Saturday, 31 December 2011

On wishing my nieces and nephew a happy new year

Thanks to cellphones, time zones and Alice's assistance, I am now 3-0 at being the very first person to ever wish my nieces and nephew a Happy New Year. That is to say, I was the first person to ever say to Désirée, Edward and Anna "Happy New Year" ever in their lives. At least when it really counts, i.e. just after midnight on New Year's Eve, local time.

Anna, is of course in Newfoundland at this point in time.

A Happy New Year to my readers! With luck it will be filled with biking.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

On why this isn't a recap of the year's cycling

I have been wanting to write a recap of my year regarding cycling, nieces, nephew and mooses this festive season, but I have down with a persistant cold or the flu or something. I usually get a flu shot, but this year, I was in Australia when they were offering it at work. Anyway, I am too tired to compose effectively so that it why this isn't a recap. For that matter, I was too tired to properly attack my kidney stew this morning.
Happy holidays.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

On why today wasn't my last day of biking

My schedule now calls for me to work Sunday to Thursday. It is a bit of a pain, but I am putting up with the change a damn sight better than some of my co-workers. Anyway, this morning dawned bright, clear and quite cold (-12 C). A couple of hours later, I emerged to get on my bike to go to work, only to discover the Kryptonite lock was frozen solid!

I had ridden to work on Wednesday but as the forecast for Thursday called for pissing rain, I opted to BMW. I didn't use the bike on Friday or Saturday as my wanderings around Montreal lent themselves to using the Metro. Also, it was well below zero on both days. In hindsight, I should have been smarter.

I didn't have the time or brainpower (thanks to James' Christmas party the night before) to muck around with getting the lock open, so I BMW'd to work instead. When I got home this evening, I applied liberal quantities of hot water and WD-40 in order to open the lock. As the next few days' forecast read like a repeat performance of last week, I have brought Floria in for the winter.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

On the arrival of winter, thoughts

It was snowing lightly last night here in Montreal. When I looked out the window this morning, there was a light dusting of the white stuff hither and yon, but it seemed manageable and it was sunny. I even went down my front steps to assess the condition of the street. As I was unlocking die Fleddermoose, I noticed there were bit of ice frozen to the rims. At that point, I decided I shouldn't tempt fate. I went back inside, changed and went to work by BMW. En route to the Metro station, I saw some school kids slip-sliding on some icy patches on the road. When I emerged from the Metro, a flurry had developed to the point that biking seems a somewhat perilous proposition. I don't know if this means the end of the biking season per se or just for today. Time will tell, but winter has arrived.

It definitely has arrived in Scotland. The BBC is showing some very dramatic pictures of a storm hammering the country at this point.
This image of a wind turbine going kaput drew me to this gallery. Wind turbines are a relatively common landmark when biking. I vividly remember them in Spain and Alberta.
As well, I saw some being delivered to the docks in Campbeltown.
So to see an image of one getting blown to pieces is very interesting. However, the gallery also has this picture of two trucks that got blown over at Rest and Be Thankful!
Having been over that pass several times in better weather and once on Leonardo, I suspect that the drivers may not have reckoned on the changing wind patterns from a side valley. Then again, maybe the winds were simply so strong that nothing may have prevented the trucks from being blown over!
Me at Rest and Be Thankful in better weather

Friday, 2 December 2011

On a particularly dumb thing I did very early this morning

Shortly after midnight or so, I was riding die Fleddermoose down Atwater after a particularly successful "beer-and-peanuts" style D&D game. Feeling I wasn't in a high enough gear and possibly under the excess influence of beer, I tried to shift up using my left-hand shift lever. As I was already in the higher gear and I used a bit too much force, the cable snapped. Luckily, I didn't have far to go to get home and there was no otherwise untoward consequences to my boneheaded action.

In addition, as I am now working Sunday to Thursday, I could take die Fleddermoose into my local bike shop to undergo a quick repair today and not have to fret about how I am going to work as I haven't reassembled Leonardo. The staff at the bike shop really get a kick out of die Fleddermoose's "Batmoose" logo. While I was waiting for a new cable to be installed, I chatted with one of the staff members about biking in Australia and matters relating. He was somewhat envious of me as Oz was also on his list of places to go. It must be particularly frustrating for him as he gets a number of ex-pat Aussie bike mechanics going through.