A filly named Yellow

bike and beanFirst bike ride of the season today.

I’m a little slow out of the gate. Ok, a lot slow. I used to start riding as early as the end of March, weather depending. I’d be commuting to work on most dry days, and also riding on weekends with Velo Halifax.

Life has been a bit upsidedown the past few years, though, causing me to be out of the cycling habit. And it can be hard to re-establish a habit, even if it’s something you love.

The deterrents on the commuting front include getting a bike out of a storage room that I can barely turn around in, and down three flights of stairs. (Have I mentioned I’m not fond of condo living?) I’ve been pondering the safest routes to get on and off peninsular Halifax during rush hours. (Have I mentioned I miss living on the peninsula?) Now that my YMCA has closed for rebuilding, I have to get used to a new location for locking up and showering which requires hauling around toiletries and a towel. (Have I mentioned how much I already miss my beloved Y?) And then there’s the daunting prospect of a ginormous hill climb to get home at the end of the day, followed by carrying the bike back up three flights of stairs and into the cramped storage room. (Have a mentioned the reaction I got when I suggested at the condo AGM that we install a bike rack in the huge waste of space that is our lobby?)

Same storage closet and stairs issues for weekend rides, although at least with a lighter bike. Plus I’m up to my armpits in school work so taking a whole day for a Velo ride is quite an indulgence.

bike and bean via rail trailsBut today I broke free. (This is where you should hear Queen as the soundtrack to this blog.) I got out on Yellow for a few hours. We had a zippy ride along the BLT and St. Margaret’s Bay rail trails to the Bike and Bean coffee shop. It’s a converted train station, with a bike shop in the attached caboose. It was crawling with hungry, caffeine-gulping cyclists, including a couple from my club.

Oh, I suppose I should introduce Yellow. She’s my touring bike. Her name is Yellow. Because she is. And she’s a she. My Giant mountain bike is genderless, but Yellow, a gorgeous Cannondale, is definitely a she. You can tell just by looking at her. It was love at first sight, right there in the middle of Cyclesmith. She’s a sturdy little filly, serving as a fine pack mule for touring. But she also loves speed. Apologies for not obeying the 20 km/hour speed limit on the trails. It’s not my fault. Yellow’s gotta do what Yellow’s gotta do. She’s been cooped up for too long.

We flew along the trails, enjoying the quiet breeze, nodding hello to everyone we met. (Well, I nodded.) I had several delicious moments of riding under leafy canopies, feeling like I was pedalling into a secret. Even with lots of folks at various points along the trail, these moments made me feel like it was all mine to be discovered.

bike and bean lunchLunch at the Bike and Bean was delicious, too. A turkey, provolone and cran mayo panini and Java Blend’s always reliable Fog City coffee. And a peanut butter ball. Mmmmmm, peanut butter balls, mmmmmm.

Only 36 km. Laughably short compared to the distances I used to do all the time. But a good little spring warm up. Even if it’s officially day two of summer.

Better late than never.



Here’s to summer

Three years ago today was an identical June day. Sunny, warm, with a light breeze. And I got married.

But I can’t say that today is our third anniversary.

It was really over within six months. Officially over before the second anniversary. And close to being legally over now.

burgerSurprisingly, I’m not blue. I had a normal, productive work day. Made progress with school work. Rhumba-ed, cha cha-ed and samba-ed the evening away in dance class. Grilled up a thick, juicy burger to enjoy on the balcony with an episode of House on Netflix. (Laptops and earphones are wonderful things.)

I will always note the date. It’s just like noting the date my brother died. That odd feeling when I see it as the date for an event, or as the expiry date on a carton of milk.

But I must be getting somewhere if the day has come and gone mostly like any other.

Here’s to summer and burgers and turning corners, one step at a time.



Sunny, lemony birthday

yvette birthday basketThis is my friend, Yvette. She’s been one of my best friends since we met at age 13 in junior high. She was cute as a button then, and she still is. Just look at that smile.

Today is her birthday. She’s posing here with her birthday present from her significant other. He not only got her exactly what she wanted – a lovely new bike basket – but he also filled it with flowers. He’s a keeper.

It’s a gorgeous sunny day, after a long winter and a less than springy spring. Birds are chirping. Lawn mowers are buzzing. A perfect day for a birthday.

We’re heading out to brunch soon with the gang – well, at least as much of the gang as we can muster. Some are following professional pursuits to other provinces. Some are busy with kids. Some are taking advantage of perfect weather to get the kayaks on the water, including Yvette’s fella. He’d already taken her out for a birthday dinner last night, so she gave him her blessing to go paddling – which proves she’s a keeper, too.

lemon curdI thought I’d add an extra bit of sunshine to Yvette’s day. She’s been in love with my lemon curd since her first taste about 10 years ago. So I squeezed the sun out of four lemons and cooked it up into into a bottle of this delicious thick sauce.

I also added several outbursts of laughter because I was listening to Stuart McLean’s “Car Wash” story on the Vinyl Cafe podcast. I often listen to these podcasts while cooking. So there’s lots of good nutritious laughter cooked and baked into my food.

I like this lemon curd best on a vanilla cheesecake strewn with berries. But Yvette just might savour a spoonful or two right from the jar.