Eat, drink, ride slow

31 07 2010

Friday’s ride was all about the slow. Literally and metaphorically.

Katie was doing a story previewing the annual Slow Food bike tour around the Fraser Valley. It’s a self-guided ride that takes urban cyclists to farms, wineries, bakeries and craft shops around rural Chiliwack to show them where the food in grocery stores and markets comes from. To get a sense of the event, she wanted to ride the  route, drop in to a few of the stops and talk to the proprietors. And since it was a work day, she’d be getting paid to ride her bike!

If a day on the bike is a good day, then a day on which you’re getting paid to be  on the bike is awesome!

Over the course of our journalism careers, we’ve each managed to pull this feat off a few times.

Katie and I did the Slow Food preview ride last year as well. I’ve arranged ride-alongs with the bike patrol units of various police departments, as well as a Salvation Army outreach worker who toured the back alleys dark crooks of the city to connect with the homeless. But the absolute coup was an 85 km training ride with the Cops For Cancer, complete with a full motorcycle escort that cleared and closed intersections for our peloton. It was just like being in the Tour de France.

Getting a taste of the Tour de France in the Fraser Valley!

No such privileges yesterday. Just the two of us battling the wind as we passed fields of towering cornstalks, rusty old tractors turned into playground equipment, grain silos, dairy cow barns complete with cow-washers, beehives, a soap shop and a preserve for blue herons.

Of course, this was a work ride, and I was enlisted to shoot a little video to accompany the web version of Katie’s story. That meant packing a handy-cam into my jersey pocket and making frequent stops along the way to shoot footage. Hence, the way we managed to put the slow into Slow Food.

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