Saturday Snippets: 09.September.2017

The haze has returned to the West Coast, due to the ongoing forest fires. Our lungs seem to be struggling with this smoke-filled air more than we did back in August, maybe it’s because we’re getting smoke from the BC interior as well as Washington? We’re supposed to get a few drops of rain over the weekend, so here’s hoping it helps tame some of the fires!

Here’s what caught our eye online in the world during the week of 09.September.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

  • Winter training goals (for Jonty πŸ™‚ ) I’d probably just work on the triceps exercises, because I’m weak, yo!
  • If you’re Canadian, you’ve no doubt eaten more than your fair share of Nanaimo Bars growing up. If you have ever wondered where they came from, here’s a bit of history for you. We’re off to Vancouver Island next week, and will be heading through Nanaimo. Perhaps it’s time to rekindle my love-affair with these gems πŸ™‚
  • Our weather is still firmly planted in the hot-summer territory, BUT for when the temperatures start to dip, I’ve bookmarked this simple black beans and rice meal. These one-pot dishes are always so easy and always so tasty.
  • Fake Merit Badges, because even the small outdoor victories should be recognized πŸ™‚
  • Last week, I listened to this episode of the This Is Criminal podcast, which led me to the next episode. The next day, I got an email saying this book was available for me to borrow from the library. Totally weird, yet all connected!

On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion):

  • We’ve installed our convection oven in the van this week! Last week, Jonty constructed the frame out of 80/20 and CNC’d the faceplate to cover the oven and air vents. This week, we finished staining the wood and properly secured everything together.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter van conversion - convection oven installation

  • To secure the oven, mounts were fabricated to attach the 80/20 frame to the L-track (which is bolted through the floor). We then strapped the oven to the 80/20 frame, as well. The strapping may be replaced but it works for now.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter van conversion - convection oven installation

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter van conversion - convection oven installation

  • The oven is completely open to the back of our β€œgarage”, and we designed it this way to help with the air-flow and heat venting. Breville (our convection oven) gives minimum spaces that must be open around the oven, to prevent overheating, and judging from the view from the back, we should have tonnes of it πŸ™‚

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter van conversion - convection oven installation

  • From the front, we have the open space between the air vents and the oven, which will give us access to both the plumbing and electrical boards on either side. This space can also act as a little booster-step, to get onto the bed, if we need it.
  • All of the pipes and electrical wires are fed through holes along the floor on either side of van. Once all of the cupboards and drawers and doors are in on the cabinets, these will be hidden from sight.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter van conversion - convection oven installation

  • After turning up the oven as high as it would go (with the fire extinguisher close by, just in case), we checked all the electrical connections and everything looks good! So, as a pat on the back, we enjoyed our first bit of food in the van – a toasted scone – and it was pretty darned tasty πŸ™‚

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter van conversion - convection oven installation

And then, the most exciting Moby News of the week:

  • We spent our first night in the van! We had talked about driving up towards Squamish on Thursday evening to spend the night, then do some climbing on Friday. It was a long day on Thursday for both of us, but we still decided to give it a whirl. So we packed up a few things for breakfast in the morning, brought down some bedding, and away we went!
  • We knew exactly where we wanted to spend the night – a secluded little pull-out off a logging road, just past Porteau Cove. Driving up to our little spot, I was instantly transported back to our travelling days from two years ago. It was the trip that prompted us to head down this van path, and it felt wonderful!
  • Moby passed with flying colours! A bathroom would have been nice, but that will happen in due time. We’re getting there πŸ™‚

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Camping in the sprinter van

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Camping in the sprinter van

Pictures from the week of 09.September.2017:

On the night before the Labour Day Monday, we decided to get up early and catch the sunrise. It was a good thing we made that decision, because the wildfire smoke rolled in on Monday evening, and we’ve been under a smoky haze since then. But on Monday morning, the skies were clear, weather was warm, and we enjoyed the view from our favourite sunrise-viewing bridge (Cambie Street Bridge).

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sunrise in Vancouver BC from Cambie Street Bridge

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sunrise in Vancouver BC from Cambie Street Bridge

The water was so calm and glass-like, and then a small boat came trundling under the bridge. It wasn’t going very fast, but it’s amazing how quickly the wake of the boat can upset an entire bay of glass.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sunrise in Vancouver BC from Cambie Street Bridge

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sunrise in Vancouver BC from Cambie Street Bridge

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sunrise in Vancouver BC from Cambie Street Bridge

We waited until the blood-orange sun crept over the horizon and through the buildings, then slowly meandered back to the van for breakfast and a coffee πŸ™‚

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sunrise in Vancouver BC from Cambie Street Bridge

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sunrise in Vancouver BC from Cambie Street Bridge

Happy Weekend!

Saturday Snippets: 29.April.2017

Goodness gracious – the last weekend of April! I feel like I’m in denial. Maybe because it’s only started to kind of feel like spring in the last week. One more weather fact for you, because we’re Canadian, and apparently it’s all we talk about πŸ˜‰ On Monday,Β Jonty sent me the rainfall update for April: as of Monday, Vancouver has had 170 mm of rain in April (the average for the month is 67 mm), and we still had a week to go! However, the sunshine gods must have been feeling sorry for us, because we’ve had more sun than rain this last week of April. Hopefully this is a sign of weather to come?

Here’s what caught our eye online in the world of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Saturday Snippets for 29.April.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion):

This was another week of planning and prototyping, but we’ve officially entered cabinet-making season πŸ™‚

The Cabinets:

  • The first half of this week was all about the hinges. What type of hinges are there, what kind do we want to use, do we want to fully cover the 80-20 or not, how can we attach the hinges to the 80-20, what hinges will work with 1/4-inch thick cabinets, etc, it’s all non-standard…
  • The second half of this week was all about the latches. Once we figured out the kind of latch to use on the cabinet doors, we then spent a bunch of time trying to figure out who sold them in the lower mainland, to see them in person.
  • Good news is that we think we have answers to both questions! Jonty used some cheap-o $3 hinges from Home Depot, to prototype attaching them to the 80-20. It involves drilling holes in the hardware, but we think it’s going to work! We also found the latches we want to use, at the local Marine store (which is closing their Vancouver store shortly), so picked up one to try (at a 25% discount!).

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter van conversion - upper cabinet hinges

  • We picked up a few sheets of 1/4-inch Baltic Birch and started making the cabinets! The bottoms of all the upper cabinets will slide into the grooves of the 80-20. The cabinet fronts and sides will fully cover the 80-20 frame. Jonty was able to blitz out 4 cabinet bottoms and 4 cabinet fronts on the CNC machine yesterday. Now we just have to stain / seal them, and attach the hardware and we’ll have usable storage space!
ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter van conversion - cabinet bases

Cabinet bottoms, made out of 1/4-inch Baltic birch, will slide into the grooves of the 8020 extrusion.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter van conversion - cabinet bases

Cabinet bottoms, made out of 1/4-inch Baltic birch, will slide into the grooves of the 8020 extrusion.

Pictures from the week of 29.April.2017:

Last Saturday we were climbing in the competition, but Sunday morning we spent an hour wandering around downtown Victoria, to snap a few pictures before it got too busy. Victoria has a very walkable downtown area, and I absolutely love the old brick buildings!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Downtown Victoria BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Downtown Victoria BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Downtown Victoria BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Downtown Victoria BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Downtown Victoria BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Downtown Victoria BC

Happy weekend!

Saturday Snippets: 22.April.2017

We’re in Victoria for the weekend, and hopefully the weather is going to hold! We’ve got our bikes walking shoes and our climbing gear and our growlers πŸ˜‰

Here’s what caught our eye online in the world of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Saturday Snippets for 22.April.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

  • For the most part, I’m not good at stretching. It’s not in my daily routine, so I forget. Perhaps it should be my goal to incorporate at least one of these stretches into my day.
  • Whether you climb or not, this sweet potato and avocado burrito should satisfy all taste buds.
  • The science of weird food pairings. This was definitely not one of my physics courses offered at university.
  • At first, I was drawn to the gorgeous colour of this green sauce. Adding miso? Colour me intrigued!
  • Sometimes, you just need a good piece of really-dark-chocolate cake. Simple and unpretentious. This looks to be that cake.
  • It’s everyone’s favourite season in Vancouver – Attack-of-the-Crow Season! Yup, we’re entering those magical few months when you feel like you’re being followed, tormented and dive-bombed by those avian creatures. I wish I could find something nice to say about them (because I know they’re just protecting their young) but I can’t. They follow me and freak me out. Jonty thinks my fear is irrational, but I beg to differ!

On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion):

The Electrical:

  • For whatever reason, it felt like a slow week on the van conversion. Well, only in that I was working most of the week and Jonty was updating some of our electrical schematics, and doing a bit more prototyping. So it was a bit of a computer week.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter van conversion - electrical diagrams

The Fridge:

  • We did get the fridge fully installed and secured to the L-track and 80-20, so that is good. That sucker is solid!!
  • Jonty cnc’d one more mount for under the middle of the fridge, finishing that part of the set-up.
ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter van conversion - fridge mounts for L-track

The black fridge mounts are bolted to the L-track (through the van floor) and then connected to the 80-20 extrusion on the top. The fridge is then connected to the 80-20.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter van conversion - fridge mounts for L-track

Having a bit of a laugh while installing the fridge mounts. These three mounts will connect the 80-20 to the L-track. The fridge is then connected to the 80-20, and thus to the van floor. Solid!

The Galley:

  • Yesterday we found out that our sink (which was supposed to be delivered last week … then Tuesday… then Thursday….) has officially gone missing. Big bummer. Some employee must really love RV-sized double sinks! At least Amazon recognized the unfortunate disappearing package was not our doing, we’ve been refunded the price already. But we still need to order another one, which will probably take another 3 or 4 weeks (because they weren’t in stock). Again, bummer.

Pictures during the week of 22.April.2017:

We’re in Victoria this weekend for a bit of a getaway. The weather was absolutely glorious on the ferry ride over, and you better believe we tried to soak up as much Vitamin D as possible! We’ll need it, as the weather is supposed to turn rainy again today (hence, no bikes). But we’re used to this; it will just be nice to enjoy the new scenery.

So, next week there should hopefully be a few pictures from our weekend away. For today, you get ferry pictures πŸ™‚

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | BC Ferry ride to Victoria BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | BC Ferry ride to Victoria BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | BC Ferry ride to Victoria BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | BC Ferry ride to Victoria BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | BC Ferry ride to Victoria BC

Happy Weekend!

Saturday Snippets: 08.April.2017

This felt like a really busy week, what with a few site visits + tax season + van work… Suddenly we’re back at Saturday again! I had a few other posts in the queue to publish this past week, but it was not meant to be. So here’s to next week πŸ™‚

Here’s what caught our eye online in the world of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Saturday Snippets for 08.April.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

  • We finished our power training last week – we changed up some of our campus routine and tried to maintain a two-day rest in between campus sessions. I think both changes were a success, and our last session ended on a high note! Now we’re onto a round of power-endurance – bring on the forearm pump!
  • I love Lara Bars – these homemade cashew cookie dough versions look like the perfect climbing fuel.
  • Do you have a favourite donut? I’ve got a major soft-spot for Boston Creme donuts, which is why these cupcakes caught my eye!
  • Are you getting enough protein?
  • Does anyone have any good book recommendations? I’m in a blah phase at the moment, so I’m always on the hunt!
  • Photographers document how quickly some of the worlds biggest glaciers have been receding over the recent years. It’s quite a stark contrast (use the slider bar in the middle of each picture).

On Moby News (aka Sprinter Van Conversion):

Awning:

  • We had two dry days this past week, so we made use of them and finished hooking up the awning motor. This required drilling another hole in the roof of the van, so a dry day was key.
  • The cables go from the awning motor, through a waterproof cable clam that, and then down into the inside of the van. We’ve wrapped cable conduit around the wires that are exposed on the roof. So far so good – no leaking roof!
  • Yesterday, Jonty wired connected the wires to the awning controller, and we now have an electrically extending and retracting awning! Very exciting πŸ™‚

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter van conversion - installing a Fiamma awning motor

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter van conversion - installing a Fiamma awning motor

More electrical:

  • Jonty has been prototyping boards that will house all of our electronic controls and displays. He thinks he’s nearing a version that has all the parts we’ve installed so far. The finished product will eventually be mounted above our inverter and electrical panels.
  • Tidying up all the wires and cabling, tucking everything into flexible cable conduit. There’s something very satisfying about seeing all the clutter disappear πŸ™‚
  • An electrical part returned from being re-programmed. Now it reports values consistent with other components and the multimeter – finally it all works as expected!!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter van conversion - control panel board

More wall panels:

  • This time for finished the sliding door (top and bottom) as well as the thin panels in between the back windows. I’m not going to lie – some of the covering is tedious, requiring me to use spray adhesive and a good old needle-and-thread, but we’ve been extremely happy with the end result!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter van conversion - covering wall panels

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter van conversion - covering wall panels

Pictures from the week of 08.April.2017:

I spent a day over in Sechelt last week, for a site visit. I love taking the early morning ferry – the clouds were starting to burn off, and the short 40 minute hop over to the Sunshine Coast was gave me enough time to snap a few pictures. There were only a handful of people on the outer deck, which made it nice and quiet for me to sit and enjoy the view.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Travel to Sechelt BC

I was near the front of the ferry for off-loading – it’s quite fun to see the doors of the berth opening, to reveal your destination.

Β 

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Travel to Sechelt BC

It was mid-afternoon when I finished my site visit, and I had a few hours to kill before my afternoon ferry was scheduled to head back to Vancouver. There’s a long straight road heading into Sechelt that runs right along the ocean, and it’s a great place to walk along the beach and enjoy the view.

Blue skies or grey skies, I find something so peaceful and mesmerizing about staring out into the ocean. I’m pretty sure many West Coasters feel this way, too!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Travel to Sechelt BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Travel to Sechelt BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Travel to Sechelt BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Travel to Sechelt BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Travel to Sechelt BC

Happy Weekend!

Saturday Snippets: 01.April.2017

It’s the weekend, and we’re officially into April! If photography’s your thing, check out my new Monthly Photo Challenge word I posted yesterday. I feel like I’m continually wittering on about the weather, but it was a doozy this week.

We broke a 61-year-old rainfall record on Tuesday, with nearly 30 mm of rain (and that didn’t include the rain the day before AND after). After surviving 27 of the last 31 days of rain, it’s safe to say that all β€œwet” coasters are ready for some sunshine. Let’s hope April brings a lot of it! πŸ™‚

Here’s a few things that caught our eye online this week. Our Saturday Snippets for 01.April.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

On Moby News (aka Sprinter Van Conversion):

Awning:

  • Before the rain started on Monday afternoon, we installed the motor on the awning. Previously, it only had the manual wind-out attachment on it, and the other parts have been in the living room since last summer. Once we get a nice dry day, we can route the cables inside and finish the job.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter conversion awning motor 02

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter conversion awning motor 01

Shore Power Plug:

  • Jonty fabricated a mount for our shore power plug. He cut the aluminum pieces using a plasma CNC, and tig welded the parts together. It turned out really well! He was able to get under the van late this past week to install it.
  • We didn’t want to cut a hole in the side of our van, so the shore power plug is mounted underneath the van, on one of the existing struts.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter van conversion -shore power mounted under the van

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter conversion shore power mount 02

Shore power mount mounted under the van (looking towards the front driver side).

Kitchen galley:

  • We’re still trying to figure out a good counter top option for the galley. We’ve ordered a sink, and it should be here mid to late April, so we still have some time to figure things out.
  • We’re back and forth between solid surface (like Corian or Formica) or, more likely, solid wood. We’ll see!

Pictures from the week of 01.April.2017:

I had to head into Gastown for a hair cut this week. I think it’s one of my favourite areas in downtown Vancouver. I love the old, restored brick buildings and cobbled streets. Even in the pouring rain, dodging all the tourists and their big umbrellas, I think Gastown always looks good πŸ™‚

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Vancouver - Gastown on a rainy day

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Vancouver - Gastown on a rainy day

I had a site visit in Sechelt yesterday too, and snapped a few pictures from the ferry. I’ll have a few more to share next week, once I download them off the camera. I always love heading over to the Sunshine Coast. It’s a quick 40 minute ferry ride away, and travelling there always makes me feel like it’s the start of a vacation, even though I’m actually working πŸ™‚ While it was a long day, it was a good way to end the week (and the month)!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | BC Ferries - Sunshine Coast ferry views

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | BC Ferries - Sunshine Coast ferry views

Happy Weekend!