Monday, October 31, 2011

The Cost of a Puncture

Apart from saving the planet (with reduced Co2 emissions) it would be nice to think that Cycling to work would actually be cheaper than driving.

However my recent Cycle Tyre Puncture experience combined with the high cost of living in Switzerland again makes me go  Hmmmmm.

Last week after a rather full day of work I arrived at the Bike sheds at about 20.00 only to find my rear tyre fully deflated. To make a long story short after numerous reinflation stops, careful cycling home  (avoid all bumps),  I made it back to the Cave at home to change the tube (and Tyre).  So what are the costs involved and lessons learnt?

  • If it is going to rain, i.e. if WeatherPro even shows a sniff or rain then I should run or drive to work.  Race bike, slick tyres, no mudguards vs rain.  Rain wins.
  • The weight cost of carrying Co2 cartridges an inflator, and tyre levers is a necessary evil.
  • The cost of the Co2 cartridges.  Since they can't be mail ordered from the UK (explosive risk apparently) I pay 5CHF (3GBP) Swiss prices per cartridge
  • Continental Supersonic Inner tube - 45 grams - 9GBP

Okay, it is a total extravagance to use these quality tyres for commuting, but they do provide the ultimate lightweight experience.

So the total cost, excluding the hassle factor, time lost from working or relaxing, is about 45 GBP  ( 75 USD, 60 CHF). The cost if I tried to buy all these items locally in Switzerland would  be over 120 CHF.

The quality of Swiss roads is such that if you cycle in the dry, on clean tarmac roads only you can get away with this lightweight tyre and tube combination. But on a rainy road you can't always see any stones or glass that are lurking and punctures become a reality.

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Short Journey Home

No, of course I do not mean it figuratively. I mean that literally the journey from our holiday in Vancouver Canada, on this Blog day, Sunday October 16th 2011, was a short one.

But let us start with that sad last day of holiday morning.
Before embarking on at least 12 hours of flying (and for us not moving and just eating) we tried to find one last exercise venue.  Hello Vancouver Aquatic Centre

We arrived to find not only a 50 metre pool but a comprehensive gym too, but there was only time for an almost hour long lane swim.   Not crowded, fantastic!

A fast walk back to the hotel and we rushed to pack and leave

We made a start to walk towards a distant metro station.  Plenty of recycling bins in this city.  We do approve.

Some while later we are still walking.  But our double rucksack load  (main sack and day sack) are beginning to weigh us down.

So we call it a day and join the underground transit system to whisk us away to that Vancouver YVR airport

And so, an uneventful 12 or so hours later we arrive back in Lausanne.   Arrival time is about 16.00 so we have designed that we have the rest of the day to sleep so that on our first day back at work, well we can actually do some work.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Run Vancouver

Sadly this post describes our last full day of holiday in Canada.  We wisk you back to Saturday October 15th 2011

The Plan for Saturday was to spend the entire day literally running Vancouver.  Let us see how we did:

Yes,  rich and aspiring rich people everywhere continue to locate themselves in the first possible problem area that will soon affect us with Global Warming  (and concequent water table rises)

A view to Granville Market

 When the standard Ferrari 458 bodywork is not quite bling enough

 Still running we are on the beach xxx

 I don't believe it.  There is more wildlife in the city than we ever saw in the countryside!

 This is a dog casting call gathering (sic)

Now we run onto the Vancouver Aquarium

We had a truly fantastic time at the Aquarium.  They have done something very clever with the lighting to enable photographs (even without flash) to  come out well.

 More Street classics.

Now, this weekend is the Occupy Vancouver campaign climax.  Also known as the 99% percent rally.  We run to find the protesters:

Many good humoured bill boards like this one:  LOWEST Crime Rate in HISTORY. Build more Prisons.

The Main protest and speakers are by the side of the Arts Gallery

 After dinner in town we returned to check the protestors were still in residence - yes they are.

 Country folk are having a night on the town?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Ferry Me

Well in real time it's the 28th October but in Blogland we are still blisfully wandering through the last wonderul moments of our Canadian holiday on the blog-day of Friday October 14 2011

We made some time calculations and thought that if we arose early we would have time for a morning coast run.  Unfortunately during the run we found out houw beautiful it was around here, plus along the coastline was a very scenic walk along with carefully placed tourist assets from the logging days.  We were so rushed that there was not time for photographs.

And, then on our return no time to enjoy our faboulous apartment, except for the shower!  We wanted to stay longer.

We just made it to the Saltery Bay Ferry terminal

 Agata and the Mustang are loaded - check!

 Yes, this is not just a car ferry, Harley's accepted too

 Agata, the eagle eyed real estate investor

 Here is a large snake but he is hiding quite well

We are on a tight deadline but we think there is time for an expedition to the Smuggler Cove at Marine Park

Believe me this Woodpecker is the only wildlife we saw here.  Where are all the animals?

More manicured paths, they are making the ramble too easy n'est pas?

Some Spectacular views

No more animals but a touch of woodworm, does that count as wildlife?

We are again out of time and it is back to the road

Thanks to a portable Internet Connection, our GPS and Google Maps we found the area's best Chip Shop.  Robert's Creek  Sharkey's Fish Locker

We headed into town and had an impromptu slap up, sit down meal.

Our last Ferry for our holiday: Horseshoe Bay to Vancouver

<Several Hours later>

Agata planned for us to visit the Cliffwalk Capilano Suspension Bridge

We paid for the parking.  Then headed over to the Entrance.  It was closed!   We felt gutted, they took our money and we have nothing to show for it.

So finally, with the Suspension Bridge mission aborted there was time to check into our city centre hotel.  This time the large though mediocre Sunrise Inn.  Once installed it was time for a last night in Vancouver town.

Ah a first Single Speed bicycle is seen.  I can tell I must be in that expensive and impractical metropolis.  Just time to catch a heathly meal and then a movie before another well earned rest.