Are North American Cities Boring?

For some North Americans after a long European vacation trip, returning home is to the familiar and mundane  –especially  when home doesn’t have soaring, centuries old architectural monuments or lots of jaw-dropping art.  Or the North American just might be relieved:  thank goodness for space and wilderness.   As a Canadian, I don’t quite view Europe as prime destination to experience stunning,…

Flickers of Chance: Wild Creature Sights

Throughout Cyclewrite, I’ve featured magnificent deer, elk, bighorn sheep, eagles and blue herons. Most  photo gems taken by myself and Jack, were simply random opportunities where each of us did not plan to stalk the creatures. Serendipitous Benefits and Outdoor Activities Over the years, serendiptous wildlife sightings are just another benefit of spending lots of…

Canadian Camping Newbie @32 Years

My first time camping in a tent on the ground was when I was 32 years old.  I just started to know my partner who had been on numerous camping trips himself. That seminal, first camping time was during a bike trip outside of Toronto.  It meant cycling with our gear, sleeping bag for  over…

Reject Not at First Glance : Stained Glass Church Art

Two decades ago, I tossed out my 30-lb. stained glass artwork into the garbage a few years after I finished two stained glass art courses.  I dubbed the art piece, “Spring Thaw”. “Spring Thaw” was hoisted out into the garbage room,  because I thought it was unworthy of transporting 4,000 km. in moving  to Vancouver from Toronto.  Yes, it was…

Small and Suave: Dijon Lures with Charm and Wonder

If North American urbanites could have cosy, yet sophisticated and relaxed cities like Dijon, France, we would all be happier and healthier. Timeless, Relaxed Elegance Dijon is like a timeless elegant lady, yet sitting relaxed in a polished, antique chair. She wears a silk blouse with a pair of worn jeans and stylish deep red…

Cycling the Grands Crus Wine Route: France’s Burgundy Red Wine Region

It’s surreal to cycle through the world’s most prestigious, centuries-old region for producing fine,  expensive red wines and not stop for a tasting.  To atone for this, nearly every evening we often had excellent local red wine for low prices every dinner in this corner of France. Enroute Through World’s Cradle, Centuries and Prestige of Red Winemaking…

My European Food Trip Shock: Meat, Poached Eggs, Wine and Pastries

During our latest fall trip to Europe this year, I became much more a carnivore and red wine sipper. I had meat and red wine nearly every dinner for over two weeks.   Oh yes, we didn’t forget the pastries, especially in France and Germany. Normally, I only eat meat 3-4 times per month at home….

Easy-Peasy or Daunting: Getting to Local Art and Attractions by Bike, Foot, Transit

A long while ago, I was  volunteer blogger for Tourism Vancouver’s blog, Inside Vancouver.  My special self-chosen niche, was flogging outdoor Vancouver attractions, reachable by bike, foot or transit. So I zoomed into fabulous outdoor art, parks and scenic vistas.  Metro Vancouver is abundant with an array of  jaw-dropping scenery, galleries and historic sites clustered…

This Traveller Loves to Come Home Too

That’s me –after several weeks abroad and enjoying every day, immersed in a foreign country and language environment,  I love to come home too. To my own bed, quiet at home and diverse choice of food. Not Get Too Lost I’m not exactly your tourist,  clutching tightly onto my pillow from home or I’m peering…

Living Best as City Mouse

Even though Cycle Write blog is peppered with wilderness photos and near poetic odes about Nature, at heart, I live best as a City Mouse.  An urban life person. Sure I’d love to claim that I revel in cabin or at least home living in the unlit forest.  There is an implicit suggestion, that liking…

That Train in My Canadian Cycling Horizon

Every few weeks when I’m cycling, a major train pops up on the horizon with dinging bell, 1 or 2  red locomotive engines, pulling a serpentine string of cargo train loads and tanks.  The train is either the Canadian National Railway or the Canadian Pacific Railway. Like any cyclist, I just hope the frickin’ train is…

Canadian Contrasts or Ignorance: 3 Cities, 3 Solitudes

It’s harder than it appears:  distillating facts and personal musings on the major cities where I’ve lived, worked and cycled so far.  Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary are big and jostle for world stage, as Canada’s world-class city. Several sword points to note: Vancouver in my infographic, refers to  City of Vancouver.  Not 20 other suburban cities around which…

Christmas Lights, Colours- In Nature and by Human Touch

I’m certain we all have cringed at the outright crassness of shopping mall Christmas frippery, trinkets and lights festooning the shops and out along shopping districts. Sure, it taints the real spirit of Christmas –the birth of Christ, the reciprocal giving of good wishes both personal and collective as well as small gifts of caring…

Mountain Leaf and Light Dancing

Art and poetry are mere light and colour shadows, whisper-thin metaphors of Nature.  Here are some paintings and haiku I fashioned. Windswept leaves flung Down mountain, spin freewheelin’ Water cradles home. Translucent layers Fold a mountain range,  Copper-flames burnish gently. Glory gold glitter Rustles stories and dream-light Cast a fairy spell.

Bald Eagle: Fierce Majesty at Attention

The sight of a bald eagle stops anyone dead on their tracks.  It makes you just shiver a tad   –its razor sharp hooked beak, cold jewel eye staring from its snow white head rising from its muscular feathery dark bulk.  The eagle just looks as if it could rip you apart.  And it does  —…

Paint My Heart in Autumn Red-Gold and Orange

So far, there’s only one painting I’ve done, stoked by warm memories of Ontario’s stunning autumn leaf colour.  Swaths of flaming orange, red and gold paint forests, in parks and trees along streets and attract many walkers, cyclists and  car trip drivers.  While Vancouver, BC maps cherry blossom viewing locations every spring,  in autumn, Ontario…

Cycling Fires My Five Senses, Inspiration

While I was blissed out during a wonderful Christmas  baroque music concert, it suddenly dawned on me why I bicycle day after day. Year after year.  The frenzied violinists with half closed eyes in their  Zen trance while teasing music from their strings,  was akin to cycling as a great sensory experience. Cycling –An Easier Sensory Journey Cycling is…

Salmon Art Leaps Into Pacific West Coast Imagination

Salmon is king in Vancouver  –in local cuisine and in art.  After a few days wandering in the city or anywhere along the coast of British Columbia, you are bound to stumble across salmon swishing through water or jumping up in sculpture, murals or mosaics.  Salmon iconography is in Salish coastal Indian art, outdoor contemporary…