January 2009 Journal

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January, 2009

Tour Member Spotlight – Caili Steele
Meet Caili – she’s going on the Kootenay Mountain Tour this spring, and she’s ready to rock the house (literally) as she pedals through the Rockies this spring. Want to join a 2009 team or know someone else who does? Click here for the lowdown. 

When you think about your tour, what are you most looking forward to? 
I'm excited to live the lifestyle that this bike tour is going to offer for a bit.  SIMPLICITY!  And I'm excited to meet and work and play with a group of people who want to create positive energy and change.

What's the most useless thing you will pack in your panniers on tour?
I'm a terrible packer so I'll probably pack a lot of useless things.  I really wouldn't be surprised if a zebra print shirt or something shows up somewhere.  Or a box of fancy matches.  I have a few of those kicking around.

What's the most exciting adventure you have gone on in the last few years?
I live in Dawson City, YT in the summer and I must say that some of the 3 a.m. departure canoe floats from Dawson down river to 40 Mile are amazing beautiful.  When five canoes carrying 12 people, dogs and gear are tied together for 12 hours things can get pretty rambunctious.  Songs are sung, the sun shines, and many a pit stop are made.  It's highly entertaining.

A Katima-triathlete in the midst
This week Catherine, a volunteer with the katimavik program in Ottawa joined the Otesha office team. In the face of a bus strike and 10k commute to work, Catherine has joined Genevieve “Hardcore” Legal Leblanc (one of our co-directors) in her bike-skate-walk triathlon to work each day. Catherine will be helping us to promote our cycling tours, plan upcoming events and will remind us daily that “this is nothing” when we complain about the cold (she’s from Northern BC)…

Catch us if you can…
We’re busy like bees preparing for the 2009 spring tours even though the thermometer reminds us daily that it’s still winter. Brrr. It’s been four years since an Otesha cycling tour hit the prairies and boy are we excited to get back to those rolling planes. It’s been a bit less time since we hit the Kootenay Mountains, but hey, we can’t get enough of those giant hills and the leg muscles that they create. Here’s a list of towns that our spring tours are going to stop in on. If you want to meet our friendly, funny, fantastic teams of cyclists, connect them with a place to rest their heads or a venue to perform the play, let us know! Email Darrell at Darrell@otesha.ca 

Prairie Sky Tour 
Calgary – Airdrie – Olds – Red Deer – Lacombe – Ponoka – Wetaskiwin – Leduc – Edmonton – Elk Island National Park – Vegreville – Vermilion – Lloydminster – North Battleford – Saskatoon – Regina  

Kootenay Mountain Tour 
Calgary – Okotoks – Nanton - Claresholm – Fort MacLeod – Pincher Creek - Crowsnest Pass – Fernie – Cranbrook - Yahk – Creston – Crawford Bay – Proctor - Nelson – Castlegar – Christina Lake - Grand Forks – Rock Creek – Osoyoos - Penticton – Keremeos – Princeton - Hope – Chilliwack – Langley -- Vancouver 

...and we’re starting in cowtown!
Yup, that’s right. We’re going to be parking our saddles and hanging our helmets in Calgary to train our spring cycling teams for a week at the beginning of May. Right now Otesha is in search of a site in or around Calgary that can host our teams as they prepare to hit the road….and is free (Will Work For Training Space!) or relatively inexpensive. If you know of a place that we should check out, help a partner out and email us! Yeehaww.

[I refuse to believe that] I can change the world
There are a lot of cool videos out there these days - here’s one that will give you shivers, and maybe even bring a tear to your eye. We’re loving the simple, hard-hitting message of this clip, and the creativity in the concept! http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=42E2fAWM6rA

Even better than a litterless lunch 

With stories of schools earning eco certification becoming more and more common, we were quite excited to hear about a little company that is helping schools to get even more “green” by changing the way that they raise money. Green Students Fundraising was started by two recent University grads who wanted to offer programs and products that have purpose beyond the money they raise. As part of their program, Hopeful Hooligans (aka students) can sell CFL lightbulbs and other eco-products that have a lighter impact on the planet. Say goodbye to over-priced chocolate bars and check out www.greenstudents.ca!

We love Postcards
After every Otesha presentation, we hand out postcards and invite audience members to change the world by commiting to one new action. To date we have received thousands of postcards from people across Canada who are making real changes in their lives. Here’s one of our favourites from this month:
“Get rid of one of my two cars. Done! December 2008”
-Linnéa, 46