Saturday, 28 August 2010

Day 100 Vancouver

Friday 27th August
Daily mileage 22miles Average Speed 8.01mph Ride Time 2hr48min
Total Mileage 3978

Howard had to work but we had a lazy morning then I cycled in the pouring rain to Broadway in search of bike shops and 2 bike boxes. The bike shops were not too helpful and so Howard suggested Amtrak the train company. I found the station where I got directed as an extra on a film set that was being filmed as I arrived! I eventually made my way to the information desk where Jason wanted to charge me $22 for one box. After a short chat I was promised two boxes for free!
I cycled via the waterfront again back to meet Kris and when I returned I was absolutely soaked. Thankfully the sun came out and we walked to the sky train station to catch a train over to Amtrak to pick up the boxes. We had to negotiate the two huge boxes back through the film set, on the sky train and walk them several blocks back to Howard’s basement. These boxes are so big we do not even have to remove the wheels to pack the bikes but this means they are not easily manoeuvrable and I struggled to carry it when it was empty.

We rode our bikes back to the art gallery where we were meeting Howard and his friend Sarah from the meet up group along with 500 or so other riders that were gathering for the start of the critical mass ride that runs the last Friday of every month throughout the year and apparently runs in 300 cities internationally. The atmosphere was buzzing with people riding with stereos strapped to their bikes, people dressed up and a great deal of alcohol being consumed. We followed the mass around Vancouver for 2 hours and about 15miles.

The idea of the critical mass is to promote cycling, get cars to turn off their engines and cycle, and for the city to build more bike lanes and basically there are no rules. Everybody just cycles anywhere, through lights etc and various people named corkers, cork the traffic by parking in the middle of junctions. As you can imagine some cars get very annoyed and the bikers just ring their bells! After the ride the 4 of us stopped in a Chinese restaurant for a delicious dinner then cycled home again in the dark.

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