Rains of Vancouver

It’s a fair sign that we’re well on our way to winter when it rains as hard as it did today.

I rode to and from work (other than the seabus leg, it’s hard to ride a bike across Burrard Inlet and the bridge is still too far out of the way for me to comfortably make it to work on time yet.) The ride to work was good – I started in the dark, it was getting light as I boarded the seabus, and by the time I got across to downtown it was light. It wasn’t really raining hard, a little bit on the north shore (where I live) and very lightly in Vancouver (where I work.) All in all, a nice ride in.

The ride home, however, was hellish.

It started with me leaving work, bike in one hand and a load of mail to drop off at the mailbox in the other. Awkward, but not too tough, and I managed fine. I then hopped on my bike and started the ride down to the Burrard bridge from Kitsilano.

My route takes me down to 1st Ave, where I connect up with Burrard street with a left turn at the lights. On the way down, I stopped at a 4-way stop, where a car stopped then headed through. I started to go through the intersection when another car decided it was just going to ignore the stopsign and drive straight through. He apparently didn’t look left or right, since I guess he couldn’t see any cars in his peripheral, and didn’t see me at all. Fortunately I was watching him and stopped before he had the opportunity to run me down.

I moved on to the corner of 1sts and Burrard at the lights. There was much traffic, and as I sat on my bike literally in the middle of the intersection waiting for the cars to pass by, I realized just how precarious a place I was in. There were cars passing me on either side, and of course, being Vancouver once the light switched to yellow drivers started rushing the light. I couldn’t even make my left turn until it was red. Fortunately no one on Burrard itself rushed the green when it switched for them.

Next up was the bridge. There is a bike lane on Burrard which skips up to the sidewalk when you get to the bridge. It’s much safer this way, considering the speeds at which people cross the bridge. I think the limit is either 50 or 60km/h, but most people are going around 80km/h. At this point, as I rode along the bike lane on the sidewalk, it was raining very, very hard and the water had accumulated in the potholes on the street.

Fast cars + water-filled potholes = tidal waves of mucky wetness.

I managed to somehow time it well enough for most of the ride across the bridge such that I didn’t get hit by any tidal waves… except for once.

A taxicab rushed past, probably going higher than 80 I’d guess, just as I was biking past a particularly large puddle. I wasn’t expecting the wave that hit me – it was strong enough that I wavered on the bike and could’ve fallen sideways if I hadn’t been paying attention. Ended up with water up my nose and in my throat from the road, and running down under my waterproof jacket into my clothing beneath. It was cold and wet and unpleasant.

I made it to the far side of the bridge and headed east towards Hornby, where there is another bike lane. There was a crazy amount of traffic, and I was pretty sure that if I hadn’t had my own lane I would’ve been taken out at least three or four times. It was still pouring rain, I was wet and cold and it was dark and unpleasant…

I’ve never been happier to make it to the sea bus. On the far side I didn’t bother with the ride up the hill to 19th; instead I put my bike on the bus’s bike rack and caught it up to the grocery store where I met Adam and we acquired dinner-like items. I decided not to go out to yoga tonight – I’ve beat myself up enough today, thanks.

My shower was heavenly, although I’m still thinking I may have a bath soon. Unless Chris comes back and we play NWN.

1 Comment

  • Anonymous

    November 18, 2006 at 12:04 pm

    petition re. promotion of cycling

    Hi Jenny, if you have a second check out
    http://www.gopetition.com/online/10170.html
    and the petition asking the Fed. Gov. to promote cycling as a transportation alternative.
    Take care!