Saturday, May 2, 2009


Locals and visitors alike have been stopping and gazing at some of the current street art on display around the downtown core - wondering what all those eagle like displays are all about - well it's the annual fund raising project of the BC Lions Society for People with disabilities - in previous years there have been Orcas and spirit bears - what happens is that a company will sponsor an artist to take the plain product and turn it into a piece of art and then put it on display at a prominent space downtown and then entertain bids with the money going to further the Societies many charitable projects

Here's there website:

While not an eagle this fountain and tulip display on the Plaza of the Sheraton Wall Center was extra beautiful because it was a sunny and warm spring day.

Dennis' much ado about nothing blog author and an eagle at Wall Center.

This one is hockey themed - most of the others are all of a first nations theme - this is former Canuck star and local hockey icon Trevor Linden on display on Robson between Seymour and Richards - what is most interesting about this and the image of Stan Smyl on the other side is who did the painting - it was done by "King" Richard Brodeur who was our outstanding goalie who took us to the Stanley Club finals for the 1st time in 1982 and still lives in the area.



Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Had our second last training ride last night - it was sunny but there was a strong wind but I still kept a good place leading the full marathon team group around the course.

Took the bike in a pre-ride tune-up - it's free because the bike is still under warranty until August - it was even nicer and smoother to ride than normal.

Greg at Bulletproof Courier blog has a short video from our ride on Sunday - see it here:

For our Thursday ride we will be directly up against the Vancouver Canucks 1st game of the 2nd round against Chicago - Canucks in 6 - our meeting place is a block from GM Place and we meet for 5:45PM and this game is scheduled to start at 6PM so we will have to fight more traffic than usual + one of the surface parking lots used for hockey games is not available because it has been set up as the Marathon Race headquarters - with BC Place undergoing extensive indoor renovations for its role as the place for the opening and closing ceremonies for the Olympic Games it is not available to Mararthon organizers.

The other thing that we are keeping a watch on for Sunday is the weather - earlier it looked like it would be dry but now it is starting to show a wetter pattern - cycling for 4 hours with rain gear, safety gear, communications gear is not alot of fun + you tend to have more people with first aid concerns.

More on the bike escort team later in the week.


Attend my training session for my work on the BC Elections later this afternoon - having done it federally last year and having work for political parties on elections for over 40 years it shouldn't be too much different - on election day I will be working at a polling location only a block away so I won't have to travel to far.


Finally got 12 people for the FOYPS work party - two less than a full quota but with the new rule that no one can participate in more than one work party each year some of the old standbys are no longer available - I did succeed in getting 6 new people - half of the group - to sign up - this is one of our goals to get more new members helping out and not just paying the $10.00 membership fee each year. Looks like they will have a nice sunny and warm day to work outside - take a look at there web site:

and see if you agree that it is a special place.


Had a phone call the other day from Jim C - who basically hired me at the Y more than 40 years ago - haven't heard or seen him much since our building closed for rebuilt at the end of 2006 - he was looking for some information on one of the hiking trails on the North Shore and he knew that I was heavily involved in hiking most of my Y career - while I couldn't help him directly with this question I did offer a couple of suggestions of who he might phone or which web site might have some information.


Also stopped into our headquarters and dropped off my cheque for our annual giving campaign - while I have a life membership you don't have voting rights unless you are either a pay member or a donor - I qualify as a voting member based on the latter.


Finally for today - I was finally able to arrange a meeting with my Financial advisor to review my portfolio and to discuss my current obligations.

My regular gal is away on maternity leave so I am dealing with the president of the company who I have known for perhaps 30 or more years from him being an early morning regular at the Y and me being the service clerk who greeted him in the morning.

Somewhere in among the BS we might even discuss finances.


I leave you with this spring scene taken last week from the east side of Canada Place looking towards the Harbour Center tower etc.



Monday, April 27, 2009

Vancouver Marathon Bike Escort team full course ride April 26, 2009

One of the requirements for doing the Bike Escort job for the Vancouver Marathon is that you do the full course ride - usually the Sunday prior to the actual Marathon and today was the day - we had to be at the Plaza of Nations start point at 6:45 aiming for a 7:00 AM leave - we were
a little late getting under way but with sunny but cool skies to start few were complaining - however I noticed one particular person wasn't there - seems that the Bulletproof Courier and his alarm clock had a conflict - anyways he was able to join us by the Cambie Bridge - having a radio he was able to find out where we were.

With a large number of riders - about 30 - keeping together with all the traffic lights etc is always a chore but those stops are usually too short for any photos - we do however have a few places where we stop for instructions from the "boss" Brian or with special guest and race director Jordon.

A brief description of our route and stops follows.

We leave Pacific Blvd and do a loop through the Downtown East side and then head up Columbia/Quebec to 2nd Ave and followed it west until Pine where we loop back to 4th and Burrard - we use the Esso station as a pit and regroup stop - we are trying to maintain an 18Kph pace as that is the pace that the faster runners will average.

I then take the lead as I have ridden this part of the route in previous years until we get to our Raymur street stop.

From there the our riding route parrells Cordova Street and then Hastings and into Stanley Park and Lumbermen's Arch.

That is where the first two photos are taken - it is one of the first places that I have time to get the camera out - there is an Earth Day race taking place in the Park so the area was extra busy.

After leaving Lumbermen's Arch we continue along Stanley Park Drive until we get to Pipeline Rd and follow it through to Lost Lagoon - the actual race route uses Lagoon Drive but we would have to ride the wrong way today so we do our usual re-route and follow the bike path to our second stop at parking lot near Cepperly Meadows and picnic area.

Our fearless Captain - Brian is giving us some more instructions. He does a lot of coaching because he doesn't really want any cases of LBS* ( answered below) on race day.

Jordon in the middle listens and then gives us some updates on road conditions especially Park Drive coming down from Prospect Point - in my words not his - A bloody mess and a disgrace to the City - if they don't get the rebuild of the road finished in the next week - it is not like the Marathon is a new event - this route has been used for a few years and there was no civic strike to delay construction.

After leaving this stop we head over the Burrard Bridge and the turn around point just past Jericho Beach Park but before we get there we have to stop for our annual "Brian wants to take a group photo that we never get to see because he nevers sends it out" stop at one of the small roadside viewpoints along Point Grey Road.

By now I am riding as the end sweep - ensuring that no one misses a turn etc.

Right on schedule at around 11AM we have finished the 42 KM ride and headed for our traditional no-host brunch at Ricky's on Beatty St - we are joined by our friend and new mother Ahna with baby and hubby in tow as well as the technical director for the Race - Frank S.

While the service is slow - they never seem to understand that when a group makes a reservation for 30 people that they should have some extra staff to help out.

I ordered the same as last year which was a toasted turkey melt sandwich with fries and pop.

Brian had some prizes donated - like bike helmets, tune-up specials etc. As usual I won nothing.

There were some more instructions but the biggest surprise came when it is announced that Frank had picked up the tab for our meal - Thanks Frank - the race organizers consider use to be one of the most vital parts of the Marathon so it was nice to get the extra recognition.

*** LBS - is a favorite saying of Brian's and means Liquid Bowel Syndrome.

As I am typing up the post the following morning I aren't even that sore - the new hybird bike is a real god send and goes in for a tuneup later today.

We have two more rides this week and then the big day next Sunday and an even earlier start - more details throughout the week.