Showing posts with label London Ontario. Show all posts
Showing posts with label London Ontario. Show all posts

Monday, November 8, 2021

This Morning's Bicycle Commute - London ON Nov 8 2021

That is all.

Yer Pal,

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Holy Cow, Has It Really Been 6 Months? That's Crazy!

Although if things are gonna be Crazy, now's the time I guess. I hope any and all weirdos still reading this blog are doing all right and have not been dealt anything too painful in this strange time.

Strange indeed, but in some ways not so bad. Putting a kink in our constant rush to consume is not an entirely bad thing. I've also read some good stuff about reduced pollution and rebounding species. While I strongly suspect a rest is not as good as a change in these areas, good news is still good news, you know.

I have perceived one other positive change, but I need to check with you to see if I'm imagining it. I think people, learning to change their ways and maintain distance in public, on the sidewalk, in stores etc., are doing it with their cars while passing me on my bike. Is it all in my head, or is social distancing translating into more considerate drivers? Perhaps less traffic just means more room to give me room, but I like to think it is an actual change in driving behaviours brought about, by all things, a virus. If true, how wonderful would it be if it became a good habit that stuck? A man can dream, right?

In other good news, geese still like hissing at me:

I don't have good video to show it, but I have also learned that a "honk" from my disc brakes (they are rather honky) will make a whole gaggle of geese look up at the same moment like a bunch of meerkats.

With a bunch of fuzzy goslings around in the last couple months it has been fun and adorable.

I've been working this whole time and commuting on bike path and street as usual. When I come across another person on the path, I give them a wide berth by hugging the extreme edge of the asphalt or go out on the grass when necessary or if it might help them feel more at ease with my presence, especially if they're old. As these two approached, I kept waiting for them to go single file:

As you can see, they did not and I did not like it, particularly because like it or not, I'm pretty old looking with my extra weight and mostly grey beard. I even sigh like an old man at the end, sounding just like my dear departed dad.This is just one example of close passing by cyclists that has happened several times at time of writing. So, short version, I think cars are giving me enough space while some cyclists are not. It is most definitely an upside-down kind of time.

Be Safe and Stay Well,

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,

Monday, February 12, 2018


As mentioned in the previous post, today I am posting a video that contains clips of me swearing while riding my bike. Good times, man, good times.

Yer Pal,

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Rantwick's London Ontario Bike Routes: Not Highbury

I'm calling this bike route "Not Highbury" because cyclists in London currently face a bit of a challenge moving from north to south or vice versa in the east end of the city. The west side too, I think, but I've had to deal with that less often, and so don't have an answer for it yet.

Most of Highbury Ave is a scary waste of time for cycling. Here, for your viewing pleasure, is my favourite way of riding from North London to South London on the east end; not used is a great little route between Dundas and Oxford behind the London Psychiatric Hospital. There are cool abandoned buildings, a peaceful setting, the works. I think I might map that piece all by itself, it is very much worth riding and knowing about, but connections on either end of it are kind of clunky.

Speaking of clunky, this route works better heading south than north. When you're northbound you have to do this at Fanshawe College:

This doesn't come very naturally, which is why I'm highlighting it.

Now here's the route, from north to south. People can access this route from either the North Branch of the Thames Valley Parkway, or as recorded here, Fanshawe Park Road. I've noted where the TVP hits this route in the video.

Here's an overview map to go with... click it for full size

Hey, do you have a little-known or really useful route I should chronicle? Please contact me. I'll do the video and mapping work if you'll tell me where to ride. Of course I'll be happy to credit any contributors both here and on youtube, which will make you famous with like, 15 people maybe. I'm also interested in cataloging sweet little connecting bits that "nobody else" knows. Send them to me and I'll make them part of the info I'm trying to share and spread! 

Yer Pal,

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Icing on the Icing on the Cake (or suitable equivalent)!

Like all cyclists, I have a deep love of fresh, smooth asphalt. In terms of public investment, I personally value it above all the bike infra in the world. I am in a minority on that one, but that's OK. I like bike infra too. This post is about both.

I have not been riding as much as I would like, being limited by several factors. As such I had not ridden as far as I could go on the Thames Valley Parkway (an extensive and wonderful London Ontario Multi Use Pathway) in quite some time. I knew they City was working on the South branch, but wow, is it ever nice now!

There is beautiful smooth path all the way from Adelaide St to Meadowlily bridge, a ten minute ride for a slowpoke like me. This smoothness replaces all kinds of bumps and problems with many joyjoys. This, my friends, represents the Cake referred to in my title.

If you take the paved surface of the South branch of the TVP as far as you can, you come to a dead end. This dead end has had a sign in place for YEARS promising an extension that would overcome the obstacle of a rail line and connect it to the paths of Kiwanis Park in the east end of the city. It was beginning to look like it would never happen, but now there are new signs and honest to god shovels in the ground! Icing.

When I leave the dead end path and make my way to work on the streets, there was one bit of Hale Street that was in terrible repair. Again, it was that way for years. Now it has been repaired; nothing but sweet smooth asphalt in place of that ugliness. Icing on my Icing! Or, since I have no picture, let's revise that to Breadcrumbs on Juice! 

You may recall that this is not the first time I have reported

Thank you, oh multiple layers of government that contributed to the best ride to work in a long while! Thank you, London planners who sometimes come through big time! Cake! Icing! Icing! (Or, if you like, Cake! Breadcrumbs! Juice! Hurrah!)

Yer Pal,

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Lawn Signs and Rapid Transit in London Ontario

Some lawn signs annoy me. Especially the generic, preachy kind like this:

or even

I mean, really? This is just anonymous finger wagging in lawn sign form. I know when I am driving and I see these, I feel angry at being scolded for a crime somebody is presupposing I'm likely to commit. When I'm angry, I lose my sense of propriety and drive like a jerk. In fact I drive like NOTHING lives there, or more accurately like the inhabitants of the neighbourhood (pets included) all belong to the hordes of undead who live in my mind ever since zombies became so popular again. Just keep moving, I say to myself, praying that I won't have to squish any of them under my wheels... oh god, when will I be able to stop running, stop driving like a maniac, stop the carnage? But I digress. Let's get back to sunny days and brighter thoughts, shall we?

These signs have led me to one of my favourite conceits, that of getting a bunch of signs printed and planting them next to the preachy ones in the dead of night...

Mrs. Rantwick has forbidden me from taking any such action.

However, as with many annoying things, I'm guessing lawn sign messaging began in a well-meaning way, like communicating your support for this or that politician, or of course for advertising your yard sale:

I don't know what it is like where you live, but lawn signs in my city have begun to cover lots of individual political issues, as well. Here are some I've seen around town lately:

This post isn't about any of these issues, but my reaction to these, from left to right, are "OK I guess... Whatever", "Umm, why?" and "Hell no, I love those things!"

Thanks for staying this long into this post, btw. We're finally getting to the rapid transit part. Recently lawn signs about the City's plans for a BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) system have been springing up everywhere.

The pictures are so crummy (and accompanied by a clear graphic) because they are just grabbed out of my helmet cam video... I was to lazy to stop and take proper pictures.

Sadly, the green signs are badly outnumbered by the red ones. I say sadly because I am a big fan of big transit. I think it is probably more important to creating livable cities than (gasp) bicycles, and it saddens me to see so many fighting it. Some say that the push back is not so much against the idea, but the current plan. To that I say let the experts be the experts... planners don't always crush it, but they sure as hell know more about implementing such systems than I do. I'm guessing they also know more than the average lawn sign protester. For myself, I've put my name on the list to receive a green sign, and intend to participate in lawn sign democracy for the first time ever.

Yer Pal,

PS - When searching lawn sign images, I saw this. I really liked it, so maybe you will too:

PPS - At time of publication (May 3), a big RT public participation meeting is scheduled at 4 PM, Bud Gardens. You should go!

Friday, November 13, 2015

The King of Autumn, 2015

Hello there! I'm in a rush but wanted to touch base with the old blog, you know, so I'm just gonna pay homage to the King of Autumn now that that the leaves are mostly gone.

Here's the best shot I was able to get this year:

The King - October 23

What was interesting to me was that the outer leaves were that bright orange, but the inner ones were an awesome glowy yellow green...

I wondered how that would play out, but I didn't make it back before he was TOTALLY NAKED!

The King Is Shed! Long Live The King! - November 9

I'm hoping to have the time and energy to revive the Autumn Tree Smackdown next year. I'm thinking a nice flexible name that I can use over and over without worrying about a new acronym or numbering system would be good, like the "Sort Of Annual Rantwick Autumn Tree Smackdown", or SOARATS. I think that has a nice ring, even though for me it also brings to mind high-flying rats.

Rather than leaving you with that mental image, SnowFace and Mrs. Rantwick wanted to say hi, so here they are instead:

Well Hello There!

I am SO PLEASED that Mrs. Rantwick is the one with the buggy eyes...

Yer Pal,

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Huff N' Puff Cycling Groups

This Wednesday morning I once again ran across a local cycling group comprised mainly of seniors. The first time was in 2011...

I posted on that encounter here , and explained that I was unable to locate any info on their group after we met, having only been told they were the "Silver Spokes". This time however, the leader told me they were a Huff N' Puff Cycling group, which when I looked into it yielded lots of good info.

The Huff N' Puff Seniors Fitness Association in London Ontario has a large membership and they do all kinds of stuff, not just cycling. I had never heard of them before; these people (at least the cyclists I met) are so nice it makes me almost wish I were old enough to join. I've been an old man at heart for, like, a decade at least anyway. Seriously though, their motto is "Because for us, life is not a spectator sport!" I think that is awesome and I sincerely hope to be that kind of senior when I get there.

I'm not going to post video from this morning, because the 2011 one is better. Today I was overtaking the group, so the video is just the back of a lot of heads and people yelling "bike on the left!"

When it comes to Huff N' Puff & cycling, the best info I could find was in their Spring newsletter, from which I snipped the following:

This seniors group appears to have THREE cycling groups, some of which have a WAITING LIST! I think that is just outstanding, since I think cycling is a great fit for seniors and I hope to do it forever myself.

Also, like I've already said, they do a ton of other stuff 
too, so go to

If you're interested.

Yer Pal,

Friday, October 10, 2014

Bad Good Morning

Despite my recent video featuring 100 Good Mornings, not all good mornings are good. Sometimes they scare people bigtime...

I've seen that woman a few times on my morning commute but this is the first I've ever spoken to her... she, obviously, was super nice. She may be a little twitchy about unsolicited kamikaze Good Morning attacks for a while though.

Wait a sec. That is redundant. You can't solicit a kamikaze attack. I don't think. Maybe you could, but that would be pretty damn weird, you know? Think about it all weekend and get back to me.

Yer Pal,

Friday, September 26, 2014

When Canadian Cyclists Clash: Extreme Pleasantness

Here we go again, just 2 Canadians living up to their reputations of courtesy, politeness and general goodwill.

Truth be told, I think the absence of cars in this situation is really what allowed it to be so civil and pleasant. Instead of being encased by my car and asking rhetorical "what are you doing" questions of the cyclist in front of me, I could just ask him directly, in a decidedly non-rhetorical way, what he was planning to do. Of course I got in his way anyway. But that's totally OK; we were two Canadians out riding bikes on a sunny morning! We couldn't piss each other off if we tried!

Yer Pal,

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I Can See Clearly Now

There was a bit of bike path running under a bridge here in London Ontario at Adelaide St that I actually emailed the City about because the sight lines were so bad. Nothing happened for many days, leaving the spot in question looking like this:

That spot is bad at the best of times, but the lack of sight line under the bridge thanks to the vegetation was slowing me to a crawl for fear of running into somebody.
Recently, however, I had the good fortune to run across not only some real improvements but also the people who did the work!
When asked about what I was filming, I told those guys "good stuff goes on my web site"... I wonder if they would like to know they made the cut? Pun unintentional. A keeper though, right?
Yer Pal,

Thursday, May 9, 2013

London Ontario Cyclist Profile: Beard Guy

Hey all! I've been riding my bicycle to work every day as usual here in London Ontario, but haven't felt creative about the blog lately. That appears to be changing a little. I am pleased to announce a whole new post series, London Ontario Cyclist Profile! In this series I will be presenting completely fictional interviews with some of the real cycling characters I meet on the bike path or street.
If one day you see yourself in this series, the only way to disabuse people of my outrageous notions regarding you and your life will be to contact me and answer the interview questions yourself. Or just ask me to take down my heinous guesses at your life story. Whichever. I like option one better though, don't you? Way funner. Yes, funner. Oh, you don't like that? Well, "more fun" then. Happy? Happy you dominated my writing style with your "proper" English uptightedness? Yes, uptightedness! You *hole... how could you? I thought we were friends!

Anyway, in this the first of what may be many London Ontario Cyclist Profiles, we feature a person who rides often, because I ride often and I often see him. Like, often. In my mind I just call him "Beard Guy":

Interview Time!
RW: Hey, Beard Guy! What's your real name?
BG: Otis MacGregor!
RW: Wow, great name. Any relation to the inventor of the "Safety Elevator"?
BG: Otis is my first name, you idiot. Elisha Otis has nothing to do with me or my family.
RW: Beg pardon, really. I suffer from a speaking before thinking thing. Tell me, how long did it take you to grow that awesome red beard?
BG: I don't know. A while.
RW: Well, it is pretty damn nice. May I touch it?
BG: No way, you freak! Interview over, weirdo.
RW: Wait! Wait... I'll stop with the beard fixation, I promise. Tell me, have you always been a big bike rider?
BG: No, not any more than most. As a kid I always loved to ride my bike, but it is only in the last couple years that I stopped driving my Monster Truck (GuzzleMageddon II) and started taking my vintage 10 Speed to work and back. I really like it.
RW: I'll bet! Cycling rocks. Hey! Any hobbies?
BG: Lemme think... I like growing cacti. The more painful to the touch the better. Also I'm an amateur awesome bike path photo model.

 click pic for big version
RW: Hey, you're very good at that! Job?
BG: I am a physics professor at UWO. No tenure or anything like that, of course; I'm still young. I'm hoping to publish soon, a study on "darquarks" that might win me the Nobel. Dark Matter Quarks, man. Its enough to blow anyone's mind.
RW: Huh? You lost me there.
BG: Don't worry, I get that a lot.
RW: Tell me one more thing about yourself, something that nobody would ever guess.
BG: Hang on, let me think. Sh*t, I don't know, man. I'm a pretty open book. Maybe that I once saw a meteor hit the earth? I think I did, anyway. I was pretty high on those tiny cinnamon flavoured hearts at the time. I must have eaten like 300 of those things.
RW: OK then! Otis, thank you for talking to me today. I hope I continue to see you out riding that bike!
BG: Oh, you will. Riding my bike is the like the best thing I do now. I would go totally mental without that daily ride, you know?
RW: Believe me, I know. I really really do. Thanks again!
-- end of fake interview --
Mwahh ha ha haaaa! I am going to totally enjoy doing more of these. Remember, the above interview is totally fake and for stupidity purposes only. If you are "Beard Guy", aka Otis MacGregor, drop me a line! It would be awesome to hear from the real you!
Yer Pal,