Weather Calls the Shots

88th turns into River Road, which is as far north as I can go

88th turns into River Road, which is as far north as I can go

In the last few weeks the river, and 88th Avenue have become close!

This field is not usually under water
This field is not usually under water
Coming to get you!
Coming to get you!

The police were at the major intersections, and also going door to door updating people.

Standing on guard
Standing on guard

And now I have a tent!

How does it look?
How does it look?
Tent, check...sleeping bag, check...sun...hmm...
Tent, check…sleeping bag, check…sun…hmm…

Since we last spoke I have changed a few REAL flat tires, including the back tire. What a greasy mess! But I did it, and the tire did not fall off when I rode to town on it. I need to work out the ‘cleaning up after changing the back tire’ part of this plan though. I wrestled with the chain for too long, but I won!!

And one more important thing: I was planning on updating this blog, on the road, with the app on my iPhone, but it seems there is a problem with this app, and WordPress does not seem to be working on the solving of it, so I may be limited to updates on the Facebook group ‘Clicker Training Road Trip CTRT’. You may want to join that, just in case.


Twenty Pounds of Water

We finally did another training run, of thirty miles, carrying twenty pounds of ‘freight’; water.

Twenty Pounds of Water

Twenty Pounds of Water

It has been awhile since we had a warm, sunny day, and this one was both. The trip took longer, since I stopped several times, to make sure I got some decent photos, riding along the USA/Canada border.

Heading east
Heading east

Looking south, into the United States of America, under water it appears.

The USA is under water
The USA is under water

On the left is Canada, and on the right is the USA.

Canada, left and USA, right.
Canada, left and USA, right.

USA is ten feet from my right hand, but there is a border crossing about a mile ahead.

Mount Baker off in the distance
Mount Baker off in the distance

Continued on, stopped at McDonalds, and tried to send this post from there, but the photos would not load, so I waited til the next day and did them on the computer. Why did they not work? No wifi? I don’t know.

Went fifteen miles, and stopped at a bike shop in Fort Langley, planning to spend $34 on a chain cleaner. Whoops! One hundred dollars later…

Chain cleaner, light, refil for chain cleaner, lock
Chain cleaner, light, refil for chain cleaner, lock

I know there are better locks, but they weigh five pounds!

Headed back to Langley, called a friend, to invite him for coffee, but instead, he invited me for dinner. So my ‘short’ ride turned into an all day affair, but such a beautiful day it was!

So today I cleaned the bike, all over, including the chain, then oiled the chain. Doing that also helps me notice anything that needs tightening, and I did find a few of those things. I have a bike tool set, but I need a set of wrenches that allow me to get into tight spaces.

Next time we have a nice sunny day I want to put up the tent, and also light the stove. Best not to leave that for when it counts.

A Flat Tire!

Today I had my first flat tire.  It worked out well, actually.  I got up, planning to ride to town, walked over to my bike, sitting inside my warm house, and, as always, felt both tires, before heading out.  Whoops.  No air in one.  Now how did that happen?

I am unable to read and interpret written instructions, perhaps an Aspergers thing, I don’t know. I experimented with the ‘quick release’ lever on the tire, flipped it over, and unscrewed the thing on the opposite side, taking the axle apart.  Probably as it is ‘quick release’ I shouldn’t need to take the whole thing apart, but who knows? The only thing people say to me, about changing a tire is ‘it is easy’.  No, it isn’t, if you don’t know how.

Later a friend dropped by, and sat and told me how to take the tire off, which also included loosening the brake cables.  Used the tools I have to take the tire off, and the tube off.  Pumped air into the tube. There is some secret about attaching the pump to the tire, which I do not know, but somehow we accidently managed to put air into the tube.

Put the tube into a sink full of water, and slowly squished the tube all around, finally finding a place where air bubbled out. Drew a circle around the little hole in the tube, so the hole could be found again.  Patched the hole. 

I carefully felt around on the inside of the tire, for anything that was protruding, which may have been the cause of the hole.  Nothing.  Looked all around the outside edge of the tire, in case I could find, or feel anything which may have been the cause of the hole. Yes!!  A teeny, teeny bit of glass.  It was in the right part of the tire, and maybe it was larger before it got jammed into the tire, and then made the hole in the tube.

It was very hard to put the tube, and the tire back onto the metal wheel, but I, or, we, did it. I think it takes a lot of strength, or maybe coordination.  Also, maybe practice.

Put the tire back on, got the axle on, and got the brake cable back on.

I think the back tire would be harder, especially with Vinnie’s cage, the pannier rack, and panniers on it.  Tipping the bike upside down would probably make it easier, but it would need to balance on top of Vinnie’s cage.

I have been told by a bike shop in White Rock, that if I stop in, they will show me how to do this, and that was my plan, and hopefully I can do this tomorrow.

It has been raining furiously, and then blazing sun, then POURING rain, then blasting sun, then both at the same time. My iPhone says it should be sunny, and no rain tomorrow.  I hope to do a long ride to this bike shop, making it into 30 miles, hauling 20 pounds of water, in the Bob trailer. Hopefully they will watch me, while I change the back tire.  I want to do this a few times, to at least feel a little more secure knowing that I can (maybe) change a tire.

I think maybe I also need to know how to replace a spoke or two. I am following the blog of ‘Jeremy’ as he rides across the USA… with no helmet. He is heading west, and is now in Kentucky. Part of his bike just seized up, and his tire and pedals would not turn.  I have no idea why this happened, but I would at least like to know a few things about bike first aid.

Then, on June 23rd, in Vancouver, there is a Mountain Equipment Coop bike fest, where they are doing a demo on this type of thing, I guess. I want to go to that.  It might mean putting my bike on the front of a bus, going to the rapid transit (Skytrain) and carrying my bike on that, to Vancouver. They have ‘Bike Valet’ there, which is a free place that you can safely put your bike, while you walk around.  I’d like to do that, as that would all be valuable experience.

Also, if it stays sunny for a bit, I want to set up the tent, for practice, and light the stove, making sure I know how to do this stuff. Makes it less stressful when it really counts!

Ok, that’s it.  Let’s hope I can go to the bike place tomorrow, and learn a bit more.






I Rode Forty Miles!

Yes, I did!  I got tired of riding 25 miles, and turning around at the same spot, which is the route I’ll be taking, when I start the ‘Clicker Training Road Trip’ in a few weeks, so I headed out in a different direction, planning to go further.  Much further. Vinnie seemed fine as well.  It was a six hour day, though ‘Map My Ride’ says it was a 4+ hour ride.  We had a few stops along the way.  Have a look:   And today (the day after) I feel fine.  No soreness at all!


Also, I made a group on Facebook, called: ‘Clicker Training Road Trip CTRT’ as a way for people to easily contact me while on the journey.  Please join, no matter where you live, I’d love to hear from you.


Also, please tell others about this project, and spread the word.  I am making a video to explain it, and that will be done in a few days.  Once that’s done I’ll be starting to book places to stop and talk about (and demo) clicker training along the way.  Times in either Ladner or Tsawwassen are available.  Contact me  and we can work out those sessions. Looking forward to meeting you, as is Vinnie.  Vinnie as NEVER met anyone that he doesn’t go wild over, and he’ll be thrilled to meet you, as well.


Training is Helping

I have been lazy about posting here, but I have not been lazy about going on training runs…so here is an update of those.

I was doing round trips of 20 miles, with a couple of trips back and forth to town a few times a week, which are about 15 miles. When I first started going back and forth to town there were ten hills that I had to walk up. I guess I’m getting fitter, since now there is only one hill that I need to walk up, pushing the bike, and I am not walking as long a distance on that hill, and recover much faster on it.

One day, on my long ride, I detoured, and went by a garden center, putting 40 pounds of top soil in the Bob trailer. My ride for that day ended up being 32 miles long, hauling that top soil 8 miles. Since that was 1/3 of my body weight, that was not nice! On the flat it was great, but I was not on the flat, and I was really getting tossed around by the trailer, hauling that much weight. I decided that I would only be putting about 30 pounds, at the most, in the trailer, for the CTRT.

I upped my training rides to a total of 25 miles, round trip, hauling the Bob, once a week, and did that three times, til it felt easier. Then I filled a milk jug with water, which would be ten pounds, and put that in the trailer, and did the run with that.

Ten pounds of weight
Ten pounds of weight

Last weekend, I did my 2nd ride, with 15 pounds, and my schedule calls for one more ride like that; 25 mile round trip, hauling 15 pounds. Not too bad. Then I will up it to 25 miles, with 20 pounds of weight. Needless to say, rides to town and back are getting easier. No trailer with extra weight in it seems like a treat! Before the end of June, I should have done three long(ish) rides with 20 pounds in the trailer.

My ‘out’ trip has no hills of any consequence, since I am heading for the ocean, and sea level, so if I am hauling more weight, and going a longer distance than I have trained on so far, that shouldn’t be too difficult. And, really, by the time I return, I should be stronger, I hope!

Killer 'S' hill with no shoulder to walk on
Killer ‘S’ hill with no shoulder to walk on

What does my view look like, as I ride around Boundary Bay, heading for the ferry?

Looking ahead, and north
Looking ahead, and north

Where in the world am I?

About 3 hours from the ferry
About 3 hours from the ferry

More next time!

2nd Long Training Ride

I used my Map My Ride app to show this ride.  I planned to ride 1 1/2 hrs out, and then turn around, and come back, making it 3 hours, and probably 20 miles.  Turning around I decided to follow the road that merged onto Hwy 99, but I forgot that I would then be taken way off my route, and it was a long, long, uphill ride.

I met a gentleman also out for a ride, and I learned a lot from him.  He and his friend have their bikes flown somewhere in the world, and spend 3 weeks riding there.  He told me about riding around Ireland.  He complimented me on my ability to ride up the hill.  Well, thank you, but I know he was only being polite.  However, I am a lot stronger than when I started, I can feel that now.

That day I got to my turn around point ten minutes sooner than the previous week.  I wasn’t intentionally going faster, but I guess I am stronger. I turn around before I actually have ridden 1 1/2 hours, because at that point I’d need to cross the street that is merging onto Hwy 99, and then down a lovely long hill, where, of course, I’d need to turn right around, and climb back up.

Most likely, for my next long training ride, I will do 2 hours out, and then back, so I will be going down that hill, and as I seem to be getting stronger each time, hopefully, the climb back up will not be so difficult.

I want to put the Map My Ride ride for that day here.  I also need to find out if I can do that using only my iPhone, as I am not planning on taking my computer with me, on the Clicker Training Road Trip. If anyone knows how I can do that, I’d appreciate hearing from you.

 Does anyone know how I can make the embed thing actually embed? I did copy the code for that, but no luck making it work, below.

40.46 km Road Cycling on 2012-04-15 15:32

Moving into the Big Time

Accomplishing a goal has a few steps. First you need to know what the end step is…though of course there is no end, but you do need to be aiming somewhere, or you will get…no where.

So, yesterday, riding my bike back from town, for the first time, since I started riding the 7 miles to town, and then back, I rode up only ONE hill on the way home. And that is a HILL. A SERIOUS hill. I don’t think I will EVER ride up that hill. I know that hill intimately. It starts sneakily about a mile away, with a teeny rise, that is no problem (now) for me to ride along.

In the beginning (nearly two years ago) my mind would complain loudly about the slope of that road. I am not calling that part a hill, because it isn’t, but it is a long, slow, sneaky rise. Now I can do it without thinking about it, but in the beginning, even though I could ride it, I was not happy. Now I ride along it, thinking about the HILL to come.

Now THAT is a HILL. It starts before the cross street, and makes me work quite a bit, before I get to the cross street, which is level, trying to trick me into thinking that I made it. But no…the worst is yet to come. After that cross street it REALLY turns mean. Sharp uphill rise, and long LONG before even the one quarter way mark I cannot ride anymore, and I need to walk. And I can barely walk (and push the bike) up that HILL. Finally, after a lifetime, I get onto the level, and I move the bike over along the stone wall, and lean it there. I get my drink, shakily walk ahead of the bike, and sit on the wall, while my heart and lungs slowly come back to normal.

After nearly two years of that hill, I can ride up to, and across the street, looking back over my shoulder for cars turning onto that street. If more than two cars are waiting to turn onto the main road from that street, I need to get off and walk, as I don’t really have enough room (or strength) to work my way through, or around them.

Most of the time there are no cars waiting, so I ride across the street, and hit the next (serious) part of that hill. There is a telephone pole about ten or 15 feet past the entrance, and I aim to reach that, and sometimes I do, and sometimes not.

And sometimes now, I can get back on the bike before I am quite at the top of that hill, just where it starts to kind of level out, and I can begin riding again, which means I don’t need to sit and rest. Or maybe I’d like to sit and rest, but it is not VITAL for my being able to continue. So, I guess I have improved since I started that route.

When I first started, I had to walk up seven hills, going home. There are more hills going home than going to town. Yesterday was no different on that HILL. I walked up it, and rested at the top for maybe 7 minutes, but I guess I really am getting stronger, because I rode up all the rest of the hills on the way home, and generally now, I walk up three of them.

So yesterday was a milestone! Walked up only ONE hill!

And for my upcoming trip I got: biker shorts: now I can at least look like a real bike rider

a bike pump, and a little package of patches for holes. This is ‘insurance’. You know…if you are prepared, you won’t need them. Well, I am not really ‘prepared’ as I don’t know how to change a flat. That is on my list of ‘to do’ things. If I know how, then I REALLY (I hope) won’t need it.

A stove I looked at the web site of Mountain Equipment Co-op and found the one that sounded best for me, then went into Vancouver, on the bus (a long trip) and looked at what they had, talked to the guy who knew what he was talking about, and ended up getting the one I was planning on.

And, tomorrow I am planning to do my 2nd training ride, of 1 1/2 hours out and back. Maybe one more of these and then I will do a two hour out and back ride. That is probably a third, to a half of the distance I plan to do on my first day of the trip, so I am on schedule.

I think I have an ‘in’ to get a tent, so, really, all I need now is a sleeping bag, and maybe a pad for under it.

I just found a book in the library written by a guy who rode his bike from Newfoundland to Latin America, over a bunch of years. His name is Martin Lobigs, and his book is called ‘A Life on Wheels.’

I am also following the blog of ‘Jeremy’ who is one month into his trip (in real life) right now, and is in Carolina, I guess. He seems like a very nice young man. He doesn’t say the state in his videos or blog posts. I also don’t know where he is aiming at, except ‘west’. Also, for some strange reason, he is not wearing a helmet. You can still die wearing a helmet, but I’d still think it is a good idea to wear one. At least he is wearing proper shoes now. He started out with flip flops.

There are actually a lot of people either on bike trips right now, or who have made trips, and written about them, and put videos on You Tube, which is helpful.

So maybe I will use my ‘Map My Ride’ app, and post that tomorrow, after my training run, and see how it works on here. Stay tuned.

Thinking about the future
Thinking about the future


These days, with the internet, and the iPhone, doing a project such as this is made much easier. People will be able to know where I am, and find me, and also have a look at what I am doing so much easier than before this was available to them. I am going to talk about what I have available thanks to this.

I have many photography apps on my iPhone, and just went through them, getting rid of ones that were not easy to use, and good at what they did. So I now have 25 photography apps which help me make my pictures look better.

Along that same line, I have a gorilla tripod, and after sending four dollars to Japan (and why couldn’t I have found it here?!) I also have a case that I attached to the tripod, to let me use the tripod even better:

gorilla tripod
gorilla tripod

I can attach the camera to the bike while I ride, and video that safely. I’d like some sort of helmet cam, but that can wait for now.

Sessions can be videoed, either for uploading, for many to view, or for showing people attending the event, what is happening. Watching something after it is over can help so much with being able to understand things better.

When I stop to do information sessions on clicker training, I will have handouts available, which are saved in my discussion list File section, where participants can download them from. Those who know me, know that I am using Sue Ailsby’s Training Levels steps, and I also use Dr. Karen Overall’s Relaxation Protocol steps. I have those saved in audio, on my iPhone, and also as links on my discussion list. So when I am working dogs, or teaching, along the way, these are easily accessible. Having this available virtually, makes it easy. I can’t forget them, and they don’t weigh anything.

Besides these resources, I do have more than 60 videos on You Tube, most on dog training, and these are also quite helpful in showing what I am talking about.

People will be able to keep track of where I am, and to contact me through this blog, but also, of course, I’ll be giving updates on Facebook, allowing last minute meetings, as well as the planning of other meetings and get togethers.

So thanks to the technology we have, these days, I can let people know where I am, and they can easily contact me, allowing us to set up sessions. Handouts and videos are all available, on line, which means all I need to do is let group leaders tell people what they need to access, and go over, before I arrive, making sure we are all on the same page. This saves time spent on explaining the basics to people, and gives them time to spend going over it, making sure that they do understand what I will be doing, or talking about.

Twenty Mile Training Run

Beautiful day, and I rode the furthest I have ridden. One and a half hours out, then turn around and come back, which added up to about 20 miles. My thighs and calves are making little worried sounds…I’ll see how I feel over the next few days.

When I start my trip, in about July, I will be heading west, to the ferry, which is about 30 miles from me. Or it would be, if I were a crow. But being human, I need to go around the giant body of water, which is part of the Pacific Ocean, and called Boundary Bay.

So, when I have ridden an hour, I arrive at Highway 99, and then head north, and that is on a very slight hill. Not too bad though. Today I had two minutes left in my plan of ‘ride toward my goal’ for 90 minutes. At the end of that time I was being squished between Highway 99 and a busy entrance lane of cars on my right.

Being a little tired, with a bit of a sore neck, I knew I would need to stop, get off the bike, turn, and wait for a space, before hurrying across the lane that was merging with the highway. Then I would have been on a downward sloping hill, and well before I reached the bottom, my two remaining minutes would have been up.

So I wisely decided to end that day’s run, and turn around and head back. This is the furthest I have ridden, and really, two minutes would not have made that much of a difference, unless I was tired enough that I got ‘messed up’ trying to make it across that lane. Not a good idea.

So, I got off my bike, in the small painted wedge of pavement, between the two lanes of vehicles (though the one on my right was actually empty at that time) turned, got back on, and wondered how I was going to do working my way 3 miles back to where I got on this highway, because it was all very slightly up hill. But, I did fine. I think I am getting stronger.

Then we (Vinnie and I) headed east, toward the road that leads down across the US/Canada border. We don’t go down it, just cross it, and the shoulders are very wide. We stopped at the store there, and got a garlic sausage bun that a guy was selling there, and had a break. Vinnie is a great passenger, but his tail wags wildly when I open his cage, and lift him out. He was quite impressed with the sausage bun that I shared with him.

Taking a Break

Then, having done 2/3s of our planned run today, it was back on the bike, thinking about the hill I will need to walk up.

Ok, let's go
Ok, let's go

And here is that darned ‘S’ hill. Not nice! Time to get off and push.

Looking down the hill
Looking down the hill
Looking up the hill
Looking up the hill

But the view was pretty:

Blue sky and sunshine
Blue sky and sunshine

We’ll do another run like this in a week or so, when I recover!