On The Road: April 2017

April marks the overdue end to the Canadian hibernation, at least here in Southern Ontario it does. The temperatures have begun to consistently hold above freezing and Mother Nature has even given us a few summer like days. Two wheeled optimism is running high!

New Gear

The theme for this season is more on the bike photography. Over the winter I added a DIY GoPro mount to the ENVE stem on my Mosaic RT-1. A DIY How-to coming soon. With a GoPro Hero Session 5 strapped on, I'm able to record video in 4K and easily pull 8 meg stills! To put it into context, my first pro series camera, the Canon 1D MKIIN, cost 20x the price, was 10x bigger, with only roughly the same resolution. Insanity

Earlier this year I also picked up a Sony RX100V to have a compact camera for street photography. Thanks to the Team Dream x Yanco Customs Quick Draw Pouch, I've been bringing it along for rides to capture the coffee shop social side of things. In fact all photos in this story were shot on the Sony RX100V and the GoPro.

Of course the season means fresh new kit. Cooler April temps meant more riding in the 7mesh Strata system which I just posted a review of (read it here), but I'm now pairing it with their new WINDSTOPPER based Corsa Softshell Jersey or the Callahan jersey and the 7Mesh Re:Gen jacket overtop.

April is also spring classics month so I spent my time rolling around in the Mavic Cosmic Pro LTD shoes. So far I've been really impressed with them. The black and white Paris Nice edition are striking, however I have grown particularly fond of the black and grey livery of the Paris Roubaix edition. We'll see how they fair when the temps start to warm up. 

Rides

LIABD-OnTheRoad-April2017

The month started out with an impromptu west end tour in celebration of my birthday. We had bikes, coffee, friends, and plenty of wind. This was also the first good chance to hammer down my Mosaic RT-1. It truly is the go fast all day riding kind of bike that we intended it be. But the whole squad was rolling deep that day. Mike brought out the #PinkParlee, Seetoh still rides his No. 22 Great Divide like a BMX, and as always Eryn out classed us all.

Speaking of Eryn, who's Syracuse themed Mosaic RS-2 was previously featured, he's a recent transplant to Toronto's east end. Awesome! This means I get to tour another friend through what I think are the best climbs in the city limits. But it's not just about climbs. We have undoubtedly some of the most classic routes. For Eryn's initiation I took him through a mix of the Rosedale Loop and the 4F (Fast Furious Fourty Five) and finished off with a cobbled climb in honour of the Paris Roubaix race that was happening the same day.

On the Easter weekend I got a chance to take my new Cherubim Uli out for shake down. While I nicknamed her "Cherry Bomb", I've come to realize that she is more of a Japanese bullet train. This bike descends and corners like nothing else I've ever ridden. There are a few things still left to tweak, like a slipping seat post, but once I do, it's going to be a killer summer. 

Off The Road

April wasn't just about being on the bike. For the past few months I've been volunteering as an advisor on the board for a new charity ride with the Princess Margaret Hospital. After a short hiatus we were back together to plan and finalize event details. The ride, aka Northern Pass, will take place this summer in Muskoka, or what I call the crown jewel of Ontario. Over the past few years I've been spending summer weekends riding their rolling lakeside roads. Now I'm really eager to share some of my favourite sights and Strava segments with friends. All while helping raise money for cancer, a cause near and dear to both my family and my heart. If you're interested in joining up, do it quick. The ride is capped at 150 participants and the word is now officially out.

At the tail end of the month I made a stop in Austin Texas with hopes of hooking up with Gary from Rothera. The plan was to drop in for a shop visit but when I landed in Austin I had to unexpectedly head back right away. But between flights there was just enough time to stop in to Flat Track Coffee and grab a couple bags of beans. The coffee alone was worth the trip.  

 Coffee shop catch up with friends

Coffee shop catch up with friends

 Local brewery, Wellington, pours pints in a boot. Promptly down by Eryn.

Local brewery, Wellington, pours pints in a boot. Promptly down by Eryn.

 Eryn climbing Crestwood for the first time. 

Eryn climbing Crestwood for the first time. 

 Flat Track Coffee in Austin Texas.

Flat Track Coffee in Austin Texas.

 A friend and favourite local photographer and contributor, Seetoh Lang

A friend and favourite local photographer and contributor, Seetoh Lang

 Friend and master Blacksmith, Mike Yak dropping bike knowledge.

Friend and master Blacksmith, Mike Yak dropping bike knowledge.

 LIABD tester, Jesse Amerson, out on his new Cervelo R5

LIABD tester, Jesse Amerson, out on his new Cervelo R5