Sunday, March 30, 2014

Walking North on Granville Street, Vancouver BC

As mentioned on my previous post, I parked my car in Kitsilano and walked over the Granville Street bridge on my way downtown.   The bridge goes above Granville Island so there is a good vantage point to

photograph.   The Photographer ahead had the same idea

There are a few marinas in this harbour and that is Fisherman's wharf near the top

You access "the Island" on a narrow causeway on the south.   This used to be industrial area with warehouses but over the past 40 years has transformed itself into a busy tourist area with a Market, and numerous restaurants, like that yellow building "Bridges".   Vancouver is nearly an island as it is surrounded on 3 sides by water and acessible by bridges.  That is the Burrard Bridge near the top.   The West End of Vancouver is one of the most densely populated areas in North America

This body of water is known as False Creek and we have an Aquabus ferry system which can take you anywhere in this inlet

There are many specialty shops within these buildings and some carry craft supplies.  During the summer this place is very busy and you will have a hard time trying to find parking

On the other side of the Burrard Bridge you will find English Bay where you see freighters waiting for their turn to come into the Vancouver Harbour to load or unload, mainly grain from the Prairies

There are many Marinas all around False Creek.  There is also dockage for boats visiting the Market, but they are mostly empty now as the boating season has not yet started..   You notice the Aquabus ferries busy going back and forth . . .

Not many people out and about today.  It is still cold and the wind is blowing.  I would guess that most of the people in the market are staying inside

This building has a mural of whales and is near the north end of the Granville Bridge

It is an older building and I couldn't help but notice the interesting pattern of the windows.  The short distance from the Bridge to the main shopping area is an area you should keep away from at night.  It is littered with "street people" and run down or vacant businesses

These are mostly younger people who have nothing better to do than hang around and have nothing better to do.   You are frequently asked for "spare change" and many like to eye your valuables so I had to put my camera away

The Government has a low subsidized housing project around the corner and here you see a backpackers hotel .   You pass a few pawn shops and tatoo parlours and all the time you sense that the people of the area are sizing you up as they know you don't belong

Here you have another "homeless" person who sleeps by day and stays awake by night

I suppose you could spend $0.25c if you had never seen a peep show

I'm not sure I would trust to use an ATM on this block and here is a Hotel which has seen better days

Only a block from the prestigious Robson Street shopping district we have the homeless with nothing better to do except to wait for a warmer summer day, or a handout . . .  and shoeless too

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Theatre Row, Granville Street, Vancouver, BC

Saturday I went for a long walk.   I left my car in Kitsilano and walked downtown.   The first kilometer was the hardest and my legs started to hurt but I endured and kept walking. I walked over the Granville Street bridge and down to Pacific Centre, where I had a sandwich.   A few hours later after wandering aimlessly it started to really rain so I walked back to my car

This used to be our main theatre area "in the old days".  Now it is a hangout for young people without jobs who apparently live there as many were still in their sleeping bags

Note:   a few people have asked so I will make my comment here:

This photo was processed using  Photomatix Pro 5.0  HDR software.   This was a 3 shot bracketed +/- 1 EV  HDR and converted to Monochrome, then slightly sharpened with very little colour saturation.  The result is nearly a black and white with a hint of colour

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

September 2013: Last Camping weekend for the year

This is a continuation of Part one      Here1     and Part two    Here2

    Seton Lake, near Lillooet BC

September 12, 2013:

I had a couple of vacation days left and I thought about riding to a close destination for one final camping weekend.   I decided upon Lillooet BC    Upon checking the internet for camping options I came across what I imagined to be a great location, on a sandy beach by the Fraser River.   I mean look at  click this , and for a back up location there was   this2    

I started out early taking the Sea to Sky highway past Whister into Pemberton where the temperatures started to get much hotter and then the fabled Duffey Lake Road until I stopped for a rest break at Seton Lake

It is much hotter on the east side of the mountains and the temperatures average 10-15°F higher than on the Coast.   You can tell from the change in landscape to a more arrid, desert area and this day was HOT.

I headed to the Old Suspension Bridge  (info here)    Access to this bridge is a gravel packed side road down the side of a hill and access to the campsite looked too difficult for me as it was steep but it was along the same road.

I decided to strip off my riding gear and snap a few photos of the bridge.   That trestle in the background goes to Carpenter Lake and Seton Portage

I was here many years ago before they refurbished this Bridge,  which is known as THE BRIDGE to the locals.  It now has new decking and crossmembers but only pedestrian traffic is allowed

I am tring to find the best angle, and of course include a photo of my trusty bike too

This Bridge spans the Fraser River and if you look South, you can see the Fraser Cove Campground  on the left.   I was imagining my tent set up on the sandy beach and hearing the sounds of the rushing water whilst waiting for morning . . .

Notice the access road coming down the hill.   It is steeper than it appears.  The campground is perched on a flat landing just above the river.  Here is a closer view

The last two switchbacks are gravel as you head down.   I eventually rode down that road going very slowly  only using my rear brakes . . .  and I made it down and then back up but I decided it was to daring for me so I stayed at the Cayoosh Creek Campground  instead, which is operated by the District of Lillooet

It seemed like I was the only one there but later on I met two others when they returned to camp.  It was nice to set up early and just enjoy the heat of the sun before it turned to night

The next day I headed to Lytton BC  (info here) 

Here is a teaser photo . . .

That is a reaction ferry.  It probably holds two cars.   There are cables to secure it to both sides of the river and a rudder which the current of the fast flowing water of the Fraser River is used to move the ferry from side to side (using only water power)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

First Weekend of Spring

It's the first weekend of a new season.  Spring is finally here,  not like  (click here)

    Five Sails,  Vancouver, BC

It was a Sunny but not so warm day but at least we don't have any snow

    Canada Place, Burrard Inlet

We found parking so we decided to walk around for an hour or so

That's the new Vancouver Convention Centre on the right.    Recently I have been thinking that you may wish to see what our downtown area looks like

Reflected in the windows of the Cenvention Centre, you can see Canada Place.   The webbing you see draped in the air is an aerial sculpture   (info here)    It is more colourful at night when it is lit by LEDs but we like to get home before dark . . .

Hope you are out there enjoying Spring too

Sunday, March 16, 2014

A new riding season is nearly here

Last week I could Feel Spring in the air .  Our snow is gone and the temperatures are more bearable

I haven't had to scrape my windshield for over a week now.   I'm a shorts and T-shirt kind of person and this was my first outing of the new year

I had been thinking about getting my bike insured soon.   During the past week I have seen several bikes on my commute to work so riding again was certainly on my mind.   I keep thinking of all of those in the East who are still experiencing Winter storms and all I could think of was which bike to ride.

I haven't ridden my Vstrom since last May or June, 2013.    I decided to take my BMW R1200R to the East coast last year and I needed some bonding so from about May last year until I departed in July, I used my Beemer exclusively so I could get used to those stupid turn signals and the different ergonomics.  I remember starting my Vstrom once, sometime last October and it started up right away but has just been sitting there under the bike cover, and attached to a battery tender, ever since.

Saturday there were torrential rains so today was the day.  I decided to re-activate my Vstrom.   It came to life on the first try, like I used it yesterday.   I started up my air compressor and pumped up the tires.  The front was down to 20 psi, and the rear was around 25 psi.   And I had to lube the chain.  I still had some left from Sonja who gave me a can of the Teflon stuff which she bought in the USA (for our Oregon iMBC2010 trip)    I even bought my insurance tags.

I am ready for my commute to work tomorrow . . .

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Scoot Commute does Montreal, Final

August 3rd, 2014:   was a day of relaxation, a non-riding day to rest before I continued on my way

The previous day was action-packed.  It was a full day of riding and seeing the sights of Montreal and later in the evening we hopped into the car and we drove all over the place seeing all scenic night spots.  Mr Scoot commute wrote all about it  HERE

Our last stop of the day was to this 24 hour bagel factory

The next day I was like family.  We had a family Breakfast.  The family decided to wash their vehicles and I was content to just relax and enjoy the sun

I've never seen a Vespa so shiney and clean

I didn't have to wash my bike.  I found that if you go over a certain speed that the dirt just blows off

I was getting tired just watching Mr Scoot Commute wash his rims and tires

Then he washed his seat, dash, leg shields . . . he was very meticulous in his resolve.

The next morning it was time for me to leave.   I woke up early, before I heard any household noises with the intention of getting on the road by 8am, but it was not to be.    Mr Scoot  Commute awoke and made me the best breakfast and for that,   thank you

I very much enjoyed my stay in Montreal and perhaps next time I could spend more time and not be so rushed.  Thank you again for hosting me.   I really appreciated seeing familiar faces and making me feel right at home

Here is part three and final installment of the video.  (see previous posts for part 1 & 2)

To Mr & Mrs Scoot Commute.    Thank you for everything.   'til next time . . .

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Scoot Commute does Montreal, Part Deux

This is a continuation of the previous post.   After we escorted VStar*Lady out of town we looked forward to a full day of touring Montreal and seeing all the sights we could squeeze in.   Scoot Commute had everything under control and we zigged and zagged with him in the lead

We stopped at the Biodome for a photo op

    My tour guide, the Scoot Commute

After a few more left and right turns we stopped here for a view of the city.   I have no idea where we  are or how we got here but luckily there is more info here

We eventually arrived at Old Montreal where we had to ride on cobblestone roads.  Looks sort of like Quebec City with lots of tourists, so I blended right in

Pedestrian traffic only, not a car in sight

Lots of outdoor seating if you wanted a beverage or a bite to eat

We ended up at the top of a big hill, they call these mountains in this part of the Country and what do we see ?  It's the Biodome where we started in the morning

The Scoot Commute wanted to take me to the best deli place in Canada but the line was too long

so we ended up going across the street to the Main Deli.   I noticed that someone else recently had a meal at the same place.  Our sandwiches were delicious and melted in our mouths.

We headed downtown into the heart of the city just in time to be stuck in gridlock

Different scenery down here

In heavy traffic you always have to be aware of your surroundings

anyway it was time to head home and call it a day.    Here is part two of the previous video