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the ongoing building of Critical Mass in Nanaimo to demonstrate active and alternative transportation as well as engage awareness of drivers on the road of bicycles – and how RAD they are! Destinations also have meaning: the Bowen Farmers Market every wednesday, meet at 4:30 at the corner of Wakesiah and 4th st.

Nov 7, 2009: (First Saturday)

the peak of mt benson was snow-capped and the sky was clear (for now) and the air was crisp when we met on the corner of 4th and wakesiah with aspirations of filing our bags with goodies, which we did, but not the kind we had originally expected. although in bill’s case it was more of a mission to empty his bags of recyclables. The intrepid rain-fearless warriors were bill, jawn, jesse and kate. unfortunately none of us knew how to get to the farm we were supposed to be going to, so we invented our own adventure. Jawn was the guide that led the way to two great recycling and reusing desinations. the first was the Nanaimo Recyling Exchange at Bowen and Island Hwy, a huge thrift-store-like depot where people come to drop off all their unwanted but still usable items which are then sold real cheap. usually $2 by the shopping bag full. it was an overwhelming first time visit for a few of us. kate found some odds and ends and pondered hauling home an old school typewriter. maybe next time.

the next stop was the ReStore on Mostar and Boban, which sells used home hardware items reclaimed from buildings being renovated and demolished. They’ve got everything from carpets to kitchen cabinets and all sorts of plumbing, lighting, windows, flooring…whatevs. but they didn’t have the right size of door bill was looking for. we were all looking forward to helping to haul it back via bike too. oh well.

since we were already heading north, we decided to head up to oak bay bikes, and poke around. we arrived at just the right time for jawn to snag a pair of practially new unwanted tires from a customer’s bike. sweet!

back south the way we came, with a detour to roll along the waterfront trail and that was the day. great ride!
Jawn

Oct 28, 2009:

Did I mention the island got rainy from time to time?

So today was the day for hard-core cyclists again, and might I say kudos to the 11 people who came to support the last day of the Bowen Farmers Market, despite the chill and wetness. You are all awesome!

We saw some new faces and chatted about whats next: to continue the rides? Destination potentials? And frequency fundamentals. From current and past response we have determined that we will continue our pedaling adventures, but are we still Pedal for Produce?

Potential new destinations are currently (5):

“Green Drinks” fourth Wednesday of every month 5:30-7 at the Vault downtown

Benson Meadows Market (Old Shady Mile Market) on Jingle Pot Rd.

Gary Argyle’s Farm open every Saturday until mid-December on Maxey rd.

community potluck! perhaps once a month at participants houses revolving?

Greater Nanaimo Cycling Coalition Meetings fourth Tuesday of every month 7pm at  #3-2350 Labieux Rd.

Please let us know your preferences by filling out the doodle:http://www.doodle.com/75bupfds7a7xuy6u

When we got to the market we were greeted by delicious (and free) concord grapes – the sweetest you’ve ever tasted – thanks Foodshare gleen team! A cornucopia of food filled every booth and people were stalking up for the end of the market harvest season. People were moving quickly, well accompanied by the music, to get out of the rain which was increasing volume with time.

By the time I got home I was soaked, fairly frozen and ready for a hot bath, but the satisfaction of fresh food-filled paniers and a beautiful, nutritious dinner (and the hot bath) put such a smile on my face – I just love to ride!

Thanks to Jesse for filling us in on Vancouver Critical Manners, a cyclist mass still valuing and demonstrating responsible cycling while still promoting person-powered transportation on the streets. See more info: http://www.theprovince.com/travel/Cyclists+launch+rival+Critical+Mass/1850693/story.html

Hope to see you at Van Halloween Critical Mass

As Emily says “I RIDE BECAUSE I CAN!”

Power to the Pedalers,

Chris

Oct 21, 2009:

Oct 14, 2009:

Hey Solutions – The hard-core pedalling crew was out again yesterday!

It was a great ride, and we have two more to go to the end of the Bowen Farmers Market - the last is on Oct 28! There has been interest in continuing the ride to the Benson Meadows Market located at 3452 Jingle Pot Road - so if there is enough interest I say we continue our presents right through the rain! Attached is a great pic of the crew posing as vegitables – (guessed)left to right: carrot, turnip, asparagus, potatoe, buttercup squash, blueberry, beet!
An interesting point from Dan noted that frustrated drivers seem to always appear on the same uphill road on Bowen across from the Mohawk gas station – interesting, as there are two lanes available for cars AND bikes, so even if we ride two by two theres plenty of room for passing! We did recieve some energetic finger wagging and muscled up vehicle “gas-outs” – if they only realized how much fuel they are using to try to demonstrate their weak point of driving single occupancy vehicles.

On the ride home via the E&N trail we witnessed the clean up of a collision that occured at 3pm on Wednesday when a car stopped on the rails and was T-boned by the train. Story link below (Thanks Jawn!)
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2009/10/14/bc-nanaimo-train-fatal.html?ref=rss

On the happier side, we later experienced support of why we are doing this ride when Becky’s back wheel went completely flat and together we all had the skills and tools to find the original puncture (two small staple ends-crazy!) and make a quick repair.  Together this was an awesome experience and  really rewarding being in a supportive and proactive group. Thank you  to everyone on the ride, I’m so happy to be surrounded by some many awesome people!
Ride On!
Chris

Oct 7 2009:

Sept 30, 2009:

Sept 23,2009:

Sept 16, 2009:

Hi everybody,

Our bike ride today was another huge success! Not only did we again get a great turn out but we also had footage recorded by Shaw that will be screening friday! It was a much longer ride than normal however necessary forthe excellent shots and multiple takes, and through the magic of television all will be revealed as our galant efforts to increase alternative transportation efforts in Nanaimo and especially to and from campus.

Something which was brought up earier in the week was the idea to change the promotional title from Critical Mass to Pedal for Produce (thanks Jawn)! This will be a part of the transportation discussion tomorrow at our MEETING:

5pm in the log cabin, building 365, located across from B360. (If you would like to suggest an alternative space, please let us know!)

Another HUGE thank you to all that came out, I hope to see you all next week for ALTRA Week, for breakfasts, washes, Pedalling for Produce, and of course the “ALTRA/bike-In Movie: Veer
Pease check out our website for details: solutions.viu.caand if you’re able to help out please let us know.

Be sure to check us out tomorrow at Malapolooza, along side the wicked music brought to you by the students’ union.

Rock’n,

Chris

Sept 9, 2009:
First break and cruis’n with charisma!

The day had started out pouring and I had personally been soaked the entire day – new/free rain gear not so much on the proof side. For the first event and with the “ify” weather, it felt awesome cycling towards 3 other cyclists awaiting the gathering mass at 4th and Wakesiah at 4:30 this first wednesday. We all rolled in over a matter of 15 mins and excitedly shook hands, gave hugs and exchanged names. The range of areas of interest ranged from Geography to Psychology, and Renewable Energy to Web Development. We realized on the spot that this was a memorable moment and one to be repeated!
Together 8 of us cruised down the street, taking turns in single file and then spreading out, taking over the lane! We cycled along Wakesiah and up Bowen, with one stop to reconnect after a few unbuckled paniers needed to be safely tucked away. I must say I was extremely empowered when doing a sholder check and noticing the wave of hand signals we were creating! This is the first official ride of the student season and the first critical mass to our own wonderful Bowen Farmers Market, which runs until approx Oct. Spread the word!

When we arrived we noticed that the location of the market had changed slightly off the drenched grass and we were greated into a channel of beautiful locally grown food! I write to you now with a full belly and satisfied grin: fresh beans, corn and tomatoes were the basis of my delicious meal, mmm.

Next week we would love to have some bright signnage, and perhaps a better camera for documentation. If anyone is interested in painting, or bringing such things please let me know as we need help to get these things done. This could be especially wonderful for those of you that have a class conflict, and will not be able to participate on the Crit Mass days, still be a part of the VIU cycling legacy!

This event is also a way to gear up towards ALTRA Week, Sept 21-24. Again we’ll discuss areas that are in need of help but please express your interest so we can help make this week a huge success and FUN to encourage alternative transportation!

Special thanks to Brent, Auron, Krystin, Jawn, Heather, Adrian, and Michael for being the awesome crew taking over the road.

Looking forward to the building of MASS,
Chris

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