Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sunglasses Again

I sure seem to write about sunglasses a lot. I'm really getting kind of angry now... I am on my fourth pair of the summer. Which is why I don't buy good sunglasses. I lose 'em or break 'em. Of course, one could argue that perhaps I would take better care of my sunglasses if they were more valuable. What if I went ahead and spent a bunch of money and that isn't true though? What if I'm really just a naturally destructive force when it comes to sunglasses? Then I will have wasted money that could have been spent on my kids or starving kids or beer or beer for my kids (wait, no) instead of on proving something to myself that I already suspected! Gah!
Is there anyone out there who rides a bicycle often (or far) who does not think that sunglasses (or clear glasses) or goggles or something shielding your eyes is an absolute necessity? I couldn't have cared less when I was a kid, but I HATE riding without some sort of glasses now. 
The pair I'm currently wearing were purchased at a lost and found sale. They are those "Solar Shield" types. Some people like 'em because some styles will fit over top of eyeglasses. Others like having as much UV blocked as possible. I don't wear glasses though and I'm OK with a little UV action on the side (nudge nudge, wink wink). I thought they might keep wind and airborne crap out a little better, which they do.
I have two problems with these. Firstly, I knew peripheral vision would suffer a little, but I didn't count on my shoulder checks being WAY more difficult. I need to either lose these shades or grow a more flexible neck.
Secondly, especially when combined with my bike helmet and camera, I can't shake the feeling that I bring to mind Dr. Nefario from Despicable Me.

I'm still wearing them for now despite my misgivings. Another cheap pair will come my way, I am sure.

Yer Pal,

Monday, August 27, 2012


I think most people who blog for a while start getting emails like this from time to time:

Hello Patrick,
After reviewing your blog, I think that you are a good match for our music community on, our free media syndication service for bloggers.
Participate in our blogging campaigns and we connect you with our network of media outlets--helping to increase traffic to your blog.
Join today, and happy blogging!
Mariana Gonzalez
Hispano Bloggers

This time around though, I was a little puzzled about how my blog could have suddenly have become a good match for a "music community" of any kind, let alone one of particular interest to Hispanic readers...

I'm guessing this has happened simply because I wrote that one post about that classy Costa Rican triathlete, Leonardo Chacón Corrales, and got myself flagged for keywords like Costa and/or Rica.

The thing is, I don't want to insult anybody. I mean, if HispanoBloggers wants to make me an honourary Latino, who am I to say no? I've always thought Latinos were among the sexiest of ethnic groups. I haven't felt sexy ever. Well, except for that one time, but that was just pretend as opposed to say, this:
Oh yeah. Get a load of me now.
Sigh. If only it could be so. Ah well, you know my life is pretty damn good and I can and should romance Mrs. Rantwick all the time instead of daydreaming about fake Tangos anyway... yep, I think all is actually as it should be.
Queridos HispanoBloggers,

Por mucho que me gustaría ser un hombre latino en lugar de uno blanco pastoso o que me escribió una gran cantidad de puestos que sean de interés para los lectores hispanos, ninguna de estas cosas son verdaderas.

Por lo tanto, es con pesar que estoy rechazando su gentil ofrecimiento para unirse a su blogger servicio de distribución de medios.

 Su Pal,


PS - Mis disculpas si esta carta está mal escrito ... He utilizado "Google Translate" y no habla una palabra de español yo mismo.

Don't forget to just be yourself, because your self is just awesome,

Monday, August 20, 2012

Blast From the Past

While I was away in Thunder Bay in July I saw this vintage cycle locked up outside the Hoito:

The Hoito is a Finnish breakfast place / diner that must be experienced if you go to Thunder Bay.

It is located underneath the Finlandia Club. Try the Finnish pancakes. Newsflash: There are lots of people of Finnish ancestry in Thunder Bay.

Also be sure to purchase and eat a "Persian", a local delicacy that is only found in Thunder Bay, believe it or not. They aren't much more interesting than a doughnut to local people, who know not the extraordinary way in which they have been blessed, but when the Rantwick clan visits Thunder Bay we celebrate them with great vigour.

They are freakin' delicious. The best Persians can be purchased, not surprisingly, from "The Persian Man", which has at least two locations in town, maybe more.

The wikipedia article claims that there are "persians" available in Wisconsin as well, but they feature white icing sometimes with nuts or coconut. That is utter nonsense. Everybody knows persians have a strangely hard to describe pink strawberry-raspberry flavoured icing. White icing. Pffft. Whatever, Wisconsin...

Where was I? Oh yes, the bike. Check out the licence plate!

I remember those from when I was a kid; everyone was supposed to license their bicycle in the City of Thunder Bay. I checked their web site and found no reference to any such practice these days.

It was kind of nice to see how seriously bikes were treated at one time. Almost like, um, vehicles!

Yer Pal,

How Cyclists See Toronto

If you had to guess which city would be nicer to ride your bike in, would you choose Toronto, Ontario, Canada or Dallas, Texas, USA?

I'm thinking that most people who don't know either city would guess Toronto. Canadians are usually so well mannered, right? Right?

Here's a post from one Texas cyclist who didn't really enjoy Toronto's downtown cycling scene. I think it should be seen as a wake-up call to anyone who thinks Toronto is doing OK when it comes to cycling...

Second Class in Toronto

I would encourage Torontonians to respond to that post as they see fit... I'm looking forward to seeing their comments on it.

Yer Pal,

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Olympic Ideal

There's something that has gotten a lot of play on Canadian media that I want to share with my non-Canadian readers because it is just so cool. In this case, it is the Canadian who slipped up and a Costa Rican who just might be the best sport ever.

Here's the deal. Canadian triathlete Simon Whitfield wiped out while passing over some wooden structure that was built over top of a speed bump. His mistake. Video available here. Sorry I couldn't embed it in this page, CTV wasn't having any of that kind of good functionality happening, no way.

When I first saw that footage I was sad for my countryman, but frankly I was more concerned about the guy behind him that he took out... Simon has won medals (including Gold) and was participating in his 4th Olympics, but what about that poor guy? He managed to continue and finished 48th, having been in 18th place after the swim and somewhere around 21st right before the crash.

That poor guy was Costa Rican triathlete Leonardo Chacón Corrales, who posted the following on facebook the very next day:

That is one Costa Rican who will have many Canadians rooting for him in 2016! I know I will be.

Hey, be a Leonardo and show some class, will ya?

PS - If coverage of this has been more widespread than I thought and is old news, my apologies. Although, when you think about it, you knew I was gonna waste your time one way or another anyway.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Things People Say Fridays #6 - Sweet!

Unbridled enthusiasm is something in short supply in my world. Just the same, the mic on my helmet cam managed to pick some up the other day:

Thanks, excited dude! You made my day. Have SWEET weekends everybody!

Yer Pal,

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Well Lookie What I Found!

I found something good last week. More on that in a minute. First, a couple of other things.

I need to re-post or cross-post or whatever they call it with this:

Curiosity Killed the Cat

Saw it on Abandoned Stuff by Saskboy and felt compelled to share.

Secondly, I wanted to say a little something about street riding in the rain. I find riding in the rain very pleasant, excepting the times that temperatures are around freezing. At those times I would rather have snow. Even when the rain is cold, however, I really like that all vehicles make lots of wheel / road noise.

I mean, I don't care if your brand spankin' new scooter or car is powered by 100% baby smiles with a backup battery fuelled by nothin' but good vibes, if it has wheels, I will hear it coming in the rain. I like that. I also feel like I'm going faster than I really am in the rain. Don't know why. Anybody else feel that way?

Now, to my originally stated business. I pulled a bike out of somebody's trash last week, intending to cannibalize it for the nice fenders and rack it had. Turns out, though, that it is way too nice for that. I put air in the tires, and despite dried out sidewalls, they are holding nicely. Doing nothing else to it, I took it for a ride and was shocked. Brakes, well tuned! Shifting, just fine and limiters set correctly! Wheels true and spinning nicely! Holy crap!

Mrs. Rantwick has not been riding much, partly because she desires a bike we didn't have until now, a nice simple upright commuter. A "ladies" or "beautiful godzilla" (see BSNYC for definition) kind of bike. The kind of bike The Other Other Other Woman might ride. There's some rust and some scratches I need to clean up as best I can, but I got a perfectly good bike straight out of somebody's garbage! Woohoo!

Here are the tantalizing details:

Frame: Steel, Mixte
Wheels: 27" I think, tire markings long gone.
Gears: 7 sp Suntour on rear, single chainring up front.
Year: No Clue. Help if you can.
Made in Canada, Brand I've Never Heard Of

Now here are the tantalizing photos:


Have any of you ever heard of some "Aleigh" bicycle brand? After exhaustive Internet research, I am still totally stumped. So not only is this thing perfect for Mrs. Rantwick, it is some rare "Aleigh" bicycle I have never heard of! Insane!

Yer Pal,

PS - Commenters informing me that the bike is a Raleigh will be hunted down and pestered verbally for thinking me that kind of stupid. Thinking me all other kinds of stupid is fine.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Peace and Quiet

As I indicated in my last post, I was away for a vacation recently. I've been slow getting back into the swing of this blog and everything else, really, because it slowed down my brain in an awesome way. I went home to Thunder Bay and spent most of my time on Bolduc Bay, Dog Lake at our family camp (cottage) near Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Here's an excellent example of what has been dominating my thoughts lately:

The sound was included in that video. Notice how you could hear my footsteps in the sand, but nothing after? I didn't take the sound out; there just wasn't any. Oh yeah.

As I resume with my more usual stuff, I find my mind keeps going back to this... I'm thinking most people would fully understand. I mean, look at it! If I could choose anywhere in the world to be...

Yer Pal,