Saturday, January 31, 2009

Sunset snowshoeing

Saturday can be a busy day and what are you going to do at 4 in the afternoon when you're finally finished doing boring life stuff and you are finally free?

There's only one answer that combines the essential elements of fun, outdoors, sunset and superfantastic: a snowshoe adventure up Mt Royal at --and after-- sunset.

Saturday's deep freeze was mainly due to wind chill - we had big wind until after 4:00 pm. Then (like magic) the wind dropped to almost zero and being outside was a lot better.

So, our "plan" was working, and working well. We got out just in time to see the sunset and then the moon rise on top of Mt Royal.

Things got even better. We also are happy to report that winter 2009 has achieved "deep snow" conditions. Woohoo! Not every winter gives us deep snow, so enjoy it while you can.

Life was good. So we did two summits, Parc Mont Royal summit (the cross) and the Outremont Summit on top of the old ski hill above Cepsum. Views everywhere were perfect and there was not a cloud in the sky.

What a great day to be alive.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Montreal Bike Show Expodium Feb 20-22

The list of exhibitors is up at the Expodium website. (and the exhibitor names are all links)

There's bike and bike-related manufacturers and retailers.

There are LOTS of travel companies and tourism destinations. I counted 40 or 50!

We visited the bas st-laurent booth at Expodium last year, and as a result we visited there for our summer vacation. We ain't lying when we say that it was one of our best vacations ever. Our ride of the Petit Temis bike trail was very memorable, and we mean in a good way (for a change!). We had a great time all along the south coast of the St-Laurence river (trois pistols, Bic, Ile Verte, Jardins de Metis, Riviere du Loup, and countless beautiful little villages along the Rt 132)

We love Quebec and always take a Quebec vacation. Quebec is huge, beautiful, and a great bicycle holiday destination. We have dozens (ok, hundreds!) of great destinations to choose from.

the winter blues

winter winter work work cold cold.

For better reading, we suggest you click on a summer month from the list on the right side of the screen.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A big thanks

After a trip to the hospital to visit someone, we'd like to take a moment to thank all the the health care workers. Without them, we'd all be dead, or at least missing some possibly-useful body parts.

We've had our share of emergency room visits ("Hey what do you think that is?" "It's your bone, man.")

So we mean it when we say it: Thanks!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

winter diversions

It's not quite in the cycling department but it is in the fun department. We are talking about the NFB's (National Film Board of Canada) new films online feature.

If you live in Montreal you can also visit the NFB's Cinerobotheque at St-Denis and de Maisonneuve where there are a greater number of films and one- two-person and theatre seating.

It's months until spring, and we have to pass the time somehow.

G'day eh.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

winter outdoors

The arctic temperatures have departed so to celebrate we left the smog alert in Montreal behind and went north for snowshoeing in St-Adolphe de Howard in the Laurentians.

This is an especially snowy part of the Laurentians.

Winter is short, the snow is deep, as your fun advisor, we recommend that you get outside and play!

Friday, January 16, 2009

We read Guy

We read the ski and winter sport blog of quebec ski reporter Guy Thibeaudeau.

If you go outside in the winter in quebec, then you should too.

Pont Pie IX bike/pedestrian sidewalk?

Citizens are agitating for access to the Pont Pie IX in the form of bike/pedestrian sidewalk creation.

This bridge between Montreal and Laval lacks a walkway for bicycle and pedestrian use.

Cycle Fun Montreal strongly supports improving this bridge for bicycle/pedestrian access. It's the 21st century and now bridges are for more than just car-only access.

The river between Montreal and laval is very bike-friendly, with bike paths on parts of both sides of the river. Not having bike access on the bridges that connect these two cities is one of the big "Missing Pieces" of Montreal region cycling infrastructure.

Read more here.

Montreal Bike Shop map

Oh Google is there anything you can't do?

We refer of course to the Bike Repair Shop map on Google Maps.

The Gazette blog "On Two Wheels" writer Jonathan Quixote has improved a previously inadequate resource for a map of Montreal area bike shops.

We say "Good Work!"

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Mt Royal Cross - relit soon?

After a long period of restoration and repair we noticed that the cross was shining red on Monday night (we were starting the ski up to the top from Parc Avenue)

When we got to the top an hour later the cross was dark.

2009 is now happier for us because we are looking forward to seeing the cross light up Montreal's night skyline.


New bike accessories?

Buddy 20Q is claiming to be getting a modern road bicycle this year. We incentivized the situation with the offer of a collection of new bike accessories as a gift. We can be kind, when we know the result will be better cycling experiences for everyone involved.

The list?

buy/install at same time as bike is built:
spd pedals (I use mtn bike style)
spd shoes (I use mtn bike style, so walking is possible)
water bottle cage(s)
water bottle(s)
bike computer with cadence

Bike accessories
Kryponite Evolution U-lock

light - front (removeable)
light - rear (removeable)

camelbak mini backpak (various sizes)

tool kit for inside camelbak (optional: seatbag)
-multi tool
-chain tool
-spoke key
-mini vise grip (4 inch)
-mini crescent wrench (4 inch)
-portable tire pump
-patch kit
-tire levers
-spare tube
-spare brake cable & shifter cable

floor pump
chain oil

indoor bike trainer
bike rack for car (roof or hitch mount)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Expodium (Montreal bike show) 2009

The Expodium (a.k.a. Montreal bike show) 2009 is scheduled for February 20-22 2009.

Here is the link. It's the french link but you can select the english link from the page that comes up.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

our secret weakness-Night cross country skiing

Yes, we are weak, and tempted, and lazy, put them all together and you have the joy of nighttime cross country skiing.

We conveniently live close to Mont Royal and since the moon is full and the snow is fresh, we went for a night-time cross country ski adventure last night.

People, it doesn't get better than this. The cross country trail up to the summit of Mt Royal is one of the better cross country ski trails you will find, and besides the scenic excellence and uniqueness of a cross country trail up a mountain in the heart of a major urban metropolis, the terrain is a great (cycling cross training) workout since the first 30 minutes are all uphill. And the descent, well, the descent totally rocks.

So, tonight the moon will be full, the snow is fresh, and we hope every one of you takes this opportunity to enjoy Montreal's single best winter experience: a night cross country ski to the summit of Mont Royal.

Note: yes, there's enough light to ski at night.

La Presse's vacance/voyage section in Saturday's paper had some excellent features on Quebec outdoor activities, adventures, and festivals you can enjoy this winter. We recomment the La Press newspaper highly.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Our trainer workout

With the addition of motivational fast music, an indoor bike trainer workout is a tolerable way to get in / stay in shape in the winter.

We use two specific workouts to focus our training efforts to get the maximum results.

1) Cadence - do intervals at 110-115 rpm (pedaling cadence) with high power output. (link to the workout description)

2) Power - Do intervals at steadily increasing power output (normal pedaling cadence) until you reach your maximum output. How do you know when you reach your maximum power output? Oh, you'll know.

We also do some recovery rides, simulating rolling terrain and relying on good music to get through the sensory deprivation of indoor riding.

We are also big fans of using the classic stairmaster at high (i.e. maximum)level, which got us in excellent and even race-ready shape for many years.

Friday, January 02, 2009

How to bike in the winter

The Montreal Gazette's Michelle Lalonde has writen a good how-to on winter cycling.

The most important tip: Assume all drivers want to kill you.

Lalonde has many good tips, check out the entire article here (highly recommended).

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Cold temperature solution

No, the solution isn't a plane ticket for you and your bike to someplace warm and southern.

The solution is to ride your bike on an indoor trainer. This spring we will be riding strong because we rode indoors at the level of hot and sweaty.

We love our computrainer.

And our MSR lightning 25 snowshoes.

They get us through the winter.