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A charity bike ride has changed my life :)

Archive for the tag “Flat Tire”

Weekly Group Ride with Comor Sports to Iona Beach

It had been a looonnng time since my last Comor Sports group ride. So when I saw that they were heading to Iona beach a few weeks ago, I jumped at the chance to join them again and brought my friend Oliver along with me. The evening was spectacular – nice and sunny, not too hot (although my camera & phone were sweat drenched after the ride – so gross!), and a good-sized friendly group.

Blair giving us an update on the evening’s group ride plan.

Blair gave us a run-through of where we were heading, and told us about the special surprise he had in store for us that eve. There were prizes to be won via some races. Sort of like the cash primes I saw professional cyclists race for in the Tour de Delta, Gastown GranPrix, etc. Pretty neat! I didn’t think… ahem I knew I wouldn’t be able to compete though because I am not a super fast cyclist. But still – I thought it was a great idea!

I had been down to Iona Beach once before, way back in May, and was half expecting us to take the same route my friends and I always take when we cycle to Richmond…. but the route was slightly different. We cycled all the way down the Cypress bike route and crossed the bridge used by cars heading towards the Airport – can’t recall what it is called right now.

Once we reached the flat, long stretch of road leading to the beach we REALLY started to pick up the speed. I ended up in a group towards the back and we worked on drafting super close to one another in order to close the gap between us and the group ahead of us. Was really fun but really tough. I mean really tough! haha I had never really cycled at a consistent fast pace with other riders.

I ended up falling behind towards the last little bit and I drafted behind the SUV that Blair was driving. It was pretty funny really…  and I joked about it when I reached the pack who were inhaling their energy gels and bars.

You would think this is pretty daft – but others do it all the time! Such as…

Crazy! I doubt I would ever draft behind such a large truck. A sudden brake, and you’d end up as a pancake on the back of the truck! But behind an open-back SUV where I can also chat with the driver? Why not?

Heading back to Vancouver, I was offered the opportunity to jump in the vehicle if I was feeling too tired… but I wasn’t really suffering that bad. I am sure my face looked like I was about to die BUT I just needed to catch my breath and go at a slightly slower pace.

So John kept me company most of the way back and we had a good chat about cycling, bike fittings, and other random stuff. I don’t have a map of the exact route we took back – but roughly it was Eastward bound on SW Marine Drive, up Camosen Street, through Pacific Spirit Regional Park, through Point Grey, including the beautiful Bellevue & Belmont intersection, and then Westward bound through Kitsilano towards the bike shop on 4th and Burrard.

Cycling through the Regional Park and via the Bellevue & Belmont crossroads was definitely a highlight for me. I had never been in that park before or seen the gorgeous view from Bellevue & Belmont, and I wished I had a camera strapped to my bike or helmut at that moment. The view of English Bay, the tankers and the city at dusk was just magnificent.

Somewhere in Kits I realized I had a flat tire – thankfully this happened towards the end of the ride!! So I rode into the Comor Sports shop for a quick repair job. Turns out a tiny yet razor sharp pin prick was stuck in my tire – good thing Blair spotted that one!

Blair changing my tire after a flat.

After that, we joined the group  at Ceili’s Irish Pub for some beers & burgers, and I discovered that I had won a prize for the night! Whhhaaat??? I won a gorgeous Marin Bikes hoodie – the “Red Lantern” prize for keeping the most consistent speed. 🙂 Woo hoo!! I was really touched!

I really enjoyed chatting with the other riders as we ate and the place had an open mic session going on with really nice blues music – something you don’t hear too often in Vancouver!

At Ceili’s – the Comor Sports Group Ride table.

My yummy burger, salad (so healthy!) and beer! A fine treat after a good ride!

My “Red Lantern” Prize!!

BIG THANKS to John for keeping me company as we rode back into Vancouver and to Blair for helping me draft behind the van and for changing my tire!

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Bike Repair Weekend

So this past weekend was meant to be an epic cycling weekend for me. Sadly my bike was riddled with problems and my Sunday-Funday plans were deflated by a SECOND flat tire in less than 24 hours!!

I made the best of the situation of course – I took my bike to Bikes For All so they can fix my tire, have a look at my crazy gears, and fit my bike with my BRAND NEW SPD pedals and fit the cleats on my BRAND NEW clipless cyclings shoes!!!

Am very excited but also slightly (nah…. VERY) worried about the future falls I am going to encounter as I get used to cycling with clipless pedals!

Am glad I got at least ONE ride in this weekend! See below!

Saturday April 21st: 

So this is the route I mapped out for Cody and I… we followed it approximately… as we had multiple pit stops along the way! In total it was a 40km ride.

As you can see, I used the awesome UBC Cycling Route  mapper I mentioned in an earlier post and it suggested we take the Second Narrows Bridge (also known as the Iron Workers Memorial Bridge) that connects Burnaby to North Vancouver.

 

We met at the Waterfront Station downtown, and I asked Cody to do our FIRST pitstop at the Convention Centre to see the Comic Book/ Cartoons/ Video Game fans lining up outside for FAN EXPO.

PIT STOP #1. I got my money shot with Darth Vader!! I love Star Wars!

Then… Cody’s new shoes started to bother him, so after his bike repair shop couldn’t help him get them fixed…. we made a quick stop at his place so he could put on his old pair. PIT STOP #2.

It was really weird throwing our bikes on his front lawn… I haven’t done that since 1992. 20 years ago!!

We continued onwards to the bridge – which was SUPER CONFUSING to figure out how to get on BTW and is the SCARIEST bridge EVER to cross on.

The sidewalk is so narrow and you have two metal bars next to your face the entire way…. that are less than a meter away from smacking you in the mouth should your bike veer off by a mere 5cm.

Somehow….. I made it out alive and I still have all my teeth… but Axe wasn’t so lucky! He got a flat in the back wheel. Wah wahhh!

PIT STOP #3. We spotted a drive-thru Timmy’s in the distance and decided we’d get some change from them (all I had was notes) for a bus fare and bus it into North Van to find a bike shop.

Of course I couldn’t resist eating something at that point and I am glad I did, because another customer overheard me saying I had a flat and mentioned that there was a bike shop only 100 feet away from us!!

Lucky Day!! 🙂

PIT STOP #4. The guy at the North Vancouver Sport Swap store was very nice and he changed the tubes on both my wheels.

We finally made it to Deep Cove and Cody took his VERY FIRST bite into a honey doughnut! Yummy!! PIT STOP #5 – but this was a planned one for once! haha

As we were cycling into Vancouver I saw this sign and wanted a picture with it…. it says that Vancouver is a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone.

As we were nearing Cody’s place, my brake started to make funny noises, so Cody fixed it on his front lawn (PIT STOP #6), and I then cycled back home.

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