Saturday, 26 October 2013

Le Velo a Vancouver (or Thank you Nigel)

When I arrived back in Vancouver on October 4th, the bike had survived the airplane trip mostly undamaged.  I can't really blame Air Transat baggage handling facilities because the minor damage to a ball bearing in the steering head could have been prevented by packaging the bike differently in England.  Live and learn ;-(
But that damage wasn't the big issue. The big issue was that I still didn't have the bolt to re-attach my crank.  No bolt, no crank, no pedal, no bike !

All this changed Wednesday morning when Grandma phoned to tell me I had mail from England !  My mood instantly changed and I skipped breakfast to check out the package.  And indeed, it was the bolt I had been waiting for ! (Imagine the disappointment if the long-awaited package had contained the WRONG bolt). Half an hour later and the bike was ready to go for a test pedal up the hill and Grandma was there to watch.
Two pedal or no two pedal?

She seemed moderately impressed but after I showed her some of the bike's parts (battery, motor, brakes, etc etc) she only said 'Our generation was soo undemanding in our days'.   I refrained from pointing out that a) there were no e-bikes around at the time she was thinking of (1950, when she probably last rode a bicycle) and b) that her only mode of transportation at the age of 47 had an internal combustion engine, the use of which I will be able to eliminate with this bike on quite a few occasions, because for quite a while now I haven't seen bikes as exercise equipment that one carries to the area of deployment  by a car, but as a mode of transport in itself (which in a city proves to be superior to a car, no less).
A few days later in West Vancouver (2 pedals ;-)

And this last point was proved by semi-extreme measures on Friday night.  After a quick bike trip over Lions Gate Bridge and the outside road around Stanley Park had not tired me out but actually had woken me up more, I started at 9 pm on a 'wee' bike ride all along the North Shore to Second Narrows Bridge, over that bridge into East Vancouver, through downtown Vancouver to Lions Gate Bridge, and over Lions Gate back to North Vancouver. Google Maps says that was 26 kms.   After that trip I had no problems sleeping ;-)
Beach in West Van and UBC in the background

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