Wednesday, September 28, 2011


It's finally autumn and definitely feeling like it.

Just about every day we are off to one activity or another (almost all of them at supper time this year...).

So many leaves.

For so many years we had wormy things that decimated the leaves of trees - the leaves falling the last couple years have been overwhelming!

On the way home from violin we spotted a snake crossing the path in Victoria park.

I thin this is the third such snake we've seen this year. Usually they disappear into tall grass and are gone.

But the grass in Victoria park is cut very short and the kids were able to follow it for some distance.

Teh poor thing was probably terrified at first - but after a bit must have figured out that we weren't going to eat it and it sat still for some time allowing the kids to have a really good look.

The things we see when we ride our bicycles...

Saturday, September 17, 2011

September Kidical Mass

Though technically there's a week left of summer, it's really starting to feel like autumn... We couldn't have asked for a better day for our September kidical mass ride, though!

Tried a different starting location this time - the University of Saskatchewan campus.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Family Bike Tour 2011

We’ve been talking about taking the kids on a short tour for a couple years now – mostly to engrain a sense of adventure and what can be done on a bicycle. They already know well enough what can be accomplished within the city limits, but we wanted to expand that horizon.

Finally Amanda just set a date, booked some cabins at Pike Lake Provincial Park, and that was that – we would go rain or shine!

Here are some pics of our brief tour….

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

Loading up in the back yard.

On our way.

Many options were considered for how we would haul children and sundry items on said tour. Amandas favourite idea had us on the tandem, towing Finegan on the trailerbike, and Keira in the chariot trailer… I didn’t like the idea of personally having to haul the entire family AND all our stuff… Eventually we settled on me hauling most of our stuff and the girl, and Amanda hauling a few things plus the boy (who, in theory could help out a bit).

Age: 5
Bike Tourist and Lady of Luxury

Keira was frequently telling me I should slow down and wait for Mom and Finn. I had thought of getting a rearview mirror – not just for seeing what vehicles might be coming up from behind, but also to keep tabs on how far back Amanda was… next time I’m getting one for sure!

Rolling down Valley Road.

Me and Squirrelly Girl

The ride is about 40Km from our door to the park. We did it in about 3 hours of riding (but there were a few breaks along the way…)

I swear I’ve never met anyone who had to pee more frequently….

We also stopped at a Deer Farm operated by someone Amanda knows. The kids got to feed some orphaned baby deer.

The also had a crazy looking (but very friendly) half-blind geriatric dog….

And a LOT of kittens.

Finally we made it to out cabin.

After supper we spent the rest of the evening reading Castle Waiting.

The cabin, it turned out was a good call. We kind of wanted to ease the kids into bike touring and camping and stuff. The first night there was a thunderstorm and it oured rain and hailed!

The next day we just spent hanging around the park.

Took a walk around the “nature trail”

There was a fair bit of Poison Ivy along the trail, which we thought we should point out to the kids - lest they go rolling around in the stuff.

Unfortunately, the thought of something "poisonous" that affected you if you simply touched it, terrified the girl....

...who spent most of the walk crying…

The boy was a little less concerned.

Later we made it to the beach and everything was much better. Lacking actual pails and shovels we furnished the kids with empty juice tetrapacks, and castles were built.

It was windy and a bit nippy… Amanda and I were sitting on benches in the relative shelter of trees at the edge of the beach wearing sweaters and windbreakers?! How the kids did not freeze I just don't know...

I have to say my childhood memories of camping and days at the lake in August are filled with horseflies, deerflies and wasps… On this trip I didn’t see a single one….? I definitely took note of this while we were there and thought it rather nice. Afterwards, however, this caused me some concern – wondering if that’s because they’ve been spraying mass amounts of chemicals to eradicate them…?! Hmmmm….

Second night, more rain and reading.

Day three we got up, cleaned up, packed up…

…and rolled on home.

We had a bit of a tail wind and completed the return journey in a bout two hours and twenty minutes (plus an hour and a half break at the Berry Barn where Amanda and the kids gorged themselves on waffles). (Also the only thing in Amanda’s panniers was empty juice containers…).

Overall I’d call it a success. No one was traumatized. I was a bit exhausted – I didn’t sleep so well on the fold out futon bed… But we’ll definitely try again next summer – maybe go for a couple more trips… stay a little longer…. Try tenting!?

Shawn and April

(catching up on a little blogging...)

A couple weeks ago we played host to a couple bicycle travelers from Portland; Shawn and April - who are making a rather circuitous route across North America. I knew Shawn from waaaaay back in the comix/zine trading days in the 1990s. It was super fun to put a face and voice to the creator of all those Ten Foot Rule comix.

You can follow their respective bike tour journals at Urban Adventure League and April Likes Bikes!.

The day after they left we were off on our own little family bike tour - nothing so grand as Shawn and April's shenanigans, but it's a start! More on that in a moment...