Thursday, January 8, 2009

Back in the Saddle

The rain finally did its work enough for me to make it over the Lions Gate Bridge (and the Burrard) yesterday on my bike.  It was dull in the afternoon as I headed home, but I took a couple of pictures from the bridge, just because it felt so good.  Looking way down, I saw these birds.  They're ducks, I think, but the coloring seems a bit different.  Could they be strange looking seagulls?
They swam, almost in formation, and then approached these cormorants on my favorite rock.
The commute was relatively easy, but I had to push my bike through some crazy snow on the side streets first.  I took this picture later in the evening, from Bill's truck.
The main streets and bridges were mostly clear.  I had to watch coming off the bridges though.  This met me as I came off the Lions Gate on my way home in the afternoon.
Looking towards Vancouver after crossing the bridge, just a small section had to be walked.
Occasionally, there were strange piles of dirty snow/debris to work around.
In the morning, I had just one incident to make the commute memorable.  A pothole at the SW corner of Broadway and MacDonald caught me by surprise.  I flew off the bike, landing mostly on my left knee and left elbow.  My helmut cover came off, and my back light, attached to the cover, came apart.  Fortunately, aside from a hole in my rain pants and one in my jacket, and a little swelling/scrape, all was well.  A few curse words, a relieved check to see my bike and I were all in one piece, and we continued on our way.  This picture does not do the depth of that hole justice.  Bill sees a fish in the photo.  Do you see it?  There's an eye and a mouth and once he pointed it out to me, it became as clear as could be.  The rectangular thing (soggy bus transfer?) doesn't fit, though.
An almost 62-year-old knee is not pretty at the best of times.  Add a little swelling and color, and it becomes decidedly gross.  Anyhow, here it is.  This morning, it feels pretty good.  I'm thankful it wasn't worse.
If any cyclists read this blog, and are riding this morning, all I can say is, "Watch out for pot holes!"


  1. Glad you're OK, BJC. I fractured both of my thumbs going into a pothole at UBC ass-over-tea-kettle. I was just biking along and chatting with a friend who had come up behind me when WHAM. Hope that knee unswells soon. Did you ride today as well?

  2. wow you actually cycled the bridge eh? I'm so happy to see that the sidewalks are clear (though the offramps look terrible). I cycled in today - it actually felt strange to be back up on 2 wheels again but wow did it ever feel good... I love my bike commute!

  3. BOTH thumbs! Oh, my! That really sounds horrible, dp. It must have been a tough six weeks. Having one hand out of commission last year just about drove me around the bend. Yes, I did ride yesterday. I paid a lot closer attention to the road. No problems, except for wind over the Lions Gate.

    Mali, we do love our commutes, don't we:) Did you cycle over the Lions Gate last night? It was crazy! I had to walk.

  4. Glad to hear you survived the fall, Carol - I can't imagine cycling in Vancouver in the BEST of road conditions, let alone right now. Not for the faint of heart.
    I definitely see PotHole Fish - and it has a smirk on its face. Ah well, that smirk will be wiped away when the road crew gets around to fixing the potholes - no doubt some time before 2010.

    Safe cycling.

  5. It was a shock. The only other time I had ever fallen was on black ice. I just had no clue what hit me. And yest two casts and later splints was cumbersome and made it challenging to do my computer job.

    Both fractures were in exactly the same place, almost at the wrist joint. The theory is that the sudden jerking down of the handlebar against my thumbs was the culprit, not the subsequent fall. I almost always ride with my thumbs on top of the bars and I had to switch from my beloved rapid-fire shifters to grip shift.

    It was a long time ago now -- fall of 2001. Both thumbs hurt most of the time and they don't work as well as they used to. Small complaints in the scheme of things, but I suspect I will be in for some serious arthritis as I get older.

    Funny how one second in time can change everything.

  6. Jean, now I see that smirk too! I still pass that pothole each morning, and check out the fish with the smirk as I go. Soon, I will take 8th, the bike route, as the snow seems to have mostly melted. Not for the faint of heart, caring for all the animals in your menagerie and working a full time job as well, and all far from the conveniences of the city. Now that is real courage!

    dp, that's really unfortunate that you still have pain in those thumbs. I hurt my right one slightly in that fall, but it is better now. I can see how it would have happened. Fortunately, my broken wrist from last year is as good as new. No pain and I can do everything I had been able to do before the fall. I take a supplement called Sierrasil - it's something of a miracle worker, in my opinion, for arthritis-type conditions. I had tried all the other well-known ones with no improvement. You may want to consider giving it a try. It's worth a google, I think. It's also been used for dogs, with great success.