Summertime

Summer is a time to kick back and relax. That does not necessarily mean being inactive, but what it does mean to me is taking a break from social media and getting outdoors to enjoy the sun, the scenery, and real people doing real things. I have very little time now to post on social media as I am endeavouring to live my life to the fullest, by my standards, and not that which is imposed on us by the constant nagging of social media.

Here is a short video of some of my playtime activities to keep the electronically dependant happy for a least…well..um…30 seconds or so ūüôā

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Road Cycling Rules!

Another very short video clip of another recent ride through the Wascana Park trail system with a friend. For those of you who have have travelled to New York and strolled within the New York Central Park, I would like to draw a comparison. The Wascana Park system in our Queen city dwarfs Central Park by several orders of magnitude. In fact, just cycling the trail system from the far Northwest part of our city to the South East is approximately a 50km out-and-back trip. That only represents riding in the park in two basic directions, NW to SE, as the Wascana trail system extends through much of the city in several different directions. That same cycling friend I mentioned earlier (the Randonneur in the yellow jacket) has literally ridden most of the streets of Regina, including the trail system with his GPS, and then mapped it out. Google maps is eternally grateful for his labour of love ūüôā

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The Beach Life: New Zealand

Muriwai

Muriwai, also called Muriwai Beach, is a coastal community on the west coast of the Auckland Region in the North Island of New Zealand. The black-sand surf beach and surrounding area is a popular recreational area for Aucklanders. Gannets nest there in a large colony on the rocks.

Shelly Beach

Shelly Park is an eastern suburb of Auckland, in northern New Zealand. The suburb is in the Howick ward, one of thirteen electoral divisions of the Auckland Council. According to the 2006 census, Shelly Park has a population of 2097. It is named after the beach of the same name.

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Rarotonga: Cook Islands

Rarotonga is the largest of the Cook Islands, a nation of fifteen¬†islands in the central South Pacific. Volcanic peaks, ridges and rainforest dominate its interior. A thirty-two kilometre, round-the-island road links the beaches, coastal lagoon and reefs that make scuba diving and snorkeling popular. The Cross-Island Track is a rugged hiking trail that passes 650m Te Rua Manga peak, or “The Needle.”

Area: 67.19 km²
Max length: 11 km
Population: 13,095 (2011) UNdata
Archipelago: Cook Islands

Wikipedia 

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Are the Prairies Really That Flat?

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A typical prairie gravel road pointing towards the almost infinite distance of the horizon.

I love the southern Saskatchewan prairies. Regina is well-known as one of the cities with the highest recorded annual sunshine in Canada. We also have four beautiful and distinct seasons to cherish and to explore our wide open spaces.

As one who has explored and photographed just about every nook and cranny of this great province, I can unequivocally declare that Saskatchewan is anything but FLAT in its topography and terrain.

Nevertheless, for the hordes of travellers who traverse Saskatchewan via the Trans-Canada highway near my home, the above photograph is typically what they see. The uninitiated often casually comment that the prairies are boring and there is nothing to see. There couldn’t be anything farther from the truth.

The terrain and flora and fauna of Saskatchewan is magnificently diverse. A person only has to open their eyes and look intently.

I enjoy exploring a roughly 150 km radius from my home on my road bike. Some days I stick to the relatively flat terrain or perhaps the rolling hills. Other days, I venture out to the Qu’Appelle valley that surrounds our Queen city to the west, north and east of my home. Some of my favourite routes include steep (7 to 10 percent) climbs around Lumsden, Silton, Southey, and Fort Qu’Appelle. These regions are very¬†picturesque and uniquely¬†challenging to ride on a road bike, or perhaps a gravel or mountain bike.¬†At a body weight of 100kg, I look more like a track sprinter than a road cyclist. Climbing the hills of our province are never easy, but they do prepare me for the long and steep mountain passes of the Canadian Rockies or the mountains of Montana.

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A short but sustained and steep (maximum of ten percent) climb out of the Lumsden valley. This one is gut-wrenching for big cyclists. The flyweight climbers just zoom by like I am standing still. The picture is deceptive as it is already at seven percent grade with the steep stuff behind me and yet to come in the horizon.

 

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Looking back at another steep climb (7 to 8 percent) out of the Lumsden valley. This is one of my favourite hills to climb on a route that takes approximately 2.5-3 hours (easy endurance pace) and a round trip of 65 kilometres from my home.

The typical and perpetually strong prairie winds produce some very strong road cyclists in the south of our province. Some of which have gone on to national, olympic, and even professional teams like Columbia Highroad and Rally Cycling.

This season I am planning on recording¬†my cycling routes and other adventures, via a new Garmin Virb¬†camera, and sharing them with friends and followers on WordPress and elsewhere. Don’t worry, as a reasonably skilled videographer and video-post artist, I promise only to intrigue and entertain you ūüôā

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After a tough ride in the hills of the Qu’Appelle Valley, I just want to go home, shower, and get something nourishing to eat and drink.

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Playing in Pahi, New Zealand

Pahi
Pahi, New Zealand. ©2017 EclecticChoices. All rights reserved.

The sun is low on the horizon over the sea. Some are still on the beach playing in the surf and walking along the warm sand of the shoreline. Life is good.

#LoveLife

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