Category Archives: Recreation

Fish Creek Provincial Park Videography

Following up on my New Years Day 2014 Bicycling Ride post, my friend Ian reported he was able to find my winter biking video on YouTube directly by searching for “fish creek park calgary”, and then filtering for the most recent upload (at the time, it was at the bottom of the first page – with 14 views!).

Trying the search myself, I was amazed at the variety of fish creek videography being produced – and how many local videographers there are!

Here’s an “Ice Cave” exploration, reminiscent of Gerry Anderson’s Supermarionation.

 

Watch these snow boats fly east along a frozen Fish Creek towards the Ranch. Amazing that a propeller works in snow!

 

I don’t think I’ve ever encountered an RC plane flying in FCPP before.

 

This last one seems inspired by Wayne’s World and Home Improvement.

New Year’s Day 2014 Bicycle Ride

I’ve gone for a bike ride on New Year’s Day for about 5 years now, and this year was no different – except this time I’ve got video to show, my first YouTube video!

Video in 720p format was captured by a Contour Roam2, a really nice HD-quality video Action Camera. Editing and rendering was done using Microsoft’s free Movie Maker 2012, a very satisfactory experience. The transitions and most of the titles were added automatically using a Smart Theme, and the Add music button conveniently linked to free content (legally free!). The edited project was rendered and uploaded to YouTube using the Movie Maker YouTube plugin. After uploading, YouTube suggested video stabilization – which I agreed to.

FWIW, Contour has an interesting back story. They unfortunately closed doors August 2013, and remind me a lot of IVL Technologies, a similar sized tech company I had the pleasure of working  for 1993 to 1997. BloombergBusinessWeek had an interesting post mortem article on Contour , with a few tips for all tech entrepreneurs.

New brakes for the Fusion (only a 55km ride to get them)

I lost rear braking on my Rocky Mountain Fusion last week. Biking pathways wasn’t bad, but I didn’t want to ride off-road with only a front brake, so the next day I biked downtown to The Bike Shop on my way home after work (not only did I buy my Fusion there, they also do great drop-in service so long as the job won’t take too long). Adding the 3 legs up in my head as I pedalled home, I was sure I would be close to 100Km. However, Google Maps calculated my route to be 55km, which I trust because my it was pretty straight, and I’ve found Google knows all about Calgary pathways (just make sure you select Bicycling for the navigation mode).

I really liked this route. On the way downtown, I was up and close with one of Calgary’s oldest industrial areas. After my rear brake pads were changed and brake fluid topped up, I left downtown and rode through one of Calgary’s oldest affluent residential areas. I also noticed an unfortunate casulty of this year’s flooding – a missing pedestrian suspension bridge over the Elbow River. I can sympathize with local users and commuters through the area; loosing the pedestrian bridges over the Bow River at both Mackenzie and Southland Park has meant changes to my own travel routes.

Marker “D” is my home, “B” is work, and “C” is The Bike Shop (I was travelling counter-clockwise).

Calgary Flood

If you follow any mass media news, you’ve probably heard about the flooding in Calgary caused by high water volumes in the Bow and Elbow rivers. The rivers join together in the downtown heart of Calgary, where most businesses were shuttered during the worst of the flooding. However, many residents along the rivers were also significantly impacted with lost homes and property. My family has been exceedingly fortunate, only my son’s and my bicycle routes to work have been affected.

In order to bicycle from our home (on the west side of the Bow) to our work (on the east side), there used to be a choice of five bridges – with commute times ranging from 50 minutes to 2 hours depending on the route and bridge. Today, only one of the bridges remains navigable, but the commute is still less than an hour and a half. The bridges themselves do not appear to have been significantly damaged, but the surrounding landscape and pathways leading to the bridges may be forever altered.

My heading photo now shows the McKenzie Meadows golf course, close to the south end of Calgary,  5 days after the start of the flood. The photo was taken looking west, with the Bow River and Rocky Mountains in the background.

New Header Photo – Winter Biking

The new header photo of me was taken by Ian Goodman, a photographer and equally avid winter cyclist, on a recent ride in Fish Creek Provincial Park. Ian’s been experimenting with the panorama feature on his iPhone, and I think it looks great! Thanks Ian!

(C) Ian Goodman

(C) 2013 Ian Goodman

Bicycling to Calgary Agile Methods Users Group

I biked yesterday to the University of Calgary from the Chinook c-Train station to attend a meeting of the Calgary Agile Methods Users Group. I was glad I made it, because there was a stimulating group discussion with attendees contributing from their own team experiences.

Here’s the route I took, starting at the Chinook c-Train Station parking. Getting on to the pathway system at Chinook Center, I haded for Glenmore Dam, north to the Bow River pathway, and then past Foothills Hospital to the U of C. On the way back, I had intended to ride from the U of C to get home quick, but couldn’t leave the Hillhurst / Sunnywide Station because of an accident on the tracks downtown. After waiting a few moments, I left the train on bike (other passengers were starting to eye my bike with envy, so I got going while the going was good). I first thought I’d catch another train at the east end of downtown, but it was a warm clear night and with summer biking rapidly drawing to a close, I headed for Chinook with Google Maps as my guide.

Calgary SE / NW Bike Loop (with train!)

View in Google Maps

Google Maps Experiment

I’ve been trying to spend a day a week of focused quality time at the keyboard working on Achievo, combined with a long weekly bike ride for thinking. Last Friday, I spent the day with my laptop in a quiet corner of the Mount Royal University library (my first alma mater). Although thunderstorms were in the forecast, I was feeling lucky and set out by bicycle (with a heavy-duty garbage bag for my laptop just in case). I made it to MRU without getting wet, enjoying beautiful but ominous thunderheads overhead, and was safe and sound by the time the rain started. Two thunderstorms later the weather cleared and I was able to ride home (steering clear of some major puddles!).

So here’s to the point of this post, my first embedded Google Map. It was pretty easy to create, but for some reason I can’t get the zoom level right in the image here (the top and bottom are always cropped). Oh well, you can always open the map by clicking the link.


View Calgary SW Bicycle Loop 1 (FCPP, MRU, Weaselhead) in a larger map

Ride on!

Father’s Day 2011 Ride

I recently cycled “the big circle” on Father’s Day with a couple of friends. It was an opportunity to explore the city, and get some fresh air after the seemingly endless rain we had been having.

Even before the ride started, I had two flat tires. I had swapped my balding 2.25’s on my sturdy Rocky Mountain that morning for narrower 1.9’s, and had somehow managed to pinch-flat both tubes in the process. However, after some hasty patching (and as an omen of things to come, watching the first rain deluge of the day from the comfort of my garage), Ian and I we were off.

The route was a counter-clockwise loop starting and ending in Calgary’s deep-south community of Sundance. Entering FCPP (Fish Creek Provincial Park), we headed west to the end of the park, then north out of the park to the west Glenmore Weaslehead area (where Jamie met up with us). Some scenic residential riding took us through the Tri-Glen communities to Edworthy Park, where we had a snack and then followed the Bow River pathway east to downtown Calgary. Continuing south past the killer weir, we had a forced detour onto the Eastern Headlands irrigation canal due to construction blocking the pathway north of the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. We got back onto the Bow River Pathway north of Glenmore Trail, then back into FCPP at the Bow Valley Ranch and home.

I captured our track with my Garmin Legend (you’ll see it in the slideshow), downloaded it to my PC using GPSBabel, and then mapped it using LePetitPoucet.

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2011 New Years Day Ride

It was a great New Years Day ride in Fish Creek Provincial Park. 90 minutes, 15 km (c’mon, we were riding snow covered footpaths – it was like jogging in sand!). We saw only one other cyclist (heading west on the cleared paved path from Glenfield), and our tracks were the only ones on the single track).

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Best Wishes for 2011!