Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Depression is setting in

It has been a week since I've had my ankle injury.  It has kept me from doing much of anything that I enjoy.  Stuck and hopping along inside my house for a whole week is a very depressing situation.  I can only imagine how those that are in worse shape than I am cope with being immobilized or incapacitated.
Not being able to ride my bike is killing me.  When days are nice, when the sun is out, all I could think about is pedaling wherever it may take me.  I am convinced that cycling is one of the best forms of medicine that can cure a lot of illnesses.  People often go to lengths to find solutions to their problems by going to doctors, therapists, gyms etc. People ask how can I be more healthy?..  go ride a bike.  How do I lose weight?..  go ride a bike.  How do I relieve stress from my day to day struggles?..  go and ride your bike!  and it goes on and on...
I will write more about this later on down the road but for now, being in front of the computer is actually making me sick.  I thought I would have more time in writing these blogs while I am stuck at home, but it's become quite the opposite.  The time is there, but the motivation is not.  As I've said, depression may be kicking in.

Having said that, I can see a light at the end of the tunnel.  I am walking around and the swelling has subsided to slight bruising.  This is critical as I am forced to go back in to work tomorrow.  My only concern right now is that I am unable to keep weight on the ankle for long periods of time.  I am hoping that this will get better in the next few days.  I have already given up my skiing even with a month left in the season, I do not want to screw up my ankle as I have a lot of plans over the spring/summer/fall that require for me to be in top shape. I can only wait for the day when I will be able to get back on the saddle again.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Ankle Update

Three days of icing and heat packs have gotten the swelling down dramatically.  I am now convinced that it is only a bad sprain.  I am, however, still unable to put weight on the ankle.  This can only take time...  hopefully soon.
Luckily, my job allows me to work remotely from home in many cases.  This should get the healing process much quicker.  But in the meantime,  I'm flippin bored to death.  Glad there's a hockey game on tonight.

Game's over..  now what?
It's Friday night and it'll be a nice and sunny weekend.  ^^actual self-portrait.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ski Day and Another possible major Setback

For my thousands of readers that don't know, I am not just a 'bike' guy, but I am also an avid skier.  Who says I can't be great at one thing and be great at other things?  Checkmate Sergei,  Chuwa  Chuuung!
I fill up my winter days whenever I am not riding with two-planking the mountains of the North Shore.  Cypress, Seymour and Grouse Mountain are the local spots.  Just recently it has only been Grouse Mountain as it is the most convenient mountain for me and their season's pass is the most affordable.  
Yesterday was just another ski day.  It was a beautiful clear day and at just that perfect temperature.  The snow, however, was just a bit on the icy side.  This will become my downfall as the night ends.

On the way to Grouse Mountain through Vancouver's Lion's Gate Bridge.
On Lion's Gate Bridge

Riding the Grouse Mtn Gondola to the ski lifts.


For those not living in the Greater Vancouver area, you may insert your jealousy here now.

One of my goals in life is to Ski, Hike, Bike ride and Kayak all in a span of one 12hr day and ending it off with pitching a tent out in the woods at night.  This is certainly one of the very few places in the world where this is possible.  The only problems I foresee are logistics..  How do I carry my skis, where do I put my bike, will the kayak fit in my panniers..  etc. etc. etc.  You know where I'm getting at.  One day I will figure it all out.

Up on top.

Now do you understand about the 'jealousy' thing?   ..thought so.

It is about 5pm during this time and I am noticing a somewhat large number of kids everywhere, much more than I am used to seeing, especially on a school night.  I then put 2 and 2 together and remembered that it was Spring Break!  Arg. This just means the lineups are gonna be huge.
I just want everyone else to go home!  Let me have the mountain all to myself!
I didn't mind the super hottie tourists hanging around though, speaking in their foreign tongue, wondering why those two goofballs from a distance are staring at them and taking candid pictures.  

This is the Eye of the Wind.  Yes, I know,..  I've taken enough pictures of this for those of you who know me, but for some reason, my blog is getting hits from out of country from strangers so I am compelled to show off these beautiful sights that some of you are getting bored with.
If you want more information on this, go here http://www.grousemountain.com/Winter/The-Eye-of-the-Wind/  

A few more attempts at making you jealous pics.


Sun setting. What a beautiful sight.
 And last but not least,
View from Grouse Mountain at night


The day/night wouldn't all be pretty however.  It would seem that everytime I am up on the slopes with the travelling circus I hang with, that at least one of us goes home with an injury.  As good as clowns we are, we also have big hearts and so so brains.  Unfortunately, this night is my night.
  video
As witnessed from the video footage, I did manage to hit my landing, but in the process I wrecked my ankle.  
As I lie in bed a day later with a huge swollen ankle wrapped up in ice, I still wonder how I made it home.  I think adrenaline was the only thing that got me home last night, I even had the 'threshold' to hit up a McD's afterwards for a late night chow down.  I am still unsure of the severity of my injury, if the swelling doesn't stop, then I will be forced to go see a doctor about it.  We shall see.
Now my biggest beef about all this is that I will be off my bike for a while again.  Ugh.  It is already spring time and my conditioning isn't even close to where I would like or need it to be.  

To end off this blog post, here is a compilation of the night's video footages.  Once again, I apologize ahead of time of the poor quality of video,.. at least the music makes up for it :D.
video

Goodbye Marin. You will be missed.

Today, I sold my uber rare classic 1994 Indian Fire Trail frame.  http://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/753557/
This was probably the most beautiful mountain bike frame that I've had, I've been staring at this for the last year thinking about building it.  Unfortunately, it was just too big for me.  Funny how hard it was to let go, but the gentleman that bought it would be making much more use of it and will appreciate it more.  My only request was for him to send me pictures once he was finished building it.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sunday Morning Bike Ride

Route: Burnaby/New West to Downtown Vancouver
Activity: Cycle
Google Maps URL: http://maps.google.com/?q=http://share.abvio.com/5ea7/38a8/4d6f/d3bd/Cyclemeter-Cycle-20110320-1113.kml
Shortened Google Maps URL: http://j.mp/hIoO5K
Import URL: http://share.abvio.com/5ea7/38a8/4d6f/d3bd/Cyclemeter-Cycle-20110320-1113.kml
Started: Mar 20, 2011 11:13:55 AM
Ride Time: 5:10:30
Stopped Time: 0:00
Distance: 51.82 km
Average Speed: 9.43 km/h
Fastest Speed: 41.55 km/h
Ascent: 322 meters
Descent: 412 meters
Calories: 1536
Official: No


I have been sick for the last 3 weeks. Got hit with a bad flu and it's taken 3 weeks for me to regain my strength back.  I'm still not 100%.  Today was the first riding day that I had reached 50+ kilometers since my 112+km riding weekend nearly 4 weeks ago.  It felt great to get back on the saddle.
The ride was very relaxing.  I had chosen this route because it was the easiest that I know of.  I figured I didn't want to kill myself on my first riding day back from sickness.  The ride was from Burnaby/New West taking the BC Parkway Route, passing through Burnaby Central Park into Vancouver's False Creek Water Way, through Granville Island and right smack down the downtown core.  Granville Street was closed off for the Celtic Week events and there were huge crowds gathered.  Walking the bike was the only option through the overly rambunctious and full of St. Patty's spirit crowd.
I love riding my bike through Downtown Vancouver city streets.  The streets are very bike friendly and the people are generally respectful.  It is a different experience riding a bike through the city as compared to driving in with a car.  I dread driving my car into Vancouver.  Traffic is hell, parking is hell, and road rage is a common occurrence.  On a bike, there is no traffic to fight with, no parking problems to deal with, and you can truly enjoy the beauty of the City all around you.  The City becomes 'new' again even though I have lived here most of my life.  It is indeed a beautiful city through a different perspective.



While crossing the Granville Street bridge, we came across this odd sight.
I was left scratching my head on this one.

Great view from atop the Granville Street Bridge. 
Funny story, on the same bridge with not another person in sight, only but one girl also crossing the bridge by foot.  As I pass her on her left, I glance back to see her face and suddenly realize... "Hey, that's my ex-girlfriend from highschool!"  With all my might in trying to keep down my shallowness,  instead of greeting her all I could think of was how old and ,um, bigger she looked.  Certainly not the extreme hotness that I remember from way back when.  She did not recognize me..  I had a big helmet on and dark sunglasses.  At least I hope she didn't recognize me..




Huge crowds gathered at the Celtic Events on Granville street..
as they wait to see the Lucky Charms fella get his pot 'o 'gold.
But instead got this shiny radioactive meteor rock

so the crowds dispersed


and went to pray.


Dedicated bike lanes were aplenty.  Downtown streets have really become bike friendly through the past couple of years.  I am not one for 'taking over the streets' type of cyclist, but all I can see is that it is good for the city's future as it is becoming highly congested.  I am one for 'Coexistence'.

The old Garage and the new BC Place awaiting the huge crowds expected as the city celebrates the Vancouver Canucks winning the Stanley Cup in 201?.


And last and the least, a video.
Disclaimer: Please do not watch this video. It is awful. I urge you to not even take a peek. You will hate it. It is simply a failed attempt at salvaging 4Gb of crappy crappy footage. Here is one life altering advice that I may give you; mounting a camera on the handlebar of a bike is NOT A GOOD IDEA! You have been warned.
video

Saturday, March 19, 2011

My Journey Into Bicycle Dorkdom : The Local Bike Show

I am a Born-Again Cyclist.
In the overall grande scheme of things, I am a Noob in the cycling world.  But over the past year, cycling has transformed me into an avid fanatic that can only think, eat and sleep biking.  Now, with my almighty refusal of admittance, I am becoming a Dork.  A Bike Dork.  ...Sigh.
The Outdoor Adventure and Travel Show and the Vancouver Bike Show started off today and has given me the opportunity to attend my very first Bike Show.  Having been excited during the week to attend this show has concerned me,  I may be turning into a bicycle nerd. In more politically and technically correct term, a Bike Dork.  Previous to entering the venue, I am inundated with images of The Comic Bookstore Guy in a Klingon costume having a nasty debate against a Lieutenant Sulu lookalike about what is the correct term whether it be 'Trekker' or 'Trekkie'.  This is what I feared...  that the Hipsters will be in full force with their anti-gear mentality, the Critical Mass crowd riding into the show  butt-nekkid with nothing on other than their panniers, the North Shore junkies walking around with body armour and full-face helmets, and the Roadies riding in with full spandex gear and their tapdance clown shoes.  Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on how you look at things, I saw very little of this.  There were the small sections of crowd that stuck to their cliques and  some evidence of niches and culture that was spread throughout the show but for the most part, the people were... normal.  Yes, just your average joe, the family down the block, the lawyers and the doctors and the stay-at-home mothers.  Mostly, a lot of 'myself'.  Not so different from car shows in which I am so familiar with, but with the exception of a lot less big burly tatooed guys in Harley Davidson jackets and people generally looking like they were in good healthy shape.
So, were you expecting this blog post to be more about the bike show rather than my own personal feelings and thoughts about the cycling community in general?  Well, if you were, then you are probably reading the wrong blog.  I am sure there are many others that will have better reviews on the show in the coming days and will most likely have much better writing and grammatical skills than I have.  Thanks for passing by anyways.

Oh by the way, it's not over yet.

Upon entering the show I was greeted by The World.  Yes, The World!

And then a bicycle flew over the cuckoo's nest.  Insert E.T. The Extraterrestrial photo-chops here..

The relatively small yet angry mob of brand jingoistic zombies slowly awaiting to pounce on the latest and greatest of what their product lords can offer chanting 'Kill the Pig, Kill the Pig' while kowtowing to the conch.

Whilst Piggy got away in this

But Piggy will never truly get away because the product lords have hired this man to capture him
Yes folks, that is indeed Mantracker.  Piggy will be pork roast by the end of the night.
And all the cooking would be done in this cauldron..  Olympic sized I might add.


As I walk through the maze of carbon fibre, aluminum, chromoly and sweaty roadies after their in-show spinning sessions, I am left to ponder 'why am I here? what am I looking for?'

Am I here to ogle and salivate  over the thought of maybe one day I will be able to ride this Italian beauty?

Or to add this to my stable of full suspension mountain bikes?

Maybe feel bad about myself that I will never get into the sport of riding these types of bikes?


Or to shed a little tear that this vintage steel-lugged road bike was rattle canned fire hydrant red.
I must say, however, that this bike was rescued from the scrapyard and the rattle can red was better than the rust that the paint is covering.  And now it lives a new life of 'booth attention getter'.  It got my attention.

I ask myself again, 'why am I here? what am I looking for?'.  The answer kept coming up as another question, 'where are the touring bikes??'
In the past year, I have done all sorts of riding.  I have collected and built bikes for their own specific purpose.  I have slowly and still am defining myself as a rider.  I have found what I enjoy most, and that is distance riding.  I have slowly redefined myself as a 'Cyclotourist'.  Bike racks, panniers and fenders excite me just as much as 7" suspension forks.

Hybrids and Commuter bikes were abundant..





















but I was looking forward to more Cyclocross bikes which was a rare sight.  I am itching to try one of these bikes out as they may just fit the specific type of riding style that I have.  Part road bike part mountain bike.  I could never take a dedicated road bike into the woods as I often do on my day trips.  I think a cross bike would fit the bill nicely.  Then there was the lack of dedicated touring bikes in the show.  I was really hoping to see more of these bikes in hopes of seeing what's really so different about them and why they would be the ultimate bikes for riding across the country.

With that in mind, I looked for gear.  Any gear that would fit on the back of my bike and take me to places.  As it was also an Outdoor Adventure Show, tents and sleeping bags were everywhere, camping equipment and survival kits etc. etc.  Things to keep an inspired mind spinning with hopes and dreams that maybe one day, some day...

I think this will definitely be in the future plans.
It surely didn't hurt that the host manning the booth was so nice in answering all my annoying questions.  And I must add that she was probably one of the prettiest girls in the event.  I just hope she's not a Leafs fan.  ;)
When the time comes, this will be one of my purchases. (the trailer of course ;) )


Amid the dreary drones of the loud speakers from the Red Bull truck, I forgetfully remembered (hi Ms. Ouimet, my hs English teacher) that the pork roast must be done by now!
Me and Mantracker will share a nice meal and a beer.  This will be when I tell him face to face...  "Dude, I can take ya"  and btw, Survivorman > Mantracker.


Are you still reading?  Have I bored you yet?  As I type this blog in its entirety, I sit back and preview this post and think to myself, 'wow, this is the most typing I've done in a long time. I must really be catching a big serious case of dork'.   

ps.  Did I just say those words?  "..riding across the country" ?  Forget that you read that 'k?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Inaugural Launch of My Blog

Today is Tuesday March 15, 2011. This day has no significance other than it is the day that I started my own personal blog.
Due to sheer boredom, I have decided to start this blog for all my activities whether it be biking, hiking, skiing or misc. hobbies etc. etc.
Expect for some of my posts to be short to extremely short, to long and multiple pages long. There may be days or weeks of inactivity, or I may have multiple posts in hourly span. So basically, expect anything. I am hoping that this would eventually take the place of my Facebook updates and how disorganized the photo uploads and albums can be within Facebook.

So that is all for now. Happy Blogging.