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As a cycling commuter, I don’t mind a bit of rain. In fact, I’ve been ignoring Environment Canada’s weather forecasts for the past few weeks because the “rainy day ahead” forecasts haven’t materialized for the most part.

If it’s not raining when I get up and the radar is clear, I typically will ride to work. The only exception is days I dedicate to walking home with my “walking pool” buddy and when I have errands or appointments.

Yesterday was one of those days where I had an appointment. I looked at my options: bus, car, and cycling or a combination of the three. By bus, it would take me 52 minutes, providing I made my bus connection. By bike, it would take 30 minutes. By car, it would be a lot less time, but I’d have to pay for parking in both locations. Of course the bike has the added bonus of burning calories, not gas, so I decided to ignore the weather forecast again.

My morning commute was fine. It was still sunny, but getting muggier by lunch. I needed to be on the bike by 2:15. I changed into my cycling gear just after 2:00 and headed down to the bike. I realized I hadn’t checked the radar since lunch time. But I’d already committed to this mode of transport, and I’d brought my raincoat in case I needed it. Read the rest of this entry »

Today was a planned not cycling day so that I can walk home after work with my “walking pool” buddy. We haven’t walked together in a while because either she’s brought the car or I’ve been on my bike. So today we said that rain or shine we’d meet up. We plan to stop in at the new Dollarama on our way home. Let’s hope we time it with the forecasted thunderstorms. Read the rest of this entry »

I don’t know the origin of that expression, but I do know what it means. It came into my head last week on a cloudy day when one of my work buddies said she didn’t cycle to work because the forecast called for rain.

As I walked away from her, I turned around, and over the heads of eight people, yelled “Suck it up Buttercup!” Ever since then, it won’t leave my head. So here’s how I sucked it up on the weekend. Read the rest of this entry »

Yesterday we took a walk over to Hintonburg. Our destination was the new Dollarama by the O-train bridge. But along the way we meandered and noticed a few new things happening in the neighbourhood:

  • At the corner of Parkdale and Wellington, the Cosmos sign has finally come down and been replaced with Bella Via, which will sell coffee, gelato and panini. The windows were papered up, and there was no sign indicating the opening date.
  • In the former dog cafe, workers were busy making much needed improvements to the inside. We talked to one of the workers outside, and he sent us inside to talk to the owner. The west side of the store will be Marie Antoinette, a store selling Victorian furniture. The east side will be Tinsel Town, a Christmas shop. Their due to open in mid June.
  • Simply Raw Express is now open. Quite a few tables were taken and customers looked pleased with their food.

And finally, don’t forget to get out next weekend to cheer on the runners in Ottawa Race Weekend. Marathon runners will be on Wellington from Fairmont to Athlone. Half-marathon runners will head north on Island Park.

Here’s the walk in pictures: Read the rest of this entry »

This morning I decided to take the Dahon to work. It’s supposed to be really sunny and hot so I thought I’d do an extra ride on the way home. Althought I really appreciate the repairs NosyNeighbour completed on the old clunker, sometimes it’s just nice to clip in and go.

So I transferred everything from the pannier bag to the backpack to make it easier to fold up and carry into my office building. I rode up maybe a bit too close to the door. Because … guy sitting inside the building offices sees me through the window and comes running out his door into the lobby area. Here was the conversation: Read the rest of this entry »

I say “tiptoeing” but really it was more like “shuffling with all the other visitors” past the tulips. We’d already stopped to see them once but thought we’d try again with the warmer weather.

Our goal wasn’t to go for a long ride, so we made our way through the farm, pausing for a few moments at the Ornamental Gardens at the Experimental Farm. From there, we tried to make our way around the traffic circle, but cars were backed up in the middle of it because tulip tourists were everywhere around Dow’s Lake. Read the rest of this entry »

Two mornings ago, as I rode my clunker bike to work, I heard a noise coming from near the crank. I couldn’t tell if it was a pedal squeaking in the rain or a problem with the crank. The noise came and went, and I continued to ride the bike carefully, not pushing too much on the hills.

After work, the noise got really loud. As I cycled along the river pathway, I no longer needed to call out “passing on your left” or ring my bell. In fact I even apologized to one lady as I passed her. She said that she had wondered what the sound was coming up behind her. At the time, we both still thought that the the pants pulling perve was on the loose, and wondered whether he would change his transportation method from bus to bike. After all, more women are alone on the path than on the bus. Read the rest of this entry »

This morning I decided to not let the pants pulling perve deter me from my afternoon walking commute. So instead of my usual sporty jacket for bike riding, I pulled out an old three quarter length raincoat I hadn’t worn in a while.

I remember it being a bit warm once you get moving, but I figured with today’s measly high of 10 and afternoon showers in the forecast, it would be the perfect coat. I was already late, but saw the #16 coming down Wellington. It took me to Tunney’s where I grabbed a Metro newspaper and caught the first bus going down the transitway to Lebreton. From there, one Hull bound bus was leaving, but two more were lined up behind it.

As I walked to my building, hands buried in my pocket, I fingered through the contents. Hmmm, Kleenex … wonder how old that is? Today’s transfer …. check. What’s this square piece of paper? I pulled it out to see what it was. Hot pink bus tickets from 2009! I guess I now know when I last wore the coat. I wonder if I can still use them?

I have to admit that I surprised myself by choosing to cycle to work the last two days, especially after riding the 42-mile bike tour in New York. Maybe it’s because my feet were so sore from all the walking we did before and after cycling.

Either way, the weather wasn’t overly cooperative the past few days, but at least the rain was falling vertically, not horizontally. The idea of walking near the transitway with a groper on the loose isn’t very appealing either.

On my way home on Tuesday, as I cycled behind the War Museum I noticed a gaggle of Canada geese. I’m really not fans of them because they leave their green poop all over the path and are oblivious as to where the path ends and their feeding grounds begin. But huddled together in the tall grass were the cutest little goslings, all yellowy and fluffy.

I checked in the same spot this morning and saw them again. And while I know they’re going to grow up and poop on the path (I guess that makes it a truly multi-use pathway: cycling, walking, jogging, rollerblading and pooping!), they really are a site to see when you’re cycling into a steady rain.

I’ll try to remember to bring the camera to take a photo in the next few days.

For our last meal in New York, we chose the Merchant River Restaurant. It was on the Hudson River, with a great view of the setting sun and the Statue of Liberty. We had some difficulty finding it because of its location along the bike path, but several helpful doormen helped us out.

To start, we shared an order of asparagus spinach dip. NosyNeighbour had the steak, which came with shoestring fries and salad. I had a goat cheese salad with chicken added. Both meals were tasty. The only drawback was the smoke from the kitchen attached itself to our clothes. So make sure you eat outside or wear clothes you’re not wearing again if you go. Read the rest of this entry »

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May 2012
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