27 June 2011
I hope this may bode well for the expected lifetime of the tyre. (Schwalbe Marathon Plus; they have a remarkable reputation, but Toronto has some rather nasty streets. So I've been finding the reputation cheering.)
The angle, well, with the Experiment in the stand, the front wheel never hangs quite straight. I could presumably haul out a plumb bob and alight everything so it did, but that would inevitably move the clamp away from its present pleasant "matches the seat post for hoisting purposes" position, and it doesn't seem worth it.
26 June 2011
So instead of going birding or grabbing a camera, I went for a bike ride this morning. (I dread the probable consequences of trying to stick to my end-of-summer trip plans if I don't manage to get into much better shape first.) The route, well, the route had some issues, especially around getting back from the Birchmont Ave end, but the rolling average stayed above 5m/s and I went a bit further (64, as distinct from the intended 60, km), so I need not be ashamed.
Also, Gerard and Harbord streets early on a Sunday morning, for decadent cosmopolitan "before 10 AM" values of early, are remarkably empty. This is something to remember for next time.
 Squee! in a park! in actual Toronto, not the waterfront urban-wilderness-fringe, even if it was a park just barely inside my idiosyncratic emotional borders for "actual Toronto". And yes, completely sure; I have some pictures from much smaller distances, and the red bill lining shows in one of them, never mind the long, all black, wedge-shaped bill.
25 June 2011
There were birds; surprisingly plentiful birds for the end of June, never mind "for the end of June in the rain". Some of them—the scarlet tanager, the field sparrow, the indigo bunting—took on a quality in the scattered, refractive, fluid surrounding of diffuse light a seeming that in clear daylight only in bluebirds and great egrets have, the character of a creature that burns through from some other, more vivid reality, to shine in ours with a fey outline of presumptive solidity that reduce those things behind and around it to the drabber status of backdrop.
19 June 2011
I managed to lose a Tubus rack stay through the floor some time ago (rolled under the skirting board, and instead of a minor bit of ragged edge in the flooring and then solid subfloor, there was a hole. I'm still moderately appalled about that hole). So I ordered a replacement via MBS Tandems, who are the local-for-at-least-Ontario values of local Tubus dealer, and can make good on Tubus' policy of making every single part for every rack they sell individually available.
So I thought I should try to cycle up there when the part came in; it was supposed to be the Saturday after the Niagara trip, so it would be a good "keep going at least moderate distances" ride. Then the Niagara trip didn't happen due to getting hit by a car, and then I didn't get on the bike again for two weeks due to lead times for rim replacement, wheel building, the inescapable interference of work, and necessary maintenance. ("What is with this nigh-subliminal new-front-wheel wobble? not fender scrub, not the brakes, it's square in the dropouts, not... *ping* goes the front skewer when I elect to see if a bit of tightening will help. Entirely the sort of thing that is infinitely better to discover on a repair stand than when riding, and I was highly reassured because when I rode the Experiment with rebuilt front wheel back from the LBS something hadn't sounded quite right, and now I had found it. But there's a certain inescapable delay if one does not stock skewers in the parts kit, which I had not been. I'm pretty sure the car was the last straw for the skewer; there was a little bit of kink and it didn't go where the nut was. The SON28 hub continues working without complaint, so I am now officially impressed by their toughness and durability.)
Google said it was about 75km; I thought I about it and figured, that will hurt a bit, but I can do that, and Zingerella was willing to come along, so if I did wind up lying in a ditch somewhere in a state of collapse, there would be someone available to call 911.
It wasn't Niagara; the time/speed graph looks like seismograph output, courtesy of numerous stop signs, stop lights, and etc. But it does reassure me that 100km days are doable, and as new-front-wheel tests go, it seems reasonably definitive.
I may need an under-helmet cap of some kind to keep the sun off; my scalp is feeling just a bit scorched this morning. And the Specialized gloves aren't as sunblocky as I should best prefer, either, but everything else seems to work just fine. (Though I am going to have to find a way to make something that's quick-energy food (the lead time on the pickup from the mixed nuts seems to be about an hour, which presents timing challenges) and remember to take some, next time I go for that kind of length.) Zingerella (who has a touring weekend coming up well before I do) managed 16 additional km, what with starting rather distant from my domicile, and both she and the TPB held up better than I did.
15 June 2011
And yes, it really is that green; lots of rain and several warm weeks have encouraged the vegetable kingdom.
12 June 2011
The green is about right; the duckweed is lamentably shiny; I could have wished for a different sun angle, too, but oh well.
The lions—at least so far as I was able to notice—were not out at the Zoo. It's possible that it's still a bit chilly for them, or they're still shedding winter coat and not looking the least bit regal, I don't know. But the lion enclosure, as a sort of "for the love of wisdom, child, don't climb this fence" last-ditch (well, right before the ditch, and a substantial plummet is the ditch) anti-stupidity measure has what I take to be wild roses planted along the "this is a far as you go" rail fence behind the "really, stop here" rocks. And whatever it is, it's blooming.
08 June 2011
I am so very glad I'm not trying to do this with wet chemistry.
04 June 2011
03 June 2011
So the plan was to cycle around the Niagara Peninsula this weekend; take the GO train to Aldershot, and away off past Hamilton and into the Niagara Region, specific routing to be determined by actual prevailing winds on arrival. (Clockwise or anti-clockwise, that is the question...) B&B all booked, maps printed, everything packed, etc.
What I didn't plan on was getting hit by a car on the way down to the GO station.
I don't think it's a door prize when you get hit with the outside of the door; guy on delivery pulled out of a wee parking lot into me. Fortunately, this happened at a low speed, in part because I'd already slowed down because I thought the previous small movements of the car meant he was parking, rather than un-parking, and proceeded past on the supposition that he'd finished. He acknowledged that he hadn't shoulder-checked before pulling out, I've got a photo of his driver's license, and I don't imagine I'll need it, since I have a slightly bruised right hand and a tiny bit of road rash below my right knee; too trivial to describe as damage. (also a light jacket with a hole in it and a knee warmer, ditto.)
The Experiment, well:
So no bike trip around Niagara; called due to lack of bike.
Well, being hit with a car could have been arbitrarily worse. It was within ready walking distance of home, too.
Arkel XM-45 panniers hold a lot of stuff. All the electronics survived, including the dynamo hub. I was going to have to re-tape the handlebars anyway, to rotate the crosstop levers back up to a more ergonomic position after taking the Arkel bar-bag mounts off them. The mechanic at the LBS was really happy to get his hands on R2C shifters. Zingerella left the whole thing of breakfast bars here, on purpose.