May 28, 2023
Click on the link below to watch the book reveal for Beside Us coming October 5, 2023.
October 11, 2022
With the temps cooling off and the tress turning from green to the vibrant colours of fall it makes me think of the coming winter and putting my bike back on a trainer. I was out for a ride yesterday enjoying the deep reds and bright yellow leaves hanging from the trees. A couple of updates on my books. I am currently editing my third book, Alliance of the Wanted and once that is done, I will start editing my fourth book, no title yet and it is not part of the Family of Killers series, that is written and just needs some time. After that we will have to see where I go. I know there is at least four more Family of Killers books to come. You should have seen that I will be attending two book fairs in November to sign books, get your copies and a few extra as Christmas gifts.
Sorry for the short blog but my bike is waiting to be ridden.
October 2, 2022
Last week I was fortunate enough to do some camping on Crown land in Northern Ontario. Me and my friend Derik spent four days in the middle of the bush with no cell service, electricity or running water. The first day, as always, was the toughest, where I was still checking my iPhone. Out there, the phone is only a camera or note taker. There was no reason to check it.
The peace and quietness of the wilderness was deafening and refreshing. The dogs ran through the woods freely with high visibility vests on, as it was the start of hunting season up there. To sit in silence with only the crackling of the fire and chirping of the birds is good for a soul. It gave me time to reflect on life and where I want to be in one year, five years and ten. The nights were cold, but two dogs were better than the thickest of blankets. Enough words. See the photos below of our trip. I could never describe the beauty in words. #camping #fun #fall #fallcolors
September 24, 2022
Over the last year or so, since my second vaccine, I have struggled with my health. There is an old saying, if you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything. It really is amazing how true that statement is.
I considered myself a healthy person, exercising daily, averaging 150km of biking weekly. When that was taken away from me, it caused a spiraling effect in my body and mind.
After a year of dealing with a few strange illnesses, this week I took a big step in taking back my health by biking to work again. I am nowhere near back to where I was pre-vaccine, but I am improving monthly.
This goal was a big one for me, mentally and physically. I could feel the benefits after my first day. When I arrived at work, my mind was focused and alert, unlike commuting in a car where I would arrive tired and already stressed. My body was tired, but a good tired. I had accomplished something I did daily for years until my health dropped.
The next thing was the immediate external changes. Co-workers commented all day how I was happier and easier to work with. J My frustration with certain meetings was less than the days before.
I ate healthier that day too, which meant no afternoon drop in energy.
When the workday ended, I changed into my bike gear, put on my headphones, and headed for where I had parked my car, 7KM away from my office. I was enjoying my ride, the music and the oxygen filled blood pumping through my body so much that I missed my turn and had to find my way back to the car, adding three extra KM to my ride. Unlike days where I would be furious in my car for missing a turn, I laughed at myself and enjoyed the ride.
The second day was even better. My mind was clear. My body felt like it was healing itself from within with all the good blood and the natural chemicals traveling with it.
Don’t ignore your health. One day, you will encounter an issue. Now is the time to prepare for that by getting off the couch and going for a brisk walk, bike ride, or just moving. Once you do that, many other things will fall into place. You will feel better about yourself, eat better, lose weight, and those chronic aches and pains will slowly become a memory.
Let me know your adventure as you return to health or work on improving what you already do.
As always, you can follow my rides on my website with my Strava widget.
#health #bike #heal #behealthy
July 21, 2022
Last week I had some issues with a rash around my ear. My doctor diagnosed me with Ramsey Hunt Syndrome. It is the dormant chickenpox virus. In extreme cases, this syndrome will paralyze your face.
This is the same disease that caused Justin Bieber to delay his last tour, summer 2022.
For me, the virus found a comfy location on the right side of my face and neck. The rash covered the right side of my face, which after a few days turned to yellow pussy blisters. The inside of my mouth was raw, like when you drink a cup of coffee that is extremely hot and it blisters the roof of your mouth. My right nostril and eye sealed shut with dried yellow blisters covering them both. My cheek and neck muscles stopped working meaning, I couldn’t smile, or turn my head with ease. There are many other issues that I encountered over the last week, none of them were pleasant.
They say that stress, mental and physical or a rundown immune system, can cause the virus to awake from its dormant state. I think lately I have been carrying those two triggers on my shoulders. Lesson learned, I guess, for a little while.
For myself, and for all those reading this, we need to take time daily or at least weekly to check ourselves, prioritizing eating right, getting enough rest but never giving up on chasing dreams and goals.
Dealing with mental and physical stress can be a hard pill to swallow sometimes, but if you don’t get ahead of it, your body will find ways to slow you down. #health #wellness #blog
June 10, 2022
The other day I was out for a ride on my classic bicycle, a 1988 Centurion. The frame, forks and paint are all original. I bought it my first summer working with SDL Mechanical as a helper in 1988. My dad was upset that I spent $1900 on a bicycle. Back then, it was worth more than my 1983 Ford Escort wagon.
I had an old Venture bicycle, a department store bike. When I brought my new bike home, my dad asked what made it so expensive and why did I waste that much money on a bike. I gave him my old Venture bike and told him to lift it. It took two hands to lift, it was so heavy. Then he lifted my new bike, he almost threw it over his head. That was one of the many differences. The drivetrain and wheels and other components were major upgrades from a Zellers bike.
Back to why I started this blog. I was out on my Centurion the other day. At a set of lights, a guy rolled his window down and said to me. “That’s a classic bike. Maybe it’s time to get a new one.” He smiled after saying it.
I replied to him. “I have a new one at home, carbon fiber, light as a feather. But if you had a 2022 Corvette and a 1969 Mustang at home, wouldn’t you take the Mustang out for a spin every once in a while?”
He smiled at me and said, “Dude, you nailed. Enjoy your ride.” The light turned green. I turned left, and he drove away in his silver Cadillac.
I smiled, as much as my new bike has all the bells and whistles, is faster and more comfortable, it is still nice to pullout the old Centurion and ride the same roads I did as a teen on that bike. As a bonus that day, I was out on some old side roads, out by Maryhill. Had my music on random. Animal from Def Leppard came through my headphones. More great memories. The difference back then was I had a big heavy Walkman with foam headphones and a wire band, no helmet and strap petals instead of clips. Now I have headphones that stick in my ears, a device that not only plays music but is a phone, a camera, day timer, a GPS device and, of course, a vessel to the entire world’s information.
That was a good ride. #biking #wellness #blog
People ask me why I enjoy biking on my own, sometimes for hundreds of kilometers or hours, sometimes up to ten.
Some rides are a grind just pushing over the pedals to get home, nothing exciting to report. I do become jaded with some rides around southern Ontario on remarkably familiar roads. Other rides my mind wanders sorting out story lines, especially the ones when I have written myself into a corner. The best rides are when I am on new roads with so much to see and enjoy.
I was in Elliot Lake this week, on a trip with my in-laws, and had one of those extra special rides. One of those rides that photos can’t do it justice (I tried, see below) and memories are just that past thoughts. But being in the moment enjoying the new roads to explore and the challenging terrain was the focus of this ride. I had to push myself up those steep long hills and down the coarse, tire ripping descents. The sounds that filled my ears of birds singing, frogs calling out, and the sights that distracted my eyes from the road will been burned into my mind.
I was north of Elliot Lake when I realized I had no cell service and had not seen a vehicle or a person for at least an hour. As the sign below notes, this is bear country. What an amazing feeling. In the middle of wilderness, knowing there was no one around for miles, no way to be contacted or traced.
The one thing I was hoping to see was a black bear at a distance. If the bear I was hoping to eventually see crossed my path, then I would have no way to call for help, no way anyone would know I was a meal for some black bear. What a thrilling feeling to be alone, truly alone. In a world of connectivity, most people would have a hard time finding a place like that or even want to be disconnected from the world.
None of us have had that since we were kids in the eighties. Some of you reading have never had that feeling, being born after 2000’s.
Just letting my mind wander through story lines, memories and things that stress me. Everyone should get on a bike and do some soul searching. It’s the best mental health therapy you don’t have to pay some expensive doctor for. #biking #wellness #blog
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