Archives for category: Administration

Hello. This is just a reminder that registration for the 2018 RLCT opens on January 31. Here is the link: http://www.ottawabicycleclub.ca/rlct/regnow. FYI, most of us sign up for the Classic route on the registration page; but, we actually only ride the classic route to Kingston; we ride the Cruise route back to Ottawa. This is a nice variation on the out-and-back Classic route and affords a welcome change of scene. As well, the Cruise is not as heavily travelled as the Classic. Others choose to ride the Century from Perth. Whatever route you choose, you’ll be ready for the RLCT if you join us on our weekend training, beginning April 2018.

With that in mind, please don’t leave your annual bike tune-up until the last-minute. Do it now when you have lots of time and no need for the bike. A well maintained, clean bicycle is a safe bicycle to ride. This is absolutely paramount when riding in a group. Don’t endanger yourself or your cycling friends by riding an ‘unfit’ bicycle. That means a total check-up and overhaul by your favourite bike mechanic, and includes the inspection of the frame for scratches, cracks or dents; checking all bearing systems: hubs, bottom bracket, headset and pedals; checking quick releases, cassette and chain rings, spokes; truing wheels; checking bottle cages for tightness; replacing cleats and chain as necessary.

If you have carbon rims, use only approved brake pads for the specific wheel rim. Finally, well almost (the list is endless), treat yourself to new bar tape, and helmet, maybe. Check it out anyway.

As well, now’s the time to kit out your saddle bag. Remove the detritus from last year and resupply as necessary. Keep it simple – a spare (working) inner tube, tyre levers, tyre boot, patch kit, master link, CO2 cartridge, multi-tool, ID, some spare cash. That’s about it, unless you’re the safety guy, in which case you can add a  medical kit – bandages, medication, etc.

Okay, you know all the above anyway. Right? So, why bother with this post. Hey, I got things on my mind and needed to talk to somebody. That’s as good a reason as any.

Okay, Stay fit! Bye-bye, ac. Comments always welcome at arnpriorcycling@bell.net; https://twitter.com/ArnpriorCycling

Saturday’s ride (130 kms) will be quite a bit longer than we’re used to. The elevation gain is around 1000 metres. We’ve topped a 1000 metres a couple of times already; so, all told, we should be okay. I’ll post details on Friday afternoon. Meantime, just wanted to remind us that safety on any ride is paramount. We can’t control the vehicular traffic. But, we can lessen the likelihood of an accident by riding in a predictable manner. This means observing the highway traffic act, looking our for each other, and following the best practices for safe group riding.  Let’s not put our fellow riders in jeopardy. Please read and memorise these points:

  • Be predictable
  • Don’t ride directly behind the wheel in front; ride slightly to the left or right; leave a gap
  • Do not overlap the wheel in front of you
  • Don’t stare at the wheel in front you; look beyond it
  • Hold your line
  • Ride over small obstacles rather than swerving to avoid them
  • Maintain the flow of the pace line by upping your cadence
  • Minimize/avoid use of brakes
  • Don’t slow down or stop suddenly
  • If you have to slow down, stop, turn – use hand signals to alert fellow riders
  • Don’t send you bike back when changing from seat to standing position

Okay, bye bye, ac. Comments always welcome at arnpriorcycling@bell.net; https://twitter.com/ArnpriorCycling

Well, hello.

Where is the rain, you’re asking? Beats me. It’s an often heard lament. The call was right but the timing was wrong, a bit like unbuckling your seat belt before you’ve stopped the car; or, think equities – buying Bre-X days before geologist, Michael de Guzman, falls out of a helicopter. Well, I guess the timing and the call were both wrong.

Hey, Paul Reichmann got it wrong, too, back in 1990’s when he ran out of cash for Canary Wharf. His vision for a financial district over-extended his cash resources. He had the right idea and the right place but the wrong time,  a bit like the clean-up hitter at the plate (3 and 2 – full count) thinking fast ball but gets a curve. Strike out.

Reichmann brought his project forward during a decline in the world’s economy. He misread the pitch. And, with his London properties half vacant, cash flow dwindling, and investors fleeing, his firm was placed under administration. Eventually, the banks took control and finished the project. And, the rest they say is history. Canary Wharf is to-day one of the most valuable commercial districts in the world.

Now, I’m left to ponder whether my recent property purchase is ill-timed or fortuitous. What about you – how’s your timing?

Okay, so, I’ll be right eventually. It will rain to-day – but when?

But now, to the point of this post. It’s early days yet and I thought it timely to remind us all about some tried-and-true  commandments of safe group riding. Commit these behavious to memory. There will be a test. Timing is everything, right.

  • Be predictable
  • Don’t ride directly behind the wheel in front; ride slightly to the left or right; leave a gap
  • Do not overlap the wheel in front of you
  • Don’t stare at the wheel in front you; look beyond it
  • Hold your line
  • Ride over small obstacles rather than swerving to avoid them
  • Maintain the flow of the pace line by upping your cadence
  • Minimize/avoid use of brakes
  • Don’t slow down or stop suddenly
  • If you have to slow down, stop, turn – use hand signals to alert fellow riders
  • Don’t send you bike back when changing from seat to standing position

Fingers crossed for next weekend. The plan for next Saturday is Quyon – an honest 100 kms. Ride during the week, if you can.

If you wish to subscribe, google arnpriorcycling and click on the ‘Follow’ link at the bottom right. It’s that easy.

Okay, Ride your bike! Ride safe. Bye bye, ac. Comments always welcome at arnpriorcycling@bell.net; https://twitter.com/ArnpriorCycling

April 24/16: 71 kms; 2 Hrs 27; 554 Metres; Eight Riders + RT

Two days of riding in less than ideal conditions: one cold, the other colder but both engendering the same upbeat response, “I’ll see you next weekend.”

That affirmation beats the feeling expressed after a heavy meal, “I’ll never do that again.” But, we do, riding to eat, and all.

Now cycling takes the mind away (briefly from food) and from the quotidian minutiae of one’s life. If it’s not the beauty and tranquility of the countryside, then, it’s the intensity of a hard climb or the happy chatter of voices up and down the pace-line or the clever repartee at coffee.

Riding a bicycle jettisons the ordinary with no more effort than swinging a leg over the saddle and dropping it to the pedal. Life is always good on a bicycle, even when it hurts. And, if one’s mind does drift back to the ‘real’ world, then, it’s to see it in greater clarity – to return home with insight or resolve or renewed commitment or with a new way forward.

Riding a bicycle is a mobius strip to another world – different but the same.

Riding a bicycle is about being not doing. It’s going out and coming back different.

Well, where did that come from? I suppose it’s Spring; and life is bursting anew. It’s hard not to get excited at the sight of spandex, and new bicycles even if they’re not one’s own. Congrats to EC. It’s a beauty, and well spotted in the rafters.

Okay, Sunday was good, a bit short on distance but long on climbing for this time of year. Well done to everyone. That’s 10% more mileage than last week. We are on track. Be patient. As the Brits say, “early ripe, early rotten.” The TDF is rarely one in the first two weeks.

Right, that’s it for now.

Ride your bike! Bye bye, ac. Comments always welcome at arnpriorcycling@bell.net; https://twitter.com/ArnpriorCycling

“When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.” A C Doyle 1896

Home and Happy

Home and Happy

Well hello. Christmas has come and gone. New Year’s, too, with lots of food eaten in short order between the two of them. Too much food (too much anything, actually) ruins everything, don’t you think? Like you, I tried to keep up some degree of discipline over the holidays but it evaporated like drops of water on a hot griddle, with just a bit of a dance for show at the beginning, and then nothing.

The good news is that I’ve stopped the spread. I’m holding my own at hole three of my belt. I was at hole four before the eating season began. I’m hopeful that the worst is now over. Also, by Mid January, it usually means a return to the in-door trainer, which has collected dust for about eleven months. This time last year I cycled happily in the basement to the Olympics and the Australian Open on TV. It won’t be as compelling this year. Still, I have to start – and soon.

One muses on such things on days like these when the weather is bleak, with no sun for days; glum inducing, for those with such predilections. Fortunately, high spirits can carry the day(s). One asks where is the sun? Mallorca, Cuba, Alicante, Tenerife. Pick anyone of them. They are all several airports and security lineups away. Yes, travelling tests one’s patience and takes its toll but the prospects of dry roads and warm air in far-flung places is very tempting. I keep my visa card ready by the computer on such days just in case Air Canada or Westjet pop up in my inbox offering last-minute deals.

What about you? How’s it going, eh. Stay fit, firm, fine – always.

Comments always welcome at arnpriorcycling@bell.net; https://twitter.com/ArnpriorCycling

Rolling

No ordinary days

Well hello. And, Happy Christmas, or whatever else you choose to call this holiday season. I’m not fussed one way or the other, being of laodicean mind and agnostic in such matters. I tend to use the usual Happy/Merry X-mas most of the time but I’m equal okay with Happy Holidays. Either one is generic anyway. Everyone knows what you mean: it’s family time if nothing else – a remembering of those past, a getting together with old friends, a time for sharing meals and to raise a glass; a time of reflection and of gratitude; of good cheer, when one offers both friends and strangers best wishes for the coming year.

And, so, I send you this greeting from a fellow cyclist who benefits from your company on the bicycle. I hope you join me again in 2016. And, if I should fall off the back, maybe you’ll think to ease up a bit.

You know, it’s been a good year but it was just one of many stepping stone across a wide stream of years yet to come. It’s early days. Entropy awaits in the distant darkness. In the meantime, let’s keep the bicycle clean and ready for the road, the wheels true, the mind alert, the heart light, and the clock wound!

Here’s to you and yours. Bye Bye, ac. Comments always welcome at arnpriorcycling@bell.net; https://twitter.com/ArnpriorCycling

“I shall get up Sunday morning and wind the clock, as a contribution to order and steadfastness … Hang on to your hat. Hang on to your hope . And wind the clock, for tomorrow is another day.” E.B. White

Repeat

Hello again. Well, that wasn’t a long absence from the Blog this time. I just felt that such a marvellous day could not go unremarked. We could have ridden. Maybe, some of you did. I know I thought of it but I failed to act on the impulse. These warm pre-winter days are not hard to take. Let’s hope we don’t pay for them with aberrant weather this coming summer.

Okay, here are a couple of links for you to consider about group riding (and the pulling through). The videos are excellent and show just how easily this can be done. I was going to entitle this blog “Ride like a Girl”. If only, we could. Take a few minutes to view these. It will be worth it.

Basic: http://www.bikeradar.com/road/gear/article/how-to-master-basic-group-riding-skills-video-44624/

Advanced: http://www.bikeradar.com/road/gear/article/advanced-group-riding-essentials-video-44820/

Also, I found this article which is relevant to me (or was) about excessive effort and heart damage. The jury is still out but there appears to be growing evidence about heart damage from exercise. The question remains, “What is too much?”

http://www.bikeradar.com/road/gear/article/heart-health-warning-signs-for-cyclists-45837/

There is also Dr James O’Keefe’s research: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3538475/

“First, the bad news for marathoners and other extreme athletes. Excessive exercise has been consistently associated with atrial fibrillation, a rhythm disturbance that increases the risk of stroke and leaves some people feeling weak and breathless. One study looked at the rates of atrial fibrillation in over fifty thousand Swedish men who had participated in the Vasaloppet, a ninety-kilometre cross-country ski event, over a ten-year period. Those who completed the most races or who had the fastest times seemed to have a higher risk of atrial fibrillation.” This  is an excerpt from The New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/extreme-exercise-and-the-heart

Right, that’s it for now. Stay tuned. Be active. Smile. Think on the morrow but enjoy all of to-day.

Bye bye, ac. Comments always welcome at arnpriorcycling@bell.net; https://twitter.com/ArnpriorCycling

PS: I don’t often comment on the title of the day’s blog-post but I thought I would this time. It’s an echo (for me) of the New York Daily News’ headline of Dec 03: https://twitter.com/NYDailyNews/status/672234341800521728. Republican candidates were offering prayers for the victims but offering no concrete action on new gun legislation restricting access to guns and assault rifles. I doubt there will be sufficient “road to Damascus’ conversions to right the world from darkness.

pity this busy monster, manunkind,
not. Progress is a comfortable disease:
your victim (death and life safely beyond)

plays with the bigness of his littleness
— electrons deify one razorblade
into a mountainrange; lenses extend
unwish through curving wherewhen till unwish
returns on its unself.
A world of made
is not a world of born — pity poor flesh

and trees, poor stars and stones, but never this
fine specimen of hypermagical

ultraomnipotence. We doctors know

a hopeless case if — listen: there’s a hell
of a good universe next door; let’s go

ee cummings

Nov 28/15: 0 Kms; 0 Hrs; 0 Metres; 0 Riders

Well hello. It’s been awhile since we last had a conversation. I’ve been off the roads of Renfrew County for two months. The effects of this can be seen already in thighs and quads now with less muscle and more flab; in my heavy breathing and laboured steps, in a trouser belt that sits increasingly uncomfortable around my waist. My hair is thinning, too. And, I think too often on my passing youth and I fear the advance of age. When shaving, I see many signs of my ‘best before due date’. I ignore them, of course. Who wouldn’t deny the inevitable decline and the daily reminders of decay. And, so, I ride on for as long as I can, when a more sensible person would say enough, “Let it go.”

Okay, so that was all a big dollop of malarkey, especially the bit about my hair. Who am I kidding. I’ve been thin for years. And, yes, the signs of an aged body are all there. Don’t laugh. Your time will come. Enjoy and revel in the day while you can. I do – distorted as it is by myopic vision and strident denial of the passage of time. Cognitive dissonance is a wonderful thing. It affords one the illusion of awareness without the compulsion to resolve the dissonance. Sometimes, that’s for the best. Rage rage and all … .

So what – let’s ride.

Here is a tentative schedule for 2016 for your consideration:

I’ve penciled in some dates and distances and some routes . This is  subject to change based upon rider comments and weather. What follows is much the same as we’ve done in past years, except with a greater emphasis on hills. The weekend mileage presumes you’re riding two or three times during the week.

As for April, it is always a difficult and unpredictable month. The cold and rain may interrupt our training schedule but come May we ride regardless of the weather. As a rule we don’t ride in the rain in April but we do ride in the rain in May. Fun, isn’t it.

Here is the tentative RLCT training schedule for  2015:

  • April weekend rides (Sat & Sun) will be in the 50 – 75 km range/day weather permitting.
  • April 30/May 01: 175 km weekend, includes either Quyon or Kanata or both
  • May 07/08: 200 km weekend, includes either Quyon or Kanata or both
  • May 14/15: 235 km weekend, includes Mtn Chute via Pucker St (MEC 100 km ride May 15?)
  • May 21/22: 230 km weekend, includes Hopetown – Calabogie
  • May 28/29: 270 km weekend, includes Pembroke
  • May 30/31: 200 km weekend tbd
  • June 04/05: 150 km weekend tbd
  • June 11/12: 350 km weekend RLCT – http://www.ottawabicycleclub.ca/rlct
  • Other events for 2016 include the MEC and Tour de Bonnechere rides in August

Okay, Ride your bike! Bye bye, ac. Comments always welcome at arnpriorcycling@bell.net; https://twitter.com/ArnpriorCycling

P1010380

We travel afar and we return. We always return. It’s swings and roundabouts: novelty and diversion and stasis, each in their turn. The mind’s favourite pillow is the familiar.

I watch with interest as the pilot leaves the flight deck. The guy next to me on the plane holds his gold cross tightly and presses it against his lips. I think, “My god, I have neither faith nor symbol.” Such are the choices we make. “We live as we dream, alone” in a bigger heart of darkness than one could ever have imagined.

Okay, I will post the week of April 21. Am flying Thursday. Outta here. Meantime, check http://www.twitter.com/ArnpriorCycling for the latest tweet and photo.

Bye bye, ac.

Okay, hello. Forgot to mention this in an earlier post. Important! Neglect bicycle maintenance at your peril – brakes, quick releases, bottle cages, head set. Check for wear and tightness. Other breakdowns (chain, drivetrain, shifters, tyres, freewheel, crank) may inconvenience you but not these. These can compromise your (and our) safety. Don’t take that chance.

Okay, this for your information:

Bushtukah VIP April 27 5-9 pm 20% off sale

Cycling Sites: http://cyclocosm.com for a quick, snappy recap: Steephill at http://www.steephill.tv

Neat Cafe races this Saturday http://neatfood.myshopify.com/pages/the-burnstown-mile-foot-race-april-26th

Regarding this weekend, the weather forecast is not promising but we have no choice but to ride.

Ciao, ac. arnpriorcycling@bell.net; http://www.twitter.com/ArnpriorCycling

Comments always welcome

PS: HP WS April 23,1564