Saturday, April 25, 2009

Cambie Street re-opening festival April 25, 2009 + et al

First on tap for this update is my little trip over the Cambie Bridge for the Cambie and Broadway merchants celebration of the re-opening of Cambie Street to full traffic.

After almost four years of detours, construction, deep holes in the street for the cut and cover tunneling under Cambie street for the building of the new Canada Line rapid transit route to Richmond and Vancouver International Airport - the project is just about finished - one of the last sections to the completed was the Cambie and Broadway corridor - this is one of the most used transportation and shopping areas in the City.

Many of our large retailers like Best Buy, Canadian Tire, London Drugs, Whole Foods, Save on Foods, Home Depot, Winners and Home Sense have built urban themed stores as part of the redevelopment of this part of the City.

The area is just a couple of KM's from the downtown core, has City Hall and the largest Hospital in the Province VGH within a couple of blocks.

To celebrate finally getting there street back the above named merchants organized a street party to bring the people back to the region. Judging by the crowds that were there the event was a success.

A concert stage was set up on 6th between Cambie and Yukon - a steel band was playing while I was there but later in the day a popular Vancouver Band - 54 -40 was scheduled to play - with clearing skies and warming temps this should be a success.

I actually hope that they make this an annual celebration.

The images below tell the rest of the story.


The Marathon Bike Escorts volunteering is coming along nicely.

There were 30 people out riding on Thursday night - they have had me lead our group for two of the nights recently and I was the end sweep for another - this means I stay at the back in case there are any problems with the riders.

Tomorrow I have to be at the Plaza of Nations by 6:45AM as we will be doing a ride of the full course - this is mandatory for all participants if you want to be able to ride on Marathon day - as it stands right now they have me slotted in to be a male lead rider - this means that I will be near the head of the runners ensuring that the coast is clear - it also means that I will have to be able to maintain an approx speed of 18 to 20 KPH. I have been able to do this in the training rides this year which is why our team captain has selected me for this task - it also does mean that I will be finished earlier - that is only a big deal if the weather is bad - like in rain.

The group is coming together as a team - while there a number of us who have been involved before and considering that not everyone can make every practice it is a credit to Brian our team leader and his two captains - John and Alain that we are progressing.

After the ride tomorrow we all head for Ricki's restaurant on Beatty for brunch - while it is no host the coffee and pop has been picked up from the remains of the pizza fund.

In preparation for the marathon on May 3 I will be taking in the bike for a spring tune-up on Monday and picking it up on Tuesday - it is part of the maintenance package for the the first year of the bike so it should be in fine form for the big day.



The start of the Vancouver 2009 cruise season - the arrival of the "Balmoral" April 24, 2005

One of the sure signs that the tourist season is getting underway officially here in Vancouver is the arrival of the cruise ships at Canada Place - while we are a week away from the home porting ships taken up residence in our City for the next 5 months we usually get a few strangers making a rare visit to our City and yesterday was no exception as the Fred Olsen Cruise Lines ship the "Balmoral" - formerly the Norwegian Crown - paid us a visit as part of a 35 day world cruise - this is the first time that I can remember this company have one of its ships visiting us.

Furthermore it is also overnighting here giving its passengers even more time to see our great city.

Here in photo essay form is my tour of Canada Place and the "Balmoral" which was docked on the east side of Canada Place.

View taken from walkaway at foot of Granville Street and looking towards the ship.

I am now walking along the east side of Canada Place towards the ship.

Close up view of the bow of the ship.

The ship was enlarged after it was brought by Fred Olsen from Norwegian cruise lines.

Unlike many other ports you can get up close and personal with the ships on either side of Canada Place.

View of the ship from near the north end of the promenade that surrounds Canada Place.

The ship and a view back towards the Vancouver skyline - you get a better skyline view on the west side.

If you look closely you will see that the crew are doing a muster drill which is usually done while a ship is in port so as not to inconvenience the passengers.

One more from the walkway.

I now head over to adjacent Granville Square where I took this final image - this is where you get the best views for ships that are berthed on the east side of Canada Place.

The sun was shining and the tour buses were doing a brisk business.

The ship will sail under the Lions Gate Bridge Saturday night heading for Seattle, San Francisco and Mexican ports, then through the Panama Canal - visit some Caribbean ports and head across the Atlantic and into Dover, England - it's home port.

A big welcome to any one one the ship who may have found this blog site especially from its link from the Cruise Critic web site.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Vancouver Sun Fun Run April 19, 2009

There were two events of note in Vancouver on Sunday - the Vancouver Sun Fun Run in the morning and the Vancouver Canucks game in the evening.


The Sun Run has over 55,000 participants and is one of the largest mass runs in the world - the weather was almost ideal - fairly cool yet dry - living within a block of the route I gathered the camera and took these images from a couple of vantage points near my condo - the race attracts all kinds of people - runners - walkers, people with strollers, in costume - etc. It takes a long time for the run to past any given point - while I didn't see any of my friends in the race I did see one of the Marathon Bike escorts working the first aid details and found out later that another one ran the race with his helmet cam and has posted it to his blog at:


The other event was the Canucks - while it was an away game the interest in the bars and pubs was as usual very high and the 3-2 close fought victory gives them a 3 - 0 lead in the series with the next game scheduled for Tuesday right around the time that I will be out cycling - might just have to use the record feature on my DVR.



Sunday, April 19, 2009

A walk in the forest - visiting the Malcolm Knapp UBC Research Forest, April 18, 2009

After having one too many pints at the pub on Friday night watching the Canucks beat the St Louis Blues I was determined to get out and get some good exercise - an area with lots of recreational opportunities is the Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, Mission region on the North side of the Fraser River and that is where I ended up today.

Was originally thinking of doing a trip in Golden Ears Park but then remembered that the UBC Research Forest was an area that I hadn't visited very often in the past so that is the story of that trek in photo essay style.

The area is a maze of roads and trails - all pretty well marked. The terrain is gentle - some uphills and downhill - it has been logged in the past as it is a working forest - the public are welcomed but no dogs, bikes, horses etc allowed - it is adjacent to Golden Ears Park - there is limited access to the Forest from the Park - mostly near Mike Lake.

The first two photos show the park entrance and the trails in the lower part of the Forest - my intent was to do the Green loop but I had to change my plans when I realized that the suspension bridge that is out is on the Green loop.

There are a number of historical artifacts on the grounds near the entrance and there has also been some recent logging activity as seen in these photos.

I followed the A road down to the North Aloulette River - it was near here that I realized that I wouldn't be able to do the loop because of the bridge being out and with the River running this fast and high there was no way that a ford could be done.

After taking in the wonderful river flow I retraced my route back to where I joined up with the Yellow Trail - one of the longer loops - this is one of a few shelters that seem to be placed throughout the Forest.

Much of the area that the Yellow Loop traverses has been logged as is evident in this photo where the trees that have been replanted are lined up in an row and the trail is basically straight and even the creeks look like they have have a clear channel.

I found this flower in one of the swampier areas on the Yellow loop - the Yellow Loop joins with the Red Loop which takes one to a viewpoint but I found the views to the south west towards Pitt Meadows and Burnaby Mountain to be hindered by growth so I didn't bother to take any pictures there.

The Red trail was the most natural of the trails and also the one with the most climbing - it took me a little over an hour to do about 5KM of travel - the hangover was mostly gone by the time that I got back to the truck.

As always