2009-11-07 49 -122
Around 160 St & 68 Ave in Surrey, in between Northview Golf & Country Club and a neighbouring (wheat?) farm.
- Elbie will go if the weather's not too bad for biking
- bike to Commercial & Broadway (about an hour from UBC)
- SkyTrain to King George Station (30 mins)
- bike down the Fraser Hwy; turn off on 152 St; then on 64 Ave; then to 160 St (about 10 km -> prolly about 30-40 mins)
I want to be back at UBC by 17:00. Should be a five-hour expedition round-trip with breaks for snacks and photos and such. Will prollly leave UBC at 11:00, perhaps 10:30. Should be at the hashpoint around 14:30.
Wade & Robyn
We had an errand to run so we're going to bring the car. And a bike rack. And a towel. - Robyn
I left my apartment around 11; after being subject to the miserable rain for a few minutes, I turned around and went home. Setting out again around 11:20 with two more layers of clothing, I still had a fairly cold and wet ride out to the SkyTrain station on Commercial Drive. The ride out to Surrey was pretty uneventful, as was the bike ride from the King George Station. I followed the Fraser Highway, as I had for previous Surrey hashes, then turned off on 152 St. I think I hit something like 60 km/h going down the hill between 80 Ave and 75 Ave, even despite me feathering on the brakes because of the rain.
Finding 160 St turned out to be interesting -- Google had made it seem like a real road and stuff, including it in its directions. However, going down 64 Ave, I never saw a turn-off, nor any signs to indicate it. Noticing my GPS readings were getting further and further from the hashpoint, I eventually did a U-Turn and starting searching for the road.
It turned out to be a small gravel road intended for servicing the dyke going across the area, with a white, locked gate barring any car from going down it. Huh. The grass beside the gate was clearly trampled, nor were there any signs to dissuade me, so I slipped my bike under the gate and continued down the road.
The hashpoint was about 800 m from the gate. I stopped for a little while, ate lunch, and waited for Robyn & Wade. Eventually two figures were spotted on the horizon, walking down the road -- I waved, and then I waved a bit later... and then as I was about to wave a third time I realized they were not Robyn and Wade. Oops.
About five minutes after the couple walking their dog had passed me, I noticed a small golden car pulling up in front of the gate...
Robyn & Wade
Another cheater car hash for Wade and Robyn, but there was no way we would catch up to Elbie without the infernal combustion engine. It promised to be a cold, wet, miserable Vancouver November day, so in addition to two GPSes and a dinosaur, we brought a bike rack and a large towel, just in case Elbie needed them.
Google Maps showed 160th Street ending shortly before the geohash, but the satellite view suggested that an accessible path ran alongside the golf course right to the point. Wade's driving geohash guided us right to the turnoff, but it didn't exist. We went a block past, turned around and discovered that there was no 160th Street, just a gravel path. We parked at the edge of the road and walked down it to find Elbie.
At & after the hashpoint
Elbie was quite dry and had already found the geohash, right on the trail. There was no sign that 160th Street had ever gone this way, but it was by no means the most insane map data error we've ever encountered. Photos were taken and then we moved on.
Elbie accepted the offer of a lift, so we strapped her bike securely to the rack and drove her through the grungier bits of Surrey to Vancouver. I don't recall her needing the towel.
Elbie's bike ride home
With the weather finally looking absolutely beautiful, and being eager for some exercise, I asked to be let out at Marine and Knight. After thanking Robyn and Wade for the nth time for thoughtfully giving me a ride back to Vancouver on such a rainy day, I set off on what began as a pretty nice ride down Marine Drive.
Just after passing Oak St, and merging with the oncoming traffic from the Arthur Laing Bridge, I heard a fairly sudden and unpleasant hiss from my front tire. Groaning and pulling over to the sidewalk, I assessed the situation. The tube that I'd been meaning to replace for the past couple weeks had a leak. And the one time I go on a bikehash without my patching kit, is of course, the one time I get a flat on a hash. Lovely.
I started walking my bike over to Granville St, thinking I'd take a 98, or any of the other buses that go along Granville. But, of course, my knowledge of the bus routes of that part of town was out of date. A new SkyTrain line had totally changed the bus routes in the area. Uh-oh. All the bus stops I was finding were going to the new Marpole Loop.
Eventually, after walking my bike about eight blocks while cursing the situation and expecting a lonely & miserable ride home in shame, I found a stop for the 10, which goes north up Granville. I was glad when a friendly face boarded the bus a few stops later, who gave me a tip to get off on 25th instead of 41st for a faster trip to UBC. And soon once I was on the 25, I ran into a second friendly computer scientist: Patrice, a former instructor of a few local UBC geohashers. I quietly debated explaining the context of my flat and decided against explaining my crazy hobby.
Once at UBC, I headed straight for the Bike Co-op. Less than 15 minutes later, I'd replaced my tube, tightened my headset, and was heading home on my bike. Hurrah for the co-op being open until 18:00 on Saturdays.