Monday, January 30, 2012


I posted a while ago about how I would like to build a Winter bike using an internally geared hub next time around. Here's why:

You know, this thing was performing surprisingly well considering how much slushy crud had accumulated in it. I have fenders for this bike but haven't installed them yet. It is my hope that a front fender with a great big mud flap may reduce some of this buildup, but this kind of thing is usually inevitable in my experience. The result, often, is that you end up with only one usable gear out back. In my case, since I'm only using one front chainring, that translates into one gear period. Knowing this, I often choose to spin a little more than I normally would since getting stuck with a gear that is too high can prove troublesome in the deeper stuff.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. It was clear and -7 C this morning, a beautiful kind of weather for winter riding, and the bike and tires did very well in a really wide variety of road conditions. In a winter that hasn't been very wintery thus far, this morning's commute was lots of fun.

Yer Pal,


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Oh Crap, I Did it Again.

As some have noted in the past, if I ever post something saying I won't be around for a while, you can count on something in the next few days. Well, it has happened again.

In this case it is because happy coincidence allowed me an opportunity to collect some SARATS video votes at Masonville Place (Mall) here in London Ontario! I'll probably just keep collecting them until I feel there is a clear winner. Here's round one:

Hastily assembling that video and posting this is all I've really got time for... be well, ride bikes, stay leafy.

Yer Pal,

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Out But Not Over

Due to circumstances somewhat beyond my control, I will be absent from this space for at least a couple more weeks. I hope there are still a few of you left when I get back! 

My apologies for the lack of activity on SARATS and anything else... sometimes other things are just more important. I really look forward to resuming regular posts as soon as I can.

Yer Pal,

Friday, January 13, 2012


Deepest apologies, all you SARATS entrants. I have not had an opportunity to get out and collect votes on your trees yet. Frustrating, stupid busy life. Wait, scratch that. My life is pretty awesome. I live in the best country on the planet in a state of outlandish excess and luxury by most of the globe's standards, my kids are great and my marriage rolls on as happily as ever. Stupid blog, making me feel guilty for having a good life... anyway, I intend to knock out a slideshow tonight and collect some votes over the weekend. Wish me luck, as I wish you luck in the contest.

I am also frustrated that in a nearly snowless winter thus far, I left my bike at work last night and drove to my daughter's basketball game (we won and she was great). It snowed 2-3 inches overnight, a perfect amount for getting back into snow riding, and my bike was stranded at work. Frustrating. Ah well. As the preceding paragraph demonstrates, if this is the worst of my problems, I am a very lucky man.

I also had a frustrating FedEx experience over the past couple of days. Perhaps this is the real root of my title choice. I don't know, but I do know I feel much better having written this. I also know that because you care deeply about how I'm doing, you are relieved rather than resentful at having read three paragraphs of nothing but self-absorbed whining and boasting. You are not frustrated at the ways in which I waste your time, because you, dear reader, are awesome too. If that seems like shameless sucking up after a content devoid non-post, that's because it is. It's true though. You rock. I'll be back with something better soon I hope.

Yer Pal,

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Outstanding. Like Really, Really, Great.

Some of you (very few, but some) may recall a character in my life named the Grumbear.

The Grumbear was created and named by my son, Rantwick Jr., when he was 6 or 7. Rantwick Jr. is 10 years old now. The Grumbear has been an important part of my life ever since he was created. I stick his terrifying face over the partitions of people's cubicles at work sometimes. I also use him in a "talk to the hand Grumbear" kind of way when sitting in my office.

I once hallucinated the Grumbear after eating some cursed berries while on a hike in Komoka.

I've even named my hockey pool "team" after him and Yvan Cournoyer...

As the inquisitive among you already know, The Cournoyer Grumbears are currently in 18th place, but that's out of a field of 52 teams, so obviously it is a combination that works pretty well. I used Cournoyer because my last name sort of sounds like his and other kids used to call me that when I was little. I didn't mind... Cournoyer played on the Montreal Canadiens with the likes of Guy Lafleur and was a star in his own right. Some kids were getting called a lot worse things, I think.

Here's a strange fact that some of you serious cyclists might appreciate; "By the time he was an 18-year-old star with the Montreal Junior Canadiens, Cournoyer's legs were so muscular that his pants had to be specially tailored to fit his legs." (pic and quote source) Crazy. Just crazy. Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, the Grumbear!

I think I have demonstrated that the Grumbear is no bit player in my largely satisfying existence. He matters to me. In my job, I supervise one person. We give each other Christmas presents. This year I gave him an Etch-A-Sketch which he said he really liked and I believe him. His present to me was a little delayed because of when we took days off and I received it from him just this morning. Check out what he gave me:

Outstanding. Like Really, Really Great.

Thanks, Man!