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. | 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. | 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. | 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™‚ | BC Ferry ride to Victoria BC | BC Ferry ride to Victoria BC | BC Ferry ride to Victoria BC | BC Ferry ride to Victoria BC | 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):


  • 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™‚ | Sprinter van conversion - installing a Fiamma awning motor | 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!! | 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! | Sprinter van conversion - covering wall panels | 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. | 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 | 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! | Travel to Sechelt BC | Travel to Sechelt BC | Travel to Sechelt BC | Travel to Sechelt BC | 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):


  • 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. | Sprinter conversion awning motor 02 | 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. | Sprinter van conversion -shore power mounted under the van | 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™‚ | Vancouver - Gastown on a rainy day | 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)! | BC Ferries - Sunshine Coast ferry views | BC Ferries - Sunshine Coast ferry views

Happy Weekend!

Saturday Snippets: 18.February.2017

Well, the nice thing about being at the tail-end of a long weekend is that the following week is a short one. The only downside about a short week is that I thought I had an extra day to get this post ready! It’s been a jam-packed 4-day week, filled with site visits, van work, gym days and training days. We’ve been going non-stop since last weekend. The weather has improved (read: it stopped snowing, started raining, the temperatures have reached the double digits, and I saw the first cherry blossom of the year!), which definitely makes working in the van much nicer. And we’ve even had a few days of sunshine!

Here’s a few things that caught our eye online during the week. Our Saturday Snippets for 18.February.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion):

  • This week we finished getting all of the cabinets mounted to the wall and ceiling panels. The original idea we had for thermally isolating the 80-20 cabinets from the van exterior wasn’t actually necessary anymore (Jonty had a better idea). So he manufactured different mounting brackets, drilled holes, installed rivnuts and we attached everything together. With this new design, the 80-20 cabinets will sit flush against the ceiling and the wall, still thermally isolated from the van metal, and provide a nice clean finish. | Sprinter van conversion interior | Sprinter van conversion interior wall mounts

  • Now that the panels are basically finished, it’s time to start thinking about covering them! I had a few practice attempts with pieces of scrap wood. It was definitely a good idea to practice, because it gave me an idea of how thick the foam-backed vinyl really is! The stuff we bought has 1/4-inch foam adhered onto vinyl and, while it looks like it would squish down quite a bit, there’s still some bulk around the corners. We ended up having to enlarge the holes for our ceiling lights, as a result. | Sprinter van conversion wall panels | Sprinter van conversion wall panels

  • I got my first taste at wearing welding goggles. Not to actually weld (I left that part up to Jonty, he was plasma cutting). I can feel your jealousy oozing through the screen πŸ˜‰ | Sprinter van conversion

Pictures during the week of 18.February.2017:

We had our Family Day long weekend this past week (I’m pretty sure the rest of Canada has their long weekend this weekend. Good planning, BC government!). We took Monday off from van work and enjoyed the sunshine. We got out for a late-morning cycle around UBC. There was still some snow on the ground, but the temperatures were rising, and it felt so darned good to breathe some fresh air! Then we hopped on a bus and headed downtown for an afternoon of walking, eating and having a drink. It ended up being a really full day, but a really great one, as well πŸ™‚ | Vancouver Gastown buildings | Vancouver Gastown buildings | Vancouver Gastown buildings

Happy Weekend!

Saturday Snippets: 11.February.2017

I’m not sure why, but Canadian’s love to talk about the weather. This past week was a doozy for most of southern BC; Vancouver included. It’s all we’ve been talking about, and I don’t anticipate us stopping. Jonty doesn’t think he’s ever experienced such a long, white winter (phffft, British boys…) πŸ˜‰ Highways have been closed, schools have been closed… Crazy days!

Happy Family Day (if you live in BC) and Happy Chocolate Day (i.e. Valentine’s Day) and enjoy our Saturday Snippets for the week of 11.February.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling, and Repeating:

  • We finished our last training/performance cycle a week or so, and will be starting up another 16-week cycle. First up is our strength phase. You can read about some of the training we do here and here. Here’s a great video post on some core strength exercises, from the training master Eric Horst (doing a front-lever is one of Jonty’s goals).
  • When you’re a household of two, it’s nice toΒ have some small-batch recipes in your repertoire (like these, and these, and these!). Here’s a few ways to scale down your standard recipes, to start baking for two.
  • Ah, bread goals πŸ™‚
  • If you live in BC, have you ever seen these Free Spirit Spheres? They’re near Qualicum Beach, on Vancouver Island. I think they look like a really neat weekend getaway stay!
  • Jonty wants one of these for the Sprinter πŸ™‚
  • I just finished reading this book and really enjoyed it (maybe because I like food so much?)

On Moby News (aka Sprinter Van Conversion):

  • Jonty had a few more tweaks to do with the electrical system and he’s almost happy everything is working as it should. We should be able to start wiring in lights etc anytime now. | Sprinter van converions - wall and ceiling panels

  • We also started cutting the ceiling panels this week (if you’re interested, here’s a quick video of the CNC tool path). We spent a bit of time deciding on how to orient the panels to make best use of the material and for ease of construction. E.g. does it matter which way the seams run? Or how many seams there are? Which way is easiest to install the panels? Will the existing bolt holes in the van be sufficient to attach the panels? Will we need to add additional bolt holes? How will we deal with cabinets? Ah, so many questions πŸ™‚
  • We’ve opted to run the main ceiling panels lengthwise, with smaller strips along either side. It’s amazing how much brighter the van feels, with the lighter wood. Once we cover the panels with our white vinyl, we might even need sunglasses inside! πŸ˜‰ | Sprinter van converions - wall and ceiling panels | Sprinter van converions - wall and ceiling panels

Pictures for the week of 11.February.2017:

Like I said, we got another whack-load of snow this past week. I think everybody is thoroughly tired of driving in sloppy, slushy, icy roads. The temperatures have warmed up considerably, so perhaps we’ll see our green grass before long.

I had another site visit this week, and it was hopefully my last travel day for a little while; I think I’m done with winter flying! I was up in Quesnel for possibly the shortest trip ever, flying in at 11:00 am and flying out at 4:00 pm! It’s the first time I’ve been up there and, to be honest, if the weather was warmer I could have been tempted to stay longer to explore, but the -18Β°C did me in. I was hoping to walk around more before my flight left, but I wimped out. I managed a walk half-way down their pedestrian bridge, and a quick walk around their downtown strip, and that was about it! | Travel to Quesnel British Columbia | Travel to Quesnel British Columbia | Travel to Quesnel British Columbia | Travel to Quesnel British Columbia | Travel to Quesnel British Columbia

Happy Weekend!