15 November 2013

First Grocey trip with trailer

I've been waiting all week for Friday...Grocery shopping day! I originally wasn't expecting to get much, however a number of sales made me stock up...and the trailer couldn't have come at a better time!

While it was a fairly heavy load, it was quite nice and easy bringing things back home. Although I would have managed, it would have been a tad bit more difficult to bring everything home without the trailer.
 Still have to get adjusted to riding further away from the curb, since the trailer is fairly wide.

12 November 2013

Before & After (Trailer)

I've been looking for a trailer for a few years, always considering putting $100 down on one at a store for a new one, but yesterday an older gentleman in a van offered one to me.

He is into collecting items (stoves, refrigerators, scrap metal etc.) to sell to scrap yards, so it was quite nice of him to offer the trailer.

He lived close enough that riding home with two flat tires was no issue. Being during the morning rush (by a few schools) traffic was busy. Fortunately there were bike lanes on the roads I had to travel, and people see a trailer and they seemed to move over further.
Tires aside it was fairly moldy and some bolts needed to be tighten.

After 2 hours of spraying with bleach and tightening every possible bolt or screw on the thing, it's now (nearly) ready for action!

All I need to wait for now is the top cover to dry and it's completely finished, although I might get some sort of board to fit the bottom of the thing for added support.

(Comments) For some reason DISQUS stopped working, so it appears any comment made with the service in the past isn't showing. Just going back to Blogger's comment. Or you can read the same blog at WordPress: http://bicyclestc.wordpress.com

03 November 2013

The Endless Possibilities

While I have actually brought home things larger and heavier, just wanted to show that it is in fact possible to bring home large objects you buy at a store...

In the market for a new TV so I went to Future Shop and picked up a 40" Sony Bravia (I was actually surprised at how many people purchased TV's there while I was there). At first I wasn't completely sure if I'd be able to ride it home, but it fit across the back of my bike quite nicely, AND bungee cords are a cyclists best friend! No issues riding it home whatsoever. Just took it easy on the bumps and potholes.

I should also mention the 3km trip home with the TV on the back meant taking one of the north end's busiest roads. The 4 lane Lake Street (from YMCA to Linwell).
Not sure if the "Christmas rush" is already on, but Lake street (and YMCA Drive) was ridiculously busy with traffic. No issues however with any motorists. They all waited (only a few extra seconds) behind me to safely change lanes and gave plenty of room.  So if by chance you were on Lake Street and saw someone on a bike with a large blue tarp...Yep, that was me!

31 August 2013

The need for more parking (Food Basics)

It wasn’t all that long ago that Food Basics (Fairview Mall) had no bike racks. The main area for parking became the old entrance (for A&P), where you could fit four bikes in. Then there was the railing for the shopping cart area, which was equally popular.101_0320

While both of these areas are still used today, 3 years ago when Food Basics remodelled, a proper bike rack was put in place.

Quite often however it fills up, which I quickly discovered yesterday morning. I arrived at 7:50AM (10 minutes before opening). There was just one bike there at the time, two including mine.

Others started to arrive and parked elsewhere however:


^Parking near the door.


Parking at the old “Geneva Street entrance” for the old A&P.
This (along with the other entrance) were the primary parking spots for people before the bike rack was added:

June  24, 2007-My Bike at Food Basics

By time I came out of the store and returned to the bike rack, it was full.



Bikes were locked up to the shopping cart railing as well as the old entrance railings (not in any picture)

Later in the day it usually becomes a constant ‘in and out’ of bikes coming and going.

While this Food Basics has more secure areas to park compared to other stores, an additional bike rack would be nice in the future.

25 August 2013

Along the Canal, two ‘new’ roads

It’s been a while since last posting, however there really hasn’t been anything new or exciting happening.
Yesterday however I took a trip to the Pen Centre, but this time decided for the scenic route.

Usually a trip to the Pen takes 30 minutes (10km), but this time it was a 32km round trip, along the Welland Canal.

Things didn’t start off great as Linwell, past Geneva was a mess.





The Linwell ‘entrance’ to the Canal trail:





Nice morning with mist rolling off the water:


Although coming back this way later in the day meant a lot of slowing down to pass people, it is nice to be away from vehicles. Would be nice (if possible) to widen the trail.


Minor complaint, but I’d also like to see street signs posted at areas like this:


^Having a street sign just makes it easier to identify roads leading to/from the trail. Not all are as easy to see as this one.

One of the nice things about travelling along the canal? Ships:




The annoying “Dismount to Cross” sign. Only people I ever see actually do this are people from out of town:






Since it has been nearly two years since I last travelled along the Welland Canal trail, I have noticed just how much worse the condition the trail is in.

The trail use to look like it does in this picture in the odd spot, but it seems like a good chunk of the trail now looks like this.

I’m not sure who is responsible for maintaining the trail, the Region of Niagara or the Seaway Management.

Would be nice to see the trail properly maintained however, especially since it is so well used.




Another example of street signs needed on the trail:


^Unlike the last street where you could in fact see the sign, here you can’t see much. It is more useful for those from out of town or just not familiar with the city.





^Although a good part of the trail is starting to crack, there was a “bumps ahead” notice (going both ways) on the trail here.

Time to stop at Lock 3:




Approaching the end of the Canal tour. Was dreading the idea of going down this stretch of Glendale, until…


I saw this:


Glendale, between the trail and the train tracks was redone. Only issue I had was there weren’t clear signs as to where you should be riding. The above picture looked more like a trail, but around the bend a bike lane appeared:






The only tricky spot along the improved stretch of Glendale comes at the train tracks:



The bike lane does continue on the other side of the tracks, and goes all the way until Mountain Rd, where you merge into four lanes of (busy) traffic. Since it was early on a Saturday morning, traffic wasn’t too bad.



The Pen Centre is just on the other side of the overpass ahead (picture above);

Target now has their logo and name on the outside of the old Zellers. 130,000 sqft. They have added an add-on. Not sure if they are keeping the two floors or not however:



With such an enjoyable ride along the canal, figured it would be nice to head back that way as well. First up, battling the rough part of Glendale.

In the opposite direction at the lights, two people, appeared to be touring on bikes:





Some rather poor planning shown below:



On the left, the bike lane continues on the right side of the right turn lane.
On the right, despite slowing to see if I could merge into the through lane, traffic was too busy, which meant sticking to the bike lane (which does continue on the other side of the street).

Unfortunately on the way back I went more into ‘video mode’, which meant I didn’t get many pictures of the much improved stretch of Lakeshore Road.

It was brutal before, but now looks like this:



Left: That was a daunting stretch before, with no bike lanes or shoulders and a pot hole riddled road. Now no issue at all.
Right: Work still being done.

Hopefully the next step is Lakeshore between Geneva and Lakeport.

Just some videos: