Thursday, November 29, 2007

IJO - Canuckracker!

This coming Sunday afternoon the Impressions in Jazz Orchestra has a cool Holiday show. It's a new and very Canadian interpretation of the famous Nutcracker Ballet, though we'll be playing Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn's revamp of Tchaikovsky's music, with Modern and Swing dance instead of ballet.

"A uniquely Canadian story about friendship, multiculturalism and inclusivity, with a high-tech moral, a comedic villain, and a Mountie Nutcracker."

Complete info at the IJO website.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

A few weekends ago I was in Toronto for a family visit, and to help crazybikerchick complete her homebuilt trailer (based on the design details at my website). I'll get to the bike photos in a moment, but first...

I had heard of the new addition to the Royal Ontario Museum, but had not yet seen it. It's interesting, at the very least:

Walking down Yonge St., and a larger-than-life Freddie Mercury at the Canon Theatre (formerly Pantages, where Phantom of the Opera reigned for many years after the theatre's renovation):

Walking along Queen St. East on the bridge over the Don Valley River and Parkway. The sign says "weaving traffic be aware of cyclists". What? Cyclists are not allowed on either the DVP or the connecting Gardiner Expressway. Does it mean motorcyclists?

Saturday afternoon cycling around, and came upon a neighbourhood bike store. Here's the sidewalk sign:

With a cool CCM tandem in the window:
On to Urbane Cycles to help the bikerchick look at folding bikes and bents. The Bacchetta Giro was very nice:

But this was my fave, the Bacchetta LWB:
I really liked how this bike felt. If I wanted to buy a new bent I think this would be the one. We also tried the RANS V2 Formula 26 (not pictured), and that was also a nice ride. I think it would be great for long tours, but perhaps not so nimble in urban traffic (where I spend the vast majority of my time) compared to the Bacchetta.

Finally got to see a Bakfiets cargo bike in real life:

And lastly, Carey Chen, one of the owners / mechanics of this co-operatively run store. Some of Carey's hot rod Raleigh Twentys are featured on my folding bike webpage.

Oh, and after mentioning the trailer, I should mention that I've sent Tanya my photos and she should be blogging its build soon.

UPDATE: I've been reminded that I did not mention my transportation while in T.O. I used both of Tanya's old folding bikes, one being an Auto-Mini and the other a Raleigh Twenty. The Twenty is better built, but is heavier and has some drivetrain friction. The 'Mini seems a bit quicker, and is also geared lower. I used it on Friday to visit people downtown, then got a lift to my older brother's place for dinner, then rode it back to Tanya's. And yes (as T. mentioned in the comments) flying down the Bayview extension hill along the way. Well, perhaps not flying, but going as fast as I dared on an elderly folding bike that is too small for me, and whose mechanicals were a tad suspect. Funny how I've done up to 80 kph downhill on my recumbent, but 30 kph on the old folder had me putting the brakes on...

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Fall ride

My friend Andrea and I have been lucky to be able to do so many rides together this year. We meet every Friday if we can, and find somewhere to go (or just meet and chat if it's raining). In early October we did a loop from her place near the Champlain Bridge, up into Gatineau Park to see the changing colours, then across and along the path beside the Gatineau River.

Close to Lac Leamy we found that the path had crumbled or washed out, and a temporary bridge was in place. It was quite interesting, because it exposed a large culvert through which a small stream passed. This stream did not run outside of the culvert, so I'm not sure what caused the earth to collapse.

We them made our way to Lac Leamy, and since it was such a beautiful day (27C on Oct. 5th!) we did our usual beach stop. A. decided that the water was OK, and after taking photos I too went in, though it was cool enough to keep us to below the knee...

Monday, November 05, 2007


It's the time of the year when these furry rats / cute little suckers run around collecting food, so why not two silly photos? Good thing the second one isn't real... :P

Blogger is being dopey

Blogger's photo uploading feature has been buggy for the past few weeks, and they keep saying it's fixed then it breaks again (this is rather amazing for a billion dollar company). So until they resolve the issue the current workaround is to upload photos to Picasa, and then manually put the HTML links in the posting. This is more time consuming, so it'll take me a bit to get caught up...