Stylocycle’s Blog

Well seated. Thanks Greyhound!
March 25, 2009, 11:00 pm
Filed under: Get outta town!, Hop on the bus Gus

I had some errands in Toronto yesterday and so took the opportunity to pick up my new bicycle seat to replace the one that came with the Batavus (and which I’ll transfer to my old Trek to take it up north this summer for trail riding). The seat that came with the Batavus is itself comfortable enough, but the springs are a little rigid and the roads here rather more than pocked and pitched, so I could really feel it in the tuckus.

I went to Curbside Cycle as I intended and ended up settling on the Brooks seat because the Lepper seemed actually to be too softly sprung after years of people testing it out in the shop. Keep in mind folks: this is the last seat I intend to buy.

This is the seat I bought, though I took the women’s model which costs rather less than the men’s because it is smaller.

I also took some pictures of the very stylish new bikes that Curbside has in for spring:

Rides that look like sweets.

Rides that look like sweets.

I also stopped in at the Frangipane pattisserie to get some nice things for my students to sample — comparing *food* to that stuff we get in the mass-produced market, that destroys our earth and can sustain neither our bodies nor our souls.  The lovely owner at Frangipane was happy to oblige my desire to take some snaps of her creations. Her pâté de fruit shaped like butterflies and bunnies made me cry they were so delightful, but I gave all the remains away to my students today so that they could taste something so divine as a fruit sweet made from nothing more than gelatine and puréed fruit, set and crusted with a little sugar.

Frangipane's delights

Frangipane's delights



I also had the good fortune to be able to meet up with my dear friend, Michele (with one ‘l’), who had flown in from Thunder Bay. I haven’t seen her since flying up for her wedding 3.5 years ago, but we do stay in touch. It was really great to hit the AGO with her and see what I think will be a very controversial art installation. We also wondered in and through and pondered at length the permanent piece I wroter about before: The Index. I’m glad that one is permanent because liek many of the pieces in the Thomson gallery, I want to visit it again and again.

Here is the lovely Michele:



Yesterday was a perfect day. And I got to and fro courtesy of Greyhound Canada. If I can’t get from a to b on the Blue Beauty, I’m more than happy to take a seat on the bus.


ZOMG! spring?
March 13, 2009, 1:26 am
Filed under: Get outta town!

Ok… spring is not going to arrive tomorrow, but I see a week on the horizon in which I can punctuate work with dawdling around town on my bike, stopping in here and there to see what’s happened while I’ve been stuck with my head down in work. The weather should be stable at about 8 celsius through all of the coming week.

Nice things to look forward to:

A trip to the big city to shop at the St. Lawrence Market. Shopping will be followed by an afternoon in High Park at an open mic session where my lovely friend (who goes all the way back to 6th grade!) will be watching her charming husband run the show. My own dear spouse may even take the guitar I gave him for his b-day a few years ago and join in on the open mic.

A second trip to the big city to see friends who moved away to Thunder Bay a few years back but who are coming to Toronto just to see Gehry’s modifications to the AGO. As members, dear spouse and I are dying to go eat at the re-opened AGO restaurant (no longer the AGOra, but now ‘Frank’ — but still the same chef). We love the new interior spaces at the AGO, and I’m in love with the permanent installation “THE INDEX”, which you can see here if you scroll down the page a bit.

Also on the same day: a trip to CURBSIDE CYCLE to get a new seat for the Blue Beauty… I haven’t decided yet on exactly which one I want, but definitely a nice wide saddle, and leather, with somewhat less stiff spring-shocks than are on the seat that came with the Blue Beauty.

Here’s the seat I think I want.

The end of classes, and time to see other friends (once the grading season is over. Oh Gawd. Will it ever be over?? Please tell me it will be over.) Yeah, yeah… I know I have a ‘sprummer’ course to teach, but it’s online… so less performative and, thus, less stressful.

Time may change me…
March 10, 2009, 4:19 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Just because I’ve been going through old albums and found a series that i could construct to take us from about 1990 to the present. Yes, my hair is crimped in the first shot. Yes, I have knee-high lace up boots on. I think someone said there was no way I could be in the shot if I insisted on wearing my fringed, buckskin jacket. That same person was likely insisting that I be in the ‘sibling shot’. Ah, well, it’s a record that I was once a bonafide goth. And these were the clothes I’d typically wear to ride my old Norco bike around town. 😉

It’s Christmas in California… I think I’m 22, and I’m watching my half-brother’s step-kids open presents.  I’m also trying to avoid touching my brother who is taking up way too much space. Interesting.


Next shot… spring 1993 I guess. I’m 25. That wee baby is now 16 and 6’2″. Obviously, I no longer had time for crimping, or wearing 5 lbs of bangles, boot-chains etc. But look at that ADORABLE baby! The blue sheet was there to protect the ivory damask sofa from baby splaps. The gray clothes were also better for hiding baby splaps than all black clothes were.


Next: Easter, 1994. The kid is a little more than a year old. On this particular day I took the most spectacular tumble (in that dress), with the baby in my arms, and managed to roll all the way around him, without his body every hitting the floor when I tripped on the over-sized chocolate bunny his great grand-parents had just given to us, and which I had dropped mid-step. That’s my dear spouse kneeling beside us. Goth boy. My vampy goth mom clothing is a funny contrast to the Catholic iconography over his grand-parents’ sofa, non?dscf1494

And so we come to the present. I console myself for the march of time with a new hat to wear in the spring when it’s still too brisk to go without when I’m out and about. Dear spouse loves the hat. Giant boy thinks his mom is a dork. I love that the hat is kinda cute, and won’t blow off my head when I’m riding. And hey… my predilection for black is punctuated by the new blue scarf for spring. The black coat, however, is waterproof, so it will remain as my main riding coat for the wet season. It also has a removable liner for dealing with temperature variations. This was my look for heading to work by bike yesterday.dscf1497One of my goals for spring is to try to find more cyclists to take pics of. I’m getting bored of me, even though my commitment is to demonstrating that you can dress in ‘normal clothes’, stylish slothes even, to commute by bike.

Anyway, lots of work to do, so I should get back to it. Today my commute is between my desk and my espresso maker. Today I grade.

Plus Four Celsius!
March 6, 2009, 12:34 am
Filed under: around town, commute by bike

Today's wardrobe

Here’s me, dressed for a trip to the library. Mode of transportation: bicycle.

Mode of dress: 3/4 length, quilt-lined suede jacket (the quilting comes out in warmer weather). Ankle length, hooded dress (bamboo fibre). Waist length chocolate coloured vest (cotton-linen blend).

I don’t necessarily dress so nicely for all trips to the library, but there was an opportunity to sneak a coffee with Dear Spouse, my consort…

Too tired at the end of the day, I didn’t actually take the opportunity…

I’m wondering if we might ride in to work together tomorrow. On Fridays we work on the same campus, and share my office… but he’s usually carrying great gobs of stuff too large for his bicycle (which is why we are looking at Long John bike modifications for his current ride).

Ice Blue and Too Much to Do
March 1, 2009, 3:24 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

We have hit that stage of winter: roads are reasonably clear, and there is very little snowfall. Temperatures, however, are downright cruel. The sky is ice blue, and the sun shines and it all looks lovely from the vantage of my office window at home. However, I’m avoiding going out as much as I can and intend to growl at anyone who informs me of what a gorgeously sunny day it is out there. I have to ride through very sub-zero temperatures for much of the coming week before I can get to a fairly pleasant ride on Friday when the mercury is supposed to go to a whopping +I will also be staggering along this week under the weight of adjudicating several dozen conference proposals, and the completion of my edited collection (now in absolute final stages).

And just when it seems like I’m going to have some breathing room on my horizon, my textbook company has written to tell me that they want the next edition of the text for January 2011, which means startign the updates this summer in order to complete 14 chapters by next July 1. And, oh yeah, then there’s the intent to do a published collection of best papers from the conference, and the development of a big research grant.

And in my immediate future:

Development of a medium sized research grant

Supervision of two graduate theses due for completion this summer

Co-organizing this specialized topic research conference

Teaching a senior seminar on overload

new course development for our core graduate seminar

And all the advising of the lost students who wind up in my office in dire need of help

A lot of the work is satisfying, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t work.

I’m really going to have to take up another aspect of cycling — which is the cyclng for pleasure (by which I mean: without a destination), and not only as a built-in feature of my daily life. Surely I find my commute soothing, calming, and paradoxically envigorating, but I need to do something that isn’t aimed at getting to work or from work.