Friday, November 21, 2014


My last day in Portland, a few weeks back, I woke up early and went for a walk in the pre-dawn dark. After grabbing an Americano at Crema, I began meandering back to my guest-house, when the skies opened, and I found myself under a full-on down-pour.

It had been drizzling pretty much the whole time I was in Portland, but I quickly learned that true Portlandians just ignore drizzle. (In fact, I stopped using my umbrella the first day when I sheepishly realized no one else used one. I was made to feel like a wuss holding that thing over my head.) But that was a mere mist; this was real rain.  Looking for shelter, I ducked into the nearest place with lights on, which happened to be Universal Cycle. It was 6:45 am. And the place was open for business.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Happy Toes

My feet are humming. They’ve been like this all day. Tingling, buzzing, a low-level vibrating. Call it a circulatory hangover from this morning’s bender of a frigid bike commute. For me, this thrumming sensation in my toes is a surefire sign that winter cycling season is upon us.

Thursday, November 6, 2014


Is this the Last Nice Day of the season? Could be. It’s 10 degrees C in Edmonton, downright balmy for a time of year when the highs and lows are dominated by single digits and minus signs. You barely need a jacket out there. On a gift of a day like this, I think to myself: I absolutely have to get out on my bike.