Saturday, January 13, 2007


On the second Friday every month, the Margaret Charles Chopper Collective invites Vancouver out to ride. I decided the gravity-powered Tryke would be appropriate for the MC3 ride, as it usually goes at a slower pace than the other rides I frequent. With temperatures from -5 to -7 and windchills from -10 to -12, it was decided beforehand that we would meet at Asiana Sushi on Terminal rather than at the gazebo.

After meeting Lyle at his house, we headed down Adanac to McLean, skirting the hills due to icy streets and my steed's lack of drivetrain. When we reached 1st Ave, there was a fair bit of traffic. When it finally cleared up, I took off down the hill toward Clark, threading between the two lines of cars stopped at the light. It went green just at the right moment, and I was able to get across Clark and on to the viaduct without pushing.

In fine MC3 style, the entire stairway and railing outside Asiana was covered in a variety of wheeled machines. Consequently, the inside was full of mischievous eastvan bike geeks. As the menu was 40% off, we ordered a lot of food. N1ck and I shared the tempura onion rings, which were even better than expected. Sushi trades to all corners of the table without regard for STDs (Sushi Transmitted Diseases). With bellies full and spirits high, we suited up to brave the cold.

The Tryke was well-received. Since it was a production model apart from my parts upgrades, it doesn't carry the street cred of most of the MC3 rides. However, it does qualify for freak bike status. It didn't take long to reacquaint myself with the handling characteristics, and I was soon jumping stairs, doing 180s, barspins, and x-up manuals - quite the spectacle. The MC3 ride could be mistaken for a circus parade, which would in turn make me a circus within a circus.

We rolled up Main with Crab Park as a destination, the group evoked its usual happy cheers from onlookers. As we came to the Georgia Viaduct, I was at the front of the group, and eyed the snow-covered hill between the eastbound and westbound lanes. I decided to run up to the top, and as I did so, the rest of the riders stopped at the bottom to watch - leaving a gap large enough for me to drop off the rock wall at the bottom, across the sidewalk and on to Main St.

When I got to the top, the line looked gnarlier than I had anticipated. A snow-covered, bumpy slope, leading to a small drop, and off the curb into the street. From below, shouts of "you're clear!" resounded, and with a push I was off. Exhilarating, and flawlessly executed - Go Monkey Go - I remembered how fun riding Trykes was.

I took a well-deserved rest, grabbing N1ck's seatstay for a tow up to Hastings, at which point he informed me that I would have to ride the brick banks at 222 Main. I didn't turn down the challenge, and was able to pull off a couple of bankrides. N1ck also hit it up on his Olmo - Project-B represent! I pushed up the overpass at the north end of Main, and got into a peg-grab tuck on the downside, while N1ck laughed his ass off from behind.

The Crap Park pier was snowy, which is arguably better than the other option of greasy wet lumber. Initiated by Leanne putting her frozen feet in Kati and Amy's respective crotches, I volunteered my new gloves and warm hands to help bring the toes back to life. Maitland showed up and gave Leanne a spare pair of socks. Donald lit up the BBQ bike while a VPD car looked on from the parking lot. They did a drive-through of the park loop, but didn't come out to talk to us. We shared Jagermeister and Fireball. Kati drew a circle in the snow, and she and I had an impromptu series of sumo wrestling matches, which culminated in me taking a stumbling/running faceplant in the white stuff.

Kati and I were the first out into the parking lot when everyone was getting ready to go. I found a completely solid puddle of smooth ice, and took my stable three-wheeler through its paces. I was able to do slide 180s, and then completed three sliding 360s! Fun! When the rest of the group came out, I got N1ck's attention among everyone else, and proceeded to do a 270 to elbow/hip slide. Nice. Kati was the only witness to the completed 360s.

Kati went into workhorse mode and towed me at high speed through the Canada Place tunnel. I let go as we got to the hill that curves up and on to Cordova. In the next block, there is a sequence of two six stair sets on the south side of the street. I couldn't resist, and hit it once before the group showed up. As more bikers rolled up, I hit it again, this time with a lot more speed. I aired the second set a fair distance, got bucked off on the landing, and ended up running into the street. I couldn't have that be my final attempt, and went to hit it again as the last of the group arrived. This time I was in full control, and had so much speed that I rolled right on to Cordova with cars coming. The Tryke's quick turning ability paid off, as I was able to cut back to the curb unscathed.

By this point I was getting pretty tired, and was grateful that everyone on big bikes was willing to tow me. All the way down Cordova and Powell to the Princeton, where we once again covered the sidewalk with bikes, and took over the dance floor. Another foot warming session with Leanne. A group of degenerate fixie kids had assembled at Louise's place and made their way down as well. Cheap pitchers and good times had by all. We finished off the night with a trip up to Four Brothers Pizza, where my Tryke was fondled by the likes of Claire, Tim, Simon, and Skylar.

The MC3 maintains their high energy and go-anywhere attitude, proving that all you need are wheels and friends to enjoy yourself - even during one of the coldest winters in a long time. Thanks for another great night.

1 comment:

((lyledriver)) said...

Man. It sounds like I missed out on quite the Morgan show...

But its okay. I was 'full swap' salsa dancing with a bunch of different women.