Day 1 in Vancouver!
Turns out May 20 is Victoria Day in Canada, which is a federal holiday honoring Queen Victoria on the last Monday of May every year. It also marks the first day of Canada’s summer “season”… Translation—Day off!
So we’re off to a pretty good start! This worked out perfectly, so that I could settle into the city more, be able to find a bike and get food!
I spent the morning enjoying an incredible walk around town, then my morning yoga and morning mediation session. Then I spent the next five hours walking around Vancouver looking for a bike. It turns out that a few weeks back most of the bike stores in the area sold all of their used road bikes. I wasn’t too keen on spending $600+ on a bike I may have to try to sell after three months.
I walked to Our Community Bikes to try to “build-a-bike” from scratch, but was told it would take weeks. Scratch that one off the list. Not deterred, I found a pawnshop and began trying to barter my tablet for a bike. No dice. “I’ll give you $30 for the tablet, but that bike is $400, $350 best offer.” I was told from the man with a thick eastern European accent.
Leaving slightly disheartened, I stumbled into a local coffee shop called Milano for an espresso to lift my spirits while I tried Craigslist. HOLY SWEETNESS! Jackpot! I found a man in the area who feeds the homeless offering a bike for $350! … but he wants to meet at 10 p.m. basically down a dark alley. So that’s out. With about 40 clicks later, mostly because of the caffeine rushing through my veins, I stumbled onto the meek and wonderfully warm Chung.
Chung is a Vietnamese man who lives with his sister and builds and sells bikes on Craigslist in Vancouver from parts he BUYS on Craigslist in Vancouver. I found a beautiful bike for $245 that he even offered a new seat on! Best cycling day of my life.
I ended up biking all around Vancouver and getting an abundance of groceries to fill my belly for at least a week!
All around successful day one in Vancouver!
Matt Cooke is a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point majoring in health promotion/wellness and musical theater.