RichieRich's picture

How Was Your Ride Today? Week of Feburary 26, 2018

Starting off last week of February with a few milder temperatures close to zero.  Will hopefully turn some of the thin or patchier-ice bits along the main MUPs into pure pavement.  Not quite warm enough to create runoff, but will reduce snowpack.  Could however turn some of the further reaching MUPS (ie Nosecreek) into speed-skate-sketchy zones.  What about some of those neighborhood zones, or even for those bombing down 53rd/Home Road?   Some complaints the last coupla weeks.  How's your commute route?

What else... lights.  Between the warmth and later natural light am seeing the full gamut of zero lights to eye searing power.  OR... I am also seeing a lot of faded lights... ie time for battery replacements.  Sure they look ok when turned on, but within a few mins that voltage is so low they're firing at 50% or less of full power.

Just read on the news that typically Calgary gets just as much snow March-April as we do Oct-Jan.  Leave those studs on, get used to snirt mush ice rocks and salts... all that lovely drive-train eating stuff.

March 11th - Daylight savings. 



RichieRich's picture

chirp chirp...

wow... quiet.  Mid week and nobody going on about lighting and ice yet.  Tuesday the ice flows and puddles on the MUP were longer thicker and deeper.  Should be fun.  So glad for studded tires.  Cannot believe or understand how some folks on road bikes are doing it - too scary for me!!

gyrospanner's picture

On lighting and ice...

No lighting but lots of ice!

Twilight starts at about 7:10 am, so I'm wearing sunglasses again, WOOHOO!

One of coworkers went down on ice this morning and received a gash in his knee about 2" long, GROSS!

I've been walking over some of the icy spots as spring skiing season is coming up and I don't want to miss it!

Who knows what tomorrow will bring?  I'm hating the thought of a bunch of ice hiding under that snow.

BigtimeYYC's picture

I was on Nose Creek from the

I was on Nose Creek from the zoo to Fox Hollow Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, it was in really good shape with just a few spots of melt gathering into icy patches. The Fox Hollow hill was getting snow drifts across it courtesy of the west wind, filed a 311 and had it cleared on Tuesday. Some spots have drifted over slightly again, but not at the crazy depths before of about a foot. 

gyrospanner's picture

The waterfall

Oh Yeh!  Awesome!!

I got halfway up and spun out, put my foot down and slid back to the bottom.

Snakes and Ladders....

RichieRich's picture

Kaput battery - Magicshine/GeomanGear

well my several-year old Magicshine/GeomanGear BATTERY has packed it in.  Luckily I have a spare but I've been using that for night skiing.  So regardless I'm short a 7.4V Li-ion battery with the weird round thingy connection.  Anyone know of a CALGARY place or Canadian mail-order place that doesn't screw ya on a replacement?   I'd rather not buy yet another whole light set when the actual light heads are perfectly fine (and I have 2, or 3, or them).

RichieRich's picture

Careful of Amazon

Only ~$30 BUT $40 for shipping AND it's only a small 2.6mAh battery.  So naaaaah.   Found THIS one which looks promising.. and has the right pricing and shipping:

ALSO this next link is for a pretty awesome little rear light that projects lasers onto the ground for a quasi-lane.  Someone who shares my bike cage at work has one and loves it:

maybe I need one of these scary looking things:

Just joking...   but really when ordering cheap don't expect the best.  The Magicshine has far far exceeded my expectations however I suspect quality has plummeted relative to back when I bought my MS off of GeoManGear.

CPat's picture

That rear laser light doesn't

That rear laser light doesn't look like it would encourage a minimum 1m / 3ft space for passing vehicles.  It just delineates what would be a bike lane.  On roads narrow enough that someone would feel they need this light without a bike lane you should be in the stream of traffic (right hand car ruts with snow).   I see the intent, but seems gimmicky and doesn't encourage safe behaviour by the cyclist taking the lane and communicates to car drivers they can pass closer than they should.  I'd much rather have someone pull completely into the opposing traffic lane just as they would with a tractor or any other slow moving vehicle.  Besides I'm just going to catch right up to them at the next stop light one block up. 


Maybe if you could set it wider to about 6m wide, but will a car driver really respect your space any more?  I could see a use for police officers coupled with a camera for stings to fine/ticket unsafe passes by motorists.  


RichieRich's picture

Good enough?

So I ordered 1 from each of the first 2 links I posted above.  Should be here within a week.  Will give followup impressions and usage reporting. 

RichieRich's picture

Light up my life

So first impressions:

1. Battery pack arrived.  Connection on battery works well with Magicshine light.  Awesome.  Battery is labelled as 8.4V 4400mAh which is what I wanted.  Light turns on and stays on for a while until family complained that only weirdo adults get that excited by bike lights.  'nuff said.  Battery pack comes in nifty little case w/ velcro band to sling onto frame or bars.  Batteries appear to be reasonably well affixed together with cable coming out one end through some plastic - so this is NOT a fully sealed and dipped rubber or case.  I'll throw a few loops of duct tape around it.  For $18 I can't complain.  2 thumbs up.

2. Rear light w/ Lazer beams... nice little light, good blinky options ( seven) plus the laser "tracks".  It'll be lucky to last a year IMO - fairly cheaply made and lights inside the plastic are not aligned fully.  I'm ok with this TBH.  Will use it for on-road commuting only - the intention is to create more awareness and a bit more space between me and passing vehicles.  If nothing else it'll be a novelty for drivers which causes more awareness.

Will give longer term report in a few weeks.

uphill-both-ways's picture

Tired and grumpy

literally plowed through the disasterous pathways yesterday.  No clearing anywhere - morning or afternoon commute.  Did anyone get to ride on a pathway that had been cleared at some point???


311 filed.


RichieRich's picture

Ice ice baby?

That'll be the new theme starting this Friday and for the next 2 weeks on our MUPS.

Already anxious about the amount of meltwater and ice and puddling that will come soon.  Nowhere for the meltwater to go except down the middle of the clearings.  Perhaps time to mount that Ice Spiker on the front?

gyrospanner's picture

Ice Spiker

It has been on the front for weeks now!!!

Time for the one on the back?

I'm going skiing next week*, so I have some waxing to do and won't be able to do it yet.

* The best part of this weather!!!!

birchy's picture

Calgary Transit bus driver -

Calgary Transit bus driver - Route 13 @ about 6:45am - purposely passed me on 50 Ave. SW on Tuesday morning at like a MAX of 12 inches from my handlebars.. (in hindsight, I should have taken the lane).  75 feet up the street at the next bus stop I politely knocked on his window and asked if he "could please not pass that close next time? .. you need to keep 1 meter distance that that was more like 1 foot and very dangerous".  He quickly advised me that "it's winter and I shouldn't be on the road at all.. and to leave the bike at home".  I again said, "okay, but that pass was way too close and very dangerous" he just started saying "get out of my way" repeatedly.. so then I said "what bus number are you..? looked up and saw it.. oh, 7754, good!".. at which point he screamed "get out of my way" one more time and slammed his window shut.

Once I got to work and got settled I called Calgary Transit and spoke with a VERY polite and helpful customer service rep who is also a cycle commuter (the irony).  She was very concerned with this behavior and assured me the Supervisor would be in touch with the driver.  

He's entitled to his opinion that I don't belong on the road..  he can be angry with me all he wants.. maybe he just had a crappy morning, whatever.  All i'm asking is that he not try and kill me with his ~30,000 pound bus because of said opinion.

Crivak's picture


There's "this driver needs extra safety training and a stern discussion" levels and then there's "this person should not be operating a vehicle on the road" levels ... Let alone hired for city service. I'm also forwarding your remarks to Calgary Transit. I want to see them commit to giving all their drivers strict courtesy lessons, including knowing and acknowledging the danger these large vehicles are on the road in terms of wind pull and weight. Last summer I had a bus pass me on the right at Varsity Drive because I was in the straight lane to leave room for right turning vehicles to turn onto Shagganappi (7740). That's changing right now. Neither of those drivers should have licenses. 

Kudos for knocking and discussing with the driver. I'm glad he's now going to remember exactly the event that is brought up with him. Quite frankly the roads are in great condition for winter aside from some side streets full of slush -- any motorist under the impression that a bicycle shouldn't be out in these conditions should also be under the impression that no sort of motor vehicle should be either. [but really, 90% of them are bone dry and perfect]

Next's picture

absolutely agree withabove

absolutely agree withabove posts

I had bad experiences with CTransit couple of times with bus turning from side street blocking my path forcing me to brake.

when he stopped at bus stop I got in front of him, yes in front of him preventing him from moving with other drivers looking 

I simply wanted to draw attention to this spoiled unionized CTransit worker.

Even mayor Nanhi seems to be reluctant to go after CT drivers if it comes to excessive idling , 

reson  -  union.

bclark's picture

Bowmont - Snow Drifting

Went through Bowmont yesterday. The wind has resulted in a few areas of snow drifting across the pathway, specifically on the east end of the stormwater pond clearing and also at the top of the hill into Silver Springs.