Man's Greatest Invention

When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments. Here was a machine of precision and balance for the convenience of man. And (unlike subsequent inventions for man's convenience) the more he used it, the fitter his body became. Here, for once, was a product of man's brain that was entirely beneficial to those who used it, and of no harm or irritation to others. Progress should have stopped when man invented the bicycle. - Elizabeth West

Purpose and Mission


To share our experience and to encourage and inspire others to use a bicycle as a form of year round recreation and transportation. To be an example of living car-free and to help others to make the transition to having a car-light or car-free life style.

Our bodies is the engine that moves us.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

How's your engine running?

I was 9 years old when I received my first motorized two wheeler.  I was hooked on speed from the very first moment.  Acceleration was just a twist of the wrist away.  It was the start of my relationship with the internal combustion engine.  I owned motorcycles for the next 30 years.



During the 30 years in which I was blowing smoke out my exhaust pipes, I was also taking in smoke in the form of cigarettes.  I guess the most I can hope for now is that there is enough time for my body to repair itself from the smoke damage. 



These days I like my acceleration to come from the engine within:  my own body.  One of the coolest feelings I experience is riding my fixed gear bike on the open roads; my legs pumping like a well oiled piston engine.  It's all the more gratifying to me when the engine is not using the advantage of a gear system.  It's the connection of having my feet clipped into the FG drivetrain and having the ability to carry all of the speed my engine is capable of.  It's simply a question of how hard I want to work.



My speed weapon of choice.


It's so much fun winding my engine up and putting the hammer down.  Considering how much damage my lungs suffered over the years, they still run quite well.  How's your engine running?


Saturday, June 19, 2010

A Rack Doubles the Usefulness of Your Bike

I originally heard that term coined by Grant Petersen of Rivbike and I whole heartedly agree.  I like to be completely self sufficient when I'm out riding so that requires having the right gear with me at all times. 



That would include a tire repair kit (tube, patches, tire levers), multi tool, lock, camera, food and a place to store clothing as it gets removed while the day heats up.  In the past, I would carry everything other than the tire repair kit, in a small backpack.  The repair kit would be carried in a small underseat saddlebag.  I don't like using a backpack on my bike, especially when the weather gets hotter.  Instead, I've attached a rack to my bike and have modified a set of equestrian saddlebags to fit the rack.



For the rack I have chosen the Streamliner Road DLX from Axiom.


I wanted something narrow that followed the lines of the bike's seat stays.


The saddlebags attach to the rack with leather laces.  I had a shoe repairman insert the metal eyelets.

 

The laces are simply tied inside the bags.



The saddlebags mounted to the rack.



A nice match with the Brooks saddle.



What could be more appropriate for a Saddle Up bike than an actual pair of saddlebags?











Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Carbon Bashing

There are people within the bike industry that usually have their own interests to protect that do a lot of carbon bashing.  They claim that carbon forks or carbon framed bikes are ready to explode into little pieces with just the slightest provacation.  I wonder what this guy has to say about it?

 

Double click to open in a new window and watch full screen.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What Goes Up Must Come Down

Going down Hill on a Bicycle, a Boy's Song


By Henry Charles Beeching

1859-1919

________________________________________



WITH lifted feet, hands still,

I am poised, and down the hill

Dart, with heedful mind;

The air goes by in a wind.



Swifter and yet more swift,

Till the heart with a mighty lift

Makes the lungs laugh, the throat cry: --

'O bird, see; see, bird, I fly.



'Is this, is this your joy?

O bird, then I, though a boy

For a golden moment share

Your feathery life in air!'



Say, heart, is there aught like this

In a world that is full of bliss?

'Tis more than skating, bound

Steel-shod to the level ground.



Speed slackens now; I float

Awhile in my airy boat;

Till, when the wheels scarce crawl,

My feet to the treadles fall.



Alas, that the longest hill

Must end in a vale; but still,

Who climbs with toil, wheresoever’s,

Shall find wings waiting there.






Friday, June 4, 2010

We Ride To Eat

Spending lots of time in the "saddle" means you can eat and drink more.  The more we ride, the more we want to eat and drink and we really like both!  We have teamed up with some choice restaurants in Calgary that are more than happy to accommodate a hungry groups of cyclists after an evening of riding their bikes.  Join a fellow group of food aficionados on a Friday evening group ride topped off with a gourmet meal and a drink at various "hidden treasures" throughout the city.





Leave all the details to us!  Either:  ride your bike to our meeting place or bring it in your car to that week's chosen location.  We will go out on a two to three hour round trip that ends at the starting spot.  You will be guided through some of Calgary's most scenic areas.  Once our ride is done, we will finish off the evening enjoying each other's company while eating a wonderful meal and having a drink to replenish ourselves.  The meal will be ready for us when we arrive.  All you need to do is show up ready to ride and to eat later on!




What could be better than ending a wonderful bike ride on a beautiful summer night than a great meal and great company?  Our hosts will insure than you are catered to.  Every week will be a surprise with a different cycling adventure and culinary delight. 



Come on Calgary, Saddle Up! 
Contact us for details.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Calgary Tour Rides

See Calgary from a completely different perspective.  Explore city cycling along Calgary's bike path system.  With the popularity of cycling growing, there are lots of people ready to venture out and explore but they are uncertain of where to go.  Some people are uncomfortable being in unfamiliar territory all alone and would rather ride with a group of cyclists.  They feel more secure and safe being in a group.  This is such a wonderful way to see Calgary, so don't miss out seeing this side of Calgary and the opportunity of being in nature.  We will take you on guided tours of the best that Calgary's bike path system has to offer. 

Scenes like this one are normal for our rides within the city.   Just think how awesome it will be in the spring and summer once everything is in bloom with color!



You will be fully supported with experienced cyclists and technicians on the road with you. If a breakdown should occur, someone will be there to assist you in fixing your bike.  Or, we will arrange for transportation, if need be. Should this kind of event happen for any reason, you would not be left alone to deal with it.  We will stay with you until transportation arrives.  All tour rides will return at the starting point at various locations throughout the city all season long.

Discover what looks to be "alien-like" structures in "domestic gathering places".  Large two-legged "creatures" are said to have been seen gathering here consuming food in this area during the warmer months of the year.




Come along on rides around the city and explore and discover the scenic routes through Calgary.



See a side of Calgary that you miss from the seat of a car.  


There are plenty of opportunities to snap a panoramic landscape photo.

We have three types of fun adventure rides available!!

1. Wednesday Evening Scenic Tours.  These rides start at a central location and branch out into the four corners of the city travelling through parks and nature preservations along the way. The ride will last two to three hours and finish with refreshments supplied at the end.  On occasion, there will be special events with a local Naturalist who will take you and your friends on a guided tour explaining history in the area and the nature of plants and flowers.  A ride that is also perfect for you and your family.

2.  Friday Night Dinner Rides.  Simply for the reason:  "We Ride To Eat".  The more we burn off, the more we can eat and we like that.  Burning calories and speeding up metabolism equals more food.  We get you moving out on your bike and build up your metabolism so you can enjoy a fantastic dinner at one of Calgary's local restaurants at the end of your ride.  A fun and social evening ending with dinner at some of Calgary's hidden jewels within the city.  A great date night too!

3.  Sunday Exploration and Discovery Rides.  Come out for a half or full day of riding and discover what Calgary parks have to offer. Take a ride to various areas throughout southern Alberta via gravel roads and light trails on rides that are designed for cyclocross and offroad hybrid bikes.   Be sure to bring your camera and your sunscreen for a day of adventure and fun.  Fully catered.

Contact us for details and date times.  Saddle Up Calgary!