It’s not much, but it’s a step towards respectability. The front garden has been a semi-neglected thing since we moved in. The shrubs have slowly died off one by one. It was time to do some renovation.

It’s a start. A couple of juniper bushes. Soon there will be more.

Updated May 21

We’ve done some more work on the garden now. Still a couple more shrubs to plant, but the basic idea is in place now.

From the front

From the porch. Grass seed planted around the stepping stones.

Ladies’ Bike Ride, Rollin’ With Ian

It was the first Thursday night Ladies’ Ride with the Bow Cyclist Club, and Tammy was there, representing! Considering she re-jiggered her work schedule to make it to the Thursday rides, that’s awesome! There were ten ladies in total, with Liz, Alice and Susan leading over 37 km of in-city riding.

Tammy with the group. Susan’s taking the picture.

There was a nasty headwind on the last 10 km back and Tammy was pretty darn tired at the end of it.

Meanwhile, Ian and I covered our own ground, riding from Bowness to downtown and back. Ian wanted to see the construction state of the Telus Sky building. He also got to show off his new cycling jersey!

Ian and Daddy

He did great! We rode 27 flat kilometres over about 2 hours. The low point was him having a little crash. He cut a corner at one point, and his handlebar clipped a pole. He fell over at really low speed. He was okay, but shaken.

Across the river from St. Patrick’s Island Park

Dinner With Cindy

It’s been four years, but our friend from back in the day, Cindy, is in Calgary. She came to visit her brother and to attend the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo. We met up with her at her hotel in the Southwest, and had some tandoori buffet and shot the breeze for a couple of hours. It was a nice visit. She had some great stories about the Expo and life in general. It’s really too bad that she and her family live in a part of Canada I don’t see us ever visiting…

Bye-bye hugs

Off to Montréal!

This morning we took Miranda to the airport, and sent her on her way. It’s been a long time coming, but her Grade 8 field trip to Montréal and Québec is here.

There was no real drama in the sendoff. This was not the first time that these teachers have made this trip, and they were quite organized. The kids were all divided into four “colour” teams, each with a responsible teacher.

Miranda, ready to go

We were at the airport by 10:20, and by 10:55, the kids’ luggage was all checked, and they gathered for a group photo and then were off to go through security.

Group photo

Ian and Tammy and I went to White Spot in the Northeast, at least in part to still be close to the airport if anything arose prior to takeoff. But again, all went well. Now Miranda is all the way across the country.

As I lamented three summers ago, it’s so strange for her to be so far away. All part of growing up, I guess. ❤

Barbecue Weather

Today the weather was sunny and the temperature got up to around 26 degrees. That called for BBQ burgers and eating out on the deck!

Enjoying the heat

And Miranda too!

We rode to piano lessons today. Need I remind you that only three weeks ago, the weather looked like this?

Tomorrow, Miranda flies away to Montréal! ✈ Such a big step. Really? We’re letting this person fly to Québec? 🍼

Only in Calgary

Riding home from work this afternoon, I had to stop and try to capture the strangeness. It was twenty-two degrees and sunny, but there was still ice along the river.

Sun and Ice

Today marks a week since I started my commuting season. Still nippy in the mornings.

I’ve got mad decaling skills, bro.

As documented here, I was waiting for my second set of decals to arrive from Hungary, and they came yesterday! Of course, that meant a door knocker and Tammy picking them up today. She teased me at work with this:

A Hungarian Package

I got home and opened the package up. Here’s what I got for $71… or $142 if you count the lost one that probably is in the landfill in Victoria.

Continue reading

Let the 2018 BCC season begin!

The weather this weekend managed to be nice enough for me to ride not once, but twice! Yesterday, I went for a 31 km ride into the Church Ranches area to scout the road conditions. And today, the Bow Cyclists headed out for the first time in 2018.

Selfie on Meadow Lane

That’s a duck pond in the background. Let’s just say that winter has not released its grip yet.

There was an amazing turnout this morning. The count was somewhat vague, but it was approximately thirty riders who set out this morning. That was the largest number that I have ever seen. We had six ride leaders out: myself, Tommy, Wing, Rebecca, Kurt and Mark, so we split into an A and B group. I led the B group for what ended up a 42 km ride.

The B group. I don’t know all of their names, but left to right there’s Wing, Kevin, three unknowns, Adam, Susan, Allan, another unknown, Mary, Rebecca and Nora.

The A group got back a few minutes after us, and only went 6 more kilometres. They had to deal with a flat tire at some point.

I guess there were a lot of people like me who were sick of riding the trainer indoors. Feels good to kick off the riding season. It will only get better from here on out.

MAMIL (Middle-Aged Men In Lycra)

Tonight was a date night. Tammy took the train downtown and met me at the Esri office at the end of day. We walked from there to the Barley Mill Pub in Eau Claire. There was a big pro-Trans-Mountain Pipeline rally at the old courthouse on the way. We walked by just as it was breaking up. I muttered to her a quote from It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown:

Sally: “I wouldn’t want to be accused of taking part in a rumble.”

We had a nice dinner. She had the fish and chips, and I had a buffalo chicken burger. A half pint of Guinness for her and a couple glasses of Tool Shed Red Rage.

But all of that was a pretext to go and see MAMIL.

It is a documentary that has an interesting distribution method: they advertise a showing in a city at a particular theatre on a particular date and time, and if they pre-sell enough tickets, then the showing happens (you don’t get charged until the reservation is confirmed). It had come to Calgary in October and I’d missed it then.

There were a fair number of Bow Cyclists there, so it was a bit of an event. There were a lot of chuckles and outright laughter from the audience. I guess there was a lot of truths up there on the screen. It was a study of why specifically there is a demographic of middle-aged, mostly white, mostly male cyclists who insist on wearing lycra (not flattering) and buying expensive bikes and riding in clubs. Sound like anyone you know? 😳

I could see myself in some of the stories. There were a lot of other ones that were not exactly me: I’m not trying to race or compete in any sort of official way. There also was a real focus on the maleness of the phenomenon, which also was a little off from my experience. I have done my best to encourage women in the club, but there’s no denying that most of the riders are men. I’m glad of our female membership and will continue to work for it.

Tammy could also relate to the suffering looks on the faces of the wives being interviewed. 😆

Some very inspiring stories. Some cringe-worthy embarrassing truths. But overall a very entertaining film.

Yes, I’m almost forty-five. Yes, I weigh over 200 pounds and I put on lycra (or as I call it, my super-suit). And I’m also damn healthy and having fun.

I am Hoot

Wildlife spotting! Er, spotted. Juvenile Spotted Owl, to be precise. Miranda spied this outside our living room window. Ian claimed to see it yesterday, but nobody believed him.