Friday, December 10, 2010

December 9 #bikeschool Q1 - extended

 Bam!! Darryl layed down the first question of the night last night. I immediately started thinking in 140 characters. I answered simply that I would point to a blogpost on the subject by either @bikerly @lovingthebike or @egggman (me) and tell them to join. This is what I do when people ask me right? Then I started reading other (Better) answers and it got me to thinking.
If Someone asked me what is #bikeschool in any forrum other than twitter how would I answer??

#bikeschool is the #secretevilplan that wasn't... Or was it? One night at the cottage watching a fuzzy at best tv screen after a movie ended it was twitter time. My wife was checking in on facebook friends and plans for the next day. I sat back with the iPad and read a tweet from a newly followed wild man @bikerly to @lovingthebike. The tweet went something like: "so how is the #secretevilplan coming". I jumped in with a snide remark about it cant be so secret let me in. From there @bikerly started taking about filling water bottles with vodka. Back at home a week or so later I poked the pair on their #secretevil plan in jest and we started chatting about fictional possibilities.

One day still in summer @bikerly decided to stop the whole idea of the #secretevilplan joke and make it into something. His idea... you guessed it #bikeschool a hashtag linked to blog entries about life lessons learned by bike. The idea grew in dm's and e-mails between the 3 of us and then on August 10 2010 it was on a 3 linked blog post under the theme #bikeschool. Many other bloggers joined in quickly and lots of #bikeschool tweets happened through August and into September. The idea was fun and had worked but it was slowing down.

Blog posts #1: Bikerly Blog , LovingTheBike , OldSinglespeed

@bikerly decided it was time to kick up the heat and we chatted some more #secretevilplanB took shape. Based on some interesting twitter chat sessions he had seen he pitched the idea to us. Sounded great. We could have a couple people get together every week at 9pm EST Thurdays. We sent out some tweets and had a team blog post again Tuesday October 19th making another #secretevilplan #unsecret again.

I don't know what the others expected but the first week was amazing. @bikerly hosted and it was fun. I could not believe the amount of people who showed up. I learned alot quickly about people and their cycling habits. More though I just had a fun hour on twitter with new friends. Week 2 @lovingthebike was in charge and it was great again.

Week 3 was my turn and I was a little nervous about running out of inspiration. I wrote out some questions and let a few things pop off the collar and it was again a fun session. From there it is history. We have had guests ask questions we keep meeting new great friends. It is really becoming a fun community get together. It has now stretched as far as England and Australia although it wreaks havoc on their schedule due to time shift.

Week after week fun times. Stay tuned next week as @bikerly takes over again! And as @lovingthebike says "enjoy your ride!"

#notsosecretevolplanD really needs to be a #tweetup group ride somewhere sometime with ridiculous amounts of fun included!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I am warm!!

The daily discussion this week at my house has been about temperature. I then get to the office and people bombard me with "aren't you freezing?". One thing I have learned from winter sportswear vendors and Snowboarding is the art of containing heat. Layers work wonders (thin layers)! My main issue continues to be figuring out which layers to strip away as to not be too hot and sweaty. Today it was -13 C with a wind-chill of -18 and I wore a basic 3 layer outfit. In cold like this I never get rid of the wind break layer but augment the insulate and tight layers as necessary. The diagram above is my layering method. I am sure there are a million others like it. I have found that these methods crossed over between sports well. The hardest thing about cycling remains the leg outer layer as it has to remain low profile.

I am just rambling here so I will stop. the main thing is I am warm and comfortable on the frigid morning ride in. That is all for now... I'm out...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Winter pedals??

With the winter weather I have been trying to decide if I have chosen the right pedals. I started to wonder yesterday when I was riding in with my beat up old shimano spds and was a little stiff clipping in and out.
 
Today there was a little more snow on the ground and I had forgotten my cycling shoes at work yesterday thus being stuck riding in street shoes. I was amazingly comfortable slowing and stopping the winter fixed gear with no clipping or strapping mechanism engaged.
 I have a basic pair of flat pedals and toe straps. I was thinking for winter maybe switching out to flats is my best option just as a quick way of ditching the bike if needed for any reason. I am wondering what kind of pedals other riders use for winter riding? Am I just over-thinking again?
Thats all for now... Please post a comment if relevant. Thanks

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A change of season....

After blowing 6 spokes on my rear wheel of my fixed gear toy that already had 1 broken prior it was time to fix her up for riding. Instead of fixing it myself I left it in my office and Paul took it home and did the job including putting the new tire on to replace the one with the herniated sidewall.Yeah I need to take better care of my toys.
While he was doing this job Friday we were making our way north to the in-laws place where we encountered a nice taste of winter. There were snowball fights and the kids built a short lived fort in the soft snow. My wife gathered winter greens to decorate the house when we got home. We had an amazingly simple winter BBQ in the snow that was more fun to smell and cook than it was to eat. 
 Arriving home Sunday I decided I needed to make sure the winter bike was ready to ride as the other fixed gear was in Paul's garage still. I fixed up the bar tape that was in shambles while helping to decorate the house and make things red green and seasonal. I love the natural air freshener that the greens bring.
I rode in Monday and it was quite nice. We had only had a dusting here so it was not as big of a shock to ride in as it would have been further north. The areas north and west of us were hammered with snow and continue to get hammered now almost 3 days after the beginning of the storm. I know it will be here soon but with another snow last night we can still see the odd blade of grass sticking through.
 Michele was nice enough to point out a cool snowflake stencil yesterday so i spent about half an hour last night making it for my son. I expected he would tear it immediately but instead he was careful and just threw it in the air a few times to watch it fall like snow does.
This morning it was a little cooler out at -7 Celsius so I bundled up for the ride and kept nice and warm the whole ride in. I snapped this pic while stuck at a red light. Just a simple shot of the cockpit of my winter fixed gear playing in the snow.

I thought i had more to say but seemed a little tongue tied now that I am writing. I'm out... Until next time...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

#bikeschool episode 6 Q2 reference material

Please join #bikeschool at 9pm EST tonight for more information regarding this reference material. I will not plug this post until #bikeschool Q2.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

#bikeschool #secretevolplanC - The @SantaBikes T-Shirt etc...

The #bikeschool crew has an exciting announcement to make today.  Just in time to solve all your Christmas gift giving nightmares, we've got some fantastic ideas for all the cyclists on your list.  Our own @egggman (aka Mike) has created the "Givestrong" Cycling Santa graphic and it's available on T-shirts, Mugs, and Stickers.  Best of all.....the proceeds from the sale of all merchandise is being sent over to Livestrong to help support their cause (if a considerable amount is raised, we will donate half the proceeds to the Canadian Cancer Society).

Please check out http://www.cafepress.com/santabikes.490351005, and if you think these are as cool as we do....pick some up.

I asked my Daughter, Kassi what #bikeschool meant to her and this is what she had to say:

#bikeschool - by Kassi

# 1 way to get around.

B iking takes all the worries away.

I love the wind in my hair while biking.

K nowing I'm powerful.

E nvironmentally friendly.

S top and smell the flowers.

C ars suck! Ride a bike!

H op on a bike and ride!

O n my bike, I see so much more than in a car.

O verholt Crescent is where I learned to ride.

L ovingthebike.com rocks! Check it out! (and bikerly.wordpress.com and oldsinglespeed.blogspot.com of course)

- By Kassi (Lovingthebike.com)

Send Santa your #CyclingWishList
If you're on Twitter and would like Santa to know about all the cycling stuff you'd like for Christmas this year, tweet your #CyclingWishList to @SantaBikes.

Friday, November 26, 2010

A new crutch....

The trails in which we ran... 

Tuesday was a normal day, I woke up dragged myself out of bed grabbed some breakfast and rode into work. I was a little over-layered as I had been on Monday also but it seemed cool and damp when I took the dog out for her morning romp. Work was work nothing crazy nothing odd, just steady work. Paul and I had ran on Monday but were both trying to kick a little cold and figured if we ran it would work us a little harder and help clear the cold. He lives just footsteps from the office so he left to get ready as per usual and I went over to meet him after I got in my running gear. Luckily it was a warmish November day and I ran in shorts and a long sleeve shirt.

Waiting for Paul I decided that today we would take the trail instead of the road. I ran it by him as we headed out. it was a go. We had run the trail route before but it had been quite some time. It is basically a winding park walking trail that we do an out and back that ends up slightly over 5K which works into our lunch schedule just about right.

This trail is also the first portion of our lunch hour trail ride that takes us through some singletrack and over to the MTB park 4X and climbing training spot.

We got to talking about "trail running" as we ran along the footpath. I was wondering about the varying grade of trail running and if there were people who would run through a park and afterwards feel they had trail ran. As we came to a fork in the trail Paul said well should we and started to run into the Singletrack that we ride regularly. I took chase and it was on. my first singletrack "trail run". Well unless you count running with a bike up a hill that I blew a pedal on or running a km or so with a bike that i had broken a chain on etc. This was my first trail run for the sake of running in a trail. It was amazing. It helped that I knew the trail and all of the locations of the rocks and roots that were hiding under the fall leaves. 

Anyway we ran the length of the singletrack which spits us out in a field and then across the field over a foot-bridge and back onto the footpath and out to the edge of the park. On the way back I took the lead through the singletrack and saw another runner off in the distance. When we were back out and onto the footpath I talked to Paul about the other runner and it turned into a bit of a joke as he had not seen it and questioned me on the legitimacy of the whole thing.

Wednesday and Thursday went from ride days to more trail run days. I think we both caught the bug.

I still got in great rides morning and evening but lunch has been to the trails by foot. next will be to take on a longer set of trails by foot. Maybe an off-road bi-athalon or tri-athalon will be in my future...

Oh and to clarify this and the enclosed pic does not mean I will not ride trail any-more, it only means that for the past 3 days I chose foot over bike. To be fair the MTB was not in my office as one of my choices...




Thursday, November 25, 2010

This is #bikeschool - or I was bored

I have been playing with the gimp again. More since #TheChallenge. This is my latest fun little piece symbolizing the spirit of #bikeschool. Unfortunately #bikeschool is on holidays this week but will return December 2 for another fun filled hour 9pm EST.
 I am never happy with a self portrait but this one will do for now. Feel free to mock etc...
Uh, oh... How did that get there, it looks like an evol elf as broken into @santabikes bag and leaked a piece of #secretevolplanC

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What the?!?

Found an old doodle in my meeting notebook. Not sure what I was thinking that day? Interpretations welcome!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I'm Famous?!?

Well maybe not truly famous but a friend let me know tonight that my standings are high on the Google scale today. Looky here...


My good old friend that I now spend time with at the cottage has led me to this new-found pseudo fame. Thanks bud -->
Anyway, not much more to say for now. I am sure I will be full of it later...

I'm out...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

#TheChallenge -- Battle @bikerly with @bikerly --

Not sure why but as soon as I read the challenge tweet from @bikerly I thought I would doodle him. The first time I saw him in a @lovingthebike #ff I thought he was wearing a brown cycling hat. The first few tweets I had caught from him painted him as a hardcore cyclist in my head. In time I found he is more of a wild man with running and cycling tendencies.

Anyways this is my egggified impression of his old Twavatar with the cycle hat morphed with the paper crown. I threw in his trusty steed Red for good measure too. I may have overhyped my drawing but it was all in fun.

Will be interesting to see the interesting and insightful image put forward by my #bikeschool friend.

A note to @jujufernandez, @SGadaleta, and other perspective judges. Please look at this image and the one found on Bikerly Blog and vote for the one you feel win's for what ever reason you feel it wins. This almost no rule competition makes it interesting to see what makes a winner. Throw in a jab or 2 in your comment or just come to #Bikeschool tonight at 9pm EST and poke fun of the guy in the Dunce-Cap...

 This Challenge brought to you by #bikeschool goofs :)


I think that's it for now.... I'm out...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The challenge...

A very open ended challenge was sent hither last evening post sleepytime. A cohort of mine decided to put it out there...


We must each use our sketching technique to render an image on ourn blogs on Thursday. I assume the man the myth the #bikeschool legend will use a Sharpie for his sketch. I in turn chose The Gimp. My image is ready and waiting on my hard-drive for a Thursday posting. Return then to find my entry in this non-lucrative contest of contests.

Ever so sneakily my competitor has chosen a fellow Sharpie fan as his judge. She however is beginning to tremble at the thought she may have to choose mine draw-ring as grand champignon (Thats right the big mushroom).


The purpose of this post is to call to order a team of zero or more nother judge types to further scrutinize the images. If you feel the urge to throw a vote of better image creativeness n' such then check our blogs's Thursday and toss a comment of "1 Vote" into comments for the blog of your choice.

I will create a Dunce-Cap Image for the Twavatar of the least winningest of winner to wear to #bikeschool....

I'm out...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Riding in the debris lane...

Photo Credit: Jim's Bike Blog

I "always" ride with caution when sharing the roads with motorized vehicles. My city has recently started to put in place "cycle lanes" a place you could continue to ride safely but be a tiny bit less cautious and take in a little more of what is going on around you. If you remember a couple weeks back I had a great day. Would the day have been as great without a bikelane flat? Probably not. Does this excuse the chunk of mesh metal that was in the cycle lane brushed off the "road"? Also probably not.

The last couple days I have had amazing lunch hour rides! Absolutely amazing for November in Ontario. 8 and 9 degrees Celsius and sunny. I did a 16km loop yesterday and completed the planned route from two weeks back with a cell phone in my pocket and route plan passed on to Paul (lesson learned). Today I took an alternate route to my regular commute and surprised my wife with a luch hour visit. The rides were things of lunch hour dreams. Good climbs great cadence(just kicked a cold), etc...

I rode both of these rides watching my surroundings but also with one eye on the lane. I was amazed by the amount of vehicle and other debris that was shoved into our space. I saw chunks of metal, rusted tailpipes, nails, bolts, indescribable sharpness, but the worst offender of all was an old style manhole cover where a cycle wheel can be swallowed whole that was lengthwise and was the whole width of the "cycle lane".

I don't really have a whole lot more to say on this subject. I was just shocked that while the road seems to be cleaned of debris regularily that our space alongside seems to be the lucky recipient of their trash.

I seemed to loose my frustration while writing this. Success!! 

Anyone else have thoughts/experiences on this matter?? I'm out... 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

How far would you go to win a bike??

Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes

Well I will tell you how far I would go to win this cool bike above!! I would go in their advertise a bike to win a bike campaign... You should try too or if you were looking for that uber-cool cargo bike head on over and buy one. You could haul the kids to #bikeschool in it.

Please click on the image above to enter me in the contest... thanks!!

I'm out...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

10 Steps for Thursday night #bikeschool inspiration...

Tonight is the third edition of the Thursday Night #Bikeschool session on Twitter.  I’ll be playing moderator this week and I’ve chosen to go with a theme….#cycling #Inspiration

Here’s what you need to know…
  1. Have FUN
  2. Login to your Twitter account from 9-10p EST
  3. Use the hashtag #bikeschool in your tweets
  4. If you are using TweetDeck just click on #bikeschool from any tweet. add a column to follow the discussion
  5. Or follow along using this  Twitter Search link
  6. Or this TweetChat link is another option (there are probably more options)
  7. You might want to let people know your tweets will be a little crazy during the hour. Something like:  tweeps, I’m heading to #bikeschool chat so just ignore my crazy tweets the next hour… or better, join in herehttp://bit.ly/9imv1H
  8. The moderator will come with a few questions… Q1, Q2, Q3, etc. If your response begins with Q1, Q2, Q3 it will help us all follow along
  9. Feel free to have side conversations, ask other questions, stir it up and most importantly help @lovinthebike and I throw at least a couple heckle tweets towards @bikerly.
  10. Enjoy!!
Oh, and be ready - this week there could be a reverse pop-quiz, I could be asking anyone for a question at any time...

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Wrong Shoes + More...

Today I re-learned a lesson I have learned many times. Today was a good day. I have been in this situation before on a lesser day and came out worse. Today I felt great. If @quinnyko reads this blog entry she will likely tweet "@egggman DUCK ARSE!!!" afterwards. I think I am pretty safe though because she does not read my blog as I bore her with my bike ramblings too much even in the real world.

Anyways, back to today. Today has been an up and down day as illustrated in my earlier blog entry. Why should my lunch hour activities be any different? I decided I would do my 5K lunch run, I asked my office roommate Paul if he wanted to run along as he often does. He opted out as he had taken the morning off sick and figured he was better to stay in. I went into the Network closet and geared up for a run. This is where things changed, I remmebered how great my ride in had been and the weather had only improved since. Back into the netrwork closet to swap running shorts for cycling shorts - Big oldschool baggy cycling shorts with built in thick padding and my cheap shoes I wear quite often when I go out on the fixed gear. From here I grab the fixed gear and my helmet and off I go.

I decided that I wanted to take a new route and skim the countryside. I started out of town and made a couple great climbs that I always ride. Next I went straight where I usually turn and took a nice long climb out of the city. It just kept going and going as a fairly easy pitch. Then a round about and into a nice country road with wide cycle lanes. So I decide I am in a cycle lane right, lets take in a bit of scenery. About 1km or so later I am about to go into another round about and uh oh what is that metal mesh ahead? No time to think and pop the rear tire is empty.

Now I am thinking about how I prepared for this ride. Usually Paul has a pack with tubes pump lever etc... Uh oh no Paul and no supplies on top of it all he is expecting me back at the office by approximately 1pm. He knows my usual route for lunch hour rides so if I was missing i could have a pick-up. Hey wait a minute I did not take my usual route I wanted to leave the city. Also I did not tell anyone I was taking this alternate route.

So it's time to run. I ran back along a bunch of side streets until I was back to streets I recognized and back to the work. Luckily I had not gone too far out and only had to do a 6.2km run back.

The moral of the story kids: Preparation is always a good plan.

Now, remember back to the beginning of my blithering. I said today was a good day and I feel great. I actually loved the run back it felt great and the fixed gear stem was a great handle for the bike to roll smoothly alongside. The only thing i would really change would be my shoes. Those beat up old things should not be run in at all let alone any distance.

Well that should be enough for now... I'm out...

grrrrrrowl it's Monday

Woke up slow peeled myself out of bed grabbed the usual Bran Flakes which seemed extra dull this morning. Slowly got my lunch made woke the kids and stuck a hand out the door to check weather. Rain had stopped and it felt rather warm. Check weathenetwork and it is 10 degrees Celsius. The day is turning up.

Had an amazing ride in on the fixed gear with slightly worn out legs from hockey last night. Starting to wake up and get in the groove. Get to the office shower etc... Grab the helpdesk as we are short staffed at work this morning due to late starts and then...

So the day that turned around had turned around again. I fired off a bunch of tweets and then decided I needed to think about something different so I could get my head back in the day. I decided to see how Yehuda Moon had been doing since I last read. Appears he had a great weekend... I know what you are thinking now... Wow you are an amazing comic artist and why don't you have a daily comic like this...

Well whatever :) ... I'm out

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Looking for #bikeschool ???

Week one of #bikeschool is being held over at @bikerly's place at 9pm Thursday Oct 21st... Get on the bus and head over to checkout all of the in's and out's...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

#Bikeschool where we are all students and teachers...

A couple months ago @bikerly, @lovingthebike and I blogged about
sharing lessons learned using the hashtag #bikeschool. The hashtag has
taught us alot. Not so much on technical issues, but more about life
lessons.

We've heard about kids flying free without training wheels and what
this has meant for the parent. There have been stories shared about
mountain biking, volunteerism, beer biking, icebiking, biking with a
family, and we've even had a couple Yogi Berrisms. It's been amazing
and fun to be part of this.

We'd like to take #bikeschool to the next level. By all means keep
sharing your stories via blogs and tweets during the week using the
same hashtag, but beginning this Thursday, October 21 at 9p EST and
each Thursday through the rest of the year, we invite you to attend a
live 60 minute Twitter discussion moderated by either Jim, Darryl, or
myself.

We'll identify the moderator each Thursday on Twitter at 9p EST sharp
using the hashtag #bikeschool. They will introduce a new topic or
question every 15 minutes to keep the discussion lively. If you follow
us on Twitter you know the discussion can get a little crazy. Expect
more of the same, but most importantly expect to make some great
cycling connections and have some fun.

So that's Thursday night #bikeschool folks. Are you ready for some
cycling conversation? Questions? Contact @egggman, @lovingthebike or
@bikerly and we'd be happy to help.


Half the lies they tell about me aren't true.
Yogi Berra


As written by @bikerly and way post edited by @egggman

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A change of Pace

Thursday I received an e-mail from a co-worked who had heard I was running the 10K today. At this point I did not even realize the 10K was this weekend. I had not registered or planned on registering for a running race. I had however tossed the idea around about doing it sometime though.

The reason she was interested is that they needed an employee who ran the event to accept the BIG cheque for 1/2 of the proceeds of the pledges for the race. The race benefits the two hospitals in town. I ran the idea past my wife and it was a go.

I floated a joke on twitter about a two day training plan and got a couple pledges myself. I changed my workout plan for the week from trying to run every day on lunch to take a down day and go for a easygoing ride on Friday. Saturday we did some fun stuff with the kids and hit Oktoberfest daytime activities with the kids. Planned on getting lots of sleep but that was not in the cards as both kids got us up in the night and my son was up at 6:30am.

Woke up this morning feeling a little groggy and grabbed some cereal and showered and got ready. Threw a spare hammer gel in my gym bag with my change of clothes and downed a helping of heed and off to the mall to get my chip. The mall was crazy full of runners walking in all directions performing pre-run rituals. I don't really have any of these rituals so I just went and found somewhere to hang out and stretch before the race.

I did not really know much about where I should position myself in a running race so I started off a bit further back that I probably should have. After the Canadian anthem we were sent off by a horn. I spent the first few minutes passing people before the 1Mile marker and crossed it at 6 minutes and change. I then fell into a pace behind a few people and advanced slowly as they fell off.

I crossed 5K at 22:05 and knew I was pacing pretty well for myself but was expecting to go downhill from there. Turned out I grabbed onto another guy for pace on a climb and when he weakened I passed him and 3 others. At 7K I got a big boost and passed a few more but got passed by some young guns. From 8K to 9.5K I followed my last pace pair in and then gave a strong boost and passed about 8-10 people before crossing the line at a hair under 45 minutes. I am waiting for them to post exact time on the web page but I ended up in 4th place in the 35-40 category. I am extremely pleased as I was not training for this and have never run a distance of 10K before even outside of racing.

After the race I took the family and we all had some good eats provided for the event and then had that picture taken with the big cheque that got me there in the first place. Today was a good day!


I am contemplating training for a marathon at some point but I think I likely wont do that on a whim.

Well that's it for now, I'm out...

(Edit: Looking at last years results while waiting for this years I am hoping that I did not look in the wrong column and get excited about my place over nothing. Potentially not 4th place after all, will confirm as soon as I see it posted.)
O'all                                 Gun       Class       Gender  Pace   Chip
Place Bib Name Time Placing Place /Mi Time City
----- ----- ----------------- ------- ----------------- ----- ----- ------- ----------

97 1836 Mike Osborne 45:38 LM35-39 17/53 90 4:34 45:28 Kitchener
(And there it is, wrong column and not 4th place. Did not seem right but was exciting to think I had done that well.)

Race Results

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Photo Blog of a Great Family Hike


















Really no words can tell what a great day it was. Loved it out there and can't wait to do it again. 10km in the wilderness was a lot for my 4 year old and my wife with pneumonia though. My daughter was tiptoeing around all of the puddles/swamp/marsh sections in her brand new boots. All enjoyed a hearty serving of ice-cream afterwards...

egggman's Zazzle