Monday, October 11, 2010

The Real Thanksgiving

During the first week of October I happened to be in New York City for official business, so I decided to tack on a trip back home for the real Thanksgiving (not the faux thanksgiving that takes place in November). The week in NYC went well from a "business" perspective in that we got all of our work done, but it was a complete failure in that I failed to achieve my primary goal for the trip, in that I had hoped to bring my roller skis and use them on the loop around Central Park. On my last trip I had realized that Central Park is crying out to be roller skied, with a 9.6km long loop road that encircles it, most of which is well-surfaced new pavement that is closed to traffic.

The main reason that I failed in my goal is that I didn't bring my roller skis, and this was due to the joint factors of Roanne convincing me that it wasn't a worthwhile cause (because I would have to check my ski poles as an extra piece of baggage) and the weather forecast being terrible. In the end it was probably a good thing that I didn't bring them, because the weather did turn out to be a bit crap and because I got to the airport late for my flight from NYC to Toronto so that I was unable to check any baggage, and 175cm long ski poles most certainly do not fit in overhead bins. Nevertheless, it was still a shame that I was unable to accomplish this, and I will try harder on my next trip to the Big Apple.

I flew to Toronto Friday evening where my Dad picked me up at the airport, and on Saturday morning my Mom, Dad, and I picked up my Grandma and we all headed up to Barrie for a Thanksgiving event with Trev, Jodi, and the twin terrors (Mason and Brenna). We spent the early afternoon doing some dinner preparations (Trev and Jodi had done most of the work in advance), here is Trev deftly flipping some mushrooms that are destined for the stuffing:

And here is my Mom chopping some celery for that same stuffing:

After dinner was sorted and it was just a matter of waiting for the turkey to cook we all headed out into the school parking lot across the road and watched Mason and Brenna contest a criterium with Mason the flagship rider for Team Elmo and Brenna representing Team Barbie. These little monkeys are getting pretty good at riding their bikes, and I would say it is a matter of months before they start pinning on numbers and making appearances on the local racing circuit.

We then headed inside and enjoyed a delicious dinner, here is everyone (except the photographer) getting ready to enjoy the feast:

I stayed overnight in Trev and Jodi's newly refinished basement, and the next morning Trev and I headed over to Horseshoe Valley for some mountain biking before they had to leave for more Thanksgiving dinner obligations. The trees were just starting to enter their prime colours which was pretty spectacular, here is Trev unloading the bikes under the fall splendor:

I hadn't brought a bike home with me, but luckily my Dad still has my very first real mountain bike (a KHS Montana Comp) which is still fully functional and has been restored to it's original condition, complete with rigid fork:

This is the bike that started my love affair with two wheels, so it was pretty fun to have a time machine experience where I rode this bike on trails again, just as it had been when I first got it almost 20 years ago (oh man, I'm getting old!). It was also a good reminder of how much mountain bike technology has progressed since then, disc brakes and full suspension sure make riding easier. Here is a shot of Trev climbing some double track through some nicely lit trees:

And finally one of me getting back to my roots on the vintage KHS Montana:

We had a great 2.5 hour ride on some really fun singletrack, after which Trev, Jod, and family headed on to their dinner obligations while I headed back to Georgetown. The next day I managed to visit my Oma in Brampton and squeeze in a bike ride and walk with my parents before they dropped me off at the airport, concluding a great Thanksgiving weekend spent in the homeland.

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