Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Happy Thanksgiving! :D

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American friends! 

To another good year!
I am mighty thankful to be here for another year, that's for sure. I've missed you guys the last week or so, and this. It's just that we are building a whole new kind of escape room in Vancouver's Gastown district, and until it is open, I am working more hours than I'd banked on. Still. It is the coolest job ever, and I am ever so grateful to have it. What are you appreciating about your life these days?  I am incredibly grateful to all of my fellow Vancouverites who decisively voted Mayor Moonbeam back into office, despite what appeared to be a close race prior to the election. Before the civic election, it appeared to be a tight race, and those of us who use the roads without necessarily driving a moving lethal weapon had an awful lot to lose.

The NPA's close contendor LaPointe said "It's time we give the roads back to the cars." I could almost smell the Fordian crack pipes burning, and I could definitely sense the unrest on the city streets, as all of those angry motorists longed to take back the bike lanes.

And just last weekend, on our club ride, we rode right by a youngster who had been struck by a vehicle in the bike lane on SW Marine Drive.

Burrard and First
And the very next day, I was witness to a young woman who was hit by a pick-up truck, This particular truck:

The driver felt horrible, it was plain to see. And you can't see it from this angle, but there was damage to the truck on the right front panel. The girl who got hit was riding east through the Burrard St intersection at First Ave. She was riding with the lights, and in the light of day, when he turned left directly into her path, so that brake as she tried, it was too late to stop. I had turned left in that intersection the moment before, headed for the bridge, and had stopped to turn on my rear light when I saw it happen. It was a shock to see, and it made the most sickening sound.

So I was driving a Zipcar around for my boss today, when I heard the CBC interviewing an officer about the nine pedestrians and two cyclists who were hit by vehicles last weekend.  Vancouver isn't a big city, but even in a big place, that is an awful lot of people whose day was spoiled by inattentive drivers. And as I was listening, I noticed how many of my fellow motorists were speeding, and swerving from lane to lane in an effort to get where they were going quickly.

Two things I took from this week.  1) SW Marine Drive might pretend to be a bike lane, with all of those painted bicycles, but it's definitely not.  It is a narrow shoulder, riddled with potholes, full of debris, and chocka block with parked cars. It's a death trap, and the most dangerous place in the city to ride a bike. It's high time somebody did something about it. Fortunately, the city has it blocked off from 5 Dec to 5 Jan, so we will soon see what they have in mind.  I will get back to you about that the moment I have the scoop. And 2) The only way we will have safer streets is if there is a concerted effort to slow traffic down.  We have to make a concerted effort in both education and enforcement.

Because let's face it.  We all want our loved ones to come home to the holidays safe and sound. So slow down, drive safely, and enjoy having your nearest and dearest healthy, happy and whole, mmmkay?

                                    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, everybody! :D xo xo


  1. Ok so my curiosity is piqued. Whats up with the end of the world?

    1. Do you mean because babble on is pedalling her ass? Or is it like R.E.M so eloquently put it, It's the end of the world as we know it... I feel fine.

      Every end is also a new beginning... :) XX

  2. What are you appreciating about your life these days?
    A great question and one I need to ask myself more often. It's easy to let what sucks hide the good things.
    Happy thanks giving :)

    1. Right!? It is just so easy to get caught up in the issues of the moment that it's easy to lose sight of the big picture, and the perfection present in every moment. Y'know. That simple truth we so often overlook: that every day above ground is a good day. This week I haven't been able to train with the club, because Ehlers Danlos has created a nasty shard under my right knee which is uber painful. And it is easy to resent having to walk with a stinking cane. But then I remember that this state of mutardedness is what made me the athlete I am today. I realize that if it weren't for the pain and stupidly weak joints, I wouldn't have learned how to interpret the signals from my body, and I wouldn't know deep down inside how activity is the best remedy for depression, how strong muscles support weak joints, and that for a whole raft of good reasons, my bike is my happy place.
      I really appreciate that I have such a cool job to get up to every day. I love building something so cutting edge, I love the project, I love the people I work with, and I totally groove on solving problems and getting things accomplished.
      I love that there are so many good people in my life, I love that I have such a huge blessing in my two gorgeous boys. I love that my loved ones are happy and well, and I love that I have this. SpokeNscene is a sweet outlet for my many strong opinions, and it has introduced me to a whole new world of like- minded people, to friends and acquaintances who give me hope that humanity might still make the right decisions in time to avert a looming disaster.
      In short, I love my life. I am lucky to have survived some of my lesser decisions, and I love that I am still here to enjoy this experience day by day. Even when it hurts. Thanks for asking. :)
      What are you appreciating these days, Harry?

    2. I had to google Ehlers Danlos and even then I won't say I know what it is but I know more than I did before. In some ways it sounds similar to crones which a loved one of mine has. Your job sounds fantastic with a sense of accomplishment. I won't mention my job with their "no disparaging comments clause".. haha, plus this is an appreciation thread after all. Activity is good for depression.. who'd have thunk that? Of course Aussie men don't get depressed, so I'll be OK :) Just as long as I keep riding...

      A quick brainstorm of the things I appreciate these days are:

      My girls are healthy and growing up well.
      I just returned from watching my eldest play in her rock band.
      My wife, who still loves me despite all the silly things I've done and still do.
      I've got a few great mates who I ride with most Sundays and have a ball talking shit and taking the piss out of each other.
      My job pays me well enough for my family and I to have a reasonable lifestyle.
      I can ride to work mostly along off-road bike paths with some classic Aussie bush scenery that I love.
      There are still good people around. One young dude woke me up on the train the other night to ask where I was getting off. It was nice of him because I was sound alseep from drinking a bit too much and my stop was next. Then just today some bloke was warning people on the bike trail about a large tiger snake crossing. It was the most "tiger looking" tiger snake I've seen with very distinct stripes. Most are difficult to tell from a brown snake at a distance but this was clear from 30 feet away. Not that it matters, they'll both kill you on a bad day.
      Close to where I live are some great river swimming spots and MTB trails.
      My bike, and the hobby in general, is also my happy place.

      It's good to take stock of these things :)

    3. Yes it is. And the more you take time to appreciate what is in your life, the more you will discover which is worthy of appreciation. Or at least that has been my experience. If you are looking for reasons to be offended, you will always find them, and likewise, if you are looking for reasons to be happy, you will find those too.
      Knock and the door shall be opened unto you. Seek and ye shall find. Ask and these things shall be given unto you.
      I like to think that I got over my Catholic upbringing, but there were a few good lessons hidden in there which I would continue to promote if ever I got to be the pope. :)

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  4. il Pirata est Mort1 December 2014 at 10:12

    I was once bemoaning my car-on-bike broken leg bone one day in the therapist's office when out came a woman cut off above the knee. No more bemoaning out of me!

    I am thankful for the beauty in the world and the nice tailwind that jetted me home yesterday morning along the Atlantic Ocean.

    1. Beautiful.
      And Einstein's theory of relativity applies to the up close and personal, too, in that the things you perceive are different, depending on how you look at them. Thank you for sharing... :)

  5. I don't know why but I've been having problems seeing some images on your last couple of posts.

    I really hope people do slow down. Looking forward to a day of less accidents and less ghost bikes. :(

    1. I have been having trouble with it, too, and trouble seeing some of BikeSnob's photos. So I keep reloading the photos - sometimes two or three times a day. Sadly, Blogger does not have customer service, nor any help whatsoever. And it is buggy beyond belief.

      And me, too. I don't know how we are going to get to that day, but there must be a way.

  6. Aviators and Lace forever!

    Here's lookin' at you kid !