Auld lang bicycle ride

by Raymond Parker on January 3, 2013

in Cycling, Video

“And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere!
and gie’s a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak a right gude-willy waught,
for auld lang syne.”
~Robert Burns

I always try to get out for a New Year’s ride. The tradition begins with a reset of my computer and battery replacement.

For a few years, I organized and rode the BC Randonneurs New Year’s Day populaire. This sometimes led to interesting times. The last couple of years, I’ve been happy to return to the kind of random, unplanned excursion I used to enjoy.

On Tuesday, I joined Laurie Upton, loyal friend from the auld Wednesday ride gang. We set a pace fit for the elderly and infirm (translation: Laurie got his spirited ride in on the way over to my place :-)), goading our bikes toward the adjacent precinct of Oak Bay, by way of Beacon Hill Park, where families sported and relaxed in the sun.

It was a chilly day (around 4℃) with a breeze to boot, but a couple of layers of merino wool under a windbreaker kept me comfy.

Crossing the “Tweed Curtain,” we cruised the village for cuisine.

“How about the Penny Farthing Pub,” I suggested, as we rolled along the natty main drag.

These are the kinds of rides I have always treasured: a friend or two, a pace conducive to conversation, a spontaneous destination with good grub on hand. Rumour has it the “Sensible Sunday Ride,” a venerable winter tradition, may be back on the calendar (except in truly horrible weather, when it wouldn’t be sensible).

All cyclists should schedule these kinds of rides, especially in the off-season. Even if you’re a racer or randonneur, put away the record book and route sheet for a month or two. Flip a coin and see which way the wind’s blowing.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add your spin! }

Laurie January 8, 2013 at 6:50 pm

Just returned from 5 bike-less days at our friend’s cabin on Quadra Island. Two – hour long walks on the Spit and a day splitting wood was all the exercise I could muster.

Great video! Did we really coordinate that arm raising. Nice touch and lovely sound track (necessary to drown out my inane babble). I think we agree that any ride no matter how slow is a good ride. :-))

WMCR tomorrow and then off to Vancouver for more bike-less days. Sigh.


Raymond Parker January 9, 2013 at 7:47 pm

I hope you didn’t get blown off the bike today! I did a bit of judicious editing to get the hand-raising to happen at the appropriate line in the song.

Talk to you soon.


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