Monday, August 31, 2015

There's snow in them hills.

Though not a lot of it. We got a brief glimpse of the season to come by driving an unexpectedly long way up a logging road in an inappropriate vehicle yesterday afternoon. We all survived to tell the tale and Mr Fish Face got a nice wash this morning all the way from the Coquihalla Summit to Burnaby. 

Twin Lakes Trail

Thar she snows (a little bit)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Internet is all over Vernon

Lately, these people have been doing a very nice job of riding bikes around here and taking pictures of it. There is a definite flavor of "infomercial" lingering in there, but these stories me want to go and ride my bike which can't be bad.

Click it for pretty pictures

Same with this one

Click this for pictures that move

Monday, August 17, 2015

High Anxiety

"Remember, you chose to do this" is something I have to say to myself once in a while. The weekend before last was definitely one of those. Back in the mists of time, before we moved to Vernon, I was lucky enough to get a place in the Crankworx Whistler Enduro World Series (catchy name, right?) It was one of those "mash on the computer keyboard until the thing pops up to take your credit card details" situations. My button-mashing skills were clearly up to the task as I got one of the spots that frustratingly for many sold out in 0.2 milliseconds, approximately. 

And so we went to Whistler for the weekend. There I was - buoyed up by the thought that I was very lucky to be racing there, but trodden down by the long drive from Vernon, lack of motivation and opportunity to ride the course before the race, and the fact I'm not very good at racing. Whistler Village was fortunately quiet at 8:11 am as I failed to entertain the announcer with my pre-race musings... and then it was my turn to trundle off up the hill to Stage 1. 

Witness the ferocity of an ENDURO WORLD SERIES start line

Beginning your trundle at precision-timed intervals seemed a bit weird, but thankfully I went the wrong way within about 100 meters so ended up riding the climb with a few friendly folks who caught up with me. Getting into excruciating detail about the race now seems a bit unnecessary, but in summary - it was a lot of fun, and I was glad I chose to be there. Racing down wet, steep Whistler trails which (with one exception) I'd never ridden before was certainly exhilarating, though really not an effective racing strategy. The marshals and spectators were several times amazed, or perhaps horrified, by my creative/foolish line choices.. Most of these worked out, though of course the truth was I had no idea which way the trail was going until I was already committed to wriggling myself between tight trees or attempting to manhandle myself over a huge hole. My shoulder is a bit of a funny color from one tight squeeze (ok, collision) in some trees, but overall I probably wouldn't have gone much faster if I had prepared appropriately. I assumed my now usual "top of the bottom third" place in my category, which seemed was a pretty tough crowd on the whole. One thing worth noting is that I would have more-or-less come last in the 40+ category so I'd better quit racing by the time I reach that milestone.

Witness me not "going big" at all over the jump to the finish line,
I was hanging on for dear life at this point of the top-to-bottom run.
Look... that's Felix in the blue shirt. Hi Felix!
With all of that Enduroing nonsense out of the way until the next time, it was time to terrify myself in a whole new way this weekend.

Paul and Angie got married on Saturday in Mazama, and decided they preferred the idea of me taking care of business for them rather than getting someone in who actually knew what they were doing. Brave people. I'd had some vague ideas on literary works I could plagiarise for the ceremony. However, my favorite idea turned out to be a bad movie from the 1950's and not a literary work at all - which was a disappointment. So, I resorted to corrupting the words of John Lennon's "Instant Karma" instead, which I thought worked out quite well. I suppose what I thought is pretty irrelevant, but no-one punched me in the face afterwards, so we were ok there.

Paul and Angie wrote the rest of the ceremony, so that was much better and I managed to read most of it correctly and at appropriate times. In short, we got away with it. Phew. I'll save the photos for Paul and Angie to share with the world, but for evidence, here's one of me that Suzanne took.

Paul and Angie enjoying my operatic rendition of Ave Maria
(not really)
For the record (that's a pun I just made right there), here's "Instant Mazama":

Instant Mazama’s gonna get you
Gonna knock you right on the head
You’ve chosen to be together
And pretty soon you're gonna be wed
What in the world you thinking of
Going and falling in love
And now look at what you’re going to do
But it's up to you [Angie]… and you [Paul]

Instant Mazama's gonna get you
Gonna look you right in the face
Better keep it together Paul and Angie
Stood in this beautiful place
You’re what everyone’s here to see
Well, you and the mountains and the trees
You two and your VW bus
Now there’s something we have to discuss

Instant Mazama's gonna get you
Gonna knock you off your feet
Like if you mistimed the train crossing
Now you live on Camata Street
Why in the world are we here
Surely not - just - for the free beer
Why on earth are you there
Because you had something to declare, for the life you will share

Instant Mazama's gonna get you
We’ll celebrate together, but not - too - late
Paul and Angie you’re getting married
Though the paperwork will have to wait
Together you go travelling on bicycles
And in winter to places with… icicles
And married you’ll surely go far
Well, right you are.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Paul and Angie Celebration

Before the moment is lost, here are some pictures of Quadra Island fun this weekend: