Sunday, January 29, 2006

Last Week's Winter Wonderland

Freezing Couple
Freezing Couple,
originally uploaded by pedalmaniac.
I mentioned earlier that we went skiing on Sunday mornings.
Here is last weeks photo.
It looks cold.
We're getting ready to go this morning.
Maybe we shouldn't -- it looks cold.
Oh well here we go.

I also have posted some photos of A. and my hike up Boundary and down Crippler

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Eadweard Muybridge; Studies in Motion

Last night we went to a play. This is remarkable for a couple of reasons. First we haven't been to a play in a while. Second we went to something that I had a pretty good grasp of the subject matter.

Eadweard Muybridge; Studies in Motion was on at UBC. It was mesmerizing. The stage production was incredible. The story was interesting and the subject matter -- for me anyway-- was relevant.

Eadweard Muybridge is one of the forefathers of biomechanics. Biomechanics has been my job, and my interest for quite a while now. Muybridge won a bet with Stanford that a horses hooves were in fact off the ground as a horse ran. He developed a series of cameras to be triggered as a horse ran past, and thus had photographic evidence of this. He then went on to "study" hundreds of animal and human behaviours using this photographic technique.

What made the play tolerable, or maybe even interesting, to those non-science types, was the fact that Muybridge was a bit of an eccentric and had a dark life.

The play's staging was absolutely fantastic. The actors were in positions in parts of the play where they actually represented the stop time action of the camera -- all in different positions. The sound track was haunting and wonderful.

If this production is picked up in your city you have to go. It is great. And now I'm even a bit fired up about work again.

Here are some links to Eadweard Muybrigde's work:
Temple University
National Museum of Natural History

And of course the festival that Studies in Motion was a part of, Push

Friday, January 27, 2006

A few great days

Friday we had some great weather here in Vancouver, and it sure was needed. As I have said before we have had much too much rain this winter on the wet coast. It seems though that the days that are less wet or, can I say it, "just overcast", are definitely a welcome relief.

Having said that, Sunday was not very nice. Sunday was a full day though. Skate skiing in the morning and mountain biking in the afternoon. A true West Coast duathalon. Sunday mornings we have the kids in gravity fed ski lessons (downhill) and we go skate skiing just down the road at Hollyburn. It was snowing really hard, A. had fun in his lessons but T. seemed a bit underwhelmed with the whole thing. In fact when we went to pick her up at the end of the lesson she was chasing snow flakes without her skis. At least she was having fun.

The skate skiing was great. It is nice having a little "couple time" without the kids, granted it is though to talk when your trying to keep your heart from jumping out your mouth. After picking up the kids we had hot chocolate and changed into dry clothes and all shared our favourite parts of the morning -- it was great.

After a quick change into dry clothes (futile I know) I met the boys for a mountain bike ride up Fromme. Now on Friday the snow line was essentially the end of the pavement on Mountain Highway and by the 5th switch back there was about 6 cm of snow. Well what a difference a couple of days make, and a whole bunch of rain. Sunday we rode all the way to the 5th with NO SNOW. But OMG it was wet. We rode the lower part of seventh secret. It was in good shape although a little wet, surprise, surprise.

On Monday the sun came out!! I decided to leave work a little early and go for a ride. I needed to be home to take care of A. as T. had a thing at school. I took the long way home and did a lap of Stanley Park, did I mention, IN THE SUN. What a change it is to ride with the sun warming your back. I made it home in just over an hour after riding 30 K. A.was ready to do something so we went for a hike up some of the mountain bike trails near the house. We walked up lower Crippler and then across to lower Boundary and down. A. hiked up all the stunts and pretended he was riding his bike -- it's going to happen all too soon. He was particularly impressed with the long bridges and teeter totters.

There is something to be said for a little bit of sun. Monday was glorious and we were all in good spirits. We're back in the rain again and are all going all little stir crazy.

More sun please

pedalmaniac in pictures

This is kind of cool. I got the idea from Gwadzilla.

Click on the image to make your own name in images from Flickr

Sunday, January 22, 2006

different bikes

There's a new shop in town, different bikes

Jeff the manager has been around for a while. In fact I was just thinking about the bikes that I have bought since moving to Vancouver. All have been from Jeff.

In the early days when Jeff was with Cove Bikes
I got my Hummer from him in 1997
My commuter, a Kona Dr. Dew, in 2000
My wife's hard tail, a Kona Caldera, in 2000
Our Trail-a-bike once we had kids in 2002

A few years past -- I wasn't mountain biking -- I was rearing children.
We towed them around in our Chariot --what a great device.

Recently, I have found time to once again mountain bike. I found out that Jeff had move to Simon's Bike Shop, so I looked him up.
Now I have a Specialized Enduro
My son got lucky too -- guilt is a many splendored thing -- and is the proud owner of a hotrocks

Now Jeff has his own place.
Good luck Jeff.
It's all about customer service.

Vancouver Triple Crown

27 straight days of rain! And we didn't even get the record, it was 28. We had one day of reprieve and then straight back at it. But Friday, another reprieve day.
It started the same as most days, I got on my bike and rode to work. One difference though -- I was dry. I saw that the day,although not sunny, shouldn't be one wasted inside. I left work a bit early and rode home.
I swapped my commuter for my mountain bike and then carried on up the mountain. When I got to the end of the houses and stated in on the fire road I noticed that the rain that had been falling recently was quickly turning into snow. No matter I was out and it was beautiful. 20 minutes into my ride and another 50 m higher there was more snow until about half an hour in and at the top of the Shore's oldest trails I decided that there would be no more ascending. I dropped in and had 15 minutes of fun followed by some cross country riding and then home.

It's the third part of the triple crown that really made me thrilled. I had a quick shower and decided to pick up the kids from daycare. I swapped bikes again in favour of my commuter and then attached the Trail-a-bike for my daughter and then strapped my son's bike to the trail-a-bike. It looked sort of Mad Max like, but none the less did the trick. A couple of km downhill to the daycare. The kids were thrilled to see me. All their friends and teachers watched in awe as we all set out from the daycare back up the hill to home. It was a long way, but the kids were into it. We had to stop for a snack, but we all sat by the edge of a neighbourhood street and ate, talked met other families out walking, making the most of the rain's reprieve.

We got home, everyone was in a great mood, so to finish the day off perfectly we went for the kid's favourite dinner, Sushi.

That's why we live here, I had almost forgotten