Under my bum

24 07 2011

Summer! Finally!

Sunday was the first time I’d suited up for a ride with less than three layers of Underarmour and cycling jersies. It was the first time I didn’t even consider packing along my arm warmers, or putting on my knickers. It was sunny and it was warm. It was July 24!

Of course, all that sun and warmth is a mixed blessing. Suddenly I had to worry about slathering on sun screen and adding a tube to my already stuffed pockets for reapplication halfway through my ride. And I had to measure my pace to ensure I didn’t overheat.

Usually these are things I have to worry about in May, then have totally acclimated by July. But that’s how crummy our summer has been.

About those pockets; they’re causing me some dismay.

As I don’t want to besmirch the smooth, sexy lines of the Lapierre, I refuse to add a seat bag to carry around those essentials for minor repairs on the road. In fact, I didn’t have a seat bag on the Orbea either. So the spare tube, CO2 cartridges, tire levers, allen keys, ID and money, condo keys, cell phone and camera must all go in the pockets of my jersey. It looks quite bulgy. And I can never remember in which pocket I’ve put what, so it’s often a scramble when the phone rings or I want to take a photo. My riding would be so much easier if I had a team car accompany me.

As Katie had planned a run in the country at her parents’ place, I headed that way as well, a 90 kilometer trek with two significant climbs, including the knee-bursting Killer Hill, with its 25% gradient for about 500 meters!

My lunch stop was going to be one of my favorite bistros, but when I went to place my order for their salmon sandwich on a baguette, I was advised they didn’t sell sandwiches on Sunday, only brunch. Um, isn’t lunch the unch component of brunch, and aren’t sandwiches a usual component of said lunch? And it’s not like customers were busting down their doors for their brunch menus; I was the only one in the place!

I moved on to my backup bistro in a development called Newport Village.

For the most part the suburbs are a disaster of dashed mixed-development dreams. Builders include street level retail space at the base of their condo towers then can’t find tenants or lease to payday loan outfits or 99 cent pizza joints. Retail of last resort.

But Newport Village is a planned development that works. Amidst the mix of tall towers and four-storey condos there’s a small town square occupied by a green grocer and an Italian bakery/deli, surrounded by wide sidewalks and a healthy mixture of stores like a butcher, fish monger, clothing boutiques, a sushi restaurant, a pub, a running store and more. The planted trees are thriving, there are plenty of park benches on which to rest in their shade.

Newport Village is one of my favorite places for a pit stop.

It’s a vibrant, lively little place that really does feel a bit like a village. People are walking about, visiting with their neighbors, doing their shopping. If only it was better served by transit, it would probably be easy to live there and not require a car, a pretty amazing achievement for suburbia.

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