Saturday, June 23, 2012

I'm Back! - A Four Month Recap

Well hello there.  Happy First few days of Summer!
I haven't posted here in a while.  Did you miss me?

There has been so many things that have gone on since my last posting but the blog posts have become fewer and fewer.  I guess with many things, blogging isn't as fun as it used to during my first year since I started chronicling my cycling adventures.  Blogging takes time, it isn't like Twitter or Facebook updates, it requires thought and some kind of organizational skills to keep your readers interested., and frankly it gets pretty boring typing up about what you did on your last bike ride.  However, I would like to keep trying to update this blog as it is the only way I can keep in touch with you...  my readers...  the millions of you out there.  ;)
This blog entry is simply to update you with a summary on what has happened these 4 months since my last posting.  Prepare to be bored...

So where do I start?...   ok, my last posting was regarding my broken rib back in February.  Well, I did take it easy as what the doctor recommended so there really hasn't been much to update you on during that time.  I did, however, take a long bike ride to Barnston Island in which you had to take a ferry across Fraser River to get to the island.
'Wait Here for Ferry' .. so I waited.
Overlooking the Golden Ears' Bridge

March is the one year anniversary of this blog.  I started chronicling my cycling ventures and anything really that had to do with bikes at this time one year ago.  I'm actually quite surprised that I was able to keep it up for one year and beyond.  I initially thought I wouldn't last a month.
If you have followed my blog from the beginning, you will remember that my very first blog entry was about the Vancouver Bike Show 2011.  A year later I am back at the Vancouver Bike Show 2012.  I will say that this was my highlight for March as not only was I able to attend this year's Bike Show, but I was actually able to participate behind the scenes spending my whole time behind the booth with Mayacycle.  If you remember from my last year's blog post, I had written about the Mayacycle bicycle trailer in which I had purchased one several months later.  Since then I had become good friends with Marta, who is Miss Mayacycle herself, and this year I was lucky enough that she let me join her in her booth at the 2 day event.  I had such a great time talking to people about the trailer, their cycling stories and just chit-chatting generally about bikes, and especially bike touring.  I was definitely inspired by their stories.
Setting up before the crowds arrived.
One of my bikes feeling right at home.
Talking with all sorts of cyclists and sharing experiences.
You can read more about Mayacycle's time at the 2012 Vancouver Bike Show in Marta's blog here .  Yes, I know, there isn't a single mention of me on her blog but I swear I was there!  :)  Thanks again Marta! Vancouver misses you!

The rest of March and into most of April was quite a difficult and challenging time for me as I had lost a very dear friend which had affected me greatly.  No amount of cycling made me feel better. Time was the only thing that would get me through the depression.  Luckily I had a good friend that helped me along the way to get over the sadness.

April found me adding two more bikes in my stable.  Although I am a little embarrassed to admit how many bikes I now have, I have to say that each and every one of them serve a purpose and I do ride and love all of them.  Each are all special in their own way.
The first is a vintage 80's Norco Sasquatch mountain bike that I had converted into a modern day touring bike or randonneur bike.  It has turned into one of the prettiest bikes I have.  This was somewhat of a Craigslist rescue as I purchased a what somewhat looked to be a rusted out frame for $15 and it was to be stripped down and resprayed.  However, when I cleaned it up, the original paint showed through and looked to be in great shape. I have left it all original and is now a great restored bicycle.

More pictures of this vintage Norco touring bike on my Flickr photostream here  Pretty good for a $15 dollar bike huh?

Welding up the Tallbike
The second bike is...  get this..  are you ready?...   A Tallbike!  Yes, I finally built myself a tallbike as I had said long ago and talked about on previous blogs.  I had been waiting on acquiring free bicycle frames as I had promised myself that if I was to build a tallbike, that it would have to be completely and 100% free!  I finally acquired the required frames and materials during this time and the tallbike build immediately commenced.  Thanks to a few friends for the frame and parts donations and of course the welding equipment and help.

Tallbike - In all her glory
A bike ride with Tallbikes with good friends

May was filled with many epic bike rides as the weather started getting better and daylight started getting longer.  One memorable bike ride was through my old neighbourhood where I had spent my childhood and teen years.  Visiting my old house, my highschool and elementary schools brought back so many memories that it became a very nostalgic bike ride.  Driving through these neighbourhoods in a car just does not have the same effect as riding through them with your bike.  Riding the bike brings you back to that place as a kid without a care in the world, riding bikes, skateboarding and raising hell through your neighbourhood.  These are the types of rides I live for, bike rides that create an emotional impact.
My old house in East Van

My old highschool that has been torn down to rubble to be replaced with a new building.

My elementary school back in the hood!
Another memorable bike ride was to the Westminster Abbey Monastery in Mission BC which is about 70km from Vancouver.  It was truly a magnificent place, very spritual and tranquil.  Riding to new and beautiful places such as these make riding up even the steepest hills all worth it for the reward that awaits at the top.

Nearing the end of May, I tried to circumnavigate the city of Vancouver.  It was my first attempt at doing this so I did not know what to expect and I did not know the total distance or how long it would take.  Unfortunately, I started my ride a little late in the day so I ended up running out of daylight to accomplish this, so I had to turn back just so I can make it home before dark.
My attempt at circumnavigating the city of Vancouver
72Kms was the total distance accomplished.  Next time I will start earlier in the day so that I'll have a better chance of completing this ride.  Go to this link -->My attempt at Circumnavigating Vancouver<-- to see my GPS tracking of my ride.  This includes geo-tagged pictures of the sights along the way.

I also must add that I finally purchased a new tent for all the bike travels I have planned.  It is a 2-man 3-season tent that I had purchased at a great sale price from Atmosphere.  I'm hoping to start using this tent very soon and even though I have yet to use it, I already love it.
Mountain Hardwear Lightwedge 2

As good a month May was, it also did not end well.  At the end of May, I had lost another family member which put the whole family in another heartbreaking time.  It's times like these when everything is put into perspective and we come to realize what are really the important things in life.  I have been in such an emotional roller coaster these past few months that sadly I may be becoming numb to it.  Or maybe I'm just choosing to be numb..  I really don't know.

Well, it's June now and it is officially Summer!  Unfortunately, it has been a very cold and wet June.  Locals have been calling it 'June'uary as the weather really has felt like westcoast winter.  This has definitely limited the amount of rides I've had but it has also made me more eager and look forward to every ride that I get a chance to go on.  Velopalooza Vancouver is happening now as we speak and I'm hoping to participate in as many events as I can.  I enjoyed it greatly last year.

This concludes my recap of these past few months.  I hope you've not been bored to death while reading this, or if you've actually made it this far reading.  These next few months coming up I am hoping to have been on some bike trips and overnight bike tours.  I have a few already planned and hopefully nothing gets in the way. I will try and keep you updated with more stories and pictures.  Until then, bye for now and happy trails.

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