Thursday, 20 February 2014

Building bridges over troubled waters.

Peace and love, people... and hey! Guess what?
Our mountains finally saw a proper dump of snow!

Vancouver's skiers have despaired this year, cause till the middle of February there really wasn't any of the white stuff to speak of, but finally this week saw winter's mantle cloak the hills.  Now the skiers and snowboarders are happy and the Stravadopes and crash test dummies like me are .... well, crashing.  First thing in the morning the roads are pretty slick these days, but we've also seen our fair share of sunshine, so who's complaining?

You can see why people might want to live here.

From North Vancouver it's such a pretty city center, while from West Vancouver, you can see what an enormous treasure we enjoy in our 1001 acre Stanley Park

And THAT's why we're in the midst of another sort of dump.  Even though property prices here are way beyond ridiculous, Vancouver is growing fast.  Every year this city grows by about 32,000 people, so that in thirty years we will be bigger by a million newcomers.  And can you imagine what the roads are going to look like if we haven't figured out how to convince people not to drive everywhere they go?  It's not like you have to try hard to imagine the consequences.  It has already happened in all sorts of places, and in fact, it's happening here, yet humans have an enormous capacity for denial, and that's the order of the day.  
Deny deny deny.

What's that?  You want to build bicycle infrastructure?

Point Grey Road - closed to traffic for bike lane construction.
Not in my back yard you don't.  Someone I met this week said he had backed away from cycling in this city, despite having enjoyed the benefits of a bicycle-centric lifestyle for decades. He hasn't stopped riding daily because he has gone off the sport, but rather because "riding a bike in Vancouver has become a political act."  And he's right.  It used to be that people were surprised at my choice to ride instead of drive, but now some of them actually take offence.  Sometimes they even have a go at me with their cars.

I don't get it.  Do they really want to share the roads with a million more cars?  Do they honestly not understand how more cyclists like me on the roads will actually make their lives easier in the end?  Obviously not, but time marches on, and the inevitable is inescapable. 

Sooner or later we're going to have to plan for the future, lest we find ourselves stuck in permanent gridlock.  As it stands, there is a war on the roads over our transportation priorities. A vast chasm lies between us, creating a schism in the fabric of our communities which threatens to tear our beloved city apart.

The time has come to start building bridges, people, or it's going to get awfully ugly out there.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Time to face the music, whether or not I like the tune.

Oh dear.  
Last weekend Dave, the manager of our local cold beer and wine store kindly gave us two tickets to the Imagine Dragons concert.

That can't be a very good sign, can it?  Do you suppose I ought to quit drinking? 
I dunno.  It almost seems to be paying off... the concert was fun!  It has been a very long time since I've seen a concert in such a large venue.

Used to be that people held up lighters way back when, but the times they are a changing. 
These days it's cell phone flashlights.

No matter what, though, live music always  makes me smile.

It also makes me wanna shake my tail feather.

I hadn't really put any thought into the carbon footprint of your average concert till I noticed all of the trucks outside the arena ahead of the Miley Cyrus concert this weekend...

For some unfathomable reason a good number of these vehicles spend a surprising amount of time idling, even though they have been parked here for days. What's even more surprising to me is that Miley's is an almost modest convoy in the grand scheme of things.  
The Metallica event saw nearly twice as many trucks!

You'd have needed a wide angle lens to capture them all, rather than a silly little dumb-phone.
Who knew concerts were such energy pigs?

That's big business!
Well... unless you're marching to the beat of a different drummer, 

and opposing tarsands development, the way Neil Young is.
At the other end of the business spectrum from mega concerts and tarsands development is this little beauty:

That's right.  The slogan reads "Pedaling Epic Coffee." 
Better yet, the top of this portable little coffee shop is sporting the solar panels which power it.  
That's whatcha call seriously good energy.

That guy you see there is an Aussie who hand built his little coffee-cart down under and then took to the road.  He's pedaling his wares a long way from home now, but he's definitely in tune with the times.

If you see him around, stop by for a cuppa!
You're sure to leave with a song in your heart.

Friday, 7 February 2014

The not so big Chill.

Have you heard?  Dude Chilling Park has been recognized by the city, only now the whole city is officially chilling.  We broke record cold temperatures this week.

You know that saying "It's cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey?"
Yeah, it's not that cold here.

The bronze bull is still intact, though you'd have to be nuts to hang out like that for long in these temperatures.
Sure the ice is back, but it's all good.

We've seen a record number of crisp, clear days simply dripping with sunshine and that unparalleled Pacific beauty, rather than rain.  Why complain?

It's great, cause that means the saline solution on the roads doesn't get washed away,

so I get to enjoy another bright'n'early, rise'n'brine morning.

There isn't even a hint of inversion fog to feed the black ice...  

(thanks, Mikeweb)

Here in Vancouver our typical winters consist of week after week of seemingly never-ending soaking wetness.  We sometimes see a bit of snow, but it doesn't stick around. And when it does snow, we're Portland North.  Vehicular chaos is the order of the day, and the daily commute goes to hell in a hand-basket. This year we've really not had much in the way of snow, either, though we've seen our fair share of ice,  black and otherwise.  That last cold snap got pretty damp in the mornings, and I learned something new on the hills behind Spanish Banks beach.

I discovered, much to my surprise, that it is actually possible to spin your way up an 11% incline when the roads get a bit slick.
Who knew?
All in all, though, this winter works for me.

I'm ok with chillin' temperatures if it means I can get around without the use of a rain slicker and wellies.
Life is good.

Sure the world has gone mad for endless consumerism and unchecked growth-at-all-costs policies, but it's impossible to stay blue for long when the sun is shining, blessed be.

Besides, it really works, you know.

Smile and the world smiles with you,

 laugh, and the sun comes shining through.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Cleanliness is next to Godliness. 'Nough said.

Bea Bike is all beat up.  She's been used and abused, rode hard and put away wet.  She's been around the block a few thousand times with a rider who is always hard-on things.  Bit rough round the edges, this one, all ragged and rusty, down and dirty.

I wanted to take Bea somewhere she would be comfortable, so I donned my seven inch, thigh high boots

and rode her hard and fast, all the way to Taboo,

that naughty but nice sex show.  

K.  Just so you know... this is a NSFW post.  You might, ever so possibly, mayyyyybe come across a photo of  breasts or penises... boobs' n' tubes, as it were... cause it's dirty. 
 Bad. Ass.

And a bit cheeky.
I fit right in at Taboo... 

... right into all sorts of things.

I was just taking stock of the situation.

Speaking of taking stock and fitting in, check this out:

Who knew guys could fit into a pole dancing class so well?  Jose up there is a champion boxer from Mexico with a penchant for a slightly less pugilistic sport.  He is definitely getting hit on these days, but the hits he's taking now aren't nearly as painful as the kind he's used to.   

And these aren't the kind I'm used to, either, but the man was intent on demonstrating his wares.  I asked him if he had any used canes, but he said that they are all brand spanking new.

My nearly new boots and I got dragged up on stage

where a lovely, ever so funny girl with an enchanting baritone voice and the cutest hairdo in the history of FOREVER gave me this artfully hip little wallet,  

just cause she loves those badass boots of mine. 

I was trying to take an artfully hip shot of a whole whack of penises standing at attention,

when lo and behold, the real dink working behind the counter told me it wasn't the best place for a girl with a camera to be hanging out, 

at least not without a wide angle lens. 
What a prick!

I got tired of getting dicked around, so I set off in search of a breast case scenario.
Ask and ye shall receive. 

I asked if I could borrow some lip gloss, but she didn't seem to be carrying any on her.
Go figure. She did recommend the sex blankets, 

but really, who gives a sheet?
Some people say I can be a bit cagey

but I am just trying to emulate my hero, Willie the Shake.
The Barred.  

Some people think all things sexy are a sin - they take issue with my kind of prayer, you know, the kind that has you calling out to God in the middle of the night...?  They say it's all wrong, and they call it Taboo. It's a crazy mixed up world we live in, all upside down and backward, where violence is commonplace and love is outlawed, but it's my right to write the naked truth as I see it.

The bard wrote of the one and only story, the tale of the human condition.  We are each of us alone in our bodies, doing the very best we can with the tools at hand, and that's enough. My body talks to me, it tells me what's good for it and what's not, and it says a big yes to a punishing ride every day, specially when it's done with love.  I look a bit like Bea bike sometimes, a bit rough around the edges for all those sweaty, pounding rides, but it's all good.  A lotta miles is a look I can wear with a smile on my face. :)

Don't know if it will bring me any closer to God, but I can always clean my bike.