It's the end of winter holidays so that means travelling is guaranteed to be an experience. Between weather, security issues and just the sheer number of people trying to fly you kind of expect not to get anywhere on time.
So when I was heading out of Yellowknife and they announced that the rear luggage hatch was frozen shut and they were going to have to keep the luggage from Edmonton on and load our stuff into the front my only two thoughts were that'd I'd better get my head phones out of my back pack because we were going to be on the ground a while and that my bike definitely wasn't going to make it to Vancouver.
Really, not a big deal because it wasn't like I was heading to race and I didn't think anything of it until I was in Vancouver, only an hour and a half late, and heading to West Jet luggage services to go through the lost baggage process. The girl there laughed and said it seemed like I had been through this a lot before.
Any cyclist that has done the least little bit of traveling with a bike knows the ins and outs of the airlines excess baggage fee and lost baggage system more than most people. Depending on how generous the check-in people are feeling you can pay anywhere from $50 - $ 300 (I don't recommend flying Delta with a bike) to check your bike and then maybe overweight and excess number fees on top of that if they are in a bad mood (I know someone who ended up paying over $500 to get their two bikes down to Junior Worlds when we went to Mexico). Other than the fact that most other sports equipment flies for free, I do kind of understand the fee they levy. Travel days you don't really need to train because between lifting bike boxes in and out of cars/taxis/buses, dragging them through airports and then lifting them on and off of scales, security tables and conveyor belts you can work up a sweat. The part I realized doesn't make sense after the WestJet agents comment is that after we pay the extra fee the bike is the first piece of luggage left behind if anything happens; especially in cases where you end up paying the price of a ticket essentially.
Oh well, my bike arrived the next night and they gave me a $100 flight credit for going to pick it up.
My skis (one of the pieces of sports equipment you don't have to pay for) however arrived at the same time I did. It raining Saturday so I probably would have been stuck inside on my trainer anyway (although I've found a new source of entertainment, Dexter, courtesy of Michael Gilday). So, Saturday after contemplating checking out Cypress Mountain to get in my training, I bit the bullet and decided to head up to Whistler for the first time this year to get in some xc skiing with Mike Adams. All the Olympic sections were closed in Callaghan Valley but still got in a good ski up through the mountains to Callaghan Lake. It was a bit of a shock going from skiing in -20 - -30 to +2 and I didn't totally manage to escape the rain in Whistler although once we climbed high enough it turned to snow.
Today felt like summer after the past two weeks in YK and the perfect justification for living in Vancouver as a cyclist. Sunny (ish), no snow and + 10 is pretty hard to find any where else in Canada in January. Lots of people were out taking advantage. New Year's Resolutions anyone? I was also in the gym today relishing the space before the Bird Coop gets its usual two week post- New Year influx of people.
My New Year's Resolution...although I'm hesitant to call it that... is to mix up my diet a little bit and try and cook some more interesting foods. We'll see how long it lasts, but for now here's dinner:
Beef Tenderloin, Green Beans, and Acorn Squash stuffed with wild rice, cranberries, apples and almonds. so good, but a little laborious.