Showing posts from August, 2008

the active transportation hurricane

To begin - anyone else think the guy leaving comments on this post is a little bit too angry about something?

During my life in Toronto, I took part in a few cycling events, and organized that petition, but never really got involved with cycling activism the way I thought I should. When I moved to Orillia, I wanted to get involved in city life and look into bike issues, and so I won a spot on a city committee that deals with trails in general (more commonly hiking / nature trails) and a small group of us from this committee have started promoting active transportation issues.

This is fun stuff. Orillia has had a strong recreational cycling culture for a while, but very little of a commuting cycling culture. Cycling infrastructure doesn't really exist here at all - there are next-to-no bike parking posts in this town, and no bike lanes which are useful for journeying to work/school etc (i.e. no bike lanes going through or across town).

So - we're trying to get something started he…

Orillia Team Tri wrap-up

On Sunday, my brother (in the middle), my partner Anna and I did the team relay at the Orillia triathlon. I biked, my brother ran, and Anna swam, and we came in 9th out of 21 teams.

As I mentioned below, on Saturday my Trek road bike, which I haven't ridden much this summer, was shifting terribly. The front derailleur was throwing the chain over the big ring onto the crank arm every time I tried shifting from the small to the big ring. A choice I considered for a while was shifting my road wheels onto my Jamis cross-bike. This ended however when I picked up the cross-bike right after picking up the Trek, and noticed the 6 pound difference between the two bikes. So, I said "screw it" and decided just to ride the whole race in the big chain ring.

This obviously isn't ideal, but it all turned out fine actually. I did a bunch of training rides on the race route prior to the race, and knew exactly how all the hills worked (and how all the downhills worked, i.e. where I had …

damned derailleurs and farmers

So - regarding the below mentioned triathlon that I'm participating in tomorrow, I have a spot of bother. I haven't actually ridden the carbon Trek in ages, and ever since I bought it the bike has had front derailleur issues. I tried riding it around today and the derailleur kept throwing the chain over the big chain ring, no matter what I did with the limit screw.

I almost decided to put my road wheels onto my Jamis cross bike today, switching over the cassette, but in the process of lifting the Jamis and the Trek, with the Jamis weighing... I don't know... 6 pounds more than the Trek... I couldn't bring myself to do it. So screw it. I'm riding the Trek tomorrow and I'm not going to use the smaller chainring at all. I'll let you know how this goes.

Another dumb thing I did today - the day before a race - was ride 50 km (on the Jamis). I tried to go Friday afternoon (had the day off) but right when I was set to go, thunder started rumbling in the distance, wi…

Orillia Triathlon & Tuco's bike collection

Although I can't claim to have ever been a "racer", from 2003 to 2005 I did lots of running races and several duathlons. Since moving to Orillia - where I walk most places and haven't been road riding much - I've completely fallen out of cycling shape. Not letting that deter me, I'm doing the cycling portion of a team tri this weekend - the annual Northern (Orillia) Triathlon.

Now, coincidentally, way before I moved to Orillia, I did the duathlon here twice, in 2003 and 2004, coming about middle of the pack in my age group both times, and doing the 33km bike portion in about 1:05 each time. Ironically, in 2003/04, when I was probably in the best shape I'll ever be in, I was riding the worst road bike I'll probably ever own. I mean, it was my first road bike and it did what entry level bikes are supposed to do (ie addict you to the sport) but it was a heavy chromo frame with low level Shimano Sora and whatever type of wheelset you get with a $500.00 bik…