This is an open letter to all the wannabe racer-commuters in Vancouver...
You know who you are. You are the ones who have a freak if anyone passes you and quickly have to pass back only to run out of energy shortly so that you get passed again. This travesty then gets repeated however many times your pride will allow.
I am riding back from Burnaby to East Van on my trusty fixie, which is of course a piece of shit (my beloved gehetto bike) and geared way too high to be riding up Burnaby mountain, which I do everyday. So, I am riding along at my one speed which I rarely change from. I catch this guy... I pass this guy. I wave and say "hello".
Now most Jack rabbits are some what subtle. They will wait a little while, then gently pass you back, almost as if to say "Opps, was I going slow? Well, this is my normal speed, don't think I am slow and out of shape." Not this guy, within seconds he gets out of the saddle (on the flat none the less) and zipps by. Nothing subtle here. After he gains maybe 200 feet, he sits down and starts pedaling his original slow pace again.
So its snowing right now... a lot. Well a lot for use wet west coast people. As soon as snow hits all hell breaks loose. And I mean ALL HELL. Buses slow down and a bunch of silly people decide to drive in with their bald summer tires.
So what do I do for fun? Continue riding from Vancouver to SFU on Burnaby Mountain (current view). Now I could ride up the road, but what fun is that when the Univeristy is on top of a mountain. Clearly, the only logical choice is to ride the trails!
Getting from Vancouver out to where the Transcanada trail starts can be described in one word ASS. Rain, snow, and watery slush being driven up your ass sucks. Yes maybe just maybe I should get some fenders. Anyway, once I hit the trail I was able to warm up a bit, despite being soaked. Plus the snow is much better on the trail. As I climbed up the mountain, the snow got progressively less slushy and more like real snow.
Luckily, it wasn't too deep yet so I was able to clean most of the trail. I had to walk in a couple places where there were technical step ups. But for the most I was able to ride... its all about a smooth spin ladies and gentlemen, a smooth spin.
Oh yeah, I did wimp out and take a geared bike. But hey, even in the snow every gear is the wrong gear!
So a while back I picked up the parts I needed from Ed (down at Mighty riders) to convert my fixie over to a front disc fixie. As part of the project I figured it would be pretty cool to document the process by making a stop motion animation of the process. Well I finally figured out the lighting (which was a bugger of a job) and what I have left to do is build the wheel and snap a picture at each step of the way.
This couldn't come at a better time either. Yesterday I was riding home when I heard a loud snap as I was braking (I keep a front brake on the fixie) and suddenly I had no brakes. Luckily, I could use my legs to stop (again why fixies rule as commuters). When I got it home I took a look and it looks like something internal broke. I have to take off the handle bar tape and take a closer look.
Vancouver has be inundated with a nasty fog bank for the last couple days. The picture on the left is taken on top of Burnaby mountain over looking Vancouver and Richmond. Yep there are two cities under there, somewhere. The mountains off in the distance are Vancouver Island
Apart from the lovely riding once you break through the fog, riding in general has completely ass like. Everyday I wake up and listen on the radio as another cyclists has been hit somewhere in the city. And let me tell you I am not surprised. When people can't see more than 100 feet in front of themselves what do they do when they drive? Well, let me tell you, they drive even faster of course. It just irks me to no end, that a cyclist a day is being taken out because people have no idea how to drive in anything but the most pristine weather and really have no respect for anyone else who is out there.
There is much concern over the upcoming highway expansion and rightly so. The issue really sits at the edge of a much bigger precipice; deciding the future of Vancouver transportation. To we side on the side of cars and have a car centric city like the rest of North America or do we fight develop more people scale transportation (i.e. like many European cities).
The first public hearing is of course held in a venue that is WAY too small, so there will be a street party outside. For those not in the know the Dinosaurs will also be making an appearance. They are hilarious, bunch of dinosaurs riding around on bikes. Hey what can you say Mr and Mrs SUV, they may be a bunch of extinct reptiles but even they know an over dependence on driving is hazardous to both the environment and public health.
Date: Tue Nov 01 16:34:29 PST 2005
From: "Critical Mass Vancouver" spam[at]bikesexual.org>
Subject: street party to stop the highway saturday
STOP THE GATEWAY PROJECT!
PLEASE FORWARD THIS TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW.
It's time for East Van vs Godzilla...the first "public consultation" about the Highway Expansion in East Van will be held this Saturday, Nov. 5. The church is far too small to hold everyone who will come, so we may just have to throw a street party! please bring your hackeysacks, instruments, sidewalk chalk, and lots of SIGNS -- cuz the media will be there, and it's a great opportunity to let the Province (that is, Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon and Gordon Campbell) know just who they are dealing with here. Libby Davies is hosting this, and really it'll be much more of a rally than a consultation. It's gonna be fun. There WILL be dinosaurs. Be there at noon-12:30, with (bicycle) bells on!
Some more crazy one gear people:
Thought you might be amused by an old fart riding around southern Brazil in a singlespeed (the trusty vovô-matic)
Friedman and Tores:
Biking, Climbing, Unicycling, Slacklining, Chilling, Ridiculousness, and anything else that falls into our heads to talk about. Mostly just random crap, but hey, we hope there's a gem of knowledge or inspiration in there every now and again.
So I was thrown this proposal the other day:
Hey, great site. Just getting my first fixie in the next couple of weeks.
I just built a site that I will be launching formally in the next few weeks that I think might make a great partnership site for yours. It's a bicycle registry where users can post pics and other info about their bikes. I could co-brand the registry just for your site so it would look like part of your current site and your listings would be separate from all the others. Anyway, I don't have a fixie site partners yet, so if you are interested to see what it would look like as a co-branded registry, let me know. It would essentially let you offer features similar to www.fixedgeargallery.com, only 10x better. It is free for everyone - just an enthusiast's site:
So dude was like:
Yo wease, howz about throwin' up a link to my relatively new
blog? I already did the quid pro quo thing, so if ya don't
jmind returning the favor, that would be cool.
Keep up the good work with the site. Hope everything improves
with your dad.
Steve (the dude of "FixedFuckingGear" and "FasterThanYourTV" fame)
So I was like, "Dude I remeber you, you were like the dude who mailed me thoses stickers"
So I am sitting here waiting for the parts to come in...
Soon Ed will have the parts and I will have my front disc fixie up and running. My frankin-fixie if you will be rockin' the casbah. Slapped together from various parts that are new to ones found in the trash. When she is all said and done I will post her picture
Velomutations is back again
:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: ::::::::::::V E L O M U T A T I O N:::::::::::: ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
VeloMutation:::::::Urban Bike Culture
VeloMutation:::::::the hottest Biker Party Vancouver has ever seen!
Saturday September 24th,
8pm til 2am,
at the PedalMetalStudios, 1132 Powell St (enter off Franklin)
Slinding door $5 to $25 (no.one turned away)