Thursday, September 09, 2010

Orillia cycling & the MEC contest

As noted before, I've posted a few cycling videos onto Youtube. This was the first one, and then I did a second one riding west out of the city.

Later, I was browsing the MEC site looking at paniers and winter cycling pants, and came across their Sweet Spots video contest.

I entered my videos into the cycling portion of the contest, and if anyone wants to grace me with a few votes, go to this page and look for the two videos which have "orillia" in the title.

I initially assumed that you had to be a MEC member to vote in the contest, but you don't - all you need is an email address.


Monday, August 09, 2010

West out of town

Maybe I'll do a video in each direction out of Orillia. The last one started north of town and worked it's way back in. This one loops out of town to the west, then comes back in from the south. I could do a purely "south" one and then one out to the east!

Anyway - here's the youtube link to the newest video.

P.S. - as a long time Toronto cyclist (where you bike for about 1.5 hours just to get to something resembling the farmland seen in this video), let me say how nice it is to have these kind of views just 15 minutes away from your house. In just about any direction.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

A cyclist with a mac

I now have access to a Mac and the IMOVIE software. I'm starting to dream about creating awesome cycling videos. Unfortunately I don't have regular access to a good video camera. These two videos were just shot with my Canon Powershot camera's video-recording capabilities, and they're still turning out pretty well.

The link to go over to YouTube to watch this video is here. I don't know why embedding videos on blogger continues not to work properly.

That's the one I tried a bit harder with. This one is shorter and was my first crack at the IMOVIE software.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

floyd - the truth is out there

In 2006, after Floyd Landis won a crazy mountain stage in the Tour de France (the Tour that he would win and then have taken away due to doping), I wrote a very sentimental and melodramatic post about Floyd's mountain climbing ability, and about mountain climbing in general.

Despite positive doping tests from that Tour, Floyd would deny drug use for four years. He even set up the Floyd Fairness Fund (or the longer title Fund to Fight for Fair Treatment for Floyd Landis and Advocate Advances in Best Practice in Anti-Doping in Sport. Basically - you were meant to donate to the fund to help Floyd clear his name and also help protect other athletes from every being tarnished in this way.

Well the truth is now out of the bag - Floyd has confessed, and he's saying that Lance was involved in the doping.

I don't really care about Lance. What gets me is the indignant, holier than thou, "how dare you accuse me of doping" attitude that Floyd (and McGwire and Bonds etc) put on for as long as they possibly can, until something makes them realize that it's pointless and they might as well confess. And to go so far as to set up a Floyd Fairness Fund?!? That's ridiculous. In his confession, Floyd should have also added "I would like to announce that anyone who contributed to my fund is welcome to come and punch me in the face."

It's such a shame. Those mountain stages in the Tour and other cycling races are so inspiring and dramatic. To hear - a few weeks or months or years later - that the dudes providing the drama were flat out cheating.... well... it just ruins it, doesn't it?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Last day of mini-vacation

The Trek road bike mentioned below has sold. Thanks to my buddy for selling it for me and to everyone who inquired about it. I hope the buyer enjoys many long summer rides on it.

It's mid-May and my thoughts are more about gardening right now than biking. The photo above comes at the end of a nice day here in central-Ontario - the plants and vegetables in the foreground will soon be in our garden this weekend hopefully, and the bike out in the lawn was deposited there by my wife after a "gotta ride my bike in this sunshine" outing along the lakeshore trails.

The cats spent most of the day under a bench.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

babies and baby blue bikes

So I obviously haven't been blogging much these last few months. One of my reasons is this little cutie - who is now six weeks old.

The new baby and an early spring here in central Ontario has got me in a "spring cleaning" frame of mind, and one outcome of this is that I'm going to sell my road bike, and not having much time for this, I'm going to sell it through a bike-saavy friend in Toronto. Contact him at duncanvolk [at]

A dozen pictures are viewable in a set over at Flicker. I'll provide a couple here though as well:

The specs are still viewable in the Trek Bike Archives. Look for the 2006 Road bikes, and then the Trek 5000. This link should get you there.

Before I forget - this is a 54cm frame.

The differences, as the pictures at Flickr will demonstrate, are these:
Wheelset - Easton Circuit
Tires - Front: Specialized Pro / Rear: Michelin Orion
Brakes - Ultegra
Front Derailleur - Dura Ace
Bar Tape - Specialized Gel tape (called S Wrap I think)

Although there is an old Selle Italia saddle on the bike in the pictures, I'm going to put the stock Bontrager saddle back on for the buyer. The Italia is my beaten up old favourite saddle.
Also - the current pedals are Time Impacts. I'd rather keep them, but if the buyer doesn't have his/her own pedal system and wants the Times, I can sell them and my cleats for an extra $30.00 bucks or so.


Here's the brief story:

I bought the bike in April 2008. It was originally owned by another central Ontario cyclist who told me he'd taken the Shimano gears off the bike and ridden it with SRAM parts. After I bought it, I had my local bike shop do various things - replaced the wheelset with Easton Circuits, which are high up in the "value" range of road wheels. They were often sold anywhere from $400 to $600.00 a set by themselves. I had the bikeshop redo the bartape for me, and at one of my visits they offered me a good price on the Dura-Ace front derailleur which is now on the bike, and I took them up on it.

That's how the bike came to be fairly differently spec'd from what you'll see on the Trek site. To my mind all these changes are upgrades - especially the wheels (and I guess the front derailleur).

The mileage is hard to guesstimate. I've had it for two summers and really only rode it maybe 10 to 12 times a summer at the most, and not being in shape anymore those would have been 30 to 60km rides at the maximum. I can't vouch for how much mileage was put onto the bike by the guy before me.... but since he rode SRAM gears, and since I changed the wheelset... any mileage put on by that guy really only refers to the frame and fork etc... not the parts which usually suffer from the most wear and tear.

There are a few reasons I'm selling, primarily:
a) at 5'7 I've always been at the low end of people who could ride 54cm frames. My previous two road bikes were both 54s, but this Trek is a bit different and a bit too big for me. As I see myself getting older and less fit, the size problem will just get worse and worse.

b) With the new baby mentioned above I don't think I'll really need a road bike for a few summers. I mainly find myself reaching for my 'cross bike these days anyway, and so I figured I'd sell while the bike is still fairly new and I could get a respectable price for it.

One more note: see post below for a review from Bicycling Magazine for the 2004 model of the Trek 5000.

Review of Trek 5000

In the post to follow, I describe my 2006 Trek 5000 road bike which is for sale. I thought I would post a review from Bicycling Magazine of the 2004 version of this bike. The 2004 I believe was the first year the Trek 5000 was produced.

Tour trickledown.(bicycles)(Product/Service Evaluation).

Bicycling 45.7 (August 2004): p85. (1733 words)

Trek 5000

PRICE: $2,200 WEIGHT: 18.0 lb. (56cm w/o pedals) YAY: Smooth, feathery frame NAY: Paying more than two grand and settling for a few ho-hum Shimano 105 parts FRAME AND FORK: Trek OCLV 120 carbon fiber; fork has alloy steerer tube SIZES: 50, 52, 54, 56 (tested), 58, 60, 62cm COMPONENT HIGHLIGHTS: Shimano Ultegra shifters, cranks, rear derailleur, 105 brakes and front derailleur; Bontrager wheels, bar, stem, saddle, seatpost CONTACT: 920/478-4678;

To appreciate the 5000, let's look at what Lance rides...and has ridden since signing with Trek in 1997. For his first two Tour wins (1999 and 2000), Armstrong used a 58cm frame identical to that of the 5000. The next year, Lance piloted what's now the 5900 SL, which uses a slightly lighter weave of carbon fiber (110 grams per square meter instead of 120 grams). The savings in weight was a mighty slim 60 grams. Last year, Lance used the new Madone which, at a weight similar to a 5900 SL, is a whisker more aerodynamic.

A frame that won two Tours and is a few gulps of water heavier than the latest and greatest? Fine by us. Frame aside, Lance wasn't riding a $2,200 rig in the Tour-his bike was decked with top-of-the-line Dura-Ace parts. To bring the price down, the 5000 gets dressed with a mix of Shimano Ultegra and 105, backed by a spread of Trek's house-brand Bontrager components, including wheels. All work without complaint, even if outclassed by the yellow-jersey winning frame.

Hop on the 5000 and enjoy the quiet, no-buzz ride that carbon-fiber frames-and Trek's decade-old OCLV models in particular-are famous for. With the requisite carbon-fiber fork up front, all-day comfort abounds, but there's still stoutness for torquing in town-line sprints. Thankfully, steering leans toward precise and stable rather than quick and twitchy-perfect for those secret, two-handed victory salutes when, alone on some back road, you're playing Armstrong.