First response, and the cool factor, with bikes at the airport

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Emergency responder on a bicycle at Montreal International airport

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Two wheels and emergency response in Montreal

“We are the first responders here at the airport and if there is a problem, we are always the first there. We can get there in a couple of minutes. We ride our bicycles  all through the airport. A paramedic is called automatically, if it is a medical issue. We have everything on board. There are sirens and lights. Everything. And riding through the airport is very cool.” Continue reading

Recovery from injury can feel like two steps back

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Rider at the top of the Gatineau hills

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Coming back after an injury can seem harder than doing nothing.

“I recently had a serious accident. A tib-fib fracture. They went in with a rod through the tibia, right through the inside of the bone. Screws here and here. And then a plate here and some more screws and another plate over here. I was just walking home on a flat sidewalk. The doctor was surprised because that injury is more associated with a high velocity impact. Skiing, or something like that. The bike ride is because I am finally finding legs, but it is also physio. I was told cycling and swimming are the only two sports I can partake in right now. They are both low impact sports. Recovery is anywhere from six to 24 months. But the problem I am having right now is, I get badly swollen. By this afternoon, this entire lower leg area will get swollen equally as large as my knee. And then it his just pain because of all the scar tissue in there as well. This is about my fifth ride out since the accident. My first ride up here. Even after the riding it still swells. They say it will get better over time, but I suppose time is all I have on my side right now.” Continue reading

Icebergs, hot knives and butter

@Barry Sandland/TIMB - Cyclist at the top of Gatineau Hills

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – A great view from the top of the Gatineau hills.

“I am a satellite imagery analyst and analyse the images we get for the conditions of the ice in the Canadian arctic, the NorthWest passage and the entire east coast of Canada, as well. We monitor ice conditions and icebergs and all that. And we run down to the American side a little as well. Especially this year. They have a lot of ice on their coast. They are not used to that. We are monitoring unusual conditions. Nowadays we have lots more satellite and data and there are a lot more ships into the Northwest passage. There was a European ship that went back and forth all summer. He was pressing through ice all summer long and he went through it like a hot knife through butter.”

Two decades of two vacationing bikes

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Québecois couple with their bikes

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – resting in the shade, mid-way throughout he day, their bikes, as always, with them.

“This is about the 20th time we have taken our bikes on vacation with us. We will ride all the day. At least 50k. That is an easy distance. Anything more is a little sportif.”