Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Today after riding up to wWest Broadway to my eyeglass store to get them adjusted I set out on a bike ride utilizing some of the newer routes in the City - from the 10th Avenue east west route I turned onto the Yukon Street - north south route and followed it up towards Queen Elizabeth Park until I reached the 29th Ave route which I followed around pass Nat Bailey Stadium and the new Hillcrest Community Center which was the site of the Curling events at the Olympics and Paralympics - that is where I spotted the street art work but there was no accompanying signpost explaining them. From there its briefly onto the Ontario route and then a quick right onto Hillcrest which I followed to its junction with the popular north-south Windsor route which I followed to its northern terminus at Great Northern Way - from there it was along the Central Valley Greenway and then Seaside through the Athlete's village to the Cambie Street Bridge and then home. In all about a 20 km ride - the weather was cool but the sun was starting to break out.
I spent a good portion of the past weekend working as a volunteer for the Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon boat festival.
Once again I worked on the docks helping to load and unload the participants into there boats.
It is a physically challenging task but well worth it as you get to meet the younger high school teams, the special needs teams - ie - breast cancer survivors, kidney transplant teams, people with mental challenges - there were teams from Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, LA, Houston to name a few. The MS Society also has a special team as well but they loaded from a different dock.
Saturday was sunny and warm and I was able to grab a few images with my blackberry during a break in the action. Generally as one boat is unloading the next group is lined up awaiting to board so you need to move everyone along quickly.
We are nicknamed " the deck squirrels" by our chief Nut Jennifer who barks out the orders with her megaphone - she is a real pro and while very much in charge has a good sense of humor and is respected by all of us on the docks.
Many of the volunteers are high schoolers who are doing this volunteer work to satisfy requirement for credits for community service in order to graduate.
I was stiff and sore by the end of my day on Saturday which was cloudy and cooler - this was actually preferred by the paddlers.
As some of you may know I live just a couple of blocks from False Creek - now that the days are getting longer and the nights are getting shorter or to get relief from the boredom of watching the same reruns on my 200 + channel digital universe and high powered ISP computers I often head down to the water to watch the views and there is always lots of boats moving through the peaceful waters of False Creek.
Whether it is one of the little ferries transporting people to and from Granville Island, a commercial operator providing a harbour cruise to visitors or office workers seeking to let there hair hang down for a few hours, a kayaker out for a little exercise or some of the dragon boats practicing for a regatta or the big race this past weekend it is always a fun place to watch the action.
I often meet people visiting our city - spent some time with a couple from Germany who were wrapping up a long tour of the province or another couple who will be sailing on an Alaskan cruise where I was able to give them some tips as there are first time cruisers.
These images are taken with the Blackberry so they aren't the greatest plus with the sun getting ready to set or playing hide and seek with some of the many clouds that we have been experiencing recently it didn't provide a great backdrop for photography.
Cheers and hope you enjoy!