Saturday, 24 August 2013

Stairs or airs?

There was an unusual landing on Wreck Beach the other day...

the Coast Guard arrived amidst a flurry of water, wind and sand.

Someone was in medical distress and needed a lift off the beach, and this was the hover-ambulance which answered the 911 call for emergency services.  
That's one way to avoid climbing the stairs back to civilization.

Friday, 23 August 2013

For the moment: paradise unpaved.

They say that time is just a trick of space, that all time exists now, and also that now is all there ever is. Is it surprising then, that you should be allowed to step outside of the normal course of time every once in a while, even here in the heart of the city?

Just the other day I took a step back in time on a recognizance ride through Richmond,
 and it didn't take the Tardis to do it, either. 

We went south and east from Kits, then across the North Arm of the Fraser River at the Canada Line bridge. 

Once in Richmond we headed for Shell Rd, where I was in for a surprise.

We used UBC's route planner to pick the best bike routes possible, and I expected to encounter a typical asphalt city bike lane.

Instead we found ourselves on life's best sort of rocky road.
Don't you love green surprises?
I love all kinds of green things.
We saw blueberry fields forever...

photo by Troy Landreville
Shell Road is a rural road in the middle of an urban metropolis, blessed be, an oasis in true Tardis fashion.
The trail is a part of the CN rail corridor through Richmond, so right away you know you're on an artery of Canadian history.  

 We just cruised through much of Richmond on traffic-free trails, 

listening to our wheels on the gravel and the wind in our faces. 

It was an unexpectedly blissful moment in time. 
The luscious, heady scents of rainforest, river and wetland were almost intoxicating in their musty ripeness.

When we first set out in the morning, the plan had been to ride straight through to Tsawwassen and BC Ferries, to see whether it was a ride the small boy could safely do .  

Turns out the first two thirds of the route is mostly pretty safe, but I learned that the shuttle through the George Massey Tunnel runs quite intermittently during off peak hours, so that put paid to our original designs.  We decided to investigate the lay of the land this side of the south arm of the Mighty Fraser instead. 

We backtracked a bit and found ourselves in a very different place altogether. 
We stumbled upon an extraordinary place named Finn Slough, a throwback to a different era.  

It's a little shanty village built on stilts by Finnish fishermen working the Mighty Fraser more than a hundred years ago.

photo courtesy of the Province
 It's also home to the Island Dinner Plate School.
I mean, come on. Could it get any quainter?

Is quainter even a word?  Never mind.
Every detail, right down to the garden gate, is adorable.

It speaks of a different era

in plain and simple terms even I could understand.

The residents of Finn Slough slew the concrete giant called development.  
They didn't need Dr Who on their side to keep the tides of time from sweeping in.

Finn Slough is an eccentric place, a tiny piece of BC's history just brimming with heaps of character.  It's well worth taking a detour from daily life to see it for yourself.

We enjoyed the views from the Dyke Trails as we made our way north and back home again.  It's so easy to get caught up in the immediate pressures of twenty-first century life, but it's important to keep in mind that all we have is time.  In the end, none of us will wish we'd worked more, or that we'd had cleaner floors.  Life is for living, it's fodder for the best memories.  Get on your bike and spend a few moments connecting with your happy place.  Take a bit of time away from time and gift yourself with a magic moment.   

Don't wait till it's gone. 
Do it today.
Give yourself the gift of noticing how anything is possible, 
and for the moment, everything is perfect.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Babbling Brooks: A Rivet Runs Through It.

It started with a tingle, a burning between my thighs, a sore spot where all that rubbing had chafed me raw.  It wasn't the pins and needles you get after a long, hard gravel ride...

 it was a saddle sore.  At first I thought it was just the garter buckles on my dominatrix outfit, but a quick once-over ruled that out.

(Don't judge me. What do YOU do with your used inner tubes?  Hmmmm?)
No, it wasn't my nocturnal proclivities causing the problem.  It was my daytime ride, Bea bike. That poor Electra's stock parts really struggle to meet the high level of performance I demand from my daily grind. I'm a big, strong girl.  I like to ride long, I like to ride hard, I like to ride fast, and I like to do it every day. When this pelvic region starts pounding it can be punishing.

It was to be expected, really.  It's not the cutting edge of saddle technology, after all. 

Bea's saddle finally cracked.

 She's had good innings, but it's time to cut her loose. 

When you're hard-on things, it's good to choose quality replacements. And when you've got a beefy bottom end on an upright bike, well, then you want the widest, springiest, comfiest saddle you can find. 
Your genitals will thank you.

And then you'll want to bind it, to ensure it doesn't wander off. Chains are best. 
Be firm, so that it's secure but be careful that you don't secure it too tight. 
You don't want to damage anything, nor leave any permanent marks.

Before you mount, you'll want to massage a little saddle cream into it.  
Don't be afraid to rub it in till it starts to get hot.
Make sure it's well lubed, and then leave it overnight,
you can wipe off the excess in the morning.

Brooks recommends proofide, 
but when it comes to sticking things between your legs, 

babble prefers all natural Astroglide.

And how can you argue with a saddle that comes with its own tool?

Isn't that handy?  Just crank it up once a month or so to keep your ride from getting all floppy and limp.
It's saddle Viagra.
Ladies- get a wrench for your man - he'll be the torque of the town.
Just kidding.  To use a wrench like that on him you'd have to be nuts.

You must always be true to yourself, 
but don't be afraid to experience de seat.
And you're not alone, either.  
It doesn't matter what kind of seat you have,
 you're always going to get it in the end,.``

I'm looking forward to getting intimate with this saddle, to giving it all I've got.  
I'll be spending a good many hours turning its contours into my own
as I explore every nook and cranny of this lovely town.
I hope you'll join me, and then if I babble at you as I hop on,
 it will be the sermon as I mount! 

Speaking of sermons, you know I never mean to rail on,
but did you hear what Cadillac Fairview did?  

They ticketed Molly Millar when she tried to park her bike in the rack at work, and they threatened to remove her bike if she parks there again.  They imposed a fifteen minute time limit if you want to park at that particular rack. Ms Millar didn't like that much, so she went to them and said "WTF?!?" As you would. You won't believe their reply:

Have you ever noticed how effectively the word 'but' negates the phrase before it?  Remarkable, isn't it?  
BUT "your bike isn't professional enough."  Ouch.  That hurts.
I like to think I'm professional.

I'm an upstanding citizen. I look presentable when I ride, and I always wear a helmet and safety shoes.
So what happens if I park at the Cadillac Fairview building and begrime the neighbourhood for more than fifteen minutes?  Will I get a ticket, too? Will they nick my bike for parking in a bike rack? What if I have an appointment in the building and it takes a couple of hours, what do I do then?  Is there metered parking hiding down the street and around the corner somewhere for us less-than-professional bike schleps?

And now I'm back where I started, with an itch, a burning, tingling, urgent desire... only this time it's a need, and it's bigger than me. We all have a moral obligation to challenge ignorance and wilful discrimination where ever it exists, and man oh man does it exist here.  Beware, ye cultural dinosaurs:  a babbling brook may seem simple and ineffectual, a chattering stream of little matter, but water erodes stone, just as these words will join the growing stream of consciousness and eventually their consequence will  EAT YOU UP, swallow you whole, and spit out all of your outdated nonsense. 

That's it.  Time to whip some dumb-ass.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

sex=mmmmmmc2 Exploring the energy of sexual healing and the cum-uppance of puritanical nonsense.

Further to last week's post, the CBC is featuring what one reader called a tempest in a teacup. Science World is running an up-and-cumming exhibit on the Science of Sexuality aimed at educating people aged 12 and up, but someone somewhere along the line someone decided that two of the ads for the exhibit are too racy for Vancouver bus stops.  

And what qualifies as too risqué for Vancouver streets?  Hmm?

You're not going to believe this.

Tissue paper.
And legs.

And casts.

And quite possibly even the thrust of truth itself.

That's okay.  
Truth is like a healthy penis, and also like the sun.
They rise on the morrow no matter how hard you try to suppress them. 
This is a good thing. 
Truth just has way of coming to the surface sooner or later.
Some day, a healthy attitude toward sexuality will be normal.
Till then, always remember:
An orgasm a day keeps the doctor away.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Fact, or Friction: the DIY Guide to Satisfaction

If you read this, chances are pretty good you already read Bike Snob, and you know he penned a classic this week with Go Puck Yourself.  If you haven`t yet read it, do, because laughter is good for the soul. Do you know what else is good for you? Despite what the church (almost any church) would have you think, pucking yourself is very good for you.  Everyone should do it. One of the reasons I should be Pope is so I can take these things into my own hand and change all of those misguided principles and policies which are ruining so many lives. Palm Sunday is going to take on a whole new role in the ecumenical calendar.  The Pope has a lot of pull, you know.  That's why I pray that beautiful day will soon be at hand.

Vote for Babbleon for Pope -
Write to the Vatican and tell them you're pulling for me!
 If you read the comments on Snob's Friday post, you probably thanked Leroy as you spent the next two days with this little ditty cycling endlessly in your head. It's the theme song for today's babblelog.

You're welcome.

What are the benefits of what Oprah so coyly calls "Self Cultivation?"  For you men, it cleans the plumbing and helps to prevent cancer, it makes you harder, helps you last longer, strengthens your immune system, and improves your mood, which helps to regulate blood pressure.  For us women, being the playful mistress of your domain prevents cervical infections and helps relieve Urinary Tract Infections (UTI's), it improves your heart and circulatory system and helps prevent type-2 diabetes, fights insomnia and builds pelvic floor strength, relieves depression and stress, strengthens your relationship with yourself and improves your sexual relationship with your partner. Whether you're a man or a woman, you'll find that tossing one off will make you happier, healthier, and yes, smarter

All that and it feels good, too.

Not to beat around the bush, but for sexiest picture, Klimt here wins hands down.

And as if it wasn't enough, that's not all! According to the great and all-knowing Wiki, "A 2008 study at Tabriz Medical University found ejaculation reduces swollen nasal blood vessels, freeing the airway for normal breathing. The mechanism is through stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system and is long lasting. The study author suggests "It can be done [from] time-to-time to alleviate the congestion and the patient can adjust the number of intercourses or masturbations depending on the severity of the symptoms."[51]

You see?  It even clears your nasal passages!  As far as your nose knows, it's the best sort of blow job.  "But what about all the dangers?" you might ask,  After all, who wants hairy palms?  According to Wiki, there is but one serious risk.


Those who insert objects as aid to masturbation risk them becoming stuck (e.g. as Rectal foreign bodies). Men and women can fall prey to this problem. A woman went into a German hospital with two pencils in her bladder. She had inserted them into her urethra during masturbation.[58]

Silly frau. She was trying to draw out her orgasm. She figured she was doing it the write way, though her method does sound a bit sketchy.

The Ancient Greeks "considered it a safety valve against destructive sexual frustration. Isn't it interesting that our culture inundates children with violent images yet forbids nature's sweetest release? What safety valve do we leave them? Video games?  Violent sports?  Ritalin?  No wonder we spawn so many rapists and lone wolf terrorists these days.

Thankfully,people are beginning to wake upIn the UK in 2009, a leaflet was issued by the National Health Service in Sheffield carrying the slogan, "an orgasm a day keeps the doctor away". Words to live by, along with with Serial Retrogrouch's mobius principle:  no end till the happy end.  

Speaking of happy endings, The Greeks had a more relaxed attitude toward sex than the Egyptians... (They) dealt with female masturbation in both their art and writings. One common term used for it was anaphlan, which roughly translates as "up-fire".  I like that.  Fire me up, Scotty.  Do you know who else embraces female masturbation?  Those clever, ever so Catholic Brazilians.  Now I don't know about you, but when I think of Brazil I think of hot, sensual women on gorgeous, dramatic beaches, and with that in mind, what could possibly be better than a whole day devoted to women's orgasms?  Hmm?  Tell me, please.

International Day of the Female Orgasm - August 8

You see?  There's hope for Catholicism yet.  The church is always looking to improve attendance, but you can bet that when my Palm Sunday arrives, there will be plenty of happy and willing, upstanding members at hand. And it should be so!  

I can see it now... the red shoes, the big hats and of course, the Pope-Mobile.

I'll be the people's pope, I'll give everyone a ride.  
What?  You don't want to sit on the wacker?  
That's fine.  You can get off anytime.

 I do.  Gotta hand it to myself, I do love to wacks poetic. And so should you. Go on. Get a grip on yourself. You don't need any excuses for your nightly date with Pamela Handerson

How can something so beneficial, so healthy, so happy, so harmless, possibly be wrong?  
How can it be a sin?  

And there, in that question, lies the rub.  The sin in our world is that we systematically repress our normal sexual impulses in favour of outdated and repressive religious doctrines which have no basis in any kind of reality.  The real crime is that our children grow up believing that violence is normal (because that's what they are continuously exposed to), and healthy sexual expression is taboo.

What a mess. 
 I'm doing my part to make the world a better place.
What are you doing?

Monday, 5 August 2013

Going for broke: addressing cycling safety once and for all.

Who is going to shoulder the responsibility for making our roads safer for cyclists?  Of course there's the perennial helmet debate. You hear people talking about the need for reflective clothing and proper lights too, but no-one is addressing the real scourge of cyclists: 

Don't get me wrong. I'm all for safety gear.  I have to wear a helmet cause mum said I'm special, and of course I always try to wear safety shoes too, to keep my feet from slipping off the pedal. That's what happened to that poor fred lying prone on the road up there. He broke his collarbone when his foot slipped forward off the pedal and right through the spokes. 

Safety gear is good. If you wear all the right safety gear, you'll never need to hear this, right?


Well, ok. If Fred up there had been wearing heels instead of those silly clipless shoes, he wouldn't be in the mess he's in now.  But it's important to pick your battles.  If we must legislate that everyone has to wear protection, can we please address the real issues? Mayyyyyyybe instead of mandatory helmet laws, we ought to enact clavicle protection legislation.

safety gear for safer cyclists (girl version)
Oh, I can see it now.  It'll be the kick-starter campaign of the century.  Somebody is going to invent a palm-of-your-hand air-bag for when you put you arm out to brace yourself from a fall.  And then the safety-crats will make it mandatory that all cyclists use them.  

Do you know what we really need?  Public education campaigns.  Not the kind of propaganda we get now, either, where the government uses our money to tell us what a good job they are doing, how they're creating a healthy and strong economy by fracking our aquifers all to fuck and building pipelines of toxic sludge across the continent, either.  I'm talking about real education. 

Cyclists are safer when they're seen, for sure, and the very best thing we can do is to teach them to hold their line and keep their distance from curbs and parked cars, to signal, and be predictable, and the rest of the behaviours which will keep them safe.  And we need to teach drivers to always give a cyclist  a half a lane, a full lane when they're travelling the speed limit.

And while we're at it, is it possible to teach people to respect one another?

Hey! What if we teach new riders how to crash a road bike?

 People should understand how to prevent injuries, how to scrub speed and keep the bike under them as long as possible, how to drop and roll with elbows bent and fingers closed. (I should be an expert at falling by now, what with all the practice, but mostly I still suck at crashing gracefully.) But don't worry. There's hope for the rest of you lot. All it takes is a little know-how.

I'm just a wanna-be know-it-all who doesn't actually know anything, and I got a giggle this week when I realised I knew something a super-smart young friend of mine didn't.  This girl is a trained scientist, an employed professional in her mid twenties, and she's hot, too.  She's got it ALL going on.  And she's a ton of fun, so I was delighted when she invited me to do a little bike shopping with her.  We went to a few of the Local Bike Shops to see what was on offer, and then we bought a bottle of wine and came home to mine check out the Craigslist offerings. We narrowed the search to road-bikes, and as she was scanning though the results, she muttered something about why there were so many fixer-uppers on offer, that she wanted a bike that was ready to ride. 

She figured there would be a lot of bikes sold from garages after not being ridden for many years, and that they would need an overhaul, but she couldn't understand why they were all missing brakes and gears.  And of course I had to laugh. Only thing is, she has an excuse.  She hasn't been cycling for decades.  I, on the other hand have been at it for far too many years to readily admit to, and yet if you had asked me what a fixie was three or four years ago, I would have looked at you with a blank stare.  Track bike? Ok.  Fixie? Mmmmmmm... no.

 Fixer-upper is as good as anything I might have come up with, though I've ridden these two wheeled contraptions far longer than my lovely young friend has even been alive. And she's right, at least in terms of road safety.  Brakes at the very least would improve a cyclist's chance to stay safe.

Yup.  Dem's da breaks..

Once again, the laugh's on me.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Dirty Detours on the Road to Salvation.

Y'all know I'm a dirty girl.  

I look dirty. I think dirty, I talk dirty, I act dirty.

And I'm a firm believer in the Hermetic Creed, too.
You know:
As above, so below.
As within, so without.

So look out Monica Lewinski: I suck really good wheel.  

The best races aren't always the presidential ones. My favourite ride, a Lynskey Ti baby, resides in my bedroom closet, (as close as possible to my bed, for sweet dreams sake. ..:) That means every time I'm ready to mount her I have to drag her through the kitchen and out the back door.  Sometimes it gets messy, with chain-ring grease begriming my jersey.  I'm good with it, though.  It's worth it. That sweet ride is my happy pill, and besides, I own it, my dirtiness.

I cherish it.
 Pretty soon I'll have a full-on chain-ring-camo jersey.

And I'll even be able to say "I made it myself," which makes me feel special. 
(Mum always said I was special, and that's why I have to wear a helmet.)

It's a work in progress, the chain-ring-camo thing, but look out.  It'll be giii-normous one day soon, the next big thing. Yep. It's going to be hot hot hot... like  summer sunshine. Mmm ... like those scorching, sizzling hot sunny summer days that make you want to head for the nearest beach to rip your clothes off and have a paddle in the big puddle.  I can't remember what sizzling hot feels like, because I live in Vancouver, where the average temperature in the summer is a whopping 20 C (68 F). In the peak of our two-day heat-wave back in the beginning of July, we barely cracked 30 C (86 F).  But whatevs. We just had the sunniest ever July on record in Vancouver, which is great if you like sunshine like I like sunshine.  

And you're talking to a dirty girl here.  I may not be a minimalist, but I sure am simple, and when it comes to taking my clothes off, any excuse will do.

Like taking a dip in a novel watering hole.
Here's a hole you probably didn't think you could go paddling in, but never say never, eh?

You are looking at a screen-shot of the feed from the camera trained on the weather buoy at the North Pole.
I hear Club Med is planning a new Top-of-the-World resort here, with activities led by Santa's Helpers, and entertainment featuring all sorts of wonderful, pole-dancing Elvish impersonators.  
Better book your tickets now.

All of this warm, dry weather necessitated a few late-afternoon trips to the sea-side, 
and on Sunday, Third beach was a shoe-in.

We rode there, of course...

but we weren't the only ones.

The beach was brimming with beautiful babes!

And babes on bikes!

And boys watching babes on bikes.

Not to mention nearly every kind of bicycle known to man. 

Cruisers, hybrids, road-bikes and rentals,

if you can pedal it, chances are someone rode it here.

It's anybody's guess how well the new gravel bikes will do with this crowd,

but there's definitely a market for a dedicated sand bike.
Er... and WTF?
I just don't get it.  I've never hung out at Third Beach before, and I didn't tell anyone
 I was going to be there either.

How could they have possibly known I was coming?
Clever clogs.
They've actually figured out that when you build it, they will come.
Vision Vancouver discovered that when you build a segregated bike lane, you benefit local businesses, calm traffic, decrease congestion and increase the uptake of cycling, and thus the health and vibrancy of a community as a whole. 

All the usual protests are in reality for naught.  
Are you worried about business along the bike lane corridor? 
 Never fear!
support local businesses.  They found all sorts of benefits.  Read it for yourself.  Sure the actual construction is a bitch.  Meaningful change is always uncomfortable at first.

Isn't it?

Plus, it's easy to stir the pot when it comes to people and their cars. Major news media are funded by commercial sponsors.  It behooves the (Petrochemical) powers that be that people remain trapped inside their cars, and dependent upon their products, so you will be hard pressed to find a major news corporation which consistently and conscientiously supports cycling infrastructure.  But never mind; there are exceptions.  Like the Globe and Mail, for example, which recently printed an article by former councillor Gordon Price, in which he advises Vancouver drivers to relax.

And besides.
 "There is nothing as powerful as an idea whose time has come." (Fuller) 
And there you have it in a nutshell.  This particular change is inevitable.
Deep down inside, everybody knows it's time to shift to sustainable power and practices.
That means that building more bike lanes is actually the road to salvation.

Bikes make sense. Furthermore, cycling infrastructure is a fiscally conservative investment.  I wish more people would wake up and see the truth of it.  I wish they understood and embraced the many advantages of cycling culture, but the resistance to change remains strong, and passionate.

I'll tell you what I see.
I see a reason to celebrate.  I see cause to stop and maybe have a long, tall, cool drink, 

and a toast to taking the long, bird's-eye view.

Soon a cyclist will be able to travel from here on Third Beach, 
around False Creek, past Kits Beach,

and straight through to Spanish Banks all along the seaside, if they wish.  It's not exactly "as the crow flies,"
but it is a great big, direct step toward our goal of becoming the world's greenest, most sustainable city. Some people think it was a dirty trick, to approve the bike lane when some people were loudly objecting to it, but we do owe it to future generations to quit with the petro-chemically addicted transportation policies already.  This decision came none too soon.

And besides.
Dirty is a good thing.  My dirty nature keeps me young at heart, and I share my attitude with a successful bike blogger you might know.  Dirty, from Drunk Cyclist is stopping over in Vancouver in early September, and together we're going to "Drink whiskey and be awesome," as I show him around the bike lanes in our fair city.  Heh heh.  This is going to be fun.
I'll let you know how it goes!