I moved to Nanaimo almost 2 years ago. While I loved many things about growing up in North Vancouver, I am definitely appreciating some of the features of (Vancouver) Island Life. Like the ability to use roadways without people trying to kill you.
Every time I talk to my parents they talk about something craptastic that happened to them on the way home from work in Metro Van or (my dad) how much the traffic has increased in volume. Though this gets tiring to listen to and genuinely stresses me out, I believe that the traffic has worsened in the last 2 years since I’ve moved. I don’t know that I would have survived learning to ride over there.
My commute is a fairly pleasant 20-25 minute affair, entirely composed of Old Island Highway traffic lights with some faster travel of up to 80-90 km/hr (wheeeee…!). It was relatively unintimidating to build my skills on and is predictable and steady. In 4 months I’ve only sounded my very loud after-market horn once and boy, did it work! (Wolo, installed by previous owner.)
Since I’m not as worried about being mowed down I have been focusing my energies on getting warm and dry gear. I am generally a cold person and cling to the Persian saying of “cold hands, warm heart” to feel less reptilian. My wife wears a polar fleece with the underarm vents open, and I wear a merino wool shirt under a polar fleece with a down jacket on top to not freeze my butt off.
Items purchased this Fall:
- Highlighter yellow rain jacket that fits over my armoured jacket, Scott’s, 3 way stretch from Tuff City Powersports here in town (about $95)
- Black rain pants that fit over my armoured pants, same as jacket (about $85)
- Tucano Urbano Termoscud lap blanket/”pensioner blanket” from SIP Scootershop online (97 Euros + shipping and duty)
- Prima Windscreen (Tall, Clear) for Vespa LX/GT from ScooterworksUSA online ($114 + shipping and duty)
Service and install done this Fall:
- Oil and filter
- Installed windscreen
- Installed heated grips (from Tuff City, a Christmas gift from the year before that never quite got installed)
- Tire pressure adjustment
It felt awesome to have the cash to actually get some good gear. I was previously precariously employed for 4.5 years (on-call casual hours, contracts with no benefits -don’t get me started…). Now I can invest in my comfort and safety to have a lighter environmental footprint and save a bunch of money by not having another car in our family.