Sunday, January 24, 2010

January in Vancouver

It was bound to happen. Our vacation to an exotic land is over and back to the routine mundane life of a struggling worker. From perfect 85F temperatures in T-shirts and shorts to grey skies and threatening clouds. Compared to the rest of the country we are doing quite well at 8c (47F). A virtual heat wave if you consider the ice and snow on the prairies, or the tumultuous rains down in California, or the massive snow storms we had to endure last year. It had been a few weeks since I had ridden due to frost and ice in the mornings, and I didn't wish to tempt fate by riding the week before our trip just in case slippage should happen a week before our trip


This morning I rolled my Wee out of the carport, got a chamois and wiped all the dust and dirt off some exteriors and checked the tire pressures. Lucky thing since the tires were low. The fronts were 29psi, rear 28psi, when they should have been 41 and 33 respectively. I got out my portable craftsman air compressor to fill them up


The compressor has a built in digital pressure gauge making the job easy. Just pull the trigger until the desired pressure is reached. We have been lucky this year. No snow so far and the temperatures are very mild leaving our roads devoid of sand and salt. It was good to ride around town and having the freedom that being on 2 wheels affords. I thought it best to stay around town and concentrate on slow speed maneuvers and play tourist in my own town

I first headed over to the Scooter Hive to visit with Christian. They seem very busy working on Vespas getting them ready for the new riding season. Spring is nearly here. He is a master mechanic


I decide to ride along the waterfront where I notice a lot of security because of the Winter Olympics it is being heavily patrolled and they are enforcing no parking alongs its perimeter. The parking areas are also chained-off


I make my way down to Canada Place and the security truck is driving past very slowly giving me the eye. I don't think they like people taking pictures of the area. Further east they have the approaches to all the waterfront docks cordoned off: NO access allowed. There are guards stationed on all the ramps and approaches. I was surprised to find this road open


As I am heading through the downtown core, I decide to stop along English Bay to snap a photo of the Inukshuk, the symbol of the Winter Olympics


The skies are Grey with threat of rain. A huge change from the sunshine and heat we had become accustomed to in Hawai'i . I wished that I could have ridden over there but it just didn't make sense to rent a bike at $150. per day, when I got a screaming deal on my rent a car which was only $105. per WEEK, plus taxes.

I decided to pose my Wee in front of the stainless steel crab which is located in front of the Planetarium, which is officially known as the HR MacMillan Space Centre (<-- click link)


I head over to the Government dock down in False Creek adjacent to Granville Island to pose my Wee and watch the locals.


I find it a peaceful place to contemplate and watch the vessels in the harbo(u)r. There is a very popular fish & chip vendor here and along the docks today they are selling shrimp and salmon, fresh off the boat.


That's the fish & chip place in the background. There is generally a line-up


Here's a photo of the Shrimp we purchased at Costco in Hawai'i . Fully cooked with garlic and cilantro added and only $8.95


We wanted to shop where the locals shopped and ended up here. I just couldn't pass by the cooked shrimp so we had to purchase a POUND and devour it at the bench outside


It makes me hungry just looking at it. Now it has made me hungry for more shrimp

(Vancouver Docks)

There is no activity on the docks during the weekend and I find it a relaxing place to snap a few photos of the idle cranes.


As I think about where we had been the previous week and the lack of riding gear which is considered acceptable in a tropical environment I think of all the layers that I had to don in my quest for a ride in the city. Blue jeans, riding pants with liner, flannel shirt, riding jacket, thermal layer, leather gloves, helmet, fleece neck warmer and leather riding boots, not to mention all the inner wear.

(Typical scooter rider attire, note flip flops on the right)

If I lived in Hawai'i (or even Key West, FL) , then this would be IT

(I had to squeeze the Pink Crocs in, somehow . . .)


Spotted in Kona, Hawai'i: 12 Passenger Mazda pick-up truck

(8 in the box, with at least 4 in the Cab)



  1. How shiny your Wee looks! Thanks for the ride.
    I love shrimps, too. Mmm, they look so scrumptious. Mouthwatering pics!

  2. I am glad you are back in your proper environment. Had you spent much more time in Hawaii you'd have started slacking in all sorts on unmentionable ways, loose collars, sandals all the time and slovenly flossing habits. Its the burden we carry in the tropics.

  3. Welcome back to our PNW reality. I had a nice city ride on Friday and enjoyed my electric jacket liner for a large part of the time. Even though our daytime temps have been in the 50's the calendar still says it's january and when riding it feels like the calendar is just about right.

    I'm surprised at how tight the security sounds up there already. Glad it's Vancouver and not Seattle!

  4. Hi Bobskoot
    We've been following some of the news on the Winter Olympics. Too little snow, too much snow, and all the security issues going on. Exciting times up there.

    I enjoyed you tour of the city. We have been to Vancouver one time back in 2001. My husband, Brother in law, Sister in law, and assorted kidlets spent a week in Whistler but we spent a day in Vancouver. What little we got to visit, we really enjoyed. Some of your photos remind me of that trip. I love the shots you took of the docks with the city in the background.

    You should have brought the sunshine and warm weather back with you, but then there might not be any snow for the winter games, so I guess it's best you left it in Hawaii.

  5. Welcome back to "reality" Bobskoot....yeah it sucks being away from warm weather but then again, you're back with your all balances out.

    I think you and the rest of the residents of Vancouver are in for "interesting" times as the Winter Olympics draw near. I'll be interested to hear how security measures cause traffic problems.

    As to pink crocs while riding....I choose to not comment. I will have to explore carrying warm weather footwear when riding in Colorado's hot summer months....for use after taking off the riding gear.

    Glad you're back, great photos along the piers...

  6. Hi Bob,

    Nice post, I liked your comparison between Tropical and Northern riding lol....people of the North never comprehend the nasty crotch rotting fungi that can grow in soft places if you regularly ride about without shorts on!!!

    I was in your World today Bob, I took Mick to the airport today, his bag was a little tricky on the bike but we managed lol...Damn cold it was today, 2 pairs of jeans,2 jackets,scarf,2 pairs of socks we even put helmets on. I saw snow on the distant mountain tops, 16c today the lowest temp this winter so far.

    Conchscooter and I are both suffering, we need the sun back :)



  7. Dear Bobskoot:

    You amaze me. You fly 15,000 miles and another culture away to Hawaii... And buy a container of shrimp at CostCo!

    Bob, try this scenario: You fly to some place exotic, find a shack on the beach that serves mahi mahi and powerful rum drinks (that have a magic "take-off-your-clothes-effect") adorned with orchids, and get lost in sunsets that become sunrises a few hours later.

    You will have ample opportunity to see how this works when we go to visit Conch in October. We'll drink out of coconuts we picked ourselves; eat fish caught by our own hands; and roast free-ranging chickens provided as a public service. And we'll cap off each day watching exotic maidens, stirring cocktails with equisite toes, as they gyrate on the bar to the strains of Led Zeppelin.

    You'll feel like you're 17 again, especially when they lock the cell door.

    Welcome home, Bob!

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads

  8. I for one will expecting a Winter Olympics picture of you and the Wee on the giant slalom or the toboggan course. Think you can pull that off?
    Your bike looks great, your feet? Not so much!
    October in Key West sounds great, but we are planning a November wedding.
    I think I might have passed on the bike rental too.

  9. I've got to get me one of those portable compressors.

    And that scooter behind you at Scooter Hive - he parks beside me at work. Can't miss a wicked rat like that!

  10. your harbor reminds me of one here in the Bay Area. its my rock, where i sent much time in my youth, and i have been finding myself there often recently. :)

    i need to invest in a similar portable compressor, very cool bob.

    welcome home

  11. Aloha Bob! Did I spell that right! I'm so frustrated because your blog won't load on my lousy DSL connection. As I tpye I'm painstakingly waiting for your youtube video of the July ride on your SV650 to finish loading.
    I love the V Storm, one of the few pictures to fully load. That and the pink crocks...yeah you might want to rethink those!!
    Thanks for visiting my blog, nice to meet you!

  12. Reep,

    thanks a freakin' lot! Now I can't get the picture of you and bobskoot running around in nothing but your pink crocs. I'm think I'm tossing my shrimp.


    Piling on gear or no, it felt good to get back on the bike, didn't it?

  13. P.S. I've heard there's a lot of people making hotel reservations in Vancouver, Washington thinking they're going to watch the Olympics from there. Maybe it's just as well they're not in the right spot.

  14. Bob, thanks for taking us on vacation with you! I will have to put Kona on the list. Love that picture of the 12 person Mazda truck - you got to be friends to jam yourself in with 7 others in the bed!

  15. SonjaM:

    Those shrimps were delicious. I was at Costco the other day and couldn't even find the frozen shrimps. That photo makes me hungry too

    Mr Conchscooter:

    I think I could get used to the warmer weather. It's a pain having to wear clothes


    We are also having the warmest January on record. Security is getting tight now that they have closed many major roads into the downtown area


    If it has been that long since you have travelled up here, then you are due for another trip. Much has changed. As much as Hawai'i has nice weather, you would run out of roads very fast


    Glad to be back, but also glad to be away. The warmer weather is very nice.
    As for our summer, I just wear shorts under my riding pants. I have panels that zip off to reveal mesh underneath. As long as you are moving, it's as if you are just wearing shorts. I also carry Sandals to change into when stopped


    Last week it actually got up to 12c for a day or two. Now it is around 8c and next week we will get colder air with lows down to freezing

    Jack "r":

    When away, we always check out the shopping areas and housing prices to see how the economy is doing. We also went to Wal-Mart and KTA, the local grocery superstore.

    We are not ones to just sit and laze in the sun, or lie on the beach. We have to be "rolling" most of the time, and see new things. Somebody has to take the photos


    Most of the locals are going to be steering clear of the Olympics and the resultant traffic jams. With most of the routes to the downtown closed, there are going to be massive traffic jams


    Christian is a master mechanic. I'll have to change my route in the hopes of spotting you sometime.
    That Air compressor is part of the Craftsman C3 modules. I have a few batteries and they all fit each other; circular saw, scroller, drill, fluorescent light, cut off saw, etc. It is much handier than my air compressor which I have to plug in, turn on until the pressure hits 100 psi, then unravel the tubing etc, then put it all back. With the portable, battery operated compressor, it only takes a few minutes and easy peesie

    Ms M:

    I do hope all is going well with you. It nice to find a place of solitude. I have a couple of places to frequent too


    I love my pink crocs. Actually, it was Mr Conchscooter that led me to them, he wears them all the time . One day I wore them all day and hardly even noticed anyone looking at me
    Sorry about the photos, I put on a few and even reduced the size so they would load faster. Must be your connection speed.
    I love my V-strom too. It's a great bike, sort of like a jeep, unstoppable


    What happened to the image of the "exotic maidens" pealing grapes, cracking coconuts and
    moving the fans ?
    Having a bike would have been great in Hawai'i, but not when we needed a car too.


    how about if the other 7 were beautiful virgin maidens, in suitable attire

  16. Bob, great site. We should get together and show the other around their 'hood. I'm new to the area. There's so much to explore by Wee Strom.


  17. Sean:

    I just noticed your profile photo, looks like a black V-strom, just like mine. I really like it, feels unstoppable. I'm not sure where you are located, I'm thinking Seattle area ?

    I'm also on Stromtrooper. I have met a few riders in the Victoria area and posted a ride report last year on our ride to Port Renfrew. If you are on there too, then I need to know your handle. On M/C forums I use "bESS" and my friend Chuck Pefley (Seattle), is "VespaGuy"

  18. Hi Bob, indeed it is a silver vstrom. I'm located in Mount Vernon (smack dab between Vancouver and Seattle). I'm WeeMcD on Stromtrooper.