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Old 02-16-2010, 12:16 AM   #1
V@lentino OP
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Laugh Valentino's 2010 Winter Olympic Run

Of course been married to a Flight Attendant has tons of great benefits… If you’ve read my previous RR, I’ve already mentioned the marry-me-fly-free program …. But wait a sec, while Jackie is on professional assignment in Barbados over the weekend, I have been putting the finishing touch to our kitchen renos.

Kitchen in question.


So yesterday, while finishing the grout on the foor tiles, my mind started to wander... Valentino suddenly says WTF! Lets go for ride. Ok says I, filled with trepidation at the idea of taking the Dirty Fat Girl for a ride, -it’s been at least 3 days- but where?

Dooood, it's the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games, why not go for a motorbike run, and git-me-sum of that Olympic spirit'n stuff...

Canadian style eh!.



Dirty Fat Girl in question.


So we got a plan, let's hit the road for a midnight run in subzero temperatures, ride to eat, rubber on a pitch black highway, four-legged antlers looming at every curve, maybe find a ski bunny or two , buy a T-shirt, see if there is gold out there after all, and squeeze a couple more surprises out of a 572 km February run?

What say you?

Its 2335 PST, and I just got back not too long ago, so it’s time to get some shut eye, but tomorrow first thing...

Ok here's a taste.




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Old 02-16-2010, 03:36 AM   #2
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Chain area? Chains on your ST?

Bring it on
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Old 02-16-2010, 05:21 AM   #3
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Old 02-16-2010, 06:28 AM   #4
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Heja Sverige - Norsk psykolog till o leie!

Heja Sverige!

The Norwegians and the Swedes are at (friendly) war when it comes to winter sports. The competition is always extremely fierce in cross-country, alpine skiing and ski-jumping.

The sign of this Norwegian Viking supporter says: "Go go Sweden - Norwegian psychiatrist available (actually for rent!)"

PS. The Swedes do not have it easy, Norwegians west and the Finns at the eastern border!

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Old 02-16-2010, 11:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadget Boy
Chain area? Chains on your ST?

Bring it on

Uhh GB not really, but it caught your interest.


Quote:
Originally Posted by longwaybackhome
Heja Sverige!

The Norwegians and the Swedes are at (friendly) war when it comes to winter sports. The competition is always extremely fierce in cross-country, alpine skiing and ski-jumping.

The sign of this Norwegian Viking supporter says: "Go go Sweden - Norwegian psychiatrist available (actually for rent!)"

PS. The Swedes do not have it easy, Norwegians west and the Finns at the eastern border!
Yup! It was loud, and it was fun, who was the loudest of them all, Red or Blue, one cow bell to rule them all.

BTW working on the RR now...
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The motorcycle chronicles of Jackie & Valentino
The Southern Episode

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Old 02-16-2010, 12:46 PM   #6
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Thumb First leg

In case you still believe Canada is a white snow covered barren land, or live East of the Rockies, the PNW (Pretty North West) has some news for you.

Tulip bulbs are bulbing.



Daffodils are out.



Nice.



Ok time to go, this way North.



So I quickly threw some gear together and headed out. Ever since I rode in Greece, I am convince that any adventure has to start with a boat ride, or maybe that’s just because I live on an island.



If in your part of the world you might still winter bound, here are a few pics to cheer you up.

Near by beach.



Sooke Basin.



And a friendly critter.



Valentino not having Jackie with him to take all the pics, quickly realized that this was going to be a lot of work. We then double timed it to Swartz bay not to miss the ferry, actually he was just hungry...



ST was happy to be going on a trip.



All tucked in.



Ferry was at less then 25% capacity.



Valentino found the grub place.



And spotted his first Rings of the trip.



Gotta have some greens too.



And a nice cuppa to polish it all off.



Nothing like sailing into the sunset.



Made it to Tsawwassen, on the mainland, a short quick ride to Surrey got me to a friend's place who put me up for the night.
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FEAR ===> False Expectation About Reality. GSA08
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The motorcycle chronicles of Jackie & Valentino
The Southern Episode

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Old 02-16-2010, 01:39 PM   #7
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Riding North

No matter how early your day starts, there has to be good coffee involved.



I had to leave early because there are some travel restrictions on the Sea to Sky Highway, separating Vancouver from Whistler, after Squamish, about 2/3 of the way North, there is a check-point for the duration of the Olympic Games, and unless you have a permit, you can't go through between 0600 and 1800.

I don’t need no stinking permit. Uhhh... actually I don’t have one.

The bridge picture is not mine, but it’s a nice one and it was my first bridge crossing of the day.

The Alex Fraser Bridge with Grouss Mountain in the far right.


0400 the streets are bare, and like a thief running with his loot, Valentino was running with the night. It was great to roam the city streets under the cover of city lights, sharing the road with only a few Prius-Cabbies.

Oak Street bridge from Richmond, to the Grandville bridge, to downtown and over to the Lions Gate bridge on the West-shore, heading North at full throttle.



I was not particularly concern with the conditions. There was no wind, it was cool but not cold and the road was dry but at night, the antlers come out, and that I don’t like.

But they stayed in the woods and by 0525 I zoomed through Squamish, not a check-point in sight, “see doood I told you we don’t need know stinking permit” says Valentino.

Not many pics during that stretch, for the obvious, it was night.



The temperature hovered around 0C, at times dipping to -4C and I was glad to have my heated vest, the only eery part of the ride was the way the road crews have organized the road.



The Sea to Sky highway, albeit controversial with local residents, environmentalists and three huggers alike, was mostly completed by the end of last summer, and transformed a relatively risky (especially if you were in a cage) road to a picturesque mostly-double-lane twisty highway sandwiched between mountain and sea.

Live CAM of Sea to Sky Highway at Furry Creek, BC.



So what I was saying about the lane splits, is that in order to organize the traffic during the game, it is diverted, on the single lanes stretches, into 3 made up lanes of fluorescent posts, that span both shoulder. At times it felt like I was back in Greece. The problem with the made up lanes is that they don’t really follow the natural curvature of the road, well you know what that’s like, and with Metallica piping in my ears and all those fluorescent- padded safety posts, it was just like being the star of a 3D game of Castle Wolfeinstein, with a lot less blood that is.

Welcome to Whistler.

Sorry about the focus, or lack thereof


Slightly better.



Thank God, Valentino was sporting a pair of highly technical night-vision goggles.



I got to the village, safely tucked ST for a couple of hours, it was now time to go hunt down some well deserve breakfast, and feel some of that Olympic Spirit.



Actually after paying 24.00 bucks for parking I was feeling it alright.

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FEAR ===> False Expectation About Reality. GSA08
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The motorcycle chronicles of Jackie & Valentino
The Southern Episode

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Old 02-16-2010, 02:46 PM   #8
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Talking Serendipity

Ok, got out of the gear and went for a stroll,


Strolling around the village I found it to be pretty quiet. But eh! Day was just breaking, it was only 0715, and Canadians were still in deep torpor from all the ethylic vapor that was generated during the celebration of the first Canadian Gold medal won by a Canadian, on Canadian soil. Now that’s pretty cool, and with our Southern brothers finishing just in third place behind a Canadian born Aussie, it’s all the sweeter eh!

GO Bilodeau GO

BTW he's from Quebec, where I grew up.

Where is breakfast.



Yup pretty quiet.



Alright found it.



One thing about BC, is that it really has its sh*&% together in terms of Winter, it only snows were you need it, up North in the mountains.



Valentino looks so kewl under the Inuchuk.



And the Rings



I saw lots of flowers, a eulogy to Nodar Kumaritashvili, the Georgian luger who died, after crashing on the last corner of the luge run, the first day of the games.

Deambulated around the village, waiting for the action to spruce up, and then I saw a bunch of friendly Scandinavian heading this way.



Czechs galore too. “Where are they going?” asks Valentino.



Let’s hop on the bus and find out, I think its heading for the Whistler Olympic Park.

Ladies X-country skiing starts at 1000, this should help for the bunny hunt...

As I am approaching the ticket booth to have a look at prices, this nice lady comes up and says “you want a ticket”? “Sure” I says.



Serendipity had struck, it's a theme when I ride, and I had just gotten a healthy dose of that elusive Olympic Spirit.



So I headed for the security check. Now without going into the police state debate generated by the Olympic security requirements, and all that jazz, I was sure they were going to ask me for my boarding pass... Valentino barely escaped a strip search, being so good looking and all...



No really, it was all done with a smile, by a dedicated member of the blue team (the Game volunteers).

On the other side of the check-point, we spotted our first Ski Bunny.



“Dood she’s an elite member of the Australian Olympic Team, -you gotta learn politicalcorrectness- ” think about what Jackie would say...

Ok ok... let’s just have a closer look.



“Oh yeah, you’re right”, indeed an Elite Member of the Australian Olympic Team, and a fine specimen at that.



It was a nice walk through the park, lots of other natural beauty.



Native art.

On wood.


And Ice.



Made it to the venue and man those Scandinavian were loud!
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FEAR ===> False Expectation About Reality. GSA08
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The motorcycle chronicles of Jackie & Valentino
The Southern Episode

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Old 02-16-2010, 03:18 PM   #9
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love the perspective on the Olympics! Keep it coming. Here in NZ they also know where to keep the snow, up on top of the mountains where it belongs.. and in the south island for safe keeping.

After being away from Vancouver for 7 years now, I'm a bit sad that I missed probably my only chance at seeing the Olympics...

Thanks for the post!
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Old 02-16-2010, 03:45 PM   #10
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Nice Tile Job

Can't believe you got parking in the village. I thought it was all shut down. I just booked my bus ticket up there for thursday, gonna go make some turns. Great ride report. GO CANADA GO
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Old 02-16-2010, 04:12 PM   #11
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Nice report, can't wait to see photos from the Olympic park.

Most of the underground hotel parking is still open, and I've been told there is plenty. Just the outdoor public parking is shut down, but they wanted everyone to leave their cars at home so aren't telling anyone.
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Old 02-16-2010, 04:19 PM   #12
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Nice report, can't wait to see photos from the Olympic park.

Most of the underground hotel parking is still open, and I've been told there is plenty. Just the outdoor public parking is shut down, but they wanted everyone to leave their cars at home so aren't telling anyone.
You're right Mike, despite being so early onsite, I was surprise to find all the underground parking. The trick is passing the Squamish check-point before 0600 if you don't have a permit, else you have to shuttle.
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Old 02-16-2010, 05:34 PM   #13
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Wink The Golden Quest

Made it to the venue.



Not even a bit of wind, the sun was trying to pierce the clouds, 4C. I grabbed a hot chocolate and went to find a spot.





It was really cool, not only was it so impromptu, but in another life I was an avid cross-country skier, it reminded me of my former backyard... the Laurentians, north of Montreal.

Valentino is himself an very accomplished athlete.



The park was great, my photography... just so so.




A closer look at the rings.



And man the Norwegians were loud! Ahum! Or so they think. Eh, just wait till Canada wins Gold at the Men’s Hockey, I’ll give you loud!



This guy (the Norwegian psychologist), deserves another shot.



Having just a point and shoot camera, it was really tough to take decent action shot.



The athletes were coming in so fast...



Camera for the photo finish.




In the end the medals went to

Gold Sweden Silver Estonia Bronze Norway


I told Valentino not to get into the ski bunny thing again.

One thing for sure is that all that skiing made me hungry, so back on the bus we went.



And we were on our way.



All that skiing made me hungry (or did I say that already) and it was time to find a sammich, and see if the Whistler village was awake.

In case you guys are falling a sleep reading this.
Ahhhhhh! profound realization, this is where we are.



On the subject of sleeping, the village was waking up.



A little more over here.



And there.



Found me a meat sammich.



The band was warming up.



Jeez its the Norwegian invasion.



So I did a bit of shopping, something for Jackie.



Time to head back, see how the Olympic spirit is holding up in Vancouver.

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FEAR ===> False Expectation About Reality. GSA08
Work is just the time you have to spend between rides.

The motorcycle chronicles of Jackie & Valentino
The Southern Episode

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Old 03-03-2010, 11:52 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longwaybackhome
Heja Sverige!

The Norwegians and the Swedes are at (friendly) war when it comes to winter sports. The competition is always extremely fierce in cross-country, alpine skiing and ski-jumping.

The sign of this Norwegian Viking supporter says: "Go go Sweden - Norwegian psychiatrist available (actually for rent!)"

PS. The Swedes do not have it easy, Norwegians west and the Finns at the eastern border!
Both the Finns and the Norwegians agree that there is at least one good thing about the Swedes,,,they have good neighbors
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