Whistler – Vancouver (125km)
An easy roll down to Horseshoe Bay (more horses) and then a wind around the coast and I’m over the Lion Gate bridge and into Vancouver within the day.
Newspapers here are devoted cover-to-cover to an odd type of hockey game that is (believe it or not), played on ice! Local coverage of other sports is extensive. Association Football is also fine as long as it is played on ice with bent sticks. Grid Iron is OK too as long as it is played on ice and a choreographed fight breaks out every second minute. I, unlike the people who are now pushing to ban the ‘biff’ (after a few high profile concussions in recent times), do like the fighting. It looks to be quite a skill to punch someone while hanging onto them for balance all the while standing on little sleds on ice. It should be a sport in and of itself.
There is much consternation in Vancouver currently at the city being downgraded to 3rd in the world’s “most livable city” rankings, according to The Economist magazine which evidently does these rankings annually. Equally there is consternation at it being named the “3rd worst dressed city in the world” (by GQ magazine).
Makes you wonder what The Economist and GQ people look for in a city on both counts; good access to a nice lie down, sensible tweed, man bags and ample places for males with no testicles to congregate?? To wit, I just read a local newspaper article bemoaning the preponderance of yoga pants in Vancouver, the article author blaming the hapless yoga pant for the city’s sartorial ranking decline. Balls! Viva le yoga pant, I say! Pants to GQ I say! Have the GQ people never been to Torino, for example, and witnessed every second git trotting about in shiny flared tracksuit pants, totally oblivious to how stupid they look? Equally, have they never seen the hordes of plump little scrubbers in Brisbane gormlessly squeezing themselves into ill-fitting ‘boob tubes’ only for the McDonald’s sponsored excess to then bulge from every surrendering seam giving the impression of an over-blown little balloon poodle? Let the Vancouvan yoga pant thrive! Embrace the pant – as I fully intend to. Especially here in Vancouver which is blessed with so many lovely yoga-panted women who model the much maligned pant to marvelous effect.
Buff3ysbicyclingblog is currently running a competition for yoga pant wearers with first prize being the chance to meet Buff3y the hard-core adventure cyclist in person!* (*Competition subject to strict terms and conditions. Only Vancouvan yoga panted girls need apply).
Now, below is an obvious problem with the rankings that you may have picked up on already:
The “Worst Dressed” ranking cities were:
4. Harajuku, Japan
The rankings for the “Best Looking Women in the world” were:
2. Rio de Janeiro
Now leaving aside for a moment the obvious idiocy of having Harajuku in the least fashionable rankings – a place that thrives on being anything that would be anathema to GQ– (Latex hello kitty, ‘Sailor Girl’ or maid costumes and comic strip characters being de rigueur), there is still an obvious contradiction here. If Vancouver has the 6th best looking women on the planet and they choose to wear yoga pants – surely this is a good thing! Where’s the problem? However, if the 500th ranked city (Brisbane I think) suddenly took up a penchant for yoga pants then admittedly we would have to take issue. Rio ranks, obviously, but how the hell did Melbourne rank so high? (Computer error in its favour no doubt).
Admittedly, the male population of Vancouver could work on it a bit. The Hockey shirt urban chik is a bit ho-hum. The Vancouvan smack heads, of whom there are regrettably a good many, could also lift their dress game a tad for the good of the city’s chances for future rankings as the emaciated post sm/crack old-black dirty urine-smelling ‘hoody’ look is not doing it. The seemingly interminable mumbling, giggling and shouting at themselves is also a bit disconcerting and doesn’t aid the overall look.
Now there have been mumblings on this very blog from some quarters (yes, that’s you Paul) regarding your humble correspondent’s cycling attire. I’m here to say that I’ve joined the Pantists, but of course in a harder-core sort of way. Yes, now that your correspondent is endowed with the finely chiseled buttocks of a hard-core bicycle adventurer, I’m wrapping those buttocks in a stretch fabric Salamon hiking/cycling contour (and conceivably yoga) Pant from a shop, in Vancouver! [refer photo]. You can’t beat ‘em so its best just to pant-up and join them. It’s all about how you wear the pant, not the pant itself. Just as when one wears one’s Savile Row suit, it is the attitude of wearing it that makes the difference, rather than the item itself. [This is something that is difficult to explain to my blog audience – some of whom are from Brisbane]. Suffice to say that GQ is a dumping ground for try-hards who have lost their wee-wees, so Pant Up and be proud Vancouver! [Any anti-pantist sentiment will be strictly forbidden on this blog. Those interested in taking the GQ line can go and subscribe to http://www.wehavenotodgers.com. This entry is getting a bit weird and repetitive so I’ll just leave the pant treatise there.
There is nothing palatial about the St Clair Hotel in downtown Vancouver. It is a run-down heritage listed place relishing in its own dilapidation. A bit creaky but oozing character from every slowly decaying fiber and rusting pipe of its being. It’s handy to the up-market streets, ‘Gastown’ and Chinatown. Vancouver is the biggest city I’ve struck since the start of the ride so am going to enjoy it for a little while and take in the sights. Arriving here also marks the completion of the first ‘ocean to ocean’ (Arctic to Pacific). I’ll have to dip the wheel in the sea somewhere around here and get a photo for the blog. The wheel-dipping ceremony is a time-honoured ritual for touring cyclists to celebrate a coast to coast of self-propelled travel.