Thursday, April 23, 2009

Spring time cycling

Training for my ride to Seattle goes well. I no longer worry if I miss a day because I am feeling stronger when I do ride. When getting back into cycling it is typically your legs that tire first, then they strengthen up enough for you to lose your breath, then legs, etc.

I think I'm mostly through that. Now my endurance is measured more in terms of how many calories have I consumed for the ride, as that's another big factor in when you will become exhausted. If I'm going to ride long distances, I have to eat for it.

I got mail today from the organization putting on the Ride to Conquer Cancer and the envelope said 'IMPORTANT! Open Today.' I had no idea of what it could be, so I ripped open the envelope as fast as I could. All it had in it were two donation forms for me to pass out. To say I was underwhelmed was a bit of an understatement. I must have printed out dozens of those forms already, so this was hardly earth shattering. Still, I guess it was nice to have a couple extra forms.

All of this riding has me noticing a lot of the other bikes around town. There are a lot of really nice ones, like this one I saw parked at a church. Hey, even Catholics ride fixies I guess. Fixies, or fixed gear single speeds are insanely popular right now and I have to say I'm more than a little intrigued. I really like the clean lines and uncluttered look. I'm not really into some of the current trends like that extra narrow straight bar with the red grips, but that's just my taste.

One thing is for sure - I won't be riding a fixie to Seattle this year. That's just crazy talk.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Over $1000 Raised for Cancer!

I recently passed an important milestone with my Ride to Conquer Cancer - I have raised over $1,000! This is not counting the anonymous donor who has pledged to match the first $2,500 I raise. This puts me right on track to meet my fund raising goals before May 20th, which is roughly the cutoff date before the ride.

The other day I was talking to Tommy about my riding and when I told him how far I rode that day his response was 'Holy crap, that's like going to Richmond and back!' So I thought about it, mapped it out and was surprised to see how close Richmond really was. So this weekend, I set out to ride across Vancouver.

I didn't go all the way into Richmond but did go down to the park on Fraser River so it would have been a simple ride across the bridge to get there. I decided to ride around this part of town instead as we used to live here about five years ago now. The pink building pictured here is the spot we rented in - our place was on the bottom floor, hidden by the shrubberies and fence.

I used to go for a walk in the park by the river almost daily back then, and spent a fair amount of time bird watching. So it was a bit nostalgic to revisit the same place and find it relatively unchanged. It's still a great place to take dogs for a good run along the beach or to play fetch on the field.

On the way back I took the Granville Street bridge back into Downtown, which was kind of fun since it's all downhill from Broadway. Of course, I had to come to a stop to get into the pedestrian lane as I didn't feel like getting run over that day. As usual, the views from the height of the bridge were fantastic, and make me wish for a camera better equipped to capture what I see.

Back to the Ride to Conquer Cancer website for a minute: For those of you who chose to donate by using the mail in form, the donations DO get processed, it just seems to take quite a while before your name appears on the website. I have at least one person's name on my web page now that I know used the mail in form. So keep the donations coming, feel free to send people you may know to this website, or the one linked to from the Ride to Conquer Cancer logo in the right column here. Your donations do make a difference - a big one.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Taser Graffiti Controversy

So in my last post I displayed some local graffiti and just the other day I noticed that it was painted over. Not everybody appreciates art as social commentary I guess. For my part, I thought it was timely given the still-unfolding situation with the man who was killed by police at the Vancouver Airport by taser last year.

Undeterred, the unknown artist has found other methods of expression that are less likely to be covered up.

I'm just glad I noticed it.

This is also the time of year when Vancouver is filled with cherry blossoms. Some streets bloom earlier than others, but I tend to watch for the Burrard Skytrain station as it is filled with these trees. It is in full bloom now and was looking pretty good.

Oh, and Vancouver's new convention center finally opened. I get a pretty good look at that just about every day - at least the days I go biking or walk the dog along the sea wall in Coal Harbour. They had an open house that lasted two days and about 64,000 people dropped in to check it out. I like the grass roof but haven't figured out if that will be accessible to the public or not, as the sea wall around it is still under construction. Note that some of it is still dirt and not yet covered in sod. I wonder how big of a sprinkler system they have to keep it green.

Also, that white dome thing has been missing for the last day or two so I don't know if it is out for repairs, or not normally part of the building.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Overdue blog post

It has been raining a fair bit lately and that means I have not been out riding for a few days now. It feels weird and wrong at the same time, which I suppose is good since I should be training for my ride to Seattle.

I'm either going to have to invest in fenders and raingear, or start going to the community rec center to do some spinning on the wet days. I suspect the rec center might win out here.

So this photo is the state of Vancouver graffiti today. I smiled a bit when I first saw it, but in a bittersweet kind of way. I imagined the artist saying 'Too soon?' after putting it up.

In other news I saw another one of those eagle statues in a different part of downtown. I'm not one to stay in the loop for all things Vancouver, but this reminds me of those bear statues from a few years ago. I didn't get a good photo because I was accosted by a stuttering beggar who wanted... something. He wasn't very clear and I'm not a hundred percent sure if that helped or hurt his cause.