Thursday, May 31, 2007


Just wanted to give a heads-up on a few things:

1) My website will be undergoing a massive update soon. Keep checking back for lots of new photos.
2) I will be doing an artist talk at Open Space at noon on Saturday. If you are in Victoria come on down and check out the other projects I'm involved in.
3) The Victoria leg of Bicycle Rehabilitation Project will be concluding soon. If you still need a tune-up visit me at Open Space at 510 Fort Street between 11am and 7pm on Friday or Saturday.
4) There is another event you shouldn't miss happening at Open Space on Saturday night. A team of local artists unveil Grand Theft Bicycle, a video game with a bicycle interface. Should be awesome!!!


Victoria has been awesome. I got into town on Monday night, hooked up with the people from the gallery and found my way around. I showed at Ministry for Casual Living first (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) which is on a major bicycle route. Coincidentally, this week is also Bike to Work Week in Victoria, which has meant that I've been very busy. Tons of people stopped into the gallery just out of curiosity, and ended up getting a tune-up and lending their encouragement.

Tuesday night we had a very intimate (translation=small) reception at Open Space, but then we all went to the beach, enjoyed the amazing weather, and carried on until the early morning hours.

Wednesday and today were pretty much the same - lots of people stopping in and leaving with a healthier bike. Tomorrow I leave Ministry behind and head downtown to Open Space to continue the show. I hope the momentum carries forward and we get lots of participants down there as well.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Transit Man!!!

Christian French is an artist living and working in Seattle, with whom I had the pleasure of showing at Soil. His installation, Transit Man, documents his experience riding Kings County public transit as the eponymous super hero of his own creation.

The installation touches on many of the same issues as Bicycle Rehabilitation Project - environmentalism, urban sustainability, social responsibility, and the integration of art, activism and everyday life. Through the use of the superhero formula Christian makes allusion to the extraordinary world-saving possibilities inherent in using public transit. At the same time, his humourous depiction of himself - not exactly the stereotypical superhero figure beneath the mask and cape - situates agency within the realm of the everyperson. Taken together, Christian connects everyday choices to the extraordinary consequences they may have.

Among all the Transit Man artifacts Christian places quotations from critical writing dealing with comics and superheroes:

This quote sums up Christian's exhibition better than any other, and really gets to the heart of mine as well.

See more of Transit Man visit Christian's website at:

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Leaving Seattle

Good-bye Seattle, hello Victoria. I'm leaving town in about an hour on a ferry that will take me to the Olympic Peninsula. Then I have to bike about 120km tonight and tomorrow to reach a town called Port Angeles. From there I have to get on another ferry (this one at 8am!) to get to Victoria by 9am. Then I have to bike to Ministry of Casual Living by 11am, fix bikes all day (hopefully a lot of people will show up), then go back downtown for my opening reception at 8pm. Whew! I'm tired just thinking about it. But looking forward to it nonetheless!

Absolute final itinerary...I hope

Here it is:

Soil - Seattle - May 24 to 27
Open Space/Ministry of Casual Living - Victoria - May 29 to June 2
Harcourt House - Edmonton - June 21 to 28
Art Of This - Minneapolis - Jul 20 to 25
Union Gallery - Kingston - August 7 to 10
Struts Gallery - Sackville - September 2 to 9
Resource Centre for the Arts - St. John's - September 30 to October 13

Acting Like a Farmer

Have a look:

OK - I didn't read all of this yet because it's after my bedtime and I have a handful of very busy days coming up soon. But it looks really cool, challenging, fascinating, and perhaps a little connected to the Bicycle Rehabilitation Project in a few ways. I'll get more into it tomorrow, and then maybe I'll have a little more to say about it.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Night on the town

I went to the U of Washington MFA grad exhibition reception tonight. Saw some art, saw some old friends, saw some new friends, and basically went out on the town. There were some great pieces there - all i can say is magnets...and paper snowflakes.

Anyways, I met up with Amy Johnson, an old friend from the Archie Bray, and also happened upon Karen Swyler, who was in town for for Amy's show. Karen was about the third person I've run into in past two days who I know from somewhere else completely. Weird!! I got this awesome photo of Karen demonstrating something really dramatically:

Went to a party at one of Amy's classmates and had a really great time. People seem to be very friendly and welcoming here.

Again, however, I want to stress the convolutedness of this city: whenever you tell someone where you're going they immediately break into an explanation of how to get there, whether you need it or not. Such a description cannot happen through words alone, rather it is accomplished through a sort of interpretive dance involving all sorts of strange and sometimes painful limb movements. I can't really do it justice here, but ask me in person sometime, and I will act it out for you.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Seattle is probably the most confusing city I've ever been in. The streets go everywhich way, the addresses make no sense, and to top it all off the hills are as steep as those in St. John's, but twice as big.

An explanation of Seattle addresses stolen from Wikitravel states:

North-South streets are labeled "Avenues" (or occasionally "Boulevards" and "Ways") while East-West streets are labeled "Streets". The city is roughly divided into a 3 by 3 grid with 7 directional sectors (E, SW, W, S N, NE, & NW) Street addresses are written with the sector before the name, e.g. NE 45th Street or NE 45th. Avenue addresses are written with the sector after the name, e.g. 45th Avenue NE or 45th NE.

There are four major exceptions:

1. Downtown streets and avenues have no directional designation.
2. There is no SE section. Instead, the S section is extra wide.
3. East of downtown, avenues have no directional designation (streets are preceded by 'E').
4. North of downtown (between Denny Way and the ship canal), streets have no directional designation, but avenues are followed by 'N'.

All in all, it's probably worth a few dollars to buy and carry a map when you're trying to find an address. Seattle's street designations are fully explained in a Wikipedia article at

Next Stop...

Hi folks,

In all the hustle and bustle of getting out of Vancouver I forgot to write an entry about getting out of Vancouver. Now it's too late since I've completed my first little excursion as far as Seattle. I had a great ride down - perfect weather, no equipment issues, no problems at the border, and not too much traffic (aside from that unfortunate incident on the interstate in Everett - ugghhh). Many thanks to Haambe and Fazail for putting me up for the night in Surrey.

It feels great to be on the road again. I think biking is a kind of meditative state for me. You might think it would be boring sitting on a saddle all day but somehow I feel psychologically and physically rejuvenated from it. I sure am glad that I was able to spend so much of my time in vancouver training. I did about 150km yesterday carrying a heavy load, which gives me confidence for the later stages of the tour, especially the Minneapolis to Kingston leg where I will have to cover a huge distance in a very short time.

The show at Soil opens tomorrow ( at noon so I'm gonna try to get some decent rest tonight. Hopefully we will have some participants...if not I will have to spend the day tinkering with my own bike - now that I think of it I really do need to change my shifter cables and housing...

Saturday, May 19, 2007


Tonight I'm packing!

Monday, May 14, 2007

May Flowers...

Spring has, as they say, sprung. In Vancouver at least. In fact, the tulips in English Bay have already bloomed, died off, and been mulched. I expect they'll be sprouting for a second time any day now.

But I might be gone before that ever happens. Touring cyclists are leaving the city in droves, and I intend to be among them. I've already met several groups of people heading east for Toronto, Quebec City, or other destinations. I'll be leaving a little later than the bulk of them - by the time I finish up in Seattle and Victoria it will be early June. I am just now coming to terms with the imminence of my departure.

Monday May 21, one week from today, I leave Vancouver behind to begin the Bicycle Rehabilitation Project. Things are looking very encouraging, and I'm preparing for a great summer. I'm not sure how everything is going to work out exactly, but I guess I'll find out before too long.

I'm going to pick up the pace with this blogging thing in the next couple weeks. All my stories, experiences, mistakes, accidents, and thoughts will be posted right here, so stay tuned. I promise a fun ride!