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On Saturday I succumbed and bought an electric bicycle.  It is marked Evo-Race and Easy Motion.  I got it from a small store in North Vancouver on Forrester Avenue for about half of what I paid for my five-year old Honda Civic when the lease ran out.  A bargain—the Honda, not the bike.

Yesterday I rode the new bike up the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve road. Some fourteen kilometer uphill and the same downhill.  Those hitherto steep hills faded to nothing.  Put the bike in level five electric assist and up you go at far greater speed than is polite.  Then coming back downhill, I put it to level one assist and hit a high of 55 km/hr.  This speed, amazing to me, was not the electric assist.  For the assist cuts out at 39 km.hr.  Rather the speed is the result of long, steep downhill stretches and a bit of pedalling.

Today I rode into and back from town along the usual routes I take with my ordinary bicycles: the Cannondale Quick, the Trek roadbike, or the Trek cross country bike.  I prefer the Cannondale as it light and easy to maneuver.  You sit more or less upright and can see and weave in and out of traffic in the city streets and bike lanes.

But it is a whole different ride on the Evo.  I took me but 45 minutes to get home across the second narrows bridge; it normally take an hour and a quarter—half an hour more to drink!   The ride down to the SeaBus was not much different as it is all downhill.  But those steep hills, that get steeper each year, melted in the face of level five assist and a bit of pedalling–for you have to pedal otherwise the assist cuts out.

In spite of what I imagined, you still get a good workout on the electric bike.  It is heavy and needs human (arm and upper body) power to control.  You still have to pedal furiously to keep it moving in the lower gears and lower assist settings.  You still need to move those legs and breath fast to keep moving.  Faster than a normal bike, perhaps, but an equal physical workout over an hour and a half there and back.

So I am glad I stopped hesitating and at 68 gave into to a modern contraption–an electric bike.  If you are hesitating, getting old, and the hills are getting intolerably steep, go get an electric bike.  It is great and I will still ride the other bikes to keep in peak fitness.  Promise.

And in closing let us stop to sympathize with the Iranian blogger Farshid Fathi and the Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi both of whom are sentenced to and have been flogged and imprisoned for blogging.  I have done in a secular sense what they did otherwise.  So now I blog poetry and electric bikes.  Makes you wonder?

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bruce lake

Read today the news that the Brucejack Mine have been given an environmental assessment certificate by the British Columbia Ministry of the Environment.   The regulators say construction can begin once they are sure that discharges from water treatment plants will not harm the Unuk River.  Some of the tailings will go back underground; some will go to Brucejack Lake which is apparently “fishless.”  Most of the waste rock will go to the lake. (more…)

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If you are interested in the use of geosynthetics in mining, or seek to use geosynthetics in mining, or need as a consultant to provide your client with advice on geosynthetics in mining, or you are a manufacturer or supplier of geosynthetics to mines, then you should join us March 10 to 12th on the upcoming EduMine webcast. (more…)

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Happy New Year

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The sun is shining on the patio where we sit looking across the bay from Cadiz.  Here is a picture of a wooden ship in the local harbor, Sherry Bay.   All considered it has been a good year.  So to all let me wish a Happy 2015.

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2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here's an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 220,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 9 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Mallorca is an island to the east of Spain.  I am now at a Marriott resort in a fancy villa.  Today we swam in the biggest heated pool I have ever seen.  Then we went grocery shopping in Llucmajor in a grocery store full of hamon, turron, and cheap Spanish wine. We flew here from Jerez in southwestern Spain after a week in Rota in a house overlooking a perfect beach.  Back there at the end of the week for two more weeks of time with my son and his family. Took a tour around the naval base and saw the destroyer my son works on: the USS Ross.  Impressive in the mists of a cool morning.  They are in port to be refurbished. Also took a nativity trip around the city to see the many nativity scenes that are a staple of the Christmas decorations.  Here are a few photos of where we are and have been. (more…)

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Sometimes a blog is just that: a biographical log, a diary, a record of daily thoughts & doings. So here are a few random thoughts & doings from this weekend. No Mt Polley except yesterday’s ruminations on the inadequacy of bonds for mine closure.  Some good comments.  See previous posting. The weekend started with a lover: the blond hairs turned golden in the rays of the setting sun. And the rest is unrecordable. (more…)

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