First the cigar. I have to say I am not the impressed. Now mind you you get what you pay for, and i bought this in a pack of five not long ago, as i had been smoking cigars mostly from brazil and the dominican i thought i would try a cuban cigar. The first one i had from the pack, burned very quickly. There is also a consistent wrapping issue with the cigar from either end. Out of the 5 in the pack I have had the wrap come off around the end that i cut and the lit end while smoking. This does happen occasionally with cigars but i have never seen it happen with every cigar from the same brand.
One the up side, this would be a good transition cigar for anyone wanting to try something bigger then a cigarello, but not a full sized cigar. It has a very mild flavour and is not overpowering with any beverage. I have had these five with various beverages but pairs the best with a Merlot or Scotch.
Today i broke out one of the good scotches with my Tomatin 12 year old scotch. This is only my second sip of Tomatin, and I have to say it is really a great flavourful Scotch. It is aged in sherry wood casks which gives it almost a fruity start and a peppery finish, matched great with the mild choice of cigar today. Recommend giving this scotch a try if you havent and are looking for something new.
Now some may have the question, why, if you like the scotch so much are you drinking it out of a Tim Hortons cup?
Well this week is the anniversary of my Dad's passing. My dad passed away in early February 2013. My dad lived off of cigarettes and Tim Hortons coffee. He loved his Tims and would probably between many runs to tims and instant coffee could easily polish off at least 5-7 coffees a day. Not quite a chain smoker, but lets just say the warnings on the labels did not discourage my dad at all.
What is amazing about his addiction to Timmy's and Smokes my dad pulled off some pretty amazing physical activity later in life.
In his younger days he was an athlete, played both hockey and football for St.FX and is on a StFX football team that is inducted into the Nova Scotia hall of fame for being undefeated during the season.
My dad held a physically demanding job and a Geologist in his adult life. Spending most of that time hiking up and down the northern reaches of Canada searching for various metals and minerals for different companies. This as you can imagine took a pretty significant toll. I say this to give you an understanding at how amazing it is that in his sixties, after having both hips replaced he became a long distance peddle biker.
After getting rid of his car and buying a bike, my dad began riding around New Victoria, and the New Waterford area. He started out only being able to do a few kilometers at a time. But gradually kept pushing out farther and farther until he was doing tens of kilometers a day.
Eventually he decided to put himself to the test and decide a longer trip. He wanted to come visit his grandchildren. At the time we lived in New Minas approximately 500km away.
So he got himself organized with route planning and figuring out how to strap camping gear, food and clothing to his bike, and unbeknownst to him, picked the hottest week in July to come for a visit.
It was an adventure to him, a chance to test the skills he has built up, and to do something, just to see if he could.
So he huffed and puffed his way from New Waterford to New Minas. Now if you have driven anywhere in Cape Breton and Nova Scotia just think, close your eyes and think about the roads and highways along the way from CB to the valley. We are not talking about the prairies, there is very little flat.
My dad did this trip in 4 days.
The whole time stopping for every timmy's he could get his hands on and smoking all the way.
He loved his time on the road. He loved meeting fellow bikers and most of all loved the freedom of being able to trust your body and your will to get you where you wanted to go.
He made two other long distance trips over the next couple of years, again to the valley and then to Antigonish once we moved here.
He loved to moan about the fact that we only chose houses that were at the tops of hills, which we did, but he didnt see the humor after riding the bike for hundreds of kilometers.
We attempted a bike trip together one summer, after i had had my first hernia operation and started running and getting in shape.
We were going to tackle the East side of PEI, take the ferry over, ride to St.Peters Bay, stay the night in a hotel ( my feelings on camping are already documented in a blog post) then off to Souris around the eastern tip, and then back to the boat.
This did not go as planned.
My dad had not really been doing as much biking leading up to our trip and his body ( knees and legs) were starting to fail him. He was not really honest about how much he was hurting, but he didnt want to let me down and gave it a real hard try.
It was really tough to see how something that he had loved so much, that he encouraged me to take up, he was now unable to keep going. We stopped at a pub in Montague for a bite to eat and regroup. Luckily the server when to StFX and after a conversation was able to find someone to drive my dad to our destination for the evening at St. Peters Bay. I kept going on the bike so that I could see if I could do it.
Anyone who says PEI is flat is full of horse shit.
The ride from Montague to St. Peters Bay is pretty much hill after hill, after bigger hill, after good luck bub hill.
Eventually, after climbing the last hill, I rolled into St.Peters Bay.
There waiting to greet me was my dad, drinking a tim hortons coffee and having a cigarette. A big grin on his face, cheering as i came to a stop in the parking lot.
We decided not to carry on as his legs didnt have the gas, and we never had the chance to give it a try again as his health started to decline over the next few years with prostrate cancer and diabetes.
I havent really been back on my bike since, but i think i inherited his spirit of testing my own personal limits in the amount of running i have accomplished the last number of years, and now this triathlon.
There are not too many days I dont think about how encouraging he would be as in preparing for a run or now for this triathlon, how he came to a couple of races and how proud he was of me when i would cross that finish line.
Having the chance to include biking in this training has helped me to realize that I have unfinished business in PEI and will in the next summer or summer after that, will finish the ride we intended to do. I think he would like that. Still not camping tho.
Everytime i have a #CigarSunday on my back deck, I am always thinking of the times you would visit, sit out back with your smoke and sing a little song. So this #cigarSaturday is for you.
Rest in peace pop, love you.
Sean "BigBoyRunning" Ryan