Back in the land of flashing green traffic signals
A blue and white Lambretta to my immediate left howls through its convoluted performance pipe as the group goes blasting down the hill. Out of the corner of my eye, I spot a sign: Traffic Calmed Area.
Whatever part of Vancouver the group was riding in seemed to be chasing Seattle’s Montlake neighborhood for the title of Most Road Furniture. Nobody hit anything, but I came close a couple of times. But close only counts in horseshoes. And hand grenades.
I’ve done this enough times that I actually recognize many of the streets we’re blasting down. But we approached a landmark I didn’t want to deal with at all.
Every Friday night Vancouver ride I’ve ever been on included a pedestrian bridge over some railroad tracks. The ET4 barely fit, the PX fit reasonably well.
The GTS, however, would not fit, at least in the corners. So I bailed. Everyone would be meeting up at a bowling alley on Commercial Drive, and I knew exactly where it was.
The trip up was pretty uneventful. At least, once I got on the right road. I’m finding some fairly serious errors in Google Maps’ Bellingham edition. Luckily, SOB Tom was riding with me and got us on the right track.
The border crossing was a snap, but then I’ve found that’s almost always the case when you take the Truck Customs/WA 543 route.
In fact, the worst delay was on Knight Street, which crawled. I really should’ve stayed on BC 99 after getting out of the Massey Tunnel. Oh, well.
The meet & greet took place at a pub in Vancouver’s notorious Downtown Eastside. I rode out with Liz, who was accompanied by Dom riding pillion on her Triumph Thruxton.
I must say, the Downtown Eastside seems much less sketchy these days, the local characters much more benign. The Winter Olympics must’ve had something to do with that.
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again—the Honda Ruckus represents the future of scooter rallies. There were as many Rucks at the meetup as there were vintage Vespas and Lambrettas. In fact, the Ruckus group led the evening ride.
Speaking of which, we passed by the big Winter Olympic thing on the waterfront. Nice to see it’s still there.