Archive for January, 2010

Great Downhill Movie Featuring Jinya Nishiwaki

At this time of the year in Winnipeg I like to visualize cycling somewhere warm. While stumbling for bike videos I found this one. I soon found that this YouTube video had quite a bit of traction on the bike forums. People were discussing the video. Was it actual speed? Was that seriously a hardtail? Who is this guy? What kind of bike. I though I would share it with you guys, just because I thought it was an awesome and inspiring video. Great camera editing and soundtrack. Nice moves Jinya.

Thursday Bike Cummute January 28, 2010

It seems as though we are back to normal January Winnipeg weather. The deep freeze. It’s seems that the wind chill always hovers around -33 C no matter what the temperature is.

The roads really haven’t gotten much better since yesterday. The bus/bike lanes are in rough shape as the snow really seems to accumulate in between parked cars, and and when the cars leave, there is a treacherous black ice and snow debacle that you have to ride through.

I did my best to stay out of those lanes today. It’s a good thing I did. The chain broke on me today, just as I was standing to pedal. My foot slipped, and I fell right to the pavement. It felt like a pretty good rolling dismount in my opinion, but I’m sure bystanders wouldn’t agree. I grabbed my bike and scrambled off the road. I tore a small hole in my jacket but did worse to my pride, otherwise I was fine.

I surprised myself and managed to get the chain back together in less than five minutes with my Crank Brothers M17. I do love that chain tool/spoke wrench on this thing. It works like a charm every time. It truly is another story to fix a chain while winter cycling. Time is crucial during any repair made in the cold. You move with Pitt crew precision, until your hands freeze.

I’ve been taking the Simpson Sears bike to work lately. I guess it was just an old chain. I really have no idea how old it could really be. How man kilometers had it driven this antique? Anyhow, from now on I will be gentle with that bike. At least until a new drive train comes my way.

I’ve had a hand full of chains break during my life time, and it’s always scary. Sometimes the chain justs breaks during a shift, or when your coasting, but the worst time for it to snap is when your hammering in traffic. Pain is going to be on the menu. Breaking a chain is like loosing a pedal. You go crashing to the ground, or worse, the top tube. Then you pray that motorists don’t run you over.

I was lucky to get to work on time, and even luckier that the chain didn’t break at a more dangerous part of my commute. I’m going to try not to think about that right now…

Tuesday Commute January 26 2010

We just had a blizzard rip through Winnipeg dumping 2 feet of snow and producing 80km per hour winds. Winnpegers just seemed to carry on with there normal day to day affairs despite the inconvenience of the raging snow storm. I passed a number of elderly blue haired ladies seated in the bus windows, surely on their way to the salon?

With the city scrambling to keep up with the snow removal, the side roads and B-routes were snowed in. Too icy and rutted even for those with the greatest of death wishes. The sidewalks were also unplowed and this made commuting by winter bike improbable, but not impossible… I  did see one brave courier locking up outside Trizak building. That’s a lot of hike-a-bike buddy.

Today the main arteries are finally clear enough to balance on two wheels, so I decided to take the straight bomb downtown in stead of the scenic route. Traffic for the most part was courteous and predictable for such fowl weather, and I was able to take the lane the whole way in without a single honk. The road conditions were slippery with odd bit of mashed potatoes and sand.

I had to take the beater bike as I no longer have an indoor space for a bike at work. I’m too afraid of leaving my good bike on the street in downtown Winnipeg all day. If a thief doesn’t get it the plow will. It’s Simpson Sears road bike with down tube shifters, 27″ nobbies, circa 1970? It was 10 speeds of pure fun on the roads today, but she got me there in one piece.

On a positive note, I could really notice the days getting longer again. The sun was shining strong, I could feel spring coming, just around the corner right…

Who Said You Need More Than One Bike?

This guy has some skills!
To restate an overused quote, “It’s not about the bike”.

I’m sure that road bike is an endangered species at the Whistler Mountain Bike Park. Next up, let’s see him take the A-line all the way down.