Today, we had quite a varied experience. There were several things we wanted to see and do. That's one of the things we're enjoying about our new city ... variety!
We started with a ride across the bridge to the centre of town where we watched the Christmas parade for an hour or so. It was very good ... but I'm still getting used to having Christmas in the summer.
Then we cycled to Salamanca Market, and spent a while walking around there and looking at all the stuff. Salamanca Market is huge and runs every Saturday ... worth a look, but it tends to be a bit expensive.
Then we cycled up to the local tip recycle shop, and had a wander around there. We wanted to have a look at the bicycles, and there were some that were possible for our purposes. Not sure. However, there might be a couple old wardrobes that have some potential
Then we cycled to the Botanical Gardens, and had a wander around there. The Royal Hobart Botanical gardens are the second oldest botanical gardens in Australia, and are quite enjoyable. I especially liked the Japanese Garden section.
And finally, we cycled home.
All up ... 20 km of cycling, plus lots of walking.
A MUP on the way up to the local tip recycle shop ...
Bicycles in the Christmas parade ...
I walked to Jimmy's restaurant with my dog Merckx
for breakfast on the patio. It was a little cloudy and misty, but about 75, so still pretty nice, and I never had to open the umbrella.
It's about 3 or 4 miles each way, which the dog loves.
The east is dark, the west glows.
Venus rules on high.
On Monday, I had two separate doctor's appointments -- one an ultrasound of my heart. One in the middle of the city, over the Big Bridge, and the other nearer home. It was a wonderful day weather-wise, and I rode my venerable old Fuji Touring to both appointments. It worked out very well.
The bike rack outside the hospital was choc-a-block full of bikes, but the doctor's surgery for the second appointment didn't even have a dedicated rack -- which struck me as a bit odd, because it is a clinic that promotes healthy living. Maybe I should send a letter to suggest installation of one.
I would... I mentioned it to the clinic I used to go to and they did install one. They even asked me which one I would suggest they put in. At that point there were 2-3 of us that rode there regularly and we would just lock to the hand rail on the outside of the handicap ramp.
Today ... Rowan and I decided to do some sightseeing from the campground where we are staying this weekend.
First, we walked through the historic town to a lovely little old bakery where we had breakfast (French toast with maple syrup ... one of my favourites, and very naughty given the diet I should be eating these days).
Then we walked back through town, looking at the historic buildings, and browsing through the shops. We also stopped in the Tourist Information Centre/Museum/Wool shop to have a look around. The sheep industry is big here, and they had an interesting display of the different types of wool, as it comes right off the sheep before processing. We could pick it up, touch it, pull it apart, etc. and feel/see the differences in the wool between one sheep and another. Merino was, of course, the finest grade and softest wool.
We returned to our campsite, and got set to go for a ride. We had a marvellous tailwind all the way to the next town up the road, and found our destination quite easily ... the sheepdog trials!
Very interesting! I had never seen the sheepdogs in action before. It is something I'd go to see again ... I find the working dogs fascinating.
And then we cycled back to the campground again ... into a headwind.
I spent some time walking around and taking photos, then we walked into town for dinner.
All in all, a good day ... and the only use we made of our van was as our accommodation.
I love the working dog trials. We see a sheep dog demonstration every year at the local Highland Games. The ones from Australia that have always intrigued me are the ACD (Australian Cattle Dogs) I have seen videos of them bailing off a 4 wheeler at 20mph to go chase cattle, they hit the ground and roll then come up on the full run. We had one here on the farm for a while, very high energy, intense dogs.
Second day of taking public transit to work this winter season, as I don't bike on icy days. It's usually a 3 leg commute: bus, subway, streetcar. However, I left the house early enough that I had time to walk 1.2 km to the subway instead of taking the bus; and I got off the subway one stop early to take the street car that runs parallel to my usual route, and misses my office by several blocks, because I wanted to walk 800 m down the cross street to my office, to grab a coffee at a hipster place along that strip. So I got in about 2 km of walking as part of my commute, that I otherwise wouldn't.
Parents house for thanksgiving.
To the Arkansas Revenue offices to renew my driver's license. Then stopped by Kroger's on my way back. It was very busy for 7:30 in the morning.
To work. Last week I missed some days due to snow and ice, but it's melted now. Temps varying from 0C to 8C so far this week (around 32F to 45F).
We had snow and ice all over the ground here in Arkansas and ice pellets were raining down. I managed to get 15-miles in and only slipped once. I guess it was pretty fun.
Nice sunny day with a brisk northerly wind. Temps at 2F. I was stopped at a major intersection (on my bicycle of course) and noticed a lady on an Electra Townie cruiser stopped on the sidewalk waiting for the light. Woo hoo!! Winter commuting hits mainstream!!
Today I rode in the Big Jingle Jubilee Holiday Parade. It was cold, in the low 40's with a wind chill factor that drove it into the high 30's. I rode my Giant Stiletto chopper, which is the perfect parade bike. Kids love it and it does wonderful low speed donuts in the street so I can continue circling in the street for the whole length of the parade.
This year the parade got rescheduled, it was supposed to be last weekend, but we had about an inch of sleet, followed by days of freezing weather, so the ice didn't melt. Even a week later, when riding to the parade route there were places where I had to tread very carefully because the ice was still thick and could not be avoided. The ride there and back is about 10 miles each way. Coming home, after being outside for hours, my fingers were frozen so it was hard to keep a grip on the handlebars, as I lean backwards on that bike, and I actually looked forward to the section where there is a 300 foot climb, because the Stiletto doesn't do climbing and I had to push all 50 lbs of it up the hill. That gave my fingers a little respite. A hot shower and a nap was the best way to cap off the day. :D
We got about six inches of snow while I was working the midnight shift last night. I trudged home on foot as the sun was barely starting to rise. A couple people were already shoveling at 7:30 on a Sunday morning, but most sidewalks were uncleared. I was wearing low cut shoes, so my ankles got cold. But it was still a beautiful walk.
My wonderful grandson shoveled us out while I slept. This is the first season he has been big enough to do all the shoveling by himself. My son, meanwhile, was out looking for shoveling gigs all day before he went to work. He likes to pick up some extra income with his strong back. My son's MIL, who lives with us, was nervous about driving but had the courage to go to her Christmas party anyway.
The snow affects our lives a lot, but overall it's a benefit and a blessing for my family.
No cycling for me in ice and snow. I'm relegated to walking to the bus stop. I walked about 3.5 km all told, and used six transit tokens ($2.65 each) going to two different job sites, plus a restaurant and a hotel for two parties. One of my most expensive commutes!
There was no one out on the MUP when I get there to jog/walk the 3 miles around the lake. I timed it so the light snow would have a start. I love being outdoors when it's snowing... there is so much elbow room. A mile down the path I see some traces of footprints in the snow going my way and the further I get the fresher they look. I continue along zoned in on what am I seeing. I am the tracker! It's a woman and she is walking briskly and even as I clomp along at a 12 minute pace I think I can catch up. I'm fired up now.
Coming up to the first long straight away, I'm thinking that I should see her ahead, and yes there is the outline of my quarry :-) only minutes away. Just ahead I notice a disruption in the almost seamless pattern of her footsteps up to now. I slow to a walk to study and determine what happened (I am the tracker) and lucky for me I did, because there was black ice under the snow, and I almost went down as she had, in the same spot. Whew.
So, now I straighten up and fly right for the big pass coming up. As I pull along side, I ask her if she was OK after slipping down and she turned to me peering out from behind the hood of her parka, face burning from the 12 degree cold, big smile on her experienced face and announced "Oh yeah, I'm fine."
She loved playing in the snow too.
December 27 ...
I decided to visit the local shopping centre to see if there were any Boxing Week sales on. And since I didn't have the van (Rowan needs it for work), I opted to walk. :) Up and over the hill to the shopping centre ... back and forth and back and forth in the shopping centre looking at things (not particularly impressed with the sales ... they weren't very impressive) ... and then up and over the hill back home again.
All up ~5 km.
I've wanted to walk there for a while to see how difficult it might be ... and it wasn't bad at all. The hill is a little challenging, but I took it slow.
I did a ride on Christmas day, down by the Arkansas River, through Two Rivers Park. Few cyclists, lots of pedestrians. Several kiddies on their new bikes. One kid thought I was going to bump his bike as I was coming up behind him. I assured him that I wouldn't and that was why the path was so wide so I could go around him. I didn't see any deer. I guess they had the day off.