When I was living in Vancouver in my early 20’s, my primary mode of transport was my Asama 21 Speed mountain bike. I was also very poor and living off of ichiban noodles and this cheap ass rice bean soup mixture that cost 99 cents at the time and would give me 2-3 days worth of food.
Yes folks, I was broke. I was starving. But when I look back at these moments, I know that they were character building years and makes me appreciate everything I have ever earned or done. This story is one of insanity, and I am lucky to have survived it quite truthfully. If you start to follow my blog, or register to download my book, you will find that I am the man with 9 lives. This is just one of those stories.
So my 2 friends and I were sitting around drinking in my apartment one night. They also were avid bike riders and the 3 of us were very fast in town on bikes. I had races from my apartment in East Vancouver with friends in cars to downtown Vancouver and beat them on more than one occasion.
Well sometime before this night in question, someone stole my quick release bike seat. As I said, I was broke folks. So broke that I didn’t have the money for a new seat. Mind you, I always found 15 bucks to score a gram of weed when I needed it. Funny how resourceful addicts are and what they will sacrifice for their drug of choice.
So, for almost a month I got around in Vancouver on my bike without a bike seat. It put me in the best condition of my life. Because the only way to ride was standing up, all out, all the time. I can feel the burn in my legs as I write this. I mean seriously. I was riding at 40-50 km/hr all out, all the time. I miss the physical condition I was in, thats for sure.
Jim, Greg and I are sitting around my apartment drinking beer. (money for beer, no money for bike seat.. LOL) They started talking about how the 3 of us were probably the 3 fastest cyclists in the city. We started to argue, because I thought that although we were pretty freaking fast, there were after all over 1 Million people in the city. So I started to brag and said, that I was faster than them, and I in no way considered myself the fastest cyclist in Vancouver. I live on Lakewood and Hastings in East Vancouver for those familiar with Vancouver.
It is now past midnight, and my drunken crazy ass mind decides to have a bet with my friends. I bet them, that from where I live, that I could ride my bike OVER the 2nd Narrows bridge, up the UPPER LEVEL HIGHWAY through North Vancouver, down over the Lionsgate bridge, and cut up through downtown and come back all the way to my apartment in under 1 hour. They laughed at me. Remember, I didn’t have a seat to boot. For those of you that know Vancouver, the Upper Levels highway is a 15% grade 2 kilometre hill, that you just didn’t see to many cyclists do even with a bike seat and in the daytime WITHOUT a case if beer in their belly. The whole entire round trip was probably about 20 km, but this particular hill would take at least a quarter to a third of my time.