Sunday, October 15, 2006

Bike Polo!

BIKE POLO. If you don't know, its pretty much the greatest game ever. Thrills, chills, and oh yes spills (Rob Rao yesterday earned the title for gnarliest polo injury yet - hope your hand's okay Rob!)

Come out and play with us.

All you need is a bike (don't bring your prettiest one - the game can be a bit rough on the bikes)

We've got mallets & all other necessary gear.

To find out more, visit the Eastvan bike polo website:

OR EVEN BETTER, join the eastvan bike polo email listserv! Joining is relatively easy (jump through 1, maybe 2 hoops) - send an email to this address:
We are desparately looking for outdoor covered areas of aproximately basketball or tenis court size. LET US KNOW IF YOU KNOW A GOOD SPOT!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

South Creek Cruise

The fine weather continues to stretch - and, no big surprise - Midnight Mass turnout has continued to hold at summer levels. Over 60 riders turned up for the third consecutive midnight mass of September. This is apparently a city of sleep-deprivation junkies (no complaints here).

Our ride last time took us on a meandering tour of False Creek's South side - here's a recap.

The usual roundup at Grandview Park - meetin' up and chillin' out with friends:

Then it was down first avenue towards science world - always a fine bomb. A nice long, steep run-in from first avenue to Clark, with a second bit of speed as you cross the bridge to terminal. Hot industrial scenery over the CN yards, and classic Vancouverness as you pace the skytrain tracks and approach Science World (or 'the golfball' as the portlanders called it) and bleed off your speed. Life doesn't get much better than this kids - pure, unmediated life.

After a brief stop near science world to deal with some mechanical difficulties (side note - we need to get better as a group of waiting for those who are falling behind the pack. We are meant to be one Mass afterall), it was on to 'the crosstown express' - the false creek passage along first avenue, under the cambie bridge, and onto Lamey's Mill Road feeding you into Grandville Island. Here we stopped to refresh yet again, make some new friends, listen to the two (count 'em, two) stereos that came along to provide our evening's soundtrack, and play some schoolyard games!

Midnight Jump Rope! (playtime after bedtime)

The Fixie Kids, as they are apt to do, turned the pause into an opportunity to show off thier skid skills...

At this point, however, we awoke the ire of some local residents (perhaps we should be a little more discreet about our chill out spots), and it was time to pack it up and roll on.. The farthest west we made it was Jericho beach where we hung until Nos Amis, Les Policiers arrived to give us the boot. (Apparently there was some climbing on top of the concession stand? And apparently people live inside and phoned the Pepper to complain - again, perhaps we need to work the discression angle a little harder; our greatest strenghths lie in our mobility and invisibility to the realworld).

From the beach we split up and headed homeward, some choosing to roll on to the old favorite, Seigel's Bagels. This time there were few enough of us that the poor counter guy (same guy, every thursday) was able to get our food out without risking pulling a ligament. Mmmmm, bagels.

Thats it for last ride.
The next mass is tomorrow - possibly the last clear day before the dreaded Vancouver Winter descends upon our fair city, transforming us all into amphibious creatures (Vancouverus Velocipeda Aquatica). Bring your lights & friends & wheels & thermoses full of hot refreshment - oh, and of course your secret knowledge of this fair city. See y'all there,

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Bike Bee

So I promised you all I'd blog Velomutation... and I will... but first I want to talk about something that is a little more time sensitive - the bicycle bee!

What is it?
The Bike Bee, scheduled for the weekend of OCTOBER 20,21,22 2006 will be a community building and peer learning event focused around... well, bicycles!

Bryce explains the root of the 'bike bee' name, and how it applies to what we'll be doing over the weekend:
The idea intended to be evoked refers to the importance of quilting bees in the past. As many of us know, women would get together & work on a quilt together.
Often the quilt would go to someone who needed it. New wives could be introduced to a group, and get to know the place they live. While quilting, any and all kinds of useful information would be passed back and forth, from solving a pesky family problem (many minds work better than one) ... to family herbal lore ....
The [bicycle bee] idea [functions in a similar way] -- a way to foster communication, take bike repair and building out of the sometimes offputting workshop, and into the hands of anyone who has, or wants a bike. ... Instead of a quilt, the project is a bike, but the process is the same.

What we want to do is to take you - yes, all of you - and bring together the knowledge and skills that we all have in order to teach and help one another, while weaving our community together more tightly.

In order to do this we will be hosting a three-day (well, 2 day/ one evening) event that will include the following:

Bike Build-a-thon: Don't have a bike, but need one? Come down to the Bike Bee, and make use of the used parts and bike knowledge of your peers to build one up over the weekend!

Chopper building: The same as above, but with art-bikes as the outcome!

Workshops Galore! Spread over the course of the weekend we will host a variety of workshops, from art-making, to bike mechanics and safety, to guerilla biketevism! Confirmed workshops include the following:

oO Bike Anatomy 101
oO Fix Your Flat
oO Bike Repair Basics
oO Car Re-education Workshop
oO Anti-theft Techniques and Devices
oO CarFree Cities Conference Presentation/Forum (from the recent conference in Bogota, Columbia)
oO Bike Art & Jewlery making with Victoria's Recyclistas
oOBike Ornaments (jewelry, xmas tree, paperweight applications)
oOForum: A Vancouver Bicycle Hub, what is it and do we want it?


But wait, you ask, what if I want to get involved? I'd like to host a workshop, to volunteer, or to help plan the event!

WELL KIDS, HERE'S YOUR CHANCE! The next planning meeting/ potluck is to be held TOMORROW, Wednesday October 4th, at spartacus books (319 w. hastings, 2nd floor (between homer/hamilton, near dressew). bring finger food to share, your own cup/dish/cutlery if possible. & bring yer bike upstairs! This is the BIG ONE...there will be a mini orientation for newcomers, workshops designated, more logistics, tunnels dug...

If you have a workshop idea, please consider the following:
1. what your workshop is about, & what it could be titled.

2. how much space you would need, with what facilities (e.g. small space, workcounter, access to a tap, bike stand/s).

3. what is the maximum number of people you would be able to accommodate during your workshop? (this number could relate to available bike stands for example, or to the amount of one-on-one instruction you intend to offer.)

4. approximately how long would your workshop be (e.g. 1 hour, 2 hours, 1/2 day etc)

5. what materials you would use. what supplies you can provide yourself, & what you might need help with (e.g. tools, fabric, inner tubes). while we encourage workshoppers to bring as many of their own supplies as they can, it is also possible for us to help with this, either by gathering them though the community, or offsetting the costs of getting them. we encourage you to be as resourceful as possible, & we can help finding ways of sourcing supplies without purchasing them new.

6. what safety concerns might there be? what safety equipment might you need? (e.g.e proper ventilation for paints? safety glasses?). safety also includes a comfortable, inclusive, supportive working environment. we will have safety marshalls on hand at all times, as well as helping "rovers" who will assist all participants in the bicycle bee in having a great experience.

please remember that workshops will be by donation; therefore we are asking workshop organizers to keep their costs to a minimum ($0 costs provides you with access to limitless hugs).

Thats it for now - check back soon for Velomutation & more!