Saturday, February 23, 2013

Not much FUN in my Quest for fun!

Not much FUN in my Quest for Fun!
Sunday was our yearly dog club race. A large turnout this year with the milder temperatures. My dogs like the colder temperatures to run so we were not as fast as we normally. But we were fast enough for second place. It was me who really slowed down the the team at one spot. I had a shoe lace come undone and I lost a shoe. I had to stop the dogs and go back and retrieve my shoe and retie it. We had a dinner afterwards in a town called Oakbank where we gave out awards. I got a special award for my shoe that I  lost.  The dogs had to stay in the vehicles while us humans ate. The award came with a bag of dog treats and some sample food for the dogs. Some out of town people left early because of the heavy snow that was starting.
Bigger snowbanks to deal with.
          Monday we woke up to more snow ( 10 cm) and lots of wind. Not very good conditions for travel. We will have bigger snowbanks to deal with this extra snow and winds. A friend of mine took this great couple of pictures that shows how bad it can get is the more open areas. Luckily Monday was a holiday for us so it was a good day to do some clean up duties around the shop.
Getting ready for some clean-up.
Our award for our race.

 I had another video link sent to me. It's about Lindsay Gauld who I talked about in a previous Blog. It shows me in my Quest. Listen to the sounds when they first met me in the video.  It was shot by another winter cyclist who rode the whole distance that morning with him to the celebration.
The rest of the week I spent driving to work as I finally got a cold that everyone else around me had. No riding the Quest this week.  The female Husky was nice to me and let me use her couch this week. Rest, work, and more rest this week. No Fun in the Quest!!!

Friday, February 15, 2013


That’s the lesson I learned this week. It was almost a painful one. The weather warmed up early in the week. The high temperature was -2 on Monday and Tuesday. The high temperatures softened the snow and made for messy roads. I had to go to the center of Winnipeg for an evening meeting on Tuesday. It was on the trip home that it happened. I had the SH_T scared out of me.  My legs were feeling great. I think my legs have started to become Velomobile legs. I was really picking up speed when it happened. I hit a patch of soft, mushy snow. In a fraction of a second it threw the Quest left across the street towards the only parked car on the whole street. I pulled on the brakes hard. I was going too fast. At the last second I managed to steer into the snow bank instead of the parked car. The Quest went part way up the snow bank before it stopped. I was lucky there were no cars coming towards me. I climbed out and checked the Quest. No damage except my pride.
          The problem was caused by speed. I was going too fast for the road conditions. I was going too fast for my headlight. I didn’t see the soft snow.  When I uploaded the Garmin when I got home I could see on the map my little detour. I was doing 49.9 kph when I lost control of the Quest. I am going to ride a little safer for the next while.
Hybrid Bike?
Friday was the Winter Bike to Work Day. It’s a day that we try to encourage cyclists to try winter cycling. Several “pit stops” were set up along commuting route to the downtown. Free hot coffee was given out, and Donuts. Of course I start work too early to get a free coffee. But for those who did ride the free coffee was welcomed. The morning temperature was    -20C.  I was warm in my Quest with the Tour Cap.  In the afternoon there was a group ride from the University of Winnipeg in the down town to the Forks. Part of the route was on the Assiboine River.  I met the group on the river and rode with them to the forks of the two rivers.
Some of the winter cyclists arriving along the river trail.
After the ride the winter cyclists had a chance to cook some hot dogs over a wood fire and some warming spirits to drink.

 Along the trail are some warming shelters that have been designed and built as part of a contest. Function appears not to be a requirement. I took a few pictures of some of them. I think I got my picture taken quite a few times and got asked lots of questions about the Quest. I took it easy on the way home in the dark this time...

A shelter along the trail.

Sunday we go to a dog sled race, but that's for next weeks Blog...

And another weird shelter.

And still another shelter.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

More Winter Fun with My Quest!

More Winter Fun with My Quest!

Winnipeg Winter Cyclists Gathering.
Part of the group gathering to ride.

Last Saturday was a special day for winter cyclists in Winnipeg. It warmed up to about -24 C.  A couple hundred of us gathered near the center of the city. We gathered near the forks of two rivers that meet there. The special day was to celebrate a local cyclist Linsay Gauld. The occasion was to celebrate his One Millionth  KM.  We met him a few km west of the forks and rode with him leading the group. I rode on the ice trail but most cyclists with the fat bike tires rode on the snow with him. We had a ceremony to celebrate his One Millionth km. and presented him with a plaque. He started riding and recording his mileage back in 1965.  In 1972 he was part of the Canadian Olympic Cycling Team. He was owner of Olympic Cycle up to his retirement a few years ago. Since he sold the bike shop, he worked part time as a bike courier and continues to race. The link to a video shows us riding with him on the river and interviews him for television. Lindsay is 64 years old.

              After-wards I had coffee near by with some of the recumbent riders. We then went for a ride on the 10 km of ice trails that run from one river to the other. It was lots of fun riding along around the surprised skaters. The bell came in very handy.  More coffee and some hot food followed before the trip home.

I took the Quest to work Monday and it warmed up some more. I received an email  from Ray at Blue Velo about a possible defective part on my Quest XS. I left at home and Took it apart Tuesday night to find out I have the bad part on mine. It's a bracket for the rear swing arm. I sent off the pictures of it to Ray at Blue Velo and the new part is now on order. I put it back together and got to take it to work on Friday. It's much warmer now but we got more snow while I had the Quest apart. (5 cm. only) Next week we have our Winter Bike to Work Day on Friday. Something else to report on then...
Defective rear swing arm bracket.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Up and Down Week.

THE UP and DOWN Week!

Sunday started off with a high temperature of -15C.  A perfect temperature for the dog sled race. We took the truck and dogs to a small village about 150 km north of us. My oldest female dog has not been interested in pulling   the sled lately and lets the younger dogs do all the work. We raced without her this time and went faster. The class was a 3 dog class and we got second with just 2 dogs. Our first win!
The eager start.
2nd place.

Monday warmed up to -10C and made the salt on the streets start to work. I came home with a dirty Quest. I spent more time that day cleaning than riding. Tuesday I had to do overtime at work so I drove the truck.

Wednesday I had to pick up a parcel at the post office. A box that left the Netherlands last Wednesday arrived this Wednesday. It was large and very light. "Da Hood" was in. And just in time too.

"Da Hood"

I was very impressed with Sinner Bikes. Their service was fast and the emails were promptly answered.
The Tour Cap was well finished and fit the Quest perfect. The next morning (Thursday) when I went to work, it got a good test. The wind came strongly from the north. The temperature dropped a lot. A frostbite warning was issued. That means your skin will freeze in less than 10 minutes. I was nice and warm in my Quest with the tour cap on.

Frostbite in 10 Minutes or less!

Friday morning temperature
Friday the cold temperatures were back. I took out the video camera and mounted it on the quest. I took a ride around my local area but the battery didn't last very long in the cold. The picture got very cloudy in a short time. 
 So here it is my first video. I hope it works. For my readers in the Netherlands you can see what snowbanks we have. It's hare for cars to see me when I enter the roads. Until next week Have Fun...