Some of you have noticed the website’s facelift. Others barely care. Not to worry- the club is still made up of the same motley assortment of licorice-flavoured ne’erdowells as before. The only thing that’s changed is the “theme” or template. The previous theme was so old the comments function stopped working. For this update, we have to thank Bob Broughton, International Man of Do-Gooder Mystery. Did you know Bob has been VBC’s tech support for years? He is the reason our website functions, bringing people together who like to ride. Let’s learn about this person who’s toiled on the website from his home in Mexico. Be forewarned: ask him about traveling in Mexico, and he’ll direct you to the nearest volunteer opportunity, enriching your life and those of others. Bob is this month’s featured member.
I moved to Vancouver in 1981, and got into cycle touring about the same time. I joined the VBC in 1984. Also in that year, I took the train to Prince George (it was once possible to do that), rode from there to Prince Rupert, did most of the paved roads on Graham Island, took the ferry to Port Hardy (that was the one that sank many years later), rode to Comox, took the ferry to Powell River, and rode down to Sunshine Coast to home.
I took a job in Norway in late 1986, and took full advantage of cycling opportunities in Northern Europe; Gotland (highly recommended),Finland (crossed the Arctic Circle), Czech Republic, and Denmark.
I continued with the VBC when I returned in 1990. I became President of the VBC in 1992. In that capacity, I was an advocate of the creation of the Adanac Bikeway. (It helped that I lived on Adanac at the time). Having spent most of my adult life as a computer programmer, I got into creating web sites early, so vbc.bc.ca, created in 1995, was one of the first web sites for a bicycling organization. You can see what it looked like in 1999 here:
FAQ’s were also popular in those days, so I created the BC/Alaska Cycle Touring FAQ. This resource still exists, but it hasn’t been updated in a long time. Volunteers? http://broughton.ca/bcakfaq.html
The Pie Ride and the Single Sock Sentury were created during my presidency, although most of the credit for these goes to Peter Oechsler and Bruce Hainer.
I relocated to New Westminster in 1997, and my participation in club rides dropped off considerably, although I continued to show up at most social events.
The experience I gained as President of the VBC was valuable later on, when I served as President of Airspace Action on Smoking and Health, and later, the New Westminster Tennis Club.
I retired in 2012. Like a lot of people, I couldn’t afford to live hardly anywhere in Western BC on my pension income. I was also ready for a change in scenery and climate, and that change became Guanajuato, in the Central Highlands of Mexico. I took my Norco touring bike with me, but ended up selling it. It wasn’t good for the cobblestone streets here (you really need fat tires), and I walk or take the bus to most places I go to.
I’m still doing a lot of traveling, however. I’ve been to 26 of Mexico’s 32 states. I went to the Galapagos Islands, which I say that everybody should do. I’ve been to Guatemala three times, to Copan and Roatan in Honduras, and Cuba. Went to Italy (first time in southern Europe) and Egypt last October; it now seems like much longer than a year ago.