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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069 06/20/2013 – Today I had the fortune to speak on Radio Laurier’s show Guitar Strings and Community Things, hosted by the lovely and talented Anna Beard!

I spent about 15 minutes at the station talking about my experience and my project. It was really fun!

On my way there however, I heard a lot of noise was being made at Kraus Street and Northfield at the William’s Cafe there. As I got closer, sure enough, it appears that it was Yogurty’s grand opening today. They were playing music, dancing, and lots of people were in line for some delicious froyo.

Now this plaza truly has got everything; coffee, breakfast, sushi, various eateries (Benh Thanh!) and now froyo!

Yesterday I took a 25km ride around Glen Forest area! I must be getting really fit as the 25km was a cinch. I remember the first time I started (route #1!). It was 13 km long and afterwards my legs felt like jelly for about three days.

I have also noticed I have better attention span and generally increased energy throughout the day. So if the gym’s not for you, come cycling with me!

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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).

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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!

 

 

 

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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!

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