055 06/09/2013 – So I had some minor surgery done and was told by my doctor to not exercise for a whole week! I had spent the time staycationing at my parent’s house. I was bored out of my mind!! I was eager to get back to cycling the minute I got back into town and was allowed again, only to be caught by a cold that left me bed-ridden for 3 days…

But!! Now. I’m. Back. [Baby]. And I’ve got so much pent up energy from being sedentary I’m going to be hitting the pavement again full swing~
056
Today was the Grand Porch Party! The Grand Porch Party covers a number of blocks outlined by Dawson Street, Euclid Avenue, Alexandra Avenue, and Roslin Avenue where musicians play on the porches of specific houses. Visitors gather around on the streets, on the front yards (and even one backyard this year!!) and listen to the music played by local artists. I love events like this! It was so lively and seeing so many neighbours out and about reminds me that we really live together as a community.

Here’s a shot of everyone gathering around one porch, listening to music! Please bookmark the Grand Porch Party website if you missed it this year. This is an annual event you’d definitely want to partake in. The weather was beautiful!

I spent about 3 hours at the Grand Porch Party and checked out as many artists as I could. I was saddened when the event ended. I didn’t have enough fun yet! I met up with some friends there and did some silly memes (Youtube Video of how to create Hadouken Shots). :)
057
So after the festivities of the Grand Porch Party, I went on my way to bike that subdivision (after devouring a DQ Blizzard). I biked 19.4 km today and was surprised that it didn’t tire me out. I was expecting to be very exhausted due to not having done any exercise in almost two weeks, however it appears that my body used the rest time and got stronger. I don’t remember 1hr22min of bike riding to be this easy! Go me 😀

On my way home, I stopped by UpTown Waterloo and saw this drum circle happening! Turns out is it hosted by Creation Africa and they are meeting here at UpTown all summer for public drum circles. The constant beat of the drum, decorated by the embellishments brought into the circle by each drummer was incredibly moving. I had never been part of a drum circle before, so when invited to drum with them, I jumped at the opportunity. If you’re interested in getting in on the next drum circle event, please check out their facebook page for even updates! I’ll definitely be going back to this, it was amazing!!

All in all, I’m happy to be back in the game, so to speak. Looking forward to biking more this summer. Please feel free to come out and bike with me, or if you have any suggestions or ideas about my project, get in touch!

 

053

0495/26/2013 – So I was cruising along at a good clip on a fine Sunday morning, doing a route as I usually do. Going in and out of streets, smiling at the dog walkers and baby walkers and the people with walkers as they gave me weird looks as to what I’m doing, when suddenly, just turning in from Westmount Road W into Westood Drive, I heard a hissing sound in my back wheel. “Uh oh” I thought, and quickly pulled to the side. Sure enough, a piece of glass on the road had pierced into my rear tire and it was flat within minutes.

Only about 13 km into a 27 km route, I was disappointed over the outcome. I wheeled myself slowly to the nearest bus stop and proceeded to make my trek to BikeFest via transit.

I have to say, if someone told me that I had to have a tire failure and asked me to pick a day, the day of the BikeFest would have been it!

I arrived at the BikeFest in the early afternoon and was surprised by the turnout! This excerpt from the City of Kitchener website:

“The City of Kitchener is excited to be part of this global momentum by promoting and encouraging cycling through BikeKitchener, a platform to promote and foster a sustainable culture of bicycling among Kitchener residents of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. Whether residents are looking for information on the City’s Cycling Master Plan, cycling routes, safety tips, promotional events or upcoming projects, BikeKitchener provides information, resources, and support to those interested in cycling.”

052 It was amazing! You can win prizes, Ziggy’s and Braun’s were both there doing free tune-ups for your bike. You could listen to information sessions and lectures on how to bike safely, as well as try out various other types of cycles (electric bikes!!). There was music playing by the stage, cotton candy, and so much more! Today at BikeFest, the 16 challengers of the Bike 2 Work Challenge 2013 were announced. These lovely gentlemen and ladies would be biking to work at least 3 times a week for the month of June and blogging about it! Man, if I had known about this earlier I would have signed up (hey, I’m basically doing that already :P).

051

Back to my busted bike! Greg Shannon from Ski’N’Cycle Hut fixed me up with a new tube in virtually no time and at a very reasonable price! He tuned-up my bike and it’s riding now like never before. I love it! These guys are real professionals. We were standing there amazed at how quickly the wheel came off! We blinked and it was fixed! He advised me that my tire is due for a change soon (it’s cracking at various spots pretty badly). I’ll have to make some time to visit their store for a new tire in the upcoming months. If you need some work on your bike, I highly recommend these lovely folks!

050If just checking out the various things at BikeFest wasn’t exciting enough, Heart and Stroke Foundation was there with THE BIG BIKE! 

With a donation, we got to ride on THE BIG BIKE! and what a great way to view the city! It was amazing how a huge 30 seat bike, led by a police car, would attract so much interaction with the passerby. People waved at us, cars honked enthusiastically as we passed by, and we blared music from the speakers (somewhere attached to THE BIG BIKE) loud enough to hear the next block over.

So I didn’t really get too much in terms of mileage coverage today on the Streets of Kitchener-Waterloo, but I gotta say it was an eventful day altogether.

Keep on cycling people, and enjoy the summer weather!

 

 

 

047048

033 5/18/2013 – So I have been hearing about a Psychic Fair happening in Kitchener at Bingeman’s and I thought I’d go check it out. I mean after all, I’ll have to go that way eventually if I were to cover all the streets, so now’s a good time as any. Unbeknownst to me, I actually planned my “to bingemans” route straight through Woodside National Historic Site!

Zipping through there, I felt like I was almost in a different world. I have to say they did a good job of maintaining the area around the house to maintain its original look.

Here’s the excerpt from the display:

“William Lyon Mackenzie King, tenth Prime Minister of Canada, spent his adolescent years at Woodside, where he lived from 1886 to 1893. The country setting he enjoyed during this formative period among books and family mementos fostered his later spiritual, moral, and intellectual development. Close ties with his parents, sisters and brothers shaped his image of the ideal family life. The home, originally constructed in 1853, along with its picturesque gardens, also recalls the daily life of a genteel family in the late 19th century.”

034Eventually I did get to Bingeman’s for the Psychic Fair. It was pretty interesting. I did get a reading (well I was there anyway!) with Mother Mavis. It was an interesting experience, as I have never done a psychic reading before. I do not feel any different coming out of it, but hope that when she said that “good things will come in the near future” she was talking about my Streets of KW project. 😛

I had originally thought I would be talking a lot more about the psychic fair, but the most memorable parts of this trip turned out to be on the return back into town center. I passed by Kolb Park, situated right along the Grand River, on my way back. Kolb Park was named after Jacob Kolb and his family that settled in the region in 1829. There’s some interesting history, for interested readers here. Otherwise, Kolb Park is an excellent fishing location and the view is pretty astounding. I’m not a fisher myself, but could totally see myself enjoying it on a fine day like this.

The map to real life aspect isn’t 100% accurate, so there were some discrepancies between where the map was taking me vs actual available roads that made me hit dead end a couple times, but overall it wasn’t too bad.

I really hope the great weather keeps up as I’m totally enjoying the outdoors!

036 037

0265/16/2013 – So as you can see in this picture here, we have T-Shirts! Huzzah! Having the T-shirt now suddenly makes it sooo much more official! How else are we going to be able to say, “been there, done that, and got the T-shirt.”?

If you are in KW and would like to get some exercise in the great outdoors, please feel free to join me on any of my planned routes (posted on the side bar of this site). T-shirts can be provided with a donation to any of my preferred charities on the fundraiser page :) We go at a fairly leisurely pace and its just fun!

Today we biked the Dunvegan Park area. This was a pretty easy ride with the roads being as close to flat for the entire route as you can get. The weather was perfect! It was a great day for a bike ride!

This is the first route I did with more than two people and it was loads of fun. Biking with people definitely is quite different than on my own. We went slower, taking up a whole hour to do the 11 km trek, but at the same time enjoyed each other’s company and the scenery. I learned that streets with two crescents on both ends can be called a dog-bone street!

We had a local in our midst who actually grew up in the area so it was nice to hear fond memories and stories of the landmarks so that’s always great! 😀

While my mapping skills still need some ironing out, and we entered into an area that was “clearly” not road, it got sorted out eventually.

All in all, it was great fun and really looking forward to biking more and hoping that others will join me on my journey and remember, just have fun!

5/14/2013 – A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, as the saying goes. I’m sure most are familiar with it. I’d like to quietly celebrate passing 100 km in my trek through the streets of KW. It’s not a major achievement, but it is a milestone nonetheless. It’s like the first “trophy” you get for unlocking something relatively easy at the beginning of a video game. It’s enough to motivate you to keep trying, but gently reminds you that there’s waaay more ground left to cover. If I have the estimate of distance accurate, “all the streets of KW” translates to something like “the distance from Toronto to Edmonton.” (yes! Canadian references, for I. Am. Canadian.)

The ground I recently covered has nothing terribly interesting to speak about. Here’s a picture of an industrial park in North Waterloo… after 5 pm. It’s rather deserted as I suspect people are home getting ready for supper! Weather has been really crazy the last week so I have not been biking as much as I should, but I’m hoping to pick up the pace as the summer continues!

Here’s hoping to some great biking in the upcoming days and nicer weather (thank you, Canada)!

 

022 021