City Market

June 30, 2008

Yet another weekend and yet another market to explore! Don and I rode to the City Market in downtown Edmonton to see what the vendors had to offer. A few years ago Don owned a loft on the next street over and was a volunteer during the market's inception. Now it's up and off the ground and packed with people and also lots of cute dogs! The shopping and simultaneous dog walking is a big advantage to that wonderful market being outdoors.

It's also on 104 street, which is the location of several new mixed use condo buildings. Lots of excellent independent shops for home stuffs, wine, bridal; eateries like the Blue Plate Diner and Tzin, the funky wine bar; and also the new Sobeys which was modeled after Capers in Vancouver. I think it's the most beautiful little grocery in town.

Councillor Photo Shoot

June 29, 2008

Avenue Magazine is doing a story on Don in the September issue, and yesterday we attended the photo shoot. They wanted to play up the cycling and environmental side of Don and requested he come on his bike. Funny, because that is what he would have been arriving on anyway:)

This is Don at Edmonton City Hall getting his photo taken.

Kibble Expedition

June 25, 2008

Heard about a local pet food store, Tail Blazers, that stocks super healthy and good quality pet stuffs. The vet recommended Dougal start eating higher quality kibble so we went on a little trip to find it.

Sometimes he just curls up and sleeps in the basket, other times he likes to sit up and look at everything while we're riding.

I put the pet food in my Jorg & Olif pannier. When Dougal takes up the space in my basket, I take the pannier to hold my shopping and such. I believe you can get it in red and black - they ship!

Vet Visit

June 24, 2008

People keep telling me I can't do certain things. First it was riding in heels, dresses, and skirts. Ridiculous! Absolutely possible. No sweat. Recently it has been riding with Dougal in my basket. People would tell me he's too big. Dogs don't like it. It's dangerous (some of these people think biking is dangerous in general). The two of us are going to get run over. The list goes on.

I wonder what these people would say about the countless women around the world who cycle with their children on their bikes! People need to get over being afraid and start being active members in their communities. Get over hiding behind four doors and four wheels, and maybe start realizing how to be considerate and caring for others on the road. This is just a hunch, but in my experience people who have to drive everywhere, all the time, year round... don't necessarily end up cultivating more courtesy on the road. In fact, a woman yelled at me to "get off the road!" just today. Much to my dismay this happens a lot in Edmonton.

Despite the doubts of others, I thought I'd try it before I wrote it off and it works wonderfully so far! Dougal loves it in there and most of all, going places with me. Cycling is a integral part of my lifestyle and Dougal is fitting in just as he should.

Yesterday we went to the Southside Animal Hospital for his third set of vaccinations. No rabies for Dougal! The vet didn't seem to think there was a problem with him traveling in a basket, either. Hush, naysayers!

Weekends Off

June 22, 2008

As a music teacher I work the atypical hours of evenings and weekends, but it works for me. Loving the job really doesn't hurt either:) However, summers mean 3 months off so I take full advantage of these Saturday and Sundays. Don and I went to the Old Strathcona Farmer's Market, a staple here in Edmonton, and the place to get fresh delicious food and local art wares. Laden with hummus, potatoes, eggs, honey, focaccia crust pizza, and other fruit, we went home with basket and bike bag full.

Note that I'm on my regular bike again! Rear fender is still on the rocks but I took it back from the shop while they continue to wait for the part to come in. This bike is just way better for carrying groceries and multiple components (pannier, picnic blanket, shoulder bag, etc). I'm not a huge fan of wearing bike bags. I have a great one and I totally do it on the road bike... but I don't prefer it over just grabbing my purse and looping it onto my handlebars or chucking it on the rear rack.

Unrelated to the farmer's market, but fully related to transporting things by basket, here also is our new doggie in my bike basket on his way to a picnic at the Alberta legislative grounds! He is not a toy dog so he may eventually grow too big for the basket I have presently. For the time being, however, he still fits. Advice to anybody else attempting to do this would be to have the dog in a harness, and lash the leash down tight around the handlebars with little give on the leash. And make sure the dog is sitting and has all his limbs tucked inside.

It can be dangerous for the dog and rider so make sure to practice off a main road first. I also put a little towel to line the basket. It's worth it, though, since he loves to go places with us and he had such a fun time!

Haweli Lunch Buffet

June 19, 2008

Sometimes the lure of pakoras, butter chicken, and mango pudding are too much to bear. On such a day I went for lunch at Haweli. Nothing like stuffing oneself full of spices at a local establishment!

My cruiser is still in the shop so I'm continuing to ride the road bike avec sun dreses in this fine June weather (the conditions were truly fantastic that day).

Arts Convocation

June 13, 2008

Rode to the shaw conference centre for the U of A Faculty of Arts convocation breakfast. My husband was giving a speech to the graduating class. Both he and the acting dean spoke about the inevitable depletion of fossil fuels and how it's up to the smart young minds of today to get out there are start thinking critically about our lifestyles and the kinds of communities we want to be a part of.

I agree wholeheartedly that a city like Edmonton has to think beyond singular, individual, suburban thinking and start reasonably considering lifestyles that are community centered, accessible by public transit and bike, and mindful of the future of this capital city in a province that exports SO much oil.

His executive assistant (aka my dear friend Leanne) and I biked to breakfast. Enough said!

Two Sisters of a Feather

June 10, 2008

My younger sister of 6 years still lives at home WAY in the west end with our parents and she is quite dependent on her car. Not that there aren't other options... but change is hard for those of us living in this sprawling city with little to no access to straightforward bike routes. Also, depending on where you live in the city cycling from A to B can be challenging and time consuming.

But, we got her on the bike bandwagon and at least she's biking short distances to the gym or for quick grocery runs in the neighborhood. Her Dahon lives in her trunk (like mine) and she's starting to bring it over to my house so we can take off for adventures from my place.

It's a start!

Bikeology Festival

June 5, 2008

June is bike month! That's what I said last weekend in Vancouver and this past weekend in Toronto. Happily, my friends responded with enthusiastic yeses all around because June is bike month for lots of cities.

Here in Edmonton there are a bevy of events occuring, such as bike breakfasts on the way to work, monday night movies, a ride-in movie at a huge park, and bike salon sessions at the Three Bananas where you get to learn all about different aspects of cycling... amongst other amusements all month. More info at the Bikeology site.

Best of all, bikeology festival on June 28th! I've never been, but having now been made aware of it I certainly will be attending. Sounds like an afternoon of general bike lovin' and related activities with people who also love cycling. I like quirky fun times so this strikes me as ideal.

New Life for Batavus

We reunited with great Edmonton expatriate friends of ours and heard the best story about an old Batavus salvaged from a dumpster.

Mint condition (minus a wheel) with all the original parts. Right down to the handlebars! It has evidently struck an emotional chord with my long-time cyclist friend who has participated in cycling for several several years at a very elite level. Having owned some incredibly extraordinary bikes, Brian said this is the first time he's ridden something so joyous and contagious.

And, I was really pleased to hear that weight doesn't necessarily equal better. Meaning a light bike is obviously fast, but he rides that 45ish pound Batavus with fierce resolve. It glides with ease and surprising little effort. And its build is so strong and solid, no rattling parts or loose thingies to interrupt an excellent experience.

An absolutely fantastic story!

Biking in Toronto

A recent hiatus in posts due to a trip to Qu├ębec City and Toronto! Although I didn't ride bikes in either city (but walked and walked and walked), it was great to observe some cycling trends in these two bustling cities.

Toronto has TONS of cute cyclists and the bikes are so diverse and well-worn. There is, however, a problem with theft. So, cheap bikes and fix-it-ups are often the vehicles for choice. That doesn't mean I didn't see some great rides! Another thing I noticed was a severe lack of helmets compared to Edmonton. It doesn't seem as taboo not to have one on.

This was a cool piece of sidewalk art on Queen St. West.

This is a cute poster at a bakery, Dufflet, that offers treats to cyclists that visit all 3 locations in one day. The cyclists pays a registration fee which then goes towards a bike friendly charity! Patries and biking all over Toronto. Sounds ideal!

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