Sunday, 16 July 2006

Pfffzzz ...

13 July - Didn’t rain but was pretty muggy - didn’t move from the front step of 885 for a full hour in the morning and even after that was pretty much strolling from one trip to the next - nothing even came close to being late throughout the day even when their was a little blackberry outage in the mid morning. It was so dead that I was even sent over to the side for the first time in about two weeks - good to do some proper riding for a change. Still, very quiet and if it weren't for the ECOs I wouldn't even be making minimum - as it is, i'm making better money than I did anyday in the furious winter. I do seem to be getting a bit absent minded these days though - after this week's day's fiasco involving a few minor wipeouts, leaving behind my radio, almost losing a trip I added missing a drop when I was in the building and leaving my folder at reception - got to keep it together, I want to be remembered as someone who could get the job done, not the idiot who couldn’t keep a hold of his trips.
I I could add to my complaints about the service industry in this city (country??? we'll see), which include but ar not limited to relentless pestering upselling, whoring out for tips and being very snooty one of my biggest annoyances is the inability of anybody who works behind a bar to multitask. The coffeeshops I frequent the most. Amici at 885 and JJ Beans on the drive, are not capable of making more than one drink at a time and they will not serve the next customer until the first has already ordered, paid and walked off with their drink. JJ Beans is just as bad, unless you're getting a cup of drip the queue might move pretty fast but you'll be waiting upwards of 10m before your drink is in your hot little hand. Went to the pita house for dinner tonight to get myself their very reasonable chicken donair meal (with caesar salad that probably has more calories in the dressing than a krispy kreme) and had to wait 5m before the woman would even acknowledge my existence although when she did she was reasonably attentitve. The queue behind me grew to five people and she wouldn’t make eye contact with them until she was done with me. To top this off, the guy in the shop (husband?) was filling the drinks cabinet and slicing the meat, and an old lady (her mother???) was tearing up pita breads, both completely oblivious to the customers waiting impatiently (although to tell the truth, I think canadian consumers are pretty well trained to wait quietly and not rock the boat - I just wait quietly and seethe). F**king canada. Do love it though.
One thing i'd been considering going on for quite some time but never got around to it was the Midnight Mass, basically a similar thing to the critical mass bike rides but, funnily enough, at midnight. The critical mass crowd are generally a strange bunch, all a bit too young and too into their bikes for me, but the idea of riding around late at night with a big bunch of people did have its appeal. The fact that its at midnight on a schoolnight was the main thing that had stopped me until now. Met up at Grandview Park on the Drive, a fairly hefty turnout of about fifty or so bikers - quite a variety of mounts as well, fixies, road bikes, mountain bikes, cruisers and a few that were a hodge podge of various different bikes. After a bit of arguing Stanley Park was set as the destination and we cruised down via the seawall - its always fun riding in big groups although I have to say that I almost prefer to ride in car traffic than amongst loads of bikes - cars are generallyeasier to predict than bikes, especiallyones beingridden by crazy 22 year olds who may have had a bit to much hot scotch and water and don't really know what a straight line is. The group split off into the high road and low road once we got into the park - some headed alongthe seawall to third beach and a few of us rode up to the top of the lookout point - a pretty brutal climb at the best of times but quite surreal when you're riding in complete darkness. Once we got to the top there was nowhere to go but down - a really steep decline with quite a few twists and turns, no lights at all and doing it on a fixed wheel with very slick tyres on a wet road. Couldn’t see a thing exceot for the faint outline of the white strips in the midle of the road and the occasional flickering rear light of some of the other bikers when we were on a longstraight. All things considered, a very stupid thing to do but pretty exhiliarting nonetheless. Despite the fact that the group was going to kick on for quite a while me and a few others headed back home and got there by 3 - completelyexhausted but pretty pumped full of adrenaline knowing that I was going to be dead to the world the next day.

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