Journal Comments - A great blue heron, a bear, and a butterfly: - CycleBlaze

Journal Comments

From A great blue heron, a bear, and a butterfly: by John Saxby

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John Saxby replied to a comment by Mark Bingham on The story

Thank you, Mark, for your kind words. We are privileged to live in this land of water, rock, forest and field. I'm always slightly astonished to find such peaceful spots, as well. One of the delightful things about cycle-touring in otherwise familiar terrain, is that the pace of the bike allows me to see (and feel!) well-known landscapes in a wholly different light.

7 months ago
Mark Bingham commented on The story

This is a beautifully written journal which clearly shows the love you feel about a wonderful place. Thanks for sharing.

7 months ago
Mark Bingham commented on a photo in The story

nothing beats ice cream in the heat!

7 months ago
John Saxby commented on The story

Thanks, Greg. I reckon "your" Mississippi is rather more famous than ours. But no matter -- come visit sometime, and you can see for yourself. Ours is a tributary of the Ottawa, flowing E and a little N to its confluence, is nowhere near the Gulf of Mexico, and until now rarely gets clobbered by hurricanes.

Bears are shy creatures, to be sure. Oddly enough, I've now seen two black bears while cycling (both in these parts) and one grizzly (in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, in 2016).

The fellow I saw on this mini-tour was running very fast indeed, but--full disclosure--I had never seen a bear running before this one. All the others were ambling, or just standing still.

I have seen a leopard running very fast -- away from me -- but that's another story.

2 years ago
Gregory Garceau commented on The story

Hi John,

As a guy who lives in a Mississippi River town (U.S. version), I too had no idea there was another one.

I've seen a number of bears in the wild, but never when I've been cycling. I'm jealous.

2 years ago
John Saxby replied to a comment by Mike Ayling on A postscript of sorts -- sundry notes on gear

Thanks, Mike, glad you enjoyed my meanderings.

On the weight/volume measures of the panniers: The volumes of the panniers I simply take from the manufacturer's info--and the tare weights too, for that matter. When I weigh my gear, however, incl the full panniers, I use an antique spring-loaded 25-lb scale I bought ages back in the Mennonite town of St Jacob's, in SW Ontario. It sits proudly on the corner of my work bench, and has a lovely big white dial and a long pointer, and I can't bear to replace it with a battery-operated digital thing. I could do the conversions to metric in my head, but I usually take the lazy way out.

With you on the AA thing--age'n'arthritis--but for the moment, "press on regardless, if more slowly" still seems workable.

Best, J.

2 years ago
Mike Ayling commented on A postscript of sorts -- sundry notes on gear

Interesting comments re pannier weights.
We only have Ortlieb and although they are easy to load and unload the empty panniers do weigh a lot. You mention volume in litres yet weight in pounds. Is this just a result of using measures that you grew up with?
Re Rohloff first gear, I had to engage mine on a steep suburban street here in Melbourne recently on the Mercury. Of course as we age we start suffering significant muscle loss. I turned 79 a week ago and am starting to hear the Siren song of e assist!
Keep up the good work.


2 years ago
John Saxby replied to a comment by Jean-Marc Strydom on A postscript of sorts -- sundry notes on gear

Thanks, Jean-Marc. Not a grand heroic tour, to be sure, but so, so welcome. And the Raven just rolls sweetly along.

Take care, best to you and Leigh,


2 years ago
Jean-Marc Strydom commented on A postscript of sorts -- sundry notes on gear

Good to see you back on the road. And that Raven looks so good !

2 years ago
John Saxby commented on The story

Thanks, Kathleen, glad you enjoyed it! "Mississippi" just means "Big river", as Johnny Cash acknowledges in his song. (The spelling has been anglicized.) 'Course, "big" varies a lot. This Mississippi is nowhere near as big as the Ottawa by any measure. It's a gentle, peaceful river for the most part.

2 years ago
Kathleen Jones commented on The story

What a nice ride. And I had no idea there was a Mississippi River in Ontario. Good to know.

2 years ago