Archive for September, 2009

End of Summer Bike Trip

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Natalie and I have just finished cycling from Vancouver to Calgary. Here are some photos from the trip.

The Seawall in Stanley Park   Climbing to the Hope Slide

Sumallo Grove in Manning Provincial Park

Cycling the Crowsnest Highway Number 3

We stopped in Penticton for a couple of days to watch my brother Scott at Ironman Canada. Scott was disappointed with his race, but the rest of us were proud of his effort. Not everyone can turn in a top twenty result and still call it a bad day.

Scott Curry at IMC 2009 Scott Curry at IMC 2009

Double exposure shot of Scott Curry at IMC 2009

We got to cheer on a lot of the other pros as well. It was great to see Tereza Macel race to victory after she won Ironman Lake Placid only five weeks earlier.

I was teammates with Tereza at the 1996 World University Triathlon Championships in the Czech Republic. After having raced for so long, many would have assumed that her best races were behind her, but Tereza’s recent commitment to TeamTBB has obviously paid off.

Tereza Macel at IMC 2009

It was also exciting to watch Jordan Rapp pull off the overall win. Jordan is well known for his movie themed race reports. You can check out his site at: rappstar.com.

Jordan Rapp at IMC 2009

After a couple of days at the Ironman circus, it was nice to hit the road again. Natalie and I didn’t put too much pressure on ourselves to cover a certain distance every day. However, mountain passes and the desire to reach certain campgrounds by nightfall sometimes made for some tough days.

Cycling by Christina Lake

Cycling by Kootenay Lake

Hoodoo near Fairmont Hot Springs   Cycling through Sinclair Canyon

Overall the weather was fantastic. We only had one really rainy day which was at its worst as we descended from Sinclair Pass in Kootenay National Park.

Descending Sinclair Pass in the rain

Of course, if it weren’t for the precipitation, we may not have got to enjoy the mountains in all their snow-capped beauty the next day.

Cycling through Kootenay National Park

The wolf on highway sign wasn’t the most reassuring thing to pedal past on our unarmoured bikes. We later learned that the sign had been up for the past two months. There had been a wolf begging on the highway and they were simply trying to prevent motorists from stopping and feeding it. Nevertheless, I was glad Natalie and I decided to leave our bicycles made of straw at home.

CAUTION WOLF ON HIGHWAY. NO STOPPING   CAUTION WOLF ON HIGHWAY. NO STOPPING

Believe it or not, we did make it all the way to Calgary. However, I dropped and broke my camera as we approached the continental divide. As a result, we have only the memories etched in our minds and a slightly heavy feeling in our legs to remind us of our amazing time in Alberta.

Already looking forward to the next bike ride!

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The Bicycle Forest :: Pimp My Rhoades Car

The Bicycle Forest had grown to the point where we felt it was time to invest in a vehicle that we could use to get the message out about our BikeCAD bicycle design software and the wide array of specialty bicycles that we have available for rent.

Although we don't believe in psychoanalyzing people based on what vehicles they may or may not drive, we do believe that when a corporation selects a car or truck for promotional purposes, it is vital that it select a vehicle that captures the personality and spirit of the company.

Of course, the first vehicle that came to mind for us was the Hummer by General Motors. The enormous body panels would serve as moving billboards, brandishing the Bicycle Forest logo wherever we go. We found the possibility of winning customer support through vehicular intimidation particularly alluring. Furthermore, the opportunity to associate ourselves with the military industrial complex made the Hummer an obvious choice for the Bicycle Forest.

Admittedly, the 16" of ground clearance and the Hummer's water fording capabilities had us wondering if we'd be paying for features that we don't really need. Then, we learned that the Hummer has a curb weight of 8114 lbs. "Who were we kidding?" we thought. Obviously, we'd be paying for thousands of pounds more than we'd ever need. Clearly, our decision to purchase a Hummer would not be based on practicality. It would be to make a statement about our dominance in the bicycle design software and bicycle rental industries. It only seemed fitting that we should dominate the highways and byways of North America with the same might that we exert in our own business.

Vehicular intimidation

Unfortunately, once we learned of the Hummer's abysmal fuel economy, we simply could not reconcile owning such a vehicle with our concern for the environment.

We examined several other options. Some had exhaust that smelled like french fries, others had no emissions at all. We particularly liked the idea of a zero emissions vehicle, until we found that most of these cars ran on electricity or hydrogen. Although we applaud the development of all forms of alternative energy vehicles, and we are happy to see electricity being generated by more environmentally friendly means, we weren't thrilled about the idea of creating even more demand for electricity with the purchase of our Bicycle Forest promotional vehicle.

Rhoades Car The zero emissions vehicle that most impressed us was the Rhoades Car. Equipped with a butterfly steering wheel, marine grade vinyl seats and molded black mag wheels, the Rhoades Car is the most well appointed car in its class.

By eliminating the engine, the automotive engineers at Rhoades Car have created the most fuel efficient car in America. The only drawback is the top end speed. The Rhoades Car is not fast enough for freeway travel. We've come to accept this limitation. At the Bicycle Forest, we believe that in addition to making our existing modes of transportation more environmentally friendly, we must also strive to change our transportation patterns by driving less and using more public transportation. By adopting the Rhoades Car as our official company vehicle, we feel that we are doing our part by not only driving an environmentally friendly vehicle, but also by scaling back on driving in general.

Pimped out Rhoades Car If there was anything about the Rhoades Car that didn't entirely suit our corporate image it may be its lack of rugged styling. Although we are not farmers, or heavy machinery maintenance workers, we very much wanted to associate our image with that of these hard working people. That's why we decided to Pimp our Rhoades Car.

To supe up our two passenger, long frame Rhoades Car, we started by welding together a chromoly steel frame in the style of a pickup truck and wrapping it with 30 gauge galvanized steel. We painted it John Deere yellow and mounted a plexiglass windshield, 55W head lights, LED tail lights and rear view mirrors. The finishing touch was a set of aftermarket hubcaps. The pimp job added an extra 138 lbs to the car, but it was definitely worth it because now we can send the same message that other corporations have sent with their promotional Hummers. "We're the Bicycle Forest, and nobody messes with us!"

Here is a public service announcement featuring the converted Rhoades Car.