Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Mostly Random Sunday photos

Lately I've been very busy. Family gatherings, Aunt's major Birthday, Friends visiting from California and other stuff which I don't blog about. Relatives are shy and don't wish to be recognized. Due to the recent hot weather, not much riding except for commuting to work so it was refreshing this morning with the unexpected drizzle of rain


During the summer the sportbike community usually plans a few bike nights, but not so many this year due to our late summer. Last week was the 2nd bike night of the year and it was fairly well attended. There was a BBQ, DJ music and lots of ooing and aahhhing over the Ducati's but I was mesmerized over this nearly new Vincent with only 300 miles on the odometer. It was virtually new


Actually it was better than new. I don't know if this was a restoration or not but it was used sparingly as the owner only rides short distances to show it off

A couple of weeks ago we happened to be downtown at English Bay and noticed that the laughing statues had been decorated with colourful headwear.


There were other people taking photos and I decided to pose "monkey see, monkey do" style


I'm the one with the plain headwear . It was a humid hot day so I was very glad to not have to wear ATGATT today


I walked across the street to show you the view of the seawall which goes all the way around Stanley Park.


but my camera had a mind of its own and pointed to the bottom right corner, like a magnet. The force was strong that I had to concede to its wishes


Did I mention that it was a hot day ? So I decided that I wanted a Tim Hortons Iced Capuccino. While on our way to Timmies I looked to my left and noticed


another rider out for a ride and just enjoying the day . We finally arrive at Timmies and noticed this motorcycle patrolman parking his HD to join his friends


who were waiting inside


Doughnuts and the Police, a common combination

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Translink bicycle bridge over the Fraser River

If you happened to be a cyclist you would know that there was an alternative way to bicycle from Vancouver to Richmond


Of course if you happened to not live in Vancouver you would not know where this bridge was located . At the south end of the city you reach the southern boundary of Vancouver which ends at the Fraser River. The other evening I had the opportunity to borrow an electric bicycle and go on a test ride.


After a block or two to figure out how to manually shift the gears and work the electric propulsion system I was nearly ready to tackle more than a block . This is an eZee Sprint 450 watt powered motor with disk brakes front and back


It is a front wheel drive bike with the motor hidden in the front hub


The large battery sits vertically on the seat post and is the newer Lithium Polymer high capacity type. I am not sure of the specs but I believe it has a range of approx 50 kms and more if you help by pedalling. It can be fully recharged in 4 hours


Most of the controls are on the right side. The bike has a 7 speed shimano drive system and you are able to shift gear ratios while stationary and it is not a deraileur system as on most less expensive bikes. The throttle functions just like a motorcycle, as you turn the bike goes faster

I didn't want to borrow the bike for too long so I decided to cycle over to the Translink bicycle/pedestrian bridge which spans the Fraser River and takes you over to Richmond


At the bottom of the ramp I notice the pedestrian and bicycle Icons


The ramp snakes you up to the deck level which also serves as the bridge for the Skytrain (rapid transit) This is the first time that I have been up here


It is a suspension bridge


There does not seem to be very many people using this bridge today


So I stop for a quick self portrait


Vancouver has a compulsory helmet law but my helmet was safely tucked away at home, as this ride was unplanned and unexpected


This was where this photo was taken, looking West over the North Arm of the Fraser River.


You can barely make out the bridge in the distance, but that is the Oak Street Bridge and is part of Hwy 99 which heads south to join up with I-5 in Washington State

Soon enough my time is up and I have to head back to Vancouver and as I exit the ramp onto Kent Avenue you are able to see this welcome sign

(Welcome to Vancouver)

It was refreshing to be able to cycle without actually cycling. A quick twist of the throttle and you seem to be going fairly fast. If you pedal then you can go faster or help conserve power for longer distances

I was wondering how much these electric bikes were so on Saturday I stopped at Urban Wasp to visit Bob, the owner


You'll have to excuse the "blurry" photo, when he told me the price I started to shake. It is more than a low priced gas 49cc scooter. But I also had a chance to look at the other models


I thought that this folding model was just my style


With all the hills around here I think an electric bike could come in very handy

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Paolo's first master

What seems like a long time ago, Paolo was master to another. I came across one of my early videos where Paolo was given a bath by Local Firefighters at a Suzuki open house

I know Paolo is happier now that she has a companion and gets regular exercise throughout the area exploring the backroads of Southern BC and Washington state. This video was recorded April, 2008 when I was still riding my prev bike, Suzuki SV650n

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Lunch at Mile One, Pemberton, BC

There is a small section just north of Mount Currie where they are doing road construction on Hwy 99 and the road turns to gravel


I probably passed two or three times before I got brave enough to attempt riding on the road. Notice the pea gravel on the left. It is the luck of the draw when you arrive and which side they decide to dump the gravel. I remember my trip to Vancouver Island a couple of years ago where they had over an inch of loose pea gravel which came unexpectedly without much warning and I can still remember the rear end whimping out.


For now I am lucky that my side has been compressed down a bit more due to the constant flow of traffic heading north, and I noticed a few groups of bikes ahead of me . I don't know how far I travelled on the gravel but I got a bit used to it after a while, and before long I came to the spot where they started the single lane alternating traffic. Not far ahead I notice the cars waiting for the pilot car


I would have continued as I wanted to snap a few photos at the head of Lillooet Lake but time was running out and I had to get back to Pemberton and meet the gang for lunch. So rather than wait in the line and do the same on the return, I opted to turn around


and head south, but now I was on the side with more gravel. I tried to stay in the left track and soon enough I got back onto terra firma and went to the Pemberton city centre


At the stop sign I snapped a photo of the main business area which extends about 2-3 blocks in each direction and I noticed the ONE EARTH sign (bottom right corner). I am not really much of a consumer but I was interested to find a place where they sold local work by Native Artists for another jewelry maker who frequents this blog
I walked inside and found many items produced by local Artisans


Actually there are sections for various artists to display their work. I would presume that these items are sold on a commission basis


It was a bit awkward attemting to snap photos in a shop like this with the attendant watching but there was; leatherwork, belts, bags, native bags, walking sticks, cards and lots of other stuff worthy of a visit if you are in the area .


On the highway the Government has signage to point the way to local Artisans throughout the area so perhaps you may be able to purchase more traditional native art directly from the artists workshop .


Soon enough my time was up and I headed over to our lunch destination


I left Vancouver just after 7am and it was now around 1pm and my stomach was just crying out for food . The Gang had arrived

(Self portrait at Mile One Roadside Cafe)

It seemed like an upscale place with great food and a great menu


It was hard to decide what to order

(Otto, James, Sam, Geoff & Mark) (Missing: Peggy & Bob)

If it weren't for us, there would be no line up . On a group ride you are really riding solo, so while waiting for our lunch to be prepared we had lots of time to socialize and talk about our next food destination, which happens to be next Saturday at a DIM SUM restaurant in Richmond, followed by a special Dessert place


Their hamburgers are very thick and difficult to open your mouth that wide


Here's Mark taking some food porn for himself

(Mark, with camera; Peggy and Otto on right)

I ordered the Philly Cheesesteak, it was delicious


it was made with very tender Angus Beef with carmelized onions and cheese . With full stomachs we were ready to tackle the ride home

(signal light in Squamish, BC, the Chieftan straight ahead)

You have to watch your speed coming down this long hill at Furry Creek, the LEO's are usually waiting for you at the bottom


While riding with a group it is difficult to stop for photos, so the only way is to grab them whilst riding

(Upper Levels Hwy 1, approaching West Vancouver)

I am riding sweep but decide to break off at Taylor Way and head over the Lion's Gate Bridge as I wanted to stop at a certain store on the way home


The traffic is much busier now than it was this morning when there was hardly a soul in sight . We were dead stopped on the causeway for what seemed like a long time with long lines of cars both in front and behind


I am beginning to think I made a mistake. I should have followed the group over the Second Narrows Bridge (Steelworkers Memorial Bridge). Traveling farther with less traffic creates less stress, and less sweat on this hot day while you are stopped in traffic ATGATT.

As we reached the end of the Stanley Park causeway we ended up on Georgia street where there were 3 lanes of traffic gridlock in both directions. We were stopped again with multi signal lights for the next couple of miles.


I was in the wrong lane, I had to find a spot to move over and take another route through the downtown core, but with all the cars bumper to bumper, there was no space to move into


I had to wait it out and be patient while tears of sweat rolled down my face . I eventually made it home, rolled out of my sweaty ATGATT, washed my helmet head, showered and got ready to go out for dinner. I got home just after 6pm which meant 11 hours on the road today, with half of it in the heat.

Normally Mrs Skoot works on Saturday, so I am free to do as I please. Little did I know that this was her rare Saturday off but I offered to abandon the ride and we could do other stuff together (gulp). She insisted that I go on the ride and she would occupy her day and do something else. As a compromise we went out to an upscale restaurant for a meal

(Halibut, something or other . . .)

and I decided to order two appetizers, instead of a full meal. It's part of my food reduction mode


All of the beautiful servers wore slinky black provocative dresses kind of place, but sorry no photos, as Mrs Skoot was watching my every move