Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Kidical MASSive Recap: Talk Like A Pirate Day YVRFamilyBiking Ride

Kidical Massive Vancouver, September 19, 2015. It's raining, it's pouring, we're biking anyway!

Tugboat Festival at Granville Island September 19-20
Last Saturday was the worldwide Kidical MASSive ride. Lots of cities around North America have regular group family rides, often called Kidical Mass, a play on the Critical Mass name. This fall, Shane MacRhodes decided to plan a Kidical Mass ride & invite everyone else to host their own rides in their cities so that we could film bits of it & contribute to the crowdsourced cargobiking documentary, Less Car More Go. Over 50 different cities participated, mainly in the US. Here in Vancouver, I planned a ride & decided to go with a pirate theme, since September 19th was Talk Like A Pirate Day.

Soggy family portrait/MEC raingear ad
Unfortunately, the weather was pretty awful that Saturday, raining constantly pretty much the whole morning. However, this is Vancouver. We're used to the rain & we know we won't melt. So we abandoned my pirate costume accessory ideas, bundled up in all our rain gear & headed off to Science World. Our only nod to the pirate theme was the felt Jolly Roger that I hot glued together flying from the back of B's seat. As we pulled up to the meeting spot, I saw G & A's blue Bullitt parked at the racks. They'd gone inside for a few minutes & managed to convince their kids to come back out into the rain for a ride.

We biked along the seawall to Granville Island. The rain & cool weather kind of sucked though I was pretty dry in my newish Nau rain trench with my old MEC Cyclone rain pants & leopard print gumboots. The kids both wore their hand-me-down MEC Newt suits. The upside of the miserable weather was that the seawall was near deserted. We could ride along without having to dodge groups of pedestrians walking six abreast or errant dogs crossing our path on extendable leashes.

Clambering up the CMFV Glendyne 'stairs'
Along the way we spotted tons of sailboats & even a pirate ship! Boats were basically the theme of the ride, because we were headed to Granville Island, where the Tugboat Festival was happening. Before going to check out the tugboats, we parked the bikes near the market, then had a quick lunch outside under an awning. Oliver got our usual lunch: a couple of spinach stuffed bagels & a lemon ricotta stuffed bagel from Siegel's. Eventually we got sufficient food into the children who were alternately chasing pigeons & seagulls or trying to get into the recycling & green waste bins.

There were about ten tugboats moored to the docks right next to the Public Market. We made a beeline for the biggest of them: the CFAV Glendyne. This tug is huge: 29 metres long & over 9 metres wide! Most of the ship was open to the public, so we climbed up the ladders (they're far too steep to be called stairs) to the three decks, checked out the galley, the bathrooms, the bridge, & the anchor, the huge towing winch on the back. Linnaeus asked tons of questions of the friendly crew & Bronte managed not to break anything or fall overboard. Win!

From the brass & wood bridge of the SS Master
After touring another of the tugs--the SS Master, a 1922 wood-hulled steam-powered boat--we headed back home in the rain. Since we'd had lunch outside & only briefly ventured into the market to buy food & use the toilets, we didn't mind the cold & damp. After about three hours in the rain, most of our gear had soaked through, but we all had fleece layers underneath that kept us from really feeling it. Bronte was comfortable enough to have her nap on the bike ride home. She usually wakes up when we get home, so we took our time to make sure she napped longer.

Our Kidical Mass ride was likely the smallest one participating in Kidical MASSive--Seattle had over 220 riders!--but I'm glad we didn't chicken out because of the rain. It ended up being a fun day. I'm really looking forward to the next YVR Family Biking ride--Hallowe'en themed, of course! I'll post the details soon...

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