Friday "No Man Left Behind" Ride
And now for something completely different...
Okay okay okay, I screwed up, left the camera at home. It's been so wet lately I haven't even considered bringing it with me but last night was absolutely gorgeous. I tried to get a couple camera phone snaps but I haven't had a chance to get those into the computer yet. Keep an eye on the Pics section, I'll see what I can do there...
There's been a lot of call to do something different lately, way too much Stanley Park and not enough riding through the rest of Vancouver. Can't just keep doing the same old thing every week now, can we! If you saw my earlier post (Rain Rain Go Away) Joe, Vitt, Logan and I spent a little time scoping out alternate routes. Last night was our first go at a new loop through East Vancouver.
Met up at the roundabout as per norm... Weather was absolutely GORGEOUS last night - not a drop of rain, about 10 degrees, totally mild. I think I actually had my coat done up for all of 20 minutes last night and that was when we were still at the roundabout. Wind was coming in along the water so getting inland was probably a good plan anyhow, we didn't even notice it. Rode on over to Crab Park for a little bit, Dylan and Kendal met up with us there. Jay and Jess were close by too so we got the group together and headed over the overpass and East into downtown, total compliment about 15 riders.
I don't know what the area is called - I'm sure it has a name - but there's a bunch of older buildings across the tracks from the port, they all seem to be fashion-related industries. Nice old places and a great little street to ride through. Dylan, Kendal, Mad Dog and I did that on the "Ride till Midnight" ride back a few months ago and we'd done a repeat on Tuesday. Popped through there and rode on East, crossed over Clark and got into the residential near Commercial.
As we got towards Venables we crossed over to Strathcona park. That was actually a wrong turn, we wanted to keep going East from there but oh well. Got over to the field there and some guy was ripping around on a tiny little micro motorcycle in the park. A few of us raced him for a bit - managed to beat him once or twice but that little thing could really rip! Never actually talked to buddy, I imagine he was a bit spooked to see this rag tag group chasing him around. Crossed back over Venables from there and followed up on the route we were trying for, heading east towards Woodlands.
Turned south for a big hill climb towards Gravely - a few of us were about up to the top when I heard a big CLANK from a little further down the hill. Dylan sheared his crank right off! It broke right at the bend on the left side, completely clean break. He said he'd been noticing a 'soft' feeling on that side for a little bit, no good. Well, crap. Here we are, BARELY in to our ride and one of our riders is going home. Or is he?
Dylan's got rollerbrakes on his bike so no coaster to worry about... 3 speed... Nice meaty bear claw pedals with lots of places to thread a rope through... Jonathan came up with a rope and made Dylan a quicky toe clip for the remaining pedal. I found some tape and covered the shard of broken crank sticking out on the left side - ended up using the broken off piece to cut the tape it was so sharp! Dylan gave it a shot - one legged riding! Ended up ripping around the traffic circle we were stopped at a few times and declared it ridable. Vitt offered up his belt as a tow rope for the really bad hills and we decided it was a go! Sweet! Now THAT'S hardcore cruiser riding. We gotta come up with merit badges or something...
Rolled on South from there - good news for Dylan is that was down hill for at least a while. Kept along Woodland on up to 10th avenue and then rolled West towards the China Creek skate park. When we'd been riding on Tuesday I'd taken a run or two through through it so I already knew I was good to go. A bunch of us did a few runs, lots of fun. Pops went for one but didn't quite get enough speed up. Turned out his bars weren't on tight enough and when he tried to crank it over he ended up spinning them around. Ooops.
Got that fixed and headed up the hill towards Fraser. Dylan was actually leading the pack despite the one crank! Vitt gave him an assist in a few spots just to make sure we all got there ok but man, they were leading the pack!! Crossed over Fraser and rode on to Robson Park to catch our breath.
A few people were looking to grab some more beer so we headed over to Brewery Creek Cold Beer & Wine, they've got a back alley entrance perfect for a bunch of bikes. There were actually a couple of guys there already on vintage iron, they just kind of got absorbed into our group for the time we stopped there anyhow. Gave them our web site address, hopefully you guys found us. Hi Kyle if you did!
Continued on towards Ontario and headed South another ways towards Riley Park. If it was the middle of the day I would have totally been in to descending down the other side but it was definitely too late for that. If you're going to cross the ridge and drop down on the south side you should plan for at least a few hours of riding or the hill back up isn't worth it. Anyhow we set ourselves up at a baseball diamond there for a while enjoying the night. Can't say it enough, weather was so freakin good it was unbelievable.
As it started rolling on past midnight the natives began to get restless. Still a long way home for a few people... Nice thing about riding the ridge up here is you can be back down to Science World in less than 20 minutes from just about anywhere along there. If you go far enough West even you can just head across the Burrard Bridge and be back downtown in no time. We decided to take Ontario back down - biiiiiig downhill coast all the way to Science World. By that point everyone was taking off in their own directions towards home. I rode with Jonathan, Big John, Charles and Marietta back down to Waterfront where they all spit off their separate directions. As for me I hauled myself back up the hill on Ontario and cruised home. Found some leftovers in the fridge, fired up the PS2 and cruised around on a jet ski until my eyes kept closing and my poor jet ski rider was getting severe head injuries. Bed time.... ZZZzzzZZZZZzzzzZZZZzzzzzzz...... What a night!