As I was leaving work my colleague said "Don't you think it's time to take off your snow tires ? I don't think it's going to snow anymore this year. No use wearing out your new snow tires"
Well, it's true. We never really had any snow this year. Rain yes, snow no. There were a few weeks where it went below freezing and there was frost and fog which prevented riding to work, but other than rain it's been the mildest winter in 100 years. (I heard this on the radio). You know this is true because of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. There is barely enough snow to run the events and we had to truck it in from Manning Park which is a 6 hour return drive.
I somehow just knew it wasn't going to snow this year as I purchased 4 new mounted nordic track ice radial snow tires. I have ice scrapers, two shovels and rubber boots in the trunk. I think I'll wait a couple of weeks before I mount the summer tires.
Lately there have been a lot of photos of bikes in parking lots. Irondad (<-- link) even has a personal parking spot at Lloyds Centre in Portland, and Mike (<-- link) has posted a few photos of his Beemer in a parkade.
It was nice to feel the warm sun and experience the freedom of 2 wheeled flight.
Here I am waving at you. The sun was very bright so I thought that the shadow made for a good self portrait
I realize that bike enthusiasts would park their bike, back in, Face outward but I have my own system. First I analyze the flatness of the ground and prefer to have the bike lean at a greater side stand angle. For some reason I think my side stand is a bit too long and when the road angles the wrong way it is more prone to tipping. Secondly, there is more mass at the rear of the bike due to the top and side cases giving you a larger footprint to make your bike more visible. Also I feel that there is less tampering of your possessions as the cases are in full view of passing traffic. Thieves are less visible at the rear of the parking spaces. I had some errands to run at a big box store
Today my plan was to go downtown and try to take a few photos down at the harbour. There are some overpasses that lead over the railway tracks but they were all cordoned off as a security precaution for the Winter Olympics. I had to make a U-turn before the security gate
I tried to take Cordova Street into Gastown to try and make it downtown but the traffic was stopped in all directions, so I made another U-turn and went East. I then thought to take Main Street and head south, but I could see the line went over a mile and there are signal lights at every intersection, so I made my 3rd U-turn and ended up on Railway street where I thought I would pose my V-strom for some photos.
Again it wasn't my day. The sunlight was coming directly behind me and the telephone pole cast a dark shadow right in the middle of the photo and I didn't feel like waiting another hour or so for the shadow to move. I even thought about turning the flash on to minimize the shadow, but in the end I decided it was more artistic to leave the shadow in the photo. This image is appropriately titled "Shadow of telephone pole cast onto a mighty V-strom". I wanted to frame my Wee with the Vespa in the window and the door on the left.
Behind this building there is a small parking area which has a view towards the docks. Usually there is a locked gate, but today the gate was open. On the other side of the Container Terminal you will notice 3 large ships. These are the accommodations for the security people, such as the RCMP and others who are here to patrol the city. There is an overpass which leads over to the docks but only VANOC (VANcouver Olympic Committee) vehicles are allowed through security.
While I was busy snapping photos of the waterfront area and the cranes I turned around and noticed a Black Yukon come through the gate. I said to myself "Oh no, not again". It's not the first time I have been stopped from taking photos of sensitive security installations. I approached the Yukon and the window rolled down to reveal an RCMP driver in full uniform and wearing a black bullet proof vest. Beside him was a passenger, similarly dressed. We spoke for a while and I showed him the photos on my 460,000 pixel LCD screen of my Lumix. He said he was not here to check me out. He just wanted to have a short break too. He looked at the bike and asked a few questions, then he said his buddies are Riders too. Then the rear door opened and two more officers jumped out and came over. I asked the driver if I could take his photo for my Blog. He said NO. The female officer took her camera out and started to take some photos so I asked if I could take her photo from the rear, so as not to be identifiable
These officers are here from Ontario and the female officer rides a VTX1300. They are living on those cruise ships in the background. I said you must be living in a life of luxury with all that food and luxurious surroundings, but he said that they operate a buffet only. All 4 of them are very happy to be here in the warm sun, instead of under 4 feet of ice and snow. If only they could have their bikes here and go for a ride on the Whistler highway
Slightly farther East on Powell Street you get a better view of the first ship in line.
From the same vantage point I zoomed onto Grouse Mountain to capture a photo of the "LIONS", for which the Lion's Gate Bridge is named.
Don't let the white stuff fool you. This photo was taken last Sunday. It has been raining the past few days and most has melted. The rain is creating havoc with the Winter Olympics.
Closer to home the road closures have affected my daily commute. Here is a view from Little Mountain (Known as: Queen Elizabeth Park to the tourists). The perimeter road is closed blocking my shortcut
Further down the hill is the intersection of 33rd Avenue and Ontario Streets. It is closed too forcing me to turn south at Main Street and take sides streets to allow me to cross Cambie
I got the idea for the next photo from Jim, he likes to be called cpa3485 (<-- link) for short, only he is not astride his might MAX
Just another uneventful day on the Wet Coast of British Columbia. Winter has passed us by this year. Nothing but sunshine and warm temps in the low 50's (US), unlike those in the East who are buried under 4 feet of snow and ice. Sun and warm temps are forecast for the next week so riding weather is here. Why shovel when you can ride ?
(I Feel Lovely)