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A Special Ride

September 4, 2014 in biking, Exercise, Outdoor Activity

My bike ride tonight was a little different than usual and included a special message carved out through the city using my GPS bike computer. It’s my beautiful wife’s birthday this week and I dedicated this ride to her. Always so giving, always so supportive, always in my heart. Happy Birthday Dawn!

Happy B Day ride

Captured with Garmin Edge 300 GPS cycling computer.

About the ride: I plotted my route on a paper print out of a map I had with me on the ride but I had my doubts about whether I could actually pull this off given the limited time that I had and whether it would look clear enough to read. The one thing I had going for me was the weather which was absolutely brilliant today in Vancouver. You can see that I turned my GPS on just before crossing the Burrard Street bridge which, in hindsight, I probably should have kept off until I got to Trafalgar and 4th Ave. There were certain points where I got a little disoriented and went a bit off track (just before the Y, the inner part of the B, and the D – A – Y were supposed to be a little bigger but I was starting to run out of time to get to an appointment at Hemlock and Broadway which is about where I stopped my GPS. All in all I thought it worked out well and definitely all worth it!

Happy Birthday Dawn!

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Kinetic Family in the Yukon: Ride On

August 11, 2014 in biking, Exercise, Outdoor Activity

On the Alaska Highway

On the Alaska Highway

With its awesome natural beauty, the relatively short flight, and the opportunity to visit family, Whitehorse, Yukon has been a choice summer vacation destination for us time and time again.

Our summer trips are often filled with many wonderful activities and over a series of blog posts we will share our experiences and highlight some of our favourite things to do in the area – perhaps a quasi ‘list of things to do’ for future travelers considering a visit to the land of the midnight sun.

Best Mountain Biking Destination

It’s no secret that Whitehorse, Yukon is an awesome place to mountain bike. With recent features in Impact Magazine, Get Out There, and Outside magazine naming Whitehorse as the Best Biking Destination in its 2013 Outside Travel Awards, the Yukon is becoming highly regarded as a world-class destination for mountain biking enthusiasts. It’s not hard to see why. The abundance of well-maintained trails surrounding the city combined with the extended daylight hours during the summer make for a kick ass getaway where you can get your mountain biking fix pretty much anywhere, anytime of day.

DawnJerrick-bikesoverhead

Schwatka Lake in the background.

Our most recent trip took us through the trails around Grey Mountain and the Riverdale area which were pretty much right in our backyard. There is plenty of trail variety so it is suitable for different levels of ability, ranging from from easy and very wide cross country trails to more challenging and steeper singletrack. The most exciting trails are the singletrack along the many lakes and along the Yukon river. Many of the trails often led to something or somewhere picturesque and whether you’re biking or hiking you’re bound to see beauty.

mtnbike_yukon2014_001

If you can BYOB (bring your own bike) then you’ll enjoy the comforts and familiarity of your own machine but if not, there are several local bike shops and companies in town that rent mountain bikes for as little as $35/day (24hrs) or weekly rates are available if you really want to get your fill. We’d recommend Cadence Cycles on Wood street or the Kanoe People (yes, they have bikes too) as our previous rental experience s with them have been outstanding. There is also Icycle Sport which has been a local mainstay in town for years but we have yet to use their services.

On The Road

bikebag

There were also a few days where I opted to ride on the road rather than the trails. I called the local bike shops in Whitehorse in advance of our trip to see what, if any, rental options there would be for road bikes but it turned out that it wasn’t really an option there so I rented a bicycle travel case from a bike shop in Vancouver before we left and packed my own bike to take with me. Different Bikes in West Vancouver and Speed Theory in Vancouver are a couple of shops that rent travel bags/cases.

DCIM100GOPRO

The downtown area of Whitehorse is cyclist friendly with dedicated bike lanes on the main roads and traffic is generally light. Once you get out of the city and ride the seemingly endless highways, it gets very pretty. The vast scenery and quiet open road makes you want to ride on forever. A good long ride will most likely be an out and back (return the same way you came) route. The views were outstanding both ways and riding on the highways felt like I had the road all to myself.

There you have it. Ride on in the Yukon.

LINKS:

The Whitehorse Recreational Trail Guide (trails for mountain bikers and hikers) is available in iTunes or in the Google Play store.

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Kinetic Family in the Yukon: Fish On

August 3, 2014 in Events, Exercise, Outdoor Activity

With its awesome natural beauty, the relatively short flight, and the opportunity to visit family, Whitehorse, Yukon has been a choice summer vacation destination for us time and time again.

Our summer trips are often filled with many wonderful activities and over a series of blog posts we will share our experiences and highlight some of our favourite things to do in the area – perhaps a quasi ‘list of things to do’ for future travelers considering a visit to the land of the midnight sun.

Catch of the Day - Lake Trout at Dezadeash

Catch of the Day – Lake Trout at Dezadeash

FISHING DAY

I’ve gone fishing a few times in my life and and I’ve been lucky to catch a few fish here and there but I wouldn’t call myself an angler, not even close. Plus, all the fish that I have ever caught have been nothing to write home about. Well, that all changed on August 1st, 2014 when Dawn and I were guided on a fishing expedition by “Fish On” in the Yukon blogger, YukonTony (Dawn’s brother). An avid and experienced angler, YukonTony taught us the ins and outs of fishing in the Yukon. He also guided us on a fishing trip to one of the most picturesque fishing spots I have been to yet.

About a 2 hour drive outside of Whitehorse, Lake Dezadeash offers some of the best fishing in the region. Set against the majestic backdrop of the Kluane mountains the scenery alone makes this one of the most beautiful places on earth. I would have gone home happy to have just been there. The tranquility and the surrounding scenery is so awe-inspiring that no picture or video can do it justice.

The sun beaming down on Lake Dezadeash.

The sun beaming down on Lake Dezadeash.

As a beginner and first-timer to Dezadeash, I was pleasantly surprised when within just 10 minutes and a few casts of the line I had already hooked a couple of Lake Trout. And big ones, to boot! After releasing my first couple of fish (too big to keep), I went on a bit of a cold streak with my line but Dawn caught fire with hers and landed fish after fish as she caught and released 5 Lake Trout by the end of our 3-hour fishing adventure.

1 of 5. Dawn led the way landing five Lake Trout during our 3-hour trip to Dezadeash.

1 of 5. Dawn led the way landing five Lake Trout during our 3-hour trip to Dezadeash.

This particular expedition did not go without exerting some effort as the trek to the lake itself required a bit of hiking with all our gear in tow (food, equipment, waders, etc.). As we stood wearing waders in the lake the activity required constant core stabilization to prevent falling into the water, especially if the wind picked up and the waves got bigger. The most physically demanding part was reeling in the fish, especially if it was a big one. Apart from that, if a couple of wannabe anglers like us can catch a fish, I’m pretty sure anybody can.

Lake Dezadeash has been the best fishing experience I have had so far and I’m already thinking about the next time we go back. Lake Dezadeash = pure awesomeness.

Read more about The Secrets of Dezadeash (and other great fishing spots in the Yukon), how to get there, and all the gear you’ll need to fish at this lake by visiting YukonTony’s “Fish On” in the Yukon blog.

Watch our fishing video courtesy of YukonTony. Thank you.

Links:
Yukon Angling Licences (2014-2015)

 

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Why I Run

June 30, 2014 in Exercise, Outdoor Activity, Parenthood, Race, Running

Photo by jacsonquerubin under Creative Commons license.

Photo by jacsonquerubin under Creative Commons license.

 

I don’t run to lose weight. I don’t run to get ripped. I don’t run to win races. For me, none of these have been the result of long distance running nor have they ever been my objective.

I haven’t always been a runner. I only started running regularly a few months after I had my first baby almost 6 years ago.  At the start, I had somewhat of a negative attitude towards running and was constantly telling myself that I’m not a runner, running is boring, or that running is bad for my knees. With time, an open mind, and a strengthening regime to prevent any injuries, I began to fall in love with this sport and everything it has to offer.

Below are 6 ways that running won me over:

  1. Running is convenient and relatively inexpensive. All it takes is a pair of appropriate footwear and a bit of time out of my day, as little as 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Running is a great way to improve my cardiovascular heath and to supplement my fitness regime. It allows me to participate in various events including mud races, sports, fitness competitions or even just playing a rousing game of tag with the kids.
  3. Running is a great stress reliever and a great way to release those feel-good endorphins.
  4. Running provides me with quiet time for mental clarity, reflection or to stimulate new thoughts and ideas. It acts as a reset button for my brain.
  5. Running exercises my ability to overcome that negative self-talk. It trains my mental stamina and strength to keep going and to not back down. After all with running, the only person to stop me from running, or slow me down, is me.
  6. My kids. I run to take care of my emotional, mental and physical health, which in turn helps me be the best mom I can be for my kids. Naturally, kids love to run and because my kids  see the enjoyment I get out of running, along with the commitment it takes to work towards a goal, it’s my hope that they’ll continue to love running too.

 

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At One Point In My Life I Played With Deez Nuts

May 22, 2014 in Events, Exercise, Outdoor Activity

Deez Nuts in Action

This is a bit of a throwback post to our ultimate frisbee playing days in the VUL (Vancouver Ultimate League). Oh Ultimate, what a fantastic sport. We played league ultimate for nearly a decade and made a lot of great friends along the way. Compared to all the other sports that we’ve ever been exposed to the thing that made ‘ulti’ so awesome was this underlying principle that ultimate players have come to know as the ‘spirit of the game’. It’s not about the silly games played and songs sung after the games, although those have become tradition, but the respect and sportsmanship amongst players and teams is what supersedes everything else. This is a tip of the hat to all the fellow ulti players out there and a shout-out to all those we’ve ever played with and/or against (however you want to look at it); because at one point in your life you played with Deez Nuts.

Pooped. Deez Nuts - The Next Generation.

Pooped. Deez Nuts – The Next Generation.

We often had friends or players with their kids and newborns on the sidelines cheering us on. We’d always bring Malaya out to the games so she could get some exercise outdoors. Ultimate was a great way to keep in touch with old friends and make new ones too.

Little cheerleader.

Little Malaya crawling and drooling up and down the sideline cheering “Go mom and dad!”

Championship Disc back in the days. Pretty sweet despite it being only in Div.6.

Championship Disc from back in the day.

It was a hard fought championship. We didn’t know much but we worked hard and pulled off winning the division. It was pretty sweet to win a division championship despite it being only Div.6. We worked our way up to Div.2 but never made it far in the playoffs at that level. I am very proud to say that our team has been a past recipient of the team spirit award and it goes to show the kind of people we were lucky enough to play with.

Deez Nuts Summer 2005

Deez Nuts Summer 2005

Often at the end of every game, we’d play a silly game, sing a silly song or offer the other team a cold beverage as a thank you for the game and as a sign of respect for the spirit which the game is founded on. I wonder if the spirit still lives in the VUL today? Sure hope so.

For anyone who might be interested in learning more about the sport of Ultimate and how to play the game, visit the Vancouver Ultimate League website for an introduction. In fact, for those wanting to get into the game, the VUL is putting on a massive skills development clinic on May 31, 2014 for those new to the game.

Up!