Friday, December 15, 2006

Another Blissful Midnight Ride.

Midnight Mass last night was awesome. With a wind warning of 70-100km/h, I didn't know if there would be many people out. It was still raining when I got to Grandview Park, and the group was huddled under an awning across the street. I didn't actually count, but I would estimate 20 people showed up. Only 1/3 of Project B reppin', but lots of friends. Awesome turnout for what would appear to most people as a dismal night.

I don't know whether there was an actual plan, but we headed down the Adanac path into downtown. Underneath BC Place and up Smithe. A convoluted way through downtown the underground of Pacific Centre. Down the first level and it's warm, really warm. We do a number of laps of the underground, up a level, down a level, backwards, etc. Re-congregated on Dunsmuir and south on Howe. Looking for another underground. It had stopped raining, but was still nice and slippery, so I practiced my 180 skids at every opportunity.

A sharp reverse u-turn just past Smithe and back to the sub-terranean. This is a service underground, and leads north, eventually back to the Pacific Centre underground. Confused looks from the delivery drivers down there. A stop for a possible flat tire at the back of the pack, but it turned out to be alright. We did a few more laps of the underground and got somewhat lost. So fun. At some point here we took our jackets off, as it had stopped raining.

North to Cordova, and under again just after Burrard. I locked into a nice drifting skid coming down the ramp and around the corner, but got it too far out. Unclipped one shoe, and that jarring motion caused the other to pop out too. A near sacking, but I ran it out unscathed.

We stopped at the waterpark on Coal Harbour and had entertaining conversations about the blogonets among other things. Haley was raving about her plastic bag shoe liners, leaving Simon F envious. Camilo was downing Bombay Sapphire. Tasty Baileys and hot chocolate from Alec, who was a MM regular last winter, before my time. Talked tallbikes with Maitland - now I'm torn as to whether to commuterize the Miele or chopperize it.

There was talk of a seawall loop but that was quickly quashed when we realized it was closed at the bridge. I suggested taking the trail past Lost Lagoon. Simon was down, and asked me to take the lead. I briefly caught up with Leanne, then we stopped to put our jackets back on - it was raining. Kirstin and I led the group, still 15 strong, through the darkness around the Lagoon. English Bay was windy and rainy, but blissfully secluded.

Another stop under the Burrard Bridge to regroup and discuss food options. It was getting later, and a few people decided to split off. We chose to ride the seawall to the Cambie Bridge and up to Broadway for pho. The bridge was intense with rain and wind. There was a big lineup of people camped out in front of the Best Buy, at which point a drunk Camilo (or should we just call him Flash) crashed into Simon F. They were alright though, and we continued up to CamBro.

There were eight of us left. We had enough locks to make a decent bike pile, and Maitland capped it off by laying his bike right on top. Pho was awesome, just what we needed. Lots of tea. Oker shot photos of the fishtank amidst a conversation about Alberta with Kirstin, Maitland told stories of teaching in Taiwan, Haley dozed off in the corner, and Camilo appeared to have sobered up slightly.

Heading east on Broadway was easily the highlight of the ride. Heavy westerly winds meant we'd have a tailwind to help us up to Main and Fraser, and it turned out to be a lot of fun. Traffic lights blowing around. With banks of concrete, we flowed with ease up the Broadway River. Tributaries created entertaining turbulence. Nice sideways skids sustained by the wind. Haley shoots left at Fraser. Down the hill to Clark, Simon and I have a spinning match. 40/15 gives me an advantage over his 44/17. Maitland heads to north to Strathcona.

Just after Clark, a tree branch is blown across the street and I barely miss running the whole thing over, clipping the end of it. Whew. Kirstin and Simon call attention to my rear wheel, and an unexpected stowaway. A piece of newspaper got stuck in my the wheel, spinning around and around. Eventually it came out and wrapped around my left seat stay. I pulled it out, and let go. It blew ahead of us, then veered left and got stuck in Simon's wheel! Veritable bike herpes!

At CommBro, Simon pointed out a large tree that had been uprooted in front of Uncle Fatih's. I said we should stop and get some photos of it. I threw my bike up on top, Simon shot a few photos, and we all agreed this was an awesome ride. Going up Commercial was pretty crazy. Sporadic power outages, crazy crosswinds. We bid farewell to Kirstin at 4th, and continued north. Debris all over the road: patio furniture, tree limbs, newspaper. Down the turbulent north slope of the Drive, Simon and I exchange stoked goodbyes. Yes, it was an awesome night.

Photos should be up soon on Simon's Midnight Mass blog and Oker's flickr.

1 comment:

midnightsimon said...

that's 42/17 sucka. I out-spun your ass GOOD.