Tuesday, March 8, 2016

My Father's Name

My father's full name was Willard Ballentine Reid. That's according to copies of his birth and marriage certificates, and his own CV, written in the mid-sixties when we lived in Winnipeg.

However, his report cards from school have "Ballantyne" as his middle name. I imagine some school administrator spelled my dad's middle name the way the school administrator wanted to, and it never got changed.

All my life I thought he spelled his middle name with a "y", and was blissfully unaware that there might even be the possibility that it was an "e" after the "l"s, and not an "a".

Curious how you can have so much confusion about things like this in a family.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Lies Your City Tells You

Vancouver prides itself on being a green city. They promise to compost your leaves in the fall, so you don't just throw them on the street.

Not only do leaves in the street make a slippery mess for pedestrians and cyclists, but they also block the storm sewers, leading to flooding during the rain storms we get in November and December.

The City of Vancouver promises unlimited leaf collection every week during the Fall.

Like a good citizen, I pick up my leaves and put them in the appropriate containers.

Never have they picked up my leaves, without me calling, or e-mailing, or e-mailing a city councillor. They always give some lame excuse that they didn't get to my street that week because they were busy. Well, if you're that busy, hire more staff. Or stop telling people you pick up the leaves every week.

During the last municipal election campaign a few months back, I tweeted that I wasn't voting Vision (the party in power) because they couldn't even organize leaf pick-up. Someone actually tweeted back that it wasn't the councillor's job to make sure the City met its commitments.

Maybe that's the real problem. Our politicians have completely dropped the pretence that the City should exist to serve its residents. Am I too naive to believe that that's what a city government is for?

Sunday, December 28, 2014

3 Degrees No Wind

3 degrees and no wind. Cloudy, but only a few drops of rain here and there. A long-sleeve poly undershirt, my heavy cycling jersey, my cycling jacket, long pants, booties (to keep the wind out), a headband, and a helmet cover. I was warm enough while riding, and got really warm when stopped. But when I was fiddling with some adjustments outside after I got home, I got a bit chilled.

The new Castelli Chiro 3 gloves worked great. I may have finally found the right glove for Vancouver. Thanks, Angela, for the great Christmas present.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

3G 2014

The Grunt, Grind and Guzzle, 2014 edition, was tonight. The stats:

The Grunt on bike from Lonsdale Quay (sea level) to the bottom of the Grouse Grind: 23:40 (50 seconds faster than last year). The Grind (the Grind) to the top of Grouse: 43:32 (50 seconds slower than last year). A sad last place in the Guzzle, drinking a beer as quickly as possible.

Thanks to Dale the world's greatest race master, and all the other contestants that made it such a fun event.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Grunt, Grind and Guzzle

This year's Grunt, Grind and Guzzle, aka the 3G Triathlon, was tonight. My stats:

Bike (rolling time measured by my cycle computer): 24:34
Grouse Grind: 42:40. This year, I almost managed to stick to Sharon "Grinder" Yuen, my pace bunny, all the way up.
Guzzle (down a pint of beer): Third amongst the participants of all three events. One down from last year, since Enzo managed to avoid a DNF this year by getting the beer down his throat, instead of on his lap.

That's a personal best in the first two events. It helps that I'm hauling 3 fewer kilos up the hills this year.

As always, a great event organized by Dale and Sharon. I'm looking forward to next year already.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Triathlon 2012

Well, my winning strategy didn't work this year. A number of brave friends did all three events. I was the two time defending champ on the strength of being the only person to enter all three events in each of the years.

Enzo crushed us all on the bike. I was second at 27:50 (2:30 slower than last year). Willie kicked everyone's butt, including Sharon "Grinder" Yuen's, on the Grind. I did a PB on the Grind at 44:10 to finish second among those of us who did all three events. I was also second in the Guzzle event, overcoming a brain freeze to finish behind Willie.

Congratulations to Willie the overall champ. Enzo was right up there with him, but a mishap with the beer put him out of contention at the last minute.

A huge thanks to Dale for organizing and continuing the tradition, and to Vaibhav and Larry Arnett who rounded out those who competed in all three events. Also thanks to all the others who participated in one or more events. It was great to see the ICBC crowd again.

The new name for the event is the Grunt, Grind and Guzzle.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Ryder's Riding into History

Ryder Hesjedal is well placed to be the first Canadian to win a grand (three-week) cycling tour. With two days to go in the Giro d'Italia, he's in second place, 17 seconds behind the leader, Joaquim Rodríguez. Hesjedal actually finished 13 seconds ahead of Rodríguez in today's stage, which was a high mountain stage (they basically climbed Mt. Seymour, or worse, four times today over 196 kilometres). Tomorrow they have fewer climbs, but the finish is a 2,000 metre climb, double Mt. Seymour, and steeper.

Sunday's final stage is a time trial, and most observers say Hesjedal is a far better time trialler than the other leading contenders for victory. If today wasn't a fluke, and he has the legs to stay with Rodríguez tomorrow (Saturday) up the monster climb to the finish, all he has to do is stay on his bike on Sunday and he'll easily make up those 17 seconds, and make history in the process.

Go, Ryder, go. Even if you don't care about bicycle racing, now's a great chance to get on the bandwagon and cheer on a Canadian. And for those of us from Saskatchewan, how can we not cheer for a Ryder? (Groan.)