Cars are also fabulous for buying flowers for Grandmothers. Ever tried to transport something long-stemmed or flowering on a bicycle? Difficult to say the least but possible.
Just before returning the rental I have an epiphany I'm buying gasoline for the first time in a month. I have to drive to a brightly lit place with lots of other cars, get out of the car, stick my card into a vending terminal, attach a hose to my car, and then I'm charged MONEY for that. Seems VERY ODD. It's no fun AND I have to pay for it????
|Smoking in the Hanoi International Airport Restaurant|
|Why pay so much for a metal cage and then do THIS?|
|GUARANTEED NO traffic jams ;-) and this baby will get the brakes done at Steeds on Friday|
|The view from Lions Gate Bridge. Imagine the size of the mountain covered by green trees that corresponds to these matchsticks|
One of those little pet demonstration creeks left in North Vancouver. Very nice and very relaxing
|Try this in a car ;-)|
|NO, NOT modern art, but water leaching out the ceiling/walls of the 'new' Skytrain station|
In the evening I am just about to cycle over Second Narrows Bridge back to North Vancouver, when I stop in my tracks. It's not really that visible in this photo, but there is a very large and very opaque dirt cloud hanging over North Vancouver next to Lions Gate Bridge. No wonder the air around my hotel is so crappy. Next time I will have a tripod along to capture the filth.
Tuesday. T minus 5 days.
I ride my bike in Vancouver, and with a great noise, my dérailleur and the holder bracket turn into my least favourite dish: bent and fragmented metal salad. MERDE. I won't be able to get spare parts and get that fixed before Sunday morning. WTF am I supposed to do now? Good thing the new bike arrived, but I'm again one bike short.
During a 9 oz glass of French wine and an 'Italian' Pizza at Earls (I hate the place but that combo goes down extremely well), I collect my thoughts
1) It's actually fortunate that this happened here and now and not on some deserted Basque country road. I'm hesitant to say anything good about this city, but the roadside assistance and 'towing' service that Translink provides for stranded cyclists with Skytrain, Seabus, and regular buses is FABULOUS. Pushing is limited to the distance to the nearest bus stop ;-)
|The bike on the SeaBus|
2) Even if this calls for buying a 2nd cheap e-bike as an emergency stop-gap, it's good this happened now and not during the trip. Finding a new bike is reasonably easy, but what would I have done with the broken down one in the middle of Spain/
3) 2 hours before the bike broke down, I got a fortune fortune cookie at my local Chinese restaurant: Your road to glory will be rocky but fulfilling. Oh, great!
T Minus 4 days. Required number of operational bicycles 2, Available number of operational bicycles: 1.
At 2 am I am reminded why only last week I had set my mother's calls to go directly to voice mail. She shouldn't be too stupid to mentally deduce from the time that she usually receives my phone calls the times that it would be safe to call her son in a time zone 9 hours different from her own. But the only possible conclusion from the multitude of times my phone has rung at times between 2 am and 5 am is that this apparently is too much for her brain to handle. I mean come on, she wouldn't even have to perform the mental equivalent of drilling the new Gotthard Base Tunnel (i.e. subtracting 9 hours from her time). All she would have to do is remember a time range. Too much to ask for evidently ;-(.