Anthony on , , , , , 24 Oct 2009 10:01 pm

Today we all went out for a bike ride. This was Quinlan’s first time out on a bike (in the child carrier that Aidan used to ride in). We went down to ride the West Dyke Trail in Richmond — a nice scenic and FLAT trail on the western edge of Lulu Island. Return trip was about 12 km and we took it at a nice relaxed pace.

As you will be able to tell from the pics below, it was quite the fun ride for all involved.

Here are some shots of Gwen and Quinlan. The kid carrier fits Quinlan quite well, and after some time he got used to wearing the helmet.



A rare action shot of me on a bike and Aidan on the Trail-A-Bike. As you can see, Aidan likes the Trail-A-Bike. A lot.


After riding from Garry Point up to the northern edge of the island — and back — we took some family pictures:


Here’s a rare shot with all of us *together*!


And here are some awesome shots of Gwen and Quinlan:



Tomorrow, Quinlan turns 1!

Anthony on , , , , , , , 04 May 2008 09:20 pm

The weeks fly by but the weekends are family time. As such, here’s another weekend update…

We went and got Aidan’s hair cut yesterday. It wasn’t exactly planned; I mean he certainly needed it, but Gwen has developed a phobia about taking him to get his hair cut so it hasn’t been done on the weekdays. I desperately needed to get my hair cut too, so when I announced my attention to get my hair cut yesterday, Gwen & The Boy tagged along. We got to my barber’s shop, which was completely empty when we got there. Well, the barber and another hair-cutter (aside: what’s the noun describing a woman who works at a barbershop that exclusively cuts men’s hair? Barber? I guess, but it’s one of those nouns that I exclusively associate with a man. Weird.) were there but no customers.

So, we had a quick discussion (that involved the barber) and we decided that I’d get my hair cut while Gwen & The Boy watched, and then we’d get Aidan’s hair cut too. My haircut went well, without any tears. As soon as we tried to put Aidan in the barber’s chair, though, the hysteronics began. Once again, I sat him on my lap and the barber did the best he could. There were less tears than in previous times, but calm is the wrong word to use.

The haircut isn’t great, but it’s better than what it was when it was long. There are some pictures a bit further below.

On Sunday, we had brunch with our friends Ali and Nooshin. We biked over to Ali’s Yaletown condo and ate brunch while the Vancouver Marathon passed on the street below. Aidan had a chance to help with breakfast, and seemed to enjoy himself.

After brunch, we all got on bikes and pedalled over to Stanley Park. There’s a nice new playground there near Second Beach, and one of those old firetrucks-turned-into-playground-climbing-equipment that seem strangely popular in Vancouver.

After parting ways with Ali and Nooshin we took the Aquabus from the foot of Hornby Street to Granville Island and biked home. It was a nice way to start the day. The rest of the day sort of got away from us, but it started well!

Anthony on , , 08 Apr 2008 10:54 pm

OK, I’ve decided that Vancouver needs my help. I think I’m going to blog a series about what you’re doing wrong on the road. First up: stop signs.

Right then. Stop signs. You know, 8 sides, red, ‘STOP’ written on them? Usually on the right-hand side of the road at unsignalled intersections? Ok, so we’re all on the same page now.

First I’m going to describe what typically happens on my commute to work. In fact, today’s commute consisted of 3 cars and one cyclist exhibiting this typical Vancouver behaviour:

A vehicle approaches an intersection, and is faced with a stop sign. They touch their brakes and slow. If they’ve looked left, then it’s been as they’re approaching the intersection. Actually, I suspect I’m being overly optimistic, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. You know, looking left first is good, but as a vehicle approaches the intersection the most that can be seen is at best 20 or 30 feet. Typically by the time I see them, they’re looking right. The vehicle rolls past the stop line, and then the driver looks left. Sometimes. And often, I’m laying on the brakes or swerving out of the way by this point. If the driver is cautious, they will come to a stop several feet beyond the stop line or edge of the intersection. If not, they’ll either accelerate through the intersection or … at least coast through.

This is not how it should be done. Do you know why? To start with, I’m on a bike. Typically I’m cruising along at 30 km/h. Let’s start with that. At that speed I happen to be covering about 30 feet every second. Remember that first glance that might have been had to the left? If 30 feet of road was seen as the driver was looking left, I’m impressed. Now they look right. Let’s say that it takes one second to do the glance left and the look right. If I happened to be just out of sight on the initial glance left, by the end of the second I’m probably just about to drive right in front of the vehicle by the end of the look right. Maybe surprising for you, terrifying for me.

The first thing you should know about stop signs, stick with me here, is that you should stop. Now I’m not unreasonable. I’m not a driving examiner. I recognize the effort required in bringing a vehicle to a full and complete stop. If you want to do a ‘rolling stop’, that’s OK by me. But let’s agree on something: a rolling stop only qualifies as a stop if the speedometer drops below 10 km/h. At 10 km/h, you cover about 9 feet in one second. 9 feet is a fair bit, but I can easily swerve around 9 feet of car. Obviously the closest you can bring your vehicle to a stop, the safer we all are. I’d be happier with 5 km/h, but I’m a realist too.

So you’ve brought the vehicle to a ‘stop’. Look left. No, no, not there. Look LEFT. Look to see if something is going to smash into you immediately. After looking up the road a fair bit, looking for motion, now look right. That direction deserves a good look too, but for some reason drivers seem to see oncoming vehicles better when they look right. I don’t quite get it. After you’re done looking right, look left AGAIN. Yes, again. If both directions are clear, proceed through the intersection. Promptly please, but not racing through. After all, I’m probably bearing down at you at the rate of 30 feet every second.

Now, I have to say that this conversation applies to all vehicles, not just cars and trucks. Bikes, I’m talking to you too.

OK, I feel better. To the 4 people who weren’t aware of the proper operation of stop signs today, I hope I don’t encounter you tomorrow.

Next up, how to deal with traffic circles … and the dozen or so of them that I deal with every day.

Anthony on , , 08 Mar 2008 05:43 pm

Here’s a quick shot of the boy riding his bike last weekend at Douglas Park:


Today we went back to West Point Cycles to look at the Compact Trail-A-Bike. After sitting Aidan on it and adjusting it as much as possible, we made the decision that it was just too big for him. And so, the decision was to get a seat for the back of Gwen’s bike. We got it installed, took it home, had some lunch, and took a bike ride as a family. After some initial uncertainty, it was pretty clear that the boy was thoroughly enjoying himself. Gwen seemed to be having fun too.



So the problem we have now is that due to the odd shape of Gwen’s bike’s frame, it has to be mounted upside down in the bike carrier for the truck. This makes it impossible to have another bike on the carrier (you know, like mine) at the same time because the handlebars of the two bike interfere with each other. We’re still working on that one.

Next Page »