Thursday, December 28, 2006

they came from THE UNDERGROUND

No photos survived.

Which is a hell of a shame, since last ride we found ourselves in one of the coolest destinations yet - a network of interconnected tunnels and multilevel parking garages (extending deeper than I'd have ever thought) under the downtown core of Vancouver.

This is something that I was vaguely aware existed, but had never really considered. Since the forecast for the night was 'A HELL OF A LOT OF RAIN AND WINDS UP TO 100 KM/HR,' Maitland suggested that we find ourselves somewhere dry to ride - specifically underground. We cruised from grandview towards the downtown core, skimming under BC place to take advantage of the covered section that used to be a part of the indy track. We then looped into downtown and dropped beneath the city's surface through a parking garage entrance next to pacific centre. Down and down we went, playing tag with the security guards before popping out above ground. We headed towards the courthouse and dropped down again, this time passing by where the cops secretly unload dangerous criminals for trial. Tunnels extended from here deeper underground (we did not check this part out - maybe next time?) and also connected back into the pacific centre complex. Back to the security guard. Back above ground after a laugh. How far does this network extend? How much of the guts of the city are avaiable to see for the intrepid explorer? Thats up to you to find out.

From here we cut towards stanley park, but decided to skim by lost lagoon instead of looping the entire park. Probably a good idea - as all of us have no doubt seen the photos of the wreckage that night's storm unleashed on the trees in the area (what I saw in the paper made me feel ill and sad - extreme weather: one more reason to fight fossil fuels). From there it was back to the classic Twenty-Pho hour noodle shop where we gorged ourselves on hot pho before hitting the streets to return home - pushed by delicious 100 km/hr. tailwinds. FASTFASTFAST.

My photos were lost due to borrowed camera kaffufles. THIS WILL NOT HAPPEN AGAIN, as I have procured myself a dandy new digital, which I'll bring to tonights ride. Our favorite photographer Oker also attended this ride, so should some of his photos become available, I'll update here with some evidence of our underground adventures.

Be sure to come out and ride with us tonight - DEC. 29th, 11:45 pm at Grandview Park (commercial drive @ charles st.) Bring your lights, bundle up, and bring something warm to drink! See y'all there.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Bike Craft Fair!

B i k e C r a f t F a i r.
Sunday, Dec 17th Noon til 5pm at Spartacus Books
319 West Hastings Street, second floor.

This is a special craft event, where beautifully hand-made items like
tool bags, seat covers, arm warmers, and reflective doodads
are all made spectacular, celebrating the art of bikes and bike riders.
Over a dozen artisans assembled for your inspiration.
(Great holiday gifts for those bike-obsessed kids)

more info BikeCraft:

Polo is tomorrow - we have two out of town visitors from seattle looking for blood and glory. Meet noonish at the grandview park tennis courts. BYO Bike & Beer.

Friday, December 08, 2006

And a year slips by...

Twelve Months. Three-Hundred and Sixty Five days. Fifty Two weeks. It sure doesn't feel that way. It seems pretty much just the other day that a pack of foolhardy bikelovers gathered in the crappiest month of the year in driving rain to cruise the jet-streaked midnight streets. We came together because we love the night. We came together because we love to ride. We came together to give each other reasons to ride - we created community as a tool to ride out the worst that winter can throw at a cyclist and to celebrate the best that the summer could offer us. And it wasn't long before we were enmeshed in the amazing network of Vancouver Bikelove. I've met a lot of amazing people at these rides, and I know others have too. I've seen friendships grown, networks built, crews formed. And with these folk I've mashed my pedals over every inch of this city in its darkened state.

I thank every one of you that's come out to ride and make the Midnight Mass what it is... because when it boils down to it, the midnight mass is you - yes, it's a name and an idea; more importantly it is the group, a mass of bikers, the wheels on the ground. Every ride is different, has a different feel and flow, a different identity formed by who comes and where we choose to ride. If you are there, Midnight Mass is you. And you fucking rock.

I'd also like to give a shoutout of thanks to Morgan of Project B for stepping up and doccumenting the anniversary ride - you did an ace job my good man!

So, sentimental philosophizing aside, lets get onto the ride.

The meet-up at grandview was a festive affair - complete with vegan cupcakes supplied by Asha.

Of course, they baked one giant one and made me eat it. Not that I'm complaining mind you - I'm a bit of a sugarholic as it is.
There were also sexy-as-hell patches with the midnight mass chainring-clock logo for all in attendance..

I think we pulled about 30-35 riders - well down from the summer peak of 80 in July, but pretty solid considering the time of year and weather... hell, we were pulling 8-10 most of last winter.

It wasn't long before we hit the road, owning the streets only the way you can in the middle of the night..

Our destination was the Mountainview Cemetary at 33rd and Fraser... the first place that the Midnight Mass ever rode to oh those many months ago. Here's a couple of photos from that first ride, and what I wrote the next day:

" Friday, November 25, 2005

Midnight bike ride a soggy success

Well, it rained like a motherfucker last night, but despite that, we got 10 people together and rode it out anyway with stops for hot mulled wine, hot chocolate, and doobies in the cemetary. Despite getting a bit damper than I'd have liked, I had a kickass time. Best part of the night was finishing the ride at 24 hour Pho, where hot noodle soup and tea were exactly the healing balm needed to warm our soggy souls.

Plan is to try and do this again in two weeks - so the next Midnight bike ride (Midnight Mass, as has been suggested) will be thursday Dec. 8. Meeting at 11:45 @ Grandview park. Hope to see some of you there!

This year, we had less rain and more riders - here we are chillin' a year later in the same part of the cemetary..

Hot Scotch - the traditional libation of the midnight mass, amongst other refreshements were consumed before we hit the road again.

Someone called "bikeswap!" and before thre was a scramble to grab someone elses bike and get on it - freewheelers ended up on fixies and vice versa, short people struggling on tall folks' wheels, and all sorts of confusion. We rolled west on 37th ave. to Oak St. where we swapped back to our own bikes to bomb the hill down to 33rd. The next stop was the Crescent (AKA the GhettoDrome), another MM favorite spot, and destination of MM's second ever ride, last december. Here we chilled again, and a second batch of cupcakes was consumed (non vegan this time) while a few people raced and sprinted around the 'drome. Amazingly, despite the fact that the ghettodrome is in the heart of Old Money vancouver, and is surrounded by mansions, we've never been hassled here - by residents OR the police. I don't know if its because we've never been rowdy enough (this would be surprising), or that the properties surrounding the 'drome are so large and the houses set so far back that they don't even know we're out there. Either way, I love that spot and would like to see us set up a midnight race there or something. Midnight Dash for Cash in the Ghettodrome?

We peeled out after a good while, heading (accidentally) west, though soon realizing our mistake and rolling back east to the old old favorite 2 am feed spot, the 24 hour pho noodle house at Cambie and Broadway. Pho and hot green tea were consumed and we toasted an amazing year.

Thanks again to all who came out - I'll see you next week THURSDAY DEC 14th, for the next Midnight Mass!


POLO IS STILL ON KIDS - NEW MEETING TIME, 12:00 noon to take advantage of the limited daylight. Grandview Park Tennis Courts. BYO Bike & Beer - mallets supplied.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

late posts abound

I'm sorry about the lack of content lately - I've been taking a bit of an internet vacation since the bike bee, but I'm back and ready for more action. For starters, here are the photos from our first ride of October. This was one of our most adventureous rides yet - all the way out to exotic BURNABY!

Meeting up:

Then off to the great Eastern Climes of Burnaby...

Unlike most MM rides, where we ride for a while, then stop and hang out and socialize before riding & repeating the process multiple times, this ride we booked it all the way to Central Park in one go. Then upon arriving in a well concealed playground, we partied!

Oh yeah, did I mention the Rollerslide? (yes, the rollerslide....)

Damn that was a fun ride.

Unfortunately, no photos of October's second ride survived, as my camera was recently stolen. You'll all just have to imagine how wonderful it was in your heads!


You can come out tonight and ride with us! 11:45 at Grandview Park, Rolling at Midnight. See Y'all there.


TAKE NOTE! The SECOND MIDNIGHT MASS of November will be MM's ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY. Come ride with us and celebrate!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Bike Polo!

BIKE POLO. If you don't know, its pretty much the greatest game ever. Thrills, chills, and oh yes spills (Rob Rao yesterday earned the title for gnarliest polo injury yet - hope your hand's okay Rob!)

Come out and play with us.

All you need is a bike (don't bring your prettiest one - the game can be a bit rough on the bikes)

We've got mallets & all other necessary gear.

To find out more, visit the Eastvan bike polo website:

OR EVEN BETTER, join the eastvan bike polo email listserv! Joining is relatively easy (jump through 1, maybe 2 hoops) - send an email to this address:
We are desparately looking for outdoor covered areas of aproximately basketball or tenis court size. LET US KNOW IF YOU KNOW A GOOD SPOT!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

South Creek Cruise

The fine weather continues to stretch - and, no big surprise - Midnight Mass turnout has continued to hold at summer levels. Over 60 riders turned up for the third consecutive midnight mass of September. This is apparently a city of sleep-deprivation junkies (no complaints here).

Our ride last time took us on a meandering tour of False Creek's South side - here's a recap.

The usual roundup at Grandview Park - meetin' up and chillin' out with friends:

Then it was down first avenue towards science world - always a fine bomb. A nice long, steep run-in from first avenue to Clark, with a second bit of speed as you cross the bridge to terminal. Hot industrial scenery over the CN yards, and classic Vancouverness as you pace the skytrain tracks and approach Science World (or 'the golfball' as the portlanders called it) and bleed off your speed. Life doesn't get much better than this kids - pure, unmediated life.

After a brief stop near science world to deal with some mechanical difficulties (side note - we need to get better as a group of waiting for those who are falling behind the pack. We are meant to be one Mass afterall), it was on to 'the crosstown express' - the false creek passage along first avenue, under the cambie bridge, and onto Lamey's Mill Road feeding you into Grandville Island. Here we stopped to refresh yet again, make some new friends, listen to the two (count 'em, two) stereos that came along to provide our evening's soundtrack, and play some schoolyard games!

Midnight Jump Rope! (playtime after bedtime)

The Fixie Kids, as they are apt to do, turned the pause into an opportunity to show off thier skid skills...

At this point, however, we awoke the ire of some local residents (perhaps we should be a little more discreet about our chill out spots), and it was time to pack it up and roll on.. The farthest west we made it was Jericho beach where we hung until Nos Amis, Les Policiers arrived to give us the boot. (Apparently there was some climbing on top of the concession stand? And apparently people live inside and phoned the Pepper to complain - again, perhaps we need to work the discression angle a little harder; our greatest strenghths lie in our mobility and invisibility to the realworld).

From the beach we split up and headed homeward, some choosing to roll on to the old favorite, Seigel's Bagels. This time there were few enough of us that the poor counter guy (same guy, every thursday) was able to get our food out without risking pulling a ligament. Mmmmm, bagels.

Thats it for last ride.
The next mass is tomorrow - possibly the last clear day before the dreaded Vancouver Winter descends upon our fair city, transforming us all into amphibious creatures (Vancouverus Velocipeda Aquatica). Bring your lights & friends & wheels & thermoses full of hot refreshment - oh, and of course your secret knowledge of this fair city. See y'all there,

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Bike Bee

So I promised you all I'd blog Velomutation... and I will... but first I want to talk about something that is a little more time sensitive - the bicycle bee!

What is it?
The Bike Bee, scheduled for the weekend of OCTOBER 20,21,22 2006 will be a community building and peer learning event focused around... well, bicycles!

Bryce explains the root of the 'bike bee' name, and how it applies to what we'll be doing over the weekend:
The idea intended to be evoked refers to the importance of quilting bees in the past. As many of us know, women would get together & work on a quilt together.
Often the quilt would go to someone who needed it. New wives could be introduced to a group, and get to know the place they live. While quilting, any and all kinds of useful information would be passed back and forth, from solving a pesky family problem (many minds work better than one) ... to family herbal lore ....
The [bicycle bee] idea [functions in a similar way] -- a way to foster communication, take bike repair and building out of the sometimes offputting workshop, and into the hands of anyone who has, or wants a bike. ... Instead of a quilt, the project is a bike, but the process is the same.

What we want to do is to take you - yes, all of you - and bring together the knowledge and skills that we all have in order to teach and help one another, while weaving our community together more tightly.

In order to do this we will be hosting a three-day (well, 2 day/ one evening) event that will include the following:

Bike Build-a-thon: Don't have a bike, but need one? Come down to the Bike Bee, and make use of the used parts and bike knowledge of your peers to build one up over the weekend!

Chopper building: The same as above, but with art-bikes as the outcome!

Workshops Galore! Spread over the course of the weekend we will host a variety of workshops, from art-making, to bike mechanics and safety, to guerilla biketevism! Confirmed workshops include the following:

oO Bike Anatomy 101
oO Fix Your Flat
oO Bike Repair Basics
oO Car Re-education Workshop
oO Anti-theft Techniques and Devices
oO CarFree Cities Conference Presentation/Forum (from the recent conference in Bogota, Columbia)
oO Bike Art & Jewlery making with Victoria's Recyclistas
oOBike Ornaments (jewelry, xmas tree, paperweight applications)
oOForum: A Vancouver Bicycle Hub, what is it and do we want it?


But wait, you ask, what if I want to get involved? I'd like to host a workshop, to volunteer, or to help plan the event!

WELL KIDS, HERE'S YOUR CHANCE! The next planning meeting/ potluck is to be held TOMORROW, Wednesday October 4th, at spartacus books (319 w. hastings, 2nd floor (between homer/hamilton, near dressew). bring finger food to share, your own cup/dish/cutlery if possible. & bring yer bike upstairs! This is the BIG ONE...there will be a mini orientation for newcomers, workshops designated, more logistics, tunnels dug...

If you have a workshop idea, please consider the following:
1. what your workshop is about, & what it could be titled.

2. how much space you would need, with what facilities (e.g. small space, workcounter, access to a tap, bike stand/s).

3. what is the maximum number of people you would be able to accommodate during your workshop? (this number could relate to available bike stands for example, or to the amount of one-on-one instruction you intend to offer.)

4. approximately how long would your workshop be (e.g. 1 hour, 2 hours, 1/2 day etc)

5. what materials you would use. what supplies you can provide yourself, & what you might need help with (e.g. tools, fabric, inner tubes). while we encourage workshoppers to bring as many of their own supplies as they can, it is also possible for us to help with this, either by gathering them though the community, or offsetting the costs of getting them. we encourage you to be as resourceful as possible, & we can help finding ways of sourcing supplies without purchasing them new.

6. what safety concerns might there be? what safety equipment might you need? (e.g.e proper ventilation for paints? safety glasses?). safety also includes a comfortable, inclusive, supportive working environment. we will have safety marshalls on hand at all times, as well as helping "rovers" who will assist all participants in the bicycle bee in having a great experience.

please remember that workshops will be by donation; therefore we are asking workshop organizers to keep their costs to a minimum ($0 costs provides you with access to limitless hugs).

Thats it for now - check back soon for Velomutation & more!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Holy crap - what a weekend! What a turnout by the Zoobombers of Portland at the Midnight Mass!

Pictures and a recount to come soon! Check back, check back!

Thursday, September 21, 2006


The first ride of fall - damp streets, black slickness shot through with orange light and lit by purple skies. We love Vancouver.

Oker made us proud again this week with his fabulous photography - here's last week's ride.

Scarcy cemetary...

Then westward to the Crescent - drag races and hotdogging for all....

Ladies & Gentlemen - Cowboy Wyatt:

That boy can skiiiiidddd.

The party continued at the crescent, until we got hungry and split.

We ride again this week - a bonus MM as a part of the Velomutation Bikelove Weekend - come check out four days of bike mayhem!

As usual, meet at grandview park at 11:45, roll at midnight. See all y'all there.