Sunday, August 29, 2010

Niagara River Parkway... the ride

Sometimes I have to pinch myself when I leave the house on a training ride... here are a couple of views of the Niagara river taken about a kilometer from our place along the bike path and the Niagara River Parkway... It is interesting to know here that we are looking south and the river is flowing north... in this top picture, you can see the arch of the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge that spans the river and is a main route for tourists coming in from New York... this is taken with my B'berry, so don't expect detail... The bridge is about ten miles from the falls and I pass under it on one of my 40km rides.

The river here is running deep so there is little apparent current here... almost looks like a lake. In fact, Lake Ontario is just a kilometer from where I took this picture. Shallow boats don't have to work hard here on the upstream... lots of kayaks and canoes here on the weekends. There are JetBoat "wet" rides along this part of the river... headed to the Whirlpools and the Falls. I am told they are fun... but I along with many folks that actually live in NOTL don't support them... they are incredibly noisy and the drivers somewhat inconsiderate.

This second picture is essentially the same... but further up the river... the bridge is easier to make out... given the fury of the water just a few miles up-stream from here, it is hard to believe we are just below the falls.

I am also reminded as I look out over the river, that in the other direction (west), there are thousands of acres of vineyards... and over 30 very good wineries. We are about to have the harvest here... they started picking grapes for sparkling wines this past week. There will be an interlude, waiting for the right sugar contents... and soon we will have the wine festival in NOTL. This will bring the wines of last year and others... and they actually are very good, and getting better. These wines drink like the Aussies and Chilean wine... and the 2007 vintage is the equal of most any I have ever tasted. We believe the 2010 vintage is destined to be better still.

Many of the wineries have excellent restaurants as a part of them... so it is great to be in the area in the fall... the harvests of the farms, the orchards and now the grapes make it a place to feast... hard to keep my mind on the ride... Will post some falls pictures next ... enjoy...

Friday, August 13, 2010

Scott Clark... An Update... 8.12 10 And a great opportunity to make a difference

Heather Crout was Scott Clark's wife. I have blogged in the past about the tragic loss of Scott in a commercial fishing accident about a year ago, of the coast of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Heather is a very well known artist... Lynnda and I have several of her water colors... and this year, she has been busy painting so that she can contribute, in Scott's memory, to a lasting memorial as described below. I encourage my friends to have a look at the paintings, and perhaps buy them. If you want to participate, just check with Paula Pettipas at the email address below...
Beginning this year, each picture sold will purchase a WORKABLE LIFE VEST which will be presented to one of the herring fisherman on the Eastern Shore in memory Scott at their annual meeting.

The show will open Friday August 27th, 7-9pm, at the Mitchell Cove Center at 47 East Jeddore Road in Oyster Pond, which is on the Eastern Shore, a little bit east of Musquodoboit Harbour in Nova Scotia. Show will continue through Saturday, 10AM to 4PM

I am placing pictures of the paintings here... the story of Scott, as I knew him is below those as I blogged last September.


Ask not... it tolls for Scott

The last time I saw Scott Clark, he had just finished monkey climbing a tree next door at Ron Smith's place... he attached a rope near the top of this not yet old enough, but dead Black Spruce that had been attacked by the Asian Long Horned Beetle... he shinnied back down and cut a perfect wedge, and then the final cut, felled the tree... from his perch on the tree, he could have looked at his home, like in this picture, across the harbour... Heather Crout, his wife would have been in her studio there, painting another beautiful water color... wondering whether Scott is OK... he was, just like all the other times he would be doing favours for neighbors, or working on a roof, shingling in the heat of the day... another dangerous occupation... or off fishing on a herring or lobster boat.

Yesterday, Scott was to come home from several days fishing. The herring are running off Halifax and there are so many boats out there at night that a friend who lives on Martinique Beach says it looks like a small city out there at night. Scott was out there in that small city, it was Saturday night, into Sunday morning... he was working, when he could have been partying... in fact, he wasn't at the bowling league on Friday night... the sign on the door could have been "gone fishing"... commercial fishing!!

Scott loved fishing... he had told Ron Smith that he was giving up roofing to go full time to the boats... fishing. Occasionally, Scott and/or Heather would come and visit Ron and Bev... and we might catch a bit of time as well. Scott would talk about many things... his heritage from Newfoundland; how he could eat a lobster in a matter of seconds; he did a lot of handyman things, and lots of favours for anyone who needed them. He had stories, many... and he could laugh, and make most others do the same... Friday nights at the bowling alley he was at his best... cajolling, but rolling for great scores himself... making certain everyone was having as good a time as he was... it was like he was put on the earth to make us all happy.

Scott had another passion... his astronomy! We were visiting Heather and Scott last week, and on the drive way with some other goodies in their garage sale was a huge telescope. He had others, and loved talking about the sights he could see... fishing at night would give him geat views from the open sea, he said.

He also loved his grand kids, and his family back on the Rock. He was planning to give his Mom one of his kidneys... she is on dialysis these days and could use the donation. Love was in his heart for this and more.

Scott worked hard, and he loved his life with his wife Heather. Heather is one of the really fine people of the shore. You could find her by times, waiting on tourists having lunch at the Tin Cup, working in the artist's co-op in Halifax, or in her great little gallery here in the Oyster Pond... Heather is one of the really great painters here in Nova Scotia... in fact, three of my neighbors are taking art classes from her this fall... Water Color... Heather also loves Scott...

Sunday morning, early, our door bell rang... it was Guy Le Blanc... our neighbor... he is retired from the Canadian Navy, and is a Fireman, and early responder here on the shore. When Guy comes a knocking, sometimes it is bad news... Sunday morning it was to tell us that Scott didn't come home... in fact, he was missing... a herring net had caught his boot and yanked him over-board... into the very cold North Atlantic... fourteen vessels and a helecopter were looking for him... there was little hope, from the beginning...

Scott will be really missed here on the Eastern Shore... the folks on Friday nights will have a permenant 7 - 10 split to fill... and we will need to help Heather deal with her loss...

I have a feeling that Scott is in this picture that I took last night... his spirit will always be on this water. I think it is likely he will have a party waiting for us when we get to our sunsets...

The Ride, an update on progress 8.12.10

There are a lot of advantages that accrue to the person who decides to go on a 2,600 mile bicycle ride with 5,000 of Lance Armstrong's closest friends... clearly the health benefits have to lead the way. For example, I am moving my curves around, sharpening them, little-by-little, . I am thinking more clearly and paying attention to what I am eating; the rest I am getting is great; but the stresses I seemed to enjoy in the past are less enjoyable as I realize the overall impact of them... I am reading more about general health care and that is telling me that "good stress" is an oxymoron!

But as I stretch my rides into two a day to total around two hours, a few days a week, I am getting to see some beautiful scenery. I am planning to share it here and on the cancer websites I am using to raise the funds... there is one above... I took this with my Blackberry from the bike about 7 miles from Middleton (Madison) WI earlier this week. I put another pic on the cancer websites, but I find this one more stimulating. There seems to be a lot of space to go through before I get to that beautiful rise of trees, just like I have a lot of space to go through before I make it to Vancouver, and then Austin.

I hope to continue putting these images here and on the other blogs in the time leading up to the ride... then I will add some video clips that will come from a camera I plan to mount on the bike... If I see the Sasquwatch as we go through the Washington State Mountains... I don't want to miss him!

Jean Sloan's $625.00 that she raised in Halifax a few weekends ago made it to the Give To Live offices today. Again, I want to thank Jean for her support and the effort she put into raising the funds. I also want to thank the many people who have donated $ to the cause of cancer through 'the ride' campaign. I am amazed by the support we are getting, and I thank the folks for participating. We are well over $5,000 now, between the Canadian and American centers... we are about 40% of the way. We will soon sell the hockey memorabilia which will get us closer... and I am reminding the various friends, companies and Blue Birds that time is short... I have to have the dollars in soon... thanx for all you can do...

Friday, August 6, 2010

A Week at the "Alter of the Saddle"...

From my blog...

66 days to launch... in Vancouver... of 'the ride' of my life. Can't wait!!!

First, I want to thank everyone for their donations... as you know, we(the collective 'we' that includes all who donate or support me in any way) have two donation sites... this one, in Canada, and the Livestrong site in the USA which is at

We have raised close to $4,000.00 in the first two weeks. I have been humbled by the efforts of folks to come up with donations... I want to give an example of why I am humbled!

Jean Sloan, our friend from New Brunswick, was in Halifax last weekend and passed the had around the waterfront resort-like facilities... she raised over $600.00 for the campaign that will soon be added to the total of our ride (Jean is rolling the coins as we speak, and I thank her profusely for every penny). I know that these are not easy times for everyone, but it amazes me that we are on the way to $15,000.00.

Remembering that it is not about 'the ride', it is not about me, it is all about defeating CANCER!

Its about having an awareness of not only defeating the disease... its about avoiding it; detecting it; treating it; living with it; helping others with it; Its about helping Members of Parliament in Canada and the Congress in America that this is a war! It is a war that takes as many lives each year as each of the Great Wars did, and many more than the ones we fight today... and it is worth fighting it as ruthlessly as we do the battles overseas. We need investments in our armamentariums to allow the docs, the families, and patients to fight to win! I against most wars... but NOT THIS ONE!

Enough... if you are about to donate, and are considering the difference between this and another disease... just donate, don't worry about our specific initiative. If you are considering the difference between this and a meal... choose the meal! But if you are wondering if I will ride with you on my shoulders for this 4,200 kilometers... be assured, you can confidently know that I will give thanks for each penny at the 'Alter of the Saddle' at sun-up and sun-down where the views are going to be magnificent.

Have a great weekend...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

There are lots of products that we use daily that are not life savers... but I came across one recently and ordered it... the amazing thing that happened was not that it is being shipped... it is that the company's founder emailed me (as he likely does all of the customers) and asked me to send out a savings coupon to my friends... I thought it was cool... so here is the note I sent and put on Facebook... I would have this for my kids, my biking buds and so on... if you agree... try it... BRuce

Hey Everyone,

As you know, I am working hard to get into shape for the Give to Live( ) bike ride from Vancouver, BC to Austin, TX. that will start on October 11th... it is a great ride through the west... and while training for it, as well as on it, I feel like I need some insurance... accidents and health issues can occur. I came across one of the best products I have seen, through my preparation for the ride... it's called a Road ID - perhaps you've heard of it. If you haven't, go to their website and check it out. Road ID is a great product that could save your life someday.

When I ordered, they gave me a coupon that I could pass along to my friends. Here's the coupon number:

Coupon Number: ThanksBruce818730

The coupon is good for $1 off any Road ID order placed by 09/03/2010. To order, simply go to or click the link below:

If you prefer, you can call them at 800-345-6335.

You can thank me later,

Bruce Ross

Oh by the way, their website is awesome, the customer service is outstanding...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Ride... Us, Work and the Third Diversion

This ride is relatively demanding... on a scale of 1 to 10 in my life, I have it at around an 8... most of my work has been more demanding; keeping a balance in life has been a 10; and the Cancer was a 15! But I have not ever planned a more physically demanding course of action, and I am soooo looking forward to the past tense on it... I did it!

I have been away on business for several days, and didn't find a good way to work out... I am mostly trying to add stamina or miles on my butt... so I missed the rides. I have been averaging around 35km a day, moving up from 25 the week I decided to go on what I call "the ride". I should log around 1,800 km before setting our from Vancouver... I hope to start adding in a few 60 to 70km weekend rides next week. It is a happy time for me when i am out on the bike.

But it is also a happy time when I am working these days... I am very happy to be back in the neurology space of the medical device industry... I am having fun. The problem is balance... Lynnda and I have been doing well with my keeping two balls in the air... when I was retired it was my Cancer and US; then when I started consulting again, it was US and my work; then we added "the ride"...

It reminds me of when I tried to be a student back in the 60's... I sound so ancient. I could do school, and have a good time; but when ever I tried to add a third thing in, some thing suffered... for a long time it was school; then it was relationships; and so on... still having a good time... so doing more than two things for any length of time is jeopardy...

The Ride is in about 80 days... so I am figuring that is within allowable limits... but US can't suffer and work can't suffer... and I know if I don't ride daily, it will be my body that suffers... or at least my butt.

Ride on, the saying goes... I will... got back in the saddle yesterday and it felt great... Lynnda and I will ride together for a while today... that helps with the US... then I will ride alone for another hour or two... Work is for Mondays... Fun EH?


My photo

Grad. Saint Mary's University, 1975, got into the medical device business initially in sales, then various management positions up to president, all in Medical Devices. I prefer therapy products over diagnostic, but they are all fun, and in a way have defined my life. I have now evolved, with help from my 35 year partner Lynnda with whom I now share every hour. I am into staying healthy, photography, kayaking, bicycling, gardening and two books a week. I wish I had gotten to this stage earlier!