Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Mid Winter Ride in Vancouver

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)


  1. Bob,
    I wondered why you wrote "I feel lovely", then I saw it. Nice shot! Is that another one of your bikes on your header photo?

    Today was really nice for riding here too. I went to Astoria and back. Lovely Day!

    Thank you for the plug. And I like a couple of your reasons for why you park the way you do. Thank you.

  2. Bobskoot, yes indeed, why shovel when you can ride....good post. I've never been on a cruise ship, good idea though in terms of easy accomodation of a temporary workforce.

  3. That's exactly why I didn't shovel the two inches of snow we received two days ago... why shovel when you can ride! Two inches won't slow down the Ural.

  4. Bob

    Is something badly wrong?

    I can't for the life of me see any pink crocs or real snow.


  5. Mike:

    I also like the rear end to stick out for the traffic to see and I park on a 45 degree angle to occupy the whole space. Sometimes I come back and a chromed cruiser is beside me and I have to maneuver to get out. Of course if both of us were together I would have given you half the space

    Almost forgot, yes, I rode my Maxi-Scoot to Oregon. It's a Kymco Xciting X500Ri. Looks like a sport bike from the front. This year I plan to ride my V-strom down there


    I was on a cruise once, a few years ago. I found it very confining. I walked on every deck, went down every hallway, roamed all the corridors then there was nowhere else to discover. I think you have to be in a different frame of mind, you know, just sit and watch the water go by and read a book.
    I have to be rolling/moving all the time, I can't sit still


    It's hard to mow the lawn when it snows. by the time you finish shovelling all that snow away you are too tired to push the lawn mower.


    I was actually waiting for the snow to try out my new SNOW tyres. I also wanted to get some photos wearing my PINK crocs in the snow but it wasn't meant to be, at least not this year. NO snow for us

  6. Really nice pictures, and glad you are able to get out and ride some. It has been hit and miss here, riding wise. Got some rides in to work this week, but looks dicey again for the weekend.
    Your reflection picture is way better than mine because you obviously composed it and gave it some thought. My pictures aee frequently just spur of the moment. Thanks for mentioning me though. It's appreciated.
    BTW, despite the weather, I think your country has done a wonderful job in hosting the Olympics. I watched most of the opening ceremonies and found the celebration delightful. Still wondering if you can get a picture of that Wee going down the bobsled run.

  7. I don't know what all this talk is about snow. None on this part of the East Coast. By the way, real motorcycles have center (centre) stands to provide more secure parking in certain situations. Bonnevilles for instance.

  8. What a lovely day, and making the best out of it. Bad for the Olympics, but good for you and the Wee! Great pics, can't wait to visit.

  9. Hi Bobscoot,

    It doesn't look like winter in Vancouver, but nice for riders! :)
    I like the mountain shot, even though the snow has all but disappeared. Vancouver really does have a beautiful setting. Very nice pics!

  10. I love the "I feel Lovely" sign! I think the only solution to the snow is to get a Ural. I love the snow we're having, I just hate that it has derailed my riding. I'm glad there are folks like you and the ural riders to get me through...

  11. Bob, hadn't thought about the "back-end out" making for a less comfy environment for the would-be thief. Great tip.

  12. love the mountain photo with snow on, would cut and make another photo just showing the snowy mountain..fabulous :)

  13. Hi Bob,

    You will just have to move to Turkey where we dont have to think about petty crime, the majority still park and leave the keys in here.



  14. Dear Bob Skoot:

    I so much enjoyed our telephone chat the other night, that I forgot to leave a comment on your blog. While all of your pictures had an appreciable depth and substance to them, the one I liked the best was the detail of the shot focusing on "the lions" and the cruise ship.

    The Olympics must be so exciting for you. If I lived in Vancouver, I'd have hung myself last Tuesday. I am not a big one for traffic, crowds, or packed restaurants (which have repriced their menus for gouging).

    Leslie owned a condo on the slopes of Whistler for many years, and sold it when Vancouver started bidding on the Olympics... That was when she got her motorcycle, and when I got mine.

    Bob, it's hard to believe that she regularly commuted to Whistler and Vancouver (as did I for a few seasons), before I knew you. Rather ironic that.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads

  15. cpa3485:

    Jim, it was just a spur of the moment photo as I was passing the window. Then I thought about your photo and decided to do one too

    Mr Conchscooter:

    I guess I have a real motorcycle. I have a centre stand installed too. It cost around $250.00 and I had to wait a week for them to order it in for me, and installed on my first service.


    We have been getting excellent weather for this time of year. Another 15C day here in Vancouver. As you shall see soon, much warmer than AB


    thank you. I noticed that shot of the Lion's (Mountain) too. Lucky my camera has a 12x zoom.


    Last year we had the worst snow in over 50 years. This year we have had NONE. Many years we don't get any snow and it's great. I can get my fill of snow photos from your Flickr, thank you


    I do the same thing in the car while travelling. I usually take the most conspicuous spot at the ends of the row in plain view to save my laptop and cameras. I mostly avoid secluded spots


    I thought about that but I thought it more interesting to include the ship


    That's the problem with large cities, always people who want something for nothing and want to steal from you

    Jack "r":

    Our paths have crossed but unfortunately we didn't meet YET. One day that will change. It's just too bad that the failure of the economy has set us back a bit

  16. 1. Parking. You do give good reasons for pulling in. Dance to the music that moves you. My only concern for backing in is to exit safely.

    2. Bad photos. Once again, you teach me a valuable lesson. Take a questionable photo. Call it "art" and suddenly it's "good". Now there is hope for 98 percent of my photos, er I mean, works of art.

    3. You are so smooth. Not only do you not get hassled by Security Swat People, but you get the female to pose while you take a picture of her butt. I am so impressed!

  17. IronDad:

    1)I am very careful about selecting parking spots. If it's not right then I choose another one farther away, or around the corner. On the street I would always back in, but if the road is slanted the wrong way, then I would go across the street

    2)Just take the offending problem and mention that you wanted to include it, sort of like my telephone pole shadow.

    3) It was the only way I could take a photo without showing their face(s). I asked the driver first and he didn't say I couldn't so I did