Tuesday, 12 June 2012


What is Spoke'n'Scene?

This little number is all about Vancouver's bike scene.  Our lovely city won a bronze medal for being the worst dressed city in the world, and while it's true that there are waaaaaay too many pairs of LuluLemon's plastered on bottoms which have yet to see a yoga mat, this city definitely has style.

Sure.  Ok, it's true. we have a small army of Mary fresh from Mountain Equipment Co-Op:

The observant will note that this rain savvy Mary is dressed from head to ankle in gear worthy of the best deluge the Pacific has on offer, yet he has foregone the booties to complete his ensemble in favour of a pair of well ventilated trainers. Sadly for him, the downpour started mere moments later...

You've got to love MEC, really.  It' brilliant for all things outdoors, it's true, you get GREAT GEAR- high quality stuff- at seriously cool prices. And for those of us who choose this lifestyle in this particular setting, it's a fantastic deal.  Anyone who's spent time in Vancouver knows MEC, but for you outta towners, you can check it out here...http://www.mec.ca/Main/home.jsp. It's a camper's heaven, it's true, and it's the best place to find a kayak, tent, carabiners, and all things outdoors, even, yes, bikes and bike gear.  I have to admit that it's a great place to pick up all sorts of things.  But honestly.  On a rainy day in Vancouver the bike lanes in this town really do resemble a communist state, with two out of every three riders wearing identical rainsuits in a choice of three colours.

Then the sun comes out again, and instead of an army of Mary, all the Freds come out to play.  Now if you don't know who Fred is, then clearly you are missing something, because you haven't read Bike Snob yet. (http://bikesnobnyc.blogspot.ca/)  I was planning to call our army of Fred Steve, but instead I am shamelessly and brazenly using his appellation, because he's right, and if the shoe fits, etc.  You will instantly recognise Fred. You've seen him.  In fact, here's a fine specimen posing rather nicely at Kits Beach:

Posing being the key word...technically, this is a McFred.  If you were to spy him cruising along the highway you wouldn't think twice, would you? That would be Fred. This McFred,  however, has yet to break a sweat.  This McFred is as cool as a cucumber sitting pretty at the play park at Kitsilano Beach.  Now I figure by the time you take that bike out, pour yourself into all that spandex and clip your shoes to those pedals you would just want to go somewhere, and since you are on a MADE TO GO REALLY FAST BIKE you would try to get there really really fast.  I'm guessing you do not want to sit by the seawall on Kits Beach where you can sometimes approach 5 km/hr on a good day. McFred is like McFood:  it just looks good.  You will find plenty of Fred, Mc or for real, all over this town, often on a neutered for the commuter road bike.  They're easiest to spot during rush hour.

In fact, you'll see all kind of characters on wheels:  a plethora of  I'M IN A RUSH GET OUT OF MY WAY Guerillas working hard, delivering messages in all weather, come rain, snow, wind or shine, out there day after day, always just working, working, working, working...

...ish. ;)

And of course you've got your Mutts, too, collecting and recycling, and your Coconuts, thieving and preying.  They are the bottom feeders; one group entrepreneurial, the other opportunistic.  Yet despite all that, and despite the ubiquitous yoga pant, Vancouver definitely has style, and that's what we're here for, that's what this baby is all about.

This city is stunning, which always helps when you need to ignore a few too many pairs of overstuffed Lulu's on the street. Our local, Kitsilano Beach, is a bit of alright:

There are lots of pretty people on Kits Beach, so I like to hang out there and take pictures. You'll see a lot of it.  We are lucky here, in that we have miles and miles of seawall to explore, for those who prefer to avoid traffic and all it entails, though sometimes lots of people have the same idea, and then you might run into traffic of an other sort...
On a different day, however, you may be lucky enough find you have the city all to yourself.

The photos above and below were taken on the seawall along false creek.  It's a lovely place for a leisurely ride, as many of our ever swelling ranks of cruisers can attest to...

If you prefer to go a little faster, head across the Lion's Gate Bridge where you will find a view like this:
And then you can hit the Sea to Sky highway.  If you want to head up to Cypress Bowl, you will find yourself facing a view like this:

You may or may not see that particular Wilma out for a spin, but if it's a clear day you will definitely see for miles and miles and miles.

I am here to give you a taste of  life in the bike lane, to share with you our white hot bike scene.
Erm....  Well, ok, sometimes it's cool and damp, but even so, it's great fun.  And hey! There are always plenty of hotties around, even if a few of them do wear Lululemon... :)

 Oh I give in. I can't help myself.  Listen. I am a woman of strong opinions and I grew up believing that it's nice to share, so here goes. 

If I ran the world, it would be a different place. Everyone would ride more, and drive less, and they would actually be happier for it, because riding your bike increases your brain's happy chemicals, you know the ones: serotonin, dopamine, endorphins and more. Riding every day creates measurable, long lasting  health improvements on ever so very many levels, but the cool thing is that it actually creates happiness

 It's such a no-brainer!  Your car slims your wallet and makes you fat, but your bike fattens your wallet and makes you slim.  AAAAAAAAAAAND (this is the best part) when you're slim, trim and happy, you have way more sex, which increases your brain's love chemical, oxytocin.  This creates a state of peace and trust which in turn leads to definite, measurable behavioural changes. You see where I'm going with this, don't you?  It's the solution to all of the world's problems, the bike path to world peace, if you will.  Scoff if you must, but give it a go. I dare you. 

Welcome to Spoke'n'Scene.

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