The first entry! What an adventure up until now.
My lovely mother dropped me off at the airport at 5am on July 15th. She asked me “Are you excited?” to which I groggily replied “I won’t be excited until I know I’m ready to go, when I get on that bike in Vancouver.”
Unfortunately when I got to Vancouver International I had the brilliant surprise of finding my bike destroyed. Handle bars, forks, tires and chain all broken and bent! With the help of two police officers and the luggage manager I was packed into the back of a cab and on my way to the closest bike shop.
I was quoted two days to repair the bike, which was a big wrench in my spokes, it really grinned my gears, if you know what i mean. But all of the employees at West Point Cycles were a great help and put my bike at the top of their list! After dropping off my “bike” I headed to a hostel located in the historic Chinatown of Vancouver. I lugged my luggage up the steep flight of stairs and dropped my gear in my room followed by opening my laptop to get some compensation! After talking to a few employees at the airport and West Jet I got just that, compensation for my travel time in cabs and for the hotels I would be staying for the next two days waiting for the bike. Relief! Now I can enjoy Vancouver! Only after I buy a new pair of sandals to walk around in, oh yea, did I mention the sandals I had in my bikes box were missing!! So there I was, rattled by the ordeal, relieved by the compensation and on the hunt for sandals! What an opportunity for me to ask a couple local girls where to find the best and cheapest pair! One lady misled me drastically and ended up turning in a circle so I had to ask another lady. I saw her, she was tall and fit and wearing a beautiful pink dress, I thought “she’s the one, she will tell me where my sandals are.” As we were walking towards each other I caught a scent of sweet cherries, I raised my hand to get her attention, she smiled. We finally were close enough to talk and with a masculine voice she said “whats up?” That is when I noticed her 5 o’clock shadow and large adams apple! Turns out she was not a she however, she/he did point me in the right direction to get some sandals! The next lady I talked to was my cousin, Danielle. I had no idea she lived here with her boyfriend Greg, we’re close cousins. We met up and I blurted out my plans for the trip and she politely listened while we drank beer..and more beer. Eventually Greg joined us after he had finished work, then a few friends, it was turning into an evening. On the patio was a large group of folk singing and dancing and laughing the night away. They were also dressed up in strange English clothing, so I had to ask what they were up to. Turns out they are an awesome bunch! They dress in old english style clothing and sing and dance and tell tales through song! We joined them for a tune as we got tuned , they were The Vancouver Morris Men!(You’ll find a pic of us with them underneath my ranting) Lets call it night.
I won’t go into too much detail on today, or more so I’ll try not to.
A new day, a new hotel. Went to a greasy spoon with my laptop and found a hotel in the downtown area of Vancouver. Packed my bags and called a cab, on my way West Point Cycles called me to let me know my bike was ready! I couldn’t believe it, once they heard my story they went out of their way and got the top mechanic into the shop to fix up the bike! Thank you guys so much for all of your help! I spent the day picking up my bike and riding it around Vancouver. Cycled around Stanley Park during sunset, absolutely stunning. Thats how I’ll be starting my ride tomorrow, sunrise on the beach and dipping my bike into the water! Posted a few pics below.
Had a beer and some pierogies for dinner, fell asleep watching Life of Pi.
Lets call it a day.
Woke up to the Sinatra Jack Daniels I was sipping last night spilt all over my laptop and covers. No big deal, the laptop was fine but the maid is going to think I pissed myself. Had breakfast and met a nice couple from Texas, Luke and (forgive me your accent threw me off) Coraline. Thanks for the best wishes on my journey and enjoy your cruise!
I booked a new hotel, closer to Stanley Park, packed my bike fully loaded for the first time since I got here and took off a pedal’n! It took me a whole 15 minutes to get where I was going, phew, that one hill…what am I doing again? After checking in I purchased a ton of food that should last me a week, overkill but they don’t sell packages in the sizes I needed. From there I ventured off the island to pick up a new fuel canister for my cooking stove.
(they made me chuck my other one at the airport)
On my way back to the hotel I heard a phone ringing, I looked around and couldn’t see anyone but still I heard the ringing (ringing phones concern me). I looked into a parking lot and saw it there, black and glistening, lost in the sun. I rode over to answer but it had stopped. There was a passcode so I couldn’t access it, nonetheless I pocketed it and waited for it to ring again. When it did I was far from where I found it, on the line was a women looking for her friend, calling from a hospital. I asked her where I could find the man she was looking for, she said he was homeless. With approximate coordinates of his whereabouts I set out on a mission to find this man. In all honesty it took me about 20 minutes to find him, his name was Wayne. I pulled up to a group of homeless people in an ally and shouted out, “Does anybody know Wayne?” The mixed grumble of responses was overwhelming, but one man stumbled forward and said he was Wayne. Before I could say anything he asked if I had his phone, strange, although I must have looked like a courier on my bike. Gave him the phone and headed back to my hotel.
After I got back to my room I napped, true story. Woke up and started writing my blog. Some people who know me will testify that I NEVER procrastinate…So after writing my first day I left my room to go get some food. I ended up at a great bar on the coast and watched the sun set over the mountains while I ate some wings and had a brew. I met a nice gentlemen name Max and his friend who’s name is escaping me. I gave them my card and hopefully they are reading this right now. Don’t forget to donate an obscene amount of money to the WWF! And max, I thought you were going to buy me a beer!
And now we are here, like that moment in Spaceballs. We are here, in the now and missed then. Lets see what the morning brings.