Tree, Diamond Lake, enshrouded in fog
Here’s my write-up of the seventh annual Chris-Martin trip. This time we went to see the big trees on Obabika Lake in Temagami.
It’s clearout season at all the gear stores. They’re making way for warm wooly stuff for winter, which means one can find deals on summer gear. Like another pair of fingerless gloves. Usually sizing and colour selection is a bit spotty. So I was tickled when I found a pair of Castelli Secondapelle fingerless bike gloves at MEC in my size. $34 down from $60 – see? Deal.
When they arrived, though (in fine time and with no hassle), I was a bit distressed.
“They’ve sent me their child size small by mistake,” I thought.
I have small hands but there’s no way, I reckoned, I was going to get these things on.
Nope. Not those sort of clicks. The other kind. Cycling. This morning was a pretty normal pre-work trip up to Champlain lookout. Except that I rode my 10,000th kilometre for the year on it. Just past Gamelin.
Heading out this morning was the first time I thought arm warmers might come in handy, but the chill was off a few minutes into the ride. The sun rose as the sky, fighting the sun’s efforts to turn the world yellow and orange, radiated blue above.
The temperature stayed cool enough that I could push up the Pink Lake hill and cut 15 seconds off my time without heat washing over me as my speed slowed with the rising grade.
Apart from the post finish line triumph and the victory lap, your hands spend a lot of time on the handle bars when road riding. Your hands will take less impact from your average pothole, road fjord or spiderweb pavement than your butt, it’s true. But you still pick up vibration in your hands and they still bear weight. And bar tape won’t do it all. So there’s gloves.
Fit, for me is more important than anything. Too loose and you get skin abrasion and blisters. Too tight and you can experience tingling and numbness.
Padding is also important. I think what you’re looking for is low volume and firm. Thick, squishy pads wear down faster, don’t actually provide a whole lot more cushioning and will squidge around on you, which is great if you’re staring down a 21km stretch of straight, flat road and need distraction, but otherwise will just be a tiny irritant that will make you lose focus.
Mallory was visiting friend and neighbour C’s cottage earlier this week and she got to go waterskiing. I’m totally thrilled. For a bunch of reasons not the least of which is it’s something I’ve never been able to do.
She got up on her first attempt and as you can see she was clearly enjoying herself. It’s just another happy reminder that my daughter is not me.
See I remember spending what felt like an entire afternoon in the lake at my cousins’ cottage being dragged behind a motor boat via ski rope, one failed attempt at time, with various familial onlookers offering increasingly less enthusiastic support as the afternoon wore on.
Eventually, pleased that the lake water hid tears, I abandoned the attempt.
I was probably around 12 or 13 and I’ve never tried since.
Thanks to C’s parents for feeding, boarding and entertaining Mallory for two days and for giving her such an empowering experience.
Judge me if you will. Matt Moore – a recent convert to bike commuting – has an item in the Citizen today about how cyclists need to stop being arrogant, stop being whiny victims, take a breath and be heroes. All at the same time apparently.
So Matt, let me tell you my story and see if you might have some sympathy. Seeing as you’re all for the middle ground in all this.
I brazenly broke the law. I rode through an intersection against a red light. As I led out, a big guy on a bigger cruiser-style motor bike leaned on his horn for what seemed like forever.