Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Fat Head

As some of you may know, I recently had to replace my bicycle helmet thanks to an idiotic wipeout. I have always known that I had a large noggin. I bought the biggest helmet Canadian Tire had and it just fit if I dialled the thingy to the largest possible circumference.

Yesterday and the day before were the first days in a long time that I've wanted to cover my head and ears, and that meant I could try out this awesome balaclava my kids got me for Christmas. It is made of warm windstopper material but also has nice features like lighter material over the ears so I can still hear and a square mesh breathy hole. I had cut a small hole in my old crappy balaclava for breathing purposes. Not necessary with this baby!

The crummy picture I took doesn't really show the breathy hole.

Today wasn't cold enough to warrant covering up quite that much...

I think I look quite attractive in this. I am now considering wearing a nice light fabric Hijab around the house just for kicks. Anyway, with the nice new balaclava on, my helmet wouldn't fit anymore. So I removed all the soft bits velcroed to the inside. The little scratchy velcro dots where the soft pads are supposed to attach were, well, scratchy, so I took them out too.

Now everything fits again. I left one soft pad in the helmet, repositioned to protect the head bump my phrenologist calls my "centre of kindess". Can you imagine? How bad would it be to accidentally lose your centre of kindness (what could be more important, really?) all because your stupid head was too big to fit inside your bike helmet while wearing a present from your kids? I mean, what use is honouring your children's gift if you turn around and can longer be kind to them or anyone else? Thank goodness for my phrenologist, Mordecai McBumpanoggin. He's great. You should look him up if you live here, or even if you're just passing through. As you can see, it has changed my life.  

Yer Pal, R A N T W I C K

PS - Does anybody else have trouble typing the word "helmet" without making a typo? Just curious.

PPS - No covering up this morning, 12 C with a tailwind. Damn near perfect.

Monday, March 26, 2012

I'm Officially Out There

I have written an "About The Author" page with pictures of my real face on it for those of you who are brave enough to look. I was growing tired of being half-cagey about who I was and figured if people were nice enough to come and read my stuff, the least I could do was look 'em in the eye.

The "About The Author" link under my profile links will get you there if you wanna take a peek. No time for anything new or interesting today, but I'll see what I can rustle up over the next few days.

Yer Pal,

PS - New domain name, new banner, new outgoing attitude? I think this has mid-life crisis written all over it.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Things People Say Fridays #1

As the title suggests, I'm hoping to present a video clip highlighting the things I (and my camera) hear while on the bike, every Friday if I can and on the odd Friday if I can't.

If brevity is wit, I am often stupid. But not on Things People Say Fridays:

Keep yer ears open and have a great weekend,

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hey there everyone. I've made the decision to register, and this blog will be found there from now on. Google tells me all the old stuff will be automatically forwarded to the new domain, so you shouldn't really notice any difference, and if you're used to typing, no worries because it should automatically forward to

I'm a little puzzled about what, if anything, will happen with my feeds or ads, but I'll sort out any problems out as we go.

If you are a regular and notice anything wonky, please let me know so I can run it down, but for the next couple of days don't be surprised if the location bar changes to or stays at since the new name needs a little time to propagate to the big dns servers.

Yer Pal,


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

UWO vs. Fanshawe College vs. TSGTA: Higher Education in London Ontario

Last Saturday was the "perfect storm" for drinking and mayhem here in London Ontario. As most of you will already know St. Paddy's fell on a Saturday this year. Here in London, that Saturday coincided with summer-like weather despite the fact that it was mid-March. (Not quite the ides of March, but close. Hmmm.) Anyway, things got nasty in a subdivision adjacent to Fanshawe College when drunken revellers went psycho and had a good old fashioned riot:

The first footage was taken by the CTV cameraman who lost his vehicle to the mob. The second video was from a self-described "bystander". Despite how bad it looked, by some miracle no one was seriously injured or killed. Depending on where you're from, throwing stuff at cops and lighting other people's cars on fire might seem kind of normal. Not in London Ontario, believe me. This was a real shock to a lot of local people.

The water cooler talk has been partly about what kind of idiots are going to our post-secondary (read: after high school) institutions in this town. To be fair, many people I've talked to said there were as many high school students as Fanshawe students in that messed up scene, and I believe it.

Anyway, this event got me thinking about where the young Rantwicks might go after high school. Ideally I would like them to stay here in London, for both separation anxiety (mine) and financial reasons. Fanshawe representatives and students alike are dismayed at the black eye this kind of disgusting nonsense may give the school. London also boasts the University of Western Ontario, though, so we're all good, right?

Just when I was starting to think all hope was lost, I walked snow face after dinner tonight and was presented with a new ray of hope in these dark educational times, about five minutes walk from our front door! The path to this august institution screams action and intrigue:

And for good reason!

Whew. If my kids are going to face explosions and violence anyway, they might as well do it in an official government-funded capacity. Young female Rantwick won't have a problem with admission. I don't know what their policies on males are though, so I'm encouraging Rantwick Jr. to grow his hair just in case.

If you are a local and were hoping I might opine about these events in a meaningful way, my apologies, but there are so many smarter people than me doing it that I don't really see the point. It is what it is and time heals all wounds and a bird in my hand might get hurt so I'll just let it go.

Yer Pal,

PS - To the owners of TSGTA: I don't know if you're running a daycare or are simply the coolest parents ever, but I am impressed. I love seeing creative people having some fun, especially for the benefit of some very lucky kids.

PPS, Mar 21 - I am sad to report that TSGTA has closed its doors. I'm guessing it was brought down by a double agent or mole of some kind. Still, I'm happy I got to see it.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Great Satan

I have a devil living in my driveway. It is a beat up 2006 Hyundai Elantra.

This thing is sucking away my soul, bit by bit. Melodramatic, I know, but ever since the Rantwick clan once again had two cars, I've been riding less and less. When Lucifer makes an appearance in one's life, one must respond swiftly and without mercy. This car has got to go. Despite my best laid plans, this thing is keeping me from riding as much as I used to. The dark one is clever, disguising himself in the trappings of goodness...

The promise of bike hauling is just a ruse aimed at making me think this instrument of evil could be made to serve a higher purpose. I shall exorcise the evil and free the pure spirit of the bike rack, saving it to strap on our main family vehicle. I shall cast the rest out, out, out to the automotive part-mongers. Yes. All shall be well again soon. Stay tuned. 

Feeling Lighter Already, I Remain,

PS - Did you notice? In heaven, or at least among angels, the bicycle drivetrain is sometimes on the LEFT side! Also, angels ride the top tube with reckless abandon, pain free. Crazy, man. God, I mean. Crazy, God!

PPS - I realize that this post may have offended more religious types. To all of you Satanist RANTWICK readers, please know that I was just having a little fun and meant no disrespect to you or your Dark Lord.

Friday, March 9, 2012


I haven't done any dirt trail riding in 20 years. That is strange, because when I was younger I really loved it, getting muddy, wiping out sometimes... the challenges are exhilarating. When I returned to cycling several years ago, it was as an on-road and paved path commuter guy, and that remains true to this day. I think I may be saving wild times in the bush for my mid-life crisis or something. So, the title of this post is a little misleading. Here's what I meant:

Sorry I felt compelled to use Pachelbel's Canon again... I just love that freakin' piece. Please have an excellent weekend. I hope a couple of those little things that make you happy crop up.

Yer Pal,

PS - Speaking of things that make me happy, there's also this:

Friday, March 2, 2012

Just A Couple of Things

I went to Jakeman's for the sweet elixir to send off to JAT but they didn't have any! Should have more in a couple of weeks... at least it will be fresh!

Hey, you know what else is nice about Jakeman's? It is owned and operated by, you guessed it, the Jakemans! A pleasant thing in our monster corporation dominated world.

Now here's something that caught my eye at the grocery store a few days ago:

I wonder if "McDowell Ovens" is owned by the McDowells? I'll have to check that out sometime. What caught my eye, however, was this interesting statement on the packaging...

Shouldn't that kind of be understood? I mean they are breadcrumbs after all. I'm not sure why, but I find that statement super funny. It doesn't take much, I guess. Have super weekends everyone!

I am, as always,


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Rantwick Down!

I had a nice little wipeout a week ago on Thursday morning. I was barely moving and not even on the street at the time. Here's a helmet cam view of this stupid event:

As one might expect, the cam doesn't show much of what happened. I don't know where my mind was, but it wasn't on riding my bike or the big patch of ice I rode on to just as I was turning. I mean, it looks like I was aiming for it, but honestly my mind was just elsewhere, I guess.

Unlike a previous almost-stopped fall I wrote about on this blog, I did get a foot disengaged and on the ground, but my winter cycling boots have hard plastic soles that are less than useless on ice. I fell straight backward and landed hard, the back of my helmeted head smacking the pavement real good...

It hurt, but my helmet prevented any real brain damage. It hurt, but my helmet prevented any real brain damage. It hurt, but my helmet prevented any real brain damage.

I was kind of wanting a new helmet anyway. I hit one of my elbows super hard, but no bone damage. Did you know that the loose skin part of your elbow is called the "wenis" by some people? After I heard somebody call it that I had to look it up. Turns out it is popular slang, but not a "real" word as of yet. I had a badly bruised and and sensitive wenis. My neck was very sore and the next morning I hurt pretty much everywhere. It took three or four days for most of that to go away, but I'm right as rain again now. Except for the wenis. Still bruised and sensitive. In any case, it would seem that my preference for crashing at very low speeds is good for my health.

Stay Upright If You Can,