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2009-08-29 - 9:58 a.m.

...hi. remember me? ....bicycling and other news....

We have another day of perfect weather out here in Funcouver. Sun, sunny sun, and skin comforting temperatures. It's wonderful.

A LOT is going on in the teranika household these days.

To start off, I've cycled 'to work' every other day this week. It's been pretty good. It adds an hour and 20 minutes of cycling to my day, but only an extra 10 minutes to my commute. Pretty darned convenient.

But "to work" remains in quotes because I do the lazy version of it, in that I draw the line at cycling up the mountain before trying to work. I think it would be rather counterproductive for me to arrive at work just before having a massive coronary. So I park at a convenient bike stand and take the bus up.

And so in the past few days I've had the chance to observe Vancouver bike culture in action.

The most noticeable point: GEAR. It seems that half of the fun of cycling out here is the chance to buy really high-tech gear. I see it all over these guys as they go racing past me (and they all go RACING past me), in my ratty old shorts on my 10-year-old bike. (My helmet is new. No arguing with points of safety). The interesting thing about the Central Valley "Not-Very" Greenway (my route "to work") is that gear is strewn along the path. So far I've seen gloves, handle protectors, and fancy schmancy blinking tail lights. I might be able to equip myself entirely using the castoffs!

I remember the trips to work in Jena, Germany - I don't ever remember seeing Spandex Man on the route to work. (Which mind you, was kind of disappointing.. I kind of like the view of Spandex Man in those cute little tights as he zips past me...). But the main distinction is that cycling is mostly a sport here; in Germany, it was a form of transportation.

The next point I've noticed is that ALL of these people are fit. I mean REALLY fit. And Young (yes with a capital Y). They ALL zip past me. They FLY past me. It's a rather homogeneous crowd. One lovely thing in Germany was to see the 68-year-old grandma bicycling to the store for groceries. I really liked that. (Of course, in some cases that 68-year-old grandma was ALSO fitter than I am, but she wasn't wrapped in spandex.). But you just don't see that here.

Now I'm not proud. I'll just chug along at my poky little pace, content in the fact that I'm moving forward, and that I'm going to get there. But you know, I still felt a teeny tiny bit of pride and elation when I actually PASSED a guy yesterday....until I looked over and saw that he was wearing a heart monitor. sigh.

OK. I've gone on more than I wanted about cycling, so my news updates will be short:

1. Our au pair arrives today! K is busily rearranging things so that he has some office space in the solarium. It's a little bit tight in here...but it's only two weeks before we move into the new place.

2. I caught a weird and awful cold that gave me a fever of 103 last night! It broke some time in the night, and now I'm stuck here with an awful sore throat.

3. The university's mortgage broker still sucks majorly. I cannot begin to list the incidents of incompetence here, because it will make me too angry. Short story is that his incompetence may have cost us multiple thousands of dollars. I have no words. Yes I do. I have lots of words. I'm just not going to put them down here.

4. We are going to Victoria next week - slipping the trip in just before the start of the school year. I have to go look at some samples archived at the Royal Museum, and so we are taking the whole family as a kind of mini-holiday, including au pair. And so trips all of a sudden become twice as expensive...But what the heck, it's her first week in Canada, she should see the sights.

That's all for today. I'm off to take another life-giving tylenol before we head off to look at buying more new STUFF. ugh.

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