Monday, August 31, 2009

Destination: the Steveston dikes on bikes with dykes

While Mister Man was busy being sick, I headed out with a most fabulous group of women for a bike ride that would take us from Main Street to scenic Steveston via the brand new pedestrian/cyclist Canada Line bridge. Here's part of the group now, getting ready to go. Well, really they are lounging. But they are ABOUT to get ready to go!

There were 2 fearless leaders on the ride. Mini P was one of them. Here she is. Fearless.

I was the other. And I was quite fearless until some woman in a black SUV almost gunned me down in an intersection!! I was halfway through the intersection, heading straight on a green light, and she was turning right. I stopped when I caught her in my peripheral vision and heard Tamara yell "LOOK OUT". After I stopped, the driver stopped.
The weird thing is that there was a line of us (9 cyclists in total) that she whizzed by on her way to the intersection, so it's not like we popped up out of the blue! It made me really, REALLY mad. And it made me a bit shaky. I have become a cautious cyclist over the years after a close call with a speeding van on a country road. I shoulder check. I signal. I don't tend to venture into traffic unless I can see the whites of the driver's eyeballs.

Missus in the SUV pushed my clearly marked buttons. I was in a BIKE LANE for cryin' out loud! I did yell at her to pay attention. And she waved her arms apologetically. But seriously. As a driver who is also a cyclist, I know I can say I am hyper aware of cyclists around me. It's NOT THAT HARD people!! (sorry for the rant..... but bear with me for a moment because I'm not quite done.) And, at the end of the day, more cyclists on the road means that there are less cars. So even if you move this from an environmental platform, you can look at it this way: we make more space for those vehicles that need/want to be there. We are like Draino for traffic congestion! We make it all move through the pipes a little more smoothly.

I know there are some bad cyclists out there who don't signal, or wear a helmet, or aren't well marked or who ride on the sidewalk. But they are the minority!! This I know, because I pay attention to cyclists. I give them a wide berth. I don't turn in front of them. I nod when they look me in the eye to let them know I'm aware of their presence. Not hard. That's all!

Okay. Enough of the rant. Thanks for listening. And now -back to our regularly scheduled blogging. Here's a bonus photo for listening to my rant.

We were joined by Tamara (of "T and A" wedding fame. She broke her toe on the journey home from PA and can't really walk or run. But she sure can ride!) (Oh - and Andrew gave me the thumbs up on being the "A" in "T and A".) It was GREAT to have her join us.

Translink has this handy dandy route planner thingie that will map out a route for you based on bike paths. While some of it was a bit strange (i.e. at one point, we were going from Garden City Road to "UNKNOWN Road".... which turned out to be a bike path!! At another point, we did this weird jog off a major street for a couple of blocks). But mostly it was pretty good. In particular, the last stretch, which took us along the water on a quiet country road, was brilliant.

The new Canada Line bridge is fantastic (though I would have thought it might be a little bit more interesting in terms of architecture?) Also, Andrea is far braver than I. I would not peer over that edge for love nor money.

But of course, the destination is what really sold me on our ride. Pajo's may not be *quite* as delicious as Go Fish, but you can't beat the surroundings. I mean really, you're buying your lunch on the water! Gateway to paradise?

Don't these folks look like they're on the deck of a cruise ship? Nope! They're just getting ready to chow down on fi' and chi'! (Clearly, I've never been on a cruise ship).

These guys drifted by, making us all feel like we were on some exotic island in the south. We all agreed that you'd really have to have your act together to pull this off. One false move and BAM.

At Pajo's, they cut holes in the table to fit their lovely fish and chip cones! THAT is some pretty smart engineering!

Here we are in all our post-ride/post-feeding frenzy glory.
After the close call with missus in the SUV, I opted not to ride my bike back, but rather to jump in the truck with T and A.

I did love this last image however, of the crowd gathered around a map, planning a route home.

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