2014/06/07 – This past weekend was the Grand Porch Party! The turnout wasn’t as I remembered it from the last two years, mostly due to pretty heavy rain during the event, but I’m super happy that there were people who made it out! The folks who donated their porch/lawn for the afternoon for performers also threw in an umbrella holder for the musicians. I love seeing the kindness and support of our local community to our neighbours! It makes me proud to call Kitchener-Waterloo my home.

I haven’t been blogging much as life has gotten surprisingly busy this year. I have discovered a new love…. that is Ultimate Frisbee! What? Not what you were expecting I say? Well, playing 4/5 times per week has been a huge time commitment and unfortunately, the cycling has suffered.

However, I have continued to put in new kilometers into this project, I just haven’t been as active in blogging about it. I have updated all maps and kilometer counts and will try to be more diligent about it in the future!

I’m looking forward to an awesome summer season ahead. With the super long winter, we all deserve some nice weather!

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2013/10/06 – Despite not having updated the site much in the last little while, I ensure you that this project is still one of my top priorities. A lot has happened in my life recently so I am just getting back into the groove of things. Today I am here to share with you the awesome event I had attended as part of Streets of KW, Color Me RAD 5K!

I will be forgiving this time that they spell Color the American way, but only because the race was soooo awesome!! I had gathered a bunch of friends and perfect strangers to join me to run the 5K with me. The race started at Kitchener City Hall and ended at Victoria Park! Our team of 10 runners got separated during the race as there were so many people, but reunited at the end of race for some colourful and sweaty hugs! :)

I had previously injured my shins playing Ultimate Frisbee the week prior, so the 5K was actually very difficult for me to run, however I made it and had a great time! At the finish line, the resident food trucks of the region as well as a stage playing live music was there to greet the colourful crowd.

I expect to continue to cycle and attend events in the awesome region of KW until the weather gets a bit colder, at which point I will put the project on hiatus and resume again in the spring! Look forward to sharing more stories with everyone!

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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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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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072 6/23/2013 – On Sunday I biked the beautiful forest hill area for 26 km or so before heading over to Victoria Park where the KW Multi Cultural Festival was held.

This was a very hot day for biking and it was definitely a full work out for me.

I was told that the Multicultural festival was more packed on the Sunday than the day previously. The entire weekend was incredibly humid, but it appears that people came out anyway, judging by the numbers in attendance.

I had a blast there and was happy to see the various different vendors, demonstrations, displays, and not to mention food of the various cultures.

My good friend and streets of KW comrade pictured here did mention jokingly that while this was a multicultural festival, it was severely lacking in a Canadian tent serving poutine. It appears that Canada is so laid back and non-prominent in its own culture that we forgot ourselves!

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When it comes to different cultures, food is always on top of the list. The food selection at the multicultural festival was quite impressive (despite the lack of poutine :P). I personally enjoyed a pita so as to be able to walk around and explore. All in all I had a blast!

One of the interesting things worth mentioning on this trip is that the area I biked had some of the smoothest roads I have seen thus far. Most places are laden with pot holes and uneven and patched roads. Clearly, this area has been newly paved and it looks very impressive and was very smooth to ride on!

All in all, a very eventful day. I highly recommend people to WEAR SUNSCREEN when you are out cycling. Take it from me, that was one thing I didn’t do very well on this fine fine day.

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