30 August 2011

Well, that's a 1000 km down

It's actually 1055.87; I passed a 1,000 km for the Experiment very early in this ride.  But I really didn't want, for what are purely superstitious reasons, to tackle this weekend's ride-round-Niagara with its couple of 100 km days (though thankfully not adjacent 100 km days) without getting past 1,000 km on the summer first and there were mailing list posts about interesting birds in Rattray Marsh, which is really not all that far away.

I think of the Lake Ontario shoreline as being basically east-west, but that isn't true past Toronto; it's narrowing down to western end, where Hamilton is, and then it goes in a curve to the Niagara River.  (not shown; I certainly didn't get that far today!)  Which means I should take reports of south-west winds more seriously when I'm thinking about heading west along the lake; what's an annoying crosswind/wind on the bow along the Toronto waterfront is an outright headwind once one hits Mississauga.

So it was basically 30km of horrible headwind, and another 30km of my, this is a nice set of trails along here, and while my legs have bad things to say about my basic good sense for riding into that head wind for that long, nothing has (avert!) gone and collapsed into the Bad Leg Cramps, which I am now sure are a product of having the seat creep down a bit.  (as in, it looks like under 1cm drop is enough to throw everything off, happy-legs vs unhappy legs wise.)

A better seat post clamp is on order; in the meantime I'm tightening this one (a replacement for the original, the pinch bolt of which made the ping! noise) as far as I dare.  (and have a spare in the tools bag.  Because of all the five dollar parts to have cripple one's ability to ride, I think I'd find the seat post clamp particularly hard to take.)

Taking to the end of August to get past 1,000 km feels awfully slack, but, well, job that I can't cycle-commute to, horrible sinus thing, two weeks of no front wheel courtesy of that car at the start of June, and July weather inconducive to both exercising outside and not dying at the same time.  So it could be better, but it doesn't actually suck, or at least not suck rocks.

The Experiment continues to be a delight and an indescribable improvement on any previous bicycle.  I am going to see just how well I deal with the Niagara Escarpment this weekend before seriously contemplating drive train changes for loaded touring, but I'm at least somewhat hopeful I won't collapse in an expended heap in a ditch anywhere.  (I've been zooming about with a front bag and a trunk bag, but not panniers on the whole.  I suspect the panniers will make a difference...)

27 August 2011


Toronto Police Pipes & Drums, at the head of Jack Layton's funeral procession where it started by Osgoode Hall.

Taken from a streetcar that almost made it around its diversion off King St. and along Queen, but not quite.

There were an awful lot of people in the vicinity of that funeral, even knowing they wouldn't be able to get into Roy Thompson Hall.  (They don't stop the streetcars for much; scheduled parades pass them through, frex.)

Everybody remember to do a Thing.

25 August 2011

Working on it

Looking north from the lighthouse hill at the eastern edge of Tommy Thompson park, where they're still adding fill.

It was a really lovely night for a bike ride.

18 August 2011

Spider Thistle

I find myself hoping I have a long and productive interaction with the DFA100WR.  (Not to be confused with the DFA100.)

15 August 2011

Happy as a bee in clover

Absent some surrounding foliage:
 1:1 crop

14 August 2011

So far, no cramping

Avoiding the bad leg cramps[1] might be as simple as an average speed under 5 m/s, which makes me feel like an utter slug but a slug who must acknowledge that the cycling isn't happening as much as once a week, never mind more than once a week. (Curse you, combination of deadlines and determined work ethic!)

This was not a planned loop; this was a "let's go down to the Martin Goodman and see if I can make it back to the Cherry Beach Chip Truck if I go out Tommy Thompson" sort of thing, and then I went up the Don instead of straight back home because I am very bored of the parts along Queen's Quay where there isn't a bike path or bike lane and one must play "what will we have to dodge today, Brain?" with extra bonus "crush, concuss, or contuse?" rapid prioritization skills testing.

 It amuses me that the altitude change never comes out to zero, despite starting and stopping in the same—to sub-metre resolution—place.

Tommy Thompson Park is an artificial breakwater/harbour extension thing, made out of excavation fill and building wreckage (there are place in the still-being-added parts where you can find yourself riding over ten metres of broken tiles, pounded roughly flat by being run over by a bulldozer; as tyre tests go a fairly convincing one) and it has been, historically, almost completely left to its down devices to turn into whatever sort of urban wilderness it wants.

I remember when this view was a blasted heath of broken bricks and a certain sparse quantity of struggling forb; it doesn't take the prying roots all that long to turn bricks back into mud.

The lighthouse at the tip of the park; if you go and build something 5km out into the lake, it's presumably polite to provide encouragements to the shipping to avoid running into it.
His Noodly Appendage; there's a fair bit of free-form sculpture attempts on the still-being-filled margins of Tommy Thompson, and sometimes it's people and sometimes it's the lake.  The great big ball-of-yarn rebar free-form stuff is, I am nearly certain, the lake.  The various inuksuit are, I am nearly certain, humans.  This one may be a collaboration.

[1] There were leg cramps, and they started right about 55km this time, too, though in response to an attempt to go quickly because I really wanted to get home before the thunderstorm happened.  They were nothing like as bad, and have been nothing like as bad since I got off the bicycle; pre-emptive ibuprofen and taking the lunch vitamins when I got home seem to have helped, he says, making the sign against evil.

White-Breasted Nuthatch

I don't normally see these guys in the summer, or so low in a tree—this one wasn't all that much above eye level—so I was very pleased to get a whole-bird shot.  Even if the branches behind are running into limits-of-bokeh issues.

13 August 2011

About as lost as it is possible to get

At least if you're a winter hat.

I like to think the owner will see it and rescue it from where someone, following the custom, has stuck it over something visible and too high to let the hat be lost back into the snow, but, well.  August.  It's been there a good long time now.

07 August 2011

Maritime innovation

Due to the kindness of a friend and colleague, I wound up spending five hours on a sailboat on Saturday, the prototype of one of these.

"These" being a 25 foot, cat-boat rigged, not-necessarily-provided-with-booms, flat-bottomed sail boat that had what were to my mostly inexperienced view really remarkably good sailing characteristics.  I wouldn't want to take one across the broad Atlantic, but I would not be surprised to discover that someone had, sort of thing.  (Also, Yves, the captain?  Made sailing backwards for one leg of the triangle around swimmers (who had been, and would be again, passengers) look trivial.  So my impression may not have the boat/skill ratio quite right.)

Heading East

Shot through the abjectly filthy plastic-and-polyester-canvas sheet that gets strapped over the rear of the last car,  presumptively to discourage any addled passengers from walking straight out the back of the train.  Which is probably a good idea, much as I should have preferred that it wasn't there for photographic purposes.