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Return to the Garden City, part 4

May 27, 2011
Scooters on the Causeway

The B.C. Legislature, from the Causeway (Orin O'Neill photos)

Sunday’s agenda said the morning meetup at the Causeway for the Long Ride would be at 10:30. Safety Ed and I got up early, ate breakfast and arrived with time to spare.

Somehow, we managed to forget about “scooter time.” And we’ve been to enough of these things to know better.

We hung out. We waited. We hung out some more, we waited some more. We said hi to people we didn’t see yesterday. I thought about going back to the hotel, but we’d gotten a good parking spot and I didn’t want to lose it.

Eventually, word filtered through the crowd that the ride would be leaving at 12:30. Or possibly 1:00. We had a few hours. I was hungry, and needed to use the restroom, so I walked over to the Tourist Information Centre.

Mt. Baker High School band

Monday’s Victoria Day parade features many high school bands (none of which, thankfully, were staying at our hotel), and this one was giving a concert near the hotdog stand.

Yamaha Riva 180

Canada is often called the most diverse nation on Earth, and that diversity extends to the scooter scene as well. Tom Hanks rides a Yamaha Riva in his new movie, Larry Crowne, and it wouldn’t surprise me if these scoots become a hot item, especially if the movie’s a hit.

Off again

One o’clock finally rolled around, and once again we headed up Government Street. And yes, we once again stopped at the Petro-Canada, though Safety Ed and I had filled our tanks prior to riding to the Causeway. It’s just easier that way. And it’s a good way to get rid of excess loonies and toonies, since U.S. banks don’t want Canadian coins.

This time we took a different turn, riding through more suburban landscapes that were totally new to me. And this time I had no clue where we were going because we were on narrow roads that didn’t always have street signs posted.

This being a long ride, at least one potty break was promised. My bladder was getting anxious, and matters were not helped when we turned onto a park road that seemed to have a speed bump about every 10 meters.

Park loo

We stopped in a parking lot on the end of a small lake. That lot was for the trailhead, and our scooters took up fully half of it. You can see the line at the loo forming in the picture above.

Heading out

Once relieved, the group snaked through a residential area on the way down to the water. It was already overcast and chilly, and I was feeling cold in spite of having a couple layers under my Corazzo jacket. Will spring ever come?

Back in urban territory that was becoming familiar, we arrived at the ride’s end, the da Vinci Centre, which I could see was chosen for its very large parking lot.

Bite the big weenie

It was time for the usual scooter rally antics: a slow race, a side-by-side slalom race and a contest of skill that required rider or pillion to take a bite out of a dangling frankfurter from their moving scooter. I don’t know if anyone actually managed to do that, however.

Following the games, raffle prizes were given away and awards handed out.

Safety Ed got the Safety Award, which I have to believe was created especially for him. Favicon

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2 Comments
  1. mark morris permalink
    May 30, 2011 12:07 pm

    Orin,

    If I were to walk into a place and pay with $5 American, would it be accepted?

    Also, what brand of jacket is Safety Ed wearing?

    Looks like you guys had a pleasant weekend.

  2. May 30, 2011 12:46 pm

    mark, you’d have no problem paying in U.S. dollars… you’d just get an unfavorable exchange rate (~96 cents CDN), so you’d have to pay a bit more. These days, the cheapest thing to do is make a big withdrawal from an ATM once you cross the border and pay cash for everything. One ATM fee, and one currency conversion fee (1.5-2% of the amount).

    Safety Ed is wearing a Joe Rocket jacket, which I believe he’s had since he started riding scooters almost 10 years ago…

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