Well everyone I have a big announcement, I’ve fallen in love! I know, I know life is crazy! Often we just don’t see love coming, and most times we fall in love with animate objects, not this time! After my first pedal I knew this was the only bike for me. So I introduce you to my purple Myiata aptly named The Enterprise, isn’t it beautiful! (that’s right Tom)
I have been trying to find a Mityata frame since my good friend Anthony encouraged me to get one. And so after hours of scouring Craiglists I managed to connect with a fellow named Sunny who sold me this beauty. I was sad to let my old Leader frame go but it quickly became apparent I needed a much more stable touring frame.
Once I had the frame I needed to access a shop in order to swap all the parts onto it. Fortunately life keeps working out and I met up with a very cool cat named Desmond, who is a resident of Commercial drive and does pretty much exactly what I do. So we hung out in his bike workshop for two days of camaraderie and bike work. The end result is an amazing touring bike that is fast and stable. Desmond was even kind enough to help me get better tires and wheels so I am better equipped then ever, thanks again Des!
My stay in Vancouver was an absolute delight, I have to give a big thanks to Doug and Lindsey who hosted me for almost an entire week. They let me come and go as I pleased which is a travellers dream. Doug runs the Merchant’s Oyster bar on Commercial, and if you are on the drive it is an awesome stop for food and has an amazing selection of top notch drinks. Doug is literally the best mixoligist I’ve ever met. His partner Lindsey is a friend of my from Williams Lake who over the last 5 years has really come into her own. You don’t often see people as talented and motivated as Linz, currently she is pushing forward with her passion in the film industry. She has a project on the go right now and I wish her and the rest of the crew best of luck with it. I look forward to getting to see the finish project. Thanks so much Doug and Linz! Also I have to thank their roomates Devon and Trent who are off on an amazing excursion in East Asia and were kind enough to let me use their room while they were gone, THANKS GUYS! Check out their blog and drool, http://dmarionwebster.tumblr.com/
To make sure I was over budget I figured I would go out to another dance night In Vancouver where there were a few interesting experiences. While we were waiting to get inside these 3 young Sikh guys strolled up all of them dressed identically. They were friendly enough fellows, but it just didn’t seem like we were all on the same wave length. I nick named them the 3 Musketeers. Vancouver has the weird dichotomy of crippling poverty and grotesque wealth. I often took breaks from dancing to leave the venue and walk around the block and visit people. There were a number of street people sleeping and battling to stay afloat, one comment from a homeless fellow stuck with me, he was reference the venue I was at “the people that go in there, they don’t come out the same”. Weird stuff :S. So the 3 Musketeers run into me and say “hey man we checked out a few other clubs and you should come with us to this other one, it’s way better”, and I realized each of these clubs is 30$+ for cover. I asked them if they paid cover at all the places and sure enough they had. So here is 3 guys spending hundreds of dollars on nothing, while people lie starving and cold in the street, this is the picture that comes into mind for me.
On a positive note while I was outside visiting people this stocky handsome fellow comes strolling towards me and I recognize him and all of a sudden I yell “Brady?!” and he yells “Dion?!”. And out of a blast from the past there is my friend Brady who has been working doing the visuals for electronic events. He has done really well for himself and it’s awesome to see friends happy, healthy and following their passions, definitely one highlight of the night.
The other person I met was the polar opposite of me. I am calling him agent smith. He was a door bouncer and had the I am angry tough guy look, which bouncers often portray. So I start talking to him and ask him what other stuff he does. He told me he works as a “Loss Prevention Officer” for companies. Meaning he loves to tackle shop lifters, I try not to be judgemental these days, but the way he described it I could see him tackling Tiny Tim for stealing a muffin to try and survive. My disdain for the gentlemen was capped off when a poor fellow had clearly taken too many drugs and drank too much he was falling down in the streets. He obviously needed help. He had this ghastly look of sickness on him. I tried to go get the poor guy some water and Agent Smith wouldn’t let me. He literally refused to let me go inside to get another human being water. Something about the guy just made me feel like he was doing the exact opposite of what I am trying to do.
Fortunately the night ended with an amazing walk back to Sean’s we even passed the BC Supreme Court where a number of years ago I wore flip flops into a high profile mafia kidnapping trial. It was a hilarious and terrifying experience. Good times, good times…
Though Van is gorgeous it was time to say goodbye, so I spent the morning with my brother and friends and said a heartfelt goodbye.
I biked to Abbotsford and stayed with Alyssa and John, for a quick pit stop. After a good nights rest I headed to hope where I made amazing time averaging 26.6 km/h and making it in 4 hours. I even managed to catch the Montreal game. I found this amazing place to camp just outside of Hope in a secluded glen with a river running right beside me it was my first night camping and couldn’t have been better.
In the morning I got up at 8, and realized I didn’t have any fruit. Dried fish and granola are great but I needed some fruit or veg. I took my time packing up and hit the road at 9, just ahead of me was another biker, who waited for me and when I caught up, we started visiting and lo and behold he had an extra apple his name was Ian and he was also biking across Canada. Ian and I became best buddies and helped each other climb the 4400 meter summit. Again when you are travelling you don’t have time for formalities so Ian and I pretty much accepted that we were best buddies and had an amazing 24 hours hanging out. The whole time we were biking up the mountain we encouraged each other, we knew there was a cafe at the top and we would say “oh that coffee is going to be good, I might even get a cookie!”. So fuelled by the encouragement of my new best buddie Ian, we grinded to the summit in a 6 hour exhausting but rewarding climb. Here is Worf, Ian and I at the top!
Things got even better when we arrived at the amazing Manning Resort, it had free coffee! Ian and I’s minds were blown and we drank coffee to our hearts content. We met some other bikers who were staying at the hostel for 40$ which was nice and had a pool but we decided it was a little pricey so we would rough it and camp. One of the local employees Matt overheard what we were up to and invited us to use his shower and said we could crash with him as long as we paid 5$ and registered at the front desk. And so I got to stay in a village with 40 young people who work as the staff, which culminated in a camp-fire sing along at the end of the night.
To make things work out just perfectly there is a dump down the road that has a shit load of bikes for 5$ a piece. A number of staff need bikes so I am going with one of the maintenance guys for a dump run and to pick up bikes for the staff that need them. All the while I get to do free/exchange bike labour which was a big goal in my trip, my how life works out well.
I bided farewell to Ian who headed further on to Princeton, I will spend a day or two helping out here in Manning then head on my way.
Thanks so much for reading,