My Skyrace in Norway 😀

I was stuck in Tromsø — the Paris of the north — waiting on my bike and gear which were stuck at Heathrow airport for over 2 weeks. Why not race !!

Tromsø Skyrace was launched 2014 by Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg.

Kílian Jornet is the fastest mountain runner of all time though Karl Egloff has bettered some of Kilian’s records.

Emelie Forsberg is Kilian’s partner, mother of two, and also an insane mountain runner.

I’d like to claim I was in the mix with the sponsored super athletes in this video … 😀

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

There are 3-4 different distances raced each year. Mine was shortest.

I signed up 2-days in advance of the race for the EASY 16km up and down.

It was more of a hike than a knife edge ridge.

I ended up 153rd, 1hr 44min behind the winner in the short race. My time 3hr 11min.

BUT I was happy with how I did. Running in I still felt great — avoiding muscle cramps which threatened throughout. I’d not really gone running in over a year before this day.

Louise finished ahead of me. We recovered with free vegetarian chile. So tasty, I bought some to take cycling.

In fact, at that point, Louise was wondering what happened to her brother Henry — turned out he had kept going at the short race turnaround. Henry ended up running an extra 7km or so.

Happily, his luck changed later — winning an official race hoody.

DJI OM 5 Gimbal – my review

I was quite happy with the DJI OM 4 Gimbal — but somehow lost the magnetic phone clamp.

The magnetic phone clamp is the best feature. The one thing that makes it better FOR ME than competitors like the Zhiyun Smooth Q4. I hate balancing phones on a gimbal. With the OM 4 and 5 you don’t need to.

Rather than pay for a replacement magnetic phone clamp (CAD $35), it was smarter to simply buy the upgraded OM 5 (CAD $149) which includes the phone clamp. I can use the same phone and clamp on either gimbal.

I do feel the OM 5 is slightly better:

  • NEW built-in extension rod for “selfies”
  • lighter and more compact — but at the expense of much shorter battery life
  • ActiveTrack 4.0 and gesture control does seem more reliable. An important feature for me.
  • In “selfie” camera mode, it smoothly tracks your face by default

The MAIN downside is a shorter battery life than the OM 4. Only about 6 hours.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

I used iPhone 13 on the OM 5 shooting in portrait orientation to keep the footage as SMOOTH as possible. I’d intended to upload it VERTICAL to Instagram and Facebook. Facebook worked. Instagram wouldn’t upload over multiple attempts.

I certainly prefer landscape and YouTube.

BACK to the OM 5 …

Click PLAY or watch the DJI hype video on YouTube.

Click PLAY or watch the DJI tutorial on YouTube.

Here’s the best tutorial I’ve found.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

The following tutorial is more comprehensive.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Visiting León, Spain

I took the train to León where I’d be starting a week long cycling trip to Santiago de Compostela on the French Camino. A pilgrimage people have been doing for over 1000 years.

It’s very walkable, a small city with most of the attractions close together.

León’s Cathedral is one of the finest in Europe.

Panorama of Plaza de Regla and Leon Cathedral, Castile and Leon, Spain
Me and the cops.

My official start is this Cathedral. I’ll finish at the Cathedral in Santiago.

León is a great tourist town. I did a lot of cycling there testing the rental bike.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

My Dental Vacation in Portugal

UPDATE.

I can smile again.

After 9 months with a missing upper tooth, I finally got the implant installed June 2022.

Can you tell which upper tooth was replaced?

I never want to get another implant. WAY too expensive. WAY too time consuming.

But I believe they did an excellent job. This tooth should see me out. 😀


I got implant dental surgery November 11th at 11am. #NotChicken

I’ll update this post with details on how it went.

Canadian dentists are WAY too expen$ive.

Nations around the world that cater to “dental tourists” include:

Not Portugal. BUT I wanted to travel to Portugal for hiking and cycling in November. Also, it’s one of the most vaccinated large nations in the world during a pandemic.

Of dentists in Lisbon I looked at online, most impressive was the Institute of Implantology.

Here’s their Dental Tourism page.

I booked a FREE assessment appointment on my birthday:

  • November 2 ~ free assessment
  • November 4 ~ cleaning and measurement for ‘flipper‘ (temporary replacement tooth)
  • November 11 ~ implant surgery and placement of the flipper
  • November 15 ~ final checkout

The last 4 days in Lisbon were in case of complications. And that allows time to adjust the flipper, if needed.

Happily I had no infection nor swelling. And the flipper looks pretty good. Can you tell which top front tooth is now removable?

In fact, I’m as good looking as ever. … Ladies? 😀

I’ll return to Lisbon in 4-6 months to have the permanent fake screwed in.

The Institute of Implantology is not cheap. Price everything included for me will be about CAD $5000 (US$4000, EUR3490). Here are some of the major costs:

  • €160 CT Scan
  • € 160 Extraction
  • € 890 Implant placement
  • € 650 Bone Graft
  • € 280 Flipper
  • € 695 Instillation of implant

The bone graft encourages regeneration of bone and increases the odds that the tooth will stay in my skull for life.


The Institute of Implantology is the second private hospital I’ve used. The other was Shouldice Hernia Hospital in Toronto. Both are excellent. I wish I was rich enough to use more private clinics.

My surgeon was Dr. Gonçalo Caramês. Trained in Los Angeles, he married another dentist. They planned to set up practice in Seattle but he opted instead to return to Portugal because of the pandemic.

The facility itself is impressive. Chic. Very modern technology.

Visiting Valencia, Spain

I’d never been to Spain’s 3rd largest city, so jumped on the chance to catch a cheap flight down to the sunny Mediterranean coast.

The historic centre is great.

But the highlight for me was walking and cycle the huge green space that runs through the city.

It was once the river Turia, drained and rerouted after a catastrophic flood in 1957. The old riverbed turned into a picturesque sunken park.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

I did make it out to the beach.

But best was exploring the City of Arts and Sciences.

Click PLAY or watch highlights on YouTube.

A TOURIST in Santiago de Compostela, Spain

I’d always planned to get to the Holy City on foot or by bike.

It’s one of the 3 Christian pilgrimage cities: Jerusalem, Rome and Santiago de Compostela.

Pilgrims have been walking here for over a thousand years to pay tribute to the shrine of Saint James the Great, now the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.

The Old Town is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

I’d originally planned to cycle from Porto, Portugal to Santiago. BUT there were no rental bikes available out of Porto. So I arrived (eventually) by bus.

YES I felt like a pretender. Tens of thousands of other visitors look legit — like this guy.

I stayed 3 nights in a magnificent building, Hostel Seminario Menor, one of the most important stops on the Camino.

I got some work done in my monks / College student private room. (19 Euros). And did a LOT of walking around the city.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

A huge surprise to me was to see a massive ultramodern complex called City of Culture.

It’s impressive. But generally seems to be considered a white elephant, not attracting the numbers of visitors anticipated.

See more architect drawings and photos.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Tour Divide 2022 POSTPONED 🤨

I was hoping to cycle out of Banff in June 2022. START on the Tour Divide with the pros.

Ride to Montana. Do some hiking.

Then cycle to visit friends in Idaho.

But getting my NEW TOOTH installed in Lisbon, Portugal took longer than anticipated. I’ll be adventuring in Europe May / June 2022 instead of riding Montana.

HOPEFULLY I’ll be there for Tour Divide 2023.

Click to see a larger version of the Tour Divide map by Aussie Alex Hotchin.

Click for larger version

Portable Wind Turbine on the Trail

I sometimes hike and often bikepack with the 1.66 pound Big Blue Solar Charger.

It’s enough power for me on the trail, except on particularly overcast days.

I’d be tempted to carry a 3 pound portable wind turbine instead, on some adventures.

Though heavier and more expensive, wind power would be faster and more reliable than solar.

DETAILS.

Click PLAY or see how it works on YouTube.

Watch an unboxing and first set-up on YouTube.