building new castles every day

Got a bike? Go on a tour. Make community.

In Doings on June 12, 2012 at 7:41 AM

“I think you should bring the mountain bike. We’ll be doing some off roading.”

This is my dad’ suggestion for our bike trip next week. He’s my cycling guru. Anything bike related, he’s my first point of reference. And since he’s planning the route for this trip, I’m going to believe him.

Sunday afternoon I prepared my mountain bike for the trip. With the help of my assistant (i.e. patient boyfriend), and with much grease on hands and scowling of face, I switched from nobby trail tires to city slicks. The bike is now a happy hybrid. My favourite type.

For the last few years I’ve been riding an old racing road bike. A Norco Fiori. She’s been modified to suit my preferences: higher head post, clunky carrying rack and, new since this photo, yellow handlebar tape. I love how quietly I sail through the streets on the Fiori. She was my machine for last September’s trip and we only suffered a single (though severe) flat. I thought it would feel weird leaving her behind for the next trip.

But riding a mountain bike — a downhill mountain bike, at that — is such a wicked change. I’m no longer sailing, I’m cruising and pumping. The whole machine is longer and my weight sits predominantly in the middle. So, yes, it does require more effort to pedal. But the stability! The control! The triple-ring in front!

I’m enjoying how wide my hands sit on the bars. Like I’m paragliding down 8th Ave into the city, with the ocean on my left. My boyfriend and I affectionately refer to her as Carmen. (As in Electra. She’s a green and yellow Brodie Electro with some shock-absorbing assets in the front. Hot hot.)

Yesterday was Carmen’s inaugural commute to work. And I can tell already that I’m going to enjoy cruising around town next Sunday for Vancouver’s fifth annual Car-Free Day.

The plan is to rally the troops for noon and tour around the block parties in Kits, over a bridge to the West End, on to Commercial Drive and finally to end up on Main Street. Each stop will likely involve food, beer, and bright colours. Want in?

Commercial Drive Festival: http://www.carfreevancouver.org/locations/commercial-drive/

  • Date: Sunday, June 17th, 2012 (Father’s Day)
  • Location: Enjoy the party from Venables St. to North Grandview Hwy/Central Valley Greenway Bike Lane
  • Time: Festival runs from noon to 6 p.m. and the streets are closed from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

I’m most excited from OccuPIE Camp (not the movement, just free pie), Velopalooza, and West Meets West.

Main Street Festival: http://www.carfreevancouver.org/locations/main-street/

  • Date: Sunday, June 17th, 2012 (Father’s Day)
  • Location: From 12th to 29th on Main St.
  • Time: Festival runs from noon to 8 p.m. and the street is closed from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Looking forward to: trying my hand at street hockey on 28th Ave?

West End Festival: http://www.carfreevancouver.org/locations/west-end/

  • Date: Sunday, June 17th, 2012 (Father’s Day)
  • Location: We’ll be celebrating on Denman Street between Davie and Robson
  • Time: Festival runs from noon to 6 p.m. and the street is closed from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Looking forward to: Tango’s Gourmet Meats BBQ!

Kitsilano Block Parties: http://www.carfreevancouver.org/locations/kitsilano/

  • Date: Saturday, June 16th and Sunday, June 17th, 2012 (Father’s Day)
  • Location: View our map to see the  2012 Kitsilano Block Party locations
  • Time: Block parties take place between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. depending on the block’s plans and interests

Looking forward to: Possibly hosting my own block party? Nah. Do you know how much work goes into organizing one of those? But kudos to those who are planning block parties. It takes some concerted (delegated) effort!

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  1. we’ll be volunteering at our Car Free event here in Courtenay
    http://imaginecomoxvalley.ca/archives/230

    • Good for you, Mom! What kind of volunteer role will you be doing? Helping little monkeys decorate their tricycles? Reminds me of a community event we participated in as a family back in Ontario… I recall streamers on my handlebars.

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