Gettin’ Weird Out There

Gettin’ weird out there, Fredericton. Last week it was 4ºC and I was wearing the fall/winter gear, today it was 19ºC when I left the house at 6am in a t-shirt and shorts. Was discussing with @isaac_villeneuve one of the great things about riding bikes this time – or any time – of year is getting to take in all the smells. You miss all that in a car. Subtle changes too, like temperature. Really windy today but an alternating wind between hot and humid in spots to cool and dry in the hollows where the trail dips low into the trees. Nice to have a coffee stop where my fingers weren’t numb again – even if only for a little while. Gonna get weirder on the way home – hope all you fellow bike commuters packed yer rain gear!

Lost and Found

An Autobiographical Photo Essay in 8 Frames.

I love these rides that dip in and out of nature and civilization. A great reminder of how close we are no matter how much we forget or try to distance ourselves. Headed out this morning to commune with all kinds of spirits. 1. Found myself on some snowmobile trail on the Devon Indian Reserve. How do you know when you’re on snowmobile trail? Well, the trees are cleared real nice, but it’s full of massive rocks and roots because it’s meant to be ridden by machines with 4’ of snow on top. There was some walking involved. Would have been easier with a different bike. 

2-3. Visited these cool murals on the St. Mary’s First Nation done by April Paul – they are beautiful and worth the stop. It must have been insane hard to paint them on that ‘corrugated’ concrete surface too.

4. I really liked this one portion of one of the murals for it’s ‘one world, one people-y’ vibe. I have no idea if that’s what it was meant to convey. If it actually means ‘don’t lean your bike against my art and take a photo’, I sincerely apologize.

5. Coffee and nutrition at the Two Nations One Stop – I love the double entendre of this name. 6. Saw some local northern wildlife.

7. Stopped for a few minutes to listen to what the St. John River had to say. 8. I should really wash the bike. The drivetrain was making very disagreeable noises on the final stretch home.

The Mighty Fack Went to Market

An Autobiographical Photo Essay in 6 Frames.

After this morning’s indecision, I decided, all of the above. Take the Cross Check, to the @fredfarmmarket, via God-knows-where, and have a picnic. I present the following exhibits: 1. God knows where. 2. Scenic vista

3. God knows where, with mud. Glad I didn’t clean the bike. 4. Even the Trees know what’s up. Perfect gateway.

5. HERE BE DRAGONS. 6. Picnic. My fave Hungarian Salami from @elkesbbq, 2 dutch cheeses from @mulderscheeseand brown butter chocolate chip and triple chocolate cookies from @gagetownfruitfarm.

I also scored bonus points for a nice chat with @brianconoley and a fortuitous @fosterc92 sighting, the latter of which is sporting the best Sam Elliott/old school gold prospector mustache I have seen in a long time. Chapeau good sir!

Different Rivers

When I moved here in 2006 I discovered there were two options for a commuting route from my house, both about 15km one-way. One was on the road, the other, almost entirely on converted rail-to-trail. My policy has always been and continues to be to avoid slicing and dicing with grumpy morning folks trapped in confined metal boxes, so whenever possible, the trail it is.

Up until 2010, my commute to work took me across two rivers, The Nashwaak and the St. John. After 2010, I changed jobs and now work on the north side of the St. John, so only cross the Nashwaak each trip. I used to keep track of my rides and mileage and all that but have stopped bothering. So, subtracting weekends, holidays, weather, sleep-in’s and other misses and adding back in various market trips, rides for coffee and group rides, I’d say conservatively on average I’ve commuted or ridden this route 150 times a year (each way, so 300 total) – at some point during every season and kind of weather you can conjure.*

Some dude, wiser than I, many seasons ago, once observed that “no man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” Well then it must also apply that a man can’t CROSS the same river twice either.

Doing the fancy math that accounts for both jobs, that means approximately 5,100 different rivers crossed for this cat in 13 years. And I probably have at least half that many pictures clogging up the internet and cloud storage to prove it.

The thing is, they are truly different. Every. Time. Which is why I almost always stop. And while I didn’t always stop, make coffee, eat home made granola with chocolate milk and watch the sun come up on Fredericton across the St. John while tons of ducks do whatever it is ducks do in the morning – I have been quite a bit recently. If I had my druthers (and I don’t know what a ‘druther’ is – or why anyone would want one) I’d just ride my bike around rivers drinking coffee all day, but like so many of you, I have to go to work. I’m pretty sure though, that if one HAS to go to work, I may have stumbled onto the absolute best way to do it. Even without coffee and snacks.

*That’s also roughly 58,500km of commuting for those playing along at home. Also, there’s not enough space here to discuss how I have changed as a man, so don’t ask.

Exposing Truth on the Breakfast Loop

Bill Thorpe Walking Bridge, Fredericton, New Brunswick

So couldn’t ride the bike to work today because, reasons, but did end up getting to work super early so decided to roll a Breakfast Loop. First one ever, I believe.

Fate does silly things. Came across this block on the sidewalk crossing the Westmorland Street bridge:

Sidewalk Psychology 101.

“Expose a truth about yourself…Vulnerability is Healthy!”

Ok then. Here goes: “I know there are aspects of parenting I’m failing at.”

Whoah. Pretty heavy for this early in the morning. Instead, here’s a bonus truth to lighten the mood:

“I have no known natural defenses against Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups”

Ok, session’s over. Make your next appointment with the secretary on the way out.