Hoping that we get a drier day without risk of falling branches for an easy ride around Stanley Park or UBC (exact route will be adjusted to reflect weather and the feeling of the riding horde, but we will ride at least 21 kms to mark each of the years that elapsed after the Ploughman Poet died before the greatest invention of humankind) ending at my home in Kitsilano for some warming treats, mostly of the baked variety. If you do not appreciate the gluten, I will have some grain-based products that have been purified by a well-known distillation process (that may leave you among the baked varieties). As we will then be in the weekend after the celebration of the 259th anniversary of the birth of Robbie Burns (25 January 1759), we may all lift a glass in remorse that poor Robbie died 21 years before the invention of the bicycle. This tragic mis-ordering of history denied us all a wealth of poems to the “steel pony” that Robbie would, no doubt, have written, but I ask each of you to bring your favourite ode to that most perfect machine to share with the gathered several. If you cannot join the ride, but do not want to miss the bacchanalia (or you have a poem that you REALLY want to share), let me know and I will provide you with my address by email. .

I will shorten the ride if road conditions do not allow a safe or comfortable ride, but I will not want to have to eat all the pie and drink all the whisky myself – we all know how badly that would be!

Ride: Approximately 25kn; details of the route to be determined based on road conditions to be agreed before we head out on the ride.

Meet: 10:30am at Arbutus Coffee (2200 Arbutus St. at West 6th Avenue).

Leader: Will, please let me know if you are coming so I can stock adequate provisions.

As with all VBC rides, bring your helmet, but leave your haggis and bag pipes at home.

4 Responses to “Saturday, 27 January 2018 – Leisure Ride and Post-Ride Robbie Burns Celebration”
  1. teresaot says:

    We had about 13 people come out on this wet, wooly ride and 3 extras arrive at Will’s for the big shindig afterwards. We went clockwise around UBC, stopping at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum for some whale-watching. Will had quite the spread waiting for us, a Martha Stewart-on-steroids kind of affair. The valuable real estate was the hearth in front of the crackling fire where we shared poems and sampled Will’s impressive collection of whiskies. Robbie Burns would have been proud.

    Many thanks to Will for leading the ride and hosting what is turning into a VBC tradition. So much fun.
    Enjoy the photos: https://photos.app.goo.gl/coJcHaOfvjuRki1F2

  2. Sharon L says:

    I’ll second Teresa’s kind words. Will’s special dishes, including a yummy homemade soup accompanied by his own baked bread and tapenade and Teresa’s very tasty cookies, etc., etc., were the perfect antidote to a wet, chilly albeit interesting ride. Poems and a prolific number of Scotches were a lovely sequel.
    Thanks everyone, for the ride and the feast.

  3. Sharon L says:

    Nice photos Teresa!

  4. Will says:

    One of the highlights of the after-gathering was the reading of bicycle poetry. I have handwritten copy of two original works by one of our members (that I will post once she so authorizes), and I found online the contribution that Colin read:


    There are those who think the tandem is the instrument sublime
    For the serious cycle tourist and the man concerned with time.
    It has drive and goes much faster as it gobbles up the track,
    But it’s quite another matter for the guy who sits in back.
    Shovelling coal, shovelling coal.

    Just think of the advantages with twice the power at hand
    And half the wind resistance as it travels o’er the land.
    The weight is less than double – this alone gives peace of mind,
    But it ain’t no bed of roses for the guy who sits behind.
    Shovelling coal, shovelling coal.

    It’s just like a locomotive with the front man engineer.
    He sits and shouts his orders to the fireman in the rear.
    It’s the way to run a railroad, with a bike it’s not so sweet,
    To the sweating, swearing fellow on the secondary seat.
    Shovelling coal, shovelling coal.

    The pilots work the throttles while their partners work the flaps.
    They are barely more than slaves, a society of saps.
    Co-pilots do the labour, they are not supposed to feel.
    It’s likewise with the suckers above the rearward wheel.
    Shovelling coal, shovelling coal.

    The man up front is master, it is he who shifts the gears,
    He decides when brakes are needed and on top of this he steers.
    He can go the wrong direction and wind up in Timbuktu,
    But refuses any protest from the guy who’s number two.
    Shovelling coal, shovelling coal.

    The view ahead is blank and to peek would be a sin,
    So he can’t see where he’s going, only places where he’s been.
    He would love to lean to starboard when to port they make a turn,
    But such pleasure is verboten to the crewman in the stern.
    Shovelling coal, shovelling coal.

    Yet there will be retribution on some future day in hell
    When all tandem frames have melted and the tandem leaders yell
    In agony they writhe and some mercy they request,
    But the backmen just keep doing the thing they’ve done the best
    Shovelling coal, shovelling coal.

    I know both my stokers, Tom and Naiden, will appreciate this dreary dirge.

    Thanks to all who came and made the event so lively.


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