A few weeks back I was up on Hornby for a few days. I managed to get away on my own, just with some tools to do some work and my mountain bike to get some riding. It was a true accession into my man-cave, complete with a mountain bike, some beer and some 'haut de gamme' steaks from the butcher. Almost blowing up the BBQ tank would have completed the rite of passage, but I narrowly avoided that (and I stress the word narrowly).
The thing I love about Hornby Island is the two ferry commute. The first ferry, Buckley Bay to Denman Island, is about a 2km crossing which takes 10 minutes. Another 10 minute drive and you need to sit and wait for another ferry to go over to Hornby. All completed it is a 20km commute that takes almost an hour between waiting for ferries and, well, waiting for more ferries. It really is the 2nd ferry that forces one to slow down. I recall last summer I had to go from being on Hornby time, which involved meandering down the twisted and bumpy roads to my beach destination, to the next day driving back home and flying out to Nashville for a week, which left me on a 4 lane highway (one direction) doing 120kph in the slow lane. When I got back to the hotel I was longing for the 2nd Ferry of Nashville, but none were to be found. Being surrounded by Country music at every bar on the main strip didn't help either.
As I sat in the zone of "the 2nd ferry wait" I looked across the straight at the trees that were turning a shade of golden yellow. Fall was here, and the colors of nature were starting to diverge from their green summer shades. As I looked at the trees, my eyes were drawn to the items I had packed for my trip. It was a contrast in nature vs. man because just within my view inside my truck I could see how advertising has really taken over everything we touch: I drive a Nissan, drink Sleemans and Coke, and eat PowerGels when riding my Kona bike in preparation for Ironman, or reading many a Random House books. I work for Schneider Electric on my Dell laptop, while listening to my Apple iPod. And I am a frequent traveller of BC Ferries.
During my 4 day excursion I got out for a ride up Mt. Geoffery with Doug for an hour or two (thanks Doug!). Having not hit any trails on my mountain bike for a few years I started slow. The trails were soft and smooth and the scenery at the top of the Ridge gave a great view of Denman Island, and beyond that Vancouver Island. At the top of the Ridge trail I took this picture.
Later that afternoon I headed to the beach, and managed these few shots of nature. It was cold, but incredibly clear and sunny.
It was a striking contrast to my view on the first ferry ride of my trip. In one view I only had to look in my immediate personal area to define what I was doing. On the other view I managed to go 3 days without seeing anything commercial. I was defined by my environment, not the other way around. Ironic that this thought happened at the commercial time of Christmas. What that really means is that it's too bad for anyone on my Christmas list that was hoping for something commercial from me.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Opps I did it again. Another bike accident, only this time I only managed to break 2 bones. Last Saturday I left for a short 1 hour ride, but arrived home via the hospital with one broken Radial Head, one cracked rib and one mad wife.
It was a great day for a ride. Sunny, but having just rained it was a little slippy out. I needed to do a errand so had decided to ride the back roads and stay around town. About 40 min into the ride I came across some railroad tracks.... and that is where I went down. One of my wheels must have slipped when I crossed the tracks, which were in my defence, at a 50 degree angle to the road. I remember seeing my wheel jam sideways, my bike instantly turning at a 50 degree angle but abruptly stopping thereafter, and then pure physics taking over and my body continuing to move in a straight line. Only without my bike.
I do recall the feeling of my head rebounding off the pavement at the same time as the rest of the side of my body hit the ground and literally slide to a grinding halt. Thankfully this time my helmet took a 2" crack right on the side. It is times like this when I remember why I wear a helmet.
As I lay there in the middle of the tracks, a car stopped and someone came running up. "Are you ok? Are you hurt?" I heard from up above.
I laid there for a moment, took stock of my injuries.
Feet moving? Check.
Arms moving? Check.
Neck sore? Negative.
Then I unbuckled my helmet and uttered my the first words that came to mind: "Man, my wife is going to be pissed."
And I was right. For the next few days she was answering the phone "Hello! I have 4 bikes for sale, which one do you want?"
Here's how my Text Message conversation when with my riding buddy waiting in ER to see the Doctor:
LP: At VGH after crashing my bike. Even got an ambulance ride. Shit
TK: What happened? Call me.
TK: Are you ok?
TK: No, is your bike OK?
TK: Another car? Is your Soloist OK?
TK: Get LP-ette to call me if you are getting turned into the Bionic Man.
LP: No car. It was my Trek.
TK: Whew! What did you do?
LP: Railroad Tracks.
TK: Don't think are are getting out of walking the dog this afternoon.
As you can see the importance of the bike was paramount. A true measure of a riding buddy.
With no riding for almost 2 weeks I have been itching to get out on the bike this week. I was thinking to bundle myself up like Tyler Hamilton in the 2003 Tour de France.
Because if I'm going to break some bones I may as well have an epic story to follow....
Thursday, November 13, 2008
The first night at home he wouldn't stop crying when we put him in the crate so LP-ette ended up sleeping on the couch with him at her feet and getting up with him every 2 hours or so to take him out to the bathroom.
Today, after I asked her where she was sleeping tonight, she looked at me and threw her hands up in the air. "I know! Don't even say it!"
"You know, me being crazy for this whole dog thing!"
"I didn't say that. I was just wondering if I would get to stretch out across the whole bed tonight."
Needless to say I am now more than 1 point down in the books of matrimonial support.