My first weekend with a Velo Routier

I headed to Walla Walla, Washington in late April with my son. My son was competing in the Tour of Walla Walla Stage Race. This annual race presented by Allegro Cycle draws hundreds of riders from the U.S. Northwest and Canada. Walla Wall is located a few hours drive south west of Spokane. As one gets closer, the green rolling terrain appears to be stripped directly from a Microsoft Desktop Background.   After all of those years of staring at my PC, it now seems crazy not to think that the background was based on an actual location. All the towns in the Walla Walla area are wonderfully cared. The downtown Walla Walla core is alive with café’s, restaurants, boutiques as well as Whitman College. Apparently, there are over 100 vineyards in the surrounding area. Walla Walla like many US towns has big box stores that encircle the town. But, Walla Walla has not been hollowed out by their presence and have kept the downtown core vibrant.

I had never ridden a Velo Routier before this weekend or taken it out in public. It really seemed to be a conversation starter at the Tour stages and stand out in the crowd.  The Velo Routier always brought smiles to people’s faces. I received compliments across the spectrum. Even a few of the pro riders asked to check it out. The bike seems to have a timeless quality as folks would ask “Is it new?” and “Is it old?”. Watching the Time Trial (TT) start, the character and lines of the Velo Routier seemed juxtaposed against the robotic, heartless, singular tasked carbon TT bikes waiting in a line for their start times.

Riding the bike feels casual and comfortable. But don’t be fooled as this bike can get you smartly to your destination whether running errands or touring across secondary roads. It is a smooth ride on gravel, rough pavement and even the occasional bumpy field for a short cut.

My one complaint is that the bike always seemed to keep drawing me closer to any establishment that provided food and/or drink. Here are some great places to try if you are in the area:

  • Breakfast at the Maple Counter Cafe
  • French Macarons along with Assame Black Tea at the Walla Walla Bread Company
  • Paris-Brest Pastry at the Colville Street Patisserie. (Never before have my eyes closed and rolled into the back of my head on a first bite)
  • Dinner at the Whoopemup Hollow Café in Waitsburg, Washington

Safe Travels, Angus Cowan

IMG_20140419_082235IMG_20140420_095639IMG_20140420_162303IMG_20140420_164711On Campus @ Whitman College

 

 

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Bike to Work Month Down South 2014

I always thought of July as the best cycling month of the year. It’s finally summer here in Calgary when July arrives, people are commuting by bike and the Tour de France is on. Well, that has now been replaced by the month of May! So long July, it was nice knowing ya!


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I’m really enjoying getting to know the greater cycling community in and around Western Canada but also our friends south of the border. The month of May represents “National Bike Month” in the US and there are many great event celebrations happening. National Bike to Work Week is May 12th to the 16th. Here’s a little snippet from the www.bikeleague.org site:

More than half of the U.S. population lives within five miles of their workplace, making bicycling a feasible and fun way to get to work. “

To me, that’s pretty substantial! Going along with that:

With increased interest in healthy, sustainable and economic transportation options, it’s not surprising that, from 2000 to 2011, the number of bicycle commuters in the U.S. grew by more than 47 percent.”

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May 7th is Bike to School day.
For more details see

www.walklbiketoschool.org

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May 11th is CycloFemme day. Go and celebrate women’s cycling on Mother’s Day.
For more details see

http://cyclofemme.com

That is so exciting to see. So, if you are looking for a great way to celebrate your biking lifestyle and are looking to show your support for bicycling, please look for local events in your community. Explore, educate and have fun on your bike this month and every month.

Best,
Jason

Ride your Journey.

 

2014 Alberta Bicycle Swap, May 3rd

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It’s been a busy week in Calgary for cycling. Yesterday I was invited to the Bike to Work Day event, which had great attendance for such a soggy Calgary spring day. Today, I dropped by our new friends at the Alberta Bike Swap to checkout the hundreds of new and used bikes and volunteers who put on yet another great local Calgary event to support the Calgary cycling community at large.

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I had the pleasure of meeting Laura and Chris Grant, the brainchild’s behind the annual Alberta Bike Swap event. This is a hugely logistical event that enables those who have a bike that they wish to sell or donate in an ethical and supportive environment. Alberta Bike Swap donate 50% of the revenue back to charitable efforts in Calgary. I love meeting people like Laura and Chris who give back to the community in a way that provides so much value and provides the building blocks for a stronger local cycling community. We are fortunate to have people like them giving back to the community.

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As always, Laura was “flying the flag” from our good friends at Rogue Clothier and Cyclery, trying to stay warm in yet another soggy Calgary spring day.

This was the 4 annual Alberta Bike Swap and from us at Cycles Toussaint, we wish them great and continued success at giving new and used bikes new homes!

Best,

Jason

2014 Calgary Bike to Work Day!

Well, it was a very soggy and cold Bike to Work Day event held on May 2nd but that didn’t stop hundreds of bike commuters from braving the elements and having a great time.  Image

Lonny Balbi did a great job of pulling off yet another successful event and raising awareness, with a great dose of fun, to commuting to work. This group puts in a tremendous amount of effort in ensuring people have a great time and provides a wonderful opportunity to get to know the Calgary bike community at large.

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I love the fact that there are people like Lonny who are passionate about cycling who create awareness that there are alternatives to getting to work. Calgary is fortunate to have an incredible bicycle path system that creates the ability to get around our great city on two wheels.

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Laura,  the store manager from our good friends at Rogue Clothier and Cyclery was there to partake in the event and we always love to get out and support these efforts along side a great shop like theirs who are connected to the Calgary cycling community.

It was wonderful to see so many commuters brave the cold and wet weather to join Lonny and team for the 8th Annual Bike to Work Day celebrations.

Cycles Toussaint were very fortunate to have one of our Citie bikes given away by Calgary’s Breakfast Television in conjunction with the Bike to Work Day event. Good luck to the 57th entrant, you’re going to receive a bike that’s going to make your friends jealous this summer! Thanks Breakfast Television!

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I had a great time catching up with old friends from the bike community and saying “Hi” to new acquaintences who were very curious on our bikes and who we are.

Thanks Calgary and Lonny for a great event. Looking forward to next year!

Best,
Jason