Christmas Tree Ride
This week's Friday ride was a bit more extreme than usual!
So in case anyone didn't notice, we had a bit of a storm on Thursday night! Stanley Park got pretty brutalized - it was dark when we were going around of course but I found this photo on Flickr of the big tree just between the roundabout and the Rowing Club. The tree looks pretty trashed - I don't know if the Parks board people can do anything for it or if it's just going to be firewood but that was a REALLY nice tree!
Since I'm not figuring we'd get too many more rides before Christmas I wanted to try and get in the spirit a bit. I had bought a little battery operated light set a while ago but they didn't work too well so I never bothered putting them on. I was at London Drugs earlier in the day though and low and behold what do I find?
Battery powered LED lights for $5!
There was only the one package left and it had been opened but I figured what the heck... NEARLY didn't buy them, that would have sucked. Anyhow here's a nice shot of my Manhattan in front of our tree...
I used an elastic band to hold the battery case to my bars and then used some zip ties to attach the lights. Looks pretty cool but I kept getting distracted... "ooohhh, christmas lights.... pretty.... AAAHH!!! TREE!!!!!!!" Ehem.
Don fired me off a message about 6:00 to see if anyone was going out to ride. Of course we are!!! Despite the storm on Thursday the sky was clear and the temperature was at least above freezing so we had to get out. Met up at the Roundabout as per norm and decided to see how bad the Park carnage was. We got as far as the tree above - like 100m from the Roundabout - and already had our path blocked. Looks like it'll be an interesting night!
There was a LOT of debris on the SeaWall - bits of tree scattered everywhere all over the place. Also lots of barriers to get around and things. NOBODY out in the park though - it's closed to cars right now plus there aren't too many people nuts enough to go out there. Even by the time we got to the rowing club we'd passed 2 or 3 downed trees partly in to the bike path. Don was joking that the 9 o'clock gun would have blown away!
Got around past the gun and towards the lighthouse. "Oh yeah, the path is closed..." Damn. Hauled the bikes up the hill to the road - no cars in the park! We got the road to ourselves!!
Carnage on the roadway was pretty bad... LOTS of trees down and debris everywhere. It looks like a crew has gone around the road in a pickup truck or something and just cut the logs apart enough to get through - I'm thinking it's going to take them a WHILE before the road is officially open again. But in the meantime we took advantage of the lack of traffic and headed on down to the water park.
Stopped for a bit there and chillaxed for a while. I had MENT to bring Christmas music out with me but didn't actually get it synced on to my iPod before I left the house. Oh well, next time. I did at least have tunes though so the party kept on rolling.
Got JUST a bit past the Water Park and found this. Oh. Crap. Well, what are we going to do?
Haul the bikes over of course!
The plan was to keep on keeping on. After our chill stop we headed on forwards. Got to another downed tree, not as big as the first one. Sent a scout on ahead though and the gates to the SeaWall by the bridge were closed! Dang it. Well, let's haul the bikes back over the tree again... Who says bike riding doesn't give you an upper body workout?
We headed along the road back towards the water park and then up the hill to the War Memorial for a break. Lots of trees down up around there too - DEFINITELY need good lights at this time of year. Doing a backwards road ride was a LOT of fun, it's so so SO much better when you know there won't be any cars flying at you.
From the War Memorial we cruised through the park back down to the road and cruised along towards the Roundabout. Headed under the tunnel and then up in to the West End. Hit up the McDonalds on Robson as a washroom stop and then cruised over to Falafel King on Denman for some food and caught the Dover Arms for last-minute off sales.
Got back down to the SeaWall again and rode on... Lost Don and Darren by the tree, we stopped under the Burrard Bridge and waited... and waited... and waited... I gave Don a call, no answer. Ummm.... Well, they have to come this way to get to SkyTrain so they didn't take off to go home... They JUST bought more beer so we know they were planning on staying out... So where are they? Dylan took off to try and find them.... And didn't come back either. Hookay, what's going on here? We figured he must have found them or he would have been back already...
Eventually Dylan popped back up and we could see Don and Darren's lights in the distance. They'd stopped to chat with someone or other, never did quite figure out who. Heard something about a guitar, I dunno... I'm guessing there were girls...
After the park False Creek was pretty sedate... rode on through to the Casino and stopped for a bit... No trees down there thankfully since there's JUST enough to actually feel like you're in the woods as it is. Cruised over to the Science World Gazebo and called it a night. Perfect! This is why I love riding...