Stylocycle’s Blog

Look at what I bought my sweetie for his birthday
January 27, 2010, 2:38 am
Filed under: commute by bike

The Batavus Fryslan Heren. It is currently on sale so that it falls below the provincial cut-off for sales tax exemption.

Now when we ride together, it will be easier because our bikes will be more compatible. For him riding will be more comfortable than on his 17 year-old Hard Rock mountain bike, will strain his damaged knee far less (if at all), and will allow him to ride about town in all his dashing glory.


Other stuff I do
January 27, 2010, 2:24 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

OK… so my readers out there, you’ve likely gathered that when I’m not biking I spend too much time reading, writing and cooking.

I’m not a craftsy type of person, and I have absolutely no musical talent at all. Well, I can sing, but not if you ask me to do it in the same tempo that you are doing it. I don’t like needle-work (though, yes, I can do it). I am not much for gardening and really like that our new house on a large corner lot manages to have very little in way of garden requirements. By the time I’m done with it, there will be even fewer garden requirements. We’re working this summer on getting rid of the grass and putting in a combination of ground covers instead.

There is one thing I like to do — aside from biking — that feels like it transports me out of myself and into that place that gets described as ‘the zone’. For me ‘the zone’ requires just enough challenge to keep me on my toes, and enough reward to make me feel satisfied with my progress. The combination can provide a deep feeling of pleasure. Today I had some pretty dense theory to slog through for a writing project, so I took a break by taking up my new water colour pencils (love them!) and began my first draft-study of my grandmother’s hands.

Here is the result of sketching today.

Gramma's hands

I really liked working on the sketch. The process felt a little like a conversation between me and Gramma, and I was comforted to find myself submerged in tactile memories of her skin, sensory memories of the sound of her voice, of the smell of her perfume…

It was a good respite from the slogging away at the writing.

VIA ma bicyclette
January 27, 2010, 2:11 am
Filed under: around town, commute by bike, Get outta town!

I recently had to make a jaunt into Toronto for business. Because I have a fondness for the train, and because we live less than a kilometer from the train station, and because I get a corporate rate on train travel, I decided that the engine whistles were singing out to me to ride the rails for a day.

I rode my bike to the station where, rather like a Nederlander, I locked up my bike and hopped aboard. It is possible to take your bike on the train for some destinations (as, apparently, with the run down to Niagara-on-the-Lake where there do bike tours of the local wineries), but I had no ambition to ride at the other end, so I just locked the Blue Beauty and went on my merry way.

Except… as you will see in the photo below, our mostly desolate train station has no bike racks. There is a skinny parking lot with no appropriate place for a bike, and no visibility to the station’s interior offices. There is a large portico on the east side, and it would be perfect for bike racks, but there are none; instead, there are a few lonely newspaper boxes. So… I locked the Blue Beauty to herself with both the internal wheel lock and my steel bike cable. The Old Dutch is heavy enough to deter someone from trying to walk off with her, and I decided to park her on the wide platform, in front of a window with a sight-line to the interior ticketing office, but I admit that I did worry a little about vandalism if not about theft. I’ve had my bike tires slashed in the past.

When I returned in the late evening, my bike was exactly as I had left it. I am curious about how many people in passing trains wondered about the massive blue bike parked on the train platform with no accompanying rider in sight.

In addition to finding my bike in one piece, I was met by my dear spouse who had ridden down on his bike to meet me. How romantic!

Kitchener VIA station: you need bike racks!

Happy Birthday Mi Amore
January 24, 2010, 5:38 am
Filed under: commute by bike

By next Sunday I should have pictures… right now my love’s birthday present is in a box at Curbside in Toronto. It’s a new Batavus Fryslan Heren, the bike that Curbside had Batavus build for our terrain: 5 speeds, a little bit lighter, battery powered lamp instead of the dynamo. We’ll pick it up next Saturday. Simple, elegant and black, the bike will be great for my love’s daily commutes and will make our cycling together so much more enjoyable. The 15 year old mountain bike will be re-purposed for riding the rough terrain at our shack in the woods.
And now, birthday over, it is bed-time.

January 15, 2010, 1:38 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Self-promotion, that is.

I’m heading into the big city tomorrow to do a TVO interview for a show called The Agenda. I’m excited because I’ll finally have a chance to meet (via satellite) some people whose work and ideas I’ve been familiar with for a long time.

I’m also going to pay the folks at Curbside Cycle a visit, because a special someone has a birthday coming up. Shhhh.

January 11, 2010, 6:33 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Gramma knew good transportation!

This photo arrived in my email this morning from a cousin. That’s my Gramma on the left. I think it’s perfect, and I am reminded of how tickled Gramma was by my bike-riding. One of her favourite days this past year was when she and my mum rode behind me in their car while I cycled down to our favourite local patisserie.

I really get a kick out of how much my Blue Beauty resembles her bike in this photo. Classics never go out of style!

Good Bye to Gramma
January 9, 2010, 10:10 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

My grandmother died this morning around 6:00. We were phoned at about 5:50, but our drive takes about 45 minutes and so I missed her actual passing. She was not alone, however; her two palliative nurses stayed with her.

I will miss her dreadfully. To keep a grandmother until one is old enough to require bifocals oneself can lead one to the fantasy that Gramma will simply be there forever and ever.

Good-bye my sweet, sweet Gramma.