| Wear or not to wear...

That is the question??? and it usually sparks lots of comments and debate. I do wear helmets when snowskating, wakeskating and inside a skatepark when skateboarding, they've always been part of my equipment when riding dirt bikes in Africa and Madagascar and it makes me feel safer while doing tricks and hitting rails or jumps where there are serious risks of injuries. Let's say i also had my fair share of painful experiences :-(
To be honest we were actively searching for a urban type of protection that is light, efficient and doesn't make us look like sponsored triathletes or some aerodynamic mushrooms, please! One can think it's a logical thing to wear a helmet on a bicycle but i came across different opinions on forums and blogs.
So it made me think again... what about you?
...a possible answer?

| Parc de la Yamaska...

Montreal has been under a lot of stress after about 4 months of unprecedented protests against the current Charest government and so are we. We needed a good break and decided to take our bikes and camping gears in our Communauto to the Parc National de La Yamaska near Granby.

We had the opportunity to watch a multitude of birds and wildlife including, groundhogs, herons and deer. The scary part was when some creepy sounds outside the tent just woke us up in the middle of the night and i had to face a nonchalant skunk looking for some easy food, which explain the blurry night shots.


Agrandir le plan
Now we are ready for more action, carré rouge FTW!!!

| Bike fest 2012...

The Tour de l'Ile de Montreal was a blast, especially when Meteomedia announced a rainy WE the whole week preceding the event! Today we woke up early for the Montreal bike fest, a now-classic summer event, with 50 km (~31 miles for those using the obsolete Imperial system) to ride and just an almond croissant in the belly, it seemed like an unnecessary Sunday challenge; especially when looking at Nhu's swollen eyes. However, fortune favors the brave and the sun was present all along the route with a golden smile, it was definitely warm and the closed roads were dry, not like us though!
We've upgraded some parts of the Voyageur (see the previous review) just in time and it certainly improved its overall comfort, the next step will be to replace both rims and tires. For my part i've received my new stealth BF Tikit and wouah! it is beautiful piece of engineering (complete review coming soon), Sunday was a perfect opportunity for a test ride and i was excited.
SOoo we joined the pack and it was an exhilarating moment, very easy to follow the well-defined circuit, no red lights, no stops, great organisation and kudos to all the volunteers for their support, and their cheering attitude. Our average speed was quite fast despite our small bikes and my 16" wheels (349 mm). Talking about the wheels, i have to say that it makes it for quite a rough ride, the Schwalbe Kojaks are reliable and fast but they are not forgiving, after ~2h and 38 km our butts were on fire and we were starving, so we decided to stop at the Parc Maisonneuve (relay 3) and to go back home. We had a lot to do in the afternoon to prepare for next week's camping trip and it was enough fun for the day. Now do i recommend the Tour? YES yes and yes, please come join us next summer, we'll be there again!

| REVIEW: Leader Voyageur...

Next year i'll move to a smaller apartment so we can get used to that limited amount of space before we jump to our real project. This will highly contrast with my current spacious loft near the Jean-Talon market, thus buying folding bikes and reducing our goods becomes a necessity. My partner wanted a used folder and we checked what was available in the surroundings, we were tempted by a Raleigh Twenty but decided to buy an 80$ Leader Voyageur from a nice old guy near Coteaux-du-Lac.
This bike was made in Canada by Victoria Precision Works and appeared to be pretty popular during the 70's/80's, it is very sturdy and heavy but was kept in good condition. The 1st thing we did is to replace a useless gigantic white saddle, take off a weird rear rack, problem is that the owner has made a DIY job with aluminium parts and planks and cut the original rear fender in the process. Here is how it looked on Week 2, after a super expensive crappy tune-up at Momentum velo, i had a better service on my Kona before but this was really butchered (check the front black cable below).
There are a lot of things that need to be changed on this bike in order to improve the ride; so i went to my LBS Dumoulin Bicyclettes (they sell Brompton, Tern, Dahon, Vela.ca and Strida), we are replacing the short one piece Chromoly crankset (child size), the original 40T chain-ring for a 44T, the brake levers, brake pads and also ordered a new bar.
The Voyageur has a comfy/casual ride if you are a small person, granted you got rid of the original bars, it's a bit slow and the original drive-train is not a good choice but overall the bike feels rock solid. Imagine that these are the original rubber tires from the 70's and they are still in great condition, i don't think we can count on any products today to last that long!

| More roam please...

Spring 2012 seemed like a perfect window to start this blog. Let's say it is the beginning of a transitory period from a comfortable sedentary but predictable life to a potentially more nomadic and uncertain existence. Because i think that we are currently living in a shitty society and we believe it is possible to change some of the rules, to modify our bad habits and attitudes, because we want to travel and meet new people. Roam & Co. will be my public space on the road (and beyond) for our friends and families... so i guess it is time for a little aperoT.