Archive for May, 2006

Third Ride: Mount Burke

For our third ride, we wanted to head out to a reasonably easy trail, after all the bruises and scrapes acquired on Ned’s. I remembered riding Flywheel on Mount Burke in the Coquitlam area last year as part of my course, and I remembered it being easy enough that I came out of the ride feeling very confident about the whole thing, so we went on a quest to chase down Flywheel once more.

Unfortunately for us, my memory of places is not the best. I found the trailhead without any trouble, but once in the forest, finding the proper trail down the side of the mountain was more challenging. We ended up on some other trail that had a lot of rickety structures. At one point early on I saw a sign that said “Gonzo,” but I can find no reference to a trail of that name anywhere on Mount Burke.

Whatever the trail’s name, it was more challenging than I remember Flywheel being (and I rode that with my little cross-country hardtail bike) – I had to walk a good part of it. There were some good spots, a lot less eroded and fewer boulders than the North Shore trails I’ve ridden, but there were also a lot of structures and one long log ride that I don’t have the nerve to even consider trying.

I don’t do many structures, especially not if they look like they might collapse at any moment. Adam really enjoyed the trail, however, and considered it a good one to practice structures on. Not for me, thanks. We hope to go back and see if we can find the Flywheel I remember, but we’ll save that for later. I think we’re back on the North Shore for our next outing – Fromme, maybe.

Good News for North Shore Commuters

CBC British Columbia – Some commuter relief on the way for North Shore

A third Seabus will be added to the fleet in 2008. If I was still working downtown, I would probably be doing a little happy dance on the spot. As it is, I’m happy to see this expansion. I hate driving and parking downtown, so I usually take the Seabus when I head over there. On more than one occasion, my bus arrives at Lonsdale Quay thirty seconds after the seabus has left for Vancouver – mildly irritating when I have fifteen minutes to wait and really frustrating when it’s on the half-hour. I don’t know if this means they’re going to increase the evening sailings (every half hour after 6:30 in the evening) but I would hope so.

It will certainly make those days when there are accidents or incidents on both bridges (like on January 4th of this year) a whole lot easier on the seabus fleet and its riders…

The best Vancouver realty toy ever

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My friend Greg started out as a computer programmer with database experience. Then he got into realty. As part of that transition, he built the best toy for Vancouver realty stalking: Neighbourhood Watch.
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Second Ride: Ned’s Atomic Dustbin

After work last night I rode home, switched to my full suspension bike, and off we went on a drive up Mount Seymour to ride one of the original North Shore mountain biking trails: Ned’s Atomic Dustbin.

A blue (intermediate) trail, this was a pretty big challenge for me to take on. There were plenty of places where I just stopped dead and jumped off my bike to walk over logs, rocks, technical areas, or drops that just plain terrified me. For a girl who’s afraid of heights and has only been off-road biking a bundle of times, all within the past year, this steep and technical trail was a big step for me to try a real north shore trail above the green level. (When you grow up in a river valley, a grade more than twenty degrees is steep.)

I managed to actually ride through more of the trail than I expected. It was a pretty eroded trail with quite a few drops, most of them manageable although I wouldn’t want to try them on anything but a full suspension. Once I got into the right headspace (as in not terrified of every tiny rock on the trail) it became a lot of fun. We will probably be riding Ned’s a few more times this summer – by the end of the season I might even be able to ride the whole thing.

Next up: Flywheel.

Anyone else here want a B&J….?

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There’s something about an inventive combination of,
“milk chocolate cashew Brazil-nutbutter ice cream with macademia nuts covered in white and dark fudge and a milk chocolaty swirl”
that cannot be overcome even with three globs of uniform single flavours such as pistachio, strawberry, and rosewater from your local gelato shop.

A check at the Ben & Jerry’s website turns up scoops shops in Ontario (6), Quebec (5), and Alberta (2). My second-to-favourite ice cream shop, Cows, is only in Whistler.

Are Vancouverites (perceived to be) too health-conscious to be a good market?

It amazes me when an American-based store skips Vancouver and starts up in Toronto or Montreal instead. Okay, okay, they are larger cities but having lived here for a year, I feel like we (collectively) have the disposable income for, say, a Sephora store in our posh Pacific Centre or Oakridge Mall.

I’m not worried: this city keeps constantly changing.

Itchy n’ scratchy

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According to the GVRD Website, there is currently no health risk from mosquitoes carrying the West Nile Virus and potentially infecting the population due to the fact that no case of WNV has been reported anywhere in BC.

Despite these reassurances from The GVRD Mosquito Management Department, there is somebody in North Burnaby who thinks otherwise and is more than happy to oblige you with preventative measures to assuage your paranoia.

From the set of X-Men 3

More total geekiness as I gear up for the nerdvana that is the final X-Men film. This is a short promo clip done for Microsoft from one of the Vancouver film locations duringa the filming of the final movie. Has some Hugh Jackman action. And why must they make Canada look so cold? I mean it’s Vancouver, it’s never that cold here.

X-Men III: a filmed in Vancouver flick

I have my reservations about X-Men 3. Anyone who knows me knows I’m just stupid for X-Men, and as the sort of die-hard fanboy I’ll go see the film no matter what but without Bryan Singer helming the film and after reading the script I’m a bit worried. I’ve blogged about how I’m sad that Fox seems to be really anxious to crash and burn the film franchise [jks] and also about my reactions to the film script that was floating around the internet last year [jks] (warning spoilers in the second link).

I passed by the shoots for the movie a few times last summer, and no matter what my worries I’ll go see it on opening night. At least the trailers have looked good so far.

Shaking Hands, Kissing Babys, Getting Comments

While I love, love, love posting on Metroblog, there’s one thing that would make this even more fun: getting more comments from you wonderful readers. Comments are the mojo that makes the blog flow. They’re the wind beneath our wings. And they just don’t happen here as much as we’d like.

So far, it seems that posts about burgers, birds and the homeless are the only things that draw commenters out of the woodwork here. Oh, and obliquely criticizing other people’s blogs, but that’s not a sustainable business model.

So, here’s my crazy Crazy CRAZY **CRAZY** one-time special deal! If you comment on this post and suggest a way that Metroblogging can get more comments — whether that’s one-time ideas, overall suggestions, UI reviews, stupid mind tricks, switch to Drupal, whatever — I’ll add you to the Metroblog blog list, AND feature your site in a post (if you want me to).

That’s right, in exchange for a minute of your time, you can get fame, fortune and/or a link from Metroblog. Don’t be shy! This is a limited time offer. Canadians must answer a skill-testing question. Offer not valid in Quebec. Lurkers, what are you waiting for? Carpe diem!

I saw you

Message.jpg I found this message taped to a pole near the corner of MacDonald and Broadway. It says, “To the blond cutie who lives in the neighbourhood, likes apples, and is not in a hurry. From the dude with accent and strange sunglasses. Please write to me.” I do hope the lady in question sees it.

As evidenced by the “I Saw You” section in the back of the Georgia Straight, there must be many such people hoping to find a stranger who left a lasting impression after a brief encounter. It’s the stuff of old black and white movies or of cheesy chick flicks if you’re feeling more jaded.

I sometimes read this section of the Straight because I like the stories behind these missed opportunities, and I wonder if these two people ever do find one another again. What are the chances of the right person reading an ad written just for them, and recognizing themselves from the brief description? And does this person want to be found as badly as the person who longs to find them? I don’t know, but I’m rooting for ’em.

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