Sunday, January 30, 2011

The bachelor life

Well, not exactly... I'm still married. Phew.

Lina is off at the Durand Glacier Lodge teaching for a couple of months, which is the kind of job offer you can't turn down. Especially if your husband happens to know some things about one of the student's major subjects and can come up there for a week to tutor biology, ski, and shovel snow.

Nice work if you can get it eh? Yes.

Vancouver has been blanketed in the traditional winter layer of foul clouds and rain for the past few days, and frankly... I've had enough of riding my bike in the rain. Fortunately my teeth have healed up well enough that I can eat real food again, or I might have "totally flipped out and killed the whole town". Then today, like a load of sunlight falling from the sky... the sun came out. So we went skiing.

During the wetness, I have been occupying myself with a project. For a few years, Santa Cruz Bicycles made a strange sort of mountain bike... named for one thing (4-cross racing, like BMX on mountain bikes) but much better at something else. This contraption was the Blur 4X and was essentially the back end of a cross-country racing bike, glued onto the front end of something meant for riding down hills very fast. Like David Bowie's "Earthling", no one got it... so it didn't sell very well. However some people love it, and seeing as I like David Bowie... I though I might as well get one. That's not the real reason, but who cares.

What's important is that I bought one which needed some work... but had potential. An unforeseen part of that potential was the need for me to remove the back end of it off with a hacksaw. Still, that was fun. It's coming together now, and once I have one more part and a few more bearings replaced it should look like a bicycle. I should have done a photo-series of its rebirth, but I forgot... so you'll have to imagine me sawing up one of these and hitting several of these with a hammer, in the hope of ending up with something that looks somewhat like this. My hope is that it's going to be fun to ride up hills and then down them again, which is after all what mountain biking is.

Friday, January 21, 2011

They say Englishmen have bad teeth

Well, check out these beauties. I've carried them around for most of my life and never used them for anything. Now they're on my desk. So, no more wisdom for me. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

No news is good news

Hello internet... I am still here.

I haven't done anything that has motivated me to write on here lately... but I have been skiing and biking in the rain, rebuilt my old "heavy bike" with an exciting new (to me) frame, have decided to send my old skis on to a new home (if anyone wants to buy them), finally finished the video/photo medley from our honeymoon that I've been ignoring for months, and made a little video of some very sub-extreme ski jumping. So, I've not been totally idle.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2011 begins - so we've just under 2 years left before the apocalypse

Apparently. So we had best make good use of what's left. A crowd of Vancouverites celebrated impending doom by going skiing around the Duffey Lake area and drinking fermented beverages. I fell asleep before midnight, but I blame that on extreme travel fatigue, rather than the glass of wine I drank... or any pre-apocalyptic effects.

Pemberton New Year 2010 from Andrew Dye on Vimeo.

Monday, January 3, 2011


Despite spending most of my life (to date) only a few hours from a wide selection of European cities, I seemed to mostly visit the furthest away and least obvious of them. On our trip to the UK for Christmas, we saw the chance to see somewhere new. Amsterdam seems to be known by UK university students (of which I was one once) only for the easy availability of certain specialist herbs, and the chance to walk along the street looking at ladies advertising the oldest profession in the world. It turns out there's a lot more to this small city than the UK students realize.

We were looked after fantastically by friends Adriaan and Bronwyn who are living in Amsterdam for a while. They gave us a place to sleep, cooked food to eat, and shared their bicycles and knowledge of the city with us. Thank you! Alongside riding funny Dutch bikes around frozen streets, one of the highlights was eating at OT301, an old school (we think) building, which has become a squat for a community who support themselves by running a vegan restaurant. An amazing place.

Cycling, Amsterdam-style

The best bike-parking in the world? Amsterdam central station.

Beer drinking, Amsterdam-style
A duck standing on a frozen canal... Amsterdam-style (?)
To fit in with our theme of awkward travel arrangements, our flight back to the UK was cancelled. To cut a long story short, we managed to get back... and to catch our flight to Vancouver in time for New Year skiing around Cayoosh, but in the meantime we had to entertain ourselves by visiting the tourist hotspots of Schiphol Airport.

Tourist Hotspot #1
Tourist Hotspot #2

Possibly not a tourist hotspot
 Back in Canada... tired and jetlagged, we met up with the Vancouver gang to enjoy some of this sort of thing...

My brain may not have been in the same timezone, but it was great anyway (Paul's photo)