Today’s bike ride…. a photo essay.

Hi bloggers,

If you know anything about me from following my blog, you know I like nothing more than pulling on my lycra shorts and riding on the trails around the city I live. Its fitness, its fun, and it feels wickedly kind of nekkid ;). No underwear, as per usual. 

 

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Self absorbed selfie. 

 

Ok, so I went out the front of the house this morning. The sun is shining, its not yet too hot to enjoy the day. There is no breeze at all and its a super comfortable 20C or about 70F. ‘That’s perfect for a bike ride’  I though to myself. Even the bugs are having a day off. Unbelievable.

I started my ride after pumping the tires in the shed. 50 psi, I like them kind of hard. As I pedalled off I thought about how damn nice it feels with no shirt and just a thin layer of spandex between me and the world. There was very little traffic, I took the back streets. My mission today was to ride from the south traffic bridge all the way up the river to the north traffic bridge. It probably took me about 1-2 hours, but I had no agenda, no where to be and only myself to answer to. Awesome.

 

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The south traffic bridge. 

 

 

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Sweaty jogger. I wonder if it was a personal best?

The air had a mild coolness about it as I rode onto the river trail. I stopped to grab some pictures at the area with the bench seats. A sweaty jogger came up the trail and stopped to check her watch before making the arduous climb up the steps to the parking lot above. The river level has come down a bit. It snakes its way gracefully alongside the city. In a way it divides the city, yet provides a focal point that brings us together.

 

 

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Saskatoon Shines. 

 

I crossed the first bridge and rode along the river trail on the far side of the bank. A lot of people are out enjoying the mid summer weather. There are  families and joggers, and bike riders, and everything. I rode by the skateboard park. A surprising number of people are using the park so early in the morning. I rode past the area that later would host the yoga in the park.

I continued on through the pathways at the city centre. I continued north, and rode past some bicycle cops. Eventually,  I found myself at the far north bridge. I crossed over it, taking some pictures as I crossed. Some people were fishing in the river. As I went onto the trail on the other side, I passed by a guy on his bike, out with his kids.

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The trail winds in and out of river bank tree stands, and occasionally opens up to panoramas of this beautiful city. A small furry mammal crossed the path and entered a burrow. ‘Was that a ground squirrel?’ I thought. A bee buzzed its way across my path. At the University crop area a harvester was collecting what looked like grain, loading it into trucks that drove along side it.

 

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I wonder what a police pursuit would look like on bicycles? I wonder if I could out ride them? I don’t want to find out. They have Tasers and shit. 

 

Soon enough, I was back at the Broadway area. The last piece of the trail that I took on was a windy dirt side track. It was a real rush scooting along and taking the turns and rises and falls among trees and bushes. I passed a couple of joggers, and had a close call with a bike rider coming the other way. It was a great day for a ride, and I’m happy to share it with you all, enjoy!

 

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Some tai chi ladies posing for a photo, with their fans. 

 

 

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The north traffic bridge. 

 

 

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Mural on the north bridge underpass. 

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Workout – if you are going to make omelettes, you will need to break some eggs!

Hi Bloggers,

Well I don’t think I could come up with a more insensitive blog title for what I am going through in life right now, so I’m focussed on being extra sensitive and kind hearted. Please, don’t be reading too much into the title. I made an omelette, and I literally broke a couple of eggs. This is in no way analogous for any situation, persons, or circumstances in my life at this time or in reference for past events or future reference. Phew, glad to get that out there, I get feedback from my blogs, and its not always good!

Alrighty then. This morning I went over to the Blairmore gym for a workout. It was good. The crowd there is very relaxed at about 8 am on a Saturday. The people there are just regular gym goers. Very normal people really (perhaps, except for me!!??).

So this morning’s workout was all about the biceps and triceps. Here’s what was in it:

Bicep curls on preacher bench.  3 sets of 10 reps, using a 40 then 45 then 50 lbs dumbbell.

Bicep concentration curls. Same weight.

Bicep curls on incline bench.

Tricep extension on bench.

Tricep cable curls.

On the way home, I was thinking about omelette. I got home and I cooked up a frying pan of bacon, onion, mushroom and eggs.

Later, my son was up and I helped him make pancakes.

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I’m not one of those people who post what they cook. I just don’t do that. Ever. Except today.

 

It was just awesome.

Saskatoon Pride parade – that’s sooo gay.

Hi Bloggers, disclaimer. I’m not gay. There, it’s said, we can all move on, right? Ok.

What I do appreciate is open minded people, as I am one of them myself. A little while back the Pride Parade boldly sashayed through the city streets. It was a fabulous celebration of colour and lifestyle choice. The parade was big!

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Saskatoon, I love you, man. You’re kind of open and accepting and a bit queer and artsy and you just kind of let me be me! Thank you!

 

One of the things that I really appreciated about it was that big business and organisations participated too, in order to show their support. I think this is wonderful. there was the fire brigade, the police, the navy, the school board, the TD banking organisation, first nations, and a whole lot of other community groups that were out there saying “it’s ok to be you, to be gay, or bi, or trans, or fucking straight or whatever.” 

So I’m happy to say, I took my kids to the parade. My wife/ex-wife whatever as well. We all hopped in the car and drove down together to enjoy the spectacle. It was a fun day out.

I’ve included some pictures to show you how cool it really was!

 

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Showing the love. Wonderful.

 

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Here’s our dog ‘Jack Black’. That’s my son in the picture. The kids enjoyed the parade and I think its nice to demonstrate tolerance and acceptance.

 

 

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Where can I get a maple leaf flag like this? Ohhhh Canada, you’re so gay!

 

 

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Saskatoon furries. A breed of their own.

 

 

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Native Pride. I talked to this guy. They refer to themselves as ‘two spirit people’.

 

 

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I can’t be sure but I think this lady was flirting with me.

 

Beaches near Saskatoon…

There’s a lot of things that make this city a great place to live. One of the truly awesome things is the beaches that are in the city area, and a short drive away.

You could be forgiven for thinking that Saskatchewan was a land locked farming scene with no place to sunbathe or swim, or maybe you thought it was just always under ice and snow? Well, you’d be surprised. The summers here are very sunny, and warm. This province has more lakes than you can poke a stick at, and some absolutely awesome lake and river beaches.

The great thing about the beaches, in my opinion, is that there’s something for everyone.  Here’s my breakdown of the beaches near Saskatoon.

  1. Bare ass beach. This beach is about 20 minutes drive south of the city and is located on the river. It features a large sandbank, and there’s plenty of room to spread out.  Just as the colloquial name implies, this beach is where you can go to go nude, if you want to. In reality though, one end is for the clothed people, and the other end is for those who like to go au natural. I really like this mix. The nude section is well known, and even though some sunbathers may be in sight of the clothed people, no one is hassling anyone. There’s a good mix of guys and gals who like to let it all hang out, and everyone is respectful. Awesome. The only detracting factor is that it can start looking like spring break with coolers and cans and bottles being left behind. Not cool.
  2. Cranberry flats.  Also to the south of the city, but on the opposite bank from bare-ass beach. This beach is a walk down a nature trail. Its a nice little oasis. You could be a million miles away here. The crowd that go there are mostly men, and I would suggest that its mostly gay. People are friendly and respectful here too. No spring break crowd or stepping over cups and cans left on the sand. Its awesome.

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    Cranberry Flats. https://www.tripadvisor.ca/LocationPhotoDirectLink-g155043-d7603128-i191938490-Cranberry_Flats_Conservation_Area-Saskatoon_Saskatchewan.html
  3. Poplar bluffs. This little gem is one that I only discovered recently. Its closer than bare ass beach. You can drive your car to a nearby parking lot then its a quick walk to the beach along side the river. The beach is long, and uncrowded. Its a really gem spot. I don’t know how I could have missed it before!
  4. Fred Heal canoe launch. This is another recent discovery of mine. Just a really awesome beach. Not as big as bare ass, or poplar bluffs, but a great spot. I went there recently and it was very busy, but then it was a hot sunny weekend day.

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    Fred Heal Canoe launch beach.  http://chiefwhitecapwaterway.ca/plan-your-trip/canoe-routes/
  5. The beach by the north bridge in the city. This is a big sandbar. Its a nice spot, but it gets busy with a mix of college types, and families. Its ok but I prefer a more laid back scene.
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    The beach by the north bridge. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13H29qqumt

    So there you go, not bad for a big old province in the middle of the great white north, eh?

Dancing in the Dark…

Hi Bloggers, I went to the dragon boat races today in Saskatoon. I was in a team from my work and we competed against a bunch of other teams in three different heats. It was fun and a nice warm day and a good way to mix with work colleagues and others.

As I was leaving, an iconic song came over the loudspeakers. It was Bruce Springsteen’s Dancing in the Dark. It’s got such an infectious groove. I was a kid of about 10 when it came out in 1984. I remember it well. I remember hearing it on the TV or the radio. That, along with Born in the USA, and some other stuff that was getting around at that time.

Hearing it reminded me of what are really well crafted pop/rock song that it is. I watched the video too (link below). The first thing you notice is how fresh faced our Bruce looks. He was 34 years old when he recorded this. On the video you could be forgiven for thinking he was maybe 25.

He’s got that swagger, that cheeky arrogance. A handsome face and suggestive smile and a pair of snug jeans. Women no doubt were just taken by the whole thing, and why not? But that’s not all, he was kind of approachable. He had the whole blue collar down-and-out working dog kind of image that people across the US and the world could relate to, because, well, maybe he’s just like most of us….

Reading up on the net, I learned that the film clip was recorded over two nights at St Paul, Minnesota. The girl that he pulls up on stage, that’s Courtney Cox, as in Courtney Cox who later went on to star in the 90’s sitcom Friends. I had no idea!

I like how the song has a kind of double entandra with the one side of the coin being about a guy who’s kinda lonely, and just wants to have some company, while the other side of the coin hints at a lusty young man with a gun for hire…. And the dancing in the dark, is that like, actually dancing, or is this some loaded suggestion about what happens when the lights go off after bedtime????

The synth riff, and the dreamy sax solo at the end really top it off!

Anyway, enough of my bullshit, let’s allow Bruce to lay it down

Video sourced from YouTube.

Musings from a Saskatoon Café…. Changes…

Hi Bloggers,

I had a day off yesterday. I went gym, worked out (overhead press, power cleans, one hand dumbbell rows, lunges, high step ups… good workout 😉 ). I had some downtime in the afternoon. It was a warm day. Full sunshine, very little breeze. No bugs. It was approaching perfect, in the shade.

I had a problem with my bike back wheel hub, so I packed that in the car and drove down to a back street near Broadway. I took the wheel into the shop, and an enthusiastic bike repair guy took my wheel and after putting the special tool into the vice, he cranked the wheel by hand a couple of times, and tightened the nut that keeps the sprocket cassette in one piece. Awesome, job done, I can enjoy my bike again. I asked him ‘what’s the damage’ and he replied, ‘no charge’ (thank you again Bike Doctor!).

So I put the bike wheel back in my car boot, and walked on down (as in the Door’s song – but not walked on down the hall – The End…) to the main part of Broadway. In the summer the city really comes alive. There are hipsters, and bearded guys, lgbt folks, families, immigrants, couples, and all types walking the streets. Its a real parade of people.

The city allows cafes and restaurants to extend their outdoor spaces into the parking lane which makes for a nice outdoors area for the several months a year that this climate allows. Its a real treat. I walked into Museo Café and ordered a latte, and a lime cheesecake slice. I took a spot outside, in the shade. Cars drive by in the lane right next to where I was sitting and it was a little disconcerting because you want to glance up each time a bus or truck or car comes by. I thought maybe facing away from the traffic might have been a better strategy.

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The lime cheesecake was divine. I brought my books with me. I flipped through my borrowed copy of ‘Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.’ I’m so inspired by this book I bought my boss a copy as his going away gift. I sure hope he reads it and applies some of the many simple lessons in loving-kindness and inner peace.

So I am going through some changes. We are all going through changes. Change is inevitable. Change is the only constant. One of the simple anecdotal lessons or whatever is the in the book. It says there is a Buddhist teaching (apologising to any Buddhist practitioners that I might offend by my interpretation) … it says that everything comes from something, it is made or formed, and it will return to nothing in time. For instance, a glass may be a glass now, but at some time it was sand or whatever, and in the future it will return to shattered glass, dust or maybe even be recycled to something else. The point is that everything will break, degrade and return to some other state.

We are all temporary, all our belongings are temporary, nothing is absolutely permanent. This provides us with a way of coming to terms with the changes in our lives. I copied the lyrics to David Bowie’s ‘Changes’ because I think that might sum up the situation pretty good right now.

I am grateful for those who have helped me, and continue to help me in my journey. I am remorseful for any harm I have done in any of my actions. I have some work to do as an individual, I am not yet fully developed in some aspects of life.

Hugs to all. Hands to heart centre. The light in me honours the light in you. Namaste.

saskatoon cafe 15 Jul 2017

Source MetroLyrics http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/davidbowie/changes.html

“Changes” David Bowie

I still don’t know what I was waiting for
And my time was running wild
A million dead-end streets
And every time I thought I’d got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet
So I turned myself to face me
But I’ve never caught a glimpse
Of how the others must see the faker
I’m much too fast to take that test

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
(Turn and face the strange)
Ch-ch-changes
Don’t want to be a richer man
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
(Turn and face the strange)
Ch-ch-changes
Just gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time

I watch the ripples change their size
But never leave the stream
Of warm impermanence and
So the days float through my eyes
But still the days seem the same
And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They’re quite aware of what they’re going through

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
(Turn and face the strange)
Ch-ch-changes
Don’t tell them to grow up and out of it
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
(Turn and face the strange)
Ch-ch-changes
Where’s your shame
You’ve left us up to our necks in it
Time may change me
But you can’t trace time

Strange fascination, fascinating me
Changes are taking the pace
I’m going through

Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes
(Turn and face the strange)
Ch-ch-changes
Oh, look out you rock ‘n rollers
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
(Turn and face the strange)
Ch-ch-changes
Pretty soon now you’re gonna get older
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time
I said that time may change me
But I can’t trace time

Yoga in the Park.

Hi Bloggers,

Today, I went to  free Yoga in the park. It was hosted by The Better Good Yoga in Saskatoon. There was a really large turn out. The sun was shining, and its warming up to be a hot one in this beautiful prairie city.

First time for outdoor yoga for me. The sun filtered through the trees above. I put my hands up in some poses, partly to block the suns rays in my line of sight, and partly to absorb some of the wonderful energy beaming down on us.

When we were instructed to set an intention for the practice, as usual, I decided to focus on practicing compassion, and giving and receiving love, as much as possible.

Today’s Workout, and some words of compassion…

8 jul 2017 2

Hi Bloggers,

Today’s workout:

Squats

Calf raises

Alternating dumbbell curls

ezy bar bicep curls

Cross over (Zane) curls.

I had a really good work out.

Be kind, be kind to yourself, be kind to others. Do one act of kindness. Let someone know how much you mean to them, even if the situation has been challenging. 

Be yourself, don’t compromise who you are, and allow others to adjust to the person that you are becoming, if you are going through changes. 

Love and hugs. Namaste.

8 jul 2017

The Story of the Good Ship ‘Lollipop’

So last week I was camping. It was pretty cool. We drove to a lake. It was several hours from Saskatoon, so by the time I picked up the package from the airport and drove north it was about 2 am when we rolled into the campsite. I had never been there before so it was a whole new experience.

The ride up was kind of nice. We were on provincial back roads. Almost no traffic at all at that time of night. We caught glimpses of northern lights – a green curtain of misty fog that dances slowly in the sky. It was also almost permanent twilight with the summer solstice just the day before. It never gets completely dark at this latitude and time of year, its as if the sun has gone down and won’t go away completely. It’s quite nice.

At the lake we did some crazy shit. Found a private dock thing to lay out in the sun. On the way back to the main camp area we traversed the lake ‘shore’ but it became a bit of a battle of sticks and wire and other obstacles because the lake water level was very high. I had found a paddle on the lake shore earlier in the day, and I scored another one up in the tangle of branches on the obstacle course getting back.

The good ship lollipop – she was a bit of a wreck. Half submerged and covered in sand and other lake debris. It looked like a hopeless case. Like us really. We tipped the crap out of it and bailed a bunch of water out. There were leaches in there and we had to scrape a shitload of what looked like fish eggs off the inside.

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She was in poor shape when we found her, with no captain or crew.

 

Once we got that done we realised, we had righted the ship, and she appeared seaworthy! We came back loaded up with towels and bags, and snacks and sunscreen. I was wearing my black man thong, because really, there’s no need to overdress for something like this. We took off and did a sort of oar paddle and peddle (because she is a paddle boat with peddles).  It was fairly efficient but she was lacking seats so my arse slid back a lot and sometimes she went in circles.

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But it did provide a fairly stable and even relaxing floating platform on which we could enjoy the lake!

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Lets go sailing!

 

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Out on the lake late at night it was so still, so serene.