And Speaking of the Beach ..

I’ve finally uploaded pictures taken this year so far at Victoria Beach ..

Click here: http://HBSMC.com/victoriabeach/

Unfortunately, the pictures are sorting alphanumerically and not in date order so, the pictures might be a little mixed up .. but, there are now 300 pictures uploaded

Miracle At The Beach!

Today .. lady luck shined bright on me. From an anonymous individual, I was pointed to a person who’s part-time hobby while here at the beach is .. to repair bicycles!

I took my banged up tire expecting something .. but not repair. I thought this person could direct me to a place where I can reasonably buy a new tire and get it out to Victoria Beach as soon as possible.

Lo and Behold, he took the tire apart and replaced the spokes! That was the first cool thing I saw.

Then, he pulled a machine out that attached the tire to it, and tried to spin it. It was all wobbly. Then, he pulled out a little circular device, like a .. mini wrench, and he played with the spokes until magically all the bent tire rim became straight and whole again.

Bottom Line: $28.65 CDN to repair and the tire is perfect and I’ve got a bike again! WooHoo!

I didn’t have much cash on me, as I really wasn’t prepared to think that a fix was available .. but I did have $35.00 cash on me – I gave it all to him. He definately deserved this and I would have paid more .. if he charged me!

MY BIKE IS WORKING AGAIN! YAAAY!

What Luck.

Disaster at the Beach

Just before the restriction started here at Victoria Beach (June 22?) I filled the propane tank for the BBQ. Well, last night it was empty in the middle of a steak and potato and corn bbq fest – with company.

Normally … we fill up the BBQ tank once a year, or maybe even twice in three years. We were quite shocked it was empty, but you know – ever since we’ve been having potatoes on the BBQ and cooking for about 1-1/2 hours each time .. well, it kind of made sense from the 10 minutes BBQ hamburgers and hotdogs.

Anyway .. I took the propane tank up in the bike with the “dog trailer” and drove to Traverse Bay to get it filled.

When I came back, I was taking the propane tank down in the trailer .. which is downhill. There was a clan of about 10 bikers coming up the hill so I moved over to the side of the roade out of there way. My trailer tire hit a bump, the propane tank jolted a bit, it moved the back of my wheel, the wheel jammed against the back fender and froze up, the back wheel stopped with the bike and it fork-knifed, I flew and somersaulted over the bike into the ditch, the dog trailer arm twisted into the spokes and broke about 10 spokes, and the back wheel is all bent up and doesn’t spin anymore.

Yvonne went ahead home walking the dogs while I drove the bike back, and was mad that I took so home, thinking I had a heart attack or something.

The reality of it was, I was trying to straighten out the wheel and take the fender off so it wouldn’t jam the tire, but all I had in my bike kit was a lousy pliers … and I needed a “star” screw driver

Mental Note: I have to create a nice tool kit that has a tool for every piece that’s on the bikes .. a wrench, pliers, screw drivers, etc etc.

I’ll upload pictures eventually to http://hbsmc.com/victoriabeach/ .. after our vacation from the desktop home computer (it takes up too much bandwidth to do it via the EVDO cell high speed access)

It’s definitely out of commission for the summer. I’m afraid to think what it might cost.

Victoria Beach – June 23-24, 2007

Our first overnighter, and the parking restriction is in effect.

I managed to get the Bike Trailer to work .. but there was a few major problems ..

* the front is slanted and not much room for the dogs .. (I ended up removing that sling where the baby straps on)

* There are some broken or missing pieces where the flaps go and velcro is (I ended up using a lock to hold two pieces together)

* I’m not sure about how it attached to the bike! (It attaches – but, there is no safety attachment – there was – but, it was broken off or eaten off?)

* There is a hole at the front of the chariot/trailer .. and the dogs could escape and tried to escape at first. That is trainable situation and the dogs got used to that over a couple hours of biking!

* There is a hole at the front fo the chariot/trailer .. and sand from the wheel and gravel roads was shooting inside at the dogs! It would have been fine, had they not try to rearrange the blanket we placed in there to stop them from trying to escape.

It needs work and parts. I have to come up with something by the long weekend – maybe with Velcro. All I can think of is something like a car’s front grill cover that covers the Rad so there is heat .. or a surgeon’s mask with stretchy things or velcro attachments on each corner that covers the hole and attaches or ties together in the back.

I’m tempted to buy a new trailer .. they sell these “dog carrier” type of trailers at a local bike shop for around $300 plus taxes .. I already paid $90 for the crappy one we have – but, I’m not giving up on it yet. Here’s what a professionally built dog trailer should look like… I can get a new “chariot” type of kids trailer that might be better for the dogs for about $250 that folds up .. or $400 that is new. Regardless of what I do … I am now a permanent victim of the “I told You So” saying. (thinking I was crazy for getting a trailer to haul the dogs!)

I mean – I want to go bike riding while Yvonne jogs 6-12 KM every day .. but I can’t. The dogs bark like crazy left alone in the cottage, and give up because they get too tired or distracted walking or running along side us.

doggie-trailer-what-i-wanted.jpg

PS: Went Swimming for first time this year…. Refreshing! I need to work on my tan, lose a few pounds etc etc.. But, I tried that floating chair on styrofoam .. it’s A-O-K!

Victoria Beach – June 16, 2007

Rather than borrowing my folks’ MiniVan again – I decided that I would just take apart the BBQ box and line the bottom of my trunk with all the parts. I was quite familiar with the parts now! And, it fit.

In my quest to purchase online a used Baby Bike Trailer that I can use for the dogs .. I found that they were going fast, and got tired of getting turned down and waiting. We ended up buying a used one from a Hutterite that was in worse condition that it looked like originally, and up close (hindsight – see next week)

Anyway, today was my brother Brad’s birthday and we were combining Father’s Day and his birthday on Sunday. We didn’t want to stay long at the cottage. I assembled the BBQ in about 1-1/2 hours (compared to about 3-1/2 hours the first time) .. and just dropped off the “DOG-Trailer” in the corner for now.

* RESTRICTION STARTS 0:01 FRIDAY JUNE 22, 2007 beginning of day – until September 4th .. meaning that no cars are allowed inside the restriction zone of Victoria Beach.

PS: Yvonne cut most of the grass .. I cut the front part, that leans towards the lake …

PPSS: The lake was still low – and there was about 3 feet of beach.

Victoria Beach – June 9, 2007

We weren’t planning to spend the day at Victoria Beach, as it was quite busy for me in the upcoming week .. (deadline for self-employed personal tax returns) – but I borrowed my folks’ MiniVan and filled it up with some goodies before the restriction starts for parking.

I brought out:

* ONE LARGE BBQ – Santa Fe “Fiesta” model, from Walmart ..
* TWO Inflatable Kayaks – from Canadian Tire, with 2 Kayak paddles
* TWO Lounge Chairs from Walmart..
* A Floating Beach Chair cased in Styrofoam from Yvonne’s friend!

I was just going to drop it off, but Yvonne wanted to jog – so I assembled the BBQ. Can you believe it? At the last minute – the part to attach to the propane tank was broken, and it didn’t work. We ended up putting it all back into the MiniVan, fully assembled, with the large box it came in, with all the wrappings and packaging.

On the way back into town, we went straight to the Walmart store and exchanged it for a brand new one. It took about 30 minutes in total – we found a really helpful guy and a flatbed wheeler who sped things up immensely! We even took that old superheavy 1970’s TV that didn’t work into town, and asked him to junk it and he hauled it away for us.

So – Now I had another BBQ (in a HUGE Box sitting in my living room for another week)

Victoria Beach Revisited

It’s that time of the year, and we went to the cottage on Sunday for the day – it was 27c and no clouds.

* My left forearm is totally sunburt
* My forehead and nose it as red as a rose
* As for the rest of my body .. some color with a “Farmer’s Tan

And to quote Maxwell Smart from the famed TV show “Get Smart” …

Aaaaaaaandddddd……?

Loving it.

Karen & Warren et all were out there Saturday and Sunday and did most of the work cutting grass and raking and opening up the cottage .. The TV blew up last year during an electrical storm (we believe) and we agreed that he would pick up a cheap 20″ TV from Wal-Mart or Canadian Tire and a cheap DVD Player. This week, I will be picking up a new BBQ to compensate difference. That old one not only SUCKS .. there was only 1 place where the propane was shooting out .. it was quite a challenge to BBQ anything (although not impossible). We just figured – enough was enough .. quit complaining about it and do something about it.

Should be a nice warm Summer! While I’m getting the new BBQ .. I will be sourcing some cheap Kayaks .. they look like fun 🙂

Victoria Beach: 2006-10-06 to 2006-10-07

This category it to keep track of our visits to the Victoria Beach Cottage. I have created a portal site where you can see any pictures that we might take with our digital camera at ..

http://HBSMC.com/victoriabeach/ | All Pictures Taken At Victoria Beach

Thanksgiving weekend marked the end .. (of what we plan so far) of our Summer 2006 trips out to Victoria Beach. All pictures are now loaded.

We might go back over XMas break or other day trips .. we don’t know – but, as for a “Summer” trip – Summer is over.

We had fun! And we will have many years of fun.

Victoria Beach: 2006-09-22 to 2006-09-23

This category it to keep track of our visits to the Victoria Beach Cottage. I have created a portal site where you can see any pictures that we might take with our digital camera at ..

http://HBSMC.com/victoriabeach/ | All Pictures Taken At Victoria Beach

Brrrrr… it was as high as mid-teens on Saturday – midday – … but at night and early morning it was about 6c .. and most of the day around 11c …

I don’t know why I brought my swimming suit .. but, you just never know right?

I’ve added pictures to the gallery, starting towards the end of Page 10 through to Page 13.

One thing I’ve learned … I still have NOT worn socks and swear by my CROCS .. and my feet were NOT cold either! It’s almost as if the rubber insulated from the cold and kept my feet warm.

Neat-o.