Posts in category 'cycling'

  • The Tour: Why I Ride

    This will be my third year riding in the Enbridge Tour Alberta for Cancer and it occurs to me I’ve never really articulated (or even deeply thought about) why I keep coming back. And so, two months away from the big event, it seemed like the right time to put into words what the Tour has come to mean to me.

    A picture of me and my fellow rider Paul at our first rest stop on the 2022 ride.

    I’ve thought of myself as a “cyclist” for as long as I can remember. First, purely as a practical matter, cycling has always been my preferred way to commute (so much so that during my early years of post-secondary I rode to school straight through the winter). But as a sport, there’s few things I enjoy more (skiing and hiking come a close second). The Edmonton River Valley, in particular, has long been a playground to me, with gorgeous paved, gravel, and single track trails that seem to go on forever. Countless are the number of falls days I spent with my wheels crunching through leaves on rolling trails, golden sunlight filtering through the branches overhead.

    Then, as is apparently inevitable for folks as they enter middle age, in the last few years I found myself getting into long distance cycling across the beautiful open roads of rural Alberta, and in doing so discovered a whole new kind of joy in a sport I thought I already knew so well.

    Throughout those years I’d occasionally thought about signing up for an event like Tour Alberta for Cancer, but I was always a bit intimidated. After all, the physical demands of these types of events are significant (though I would discover, in hindsight, that I’d significantly overestimated the difficulty, or rather underestimated my ability to overcome it), and the fundraising is… daunting to say the least.

    But a few of years back, while still working at INVIDI, one of my co-workers put together a team and I decided it was finally time to give it a shot. After all, while an event like the Tour might be intimidating, it’s a lot easier when you know there’s other people who are on the journey with you.

    Of course, this first year was 2021, and assuming you haven’t just blanked out that year in your memory–and who would blame you if you did?–you’ve probably already figured out that year was a little… odd. As a consequence, our first Tour ride was in fact a virtual one, which… really wasn’t the same. At all.

    And so, while 2021 was technically our first Tour, 2022 was our first real Tour.

    Now I won’t lie and say it was easy. The ride itself was challenging, though I have to admit it was not as bad as I’d expected. And fundraising was certainly difficult. But in the end I had no regrets and I immediately signed up for the 2023 ride, having found a new and unexpected passion.

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  • More Trailer Fun

    As I mentioned in my previous post, I still needed to build a box for my trailer. Well, how better to spend my holiday monday than to do just that? Below you can see the fruits of my labour:

    And, of course, a close up:

    As you can see, I built it from some exterior grade plywood and 2x2’s. And before you ask, yes, it’s heavy. Probably 20lbs, if I had to guess. But it seems pretty solid, and should do the job nicely. It’s also quite roomy (40x20x16 inches, give or take), which means I can haul around even more junk!

    Interestingly, while the wood was fairly inexpensive ($13 for the sheet of plywood, plus about $6 for the 2x2s), it was the fasteners which ended up being surprisingly expensive. Heck, the wing nuts which are used to fasten the box to the trailer frame were a buck a piece! But, such is life, and at least my project is complete! Now, to find things to move…

    Update: I’ve summarized the project in a separate page entitled Bicycle Trailer. Catchy, eh?