Archive for August, 2009

Aversion to UHC

I don’t usually voice my opinion on political issues in my blog but this one really has me confused. Why would any sane individual would not want worry free health care (other than the rich who have no issues with paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for health care)

Personally I really do not understand the Americans aversion to health care. I suspect the brainwashing techniques used by the very institutions that make such a profit in the current system may have something to to do with it.

This video kind of explains what health care really is

August 27, 2009 at 9:08 pm 2 comments

Trend Setter or Steps to Buy a New Bike

Alex and I had to laugh. She seems to be the trend setter in this family. I remember when I swore by PC’s and had a huge Dell desktop. That was before we moved to Barcelona. Alex had a Dell laptop but she wasn’t completely happy with it. If you know Alex, you’d know she does her homework. She researched all kinds of laptops and decided on an Apple 12 in PowerBook. We were moving soon and I really needed a laptop to use in Spain. Guess what ? I ended up buying an Apple 15 in PowerBook. I’ll never go back. Matter of fact, when we moved back to Toronto, we bought a 24 in Imac.

Jump ahead to 2009. We decide it was time to upgrade our bikes. Off we go to Bikes on Wheels, our favourite bike shop in Kensington Market. Alex bought me a Fuji Absolute 3.0.

It’s a performance Hybrid. More or less a regular bike with some race features.  I joined TBN (Toronto Bike Network) which is a cycle club here in Toronto. I started riding with them and found I was really getting into it. My knee was feeling stronger and I was getting stronger on the bike. I went out and bought some accesories to help improve my riding. The first thing I bought was a Garmin Edge 705, a gps enabled bike computer.

Now I could record all my rides with all the important parameters and monitor my progress. I could track new routes when riding with TBN and return to them whenever I wanted. The next step was a big one for me. I’d never before had clipless pedals and so many riders had told me that it was the one thing they bought that made a huge difference in their riding. Especially hill climbing, which I absolutely hated. I got a great deal on the pedals at Bikes on Wheels and bought an inexpensive shoe at MEC. Off I went on my Fuji. It was a strange feeling at first. I was now attached to my bike. If I fell, I would not be able to jump off, the bike would come with me. I rode a few weeks on my own and gradually got used to them. On the last ride with TBN I had to stop fast and did manage to get out of the pedals before I totally hit the ground. Anyhow, I love riding with them now.

At the beginning of the summer, Alex began looking for a bike that would fit her academic lifestyle and found a bike she fell in love with. They gave her a great deal on it (of course at Bikes on Wheels, and no, I do NOT work for them). She bought an unknown brand (at least to us) made in Montreal and designed by a Quebec artist. The brand is Opus and Alex loves her Classico. She wrote about it in her blog and the artist sent her an email thanking her for the compliments and for buying the bike. Now THAT is class.

Alex's Classico

Meanwhile I kept riding my Fuji

At this point, I decided I wanted to do some distance riding and I started researching road bikes. To be honest, I didn’t have a clue as to where to start. Some of my new friends in TBN offered advice and I finally had a start point. I looked at mid range bikes in the $2 K range. I was told fit and components are the most important but how I felt on the bike was THE deciding factor. I first thought I would get a tri bike since I used to do triathlons and read some specs about them being designed for speed and comfort. I wrote an email to Cervello and asked them what the difference was between the Cervallo S1 (road) and the Cervallo P1 (tri) since I was considering those two models at this point of my search.

Cervello P1

Cervello P1

They were amazing and responded within 2 days. They suggested a road bike (S1) since I would be riding with groups (tri bikes are NOT good in groups as drafting is not permitted in tris) and it would fit my style of riding as I described to them. My first swtich over, I decided that the way to go was road bike. Now, I began looking at road bikes on Internet. Obviously, I looked at Fuji, then Cervello, Norco, Trek, Aquila, Guru, Devinci, Blue and a few others. We frequently drop in to the bike shop when we’re down in Kensington just to say hi and I mentioned to Sean that I was looking for a road bike now. I mentioned Cervello and a few brands he didn’t carry but I wanted to research brands he carried so I asked what they were. Obviously, Opus came up but I paid no attention. I really wanted to give him my business so I researched Opus. It was at this point that I figured that there was no magic in the frame (at least for my skill level) and concentrated on what components the bikes had. I really liked the look of the Opus Andante and that became a potential.

Opus Andante

Opus Andante

I kept looking at cyclocross bikes and discovered that they were just road bikes with some mods to go off road. They were actually high performance machines and I thought to myself that for city riding I could use the cyclocross wheels and if I was going into rural areas, I could switch to wheels that had a performance tire on them. I decided the Opus Stelle was the one I wanted.

Opus Stelle

Opus Stelle

I saw the Opus Spark at the bike store and fell in love with its looks but it didn’t have the components I was looking for. We had to go to Kensington to get some stuff and have a coffee and of course I stopped in to try the Spark. It felt great, really comfortable and when he told me the price, I was sold. I bought it.

My new OPUS Spark

My new OPUS Spark

It was a hard decision but the ones that clinched it were price, the fact I could give Sean my business, the components are not lesser quality, just heavier and also the company is Canadian and like a cherry on a Sundae, it’s a Quebec company.

Now I have the Opus Spark which once again follows in Alex’s footsteps. I do the same in beer, whatever she orders, I have the same. She makes great food choices too.

By the way, Alex now rides with TBN and she now has my Fuji Absolute to use as her performance bike

August 13, 2009 at 1:09 am 3 comments

Latest Interest

Well, I waited a bit to see if it would last and so far so good. I’m getting back into cycling and having a blast. I’m only doing around 120 k a week but I hope to build up to more. This is the first blog about my rediscovered interest so we’ll see where it leads to.

One thing, I bought a Garmin Edge 705 bike computer just to keep tabs on how I’m doing. It’s an absolutely amazing bit of technology (not that I’m into technology) but after only 1 week of using it I had to send it back. I couldn’t upload or download files on my Mac. I tried three different machines and it was the same for all of them. I called Garmin support and we went through some steps (soft reset, Hard reset, delete all and tru a hard reset) all to no avail. I had to mail it back and it’s been almost 2 weeks now. I WANT IT BACK, lol

Anyhow, I’ll organize myself and keep you posted on what’s going on

August 7, 2009 at 5:05 pm Leave a comment


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