Sunday, November 30, 2008

If Batman was a Bike Messenger

His insurance company would be paying to replace a lot of side-view mirrors:

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Opera Singer Practicing in West End Window

Hearing the voice of an angel, I stopped to investigate:

Monday, November 24, 2008

That Shore is a Nice View!

The North Shore mountains looked beautiful in the crisp November air today. I decided to shoot a panoramic video instead of taking photos; can you spot all the landmarks? Seymour Mountain, Grouse, Cypress, the Lions, Stanley Park...

Also, as the camera pans across Hollyburn, you can hear banjo music coming from the hippie cabins!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Bike to Work Week Day 5 - Burrard Bridge Bike Sqeeze

Mission accomplished! Here's the fifth of five new helmetcam videos I promised during Bike to Work Week:

Strike a Pose, part 1

As a video journalist, I'm delighted when interesting or curious public events unfold before me, like this woman taking busty photos of herself while precariously balancing on a boulder in skirt and heels before the 2010 Olympic clock at the Vancouver Art Gallery:

Bike to Work Week Day 5 - Bike Theft Economics

The owner of this very secure bicycle tire once owned a whole bike, until thieves absconded with the rest:

Bikes that remain parked in one place for a long time are more likely to be stolen than bikes left unattended for a short time.

Bikes that are locked up with less security are more likely to be stolen (or robbed from) than bikes protected with heavy security....

If you commute to work by bicycle, it's very risky to leave your bike locked in a public place all day. I highly recommend tapping your employer about secure bike parking options.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Death by Bike Messenger

Bike messengers sometimes provide a humorous foil in popular culture, like this funny scene with Larry David, genius co-creator of Seinfeld (he's the bald guy):

Bike to Work Week Day 4 - Smoke on the Water

A thick fog rolled into town this morning before today's rain showers, reducing visibility to less than one block:

Bike to Work Week Day 4 - Dry Feet Advice

For keeping feet dry in wet conditions, Goretex socks are the only magic bullet known to me.

A pair costs $65 at Mountain Equipment Co-Op but they're worth their weight in gold and last a long time. I'm only into my second pair after five years' intensive use.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bike to Work Week Day 3 - "Howe Street it is"

This is a nice southbound corridor for cyclists, even without a bike lane. As the video shows, it's prudent to aggressively occupy the entire right lane of traffic to avoid getting pinched in by cars turning right at intersections.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bike to Work Week Day 2 - Easy Deal Down Hornby

This morning I test drove the Hornby street bike lane with my helmetcam recording:

This bike lane is much safer than the Dunsmuir Suicide Chute we saw in yesterday's helmetcam: buses are absent, right-lane obstructions are minimal; more road space allows everyone to maneuver more comfortably.

However, at about 0:45+ in the video you'll see me riding down the left lane of Hornby. The reason I'm doing this is because I'm approaching the intersection at Dunsmuir, after which traffic flow notoriously drifts right and obstructs the bike lane with cars turning eastbound onto Pender.

By carefully blasting off on the fresh green light (that postal van ran a stale red, by the way!) I can lead traffic to the foot of Hornby and proceed left, right, or centre without danger of being sideswiped by lane-changing cars.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Bike to Work Week Day 1: Dunsmuir Street Suicide Chute

Happy Bike to Work Week everyone! To celebrate, I'll be posting an exciting new helmetcam video every day about cycling in the city.

This video demonstrates why the Dunsmuir bike lane is not safe during heavy traffic: cars are turning right, pedestrians are in the roadway, and buses are parked against the curb.

Fortunately, this video also demonstrates how to cycle quickly and safely through the downtown core: match or exceed the flow of traffic, pass cars on the left (especially at intersections) and always be looking ahead to anticipate trends.

For example, 0:34+ in the video looks like a risky move, but for me it's not, and in fact it saved me from crashing over the hood of that silver Honda that suddenly turned right after I decided to pass him on the left and squeeze between the two SUVs.

Also, observe the pinch situation that occurs at 0:48+ between the bus parked in the bike lane and the grey car initiating a right-hand turn - again I avoided a likely crash by eschewing the bike lane in favour of becoming part of left-lane thru traffic.

I must end with the disclaimer "please don't try this at home". Things that appear easy for me might be difficult and risky for others to attempt. My intention here is to provide a compelling example of what can be achieved by a practiced, vigilant cyclist using basic techniques to conquer city traffic safely and with confidence.

Good luck this week everyone!

Direct link to this post is located here

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Brave New Squirrel

They're evolving to be fearless!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Test Drive #5: False Creek Aquabus

From the south foot of Hornby street to Granville Island in 3 minutes:

Test Drive #4: Bowen Island Express

From Granville Island to Bowen Island in 20 minutes:

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Vanity Plate Puzzler #14: TKTDEN

I didn't decipher this one until I viewed the full-sized photo at home afterward:

It's official: Internet ad blindness has crept into my everyday reality (click on photo to enlarge).

Monday, November 3, 2008

The danger of taking everything literally #6

When I walked into the office, everyone was standing around laughing at this cake that had just been delivered:

UPDATE: I've received several emails requesting an explanation of the humor here. If you know someone who didn't get it, please explain it to them :)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Bowen Island, briefly

I created a time lapse video of cloud movement over Snug Cove this weekend. The astute viewer will see many other things going on in different areas of the picture: people, trucks, waterfowl...