Wednesday, December 29, 2010

there's snow business like snow business

Au Sommet!

55 minutes of uphill, then 35 glorious minutes coming back down.

The descent after the summit passes the famous Mont Royal cross

The trip to the summit of Mont Royal on skis is one of the ultimate Montreal experiences. For significantly added fun, do it in a snowstorm.

Sure, cross-country skiing looks like it is leg exercise, but for amateurs like us there's sure a lot of triceps. Fortunately that's ideal training for the assume-the-position aspect of road cycling.

More good news: the snow conditions are excellent!

Here's a link to the official Mont Royal ski trail map. Page two is ethics and rules, please take a minute to read it. Then go and have the best urban ski experience of your life.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Why don't bike companies sell real "WINTER" bikes?

We have yet to see a bike at the bike shop that we could honestly call a "winter bike."

Why not? Because it is a very niche market. And the task is more engineering and innovation intensive than just another flavour of the 1000s of road bike designs that already exist.

To stimulate the designer energy, we propose a prize for best winter bike. It involves cranberries.

We think a winter bike should have:
  • freeze-proof drive-train and brakes
  • corrosion protection against water and salt
  • traction and lots of it
  • excellent slush protection
  • manufacture-ability, no fantasy bikes allowed

Designers: get going.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Cows, a bee, and a heart.

This winter's indoor hobby is stop-motion films.

new camera

This little blog loves to be fed photos and other pictures. But suddenly our camera died. Actually, not so suddenly, it was terminal for a while.

The happy-Christmas happy ending to this sad story is that we got a new camera, and we can continue to bring you fun and interesting and informative bike-related pictures.

Until then, here's a non-bike-related, but otherwise fun 30 second stop-motion video we made today with the new camera.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Winter bikes

Here are a few winter bikes.

A fully-functioning winter bike, can you tell that it is a women's bike?

Hint: we saw her ride up and park it.

A bent and broken non-fully-functioning winter bike, or bike of any kind!

Indoor bike on trainer. Hey is that the Bert?

We are trying an experiment with these pedals for indoors using regular shoes (and we don't like it, we are sticking with cycling shoes).

Another winter bike, this one with uglification camouflage to reduce theft stress.

Bikes frozen in time and place...

Montreal no longer removes the bike stands in winter, meaning hundreds (if not thousands) of neglected bikes slowly rust and die outside during winter. Bad bike owners!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

New bike season has started!

Our legs are getting use to indoor cycling on the trainer, and our arms are getting used to uphill motion for skiing and snowshoeing propulsion. Speaking of winter propulsion... the winter season for quebec outdoor fun has begun.

This is NOT the off-season! This is the season of plenty of super fun outdoor activities involving snow and ice.

Winter fun activities include:
  • Skiing cross country
  • Skiing downhill
  • Snowshoeing
  • Ice skating - outdoor rink
  • Ice skating - on lake/river
  • Ice climbing
  • Alpine snowboard
  • Regular snowboard
  • Ski jumping
  • Ice fishing
  • Sliding and sledding downhill

If you never skied or skated or snowshoes before, try snowshoeing first, and do it with poles for balance and propulsion. It's easy to do and the uphill direction on Mont Royal is a great place to do it.

Especially in a snow storm.

And there's curling on TV for when you are inside.