Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Easily out of breath

The other day I rushed home from work, changed and hopped on my bike .  We live one block off a bike

route.  There are several bike routes around Vancouver.   North to South and then East to West.   Lots of valuable info here .   You can download the map here .    Here I am crossing a major artery and for bikes, you can control the signal lights to cross by pushing the button

Soon I find myself at Queen Elizabeth Park more info  here2  

I'm not used to all of this exercise so I stop to rest.  It was uphill nearly all the way

In most of our parks, you are not allowed to ride your bike so when I see other people I dismount and walk

This is the highest point in Vancouver.  This is where our drinking water reservoir is located,  underneath where I am standing.   At one time it was a large man made lake with a fence around.   The City decided to put on a cement cover for a parking lot and then install this water feature

In the background you will notice the Bloedel Conservatory.   Inside are many varieties of flowers and birds flying around.   It is an inside tropical garden  (info here3)    Not long ago it was going to close due to lack of interest but now the City has decided to refurbish the dome at a cost of Millions of $$

I can help myself.  When I see water I just have to play in it

The water sprays different patterns . . .   and I believe there are also lights which can be turned on in the evenings

    My version of a Selfie

Hard to believe that not more than 2 months ago I could hardly walk.   All seems nearly normal now but I do take it easy and take care to not stress myself .        NO, these are not my shoes.  

See,  I'm not alone in shedding my shoes

There she is on the other side in the stunning, orangish dress with the high slit  (not that I was paying that much attention)

I ride over to the other side of the Bloedel Conservatory and you can see Downtown Vancouver in the distance.   At one time you could drive up here and watch the "submarine" races .  Ah,  the good old days

Vancouver is surrounded by mountains on the North.   It is hard to get lost here.  You are taught from a young age that the mountains = North

Queen Elizabeth Park  (QE park for short) is known for their gardens.   It is built on an old volcanic crater.   This is the sunken garden

Sort of has that Butchart Gardens feel . . .

It's been a while since I have been on the lower level

Here, at the top there is that pedestrian bridge which goes over a small creek, which then waterfalls down to the bottom

There are also many flowers which I noticed were recently planted

This sculpture looks like a piece of white cheese

and I was not the only one enjoying the view

This is another garden looking towards the East

And I met some new friends today . . .

not very talkative though . . .  but I think they liked my bike


  1. Bob-
    What a beautiful park and area! And you bicycled there!

    You seem to be a "natural" on that bike and you are inspiring me. I dusted mine off yesterday and put air in the tires...getting there!

    Anyway, a lovely outing for you and an enjoyable read for me!

    1. Deb:

      My bike is too heavy. When I bought it I was in better shape and I thought that being heavier wouldn't be a problem as I was just getting exercise. It rides like a slug and I was looking for a lighter model. It does have an aluminum frame with alloy wheels and Shimano gears but it takes a lot of effort to pedal, especially uphill. We have a lot of hills here.

      anyway, get riding on your bike and post about it. Shoes optional . . .

  2. Easily out of breath? Does that mean your new code name is Wheezy?

    It looks like a lovely ride. Beautiful gardens. I bet the inside of the conservatory is lovely too.

    1. Trobairitz:

      this was only my 2nd ride of the season. Not really a ride but a short jaunt around the neighbourhood. Not many kilometers but it was uphill BOTH WAYS and I had to stop for rest breaks. The Conservatory is supposed to be very nice with birds and other things flying about. Haven't been in there for many years. This is your kind of place

  3. Beautiful gardens! And the water feature on top of the hill looks like a great place to head for either on foot or on a bike even though it's on top of a hill. The bike frame looks pretty large, a smaller frame may be more comfortable...

    1. Richard:

      This is a hybrid aluminum bike with a compromise street tire with less aggressive tread. It is a small frame. I have to measure it but I think it is only 18", but with 26" alloy wheels. Notice how high I had to move the seat. I also have a very light racing bike with those 100 psi skinny tires. It is an older 10 speed with the shifter levers on the down tube and those C type grips with shoe clips. You can lift this bike with your little finger. I think the tires should be replaced, maybe I should take a look at it. It may be a Colnago frame, not sure as it was painted over to make it less conspicuous and I paid big bucks for it from a reliable bike shop, and that's the way it was advertised. But it has no identifying markings

    2. Back in the days when my knees would still let me ride I had a mountain bike with a triple crank and a wide range of gearing; much wider than my light road bike. I could pedal that mountain bike up hills so steep that it was hard to keep the front wheel on the ground, the hill at the bottom of Oak St for example. Gearing made it possible, even though the bike was heavier. What I should have done was put a wider ratio triple crank on my light road bike. In less demanding situations, I could make much better speed with less effort with the lighter bike with higher pressure tires even without the extra gearing. The mountain bike seemed like a good idea, but it really was a waste of money.

  4. Bob, two thoughts, and a question.

    Your new friends seem a little stiff.

    Parking cars that leak bodily fluids over the city's water supply... not a choice I would have made, but hey that's because I'm a lawyer, not an engineer.

    How long before you start looking into electrical pedal-assist, or say a small motor?

    1. David:

      Are you looking over my shoulder ? I've been investigating and also went to visit an electric bike shop last weekend. Kits are expensive for what they are. Better to convert your own bike

      Can't use a small motor here. You will be slammed with various infractions. They are enforcing use of limited speed motorcycles (ie Mopeds without pedals).

      Vancouver is friendly towards bicycles, but not motorcycles and there are places I could go and park where a bike can't and I'm thinking that I could snap more photos at locations where a engined vehicle can't. Like over the Lions Gate Bridge, or the Alex Fraser bridge but I want a bike that looks like it has no engine

    2. We're starting to see electric bikes regularly here. One model in particular seems quite popular.

      My advice is to forego the 'mo' stick to the 'ped'. Much better for one's health.

      It occurs to me though, strictly as an appeal to the needs of the photographer, that a folding e-bike might be able to tag along on your motorcycle.

      I've seen Vespas equipped to haul surfboards and bicycles. For your existing bike, maybe a hitch arrangement where the front fork of the bike engages the hitch and you store the front wheel on the bike somehow and trailer it behind the motorcycle.

      That would greatly increase your photographic opportunities in an unlimited range.

    3. David:

      the folding ones do not have very good frames. The best folder is the Brompton but I can't justify that kind of $$. Also folders have smaller battery capacities and less range, and only one rear sprocket so limited speeds.

      I don't plan on keeping my Vstrom much longer. I have to decide something by next Spring. I need to be down to one bike by then. For now it can be a spare for visitors. E-bikes are too heavy to carry, too heavy for a bike rack. You need a hitch setup.

      You need to ride a bicycle here, too many hills and not enough pedal power "on tap", not flat like where you live

    4. Bob, maybe a Vespa is the way to go for you. You could definitely carry the bike, and a surfboard. Check it out, click here.

    5. David:

      Owning a Vespa in Vancouver is NOT an option. There are no dealers and no where to buy parts. I do not want to be my own mechanic. There used to be a dealer in Bellingham but they closed. The next closest is in Seattle. Imagine the logistics of going down there twice, once to bring it down and then the next weekend to bring it back. Plus the border problem

    6. Hmmm... selling the V-Strom eh...?

    7. David:

      If I had a safe place to store my Vstrom, say . . . somewhere close to Beaconsfield I could consider just leaving it there for a winter (or two) and fly back the next year to continue my touring. Of course the key would be there for the caretaker to keep the fuel rotated and the oil circulating. Or perhaps the prospective next owner would like to fly to Vancouver next year and have company on the return ride back to Beaconsfield. Lots of options . . .

  5. Seems like your new friends do enjoy the company.

    1. Benny:

      My new friends don't talk back either. They just like to smile

  6. Bob, you and that bike look pretty good together. Hope that you are able to spend more time together this season.

    Were your friends someone that we should know or simply just friends?

    1. Coop:

      wished I could ride more but the Hills are defeating me. I've only been out for short distances, a handful of times and already I can feel more power in my legs

      for you, I'll check and see if my friends are still waiting for me at the park

  7. How fun and easy a beautiful day it looked like!

    1. Kathy:

      The temperatures are nearly perfect for cycling. Not too hot and then you warm up a bit as you ride. Too bad it was in the evening after I got home from work. You know that the best weather is at work when you look out the window

  8. All those beautiful pictures and I'm still cracking up over the one of your feet next to the woman's shoes. I guess it's this summer vacation mode that has me enjoying frivolity more than ever!

    1. Joe:

      If you go back into History you will find that Gentlemen, used to wear high(er) heeled shoes. Not too sure about the painted toe nails though. You are lucky to have so much free time during the summer to meander on your scooter . . . makes the rest of us, envious