Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Summer Bucket List 2014

Before I kick the summer bucket, here are ten things that I'd like to accomplish:

1) Restart training for my first marathon. After the Around the World Running Blog Relay ended in April, I chose to take the month of May off from training. May turned into June and neither Jose nor I have gotten back on the walk-training train. I'm disappointed because I know that training is what makes a marathon doable. I want to enjoy this challenge in October, and for that to happen, I've got to lace up.

2) Sell the car. One of our 2014 goals was to drive less. We've decided that we can live happily ever after without owning a car. We've listed it for sale online and are waiting for the right buyer to come along and drive off with our first vehicle. If you know anyone who's looking for an entry-level car (read: manual shifting, manual locks and windows), drop me a line!

3) Do a 2-night bicycle camping trip. Last year Ashley and I went bicycle camping for the first time. Last weekend, she went on a two-night camping trip on Salt Spring Island. She's inspired me to pack carefully and hit the road for a similar adventure.

4) Meet internet friends in real life. I'm afraid I'm not as awesome in real life as I am online! I don't want to come off too loud or annoying, too tall or too ... not me. I'm not fishing for compliments, just hoping that I won't rub friends the wrong way when we do eventually meet.

5) Enjoy the beach. The Pacific ocean is cold around here! Last week, both Nae-J and JahJ went into the Gorge water to wade. I was unable to go in past mid-shin. I've been told that the water is warmer earlier in the day, especially on hot days. The Gorge Swim Fest is scheduled for August 10, so I have a few weeks to pray for warm water and build up a tolerance to the cool waters.

6) Go to outdoor movies in Esquimalt. Maybe the ones which start around 8:30 will be the ones I can stay up for.

7) See fireworks. There are some scheduled for Canada Day and British Columbia Day - I just have to make sure to get a nap on those days so I can stay up past dark!

8) Visit a Gulf Island. As much as we haven't discovered everything our island has to offer, I would like to hop on a ferry and visit Mayne, Pender, Galiano or Salt Spring this summer. I guess this is sort of a "grass is greener" item on the bucket list.  

9) Get rid of the tan lines on my feet. Just cause I'm tired of the Mary Jane shoe outlines. I should wear my Birks more. 

10) Grow at least 3 pounds of tomatoes from each plant. Eleanor gave me ten tomato plants in June which I managed to squeeze into ten square feet in my garden bed. This isn't enough room for each plant, but I figure, since they aren't side-by-side neighbours, they should be able to yield their full fruit potential. This is my second time growing tomatoes, and last year's yield was dismal.

I know you've got a summer bucket list too! Link it in the comments below and I wish you the best of the season. 

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Family Bicycle Camping - May Edition

We've had a long and sunny spring here in Victoria. We had planned to kick off our camping season in April, but that was when planning for the Bike Fest started taking over my life. My parents-in-law have a nice, slightly slanted front yard that welcomes overnight camping guests. We headed there last night, hurriedly cycling so we could set up our tent before the daylight escaped.

It turns out we forgot to pack the kids' fleece and one of the four ground pads. We also didn't pack any kitchen supplies, but we knew we'd have access to the house, so that wasn't as bad. We looked bulkier than necessary with all our pillows, teddies and blankets. I've heard that cargo bikers don't pack light, and as determined as I am to prove that wrong, we are still overpackers.

We ate smokies and s'mores to our hearts' content. The night came, the fire died and we fell asleep to the ducks' lullabies. At the crack of dawn, Nae-J was up. We went into the house and I climbed into the guest bedroom's cozy bed. She insisted on having chocolate and ice cream for breakfast while watching a television show. Is this what she thinks camping is!? When a reasonable hour of waking presented itself, JahJ joined us and he too had ice cream for breakfast.

This morning, the Victoria airport had a community celebration for the grand opening of the flight path, a bicycling/walking trail around the airport. I assumed we were 45 minutes away from the airport, since it's only fifteen minutes by car. Both Jose and I use the MovesApp to track our daily physical activity and it noted that we rode the 19.5km in an hour and 13 minutes. We rode out to the celebration on the Lochside trail, crossing the highway at Beacon Ave. It was easy to find the celebration as several kid riders had decorated bikes and helmets.

This event had free food, ice cream, entertainment and specialty planes flying overhead. We were really impressed with the caliber of the festivities and appreciated that it was not too crowded. The kids didn't want to leave, so we had to dance them back onto the bikes.

I suspect that future camping trips won't be as easy. This one night camping included a home in which to find shelter, kitchen tools and food staples. Our breakfast, lunch and snacks were at a free family event which also had a two bouncy castles. We traveled on a multi-use trail with very few hills. Overall, I say it was a good way to start the camping season. May we all learn to pack what we need and have great family experiences.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Esquimalt Bike Fest 2014 Pictures

Thank you to all the participants, volunteers and exhibitors that came out to celebrate the first annual Esquimalt Bike Fest. The organizers and I were thrilled to have so many people biking in and out of the curling rink, decorating their bikes and having a good time with their neighbours and friends. Please send feedback, comments and suggestions here, so we can incorporate them in next year's event.

Ashley was able to capture some touching moments as well as some action shots. She'll continue to edit some of her favorite pictures, but here are some that were ready to share in the post-event blog post. 

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

UPDATED: Esquimalt Bike Fest 2014

We are moving the event indoors! The forecast calls for 13 degrees and light rain, so we will move everything to the curling rink of the Archie Browning Sports Centre. We will offer covered bike parking close to the entrance and some ice cream for participants who brave the weather to attend. The community rides will still happen, as we hope the rain will be intermittent, but be sure to wear rain gear for maximum comfort.

Please spread the word that the event is still taking place, and has moved to the curling rink.
See you there!


I just wanted to remind you that Esquimalt's first (hopefully annual) Bike Fest is coming up in less than 5 days! I'll tell you all about the six-month journey that led to this event after we pull it off! In the meantime, please be sure to come, rain or shine, for some fun with your neighbours and cycling community. Bring a friend, or two or three and let's make this event a memorable one.