When in doubt…

13 04 2012

I’m sure every cyclist has felt that nagging sensation in their belly as they head for a ride that maybe it’s not such a good idea, that maybe this would be the day they get right-hooked at an intersection, or run into the shoulder by a passing cement truck or worse.

Especially when you’re riding in a busy urban environment, you want to be at the top of your game, alert, quick to react. And when that little kernel of doubt nibbles at your confidence, sometimes it’s best to give in, and not tempt fate.

Not that I’m particularly superstitious, but when my Friday ride day falls on the 13th, that little voice of extra caution can be a little louder, a little more emphatic. But with the sun shining, and the roads dry, sloth is not an option.

When the sun, and blossoms, are out, a ride is a must.

The spring weather has been slow coming this year. And when we have had really nice days, more often than not they haven’t fallen on ride days.

So I really had no choice but to stifle that whisper of silly superstitious doubt, attack it in fact. First turn of the pedals and it was gone.

Shake, rattle and roll

8 04 2012

The Camosun Hill isn’t particularly steep. Nor is it very long. But it is some of the crappiest pavement in one of Vancouver’s best neighborhoods. Some of the potholes are more like bunkers.

False spring

7 04 2012


We don’t need no freaking’ Spring. At least, that’s what the weather gods seem to be saying.

It’s April, practically August, and the weather outside is frightful. Even when it is nice, it can turn on a dime, making any sort of plans for long rides a bit of a crapshoot.

That’s what happened on Friday, when “Le petit tour de trios ponts” turned from a pleasant, but chilled, jaunt to a battle of survival against hypothermia. Fortunately for my riding buddy and I, the latter happened at the end of the ride when we were home and cooled out – literally – at Granville Island.

We could sense trouble was afoot when we crossed the Lions Gate Bridge as the rain clouds roiled and a squall rolled over East Van in the distance. It was an icy wind that propelled us over the span. By the time we thundered through the Stan, another squall was bearing down across English Bay and the temperature was dropping.

“We’re gonna get pelted just as we cross the Burrard Bridge,” I prophesized to RDM.

A few drops did ding us as we hit the home stretch, but the clouds really opened as we clipclopped to Granville Island to meet our wives for lunch. And it was cold, as in those-raindrops-could-turn-to-flakes-any-moment cold. They did become hail for a stretch.

Imminent hypothermia.

The lousy weather is making for a slow start to the cycling season. Friday’s sun – before the cloudbursts kicked in – brought out a lot of riders, whole pelotons of them at times. Let’s hope everyone found a warm dry spot to wait out the storm.