Monday, May 30, 2016

Ottawa in May

I went to a small conference in Ottawa, Ontario in May, and knowing how famous Ottawa has become for cycling, I threw my bike in the car as well. Wow, Ottawa, congratulations. Those are some jaw-droppingly beautiful cycling routes you've created!

Not having done much "on street" bike commuting while I was there, I'm not going to try and verify Ottawa's growing reputation as a bike-commuting paradise. However, walking around on foot (in the U. of O. area) it was obvious that cycling is a huge mode of transportation in this city.

What I can gush about were the scenic rides I was able to get in... on the Rideau Canal, and along the Ottawa River. The canal ride seemed to be more or less through the city-proper, and riding around 7:00am there were tons of other cyclists and joggers out using this multi-use trail. And the Ottawa River ride, on a warm late spring afternoon, was just gorgeous. And the trail went on forever... winding scenically along a beautiful and historic waterway... and when you come into town, you're right behind the Supreme Court and the Houses of Parliament and have snuck your way straight into downtown Ottawa.

Dow's Lake, early morning:

The Ottawa River... somewhere in the Nepean area

And this, just for the heck of it, is the University of Ottawa pedestrian / cycling bridge across the canal:

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

My Oakleys broke...

I started really getting into cycling around 2000 / 2001. I bought a terrible, department store, mountain bike off a co-worker, and started commuting around Toronto. This was the bike which I kept taking into my local bike shop for repairs, until finally my mechanic looked at me one day and said "No more man, I'm not fixing this bike anymore!".
So... I gave up on whatever that stupid thing was, and bought a Kona Hahanna. A reliable, no-frills, mountain bike from a good company.

Anyway, I bought more bikes, and became a very enthusiastic cyclist, and eventually needed a good pair of sunglasses for long Saturday and Sunday rides in summer sunshine.

This was somewhere around 2003 (give or take a year). I was either in grad school, or trying to decide if I should go to grad school... but either way, money was tight. Adding to the expense was my near-sightedness, and the fact that any sunglasses I bought would have to be prescription ones.

I have no idea what I'd heard about Oakley's back then. I imagine I saw them mentioned in a cycling magazine. Anyway, I decided I wanted very high quality sport sunglasses, and I chose this pair of Oakley's with the blue lenses. I remember them costing what seemed like a fortune at the time, but don't really remember how much I paid - my best guess is $400 to $450. 

So... 2003/04... to 2016. About 12 years. Lots of sweat and lots of sunshine.

I had them pushed up onto the top of my head as I was carrying stuff into the house. They fell down to the kitchen floor and the connecting piece between the lenses snapped. Kind of a mundane way to go for glasses that have seen so many kilometers.

Thanks guys. Take care.