099 8/18/2013 – World Accord, an international charity based in Waterloo ON, whose mission is to support development activities in proverty stricken regions in LATAM and Asia, hosted a cycling event that coincided with Open Streets Waterloo.

The cycling event, Cycle for Sustainability, focuses on business and farms in local areas that have a sustainability focus. Participants received a “Passport”, where stamps/signatures from these businesses are collected when we arrive to the location. The individuals of the local businesses would talk about their business.

Streets of KW was happy to participate at this event, and have chosen to do the 50km route, which was the longest route offered by this event. We registered, got our T-Shirts, and soon were on our way. However, before we left, Queen Street Yoga was there, giving the cyclists a short yoga exercise to loosen the muscles and relax us before our ride.

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Our first stop was at Pfennings Organic & More, which sold health products and organic foods. The below excerpt is from their website:

Support of local organic farming is a main priority of our store. We get as much produce as possible from our family farm, Pfenning’s Organic Vegetables (located between Kitchener and Stratford) as well as other local organic farms. Certified organic farmers throughout Southern Ontario are contributing to this service by growing a wide and diversified selection of local fruits and vegetables.

So if you are ever looking for a place to buy some organic foods and support local farms, please visit Pfennings!

They also provided to us fresh apricots and plums, as well as water and other fruit drinks. Our passports were signed and we were on our way.

Our next stop was Vibrant Farms.  Vibrant Farms has been a family farm for over 200 years. It is currently a certified organic farm. We were greeted at the farm by The Farmer’s Daughter, Melissa. Melissa was super friendly and awesome. She was born and raised on the farm, has a degree in Marketing and Business from Western and has her own blog, The Farmer’s Daughter, where you can find a lot of information about the farm, being organic, and just Melissa.

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One of the coolest things on Melissa’s blog is Dinner with the Farmer’s Daughter. Melissa hosts and prepares 5 course dinners at the farm with fresh ingredients directly from the farm! How cool is that? If you are interested in knowing more about organic farming and are interested in having dinner with lovely Melissa, please check out her website on how you can have dinner with her.

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After visiting the farm, we made our way back into the city proper and stopped by World Accord’s headquarters on Frobisher Road. There, we were greeted with an impressive spread of fruits, granola bars, cookies, ice, and water. We were not shy in having our fill of delicious food and replenished our energy. At this point, we had about 8km left to go on this route.

The last stop was Raintree Cafe. However, they were already closed by the time our group got there. Unfortunately, we were not able to check out the Cafe this time, however I have been there before and love the place.

103Finally, Seven Shores provided cyclists with a complimentary lunch of either a veggie or chicken wrap, served with awesome side of salad and fruits. We drank, we ate, and we were happy (at least, I was happy… haha). The chicken wrap was delicious!

I learned a lot about organic farming and wish to say kudos to those organizations who have made sustainable methods and operations a priority. I hope that in the future, more businesses will follow their example and move to sustainable methods of operations.

While I did cycle 50km, unfortunately, much of it was outside of Kitchener-Waterloo borders and/or areas I have already covered. Of the 50km, I was able to add 16km more towards my completion of cycling/walking all the streets of KW.

I had a great time, and look forward to doing this again!

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0978/18/2013 – So after having cycled for so much recently, I felt like I wasn’t doing justice to the project “Biking and Walking all the Streets of Kitchener-Waterloo”. I had therefore organized a Heritage Walk around Victoria Park and invited people to come join me on the walk. I’m happy to say that that I was able to take 13 other people for a walk around the area, looking at Heritage homes and getting some of the history from our very own town.

We visited 26 heritage locations as stipulated on the self-guided walking tour brochure provided by the City of Kitchener. It is in need of an update as some homes were no longer in existence, but for the most part, it was a very nice comprehensive map of all the homes we wanted to see.

The weather was absolutely amazing. This was great because actually I had previously scheduled this Heritage Walk, but it got rained out due to the severe thunderstorms we had been experiencing earlier this season.

When we were walking around Victoria Park, we had noticed that people were setting up some tents and chairs. Upon further inquiry, it turned out there was a free BBQ hosted by a local church group. So not only did our group get to go out for a nice walk on a fine Saturday afternoon, we also were able to get free food and relax for a nice BBQ after the walk.

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One of the highlights of the trip for me was the Schneider Haus museum. There, we were able to go on the property and received a short tour of the original Schneider Haus, where an exhibitor was busy cutting fruit for drying. He gave us a quick tour of the house, which was an added bonus.

All in all, a pretty eventful day. I thank all those who came and explored the park and its surrounding areas with me, and I hope in the future that more people with join me on my crazy little excursions!
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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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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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