Archive | July, 2009

New Roads

31 Jul

There are roads or places that I always imagine where I ride my motorcycle….way before I learnt how to ride. Such places like downtown, West Van and Sea to Sky. Downtown is where you see a lot of people crowded around and crossing at intersections; West Van is where I think the roads are up, down and narrow; whereas Sea to Sky hwy consists of high speed curves.

Honestly I would not dare to ride those roads alone for the first time. Luckily I got another chance to ride in a group. Besides being safer and more relaxed with riding in a group, I found out another great thing is that by following an experience lead rider I didn’t need to navigate so much. I found this pretty awesome for a road blind like me.

OK, the downtown area gave me new ride feelings. I did feel nervous at the beginning…especially on Robson St. since I haven’t ridden before. I saw so many people at every corner of the intersections, stopping and going. Are they looking at me? Do I look cool? It felt a bit out of hand. LOL. But overall, I made it through.

DSC03336West Van is a place that I seldom go, so I am not familiar with the roads and it gave me new challenges. Marine Dr. is great for riding motorcycle. We rode in single file seeing the great scenary. The road is long, narrow and with a number of curves. Some curves have restricted visibility too. Right now I can manage a curve at a “moderate to slow” speed, maybe a little bit slower than the speed limit. Finding a safe speed when handling a curve is something I need to practice a lot more. But I am looking forward to try Marine Dr. again soon.

Sea to Sky hwy…hmmm…. I would not be ready for it yet. But I know it is just the matter of time for me to ride there.


Why “Pooper Scoopers”?

24 Jul

lawndogRemember Mr. Bob Barker, ex-host of the “Price is Right” show, tells people to “Help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered.” at the end of each show. If I were the host, I would also tell people not to forget cleaning up after your dogs.

I am a proud owner of two wonderful Golden Retrievers. We all have been victims of stepping on other dogs’ poop numerous times no matter where, which I am sure will continue to happen now and then. Therefore, I named my blog “Pooperscoopers” to emphasize the need to scoop dog poop. I wish many dog owners would use doggie bag to pick up after your dogs (Biodegradable doggie bag preferrably, of course). Do your part – help the environment and our neighborhoods and become a responsible dog owners. Then enjoy life with your dogs.

For your information: there are many reasons why dog poop must be scooped and removed. Just list a few here: it pollutes our groundwater and harm our ecosystem; diseases and parasites can easly be transmitted; it isn’t a fertilizer but toxic to the lawn and it’s the law.

Sign image from Lawndog

Driver license renewal: Smile no more

22 Jul

neutral faceIs Vancouver banning smiles for driver license photos? I think so. Drivers are now required to have neutral face expressions when having their photo taken. The reason is to avoid fraud
using advanced facial recognition software. Why do you take away my smiling freedom? Great, so now my driver license picture will look even more like a police mug shot (although I don’t have one, I am sure my face will look the same). There is no smiling for my Canadian passport already (and I hate my picture there), and now the driver license. So all my identification pictures will look as if I never enjoy life or never had fun in my entire life.

I thought they are using advanced facial recognition software. Oh well, some experts claim that this technology is not yet sophisticated enough to differentiate between the same person smiling and not smiling. Then if the software can’t handle a smile, what the heck happens if someone grows a beard hiding the chin. One has to ask if this isn’t somehow the beginning of machines dictating our behavior…or someone behind the machines.

I totally object this idea. I like to smile in all my photos and I think I look prettier smiling as well.

[Side Note. Okay, that’s not what I learnt from watching the CSI shows. On the show, the software can zoom in and out; if the subject’s head is blurred or is sideways, the software can recognize the person with no problem. Obviously, the shows are fooling me. Gotta stop watching too much TV.]

Group Riding

15 Jul

I only rode by myself in all my previous rides. Not because I don’t like group riding, but I don’t have the confidence to ride with a group. I don’t want to become the whole group’s burden. You know I may not follow close enough, miss the light or even too slow etc. But I am sure there’s certainly a fun there. Today I had a chance to be riding with a group. And I have my eyes open. I learned that riding in a group isn’t that dangerous and scary. In opposite I felt safer and relax. Being so easily noticed by other traffic is an added benefit of being in a group. At first, I did have the initial feeling awkwardness when riding with others. I haven’t done the staggered formation for a long time after in the riding school. Another thing that caught me was that I required to stop next to another biker at the red light. It was a bit shakie at the very first red light. I found that the width of the road suddenly cut in half for me. And I was on the right hand side of the road which is closer to the curb….and the the road is slanting to the curb (I dropped my bike before in the same situation). Although there are still many things to experience, having somebody in the front leading me allow me to copy his riding moves and techniques. Honestly I enjoy every bit of it. Thanks to the lead rider. The excitement and companionship of group riding is something different comparing with riding “lone wolf”. But both have different excitement and fun. And honestly I like both!