Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Setting up my new ride: Shhh don't tell the old ride

People keep asking me why I bought a new bicycle and what was wrong with the Marin Eldridge mountain bike that I has taken me over 21000 kms. Well... nothing really, and no I didn't really need it,  and no it won't be faster...  and yes it is another mountain bike,... but isn't it lovely! When I spend as much of my life on a bike as I do - once in awhile I can simply indulge.

For this bike I am taking it to a physiotherapist who specializes in bike fitting. I have never done this with other bikes,  but before I start buying  handlebar stem risers and other doodads for my back and neck needs I thought I would consult a professional.

Because of my low back and neck problems I have always toured in a fairly upright position. This position has served me very well, but on rides more than 70 km I start to get uncomfortable in the saddle. I am not sure if a compromise position is possible or if I should get the risers and sit tall on the new Surly. I am hoping that the Jones Bar will also give me lots of riding hand positions for a varied and more comfortable ride.

April 23, 2016
Well that did not go as planned, but after a number of physio appointments my neck and knees are on the mend and Jo at North Park reconfigured my new bike to closely match the fit of my old one. The lesson here is that my body does not like change. I am taking one more full week off riding to make sure my knees are ok.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

The planning begins for our cross Canada trip

The farmhouse in Prosperous Valley, Webb Sask.

From 2009-2015 Gordon and I spent our holidays in Europe journeying along many of the ancient pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela and to Rome. All of these trips were self-propelled, either on foot or with our bicycles, following the traces of all the  pilgrims that made the journeys before us.

While there are no ancient  religious pilgrimage routes that cross Canada, most of us trace our ancestry to people who gave up home and family and journeyed to Canada in search of a better life. My Grandmother Freda came as a child with her family from Minnesota to homestead in the area of Webb Saskatchewan, attracted by Clifford Sifton's promise of free land in the "The Last Best West."


Gord's Grandfather Horace Howard Leeney, was one of 24 boys sent in 1893 by the  Fegan Boy's Home in London to Canada as child labourers. Horace was only 7 when  his ship the Oregon pulled into the Port of Quebec. It was not until 1895, following two unsuccessful placements, that he was adopted by Fred D.Webster of  Brantford Ontario.

Gord's French ancestry goes back to an arrival in  New England in the 1660's. My ancestor, Stephen Hopkins came to Jamestown in 1609 and returned with his family on his second voyage on the Mayflower.

Travelling by bike across Canada will allow us to pursue some of these stories and gain a better sense of our own and Canada's immigrant history.