Attempt Numero 3

Hey Y’all,
I am really sorry about abandoning “my post”, so to say. I got lost in the humdrum of life and just completely fell off the blogosphere. But I am back, and I am due for an update on life.

Currently, I am hibernating through the rather warm winter here in Calgary. Although I have seen a lot of bikers out on the road/street, I do not feel inclined to get out yet. And my travel options to work by bike are rather congested/unsafe during the winter. I received a job offer from an oil/gas/water well sand-screen manufacturing company at the start of October, and I took them up on their offer and have been going strong since. The bike ride to work has not happened however, as the temperatures at that time started to dip and I felt it was time to pack up the bike for the summer and pull out the ski equipment. In the last month here, though, a lot of changes have come about. The house I am currently living in will no longer be mine, as I have decided to leave due to the other tenants here. If all goes as planned later today, I may have found a place for just myself within cycling range of work.

I have also had to put my summer cycling exploration on hold as well, due to a marriage in my family (not mine). I had plans to go to the Czech Republic and Austria for two weeks to cycle from Prague to Vienna as a 30th birthday ride, but I will hold off until 2014. In the meantime, however, I have purchased a new digital Nikon D5100 SLR camera for taking way better pictures during my rides, so I am looking forward to getting back on the trail. I also picked up the front Surly Nice Rack for Shirley the Surly… it looks stellar, and completes the front and back rack combination. In the spring I will order in the Ortlieb Front Classic panniers for the rack, as well as order my BOB Yak trailer for pulling all my gear. I have shorter plans to go out to Jasper or Glacier Nat’l Park (Montana) for some cycling and R&R sometime in the summer.

All in all, I am ready to hit the road again on Shirley. I’m quite eager for this winter to be over, as due to the work season I am putting in 60-70 hour work weeks. As long as the oil patch is open for drilling crews, so are we also producing their orders.

So here’s to the new bike season; may it be full of great rides, great views, and great friends! Stay safe, and bike on!

Power To The Pedal,
ANTHONY

Sometimes We All Just Need A Break.

I’ve decided to cycle anywhere between 2-3 full commutes per week. I happened to ride the first two days of my work week this time; by the end of the second day (after I had put my feet up), I just knew that the next day needed to be my off day. Of course, in between all this riding is an 8-hour job which has me on my feet for 100% of the time. So I feel I deserve a couple days to just enjoy the train/bus ride to work. Unfortunately it’s raining today, and combined with the fact that I work until 11:30pm, I am taking a second day off from the bike. So today I get to drive to work. We’ll see what the weather has in store for tomorrow.

Power to the Pedal,

Anthony

Pushing Myself… Striving For Better

So with the recent events in life, I have been eager to begin a new journey in my cycling life. Beforehand, I would ride anywhere from 29-33km a day per commute. It was a fairly straight-forward ride, with no real challenges. However, this new commute here in Calgary has definitely pushed me to new heights (both physically and geographically).

See, Saskatoon doesn’t have nearly the same terrain as Calgary does. The city of Calgary is built both upon the low-lying river coulees, as well as the tops of all the rolling hills that make up the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. My ride each way deals with both of these areas on several different levels over a 25km stretch. The ride to work begins immediately with approximately a 1.25km downhill stretch, which is really fun to do; it gets my body warmed up as I try to beat the other traffic down the hill. I am then faced with the daunting task of riding along the Bow River for several kilometers (woe is me, haha) before reaching my first climb of the day. It’s a nice little hill which usually leaves me huffing and puffing. At the top I am pretty much at the same height that I start the trip at, overlooking the beautiful river valley below.

After a couple minutes of winding around the outskirts of the neighbourhood, I descend back into the valley, where I meet up with one of the most extravagant bike pathways know to an urban area. It is absolutely wonderful. Nearly 15km of uninterrupted pathway (and nearly 3 times as much if I were to keep exploring) which takes me straight to work. The planners even subdivided the pathways: one which is strictly for cyclist and rollerbladers; and one for walkers, joggers, and runners. It’s absolutely brilliant. And all within no more than 40-100ft away from the beautiful Bow River. The best part is that the ride to work takes roughly 55 minutes, so I get to enjoy some “me” time while I ride. I pushed it good this morning, and did it in 48 minutes. I think tomorrow I will take it a little easier, for my workdays sake.

I really do feel blessed!

Power to the Pedal,

Anthony

I’m back!

After a long month and a half, I am back to blogging again. In that time I have had more changes in my life than a brand-new baby has had diapers. I decided two days after my last post that I was done working for Precision HydroJet, and began the hunt for something a little bit different. Initially I took off on the bike for a 3-day bike trip around the countryside, but that got shortened to 2.5 days when I got caught in a never-ending rain storm. However, while huddled inside a farmer’s quanset, I had the chance to think about life and where I needed to be.

Since that day, I knew I was headed for a new town. On July 24th, I started my job interview process in Calgary, Alberta. I have been staying with my friends, G & J, and due to the much needed desire for cash right away, took a job that was going to start me right away (as compared to the ones who were going to get back to me in 2-3 weeks!). I have been working as a bellman at the International Hotel in downtown Calgary since August 7th. It’s been good, but I may need to look for something else a little bit more stable somewhere down the line.

The biking has been AMAZING! I currently have a 50km-roundtrip commute to work from my friends’ place, and it is 95% along the Bow River Pathway!!! It’s absolutely gorgeous. Paved pathways the entire way, all the way to the front doors of the hotel. And I’ve felt a lot better lately too because of it; so far I’ve done 5 commutes for 250km.

The other nice thing is that I am that much closer to the mountains. If I wanted to, I could drive about an hour to Canmore and bike along a beautiful trail to Banff (or further on to Lake Louise). And because Calgary is so close to the mountains, that means a lot more cyclists are in the area… which translates into Bow Cycle & Sports… the largest bike shop in North America, third-largest in the world! I went yesterday for the first time and was just going to window shop. Hahaha! Yeah Right!

So to wrap things up, I am quickly settling into my new surroundings. I will hopefully have a place to rent in the next couple of hours, and will be completing the permanent move at the end of the month. I will definitely be going out a ton more on the bike, both for work and for play. And soon, very soon, I will be sure to upload pictures of my beautiful commute in my beautiful new city.

Power to the Pedal,

Anthony

A Life of Whirlwind

I have been everywhere and nowhere these past couple of weeks. Sorry I haven’t posted anything new, but its just been one of those times in life where some things just get put on the shelf.

July Long went pretty well. I got some jet-skiing in, burnt myself badly in the sun, and spent a good majority of my time sittin’ on the shore of Lake Diefenbaker and just fishing. Soooo relaxing, yet soooo was not ready for work on Tuesday. And of course the weekend was beautiful, but when we got back to work the crap rolled in. Pouring buckets one day, 45+ mile per hour winds the next, and T-storm/tornado warnings all throughout the week. I am finally getting on the bike tomorrow and resuming my goal to commute to work for the summer. Its been super nice and hot this week, and I am looking forward to my 5am ride.

I should go to bed so I get up in time to actually do it.

Power to the Pedal,

Anthony

Summer?

Is it truly here? Friday was the first day in 2.5 weeks where there was absolutely NO RAIN! I took advantage of my 3-day weekend and made an overnight campout to the local provincial park. It was some good times! Mostly because I got the bike out!

It was busy down there, in a good way. There is a triathlon trial going on, and the park was the base point for it all… so I got to meet some really cool riders and ask about their tri-bikes! And then this morning at around 830am, the local long-distance road cycling club made a quick stop in the parking lot (it’s their turnaround point). So bikes galore today! And then to top it all off, on my way home I happened upon the Saskatoon Farmers Market… got some Mennonite sausage… real Mennonite sausage!

A great weekend, and just in time too!

Power to the Pedal,

Anthony

The Final Frontier

Tis strange that I only have 8 hours left at work. This week has been kind of surreal, as all of a sudden everything and everyone I’ve come to know in the last 4.5 years of my life (re: work) will not be there on Monday. The job that I have been doing for 4.5 years is about to change. No longer will I be able to joke around and laugh with the guys anymore. Sure, they’ll keep trucking on as usual, but not me.

At the same time though, I really did need to get out of there. It’s going to be a wierd couple of weeks as I get introduced to the new job, adjust to the new schedule, and learn more about my new coworkers and what makes them laugh/tick. Hopefully they will be as accepting of me as the crew I’m leaving was. Cheers, to the North Fab Shift 2 Crew!

I took my last ride to work last night. Fitting, as I received my new Garmin-Barracuda jersey (yeah, Ryder Hesjedal is my new hero) in the mail right before I left. So I threw it on and got it all sweaty; I like it. Now I need to blaze a new trail; the old one won’t work anymore. I need to figure out which is the safest route to ride, both in the early morning and in the busy afternoon. I won’t ride next week because I’d like to show up to work on time my first week. Hopefully by the end of the month I’ll be riding again to work. But for now, I will save it for the weekends and evenings.

Power to the Pedal,

Anthony

29

So it’s my birthday today; I’m now 29. I can’t believe I’m almost 30. I have enjoyed my 20’s, but at the same time I feel I wasted a whole bunch of it too. I know I’ve made the right decision in switching workplaces, as it allows me more freedom to live life with the people I know and love. At the same time, I wish I’d done it sooner.

Anyhow, the forecast today says its supposed to rain, with some possible thunderstorm action mixed in there. Just what I needed  to hear. I am going out for lunch with my dear mother; maybe she can drive me to work. I doubt I’ll be riding.

Power to the Pedal,

Anthony