like pique upon Winter for having stolen its shtick and as a mark of reprisal is stealing from winter. I biked to work all of last week, yet should the forecast hold true, I won't be on the bike again until at least next week. This week promises to be wet and remarkably cold (-10) complete with rain, snow and possibly freezing rain.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

On a happy bit of inadvertant cleverness

During my afternoon break today, someone made a comment about how people used to start gardening about Victoria Day. I suddenly thought "Victoria Day=Day off work=24th of May=Day I would theoretically start work after getting back from the UK=extra day of vacation". I went back to my desk and poked around the Air Canada website to discover that if I flew back on Monday the 24th, my airfare would be that much less. Very nice, very nice indeed.

I have since booked my ticket with Air Canada. I leave on the 30th of April and get back on the 24th of May.

Not too shabby, even if I do say so myself.

Oh, Happy St Patrick's day!

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

On a plan taking shape

Nothing too dramatic, but I have had my vacation request approved at work. I may now take the first three weeks of May off to go biking in the UK. I would have more to say except I now feel utterly zonked, likely due to time change, a long day at work and some Jameson. If you don't hear from me before tomorrow, happy St. Patrick's day!

Saturday, 13 March 2010

On where the snow has gone

After making the previous post, I rode die Fledermoose over to the other side of downtown for some lunch. I decided to come home via Mount Royal Park. I took the Olmsted road up to near Beaver Lake.

As I had suspected, there was still snow covering much of the route. However, thanks to the knobby Kenda Kommando tires that Floria came with, I still had reasonable traction. The snow and ice remained a challenge as their consistency varied significantly causing a few abrupt stops. I wasn't traveling fast on account of the slippery conditions, the slight uphill grade and the presence of more than a few pedestrians. It was actually kind of kind fun to be "playing" in the snow with Floria. To be honest, I had suspected that this would be the case when I decided on returning home via Mount Royal. (While I have often said that I don't bike in the snow, I made an exception for today as the road was fairly hard packed and they don't use salt on it.)

I will eventually swap the 700x35C Kommandos for the 700x28C "street" tires the Castafiore was rolling on at the end, but for now die Fledermoose will retain her "winter" tires.

On the end of Winter

If I recall correctly, the groundhog saw its shadow, and thus what is happening now wasn't supposed to happen, i.e. Winter would last the standard duration. However, I have been biking now for more than a week and the forecast from Environment Canada shows lows above zero Celsius until Friday, and then only minus 2. I am not getting full value out of my March bus pass as I'm on my bike. Obviously, you can't trust the rodents for your weather forecasts.

On the plus side, my posterior is nearly at expedition grade toughness already.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

On die Fledermoose's first run of the year

It has been absurdly warm and dry for March in Montreal. The current Environment Canada forecast has highs above zero and sunshine for the next seven days. Most of the snow and ice has left the streets. Consequently, as I am on vacation this week, I took die Fledermoose out for a ride this afternoon.

I had some business to attend to at MEC and a bookstore nearby so took Floria out to the Côte-Vertu station by Metro and rode the rest of the way. After the bookstore, I made my way to the Henri-Bourrassa Metro station, only to discover that it was past the time when bikes are allowed on the Metro. Switching to Plan B, I rode home.

I was hardly alone on my bike as there are many cyclists on the streets on Montreal at this time (including one of my ground floor neighbours). Of course, Montreal has cyclists that will ride even in the worst weather. However, there were more than just the fanatics out there today.

It was great to be out on die Fledermoose and she responded well. At one point, I saw a traffic warning radar sign that gave my speed as 35 km/h! I wasn't even trying that hard!

Nonetheless, I am currently both stiff and tired. I hope this is "only" the result of the combination of going to the gym this morning and the longish ride rather than something wrong with die Fledermoose's geometry.

Time to finish my Martini in the tub.