Thursday, 31 October 2013

It must be time to leaf well enough alone already.

Helloooooo! It's Halloween!

It's scary season, and Snob nailed it again.  People are morons.  Did you read his Wednesday post?  He said:

He is so observant.  When I go for my daily grind I like to climb fourth avenue toward UBC to warm up, because I suck at hills.  Here's most of Steve's TT, a loop up fourth and down Spanish Banks.
 I turned it off before the last little hill which joins back up to fourth.  Still, you get the picture.  

It's the strangest thing.  Most of the videos I post look great on the camera, and when viewed on the computer, but sometimes when I view them on YouTube, they are all pixelated and gawd-awful.  Do you see a clear picture, or is it pixelated?  In the video, sometime around eight or nine minutes, I get to this particular bike lane.  What you may or may not have noticed in the video is that often this road sees large trucks and buses travelling at speeds higher than is generally permitted by law.  In the video there were only one or two houses which had participated in this lovely little community effort, but by yesterday, I saw whole swathes of of the road covered in leaves. Just a little further along, I stopped when I saw a gardener piling leaves onto tarps for removal.  I thanked her and proceeded to take this picture. 

 She nodded and said "Right?" She went on to tell me that in fact, the home-owner had told her to blow the leaves onto the road, like the neighbours had, and the conscientious gardener told me that the home-owner had been quite miffed when she refused.  She went on to say that if she did this kind of thing within Vancouver city limits she would be fined, but up here, everyone does it.  And it is obvious that the home-owners all along this stretch had asked the same thing of all of their gardeners, as you will see if you try to ride your bicycle in the bike lanes today.

Pissed. Me.  Off.  That's my safe place they're piling full of compost! Large construction behemoths, service vehicles and buses use this street constantly and sometimes they are in quite a hurry. I had no choice but to ride to the left of the line, and at one point, a large SUV- which was obviously late for something very important- sniped me. The person driving it probably thought nothing of their actions, but it was just close enough and fast enough to feel the whoosh of the draft off the vehicle, and why?

A person I know who has been to a lot of the "Point Grey bike-lane proposal" meetings in this city confessed  once that they heard a threat quietly discussed in earnest there, a plan to "Bully Cyclists Off the Road."

Sometimes Truth is more Horrifying than Fiction.

The real irony is that time and time again, these over-privileged  fools are only proving how under-educated they are, despite their proximity to the hallowed halls of higher learning.  But even I tire of repeating myself after a while.  Truth usually wins out in the end. Bike lanes decrease congestion and are good for business.  They'll see.

I met a vibrant young woman the other night, a gorgeous girl who used to ride her bikes everywhere. She owns an impressive stable of steeds, too, including a custom fit Seven.  She is super-yum, that girl, with the curves of a born and bred roadie, but she gave it up.
She just got tired of people trying to kill her with their cars.

Who needs All Hallow's Eve when dumb-assed people are here to help complicate things every single day? 

I'm a scardy cat when it comes to lots of things. 

Tons. Not just sniper-drivers, either.  I'm scared of their carbon-intensive lifestyles, too.  Pipelines that require super-tanker traffic service through the Hecate Straight scare the poop out of me me, for example.  They called it the Hecate for a reason, you know.  Because its a bitch, that's why.  It's wicked and powerful, sometimes it's an evil-sent-straight-from-Hell body of water.  Literally.  I've crossed it several times and from my experience, it is quite normal to encounter waves the size of sky-scrapers.  I kid you not.
You'd be hard pressed to find three more dangerous places on the planet, but even so, Enbridge concedes it's the fourth most dangerous body of water on Earth. 

I am horrified of the consequences of the energy policies my country's politicians are pursuing.  Ashamed. I am scared for the health and safety of our Canadian aquifers and the effects the 200,000 current fracking license are going to have on each and every one of them.  It's overwhelming to think about the ecosystems we're destroying, and the cost that will represent to our children and their children.
Halloween doesn't scare me, but humanity does.

Necessity is the mother of invention, though.  We won't change till we absolutely have to, and from the looks of things, that time is well nigh.  

I'm invoking the transformative nature of the butterfly this year, with a hope and a prayer that we will wake up soon, take up the challenge, and create a seriously sustainable civilization.

Till then, you know where you'll find me...

happy as Larry...

exploring the hood on two wheels.


  1. First place!! And I read it!!

  2. Legalize weed, ban leaf blowers. Podium.

  3. Vanessa Atkinson1 November 2013 at 02:15

    I love your blog. Read to the end. I am also invoking the power of the butterfly this year!

    1. Nessssssa! I always think of you when I don that mask.

  4. Thought inspiring post, Babble. Thanks!

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  6. Yes, on my first Rapha shop ride last Saturday, we took to many familiar roads in New Jersey. I had forgotten that many towns there allow for piling of leaves in the road shoulders, most of which are way more narrow than the one in your photo.

    I commented to the rider next to me, "Oh yeah, I forgot about that whole Jersey pile the leaves in the fucking street thing".

    1. Ha. :) So I googled Rapha shop ride New York.... nice photos.

      LOL!! I love that you're a Fred's Fred. One day I'll join you on a shop ride, cause my name is Fred, too, deep down inside.

  7. Hey Ms. Babble,

    I am branching out in my lunchtime reading. Ms. Velouria of LovelyBicycle is on a little hiatus and need more shop talk!
    When I saw 4th Avenue, I thought about 4th Avenue here in Brooklyn, then I saw all the trees and remembered.
    My 11 mile commute takes me through a lot of congested stuff and some paths. By and large my interactions w/ drivers are pretty positive. But it takes just one. I have a longing to fill a Topeak Road Morph pump w construction rebar and re-brand it the Road Rage pump. Maybe Rapha could put out some medium weight gloves with sharp studs on the kuckles.
    Good Luck !


    1. Right?

      Lovely Velouria leaves a great gap in reading material when she takes a break, bless her. I love her work, even more so since she moved to the Emerald Isle. Snob is always my go-to, but THANK YOU for joining us here!

  8. Forget gravel bikes, what we need are dedicated leaf bikes. Bike lanes double as leaf storage so it's only logical to have a leaf bike.