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Tag Archives: summer

Kelley and Tony’s Wedding

Back in August, Adena and I were invited to photograph the wedding of Kelley Fea and Anthony Kroeker.  We have been friends of Kelley’s family for years, and her maid of honor suggested as they were scrambling to find photographers that they might give us a try.  We talked it over and decided to sign on for the gig.  It’s always harder to work for friends and family on gigs like this, as you feel the expectation is so much higher – weddings are a one-shot opportunity and we didn’t want to disappoint!  When we met up with Kelley and her family at the Glencoe Golf and Country Club (the venue), we got even more nervous… we’re signed on to do it, and we need to work hard to get it right.  Still, we are really glad we went, as it was a beautiful wedding with lots of fun people and a terrific theme.  It would certainly be a day to remember!

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Riding… Snacking…

Photo evidence! Bikes parked at the candy shop.

Well, as summer winds down, we reflect.  With family and things happening around us, we didn’t get a chance to ride as much as we wanted.  We did do a couple of great (easy, low-impact) rides with our friends Russ and Lucie though, and I thought I’d share.  We did the Canmore-Banff Legacy trail along the river, and we also did a loop from our house to downtown Calgary and back.  In both cases, we took full advantage of our surroundings halfway through the rides to snack.  Hey, if you’re riding, you need to reload, right?

Canmore-Banff Legacy Trail

Here’s the GPS plot.  First off, we need a rematch on this ride.  It was Adena’s first ride on her roadie in quite some time, and we ended up stopping a few times to make adjustments and repairs as we went.  That’s fine, but it detracted from the rhythm of riding a bit.  She was thrilled, though; she loves going fast on the road bike way more than riding her mountain bike.  Whenever we’d stop to make an adjustment, it was like she was being tortured… she wanted to go!

The only trouble is that the trail starts on the Canmore side just at the park gates.  There’s also nowhere to park there.  The way we did it was to park in Harvie Heights (right here), ride along a trail towards the park gates, and then go the wrong way over a one-way overpass to the other side of the highway.  Once there, we rode about 1km up the Trans-Canada against the flow of traffic (the move looked like this going from B to A).  A bit unnerving, but there were lots of people making the journey and it’s the only way to hook it up.  Access:  a small oversight on the trail designers’ part!

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Carrots, Cross-eyed, and Electric Bikes.

I’m gunna git ya!

It’s hot in Calgary right now.  I know there are a lot of places a whole lot hotter than Calgary right now, but when we have been struggling to make it over 20 degrees for all of “summer” so far, a sudden blast of 30 degrees makes everyone both happy and sad right now.  The same way that we laugh at other cities in Canada who shut themselves down after a foot of snow, people laugh at us for when the heat goes above 25 and we have to start having rolling blackouts because the system can’t handle the sudden load of air conditioners turned on for the one week of the year we might “need” them (because, it still drops to almost 10 overnight… seems like a decent air-conditioner to me).  Well I don’t have an air conditioner, and I do have a lot of grumpiness, so here goes.

I did a nice commute route home tonight, as can be seen here.  I don’t get to do it in 30 degree heat that often, so I take days like this as being a bit of a treat.  The wind seemed favourable today instead of the usual blast out of the west straight into my face on the way home, so I lengthened it to the funny finger-trap bridge before looping back towards the northwest.  As always happens when the weather improves, the fair-weather commuters appear on their bikes to get to and fro.  I’m 100% behind this, I think it’s great that more people get out and on their bikes, it’s just too bad a lot of them don’t know the rules of polite cycling on city pathways.  Seriously, buy a bell, people; the pedestrians will thank you – they thank me!

Now let me state this outright.  I don’t like you, electric bikes.

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New Ride – 2011 Specialized Tarmac Expert

Well, the time has come.  After a lot of years riding my excellent and faithful Trek 2200, it’s time for a bit of a technology leap.  I went out looking with only a couple of requirements in mind:  I wanted carbon to improve my ride quality/comfort (not just to have carbon), and I wanted Shimano Ultegra.  Well, it’s landed, and I ended up with a 2011 Specialized Tarmac Expert X2, in American Flyer Red:

The New Hotness, 2011 Specialized Tarmac Expert

I had expected when I started poking around last year that I would end up in the Trek camp again after I shopped around for a while.  The Trek Madone 5.2 was right around the requirements spec, and at the time the 2011 models were being blown out.  By the time I got to it, they were sold out everywhere, otherwise I would likely be riding one now.  I was offered a blow-out deal on a 2012 , but I didn’t pull the trigger as the two bikes I wanted to sell to help fund this project didn’t sell in the fall.  I test rode the 2012 Madone and I liked it, so I sat back to wait until spring.  Now, even the regular price on the 5.2 is good (it’s one of the better mid-high-end values out there), but when the blow-out offer was rescinded when I started to look a few weeks ago, I began to explore a bit more.  Boy, am I glad I did.

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Old Fernie Footage 1

I was talking to a friend about riding a couple of days ago, and then that night while I was doing some work on my home computer I kind of stumbled upon some old footage I took at Fernie in 2010.  I’m not that talented a downhill rider, but I love mountain biking and I had fun watching some of this!!  The footage takes up a lot of disk space for not ever being seen, so I decided to work some of it up to post so I could ditch the raw footage (there’s a lot of standing around before runs).

Here’s post #1, which I think is Bin Loggin’.  Phil and I are following a guide who we hung out with for a bit and who gave us some pointers on how not to suck so much.  Phil took those pointers to heart, but they didn’t really sink in for me.  I guess that means:  rematch!!  Stay tuned for more old footage from this trip.

Great Ride Home.

I wasn’t expecting to make a post about a good ride today.  By all accounts, I should have been absolutely beat today.  However, it turned out to be the opposite.  While my muscles were slightly fatigued, apparently I have improved like mad in the last couple of weeks.  I should maybe have expected it as I shaved a full minute off my ride in this morning over 7.6km.  A minute is a lot over that distance.  And here I’d planned on going out and taking it easy because my muscles were tired!  I didn’t think I hit it that hard, but there you go.

The ride home was the same:  over the 20km, I shaved about 5-6 minutes off the time on the ride I posted a couple weeks ago and I maintained a lower overall heart rate and a higher speed.  Yeah, I put some new wheels on my bike (and they are awesome), but I don’t think that should have had anything to do with it.  I feel like they roll a little better than the stock wheels, but they are pretty cheap and I bought them so I could swap tires on the bike during the winter by just changing the wheels.  It’s just easier and faster.  So, they’re cheap wheels by all accounts.

Anyways, here are the stats… I’m like 10bpm slower than I was before with better overall performance:

Ride home from work - August 25, 2011

 

Good ride home.

I had an absolutely great ride home today, and it made absolutely no sense to me.

My little girl was up a good portion of the night last night, so I doubt I got more than 2.5 hours of sleep.  Add on top of that, full exhaustion of the day of work.  Then there was Friday’s ride home, where I did a short 10km route home and was faced with 30-40km/h winds in my face the whole darn time.  It was raining too, but I don’t mind that.  Riding in the rain is just wet, riding in the wind feels like mother nature is personally singling you out for a large amount of unnecessary torture.  Wow, that was horrifying.  I actually swore at Nose Hill Dr. as I was riding up it, refusing to drop to the granny gear on the Norco.

Such a different story today.  By all rights, I should have been exhausted.  I started with a resting heart rate of 80bpm, which is pretty darn lazy if you ask me.  Then I rode from the University Research Park across the University Campus, down past the hospital, and to the Bow river.  I felt like an absolute god, completely invincible.  So, I decided to push it.  I headed left towards downtown at the river to make a 20km loop home, instead of making a 13km loop that would be achieved by turning right.  I didn’t get to kill the hill by the hospital like I usually do because of high traffic, but I kept a pretty good clip going for the rest of the ride.  The muscles hurt a bit doing it (they’re always gonna complain) but they didn’t stop providing power.  I also maintained a pretty decently high heartrate more comfortably, as compared to rides I’ve done in the last couple of weeks.  I don’t think I could have sustained a higher pace for the ride than I did, but the sustained pace I had was much improved over last week.

The charts speak for themselves.  Forgive the mess, but I only wanted one picture.  🙂

Stats from my ride home from work, August 8, 2011. Data comes from my Garmin Edge 305, and the graph comes from Sport Tracks.

You can see the speed is kept pretty constantly near 30km/h.  My hearrate seems to always hover near 175-180, but never lower than 160 (unless I had to stop for something – and even if I did, that’s fast recovery!).  That awful climb at the end is Nose Hill Drive, but it makes a really cool shape to the graphs:  speed goes down, heart rate goes up and grade goes up!  I need to get my speed up on that climb with the full panniers.  It’s better than last week, as I was hovering around 10km/h, but I know from last year that I’m easily capable of sustaining at least 13km/h on that with the full ballast of my lunch bag, clothes, laptop bag, and jacket in the panniers.  The thing I’m happiest about on the heart rate plot is not how high it is, but how comfortable I stayed while keeping that high value throughout the ride.  I was worried about running out of power, but I didn’t.

Hmmph.  Maybe the awful ride on Friday slapped some performance into my sorry legs!

It’s a Girl!

Big brother approves!

Yes yes yes, I’ve resolved to write more and read more and all that this year, but sometimes things come up where you have to put your goals aside for a bit.  We had a baby girl on July 25!  Her name is Sabrina, and she’s absolutely wonderful.  She was 7lbs 4oz, and 21 inches long – almost the same size as Graham when he was born!  Graham absolutely loves his little sister, and is constantly checking on her to make sure she’s okay.  It was only an hour of labor (but darn hard work!) and we were home the next day.  You can check here for a full set of pictures we took around the birth.  More to come on Flickr soon, I’m sure!

So far, she is a pretty easy-going baby.  She snoozes for long stretches, and never really cries.  She goes for long stretches without eating in those cases, and will wake up hungry and do a few feedings in a short amount of time.  She had a bit of jaundice when she was born, but that has mostly cleared up… exposing just how blonde her hair actually is!  She was definitely pre-disposed to having blonde hair and blue eyes, and she has confirmed the latter by looking around with those blue eyes very alertly whenever she is awake!  She is very strong, already lifting her head up to move it around when she is not feeling lazy.  We love our little girl!

Baby girl!

Stampede time!

image

Just hangin' out

I love going to the Stampede. It’s a staple of my life in Calgary every year.  This year we took our baby boy to see the animals and to play, and we had a great time. I also got pizza on a stick, which obviously made life even better. The picture is of our man doing his best cowboy pose on the fence while watching a cow, which he calls “moo.” Sheep are “baa,” obviously.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

A lot of people would reserve that phrase for Christmas, but not me, no.  I reserve that for July.  Yes, I’m from Calgary, but it’s not for the Stampede (though I love that, too).  No, it’s for the Tour de France.  It’s the greatest race in the world, and I’m so excited it’s on again!

These guys absolutely beat the crap out of themselves for a chance at victory every single day.  Today is a 198km stage… just business, you know.  I was pretty proud of myself for going out for a 40km ride yesterday, and it took us a couple hours to turn it around.  Then I come home to watch the Tour stage (team time trial – so exciting!) – which I had recorded – and they rode 24km in around 25 minutes.  Just ridiculous.  They are so fast, and the finishes are so exciting, and I’m positively on pins and needles every time they’re rounding a corner near a finish line, because inevitably someone will mess it up and then it’s trouble for everyone.

I have no idea who I am cheering for this year, I just hope that the winner is not Alberto Contador.  I’ve never liked him as a rider, and that hasn’t changed this year!  I’m almost hoping today’s stage was much more pedestrian after the first two stages… the riders deserve a bit of a break.