A Travellerspoint blog

Winter biking

and other exciting adventures

I've been trying to train this winter for the trip so that I'm as ready as I can be when I make it out West - I finally got my ticket about a week ago!! I'm flying into Victoria on May 6, assembling my bike, and cycling to my friend Anna's house.

So training has taken shape in two ways: winter biking (a new venture for me) and spinning classes at the gym. Both are awesome in their own ways.

Winter biking involves what I have now dubbed my "IMPERVIOUS SUIT" - a small hat and fleece that goes around my neck, double-layered, waterproof, lined gortex gloves, crazy amount of sweaters and waterproof jacket, waterproof pants and ankle high waterproof boots. Along with my fenders on the hybrid I've had since I was 12 or 13 (her name is "Tiger" - as in, "you can do it Tiger!"), I feel like I am impervious to any weather conditions Wolfville can throw at me.

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I also wear red lights on the back and white lights on the front of my bike, along with reflectors most of the time. Even so I've been yelled at by a homeless-looking man to get on the sidewalk (isn't that illegal?) Anyways, I've braved -16 °C weather, scary icy slush (just go slow and make sure your brakes are connected- woops), blowing snow, and cold rain so far. Most of the time I have to slow down on my way down hills because my face gets too cold, but my latest solution to this problem is to just open my mouth really wide and scream so that a greater amount of my face gets scrunched inside the warmth of my hat and fleecy neck warmer. It might look crazy, but it works. I have the opposite problem on the way up hills - I am madly trying to work my zippers apart with one hand with my gloves shoved into my mouth.

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Spinning is unlike anything I have ever done before. The Acadia gym offers spinning 5 times a week, and I go to four of them weekly. We have three different instructors who all have different styles, but in general we do a quick warm up, drills, and then a cool down with lots of stretching.

The first thing I noticed about spinning was that excluding one time I sat in a sweat lodge for 20 minutes, I have NEVER sweat so profusely in my entire life. We're up to 8 minute drills now, and yesterday an actual STREAM of sweat careened down my arm and soaked the floor beside my bike. Delicious. I do love the fact that someone else is motivating me to work my hardest, and it's a lot easier to challenge yourself when 10-odd other people are doing it there beside you. Usually after spinning, my spinning buddy and I run 25 sets of stairs in the hockey arena (it's lovely and cold in there) to round out the evening. I'm still playing Ultimate frisbee once or twice a week, but still I wonder... will it be enough?

Hopefully the temperature will start rising soon and I'll be able to put some mileage on Alice, my touring bike.

Here's to warm weather and sunshine!

Posted by Ericabikes 05:50 Archived in Canada Tagged bicycle Comments (0)

How it all began

...or how I spent last summer

This is my first try at a blog, and I'm learning as I go! Hopefully I'll be able to keep it up to date so that you can check out what we've been up to.

So last summer as you might know, I joined up with the Otesha project (www.otesha.ca) East Coast Tour. We travelled around the southern parts of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, performing a play and putting on workshops to inspire people to create local and global change through their everyday consumer choices. I love theatre, I love community living, and I love amazing people, so this was the opportunity of a lifetime! If you EVER get the chance to help someone join Otesha or do one of the tours yourself, I highly recommend it. The only thing was, I kept feeling like I wanted more time to take pictures... explore the towns we were in, and see more of my country.

After Otesha, I kept thinking about biking across Canada, something I never would have had the confidence for before the tour, but also something I had been thinking about for a few years - ever since Brennan and I had talked about biking across the country and doing presentations about species at risk! I chatting with Mary Anne (from Otesha) one day online and when I asked her what her summer plans were, she mentioned biking across Canada! After a few weeks wondering whether we were crazy, and finding out if we could actually afford the time, we made it official! Our trip will take us from Vancouver to Halifax in three months. Right now I'm still looking for a few more things like clothes and camping gear and tarps, and places to stay along the way (we will be camping, but are looking for roofs to stay under as much as possible).

I've never planned a trip like this before, and I am having so much fun. I can't wait to visit friends in Victoria and Vancouver, see sand sculptures, visit hot springs, finally see the prairies, and climb many, many mountains!

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Mary Anne and I hide under a gazebo with other Oteshaites when hail hit during our first day in Otesha... July 1.

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Mary Anne in Miramichi with the trailer we shared through 95 km and a headwind...

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On my way to Sussex with the trailer!

Posted by Ericabikes 16:43 Archived in Canada Tagged bicycle Comments (0)

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