cycling · fitness · monthly check in

Sam is Checking in for August with All Sorts of Big News

All going well, I will have a new left knee by end of the day today. Yes, I know knee replacement surgery recovery is a tough slog but I’ve got 6-12 weeks off work. It’s also been a tough slog and lots of pain waiting for knee replacement surgery.

I’ve been doing twice weekly pre-hab with Defy Physiotherapy in Guelph and then daily exercises at home leading up to the surgery. I’ve also signed up for rehab, recovery focused physio starting four days after surgery.

August was lots of surgery prep–so much physio, iron pills, buying crutches and a walker, lining up help for walking Cheddar, borrowing an ice compression machine from a friend, buying books and getting recommendations for TV shows–and lots and lots of getting ready to be away from work.

But it’s not all knee surgery/all the time. August was also the Bike Rally. See all my bike rally posts in one place. We did it! We collectively raised 1.5 million dollars and rode our bikes to Montreal.

It felt a bit weird planning both of those things together.

Flopped on the grass, day 4

What else? August was Pedaling for Parkinson’s. We’re hoping next year to organize a Fit is a Feminist issue team for the event.

It was also the month that the University of Guelph announced that I’ve been appointed to a second term as dean. See U of G Reappoints Dr. Samantha Brennan College of Arts Dean.

August is the Blog’s 10th anniversary and my 58th birthday. And despite some obstacles and a very very busy work week I did manage to ride 58 birthday kilometers. Phew.

Wow. So much going on!

Let’s quickly check in on my goals for the year:

My cycling distance goal for the year is 5500 km. I’m at 4049 km which seems pretty far ahead but knee replacement surgery will slow that down a lot.

I’m at 284 workouts for the year, daily knee physio and lots of cycling have helped with progress on that front.

I’m behind on my reading goals and knee surgery should help with that.


How am I feeling about knee surgery?

I’d be lying if I said I was completely calm about it. There’s a lot of worry, fear, and anxiety floating around. I’m trying to both keep busy and make some room for big feelings as needed.

I keep reminding myself of the reasoning that got me here. It helped that I had a friend over for pizza the other night who had knee surgery 7 years ago. She’s my age and like me, she’d been reduced to just bike riding. Knee surgery was the right decision, she says. And she demonstrated how deep she could squat while were hanging out and talking about knees, far away family, dogs, and driving across the country. Thanks Jan!

Other friends are pitching in by lending me the things that got them through the early days after surgery, like a fancy ice compression machine. Thanks Deb!

I’m not looking forward to the surgery or the first few days after. But I am feeling pretty well loved and supported by the people around me. I feel lucky to have the friends and family that I do. Thanks Sarah for taking time off work for the surgery. Thanks Jeff for helping our youngest son with his big move. Thanks mum and kids for all that you do. My mum and Sarah will be my main at home support people in the weeks ahead. Thanks Rob and Sumaya for putting us up in London the night before the surgery saving us a 5 am drive on the 401.

I’m also looking forward to the weeks after surgery when I’ll have friends over for coffee/tea. Blogger Catherine Womack is coming to stay with us in October and give a talk at Guelph. More details about that later.

On the outcome side, we’ll ask do our best. I’m sure the surgical team will do their best and I’m pretty disciplined about things like doing physio 4 times a day and I’ve got appointments booked at the physio clinic for twice a week.

On the work side, I’m really thankful for the team of colleagues around me who make taking medical leave, if not easy, at least something I contemplate with worrying about work. The College is in excellent hands. Thanks Andrew, Brennan, Sandra, Sandy, and Jane. Also, big thanks to all the chairs and directors. I’m really not worried about work.

And don’t worry–I’ll blog all about it. And then next year, I hope to be blogging about long hikes and canoe trips, sailboat racing and sleeping through the night.

Red heart on book page
fitness · monthly check in

Sam is Checking in for June 2022

It’s July.

The biggest and best highlight of June is all the bike riding! So much riding! I soothed my bike rally jitters with lots of weekend riding, including an official training out to Musselman Lake and back. I’ve been riding mostly with bike rally teammates Sarah and David but also with Jeff when he’s in town.

We’ve also done some in person riding with our virtual cycling friends.

Last weekend a group of women from Zwift’s ZSUN team got together in the real world–more specifically in Burlington, Ontario– for a meet up and social ride along the lake front trail. Even though I ride with TFC I came along and crashed the party. Everyone was very nice.

All in all we had a lovely 40 km out and back, with dougnuts and iced tea after. Yum! Also, the rain held off.

I also reached the 222 mark in the 222 workouts in 2022 group. Wild to make the goal halfway through the year but I suspect things will slow down a bit after the bike rally.

The workout that did it was our Canada Day Bike Ride from Niagara on the Lake to Niagara Falls.

Canada Day Bike Ride
Riding on Canada Day–Niagara on the Lake to Niagara Falls

So far this year I’ve ridden 2787.9 kms. I’m ahead on my riding but behind on my bike rally fundraising. Small amounts help and if you have anything to spare for this very worthwhile cause I’d really appreciate it and so too would the people who are helped by the Toronto PWA.

The money raised goes to help people living with HIV/AIDS. People who need food, wellness care, peer support or just to be in a place that is welcoming and safe for them.

Donate here.

But don’t talk to me about writing. I’m very far behind.

Other good things in June?

We’re sailing again. Yay! Tuesday evening Snipe racing is back on the schedule.

My mother who lives with us got a new puppy. Blog readers, meet Chase!

I’m also getting new glasses, seems my reading vision has gotten worse during the pandemic.

I chose the clear frames.

Other good things? (I like June. Can you tell?)

University convocation was lovely. So good to be back in person again. I also love that we did make up ceremonies for those students who graduated during 2020 and 2021. My knees hurt from so much walking and standing that week but also my face hurt from smiling.

And then there’s Pride which wrapped up June for me with such warm feelings seeing so many friends again. The big parade was just too many people for me but truth be told it was likely too many people before the pandemic. What was best were the pride adjacent events, friends’ backyard BBQ s and dinner on patios three or four blocks away from the main event.

Pride and non binary shortbread. Thanks Alice.

Wish me luck as I continue to train for the bike rally. And try to get some writing done, and get a reasonable amount of sleep. Will blog about the struggle later. Short version: Life is short. There’s so much fun stuff to do. Sleep is boring and so even though it’s my superpower again (phew, that’s back) now that the world has come alive again, it’s the last thing I want to do.


monthly check in

Sam is checking in for May 2022, a week late but that’s the kind of May it’s been

May was a super busy month. Kind of a blur. But a good blur, if you know what I mean. Lots of good stuff going on. We’re back out in the world more with friends–concerts (with masks) and dinners with friends (mostly on patios)–and work just hasn’t slowed down, not even a bit.

Add to that, Sarah and I are also training for the Friends for Life Bike Rally in August. We’re trying to ride more during the week and also get long rides in on the weekend.

I’m struggling a bit with fundraising so if you have money to throw my way, all amounts help and it’s for a great cause, please click here and support my ride.

A few things stood out for me this month.

First, Sarah and I survived a terrifying thunderstorm on our bikes and that’s had me even more worried about the changing climate and its effects on our world. I blogged about it here. Thunder and lightening is the one condition this all weather, all conditions cyclist is frightened by. See here.

Second, I’m biking to work consistently now and since my regular commute is too short–just a few kilometres–I’m taking the long way.

Here’s me on the bridge I use to get to work.

Thanks Michel!

Here’s my “long” route to work.

Strava ride report

Third, as you can see there’s also not much Zwifting happening. We don’t have central air at home and it’s hard to ride hard indoors in the heat. I miss my Zwift teamates though.

Zwift weekly distance goal 150 km, 0 km ridden

Fourth, Sarah and I also did a fun ride in Prince Edward County this month. Pavement with the gravel bikes wasn’t the speediest ride but next year we hope to come back and do the 100 with road bikes.

Fifth, I’m back at the gym on campus, personal training with Meg, the world’s best personal trainer who has found leg strengthening exercises that don’t hurt, and might even help, my knees. Yay.

Sixth, I’m noticing how little movement I get on days when all my meetings are on Zoom or Teams. Check this out, a day with only two move minutes. When friends ask why I work out so much that right there is why.

Also, without it I can be in a pretty horrible mood.

My workday!

Other metrics I care about? I’ve ridden about 2200 km so far this year and I’ve worked out 200 times. I’ve read ten books and practised my Spanish 21 days in a row.

Spanish because Sarah and I are riding bikes in Cuba next January with these guys.

I read this piece in the New Yorker about the role anticipation plays in happiness and so your likely to hear lots from me about our upcoming Cuba bike trip. I’m thinking about which bike to take with me and I’m considering either a new gravel bike or at least road bike that can take wide tires.

I’m assuming my knee surgery won’t have happened by then. But you never know. If they call me I’ll cancel the trip.

charity · fitness · monthly check in

Checking in for April 2022: It’s spring! Really spring!

Let’s see. April began with a big sad post about my knees and waiting for surgery. But some good things happened too.


So many of you reached out, on and off the blog and the Facebook page and encouraged me to push a bit. That’s so not me. I’ll happily wait quietly in lines normally. But I began to worry I’d been forgotten. Did I give them the wrong address and phone number? Had they lost my file?

So I listened to your advice, friends of the blog. I called the surgeon’s office. I heard the voicemail message that says if you are waiting for an appt date don’t leave a message, we’ll call you when we have a date. I cried.

I listened to more of your advice and wrote a quick note to the hospital ombudsperson, telling them about the message that made me cry, and could someone please check that my file isn’t lost?

The surgeon’s office called back. It’s all sad. There’s a pandemic going on. I was prepared for sadness. They haven’t taken vacation since the pandemic began. They are still not at 100% surgical capacity. They are still cancelling surgeries everyday because of staff shortages due to COVID-19..

They are now calling people who saw the surgeon in January 2019 to make appointments. My visit was in August 2019. So, best guess, another 8 months before they call to set a date.

Have to make one phone call–stress about it everyday and don’t get around to it for a week

But on the bright side, I have their phone number. They said to call if I have any more questions. And I’ve got a rough time line. They didn’t lose my file. It will happen.

Bike rally

More on the bright side, we’re doing the bike rally again. Whee! We’re riding to Montreal with people again to raise money for the Toronto People With AIDS Foundation.

Please help us out and make this feel real. Help us make a difference in the lives of people living with AIDS.

You can sponsor David, you can sponsor Sarah, or you can sponsor me. We’re all on the same team.

100 days to go!

Our team even had its first in person social. Look at our smiling faces. We’re the Rally’s Angels.

Rally’s Angels!

Riding outside in Vancouver

Also in April I attended my first in person academic conference since the pandemic began. In March 2020 I cancelled my plans to attend the American Philosophical Association’s Pacific Division meeting in San Francisco after the world started shutting down and falling apart. And this April, April 2022 I attended the Pacific Division meeting in Vancouver. Even as I was getting on the plane, my first flight in more than two years, it didn’t feel real.

Sarah made plans to come with me and with from Vancouver. I told myself that even if the conference got moved online we’d fly to Vancouver and work from our hotel room. It wasn’t moved online. It happened! It was so wonderful seeing people again, hearing about people’s books (and new babies) and I loved every minute of it. Tracy organized a wonderful feminist philosophers’ dinner.

While there we also walked a lot and borrowed hotel bikes and rode around Vancouver. Wow. It felt wonderful to be outside.

Here’s some photos we took riding bikes in Vancouver and walking around the city:

Vancouver photos of boats and trees and water

And at home

It’s also spring now in Ontario, despite some occasional cold days, and we’re riding outside training for the Friends For Life Bike Rally. David, Sarah, and I did our first training ride last week, London to Strathroy for lunch, 70 km all told.

David, Sam and Sarah stopped for lunch midway

Checking in with some monthly numbers

Total km ridden in April: 400 km, making for 1791 km so far this year.

Total activities: 35 making for 152 so far this year, my goal is 220 workouts in 2022 and looks like I’ll shoot past that goal easily.

Total books this month: 3 making for 9 so far this year. Wish me luck making my goal of 25 books this year.

Books I finished this month
fitness · monthly check in

Sam is checking in for March 2022: Butterflies, bike rides, travel, oh my!

February flew by. March too.

Blue bird

March is often thought to be the worst month of the academic year. A former dean once said to me, Nothing good happens in March. And I think she’s pretty much right. It’s a tough slog through until early April, the end of the university teaching term here in Canada.

March is also often the month of Fool’s Spring.

For me, some good things did happen in March. I started riding outside again. Yay!

Sam in pink riding her pink Brompton.

We celebrated my middle child’s birthday at the Butterfly Conservatory. He argued against the traditional family dinner plus cake in favour of a planned activity. Why do kids and not adults get to do things for their birthday? He’s right. We had a terrific time.

Butterfly conservatory

My knees hurt but they’re doing okay. I am walking a lot though still struggling quite a bit with night pain and disrupted sleep. Thankfully, there’s always Wordle.

I’ve also (gasp) been trying something new. Inspired by Catherine’s ringing endorsement of the 10 percent happier app, I’ve been giving meditation a go. Meditation has traditionally been a thing here around the blog. See Tracy, and Catherine, and Mina and probably everybody else except me!

What prompted me? Well, I’ve been taking a yin yoga class at noon hour on Friday and really liking the guided meditation parts of it. I’ve been going the introductory meditation program on the 10 percent happier app and so far, I’m doing ok.

What else is special about March?

Well at the very end of the month we finally got to get in the car and drive south with bikes to meet Jeff on the boat. Sarah and I set out this morning to drive 11.5 hours to Alton, Illinois for a week of biking and boating. I had to work to remind myself of the differences between riding in Zwift and IRL.

View from the passenger seat

Indoors, in the world of Zwift, I completed the Tour of Watopia.

And I’m also trying out some new mobility routines. Confession: I’m inspired by my weight lifting son who is now officially more flexible than me. I was okay when he could lift a lot more and run and bike faster, but this is new and I’m keen to keep up.

I downloaded the GOWOD app, did their mobiliity assessment and tried out a customized routine. I like the routine but I need more commentary, even a countdown would be good. Long silent stretches aren’t my thing.

Then I also tried this routine which I really liked but I like video and voice to walk-talk me through things.

So finally I cancelled my 7 day free trial of GOWOD and moved onto to Dynamic Cyclist‘s mobility training 7 day free trial. Will report back!

Checking in with some monthly numbers:

Total km ridden in March: 475 km, making for 1392 km so far this year. Right on track for 5500 km.

Total activities: 42 making for 117 so far this year, my goal is 220 workouts in 2022 and looks like I’ll shoot past that goal easily.

Total books this month 0! But I’ve got lots on the go. Wish me luck making my goal of 25 books this year. Six read so far.

What am I looking forward to fitness wise in April? OUTDOOR RIDING. Including training for the Friends for Life Bike Rally. You can sponsor me here. Please!

Sam’s Bike Rally Page
fitness · monthly check in

Checking in for January 2022: What’s your January mood?

Nothing is normal and no one is okay. You’re doing great.

January in review…. It wasn’t just any January. It was also Pandemic January. And it was Pandemic January Round Two.

Everything feels hard right now

Even those of us who have been doing mostly okay through the pandemic aren’t doing okay now. This is tough. I’ve done lot of worrying about my family. I’ve missed seeing people. And I miss my friends. And this has been going on a very long time.

It’s been two years now since I’ve travelled. My last trip was to Florida in January 2019 for some sunshine and road cycling. I posted about it exactly two years ago today. See Finishing my #31DaysOfWinterBiking (in Florida).

On the bright side, it’s sunny and the days are getting longer. We’ve been getting out and enjoying the outdoors even in the snow and the wind and the cold.

May be an image of text that says 'Ron Amaya @juan_amayah This month I'm doing something called January, where try to make it through every day of January'

I don’t have a lot to say about January this year. I don’t seem to have a lot of words come the end January. I feel quiet.

On the bright side, I don’t hate January the way I hate November. Yesterday I finished work and it was still light outside. Yes, it’s cold but there’s sunshine.

Pandemic January started to wear on all of us. Normally at this point in the year, I’m beginning to make summer cycling and canoeing plans. Normally, I’d have some conference travel to look forward to. But this year I’m reluctant to agree to things that might be moved to Zoom at the last minute. I’ve had enough of Zoom for a lifetime.

Ivan Coyote has my January mood just right.

Ivan Coyote: I have officially run out of enough serenity to accept the things I cannot change. There’s simply just not enough f**king serenity to be had at this point. Maybe this is a supply chain thing too, I don’t know.

January can also seem endless.

That said, I’m on track with some of the things I care about and count.

I’ve ridden my bike about 460 km in January. (You can follow me on Strava here.) That puts me exactly on track to ride 5500 km this year. Maybe I’ll set that as my annual goal again.

I’m also counting books. So far in 2022 I’ve read two novels.

Why even mention that on a fitness blog? We’re talking lots these days about overall health and well-being. Reading, it turns out, helps make you happier.

Spring is fewer than 60 days away though. And I’m trying to turn my mind to fun spring and summer things.

I liked Diane’s blog post about tiny pleasures. My mother posted this in her house and I’m right there with her.

How about you? What’s your January mood?

Book Club · fitness · monthly check in · winter

Checking in for December and 2021 in general, looking ahead to 2022

I’ve been putting off writing this blog post and that is not a very good sign. I usually write for the blog quickly and cheerfully.

I don’t think I’ve felt as apprehensive about a new year in a very long time. I want to be hopeful and positive about better post pandemic times ahead. But I’m also frightened that they won’t be better. Even wishing people a happy new year felt sketchy. I mean, I did it. But I felt like I should knock on wood after or something.

I also know I should feel lucky for how wonderful the lives we have are in the global and historical scheme of things.

Add climate change and increasingly polarized politics, fueled by racism and misogny, to the mix of things I’m worried about and I just want to throw the blankets over my head and emerge in spring.

It’s been a very hard year. Sometimes I confess I’m tempted by this kind of message about how I feel about it but that’s not quite right either.

Bitmoji Sam putting out the trash that was 2021

I also don’t want to ignore the month and year that was. Time might be a bit blurry but it has its own significance. Someone joked on Twitter today, “Today is March 674, 2020.” And truly there are ways in which it feels like time has stood still. But I’m resisting that way of thinking partly because I watch my adult children growing and changing through these difficult times. They have a lot to teach me.

I have enjoyed an awful lot of things relevant to the blog–like very long trail rides and weekends away bike camping, canoe trips, and most recently yurt camping with my eldest child. I’ve missed people and parties and travel, but this year, unlike 2020 I at least got to spend time with my adult kids.

We looked at last year’s holiday pics and laughed. I couldn’t even remember what we did. It turns out we exchanged food and gifts in the backyard on the 24th and opened them on Zoom together the next day.

On the left, is Christmas 2020. Here we are wearing our holiday oodies (joke gift meant to keep us warm while meeting outside–they’ve actually been getting a lot of wear) in two separate bubbles, Guelph child and me on the left and the London sibling bubble on the right. On the right, Christmas 2021, is Christmas dinner, missing Susan who is taking the photo, but includes all three kids and me and my mother actually eating a meal together.

We gathered over the holidays as a fully vaccinated family and rapid tested on Christmas Eve. We know that’s not perfect but we’re a small group. We were going for multiple layers of imperfect protection, the swiss cheese model as they’ve been calling it.

Although my December posts have also often served as year end reflections, I’m not sure I have it in me this year.

I did have one good thought about winter’s very short days though. While we were yurt camping, I realized the urgency we felt about getting out and about in the daylight hours. If you’re biking in the morning and hiking in the afternoon and it’s starting to get dark just after 4 pm, that doesn’t leave a lot of time. It’s the one upside of short days, time in the light feels precious and special.

Bruce National Park Yurt Camping

I wondered about using the same approach to thinking about life during the pandemic. It’s reduced in various ways but maybe that means we focus in and enjoy what we do have. I did love bike camping this summer. I might plan for some more bike camping trips. I’ve always wanted take a cycling holiday in PEI and on the Gaspé Peninsula. Even if we don’t get to travel as much in the future, there’s an awful lot to love right here. Right? Right.

A few people in the blog community have talked about 2022 as the year of smaller pleasures.

Let’s officially make 2022 the year of tiny pleasures, says one woman to another while walking through the woods in the snow

Planning for the year ahead, will definitely include bike trips and canoe trips.

What else to report in planning for 2022?

My word of the year is integrity. I’ve been feeling the need to be grounded in my values and be less swayed by crises and the currents of popular opinion.

I’ve signed up for 30 days of Yoga with Adriene. I’ve approached it different ways in different years. Sometimes doing the class for that day whenever I’d normally do some yoga. Sometimes I’ve done the whole 30 days but spread out over many more.

I completed my 2021 distance challenge–see I did it!–and I might aim for higher next year. We’ll see.

Sam’s Strava Year in Review

I’ve signed up again for 222 workouts in 2022–but I’m going to need to work on variety. It can’t all be Zwifting and dog walks and YWA. With the gyms closed again, I’m going to need to get back to lifting and other forms of strength training. We’ve got lots of resistance bands, and a TRX, and even a kettle bell. I just need to pick them up occasionally. Come spring there might be some backyard personal training but there are months to go before then.

Not so much fitness related as mental health and overall well being related, I’ve signed up again for the Goodreads Challenge, pledging to read 25 books in 2022. You pick the number. I met my goal of 24 in 2021. My first book of 2022 is The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki, which I’m loving. I’m happier when I make space in my life to read fiction.

My knee still hurts, both knees now, a lot. But all non-emergency surgeries are on hold again in Ontario due to the pandemic and I am going to not think too much about knee surgery. I’m going to try to do what I can to make peace with the knees I have, more knee physio and definitely more riding.

Happy New Year all! (And knock on wood.) I’m sorry these aren’t rosier or more upbeat messages but that’s where I am. I did get to have a lovely Christmas with the kids and a fun and relaxing New Year with Sarah and friends at her family farm. Life is good even if I am not riding my bike in Florida as planned.

Jeff is enjoying the Florida Keys and you can read about his adventures here.

Escapade in Marathon, Florida.
fitness · injury · monthly check in

Sam is Checking in for September 2021: Goodbye Snipe, Hello Zwift, and More Knee Sadness

September is the month where some activities end and others begin.

One that’s ending is sailboat racing. Bye Snipe! Water levels depending there may be a Turkey Regatta but I don’t think our schedules will fit it in. But we did race in the Snipe Nationals and ended the race feeling inspired to get better and be more competitive. That felt significant.

Here’s the official report here. And my blog post about our race is here.

Here’s photos from the Snipe Nationals:

September was also our last canoe camping trip of the season. It felt like we were sneaking in one last weekend in Algonquin. It was cold. It was wet. But it was also glorious. The fall colours were beautiful. We also saw a moose! But now we are drying out and putting away the canoe, paddles, etc until next spring.

September feels like a transitional month because while we are scrambling to sneak in some last outdoor bike rides, sail boat races, and canoe trips, it’s also the month that we are back to Zwift.

I’m just over halfway through Zwift Academy Road 2021. It feels good to making decent progress this time through. Last year was a little dicey!

I’m back to racing Thursday night team time trials with TFC on Team Phantom and I’m also captaining another TFC team, Team Dynamite, in the Tuesday night Zwift Racing League (ZRL) series.

We still have four spots available if you’re a category D rider looking for some company and competition and lots of laughs. Drop me a line! I’m racing in the mixed category and we’re a North American team, participating in the 730 pm EST time slot. I’ll blog about trying to organize a Zwift team/herd cats later, I’m sure.

Our first race was last night on Watopia’s Waistband. It’s a good distance, for me, just under 30 km, and relatively flat. It was a TTT and we needed four riders to compete. We started out with 6 but two people had technical difficulties and didn’t make it either into, or out of, the start pen. Our team of four was me, two other Phantom regulars, and a new person. It all went relatively smoothly with one team member keeping us in line (thanks Keith!) and another rider taking the majority of the turns at the front (thanks Jack!). Results won’t be posted until tomorrow but I’m not much fussed. Really it’s about improving over the season and coming together as a team. We’ll get there.

I’ve also rejoined the gym! More on that later too but the short version is “thanks vaccine mandates!”

I started these monthly updates because of impending knee replacement surgery. Turns out it’s not so ‘impending’ thanks to covid in addition to the usual wait times in my part of the world. I met with the surgeon and did the pre-op check up in August of 2019. Two years have passed since then. On the one hand, it’s not such a big deal. I can ride my bike and walk Cheddar in the neighbourhood. On the other, I’m in pain everyday, and waking during the night with knee pain. It doesn’t let up even though I am working around it. I plan my trips up and downstairs carefully. I miss long dog hikes and even walks around the city. I was thinking that stay-at-home pandemic time wouldn’t be a bad time to be recovering from knee replacement but it looks like the world will be wide open for travel and I’ll still be waiting. Grrr.

birthday · fitness · monthly check in

Sam is Checking in for August 2021

August 2021 is looking more like August 2020 than I might like in terms of the pandemic. As a result the pause on my gym membership continues until January 2022.

August is also the month when we start to lose the evening light and activities that depend on the light come to an end. The evenings are getting dark early for outdoor riding. No more weeknight Snipe racing either.

Racing on Guelph Lake, photo by Guelph Community Boating Club

It’s not all bad news. I did just order a new fancy wheel off bike trainer from Speed River Bicycles and I’m about to sign up for Zwift Academy Road. I’ll blog more about that later.

August is also the month the blog celebrates its birthday. Happy 9th Birthday blog! (We’re also coming up to our 5000th post. Wowza!)

August is also my birthday month.

I turn 57 on Tuesday. Friends tease me about the multi-event birthday celebrations but with family scattered and with conflicting schedules, I tend to celebrate my birthday with friends and family over a few days.

Here’s photos from Celebration #1, with Gavin in Guelph.

Celebration #2 involved riding 57 km with friends and family.

It was a stinking hot day (heat alert!) but we did it. Actually almost 60 km for my 57th birthday. There are no rules for birthday rides in my opinion but I’m glad we managed the distance given the weather. Phew!

There’s more celebrating yet to come on my actual birthday, August 31st, including an afternoon mammogram. Wish me luck.

fitness · monthly check in

Sam is Checking in for July

I don’t have a lot to say. July was a mostly happy blur. I mean summer had a slow start what with all the pandemic restrictions on activities and gatherings but when it got going, whoosh!

So for this month I’m just checking in with comics and memes.

How July began:

I’ve been suffering a bit with knee pain and yeah, this about captures it.

And then it was August 1, which has special meaning among academic friends. As a friend posted on social media, “Happy “I Didn’t Get Nearly Enough Done This Summer” Day, for all those who celebrate.”

I’ll be over here working and weeping and trying to get everything done.

And in the context of covid, it definitely felt like this!