Monday, July 30, 2007

Burrito Party, the Party

Things started off with a confused Critical Mass crowd, trying to intermingle amongst Islamic Society tents. The good thing about this, is that the bikes went NORTH from the Art Gallery, instead of the defacto South on Howe that they always do. I messed around with James weeks on his very strange Azonic Freerig, and he showed me a fun disk brake trick.

Once I got my CM fix, I broke off from the mass, to hit up MEC for some last minute trip supplies.

Saturday morning, I was stretching at the Gazebo at 7am, when Brandon rolled up. We were off pretty quick, powering over Ontario to get to the Arthur Lang bridge. From the airport bus loop, we caught a lift to the Ferry terminal. We had JUST missed the 9am ferry passenger cutoff, so we had to wait a bit at the terminal.

Finally on board, we sat outside where it was quieter, and enjoyed our passage to the Island.

We hit the road pretty hard from the boat, and had to draft down the highway for 30km, fighting a ridiculous headwind. Once we got Into Victoria propper, we stopped into the Recyclista shop to say hi. From there we were directed to use the bike paths. We were a little shocked to find out that there was a path all the way from the ferry we could have taken.

We took the Galloping Goose converted railgrade to Esquimalt, to hit the Juan de Fuca rec centre. Wow. Who knew getting across town could be this pleasurable? There were rest stops, view points, tunnels, and stop signs for cross traffic. You can see how happy we are to be off the highway.

Once at the track, we checked out the stands and watched some qualifers from the finish line. Overheating, went went around to the forested area on the otherside of the track. The racing was intense to say the least. The Mens Elite category was probably the fastest I've ever seen a tight pack of riders go on dirt. There were some pretty spectacular crashes when people would bump into each other in mid air, or during a pass in the corners.

While we were watching, Brandon ran into his coworker's daughter (Paige Zarazun), who is now officially 6th 13y/o girl in the world of BMX racing. And speaking of girls on bikes, the Elite women's category didn't disappoint. I particularly liked the girls from France, in their race cut blue and silver jerseys. I was suprised with the amount of crashing in the girls race, they definately weren't racing conservatively. One of my favorite ladies in racing, Anne-Caroline Chausson, was taken out by a teammate in the finals.

After the worlds were won (Kyle Benett riding for Free Agent, and Shanaze Reade for Redline), we headed out, and got back on the Galloping Goose Trail to the Shop.

Triane and her coworker/roomate Milenkovitch then took Brandon and I to check out another fun path into the city. There was an awesome bike bridge over the Portage inlet near Tyee road, and we stopped to get supplies at a grocery store. Malenkovich was a bit worried about locking up, as he was rolling a $4300 demo Norco road bike, but we put him at ease with our bike pile locking skills (N-1 in this case, but still enough)

Its so amazing to be welcomed into the homes of other bikers. Triane and Milenkovitch live in a cute little brick apartment building, nestled in tightly with a bunch of other buildings of the same era. Its very euro. We helped set up, by taking all the spot/christmas lights in the house, (as well as extension cords), and stringing them up across the back yard. Of course, the back yard was just another small courtyard snug between a large brick building, and one that had been torn down with only the face remaining. We then took the tables from the Bean around the World next door, and brought them back to set up the burrito making area.

And then it was a blur of cute biker girls, broken bricks, tasty non traditional burritos, and childhood horror stories.

The next morning we slowly got up and painfully made our way over to the Bean for coffee, then went through Fan Tan Alley to hit Mole for breakfast. Triane had to get to work, so she didn't join us there.

After a brief stop at Recyclista, we made our way North, this time along Lochside trail. It started off with nice railgrade, and a cut in the ravine, then went over Blenkinsop lake before turning into farmland, and older residential neighbourhoods. The path turned to dirt on occasion, and had a lot of bad asphalt, but was really nice overall. It sort of terminates in Sydney, either that or we just lost the scent. It wasn't too hard to figure out though, and we made it to the ferry for the 2pm sailing.

Overall, it was a great trip. I think I need to get out of Vancouver more often.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Off to see the Worlds

Last year, the UCI BMX world championship races were held in Sao Paulo, Brasil.
This year, they're in Victoria, BC, Canada.

This makes me very happy.

I plan to ride out there with Brandon early Saturday morning. We're going to check the sights, watch some dirty racing action, and hopefuly visit some Velo Vixens..

I'll report back after the weekend.

Some footage from last year:

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

In my country, there is problem

Well, there you go, Paul.

David Millar was the first rider to react to the news: "Jesus Christ - there you go, that's my quote," he blurted out. "What timing, huh? This is just f#cking great."

Addressing Irish sportswriter Paul Kimmage, a former cyclist who exposed doping in pro cycling his 1990 book "Rough Ride" and made waves this year when he challenged Vinokourov for working with Ferrari at Astana's pre-race press conference, Millar said, "Well there you go, Paul."

"I wanted to believe it was a really good day [for Vinokourov]. It makes me very sad. Vino is one of my favorite riders. He's one of the most beautiful riders in the peloton. If a guy of his stature and class has done that, we all might as well pack our bags and go home right now."


Morgan: PS: His Wikipedia page is already updated as well.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Sewn Back Together Wrong

The story of the human-machine connection is not an unfamiliar one; our relationships with bikes are forged over many miles in the saddle. As natural as this sounds, becoming connected with a bike and one's every day rides is an often overlooked aspect of riding. Occasionally, the connections are disrupted, and may take a considerable amount of effort to rekindle.

Long before I broke my collarbone, the Sekine was already having appendage-related issues. The original fork's steerer tube was bent from a winter of 700cmx. Its rehabilitation was arduous, but eventually resulted in a Craigslisted low-clearance fork paired with a nice Shimano 600 brake from Mark's stash. I was excited to ride the bike that took me so comfortably through my first winter of bike commuting, with a steepened head tube angle that I thought I wanted.

My high school shop teacher, Gord Gaudet, always used to say "Thought thought he farted but he shit his pants." Well, that statement couldn't be more true in the case of the Sekine. The new fork has favourably quickened the steering, but at the cost of a much more forward riding position that just isn't as comfortable as it used to be. The bike is still rideable, but it doesn't fill the ultra-comfortable fixed-touring niche that it used to live in.

Now that I've given you the context, let's go for a ride. This morning's commute was more eventful than average. I've been straight-shooting it lately: Victoria to Broadway to Fraser. When you regularly ride the same route through the river of conveyance, certain spots stand out - the rapids of the river, if you will. These spots may exist due to topography, infrastructure, or traffic patterns; the fun part is discovering the resistance - least or otherwise - of each path. All of these are interrelated, and weather comes into play as well.

For the topographic variable, the Vic-Bro-Fra route has three big climbs: Broadway from Clark, and two on Fraser from 20th to 25th and 28th to 33rd. A couple highlights of the infrastructure are the bike/bus only lane on Broadway and the deep dump truck tire grooves South of Fra-Kings. Car traffic is slow on Broadway and fast on Fraser. Today's weather: Overcast, 100% wet, but not raining at the moment.

After filtering through the usual backup at CommBro, I closely followed a car through the intersection at Woodland. As we had just passed through an intersection in a bus only lane, I felt at liberty to give him a hearty "What are you doing?" as I passed by his open window. Then, coming up to Clark, the right lane was too packed with buses to filter up. I took the left line and noticed Ryan, resident brace-face, trackstanding behind the buses on his newly assembled Goldilocks.

The frame is spray painted gold, and I can't decide whether it reminds me of a worn out pair of American Apparel lamé shorts, or a gaudy lawn ornament. The lime green fork and stem, topped with the season-appropriate riser bars, have me leaning toward the latter. After a well-executed moving handshake, we flowed up the hill on Broadway.

Ryan, standing up and hammering on his new bike, paced me up the hill as I stayed seated on the Sekine. Though he may have been mile 200 of a double century, I maintain that riser bars are terrible for hill climbing - this coming from a guy who did Mount Seymour on Nitto B123s. A hoonish left turn at Fraser left Ryan to continue to his orthodontist appointment.

I rolled up to 12th Avenue just as the light was changing. In front of me was a performance commuter, who was awkwardly half-standing as his full-suspension Infinity appeared to be absorbing the grooves in the intersection with the agility of a K-Car on blown stock shocks.

At Fra-Kings, there was a lineup of at least five vehicles in the right lane, and only one in the left. One of those five was a full-size garbage truck, which I was not particularly interested in being behind. I chose the left, and ended up riding the gnarliest section of Fraser - the one with the huge dump truck grooves - in the left lane beside a garbage truck. Then, the car ahead of me decided it was turning left. Into the draft of rank stench I went, as the lack of head wind sucked me even closer. I got out and around the truck again when it made a right turn.

Trackstanding at 25th was the first time I stopped on the ride. With a few moments to reflect on the preceding events, I had a relaxing final stretch before beginning my day at work. Seems like business as usual at Project-B.

Looking back, the Sekine was the first road bike that ever fit me perfectly. With a solid, yet forgiving ride, it was a great winter commuting-slash-adventuring bike. I now have the steep track bike that I wanted - which rides more comfortably than the Sekine in its pants-shitting current state. The now-clichéd phrase "stiff, yet compliant" is a feel the bike had, and has lost the latter part of since the fork swap. Conclusion: it needs to go in for a second surgery.

Also on the topic of disrupted connections, the Mielgeot is currently down with a broken rear axle. Ironic, considering the Miele frame's tall bike destiny was decided upon discovery of a broken rear axle. Without getting into the story of how perfectly that bike fits me, I will say that I'm very much looking forward to commuting on it again.

Dethklok's Toki expresses the uncertainty of our ongoing experimentation, saying "we such screwups that he would be sewn back together wrong." Fortunately, we're dealing with bikes, which can be taken apart and sewn back together right if things don't work out the first time.


Friday, July 20, 2007

Dear BMW clownshoe guy,

Thank you for educating me on the dangers of riding in traffic.

I appreciate that you brake check me, after honking, after swerving into my lane without signalling. I also appreciate you taking a picture of me giving you a 'thumbs up' at the next light.

"I ride a bike too, but I don't kill myself! You can't go flying up the centre like that! You're lucky I didn't kill you!"

You're right, I am lucky you (and the 5000 other cars I've been in close proximity with today) didn't kill me. As for 'Flying up the centre', You were the one who was changing lanes from left to right without shoulder checking or signaling. I was occupying the left side of the parallel parking lane for the past 3 blocks. Did you not notice that you JUST barely passed me before that occurred?

I guess not.

I'm glad I was still with your clownshoe at 1st and Victoria, so I could mention that I drive a car too, but I go 30 through playground zones and signal my lane changes.

I hope you enjoy jerking off to my picture tonight, and may your clownshoe bring you true love.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Tour de Crashtown

Red bricks + Gassy Jack + Hella Carbon + July Rain = VERYNICE

This morning, as I executed a perfect drift left around a roundabout, I wondered what kind of tires those racers were running. Do they have multiple sets of ZIPPs ready to go with different tires. Would they use something as bourgeios and 'slow' as a Micheline speedium?

Some guys were cornering on their outside pedal, while others were in the saddle, kneeing in. Two very different techniques. This interested me somewhat. Is the center tread any better in the rain? Are they afraid to tilt the bike? Wouldn't sitting over those bumps make things LESS stable?

..and another thing thats on my mind. Is it wrong that the sight of a dirty, wet, female racer in ripped lycra, limping back to the staging area turns me on?

I don't think that race would have been nearly as fun if it were hot and sunny.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

STOLEN: Grey 2005 Norco Six full-suspension MTB

Late-model (2005?) Norco Six, mostly stock
Grey frame, black single-crown forks
Black Truvativ bars/stem/cranks
Sram derailleur

Stolen from my home in Mount Pleasant at approximately 8:00pm, Saturday, July 14th.

Mid-30's male suspect, approx. 5'8" tall, short black hair, possibly asian or aboriginal, wearing a white T-shirt.

Please keep an eye out, and remember to keep your windows closed.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007


20InchWestVanBomb last night.
Cassettes no longer sound like rotaries, more like high speed tinnitis.
Elevation drop to make the ears pop.
Ambleside senior reminds us about signage.
Little bikes rocking, we pull on commuters going over the bridge.
Gravity bomb through Stanley park has us perfecting tuck stability.
A drunkfight breaks out at English bay, spills onto Pacific, then trudges along, and keeps going, we watch from the shade.
We hit Sinclair Centre bank for some rollback tech, too drunk to fuf.
South on Carrall, I hoon gap the safety tape.
We make our way up to Granview to see the Polo people in fine form, and get our donair on.
Sailor has us manual jousting for his entertainment.
We're fighting it.
We're done.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Hoon is Bike month

I haven't been blogging much lately. Mostly just poking around the internets and echoing the Youtubes available to me.

Well, its time for an update.

I just got back from a screening of BIKE (okay, this is old news already) and I'm all fired up. I want to ride, but the crowd was dissipative, and went their own ways.

Thats the way it is on bikes. we roll alone, we meet briefly. we roll apart. Sometimes we're held together and it can be a really great thing, other times its not needed.

BIKE was all about this theme. this inclusivity, this cohesiveness. this exclusivity. This love.

Tony, the film maker, spent a year and a half trying to get into NYC's Black Label bike club, and they wouldn't have him. They wouldn't have him because they didn't trust that he wanted in for the right reasons.

I've got a lot of things on my mind.
Amy brings up the bikesphere and triggers deep feelings.

"What is your main concern in the bikesphere"

Self Preservation? I talked about myself. Are we all so selfish? I want to see the community grow and thrive, but I just focus on keeping myself in running order.

I don't know where I'm going with this. This love.

Just tonight I met a guy who works in the bicycle industry. (also old news) On the mountain bike side of things. I'm curious to talk to him more. One thing he said, was that it has to be done for the love.

Also recently, I was up North, doing Projekt-B field work, and met a guy named Phillipe, who has single handedly brought bike culture to Whitehorse. He's a bike mech, he's an artist. He's changing the landscape for the better. He lives above his shop, he's doing it for the love.

It makes me wonder just where this Project will take me. Probably to the world of High fashion

Choppers, modifications.
On a human scale, its not dangerous.
Because 50km/h is not dangerous.

Where was I? Its a week later, and I just cant get this blogging thing right. Originally, this blog entry was supposed to be posted early morning on Sunday. However, that didn't pan out. Then I got busy with commuting and Solidwerking, and well, here we are at the weekend again. Except is Thursday. (or Monday, fuck)

I guess I've been watching a bunch of bike movies lately. I just got back from the Bike Shorts screening. There were 14 videos. ] Including Wendell Challenger's long line of cars. There was a great time lapse flatland one on an airstrip, and we even got to see Morgan take his pants off! One of my favorites was a 'post apocalyptic' story about THE BREATH, and how hard a good bike pump was to come by. Sadly, in this future, people are still getting killed for oil. I'm reall glad I went to this event.

So this week in bikes, I put new 600 cranks on the Bianchi, except they're not new. They're older than the ones I had, and they're shorter. I can only hope they're not just on long term loan. I also got into the dirty dirty with a middle aged guy in a minivan. I shouldn't pick on them. Its been relatively dry, so I've been rolling the Cunny to work most days. Thats right, you're Health and Safety representative is riding the brakeless unicorn. A cop spashed me with a mud puddle Tuesday. It wasn't even raining. I think he aimed for it. its just a 30cm diameter hole in Union street, that he MUST know contains muddy water. Right in the face, all over my jersey. I'm trying to catch up in kilometerage to my normal months this year, but I think I've already taken about 7 days off the bike. That really affects the numbers. I'm a nerd. pie chart. [650km total for the month]

This weekend promises to be crazy. I'm starting off with Midnight mass tonight. I better decide which bike to roll, and soon.

Tomorrow I'm going to hit the big June Critical Thrash

Edit: rain, drown rat.

I've slept, but it still feels like I've been up forever. The rainy MM, the out of control Critical mass, The scarface, the BBW, The race. its all a bit much. This guy is a writeoff. He drifts in and out of conciousness. Not sure how he rode a bike. 8.0 hoon.

Non Biased CTV mass footage:

Paris Hilton's Big Day Out, Cooper Park Checkpoint:

Edit: I think I'm ready to go back to work. edit.