Bike tours should still be done with a bit of speed

@Michael Basham - Cyclist on the bike paths in Ontario

@Michael Basham- Great roads, great sun…

“This is my daily bike, slightly adjusted for touring. The slow stuff. The tires are super-endurance versions that do me well, but makes the bike a bit slower. But I love the high seat and low handlebars. I brought this set up design over from the road bikes so I would have a faster, more competitive ride, even when touring. In my mind, I might be setting the bike up for a tour, but it can be a fast tour. I suppose it is the speed mindset instilled from bygone racing days.” Continue reading

The ancient mantra: Spin your gears, spin your gears

@Barry Sandland/TIMB- Joe Planchat cycling coach St. John's, Newfoundland

@Barry Sandland/TIMB – Joe Planchat, my old cycling coach and the man who, over anyone else, probably determined my cycling style

This is my cycling coach when I was racing – too long ago. Every week, he would tell us, his voice stern,  serious and ernest, “You have to spin your gears. Always spin your gears”. Forty years later, I can still hear him preaching that simple message.

“And was I right?”

Yes, he was. Continue reading

If you want to climb hills better, then climb a lot of hills

@Barry Sandland/TIMB - To triathlete cyclists in Newfoundland

@Barry Sandland/TIMB – Early season miles start later in Newfoundland

“This hill here is a good four kilometres. But it is part of our regular training rides, so we know where the steep parts are and where we can rest. A few times we been to the top and then came back down and did it again. We live at the top of the hill so we have to go this way. No choice.” Continue reading

This would be cross-training in Newfoundland

@Barry Sandland/TIMB - Cyclist on the road in Newfoundland

@Barry Sandland/TIMB – Changing from sport to sport as the weather moves along

“I was canoeing this morning. Then it looked calm so I came out for a ride. We all know the hardest part of riding here is the weather. When there is rain, drizzle or fog, no one wants to ride in that. When I am done with the bike ride, I will get out on my motorbike. I love being in the outdoors.” Continue reading

Yellowknife and the geodesic dome bike shop

©TIMB - Yellowknife geodesic dome bike shop

©TIMB – Yellowknife and the geodesic bike shop is central to a recycling ideology that drives the company.

“My neighbour went to jail and left a large pile of left over bicycles. Because he was not able to repair his own bike so he just kept getting more and more bike parts. So when he went to prison, there was a large pile of bicycle parts in his yard. And the new tenant took all the parts and put them on the street. They were going to go to another bike shp and I said, ‘He already has 500 bicycles. And if you take that wheel and put it there and those handlebars and out them here, there is a bicycle.  And out that there and there is a bicycle’. And we carved out half a dozen bicycles. And people said, ‘Oh, you fix bicycles do you? Here, I’ve got some. Oh, you want some donations?’.

At night, people were doing drive-by drop-offs, anonymously.  Before we knew it, the whole yard was filled with bicycles. Literally. And that was the first summer we really got going and then we came up with the idea of making a dome out of bicycle wheels. We did a prototype and it worked.” Read more about the creation of Yellowknife’s Old Town Bike Shop…

Continue reading

Taking those small steps to a Yellowknife bicycle culture

©TIMB - Bicycle mechanic in Yellowknife working in a geodesic bicycle dome repair shop

©TIMB – Working under the geodesic bicycle dome

“I am an auto mechanic and I can fix cars. Or not. For every car I fix, there is going to be another car on the road. There was a bumper sticker with ‘One Less Car’, and I thought, ‘If I work on bicycles, I am not fixing cars’. For every bicycle I fix, there is one less car on the road.

“That is a fairly potent way to have an impact on my immediate community.” There is a longer piece on this geodesic bike dome posting tomorrow…. Continue reading

Making bucket list plans for Canada’s ice roads

©TIMB - Rider considering ice road adventures in the Northwest Territories

©TIMB – It was a cool spring day when we discussed the best of winter cycling in northern Canada. Note the life vest … necessary when you paddle to work from your houseboat before the final bike ride.


“The best thing about winter riding is summertime. No, the best is riding on the lake. In winter there is an ice road. But when the ice is too thin for cars, even where there is no road, you can take a bike. It is thick, but hard for cars to get on.

So the entire lake is mine and it is on my bucket list to bike to Hay River. It is 400k on the road. It won’t be so far if you go straight across. Where cars cannot go – that is the best part of winter cycling.” Continue reading