Friday, November 8, 2019


Earlier I posted a lovely picture using Instagram, mostly because Insta lets me easily shoot it to Twitter and Facebook at the same time. Trouble is, Insta crops the image into a near square.

Here's the wide version:

Ah, much better.

Yer Pal,

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

The King, 2019

It would seem I'm quite willing to let the blog slide these days. However, it would feel wrong not to post a picture of this Autumn's King; I have been doing it for 10 years!

Here he is, lookin' great as always, although the picture is from a couple of weeks ago and he's probably nearly naked now.

I've moved back onto the Fat bike with the big pogies and everything.

Outspokin Cycles assisted in rebuilding the wheels that were misbehaving in colder temps; the rear got a lovely new Hope Fatsno hub that I'm confident won't act like a jerk. It has a nice loud ratchety sound (the pawls, I guess) that I really like. I'm finding that my advancing age combined with a loss of dexterity due to silly brain stuff is resulting in a newfound willingness to pay others to wrench on my bike. I suppose that's not a bad thing, since local bike shops seem to be in jeopardy all the time. I must confess, though, that I bought that fatsno hub online for way less than the LBS price, once again from across the ocean. As much as a good LBS will always be of value to me, my own cash is also of value to me. As such I happily pay the LBS for the things I can stand to pay a little more for and buy the other stuff online. We got Mrs. Rantwick a nice bike at an LBS a couple of years ago, so we're not all bad. Note: You can't buy a good bike mechanic online. A relationship with a good LBS (or three) is always a good thing.

If you're considering riding right through the winter this year, do it! You won't be sorry. Or maybe you will. How the hell would I know? How about this instead: Try it, you might like it as much as I do!

Yer Pal,

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

God Bless the USA

Hey, just touching base. Everything is going great, riding weather is beautiful. I've been riding to work and back most days, but not much else. For the one or two people who are friends on Strava, I haven't quit riding, I've just stopped with the app.

Yes, life is pretty good. So good I have very little to say it would seem. I've got some video of animals and friendly people I mean to stitch together, but evening laziness has kept me from it.

Sitting in front of CNN watching the slow-motion car crash of American politics remains one of my favourite yet depressing activities. Sometimes I pause the TV as household distractions arise. I am often entertained by the images I get with these random stills*, like this one:

This poor fellow looks like I feel sometimes when I hear what is (and is not) happening in the USA. Canadians and Americans have always been good friends as far as I'm concerned, and it both confuses and pains me when I see friends hurting each other or losing their way or both. I wish there was something I could do. Instead I just watch and wonder and hope. In short, Thoughts and Prayers, USA, Thoughts and Prayers.

Yer Canadian Pal, 


*As fond as I am of doctoring photos and stuff, it would kind of defeat the purpose of funny pause images if I made them funny via artificial means. As such, I have not messed with this image, which is just a picture of my TV taken with my phone.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

If You Were Riding the Bicycle #8 - Stop Sign Dickhead

I had an encounter with a motorist yesterday during which he honked at me. We had words and he called me a "dickhead"! I felt totally wronged at the time but when I review the video, as you're about to do, I'm more inclined to think that he was right, which is a real bummer. Nobody wants to be a dickhead!

Watch this:

When people honk and yell at you it is most often because they are morons who know nothing about cycling. This time the guy was correct, but I kind of treated him like a moron as an automatic response, making me seem like even more of a dickhead (sigh). Audi guy, if you're reading this, I regret the way I rode just there and how I responded to you afterward. I apologize. I can also assure you I'm normally a more considerate rider who doesn't blow past cars at stop signs.

For any other readers I as always would really welcome any comments on where we're the same, where we differ and so on. How would that have played out if you were riding the bicycle?

Yer dickhead pal,

Thursday, May 9, 2019


One of the Seven Deadly Sins, Sloth, has intruded upon my blog writing. I think it started with an actual Sloth...

I heard somewhere that there was a Sloth Riding a Bicycle (with chainline issues) Shirt available in Costa Rica, so I went there and bought one in February. Didn't really see anything else*

So after that I just rode my bike to work and back and otherwise just sat in my favourite new shirt and ate stuff and watched TV. For a couple months.

Then Chico (Snow Face) got into a massage ball and I needed to share:

Then new cat Talulah dipped her tail into my shaving water and slapped her tail on the sink like this:

I only caught the last one. She did it for like, a full minute. She's delightfully odd.

Anyway, an animal introduced me to blogging sloth and animals got me back out of it. I think. No promises.

Yer Pal,

* Costa Rica was, in fact, as awesome as one might think, with jungle, nature, ocean, etc. Truly outstanding. I've never been on any other Southern vacation except Florida, but I must assume CR will be hard to beat.

PS - I messed with the cat tail clip, removing the actual sound and adding the purring and slap noise. There, I confessed. Now piss off.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Super Duper Bike Melt Tray-O-Rama

I've been bringing my bike indoors when I get to work, partly for security and partly so the hubs thaw out and roll better again for a little while. When it is covered with snow and muck and slush, I've been leaving it in a hallway where the public does not come or go, but some of my co-workers do. Although nobody has complained yet, I was feeling guilty about the puddles and dirt being deposited on the floor.

Enter the Super Duper Bike Melt Tray-O-Rama!


3 boot trays
Duct tape

I taped this together last night, folded 'er up and brought it in on my rear rack today:

Conscience eased, and with so much super duper style I can hardly stand how cool I am. I was pretty awesome before, but now I think I am fully justified in being downright insufferable.

Yer Pal,

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Cold Snap Riding

This morning I broke my previous record for cold weather cycling by 1 degree C, making my new coldest ride temp -24C (-11F). For some cold weather cyclists this is of course child's play, but I am pleased nonetheless. In truth, last night's commute home was much tougher. The actual temperature was -19 but with headwinds gusting to 60km/h (37 mph) it was very difficult and very cold. My rides in these colder temps have been made worse by hubs with grease that kind of freezes or congeals when temps drop below -16C or so, making the bike ride like its got a stuck brake or something. Advice on how I should service the hubs (cartridge bearing type) for next year is welcome if you have some. For now I'm bringing the bike inside so the hubs free up at least for the first half of my commute, before they get cold again. I suppose it is also possible that the grease is OK but some metal in the hubs is contracting too much in the cold... I'm tempted to build/buy a set of winter wheels that would match hubs up to the challenge with my Studded Jumbo Jims, which are performing wonderfully by the way.

Speaking of performing wonderfully, I took the advice of some of my dear readers and spent some money on a good front light: a Moon Meteor Storm Lite. 

This thing is BRIGHT (1100 lumens claimed, and it looks like it really might be), charges with USB and holds that charge reasonably well even in these frigid temps. The mount is also of higher quality, which I suppose it should be with the light's chunkier weight and price. I paid almost $80 CAD for it. If not for advances in LED tech a light this good would have cost hundreds not that long ago. I always use it on steady, at the highest brightness setting, since I don't need to stretch the battery life at all for it to stay bright right through my short commute.

I guess that is it for now; stay warm, be well and I hope to see you again soon!

Yer Pal,

PS - I ain't received nuthin' from nobody for my kind words about any bike products mentioned here.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Sewer Hole!

Obviously I have not been writing much. That is bad. I have, however, been riding my Fat bike to work and back most days, which is good! Very good, really. They may not be for everyone, but for post-stroke me this well-equipped fat bike is perfect. People ask me if it is slow. The answer is yes, but not as slow as one might think. If I were more fit, it would be even faster. But speed is not the thing when I'm on this rig. I go from ice to hardpack to mud to powder to shortbread snow making almost no adjustments as I go. This thing just rolls over it without reacting much at all... it is weird and wonderful.

It is wonderful enough that it induced me to stray from the path the other day, with hilarious (at least I think) results. So, without further adieu, I present for your viewing pleasure, "Sewer Hole"!

Yer Pal,