Le Tour De Norfolk – 160KM

On Sunday, July 17, I went on Le Tour De Norfolk staring and completing in Delhi, Ontario.

160KM riding in pure joy – at least most of it. Norfolk county is a nice part of Ontario for cycling if you like flat roads. There were a couple of crazy hills, but you can avoid them if you are not into climbing hills. Certain parts of the ride are extremely windy.

Norfolk County is mostly farmland with a few wind mills. I always wondered how farmers manage to water their crops, and that day I saw it for myself – they had these huge sprinklers.

Hydration and refueling your body with energy is essential; having a twizzler, or a banana, or an orange while doing 160KM feels like the best thing in the world. I usually find energy/granola bars etc… too sweet for my taste, but even one bite of it while riding long distances is a life saver.

All in all, it was an amazing ride!

Bike the Creek Event on June 18, 2016

It’s that time of the year again. I attended the Bike the Creek Event last year and it was amazing. I got to meet new people, explored the Etobicoke Creek trail for the first time and got to explore the Brampton area a little.

This year it is happening on June 18, 2016.

This is a fun filled family event. The event is free, but you do have to register.

There are 4 rides to choose from.

  • 11 km approx. Bike the Creek Family Ride  10:15am start (1-2 hrs) short north route
  • 16 km approx. Bike the Creek Nature Ride – 10:00am start (2-3 hrs) north route
  • 25 km approx. Bike the Creek City Ride – 9:15am start (2-4 hrs) – south route
  • 41 km approx. Bike the Creek End-to-End Ride – 9:00am start (3-4 hrs for experienced riders) north followed by south route
  • Bike Rodeo for kids – 9:30am – 12:00pm

 

biketheCreeksponsers

Bike Month

I started riding my bike about a month ago and I can tell you the feeling is amazing. I started with walking, which was great and I still love it and I was meeting my 1000 point goals on my Misfit Flash(Check out my review of the Misfit Flash). But soon I realized that although walking was great at first and I was building up my stamina, I needed something faster. I was fond of running many years ago, but running just doesn’t feel like a lot of fun now.

My bike which I had not used in years was the best fit for what I wanted. I fixed it up a little, filled up air, adjusted the brakes and went for my first ride. Every day I pushed myself further and now I easily go 10K to 15K daily. I will improve this as the days go by and we’re still in spring.

Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 22.30.07  So why all the fuss about bikes? Today marks the first day of this year’s Bike Month in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) Check out the dedicated bike month website. It will run from May 25, 2015 to June 25, 2015. Today is Bike to Work Day! I hope those who knew about Bike to Work Day and those who could, did take their bikes to work. If you did not, you still have one month to get into gear! 😉

So how should you get into action for bike month?

Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 22.33.44

Choosing a Bike

downloadThere are many different kinds of bikes. If you are reading this section then chances are you are a just starting off with your biking adventure. Decide what kind of rider you are and how often you will be riding your bike. If you will mostly be using your bike to go to and from work then a hybrid/comfort bike might be the right ride for you. However, if your road to work involves jumping and riding over potholes than a and if you already have a mountain bike then you can simply use that. But please make sure you get it checked and tuned at your local bike shop.

If you are serious about riding your bike on the road, setting aside time with the soul purpose of riding, then you definitely need a road bike. There are many different kinds of road bikes and when it comes to price, the sky is the limit. Just check out this $20,000 limited edition Audi Sport Racing Bike. Audi claims the frame of the bike weight less than the iPhone 6 Plus… haa!… That’s crazy – the fact that it costs $20K and that it’s (frame) lighter than the iPhone 6 Plus.

To get in-depth information on different types of bikes, I recommend gobiking.ca. If you’re not willing to invest time in reading, you can watch this quick video on how to choose the right bike.

Safety

Helmet

Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 22.36.30I have to be honest here –  I never wore a helmet until now. I used to think helmets were not “cool”, but in retrospect, I don’t know why I ever thought that. Helmets can be both for safety and style. For bikes there are 2 main types of helmets, mountain bike helmets and road helmets. There are also ‘hybrid’-ish type of helmets which lets you clip on and and clip off the visor – I bought this kind when I started off, but now after riding for a some time, I realize that a special road helmet is the best. Whichever type of helmet you get, make sure that it has a light at the back. This will come in handy if you ever decide to right at night or early morning.

Check out this video on how to choose a helmet. 

General Tips

Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 22.30.28Before you get out on the road, please check that both your front and back brakes are working. Make sure that there are no loose screws or nuts and bolts. Your seat needs to be adjusted properly to ensure that you have a comfortable and injury free ride. The biggest mistake that people make is having the seat too low. Both your feet should not be flat on the ground while you are sitting – if that happens you’re doing it wrong. Your leg needs to be extended almost fully so that you are efficiently driving power to the wheels. You should also consider the angle in which your saddle sits.

Here are a video on  How To Set Your Saddle Height – Tips For Getting Your Saddle Position Right

Clothing

If you will be riding at high speeds wearing something comfortable. Don’t wear something that is too loose – it won’t be aerodynamic and will slow you down and potentially throw you off your course which can be dangerous. Don’t wear tight jeans, you need to have free moment in your legs. If you are riding at night, make sure you wear light reflecting outfit and turn on the light at the back of your helmet. I recommend wearing a light jacket to act as a wind breaker especially during the spring or autumn months. Of course you could buy special bike wear but if you are just starting, I wouldn’t recommend this. I personally don’t have any special bike clothing.

Check weather conditions before starting your ride. This spring has been crazy – I quickly learnt my lesson.

Rules

In Ontario, you are not supposed to ride your bike on the footpath. You could be fined if you do. It is also not safe to ride on the footpath. You could easily bump into people and it also becomes difficult for cars coming out of driveways to see you. It is also mandatory that you have a front light so that other vehicles on the road are aware that you are there.

Please take a moment to read through Ontario’s Guide to Safe Cycling

Learn proper hand signals. Remember you have the same responsibility as other 4 wheelers on the road. Most of the rules that apply to other vehicles also apply to you.

Finally when you are ready, go out there, greet the road with those tires, with the wind in your face and ride…!

Happy Bike Month! 🙂

kapil biking

 

 

 

 

Why I Love the Seasons in Canada

Most people who are not Canadians think that Canada is nothing more than a cold wintery land, but that is far from the truth. Yes there are parts of Canada which seem to receive more winter than there are days in a year, but most Canadians get to experience each of the 4 seasons. Summer, Winter, Spring and Autumn.

Winter

nathan-philips-square-toronto_60487_600x450
Source: nationalgeographic.com

Winter is awesome. Do you know why? Because snow is awesome,  snow is beautiful. There cannot be a white christmas without snow and honestly a Christmas isn’t really Christmas until there is snow on the ground. I know because until the age of 17 the only time I saw a  snowy Christmas was in movies. It was not until I actually experienced a snowy Christmas that I knew there was no better way to experience this holiday.

Source: http://www.hockeycanada.ca/en-ca/news/mcdonalds-fan-zone-opens-friday-at-2015-iihf-world-junior-championship-in-montreal-que
Source: http://www.hockeycanada.ca

Winter in Canada means winter sports – ice skating, hockey, ice fishing, skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing, building snow angels, snow fights and so much more. Ice Hockey, or just Hockey as it is called in Canada is something that helped me get introduced to the Canadian culture when I first moved here. Not only that, Hockey is actually a very fun game to watch. It’s fast-paced with constant action and has committed die hard fans of the game. In fact one of my unforgettable moments of life is related to Hockey.  Whether it’s hockey or skating on a frozen lake, winter gives many bonding experiences for families.

Niagara Falls, Canada in Winter
photographed by Kapil Bulsara. kapilbulsara.com

It also helps that winter looks stunningly beautiful. Take a look at this picture of Niagara Falls in winter.

Another thing that I like about Winter is that it gives you an appreciation of all the other seasons. As much as all the fun things that happen in Winter, it is not an easy season. It can sometimes take a toll on people especially from getting bombarded by snow storms, or extremely cold wind chills. But that is also something that I like about winter – it gives you an appreciation of the other seasons. It gives you something to look forward to.

Spring

Cheery Blossom
Photograph by Kapil Bulsara. kapilbulsara.com

The frost melts, the snow turns to rain to give much needed source of life to the earth. The joy of casting away winter boots and winter jackets and winter tires and winter everything for the first time in months gives a bright new outlook to the coming months, the same way that the ground that was frozen for months turns green to mark the beginning of pleasant things to come and the lifeless branches of trees that seemed to have disappeared start to show signs of life, declaring the start of a new season with the first flowers in months.

Many Canadians start their gardening projects in spring, cyclists start riding again and you start to see more people on walking on walkways.

Summer

source: cbc.ca
source: cbc.ca
Kapil Bulsara kapilbulsara.com
Kapil Bulsara
kapilbulsara.com

The polar opposite of Winter, Summer is the season of BBQ, outdoor sports such as soccer baseball and volleyball, picnics in parks, tanning at beaches, cottage trips, swimming in lakes, running, jogging, cycling, and a whole lot more. T-Shirts, shorts, sundresses and skirts, flip-flops and sandals and hats and cool shades – what’s not to love about summer? Summer is another big season for families and friends to bond whether it is having drinks on a patio or sleeping in a tent under the stars on a summer camping trip.

There are also many festivals and events that take place in the summer. For 3 amazing months Canadians forget that they ever knew what winter was and soak in all the warmth of the season. Summer is a time for celebration for one more reason – Canada Day!

Autumn

Source: http://crazy-frankenstein.com/
Source: http://crazy-frankenstein.com/

Out of all the seasons in Canada, the most bright and colourful one is Autumn. You will find the symbolic Canadian maple tree displaying yellow, bright orange and red across the country. It marks the end of summer as the air starts to get chilly. Shorts and dresses fade to make way for warm hoodies and light jackets. The last few trips to the cottage to experience the beautiful colours displayed by nature and to indulge in the final s’more of the year while sitting gathered around family or friends around a campfire make this season worthwhile.

That’s my take on the beautiful seasons in Canada. Each seasons makes us Canadians appreciate all the other seasons and since each season will only last 3 months we know how to make it count.