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7/17/2013 – On Wednesday, I went to the Downtown Kitchener Art Market that was open down on King street. It was a hot hot day and the vendors were telling me they had broken out into a water balloon fight in the early afternoon when it was hottest. I arrived there around 6 pm, just in time to see Bicycle Opera!  The description below is stolen from their about page:

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The Bicycle Opera Project brings Canadian contemporary opera to communities across Ontario by bicycle!

We bring Canadian music to people who might otherwise have little opportunity to hear it, and work to close the distance between audiences and opera singers through performance in intimate spaces. The project focuses on operatic repertoire that deals with contemporary issues relevant to all audiences. Our scenes are sung in English (with one in French) so that audiences can more readily relate to the material.

In July 2013, we will be cycling west of Toronto to Hamilton, Guelph, Elora, Fergus, Kitchener, Waterloo, Bayfield, London and Stratford! Demythologizing the idea of “the opera singer” (we get dirty too!) and operatic traditions (who says we can’t cycle?), and providing a car-free alternative to touring.

I encourage you to go to their website and check out upcoming shows. It is definitely worth seeing! Support your local artists!
Speaking of supporting local artists, I bought the above giant scrabble pieces from a woman named Rhonda Holden, also known as the ruler lady! Please check out her awesome work!

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After checking out the Art Market and finding dinner at Bobby O’Brien’s, we proceeded to start our cycling for the evening. We started around 8:30pm specifically due to weather and hoping that it would cool down. The only downside is that about half of the route is done after nightfall, so good headlights and reflectors are highly recommended!
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This time, to change things up a little, I had brought with me this BlackBerry Mini Stereo Speaker that I have recently purchased. I love the clip design as I was able to clip it onto a reflector band and wear it on my arm. The device was connected to my phone via bluetooth and my cycling buddy and I were able to listen to tunes as we cycled through the street.

I was actually interested in knowing how loud this thing would be while I’m cycling on the road. I have to say that I’m quite happy with it’s output. This device is capable of a lot of volume and I think I was only playing it mostly at about half volume, which I was able to hear just fine even over the noise of the traffic. The quality isn’t as good as a surround sound home theatre system, obviously, but for such a tiny device, I was quite impressed with the clarity of tone.

Overall, it serves my purposes and you can be sure I will be taking it out for walks, and for cycling more in the future!

All in all, a pretty eventful day!

 

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086 07/16/2013 – Today I did an evening bike route starting at 8 pm. The positive: the weather starts to cool down significantly around sunset and on a hot sweltering day like today, it was a blessing. The negative: this means I don’t get home until 10 pm after my bike ride and about half of the route is done in the dark, which means, helmet lights, head lights, front and back bike lights, need to be turned on and flashing and potholes become extra dangerous.

Nonetheless it was great to get out and putting my legs to work again.

Kitchener-Waterloo holds some pretty nice neighbourhoods. I have come across many of them so far in my travels but never posted any of them here on this site because, well, I figured these are people’s homes so maybe they wouldn’t like that. However, I figured I have not caused any defamation with my pictures, and truly I just want to share the beauty of some of these residences. After all, why make your place so good looking if you don’t want anyone to see it? Besides, this is all on Google Street View and as long as I’m taking it from the street and not entering their property, I figured it’d be okay (these are my justifications!). So here we have a beautiful house at a street corner. They really did a nice job with their garden!

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So I basically cycled the outskirts of Waterloo today. Benjamin Road is the dividing line between Waterloo and St. Jacobs. Standing on Benjamin Road, I took a picture of the beautiful sunset that greeted me.

Soon after this it became dark and I finished another 13 or so kilometres before heading back home. The night air was very fresh :)

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084 7/14/2013 – Today’s post spans the time of two Sundays. Last Sunday July 7th I had actually gone cycling, but the weather was poor and my cycling buddy and I had to consistently stop under trees during downpours to avoid being completely soaked.

We did utilize this time very wisely and answered the all-important question of “Do Blueberries sink or float in water?” This is CLEARLY a question you have been wondering a long long time. So we answered it. As you can see in the picture, no, they do not float. Sorry.

The cycling was going very well and my original intent was to end at Victoria Park in the afternoon. However, it saddens me to say that I never made it to Victoria Park. In fact, at almost the end of the route, after 29km, I wiped out on the road and got injured. My front wheel was totally warped and I was a big bloody mess.

Okay, so the injury was exaggerated. I escaped the fall with some small cuts and bruises. However my bike needed a new front wheel. I had replaced it during the week and then this Sunday went on to finish the route I had planned, plus some more. This time, I finally made it to Vic Park.

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I am never going to get tired of looking at Victoria Park. The scenery is absolutely amazing and I am so glad to have such a beautiful park in my hometown. I was watching these FALUN DAFA practitioners meditating on the green field for a while and thought, I should bring my own meditation exercises to the park sometime.

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Another interesting discovery I made today on my route is this Ford Model T on someone’s curb. I imagine it wasn’t there for the garbage collectors, but more for show. The plaque on the back says “The Canadian Model T Assembly Team”. I’m not sure what this was, until I looked it up when I got home. It appears to be an assembly competition of sorts. These guys apparently can put together a Ford Model T automobile in under 10 minutes! Below I found a video of such a feat being performed, go youtube and the internetz!

So I’m not happy I wiped out last Sunday, but I’m glad I had to go back this weekend, or else I wouldn’t have found this gem! One of the interesting things about this project is that so far, it has been full of wonderful surprises and discoveries.

I hope to find more interesting things and meet more interesting people as I continue on my journey to bike/walk all the streets of Kitchener-Waterloo!

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07807/06/2013 -The last two weeks have been pretty busy moving into my new apartment for me and I didn’t get to bike as much as I’d like. However, this Saturday I made up for it in full swing!

I went to check out the Summer of One Love Festival at THEMUSEUM in Kitchener. The admission was free! There was Caribbean food, live music, face painting, and crafts. Of course, all of THEMUSEUM’s regular exhibits were there as well and I had a blast playing with the giant lego pieces!
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We also had free admission into the Bob Marley Exhibit at THEMUSEUM. It was definitely worth checking. I’m a fan of guitars, so looking at the various guitars that was used for different concerts was totally awesome. Also, learning more about Bob Marley was very interesting.

After checking out the festival at THEMUSEUM, we proceeded to get to our route. The route today was planned around Cherry Park as the Cherry Festival organized by the Cherry Park Neighbourhood Association and they did a splendid job with it! Kudos to all the ladies and gentlemen who worked hard to organize this event. By the time we got there, it was near closing time so there wasn’t much to taste, however I did drink my very first Cherry Coke! You don’t really see too many of those around here. 😛

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I haven’t biked since about two weeks and I have to say while my endurance didn’t go back to zero, I did lose some of the muscles that I built at the height of my momentum in cycling. Some of the more tougher hills required more effort than I’d like to admit… However, hopefully by keeping pushing ourselves and continuing to cycle, I’ll build back the strength soon!

By the time we completed the route, it was past supper and so we stopped by Thai Bistro on Belmont. They were near closing time, but we managed to get some take-out before they shut their doors. The problem then became where we could go to enjoy our dinner. Of course, since this *is* Streets of KW… I thought the most appropriate place was… well…

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 All in all, a fun day with friends and some great exercise! Cycling is fuuuuun!!

 

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