Friday, 31 May 2013


May 6 2013 has been an amazing day for the Cheung clan, one that will certainly be marked on the calendar with big red letters and celebrated. I got the amazing news that I got not one but two scientific papers accepted - never had such a bumper crop of a day before! To top it off, I got another paper accepted two days later, for a total of 5 over the past three weeks!

But MUCH more importantly, we received the greatest email ever. Our Afghan friends Ali and Basyah, along with their children Abufasal and Sadaf, after 4+ years of uncertainty and a sword literally hanging over their heads, received refugee asylum from the Netherlands! Ali converted to Christianity and had a death sentence placed on him by his former mullah, but managed to escape Afghanistan and was smuggled to the Netherlands. We became friends in Amersfoort, where they were at the very end refugee camp prior to deportation with every avenue of claim and appeal pretty much exhausted. Their story is quite incredible and moving, and certainly has been a constant reminder of how fortunate we are to be Canadians.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Singletrack Mind!

Had one of my dreams fulfilled this past week. Being the nutbar cyclist that I am, as a dad you can only dream of the day you get to share your passion for the bike with your kids. Last Monday, 4 of us dads on Team905 decided to take our kids out for a trail ride. While the boys and I have been on the bike lots together, from the early days of hauling them behind me on the trailer, this was our first real offroad adventure. Well, the boys were AWESOME! We went through the trails around Brock and, much to my pleasant surprise, the boys did great and loved it.

And especially so since I just set up Zach on his new "big" mountain bike and this was his very first time on it, and Jacob's very first time on Zach's bike! They cleaned most of the trails we threw at them with a big smile on their faces, and with an even bigger smile on my face! Here we all are at Decew House, where Laura Secord completed her famous trek during the War of 1812 to warn the British about American attack plans.

This past Saturday, I took them on some different trails around Brock for 90 min, including some really twisty and tight trails that I myself had only just discovered. Zachary even started hopping some logs and they both cleaned most of the trails except for the big log series, dips, and rock humps. So much fun! On the left is our start at Morningstar Mills, and on the right we're on the levy around the lake.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Community Building - BikeStyle

This past weekend has been all about the bike. Saturday May 25, my racing team Team905 hosted our first annual Kids Build-a-Bike event at our sponsor Inception Cyclery. Our team raised funds and organized the purchase, building, and donation of three new bikes to disadvantaged kids from three different St. Catharines schools. The three kids Sydni, Trevor, and Billy came with their family to Inception, where we had some media and made a presentation.

Sydni was chosen through an essay contest at her school. She didn't know she had won the bike and her parents suckered her into coming to the shop. So she was rather overcome when Jamie informed her why she was there! On the right Jon helps fit Trevor to his new helmet that we also got donated.

Brandon, our sponsor at Inception Cyclery, is a meticulous and very thorough mechanic, and my Kane TT bike, Thin Blue Line mountain bike, and BMC cross bike have all been fabulous since he's overhauled them. Jamie and Josh went to the shop Wednesday evening to build up the bikes, and the joke is that Brandon spent most of Thursday rebuilding them! I also gave a short bike skills clinic.
Sunday May 26, our St. Catharines Cycling Club member Jeff Poulsen helped organized the annual bike rodeo in Niagara-on-the-Lake, where we took over the arena and spent the afternoon fixing up the bikes belonging to some of the many migrant farm workers in the Niagara area. We drive/bike by these folks every day and rarely give a second thought to them, their lives in a foreign land trying to make and send money back to their families far away, or how our food gets to our tables. 
I brought along my stand and toolbox along with about 6-7 other guys, and spent the afternoon having fun as a bike mechanic. Did everything from changing tires and tubes, tightening up bottom brackets, adjusting brakes and gears, to replacing cables and truing wheels. Amazing how much you can accomplish with a couple of adjustable wrenches!

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Gymnastics provincials

On Saturday the March the 8th we went to Windsor for our Gymnastics provincials. I got a third on rings, and there was a six way tie for sixth on vault that Jacob and I were in. We drove up to Windsor the day before because it was a 4 hour drive, and we stayed in the Howard Johnson Hotel. We also went to Grill 55 with the team for dinner, and got a team menu. The whole family got spaghetti/meatballs and the meatballs were massive. The competition went well, and was shorter than most other competitions.