Ride Report: June 2014 Critical Lass to LIVINGbridge

Ride Report: June 2014 Critical Lass to LIVINGbridge

We lucked out on June 25th. It had rained all day, but the skies cleared in time for Critical Lass.

We took a group photo before the ride began.
We took a group photo before the ride began.

We rode across the (reopened!) West side of High Level Bridge, up the separated path west of 109th Street, then through downtown on 102nd Ave.

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…past the Works Festival in Churchill Square.

We stopped to check out this moving art installation by Holly Newman one block up from the Boyle Street Plaza:

Each tag is an invitation to share your night fears.
Each tag is an invitation to share your night fears.
My moth for sharing my night fear (death by right hook).
My moth for sharing my fear (death by right hook).
It's on the site of the demolished York Hotel.
It’s on the site of the demolished York Hotel.
There are also postcards for the project on a nearby lamppost.
There are also postcards for the project on a nearby lamppost.

Next we checked out how the LIVINGbridge is looking so far. (You’ll remember we also visited last summer, later in summer when street bench entries and more plants were in place; their website is here.) Organizers had suggested that we come ready to plant, so I’d brought my gloves and a couple of trowels. Nobody was around to give us direction, so we did some weeding, and picked an empty looking bed and ringed it with some of the annuals waiting to be planted.

Just after this photo was taken, Coreen and I pulled out my wrenches, and she attempted to pull by rear wheel back a bit, to get rid of the chain case scrape and weird shifting. Isn't she the best? I'll need to bring it in to Bikeworks to repeat the process on a proper stand.
Just after this photo was taken, Coreen and I pulled out my wrenches, and she attempted to pull Sparta’s rear wheel back a bit, to get rid of the chain case scrape & weird shifting. Isn’t she the best? I need to bring it in to Bikeworks to try again on a proper stand.
We worked mostly on beds 23 and 24.
We worked mostly on beds 23 and 24.

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We wrapped up quickly and left when some guys who were hanging out there started hassling us – in particular, one native gent seemed upset by our presence. We headed back downtown and had a long wide-ranging chat at Remedy. I completely forgot to take photos.

On the way home, they were testing the newly-installed lights on High Level Bridge:

Of course we all had to take photos.
Of course we all had to take photos.
There were other colours too, but my photos from the red part of the cycle turned out best.
There were other colours too, but my photos from the red part of the cycle turned out best.
You can almost see the individual lamps in this shot. I was happy to see how unobtrusive the installation is.
You can almost see the individual lamps in this shot. I was impressed by the unobtrusiveness of the installation.

While we were taking photos, we met a 53-year-old res school survivor in distress, and walked him the rest of the length of the High Level Bridge to make sure he was okay. He had a lot of profound lessons for us (as elders and survivors do), which I’ll share in a blog post eventually. He taught us a phrase, pronounced cha-oon-day, that was his prayer to the Creator for a better day tomorrow. He faced the sunset as he was praying, and traced the horizon with his hands. (If anyone can teach me the proper spelling I’d be grateful. I’m not sure if it’s Cree or Dene.)

Sunset shot.
Sunset shot. Taken roughly 11:15pm.
Catbus street art on the sidewalk.
Catbus street art on the sidewalk.

Let’s all send a wish into the universe / to the Creator / good vibes to him, wherever he is now, for a thousand better tomorrows, and consider donating to organizations who work with homeless people or the urban aboriginal community so people in his situation feel less alone and hopeless.

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