Mr. Origami

April 29, 2008

Had to take the car (yes, I do drive a car sometimes) in for an oil change. Instead of just sitting there for a few hours I took Mr. Origami (my folding bike) out of the trunk and went for an early morning adventure!

Even though Mr. Origami is slightly comical to ride, I like how novel he is. And he even holds his own on the brutal Edmonton pot holes.

We went to the Bee Bell Bakery here in town and got lots of goodies for breakfast and to take home. Reclined on a bench in the sun eating cherry and apple danishes. Watched people and oversized vehicles go by. I don't think they were having as much fun as me.

The Thaw

April 27, 2008

Last week it snowed quite seriously in Edmonton. So very demoralizing for those of us who love riding bikes and looking cute.

But, after a day or two of thaw the main roads are now good to go! Just beware of the gravel and pot holes, common features of Edmonton's roads during the transition from ice to nice.

Here is my hard pedaling red pump going to a friend's apartment to make fresh pasta and gyoza.

Friends and Neighbor Café

April 20, 2008

Last week was exciting because of the total lack of snow on the streets of Edmonton. Nothing like the weather this weekend which can only be described as "sleet" or "blizzard" and admittedly, deterred me from the bike. I did, however, use my Upass to take the bus to the U as opposed to driving to my students' concerts on Saturday.

Back to last week. Went to brunch on Whyte at a little place that has been on the avenue for ages. I've walked past Friends and Neighbor Café enough times, but decided to go in upon the suggestion of a friend. The retro green booths were very welcoming indeed! A great bike excursion in the afternoon, and the ride home was perfect to work off the eggs benedict I had.

Bicycle for Two

April 16, 2008

My friend, Raymond Biesinger, sent me this illustration of his. It is featured in the April edition of 2 Magazine (the magazine for couples) in an article discussing health and fitness for people/couples. Did you know that 62.2% of Edmontonians are overweight or obese? Yikes. In any case, the article also suggests many fun fitness activities that are supposed to combine having fun with burning calories. Almost all the suggestions, however, included team sports or some manner of organization and special time set aside to do said exercise. There is also a whole section on the special lyra clothes that on is supposed to acquire to do said activities.

Exercise is great (though I am skeptical about exercise being inherently bound to wearing lycra), but I prefer to get my calorie burn while I'm being productive going places and doing things that I would be doing anyway. Even if you like activities such as rock climbing, ultimate frisbee or manhunt... doesn't mean you can't up the intensity factor and bike to those too. 2 birds, 1 bike.

Getting fit can be an activity that you participate in every now and then, but starting to commute on a bike is a way of making fitness an integrated part of your lifestyle. So efficient. So effective.

Rich Man Poor Man Dinner

April 14, 2008

Took Jürgen (my cruiser) out to the Rich Man Poor Man dinner last night, hosted by the faculty of Med and Dent at the UofA. One person at the table gets a steak for dinner while everybody else gets perogies. It was a fund raising event designed to illustrate and bring awareness to global health and disparity. Anne McLellan made a really excellent and enlightening speech, and touched at one point on the controversial topic of biofuels. Food rioting is definitely a bad situation.

Instead of merely changing resources, perhaps people could also start thinking about changing their habits. How about not driving at all? Or at the very least, not driving all the time?

Clever commuter - Ireland 1900s

April 8, 2008

A wonderful example of women bicycle commuting. The print is quite small, but we came across this little book inside an Irish clothing through the ages exhibit, at the Dublin Museum of Decorative Arts and History. This woman was the curator of the national history division of the National Museum of Ireland. And she rode her bike to and from work every day. Excellent!


April 7, 2008

On a recent trip to Dublin over spring break I was refreshed by the vibrancy of the city. People are out walking at all hours of the day, taking the Luas city trolley across town, getting around on double-decker buses, and of course - riding bikes!

There were a number of beauties cruising to and fro, but I never realized how difficult it is to get a picture of ladies zooming past on their bikes! They're fast, and although hard to capture, that makes me happy.

Here is one such style cyclist on her girly road bike and fab red ballet flats! She was taking off from an intersection around Merrion square, a neighborhood in the city that is lined with rows and rows of gorgeous Georgian buildings.

The kinds of bikes I most often saw were mountain, hybrid, or road. There were not many cruisers, though fenders were ubiquitous. It's good to know that even with a 'practical' bike, a lot of ladies were saddling up and getting things done in their fine city.

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