Biking to Work, Dad brings my Car to Vancouver

Once again, I’ve left writing too long, and probably forgotten details of the events of my life. So if I forget anything, I apologise in advance…

A couple of weeks ago, I decided it was high time that I started taking matters in my own hand … namely, I needed some exercise. I wasn’t getting out enough, and I was really afraid that I’d lose my figure. So it was time to start biking.

My goal was to bike to and from work every day, rain or shine. I certainly wouldn’t be the only person — a good portion of Vancouverites engage in such activity, and it’s so popular at Radical, that we even have a dedicated bike storage room. (And having showers available certainly entices one all the more.)

Some of you may remember that I made such a boast last year, when I said I would bike from Oakville to Toronto every day. Poor pathetic me didn’t realise just how far away Toronto was. I biked once, then left my bike there for about two months before bringing it home.

But I said things would be different this time. So one evening, I ventured down to the locker room, pulled out my bike, and straightened out the handlebars (they were turned sideways when it was shipped out).

The following morning, I make my first attempt to bike to work. I went across Grange to where it connected with Kingsway, briefly over to Boundary, and then proceeded north on Boundary to Adanac, which was the bikeway. It took me at least 15 minutes to get to Adanac.

Despite the fact that a large portion of the trip to Adanac was downhill, I was wiped by the time I got there. I couldn’t believe how out of shape I was. And I still had to cross the city of Vancouver. I proceeded along Adanac, and felt ill to my stomach…

The only bright point was that I had a shower waiting for me. And I really needed it too! When I went home that night, I went by MEC (Mountain Equipment Coop) to buy a new backpack. The one I have is for hiking, and is completely ill-suited for the purposes of biking. Similarly, my nylon briefcase is painful to wear for that length of time.

When I resumed my riding the next morning, I found a new expression of pain in the saddlesores I had acquired. One does not get a full appreciation of how hilly it is here until one has to bike it.

However, I persevered, to the point where I dragged Allison out on the Saturday for a bike ride around Stanley Park. Oh wow… I knew that Stanley Park was nice, but I didn’t think it was *that* nice. For all the reasons that I hated leaving Ontario, the ability to bike around Stanley Park outweighs a large chunk of them.

That night, we went out with one of Allison’s friends (Rhona-Mae), who was leaving for home (High River, AB) the following day. We went to the Blarney Stone, where we wanted to throttle the doorman for not letting us in for almost an hour. Stupid nightclub politics…

The following week was Hell Week for me — my group was putting out a new version of our 3D rendering system, and I had a lot of stuff to document. It was not a nice week at all. This culminated in a couple of nights where I got very little sleep. In one night, I slept about an hour. The next night I ended up sleeping at the office because I was behind in my deadlines.

Allison and I are looking forward to the weekend. Unlike the infamous May Two-Four weekend in Ontario, we just have various festivals. We’re going to Nanaimo for the weekend, and a slew of barbecues. Ought to be fun…

Yesterday, my work got flipped on its ear for a little while. I was happily working away, when I received a phone call. At first, I thought it was going to be Allison (we were planning to go see a movie). It was a familiar voice. My father’s.

Immediately my brain began to have the following conversation:

Left: It’s dad.
Right: So?
Left: Why would he be calling me?
Right: Hmm… something important, no doubt. He doesn’t call otherwise.
Left: He doesn’t sound upset.
Right: True. Must be something else.
Left: You don’t suppose…
Right: Suppose what?
Left: That he’s…
Right: …in Vancouver?
Left: Oh…
Right: …S**t!

Sure enough, dear ol’ dad had appeared in Vancouver. Why? Because he decided to drive out. Confused? Good, ‘cuz I still am…

You see, when I moved out here, I didn’t bring my car. I figured I would have it brought out when the time was right. I hadn’t needed it, so as far as I was concerned, it was a moot point. But my father had wanted to bring it out, dragging my poor mother along for the ride.

So I started talking with my friend Joe, who was living in Toronto, and looking for a new job. I figured he’d be the perfect person to take my car for a ride. So I started into negotiations, prodding him, bribing him, all sorts of devious under-handed things to get him to drive my car here.

And then my dad shows up with it. At least he didn’t bring my mother. She was safe at home.

So needless to say, my evening went down the drain rapidly. On the bright side, my father, Allison, and I went out to dinner at the Yaletown Brewery. I figured he could use a couple of beers after the trip out. After that, I drove Allison home, and dad crashed in my bed.

I stayed up to try and find him passage back home. Most of the major airlines wanted at least $1200 for a last-minute one-way ticket. This sort of thing really bothers me. If I call two weeks in advance, it’s $400. Why should the price rise so much? Lousy capitalism…

This morning I woke up bright and early at 06:55 … an hour before I planned to get up. It seemed that dad thought I had to get up at that time. I guess my repeated suggestions that Vancouver time differs quite a bit from Toronto time had gone unnoticed. (I don’t normally get up until around 08:00.)

My mother called a scant five moments later to tell me that Canada 3000 had deals on their airfare. I had to remind my mom that I wasn’t in Saskatchewan, and that BC is *three* hours behind, not *two*. (It wasn’t the first time that she had done that to me.) I made a quick arrangement and booked the flight.

The three of us went out to dinner again, but this time to the Pink Pearl, a Chinese restaurant downtown. It wasn’t anything to wow about, but at least the food was good. I was a little annoyed at the price, though. I didn’t think the place would cost so much (it came out to just over $20 a person).

Tomorrow, we dump dear ol’ dad at the airport so he can wing his way back to Toronto. Allison and I are off to Nanaimo on Friday afternoon (I think). I hope everyone has a good weekend, and I’ll let you know what happened with mine!

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