Tuesday, June 30, 2009

BC Bike Race... from the sidelines

Marc and I swapped jobs this summer. Marc's been unemployed... so riding his bike a lot and this week is racing with Nikki in the BC Bike Race. I am doing the support-crew, cheering, and photographing parts. Marc and Nikki got off to a great start on Sunday and I'll be catching up with them again on Wednesday and then again for the finish in Whistler on Saturday. Photos and words from Sunday's start are here.

Hanging around the start area on a sunny Sunday morning was fun. I ran into a few local folks who I know in the race and got to re-live all the excitement of last year's race. I remember the "is this really a good idea" feeling on the start line of Day 1 of 7 on your bike. It is a good idea... I'm glad I got to find that out for myself.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


This post is more a of list of links to click on... which reminded me of a conversation Lina and I had on the way somewhere when I tried to explain British Bingo number calling. Something that seemed so normal before suddenly sounded totally ridiculous. Still, I like to stay true to my roots. Jolly good. Cup of tea?

Fig Rolls Racing were in action in the 12 hours of Cumberland at the weekend, and I wrote a bit about it here. Paul wrote about it here, and my photos are here. Clickety click.

This weekend Marc and Nikki start the BC Bike Race and Lina heads of to Sweden for the Explore Sweden Adventure Race. I'm going to cheer them on. I've done my bike race for this year. Now I'll just be riding for the heck of it. Unless I end up doing another race of course...

Technically cross-country.

Monday, June 15, 2009

What went wrong?

Friday afternoon reminded me of my epic 4-flights journey to meet Lina in Chile... though to be fair, this was much easier. I drove to Ladner, and parked my car next to some nicely-mown lawns. I kept my fingers crossed that the residents weren't the type to be offended by strangers cars parked in the street all weekend. I pulled my bike out, and set off for the ferry. My progress was slowed slightly by a family of ducks crossing the road, but other than that all went well. Then I got on the ferry to Victoria for the first time in ages. It was strange as I used to get that ferry on almost a weekly basis. I avoided having to eat ferryburgers with my "contents of the fridge" sandwiches (peanut butter and cabbage... not so bad really). Then, a nice ride along the Lochside bike route to Victoria. I was early, so rolled around town, checking out what had changed since I was last there. Some things had come and gone... but not so different really. I checked that Floyd's was still there, as I was planning a huge breakfast there for Saturday morning.

I met up with Lina and her classmates, then we rode to the beach for a spontaneous picnic and a bottle of wine. We avoided anyone seeing our open alcohol container by keeping it in a paper bag. Who knew that really works? Dinner was washed down with a ride in the dark out to Metchosin and Nikki's flat. Nikki was in residence and we talked about bike racing (what else?) for a while and fell asleep. The morning came, we drank coffee, said our goodbyes and headed off for Floyd's. Yum, yum, yum. I think that says it all. Full of fried goodness we rode out to the ferry and got on our way to Saltspring Island.

We got into Ganges just in time to catch the end of the market. The highlight for me was being shown the "8th wonder of the world" by a man who looked just like a living garden gnome. He played the didgeridoo and span a bamboo stick in front of our eyes which make a kind of kaleidoscope-strobe effect. Trippy. Man.

In the garden center, we set up the comedy tarp-tent. I'm glad it was a warm night...

We got a pretty good night's sleep considering out tent was more like an umbrella... and decided to spend Sunday on Saltspring. We had been out to the Treehouse cafe on Saturday night to hear some live music, and were ready to check out the lunch menu... but needed to waste the rest of the day first. We went in search of the elusive public-access-to-the-beach and eventually found it near Ganges. On the way in we found a lonely bike stunt... a collapsing 12-foot ladder drop. I didn't ride my road bike off it.

Down on the beach, Lina filled me in on the details of altitude sickness, and we pondered the true meaning of all the acronyms she had learned. It's so annoying when you remember the acronym, but not what it actually means.

Lunch time came, and we rode back to the Treehouse to eat s fine yam quesadilla. Yum again. We weren't the only bikers on the ferry back to Vancouver...

We never found out who they all were, but there must have been 80 bikes on the boat. Good stuff!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What could possibly go wrong?

This weekend, plans are afoot for what's turning into a pretty comical bike trip. Lina is in Victoria on a wilderness first aid course with a bike, my panniers, a tarp, a fleece blanket, and various other first-aid related gear. I am in Vancouver with a bike, some very small panniers, a set of tent poles, some string, and a sense of adventure.

We are hoping to put all these things together and ride back to Vancouver over the weekend across some hippy gulf islands. This will involve a lot of ferries, inventing some kind of tent, and camping in a garden center. We should catch the market in Ganges (you have to love the name... the other town on Saltspring is called Versuvius. I am not joking). I am hoping for fine cakes and tie-dye hemp shawls.

The rough plan can be seen... here.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

All that glitters, is not gold.

After what I thought might be my only podium-finish (possibly) ever in Snow to Surf... I seem to have done better already. Lina and I got Silver in the Round Bowen Island Challenge kayak race. Frankly, it was very painful, and I'm not sure it's really my thing. But you can't argue with a frilly red rosette for your troubles eh?

Also, in geek-update, I swapped a pair of bike wheels for an Azus Eee PC... which has inroduced me to several things... including a very small keyboard, Linux, and having a computer I don't need a wheelbarrow to carry. I will now be Skyping and emailing from all over the place. This is a good thing since I am independently employed these days. I can work from anywhere with WiFi. Nice.

Phew... we made it.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Bicycle, camera, action.

It's been hot and dry here for the past few days, and that brings the mountain bikers out of hibernation. It's been great up there on the North Shore. Paul took some photos on Tuesday night, and Krista and I got out for an afternoon ride yesterday. It's hard to take decent photos on the Shore as there's not much light... but I experimented with using a really fast ISO setting on my newly repaired camera and got some sharp, but grainy, photos. I quite like them...

Krista on Upper Oil Can

Me on a rock

Krista on the same rock

On an unrelated note, my apartment is looking a bit more like someone (well, 2 people to be exact) lives in it these days. Two people, 9 bikes, 7 pairs of skis, 2 kayaks, 5 paddles, a fairly respectable bike workshop, and my office... all in a 700 sqft concrete box. Take the tour here.