Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Open House Time Again

It's time once again for the Saskatoon Canoe Club's annual Open House at the Boathouse. This coming Sunday, May 3rd, from 12:00 to 4:00 pm we will be hosting an open house and barbecue in Victoria Park along the river near the docks. Come and see what membership in the Saskatoon Canoe Club can bring to you and your family. Whether you are interested in quiet paddles down the river, marathon racing, kayaking, solo trekking, improving your skill level, or just want to have fun on the water… our club may be the one for you. Meet a few club members and our sponsors. See what we have to offer on May 3rd at the boathouse along the river in Victoria park near Riversdale.

That, more or less, is the blurb that has gone out to various local media announcing our upcoming open house. This is usually a pretty busy day for us and fair weather will likely mean we have hundreds of people visit our boathouse bay. At least I hope so, since I'll be picking up 200 hamburgers on Friday. By the way, we'll only be serving burgers until they're gone so don't show up at 3:45 and be disappointed if we can't feed you!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

World Book Day

It was World Book Day today apparently, so it seems like a good time to update the "What I'm Reading" feature.

Building Strip-Planked Boats, Nick Schade. Another boatbuilding book has been added to my library. This just-released book was written by the author of The Strip-Built Sea Kayak, the host of the Kayak Building Bulletin Board, and the designer of the Guillemot kayak I built. To be honest, I haven't really started to read this one, though it is on my nightstand and I have paged through it (and this is supposed to be a somewhat boatbuilding-related blog). It looks good so far. It's about twice as thick as his earlier book, which I used to guide me through the Guillemot build. The photos and illustrations are all black & white. I look forward to see which techniques he has updated from the earlier book, published about 15 years ago. I have noticed that he uses a different style of stems, which is a good improvement. The new book covers the building of a very sexy looking kayak, the small "wee lassie" canoe, and a dinghy. After I have actually read through it, I'll try to post some comments.

The Russlander, Sandra Birdsell. This book tells the story of a Russian Mennonite girl in the early 20th century. Katya is living through turbulent times, and there is tension growing between the wealthy Mennonite farmers and the Russian peasants. Currently, I'm about halfway through. The book occasionally makes reference to Katya as an elderly woman in Winnipeg and it appears that the story is her recollections. It's an interesting book so far.

The Unicorn's Secret: True Heart, Kathleen Duey. I've been reading this series of books with my 6-year old as bedtime reading for the past several months. Picked from the library as a chapter book that looked simple enough for her to understand, and featuring unicorns it was sure to have her interest. I am really enjoying the time spent with my daughter reading these books. This evening we finished the 6th book in the series and my daughter is eagerly anticipating the final two books.
The Egg In The Hole Book, Richard Scarry
. I also read with my younger daughter today, and this is one of those we read. I asked her what she likes about this book and she said "the egg".

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Bike For Sale

I have a bike for sale, a really big bike. That's the problem see, it's too big for me since I'm just a short guy at 6'3". This bike deserves someone that's better than 6'4".

The bike is a Kuwahara Apollo, Prestige XL. It seems these bikes were pretty ubiquitous in Vancouver once upon a time.

It's about 30 years old so it knows it's way around the streets. It's familiar with both Vancouver and Saskatoon. Gord used to ride this bike over the Lions Gate Bridge on a regular basis. The height of this bike, combined with the considerable height of Gord, put Gord well above the low railing of the bridge. Combine that with the height of the bridge, and Gord commented that it was always something of a precarious feeling crossing hundreds of feet above the barges and freight ships below.

Have a look at the length of the headset!

The bike is in decent shape but is definitely well-used. One of the tires is just about new, the other maybe a year or so old. The rear wheel is about 3 years old or so (replaced after I bumped sideways against a curb with the back wheel and it tacoed) and I think the front is original. The wheels are true. It has never been (Saskatoon) winter ridden, but this was my foul weather commuter. It likely needs a bit of TLC. I have done some of my own maintenance, but mostly it has been done at the local bike shop (not every shop knows what to do with a bike of this vintage but Doug at The Bike Doctor does). It has a certain amount of heft to it, but it beats my winter beater by a long shot in speed and weight.

If you are tall and want a fast commuter bike, this might be the one for you. I'm asking $100 but am open to offers.