Call 403-465-0210 ReMax Login or Sign Up

A Foodie’s Guide to Victoria

Sun, 11 Jun by Bryon Howard

Victoria’s restaurant scene is an intoxicating mix of urban charm and rural sensibility. The city is home to a growing number of farm-to-table restaurants specializing in their own brand of “West Coast Cuisine.” Some have compared the city’s food obsession to the ultimate foodie city – San Francisco, but the Victoria restaurant world is uniquely its own. Local farms, markets, wineries and breweries provide the ingredients and a group of young, entrepreneurial chefs and restauranteurs work their magic to create consistently high-quality dining experiences.

When restaurant owners in Victoria talk about locally-grown food, they really mean it, unlike other major cities that are situated hundreds of miles from the nearest farm. Victoria’s location along the coast allow chefs to work with fresh ingredients pulled from the sea and fertile farmland surrounding the city. With a seemingly never-ending supply of fresh seafood, produce. cheese, wine, beer and whiskey, “farm-to-table” is not a passing fad in Victoria. It is a lifestyle that is warmly embraced by restaurants and residents alike.

Victoria’s municipal records show that there are over 500 active food service licenses in the city. If you add in the public markets, food trucks and kiosks scattered around town, that number easily increases to over 600. The food industry is a major player in this beautiful city by the sea. Here are a few of Victoria’s favourite eateries that will not fail to impress even the toughest food critic:

Saveur – This French-inspired local favourite specializes in five-course tasting menus. The food is fresh, fanciful and on everybody’s “Top Ten” list for Victoria fine dining.

Spinnakers Brewpub – Spinnakers is a local landmark that has been delighting locals and tourists since 1984. Blessed with a beautiful water view and excellent food, Spinnaker’s can also boast of being Canada’s first craft brewery in the modern era. Stop by the pub for a good meal and a good pint. As an added bonus, the pub offers a number of moderately-priced, historical guesthouses dating back to 1884.

Pagliacci’s – Victoria may have a British heritage, but the locals love a good Italian meal. Stop by Pagliacci’s to enjoy fresh Italian food and their world-famous focaccia bread. You will not be disappointed.

Olo – The word Olo means “hungry” in Chinook jargon. Every item and ingredient on the menu is organic and locally-grown. The ambiance is friendly and down-to earth and the changing menu is a testament to sustainability and innovative use of local food bounty.

These are just a few of the hundreds of eateries that comprise Victoria’s thriving restaurant scene. The abundance and diversity of dining options in beautiful settings is just one of the many draws pulling people to this special city.

 

Are you looking to Sell or Buy a home in Calgary and need someone who won’t rest until you’ve found your dream home or until your home is sold? I’ll work hard to earn your trust and to deliver exactly what you need. Contact me at 403-465-0210 or at TheHowardTeam.net.

 

About Bryon Howard

Bryon Howard and his team of Calgary real estate professionals sell an average of two homes a week. He is a member of the MLS Million Point Club, which ranks him roughly in the top 1% of productive realtors in Calgary. His aim is not just to please clients but to help them buy/sell a home in Calgary at the best price, in the shortest time, and with the least hassle. He is a member of the RE/MAX House of Real Estate that leads in the Canadian market. Learn more about Bryon at TheHowardTeam.net.

Discover Victoria By Bicycle

Wed, 03 May by Bryon Howard

Victoria, the capital city of British Columbia, is famous for its thriving real estate market, magnificent scenery and stately Victoria architecture. The city and the surrounding landscapes present a feast for the eyes and memorable vistas that are best enjoyed on a bicycle. Blessed with mild winters and humidity-free summers, the biking trails in and around Victoria beckon riders of all ages, fitness and skill levels. The city can boast of more cyclists per capita than any other Canadian city and a ride along one of Victoria’s well-travelled bike routes is a great way to acquaint yourself with this southernmost major city in western Canada.

When it comes to cycling in Victoria, the options are infinite. Here is a newcomer’s guide to just a few of the city’s more popular trails:

The Galloping Goose – This relatively flat, 55-km trail is the perfect choice for families and casual cyclists. The trail starts in a busy section of town and then meanders through farmland and evergreen forests to an old abandoned mining town. Built on a former railroad, the terrain for the most part is flat with a few easily managed hills.

Hartland Bike Park – Serious riders in search of a challenge head to Hartland Bike Park – about 20 minutes from downtown Victoria. This woodland paradise offers options for all experience levels, but is used primarily by intermediate and advanced cyclists. Don’t forget a trail map if you visit Hartland since the complex network of trails can be confusing.

The Seaside Touring Route – This popular route, specifically designed for visitors, takes the rider by many of the city’s noteworthy attractions. This route has it all! Look one way and you will be treated to a surreal view of the mighty Olympic Mountains. Look the other way and breathe in the deep blue Pacific Ocean. The 39-km route can be modified to virtually any length with water views most of the way. Don’t forget to wave to the resident seals at Oak Bay Marina.

Given the abundance of bike trails and natural beauty, Victoria has emerged as a mecca for international bike racers. The annual Tour de Victoria takes place in August and is a mass participation event attracting both world class riders and weekend enthusiasts. There is even a 3k race for young children.

If you are contemplating a move to Victoria or just joining the thousands of tourists who visit each year, consider getting to know this beautiful corner of the world on two wheels. Grab your helmet and enjoy the view!

 

Are you looking to Sell or Buy a home in Calgary and need someone who won’t rest until you’ve found your dream home or until your home is sold? I’ll work hard to earn your trust and to deliver exactly what you need. Contact me at 403-589-0004 or at TheHowardTeam.net.

 

About Bryon Howard

Bryon Howard and his team of Calgary real estate professionals sell an average of two homes a week. He is a member of the MLS Million Point Club, which ranks him roughly in the top 1% of productive realtors in Calgary. His aim is not just to please clients but to help them buy/sell a home in Calgary at the best price, in the shortest time, and with the least hassle. He is a member of the RE/MAX House of Real Estate that leads in the Canadian market. Learn more about Bryon at TheHowardTeam.net.

Snow Kiting – Wilcox Bowl

Wed, 29 Mar by Bryon Howard

Photo by Ian Graham

I’ve been interested in kite boarding for a few years. In September of 2015, I took a lesson in Malpeque Bay, Prince Edward Island … with a fierce determination that I would learn. That day I kited 50 km … and the passion began.

I have yet to water kite in Alberta. I never thought I would.  Kiting to me was just going to be something I do, while on vacation.  However, while my son Jacob was home from school in Victoria at Christmas,  we discovered snow kiting on Weed Lake, East of Calgary.

On Saturday, March 25/17 … Patrice, Ian, Michael and Ryan and I traveled to Wilcox Pass in the Columbia Icefields near Jasper.

After a 3.5 hour drive, we ski toured up about 50 minutes before reaching the less steep entrance to Wilcox Pass.   (Feeling we were quite ‘out there’ it was a bit of a surprise to discover two Adirondack Chairs placed and steering out into the Valley.) Jasper National Park Red Chair Program

As we were about to Launch our kites at about noon … the wind died.

It didn’t matter … it was amazing just to be in this location.

I struggled trying to launch my kite … then rested taking in the sites for an hour or more.

Finally, at about 3:30pm … the wind picked up and grew a bit more consistent.

We kited until 5:30, before packing up, and skiing down to the car … we were all in bliss.

Celebrating Calgary’s Diverse Population

Wed, 04 Jan by Bryon Howard

Celebrating Calgary’s Diverse Population

As an increasingly influential centre in world social and economic markets, Calgary can boast of a strong and growing multicultural base.  Thousands of immigrants continue to relocate to Calgary each year and by 2020, the immigrant population is expected to exceed half a million people, or roughly 30% of the city’s population.

Calgary looks and sounds different than it did years ago.  In 1959, the ratio of Caucasians to visible minorities in the city was 350:1.  Today that ratio is 5:1.  Strolling through the city centre, you can hear conversations in English, Punjabi, Chinese and Spanish – just a few of the dozens of languages and hundreds of dialects found here.  According to census figures, a full 30% of the city’s residents report that English is not the primary language spoken in their homes.  The language, culture and rich ethnic foods that the immigrant population brings to Calgary all contribute to the city’s emergence as a vital and vibrant global city in every sense of the word.

While the oil and energy industries were booming in the early part of this century, highly-educated and highly-skilled young people poured into Calgary in search of economic opportunity.  They came, they worked hard and they stayed in a city that understands how to welcome immigrants and weave a multicultural thread through the city’s own unique fabric.

Life in a city as diverse and vibrant as Calgary infuses its resident with a sophisticated worldview, cultural appreciation and sense of tolerance that is second to none.   Calgary is a youthful city that embraces and celebrates its diversity.  In addition to the annual Stampede and arts & music festivals, anyone looking to sample a bit of ethnic food and culture on the weekend can do so at the city’s Serbian, Greek and Turkish Festivals, Fiestaval Latino, Carifest, Brazilfest, or any of the dozens of other events celebrating rich cultural heritages throughout the year.  For this and other reasons, many residents believe that Calgary is a perfect city for raising a family.

Canadians have a long history of appreciating multiculturalism and promoting inclusion – both in government policy and legislation and, in the legendary hospitality extended to newcomers in our day to day lives.  Appreciation for multiculturalism is just one of the many components that work together to make Calgary a great place to live and work.

Are you looking to Sell or Buy a home in Calgary and need someone who won’t rest until you’ve found your dream home or until your home is sold? I’ll work hard to earn your trust and to deliver exactly what you need. Contact me at 403-589-0004 or at TheHowardTeam.net.

About Bryon Howard

Bryon Howard and his team of Calgary real estate professionals sell an average of two homes a week. He is a member of the MLS Million Point Club, which ranks him roughly in the top 1% of productive realtors in Calgary. His aim is not just to please clients but to help them buy/sell a home in Calgary at the best price, in the shortest time, and with the least hassle. He is a member of the RE/MAX House of Real Estate that leads in the Canadian market. Learn more about Bryon at TheHowardTeam.net.

Experience the Magic of a Calgary Christmas

Mon, 05 Dec by Bryon Howard

Spend some time in Calgary this holiday season and you may find yourself wishing you lived here year-round.  Christmas time in Calgary is an experience to cherish – a magical feast to delight the senses.  When it comes to holiday decorating and Christmas light extravaganzas, Calgary knows how to put on a show.

Here is a guide to a few of our favourite Calgary Christmas light shows – sure to dazzle your eyes and warm your heart.

Kick it Off Downtown – Start with a walking tour of Calgary’s vibrant downtown.  Sign up for a chaperoned walk or map your own route.  In either case, you won’t want to miss the skating rink at Olympic Plaza, pedestrian-only Stephen Ave., and Devonian Gardens.  The CORE Shopping Centre will feature over 100 decorated Christmas trees this year.

Zoolights – Unless you are ready to count the lights, you will have to trust the creative minds behind the annual Zoolights show at the Calgary Zoo.  They claim that there are more than 1.5 million twinkling lights and 200 exhibits winding through the zoo’s paths, but we suspect that there may actually be more.   This event, now in its 19th year, is the largest seasonal light show in western Canada and a beloved annual tradition enjoyed by Calgary residents and visitors.  Dress warm, grab a cup of hot cocoa and enjoy the spectacular imagery with friends and family.

Lions Festival of Lights– This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Festival of Lights, organized and produced by Lions Club members and volunteers.  The brilliant drive-by display along 14th Street NW boasts of more than 300,000 LED lights for the roughly 56,000 visitors who visit the display each day.  Best of all – it is absolutely FREE.  Come out with your family and enjoy the drive.

Airdrie Festival of Lights – Situated only about 20 minutes outside of Calgary, this annual light show organized by a not-for-profit foundation, has worked hard this year to update its light display to comply with new electrical code requirements.  Why not come out and show appreciation for so much hard work?  The light show incorporates train rides, fire pits, skating and hot beverages in a beautiful winter setting.

We hope that Calgary’s dazzling Christmas light shows brighten your and provide you with some Christmas memories to treasure forever.  Get your glow on this holiday season and don’t forget to pay it forward.  Wishing you a very merry Christmas – from our family to yours!

Are you looking to Sell or Buy a home in Calgary and need someone who won’t rest until you’ve found your dream home or until your home is sold? I’ll work hard to earn your trust and to deliver exactly what you need. Contact me at 403-589-0004 or at TheHowardTeam.net.

About Bryon Howard

Bryon Howard and his team of Calgary real estate professionals sell an average of two homes a week. He is a member of the MLS Million Point Club, which ranks him roughly in the top 1% of productive realtors in Calgary. His aim is not just to please clients but to help them buy/sell a home in Calgary at the best price, in the shortest time, and with the least hassle. He is a member of the RE/MAX House of Real Estate that leads in the Canadian market. Learn more about Bryon at TheHowardTeam.net.

Ironman Arizona, November 20, 2016 (When CDN Pro Lionel Sanders won and broke the Ironman Speed Record in a time of 7 hours  44 minutes and 29 seconds!)  

Wed, 23 Nov by Bryon Howard
Ironman Arizona - "Pro" Panel - My friend, Mom & wife

My Pro Panel … friend, Mom & Wife two days prior to Ironman Arizona.

I’ve been active all my life.  As a kid my brother and I built go-karts, and used them to salvage junk lumber to build our next tree house.  Those were my earliest memories of ‘sufferfests’ pulling loads of lumber through the neighbourhood to build the ‘best tree house’. Then there was our interval sessions … tobogganing up and down the neighbourhood hills in the freezing cold in Wabush, Labrador and later Charlottetown, PEI.  In grade 10, at Charlottetown Rural High School Rugby practice, I beat the entire team by doing 266 “Down-Ups”. Forrest K was 2nd with about 255 … and my brother Tommy was 3rd with about 220.  A significant increase over the previous record of 60 or 70 ‘Down-Ups’!

A few years ago, I committed to an Ironman race every 5 years.  This was my 6th Ironman since 2001. This is a 5 year ‘check-up / cycle’….this is how I roll.  

  • In the year or two after an Ironman, I enjoy the health and wellness benefits of what I’ve been through;
  • A two or three hour run or bike ride doesn’t seem like a big deal or a long event.
  • I have fun doing more local community races from paddling to ski mountaineering and can do reasonably well with little training or practice of the sport.
  • About 2 years prior to the ‘next’ ironman, I begin thinking about and getting specific about training.
  • I begin to think more about what I’m eating and how much alcohol I’m drinking. (I love to drink … and eat potato chips)
  • I get current on trends in the endurance world. This year I dove into the Ketogenic Diet … with ‘limited success’.

My goal was to Podium at Ironman Arizona on 10-12 hours of training per week.

Why did I think I could?

  • In 2008 I had an age group podium at Ironman Canada on similar training hours;
  • In 2015 (as I began training for this year’s Goal Race) I finished 2nd at Calgary 70.3;
  • This past summer I was 1st at Calgary 70.3 half Ironman – beating 2nd by 10 min;
  • At the end of August, I was 2nd at Canadian Nationals Long Course Triathlon in Penticton;
  • I trained this past year, not to finish, but to win. I sought out coaching and training partners who were faster than me … who would push me through sets of intervals.

What Happened at Ironman Arizona on Sunday?

  • I finished 7th in my age group, 167 overall – in a time of 10:08
  • I feel satisfied and happy with the result.

Why didn’t I Podium?

To begin with, it does not matter that I did not podium. Nobody cares – except me. A podium finish does nothing for me … other than make my ego bigger (which is hardly a necessity).

Since my last race at Canadian National Long Course Championships in Penticton, I’ve been pretty run down and frequently sick. While I was wondering why … the endurance coaches in my life said it was classic over training.

I finally had my blood tested in late September, and my hemoglobin was low. Again, the endurance coaches in my world, advised this is common for endurance athletes … and to rest for two weeks … listen to your body.

While I do not feel I was over trained, as I only train 10-12 hours per week, all the other stressors of life have an impact as well … as well as ‘too much racing’.  As a Realtor in this Calgary market, this past year I have put in record hours, for much less production than previous years. We are amid a tough market. Unbeknownst to me, my body knows this – and as explained to me by Natural Path Jason Ahlan and Endurance for Life Coach Mike Pascoe, it’s your body saying … enough already!   Your body is sending you a message – “Stop it”.

So, I would ‘mostly’ rest two weeks … begin to feel good … do a hard interval session … then get sick again. I had 3 or 4 cycles of this since the end of August.

I turned 50 today, 2 days after IM Arizona and I  feel very grateful to have completed the race in beautiful Arizona and to have done reasonably well.

A big thanks to Mike Pascoe

About a month prior to race day, as I was considering not going to Arizona & while making real estate calls, I happened to call Mike Pascoe, a Chinese Medicine practitioner and triathlon coach – Endurance For Life.   We spoke almost daily leading upto race day. We had fun discussions – me often sharing pictures of my tongue.  His analysis would dictate how I would proceed in my training ; push it, rest or fix!  (Based on my tongue … and a few other metrics!) I found this to be entertaining, interesting, kind, supportive and fun.  

I look forward to trying to podium again in 2021. I’m not even a tiny bit interested in doing another Ironman prior to then!

The Race – 10:08:49 – 7th in Age Group – 164th Overall

Swim – 2.4 miles – 1:04:54 – 1:40/100m  16th in Age Group / 245th overall

It’s interesting … I prefer the swim the most. I love the open water … the start in the morning twilight. However, comparatively to the Bike and Run – this is my worst discipline.

Bike – 112 miles – 5:12:16 – 8th in Age Group / 192th overall

I should love the bike…’butt’ I was in discomfort! This was a classic sign that I did not have enough time  in the saddle! .  There was a strong headwind  and I spent a good amount of the day ‘sitting up’ on the bike, instead of being in race aero position.

Run – 26.2 miles –  3:43:44 – 7th in Age Group / 164 overall

My goal was to run 5min per km to give me a 3:30 Marathon. Based on my run performance this past year … or two years … and especially the past 2 months – this was ambitious. I needed to ‘get some magic’.  I did the first 4 km on pace … then began slowing dramatically.  My goal soon became – “don’t stop … just keep on moving”. At kilometer 26 I was passed by an energetic beautiful 30ish gal … who suddenly gave me some mojo.   I picked up my pace and began to enjoy the run … until she dropped me 3 km from the finish line.

Lionel Sanders - Fastest EVER Ironman Time

I was thrilled to have my picture with Canadian Professional Lionel Sanders two days prior to him winning Ironman Arizona and breaking the Speed Record for an IRONMAN.

My Take Aways:

Ironman Arizona was very fun for a few reasons.  It was truly special to have my 80-year-old Mom travel from PEI to Calgary then onto Arizona for the big event .  I had the undivided attention of my wife as our older children are away in university!  Moreover, a family friend joined us and entertained us with endless triathlon ‘speak’!  We all got an education about our  Canadian Pro Triathletes, it was seriously so much fun to do nothing but talk about triathlon for 5 straight days!  Above all, I love being healthy and injury free. Health is a gift to be cherished!

 

About Bryon Howard

Bryon Howard is a RE/MAX Realtor in Calgary, dad, husband & lover of self propelled sport. He and his team of Calgary real estate professionals sell an average of two homes a week. He is a member of the MLS Million Point Club, which ranks him roughly in the top 1% of productive realtors in Calgary. He is a member of the RE/MAX House of Real Estate that leads in the Canadian market. Learn more about Bryon at TheHowardTeam.net.

I Won! – a Race Report – Calgary Iron Man 70.3

Tue, 26 Jul by Bryon Howard
Pre Race Meal - Calgary 70.3 2016 with our professional athletes Liz Lyles and Jarod Shoemaker

Calgary 70.3 Pre-Race Meal at my house w my wife Shirley & professional triathletes Liz Lyles & Jarod Shoemaker – So fun.

It’s Tuesday – but I’m still hoping the weekend won’t end.

A few weeks ago – somehow through facebook, I learned that the organizers of Calgary 70.3 were looking for host homes for the professional athletes.
I immediately said “Yes” … and asked for two.

Talented Mom & current record holder on Brazil Ironman Course Liz Lyles and Past World Champion and Olympian Jarrod Shoemaker were our pro athletes for the weekend!

Liz Lyles and Jarrod Shoemaker, our guests for the weekend, finished 4th and 5th.

The top 5 Professionals – Men and Women – Calgary 70.3 2016 – Liz and Jarred came 4th & 5th.

I’m shocked at what these athletes eat. They simply are flexible. Jared arrived first on Friday. We had food in the house … but he told us he would stop prior to arriving at home to get some snacks for the weekend. I was curious what ‘snacks’ were.
I was delighted to arrive home.
He had chips in the house!
… I LOVE chips.
Liz assured us … all she needed was coffee in the morning.

 

Well this is my race report …
Swim 28:29
I was fast. (In my standards).
Actually – the guy in front of me was fast.
I followed fast feet.
At one point, some crazy guy … actually stopped swimming and pushed me TOWARDS the finish line. He was upset at me as we rounded a buoy and were bumping against each other. Shit happens.

Bike 2:18:28
A beautiful course – it was unmemorable – other than seeing friend Jason Pohl pass me … and me thinking I was happy to beat him on the swim. I thought I could hold him … and was disappointed I could not. (25 year old punk.)

Run 1:37:41
I ran.
At the finish line, I ran into my friend Jarred Green.
He said, “It was funny … you looked like shit going out … and coming in … but you were moving.”
That is pretty much how I felt. Yes … I could move in a forward direction … but I had no spirit – and simply

Friend Dan on the left & Winner of the day - Josh Amberger in 3hours 40min - a course record! - Bryon Howard on the right. Dan will be joining Josh at World Championships in Aussie in 5 weeks. Josh didn't seem worried about the competition.

Friend Dan on the left & Winner of the day – Josh Amberger in 3hours 40min – a course record! – Bryon Howard on the right. Dan will be joining Josh at World Championships in Aussie in 5 weeks. Josh didn’t seem worried about the competition.

no spring.

Results: I WON the age 50-54 group! My time was 4:28:24.
I’m 49 years old … and I’ll be 50 in November.
For all those years in elementary school from grades 1 to 6 – when I was the last picked for every team sport … Ha!  Ironman made a change in the way the age categories work … so being born late in the year is an advantage as one age groups us.  I’ll take it! 🙂

 

Are you looking to Sell or Buy a home in Calgary and need someone who won’t rest until you’ve found your dream home or until your home is sold? I’ll work hard to earn your trust and to deliver exactly what you need. Contact me at 403-589-0004 or at TheHowardTeam.net.

About Bryon Howard

Bryon Howard and his team of Calgary real estate professionals sell an average of two homes a week. He is a member of the MLS Million Point Club, which ranks him roughly in the top 1% of productive realtors in Calgary. His aim is not just to please clients but to help them buy/sell a home in Calgary at the best price, in the shortest time, and with the least hassle. He is a member of the RE/MAX House of Real Estate that leads in the Canadian market. Learn more about Bryon at TheHowardTeam.net.

Calgary Police Half Marathon – a race report … in preparation for Ironman

Wed, 27 Apr by Bryon Howard
Police Half Marathon Finisher Medal 2016

2016 Finish Line at Calgary Police Half Marathon – Volunteer & Friend Jeremy Woolward presenting Bryon Howard with his Finisher’s Medal

 

A few years ago, along with friend Greg K, we decided we would do an Ironman distance triathlon every 5 years. I think we both think of it as a bit of a health check up. 2011 was our last Ironman … so this is Ironman Year – the goal race being Ironman Arizona on Nov 20.
One of the reasons I like this 5 year Ironman plan … is every 5 years … I’m forced to get real efficient with my time, and because of all the training … I am forced to take a serious look at my health and habits. Currently, as I ramp up my training and research – I am a bit amazed at all the new supposed ‘hacks’ – at how to get fitter and faster.
For the past 6 weeks, I have experimented with a Ketogenic Diet (High Fat and Low Carbs). I began down this rabbit hole by Listening to a pod cast by Tim Ferris as he interviewed Dr. Peter Atilla & later Dom D’Augustino. Since then, I’ve listened/read other proponents of this ‘way’ … Mark Sisson and Ben Greenfield.
Proponents of training and racing in a Ketogenic State (as I understand it) – suggest that you should not need to fuel your body until after 3, 4 and even 5 hours of training/racing. Your body will burn more efficiently on fat (versus what we all mostly believe – which you must use Carbs).
Since January 1, I have run 36 hours. That is about 2.5 hours per week. At the same time, I’ve been skiing, cycling and swimming … gaining fitness. I did three very good speed workouts on the Glenmore Track the three weeks prior to this race.

Since early in March, I’ve been waking in the morning … drinking bullet coffee … and getting on with my day of a morning swim or run, then working … often having the first low carb meal at noon. (This is to practice becoming a fat burning machine.)

Sunday, April 24/16 – Calgary Police Half Marathon – Time to test the training & diet
I woke 2 hours before the 8am start, I drank a bullet coffee (adding butter and cream). I weighed in at 160.2 lbs – which is about 5 pounds off my standard ‘natural want to be weight’ of 166 pounds. I’m pleased about that. Ultimately I would like to try to get down to 155lbs for IM Arizona.
15 Minutes prior to the race start, I drank some Ketoforce (It contains 55 calories with Sodium & Potassium Beta Hydroxybutyrate … supposed to help me be a ‘fat burning beast’.)
Weeks before the race, I decided I would try to run sub 1 hour 30 min … which is a pace of 4 min 15″ per km. (I did similar pace in November.) I felt great at the start of the race, running the first 8 km’s between 3:52 and 4:07.

Somewhere between 9 and 11 km, my legs felt VERY heavy. (I wondered … do I have enough miles of running in these legs.)
1 hour into the race, against the strong proponents of this diet, I had a gel. I was told if I did this … it would be like rocket fuel and I’d fly the last 30 minutes. Nothing. (I wished there was a telephone booth near, so I could get my Superman cape out.)
In the last kilometer, I had another gel. I got passed by two runners.
I had no kick – no fight to truly race.
My average heart rate was 163, max bursting to 188. This may suggest that I was going as hard as possible … as my threshold is around 163 (from my self testing).
I ran 1 hour 30 min and 30 seconds – a pace of 4min 17″. I finished 25th overall and 6th in my age group. According to Strava, the course was a little long. See the route (my heart rate & more) on Strava by clicking here.

What did I learn:
I’m enjoying the diet
I should try the next event with a fat filled breakfast (eggs fried in coconut oil/butter & spinach)
I should run more than 2.5 hours per week

What’s Next?
Ghost of the Gravel on June 19, a dirt road race of about 150km – where I hope to defend my win from last year in the Cat 3 category.
I think I’d like to get more strict about this ketosis thing. I’d like to monitor my body a bit more to find out if I am actually in ketosis.
I want to learn more about HRV (Heart Rate Variability) Training. My understanding so far … base your workout effort on your rested heart rate when you wake up in the morning.

Just for fun - Bryon ran as Superman

In 2015, RE/MAX Realtor Bryon Howard ran as Superman at The Police Half Marathon. With a lot less training, little focus, and no diet changes – his time was only 2 min slower than 2016. (The cape must have helped.)

 

Are  you looking to Sell or Buy a home in Calgary and need someone who won’t rest until you’ve found your dream home or until your home is sold? I’ll work hard to earn your trust and to deliver exactly what you need. Contact me at 403-589-0004 or at TheHowardTeam.net.

About Bryon Howard

Bryon Howard and his team of Calgary real estate professionals sell an average of two homes a week. He is a member of the MLS Million Point Club, which ranks him roughly in the top 1% of productive realtors in Calgary. His aim is not just to please clients but to help them buy/sell a home in Calgary at the best price, in the shortest time, and with the least hassle. He is a member of the RE/MAX House of Real Estate that leads in the Canadian market. Learn more about Bryon at www.TheHowardTeam.net.

Bike – Being Stoic – some ‘how to’s’ on packing and traveling with a bike

Fri, 26 Feb by Bryon Howard

Since Tim Ferriss came out with his book, The 4-hour Work Week, I’ve been following him. He’s a fan on Seneca and Stoicism.

I like to bike. I don’t think I love to bike … but I love what biking brings me.

I suppose my favourite thing about cycling is experiencing the weather. I love it all … too hot, too rainy, too windy and too cold. I can pretty much dress for whatever the weather and enjoy the ride.

Next up … I enjoy the elevated heart rate. Cycling is good for the body and the brain.
I prefer to ride with others who are of similar ability … I like to race. However, I also like to ride alone. I like leaving … and I like getting back home. I especially enjoy early morning rides when the sun is rising … or later evening rides when the sun is dropping. I like riding in mid morning, mid afternoon – or even high noon. I like exploring new routes, seeing new things … and when traveling – experiencing new cultures from a bike saddle.

In this brief blog, I want to explain that to travel with a bike, you will be much happier and more successful if you practice being Stoic.

I have many friends and acquaintances who are triathletes. Many of my friends are Type “A” personality … and have done or are planning to do an Ironman. In training, they will travel to Mallorca, Maui, and/or California and travel to races in Quebec, Arizonia, Germany, and “God willing”, Kona.

For this group … you have no choice … you MUST pack and transport your bike. Your family understand this. Being Stoic during the process will help you.

I’m currently travelling at 3,800 ft on West Jet to Calgary via Toronto from Dominican Republic.

I spent a few days in Cabarette and about 10 days in Las Galeras, the Samana Peninsula. It was my Mom’s 80 birthday celebration. My 5 brothers and sisters were there, my wife and kids, and most of my nieces and nephews. We were 22 people – and it was great.

Margaret Howard - 80th Birthday

My Mom’s 80th Birthday

However, I wasn’t going on a cycling trip. The priorities were clearly: family, hopefully some kite surfing with my son, perhaps some cycling … ‘god willing’.

If you fancy yourself a cycling enthusiast … a cyclist … then you may wish to bring your bike on your next travel. Your next travel could be for work, it could be for a one week vacation with your sweetheart, or it could be a 3 month bike touring trip. If you plan to be successful on actually ‘getting out the door’ and bringing your bike, you should practice being Stoic.

You see, nearly everyone will try to convince you not to take your bike. Your friends and family love you. They think that you will die. People fear the unknown. I fear the unknown. It is much much easier NOT to bring your bike. Your spouse will be happier. Your kids will be happier. Your Mom will be happier. They think you will live … and be safe.

However, if you are like me … you will be much happier to have your bike along … and sneak out for at least one ride. When your spouse, kids, and Mom see your smile after your ride, or from your selfie on Facebook or Instagram … they will smile too.

Where you need to be Stoic:
-Announcing to your family a few weeks prior … I’m going to x and I’m taking my bike; (Actually, I suggest you say … “I’d like to take my bike”. At this point it is kind of far into the future … and they will not normally object … yet.)
-Googling bike routes near x place. If you are like me … you won’t find any … and begin to question if you should bring your bike; (While googling x place, you will learn about why it’s dangerous to bike here.)
-A week to a few days prior to departure. If you are like me … you have not organized a bike box. You need to either: find your bike box which is back far in the garage behind many things; go to a bike store and ask for a used card board box; buy a proper bike box; or borrow a bike box. This is the most important place to be stoic.
-The day prior to travel. You will be too busy to pack your bike. If you tell your spouse, or your Mom … they will emphasize with you … and remind you about all the reasons why you should not take your bike anyway. I suggest waking up really early prior to your spouse and “Just Do It” … pack your bike while they are sleeping. When they wake, act as if it was not big deal.

It gets easier from here … but you must still practice Stoicism.

-Driving to the Airport … which car will we bring. Will the bike fit in?
-Checking in at the Airport. You Made it! Now the surprises begin. Keep a straight face … don’t let the surprises bug you. Expect to pay $100 for your bike at check in. Always say Thank You no matter what they charge you … it’s never the same. You get to travel with your bike!!!
-Security … checking your bike bag at Over-sized security. You are committed at this point … and will be taking your bike. It is here that you must remain stoic to enjoy yourself. If you are traveling with you non cycling spouse, they will be watching over you … possibly adding to the stress .. and huffing and puffing. About 80% of the time, I will have to unpack my bike for security. (Really … it’s no big deal.) Just unpack it. Note: when packing at home … don’t use a lot of tape.
-Some tips: Don’t deflate your tires too much (80psi is fine for tires that can run 110); don’t take CO2 cartridges; bring a pump that fits in your jersey (try using it at home); you can pack a lot of stuff in the bike bag (your cycling gear, kite surfer, etc. However, be sure to keep it under 50lbs … and lighter is better.
-This morning when checking in my oversized baggage at Toronto … I had the very worst ‘duck’ like person. She was a real cow. For the first time ever, I had to take everything out of my bike bag … place it in tubs, and run it through the scanner. She was rude, spoke like a squirrel, and was really unpleasant.

Time to pack the bike box.

A 75 km ride to El Catey Airport in Dominican Republic. It took 18 min to back the bike & kite surfer.

Traveling with a bike has gotten tricker in the 15 years since I started doing it. I expect it will continue to be even more unpleasant and difficult at the airport – as our ‘officers’ become more like robots and less like people. You see, we slow things down with our bikes … and their bosses are watching … and there are people lined up behind us … who get cranky as well.

Screw them … you got your bike.

I need to practice being stoic.

//

Related & Recommended Posts:
Is cycling in Dominican Republic Safe.
How to unpack your bike in 11 min -Just Do it.

Why I like to lend my bike box.

Laos Getting a Flat

Bike – Is Road Cycling in the Dominican Republic Safe?

Fri, 26 Feb by Bryon Howard

I have a sister who spends 6 months of the year in Dominican Republic and 6 months of the year in Prince Edward Island. In the DR, she helps run a La Hacienda Hostel in Las Galeras, and in PEI she does much volunteer work with the PEI Food Exchange.  She’s a bit of a hippie. She’s never been on a Cruise, and claims to hate them. I don’t know if she earns any money, but guess she earns between $3,000 and $12,000 per year.

A year or two ago my Mom began requesting that we do a family trip for her 80th birthday. We have never traveled as a family. We began brain storming idea’s. Of course a family cruise was an option. Florida was an option. Perhaps Britain. However, it became evident that if the entire family would be attending, the party would happen at the end of the road on the Semana Pennisula, in Las Galeras, Dominican Republic. (A kind of Eco Village.)

The little bit of googling I did on biking in DR, only brought up two types of results:

-Options to join Mountain Bike Tours;

-Touristy type information on how cycling in the DR is extremely dangerous. (Generally you could tell the writer was some sort of travel agent who thinks cycling means riding a beach cruiser on a bike path.)

My 19 year old son, currently in a gap year, decided to go a month early to Cabarete, DR to Kite Surf. His first time in the 3rd world … he pretty much conferred with my sister, the roads are dangerous.  When I asked for more info on what made them dangerous, he responded; “There are people everywhere, manholes are missing, the houses are really close to the road, there’s loud music, there’s donkeys, horses, chickens and beeping mopads, poncho’s, cars and buses. It’s crazy! I really don’t think it is a good idea to bring your bike.”

I’ve travelled a lot. In 1986 I spent three months in Dhaka, Bangladesh. I would commandeer the rik shaw whenever I could. In Nov 2014, I left Banff on my cycle cross bike and road to Vancouver Island then flew to Bangkok and cycle toured in Thailand & Laos.  In June of 2015, I won the Cat 3 devision of a 145km Gravel Grinder, The Ghost of the Gravel.

These roads sound interesting.

You see, if there are donkeys, chickens, children and houses all along the road … then it must be at least as safe to cycle here then on many of my very familiar rides in Calgary, Alberta.  One of my standard longish rides is leaving my home in Central SW Calgary (Altadore / Marda Loop) and ride to Bragg Creek via Springbank – 90km.  I used to feel very comfortable doing this ride about 5 years ago. These days, depending on how much riding I’m doing … I mostly feel less comfortable due to the fact that so many people are beeping and buzzing on their smart phones.  However, I continue to ride this route.

What is Safe?

It felt very safe to ride in the DR to me.

It felt very safe to ride in the DR to me.

Yes – I might die sometime while riding my bike.

However, there is a much greater chance I will die in my car in a car accident.

I could also get run over by a car in a parking lot at Safeway. Chinook Mall is even more scary. I think parking lots are very dangerous.

I could get the new Zika virus.

I guess the chances of me getting cancer and dying are greater then me dying on my bike.

One thing is sure; I will die.

My focus on this trip was family, kite surfing, and then cycling. Over the 14 days, I rode 700km and climbed x vertical. Every ride was spectacular. The only thing that would have made it more enjoyable is to be riding with some friends, in a peloton … where I would have been travelling faster and punching the uphills with increased vigour.

Most of the rides were coastal, with just one inland ride from Cabarette into the mountains. This was particularly spectacular. I’d like to return and do more riding in the Central Cordillera.

My jumping of spots were Puertto Platta and Semana. These are quite small towns compared to more popular tourist spots like Punta Cana and Santo Domingo. However, I would feel comfortable bringing my bike to these cities and exploring.

I guess the moral of the story is we have to phrase our questions a bit more carefully.  We cannot ask, “Is this safe?”  

Safety depends on your experience … and your ‘feeling’.

I feel like it is my right to ride a bike in my city. I feel like I should be able to commute nearly anywhere. If I had the time, and the motivation, I would ride without hesitation anywhere in Calgary. I would have to do some research on the safest route … as it would suck to land on Deerfoot Trail.

Do you feel like this?

-If you can imagine riding from Central Calgary to Springbank Airport, the 22x, and certainly Bragg Creek … then cycling in the Dominican Republic is safe for you. 

-If riding from Evergreen to Millarville along the road to Nepal is safe for you – you’d be fine in the DR.  

– If you can ride from South Rustico to Prince Edward Island National Park along the #6, then you will feel very safe riding in the DR!

-If you can ride from Downtown San Diego to Cabrillo National Monument – you’ll be fine.

-In Las Vegas … from Boulder City to Hoover Damn – then you’d be fine riding in the DR.

-Riding from Victoria, BC to Sooke … you’d be fine.

If your ride means loading your bike onto your car, and driving to do the Glenmore Reservoir loop, then cycling in the Dominican Republic would be dangerous for you.  

I love traveling in new places with my bike. I’m not particularly knowledgeable on technology … but tools like Garmin, Suunto, and Strava are making exploring on your bike easier and more fun. In the coming years, we can expect this to get even better and easier.

Go explore – take your bike.

Recommended & Related Posts:

A road ride from my bike saddle near Cabarrette, Dominican Republic

Why I like to lend my bike box

Being Stoic – some ‘how to’s’ on traveling with a bike

Getting a flat in Laos

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the Calgary Real Estate Board. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.