MC3 1-year birthday party in east van/why we didn't go home for 3 days


By Liz and Nicole

Chapter 1. The planning
It all began weeks in advance: we’d decided to throw a party, we’d invited some people and we had a rough idea of what was going to happen, but no one could be prepared for what happened that fateful weekend in east van….

Thursday night was the first night of preparation. JIM had come up with a fabulous birthday logo and DAVID, along with Jim and LIZ were going to crank out some commemorative patches. We tried a few print runs, but nothing seemed to work as well as we wanted. We worked late into the night but finally had to give up. Despite a bajillion other things, david was prepared to start over the next day so that we could all show our grandkids the first anniversary MC3 patches.
Taking advantage of the Rememberance Day holiday on Friday, we got an early start setting up. We showed up at the shop bright and early to rearrange the chaos caused by the installation of a new wall that had effectively reduced the shop space by 1/3. After a long morning of cleaning and organizing, the shop was ready to go and bike repairs took centre stage. IAN, like always, impressed us with his techno know-how and had the now infamous cupcake logo up and on the 3 tiered POV in no time. After some last minute repairs, we rushed home to start some domestic preparations…. we cut a swath through the safeway, grabbing every can of BEANS that they had when we heard a strange, yet familiar sound. Staring in disbelief at one another, we realized that we had the one and only: Jim’s cell phone- aka the centre of the MC3 communication HUB. All of a sudden Liz was on the phone with some guy from Seattle, trying to give him directions, while Nicole’s phone rang frantically as Jim tried to figure out what the eph was going on….
Several hundred phone calls later, Liz and Nicole had finished making the vat of post-ride chilli and celebratory cupcakes and were out the door, not to return, for a weekend to remember…

Chapter 2. The ride
Mike (the guy who had called us in safeway and got some pretty sketchy direction) and Jason had arrived on Friday from seattle- not knowing what the eph to expect. But within minutes we were all chatting and trying to explain the antics we had planned….
Everyone who had set up in the day met back at the shop and we all rode over to the gazebo and only had one casualty along the way- luckily JACK had sewn protective knee pads into his pants, and was wearing his helmet, so the fall off his supertallandnarrow tall bike wasn’t as bad. And we hadn’t even started drinking….
Once at the gazebo, the sound system that jim had pulled over from the shop was set up and the tunes quickly turned us into a bunch of rowdy, dancing, drinking bikers. As bikers showed up the party grew with more and more Mc3ers and and then we saw them: the Buzzards rolling up on the FUGITIVE- a 2 story, three-seater tall bike of fury. The buzzards had come up from Bellingham just for our birthday party! KATIE, YALE, SILAS, Big BEN and BEANS and of course, RAWKA- the coolest international biker dog ever! After, introductions and some bike show and tell, we were off on the anniversary ride. MAITLAND had put together the ride based on the things we wanted to see and show our out of town friends. Our first pitstop was Robson Square where we took the chance to set up the sound again, put back a few more drinks and hook up with some last remaining bikers in downtown Canada. By now we were 30 some odd strong. We hit up the downtown, the seawall, rode down into the echo chamber and even climbed a flight of ramps on tall bikes. The highlight of course was when Maitland decided to take a plunge in a poop-filled duck pond. He thought it would be best to swan dive in from the top of his tall bike and take all his dry clothes with him…When all was said in done, Maitland was wet and smelly but had taken us on a ride to remember.
Around 10:30 the DJ called and was already back at the shop so we all sped back in the darkness for the next part of the birthday party.

Chapter 3. The party.
Um… we know there was a party. We just don’t remember it really well. We do remember that JUSTIN and MATT joined their CRANKED colleagues from Seattle. So that was fun. Good beats. Good vibes. Good friends. Good times.
I do remember though, that no matter how tough the biker was, they always wanted more frosting on their cupcake. DONALD’s delicious homebrew and bbqd veggie dogs fuelled the late-night mini-bike jousting, that ended ambulance-free.

Chapter 4. Saturday
Hot grub was served up at DAVID’s in the am, cooked by the rad and only CARA and MARYANNE. After we were stuffed on coffee, pancakes and the best-ephing homemade jam ever made by DONALD, we settled down to figure out the plan for the day. After many weeks of hardwork and cluewriting, LEE finally presented his epic Vancouver Public Art scavenger hunt (stay tuned for future showings of the mammoth undertaking). We sat in disbelief as lee handed out 8 or so double sided sheets covered in pictures and clues-located somewhere the city- that we had to find! After some brief strategizing teams were off: teams were a mixture of east van/west van/out of towners/fixie riders/tall bike riders/boys/girls. 4 teams in all headed out into the rainy afternoon with a folder a pen and a hope that they wouldn’t get totally lost.
Part of the radness of the ride (apart from getting to see awesome parts of the city, graffiti, murals, sculptures and parks) was that we had some time to hang out with our visitors and actually talk for a bit….

It was down to the wire and some teams that ShAll RemAin nameless pushed the time limit a bit and were not actually at the Brickyard by 4:00… still we all made it back: wet, happy and ready to sit down for a bit. DAVID’s hyper stacked team of POL, KATIE, MATT, and IAN ended up killing every other team by like 30 points, but it was NICOLE’s last place team stacked with BEN, YALE, JAMES, IFNY, and JASON that wore their last place medals around all weekend.
A spontaneous Track stand competition took place in the bar and SARA was the lone girl and represented Canda down to the wire, but ultimately it was JASON who took out JUSTIN for the best prize ever- a handmade tire belt of DALE’s.

Chapter 5. Arts and Culture
A little rest and we headed over to see the East Van Porn Collective’s “Made in Secret”. BEANS took full advantage of our loose Canadian ratings and brought his little sister to see some local film-making at its finest. We had friends to see and friends to show around so right after we busted over to the MOMENTUM magazine’s fundraiser party. Walking in was an intense scene: Eager contestants were pitted against each other and more eerily, against martin’s encyclopaedic knowledge of bike culture, for the most intense round of bike jeopardy ever. Empowered by the Tour de France category, DALE easily burned through his round and walked away victorious-.After a couple rounds of thinking “ I could crush these guys in my sleep”, SILAS stepped up to the plate and did just that. He stumbled and staggered through a litany of “local activism and politics” questions, but soon his stride and easily took his local competitors (something I’m sure they’ll never live down).
The victory party turned out on to the street, and soon we were cruising through the city- in the rain of course, but feeling fine, and knowing we would end up somewhere good. Ifny took us up the ramp of death and then we were attacked by a savage herd of racoons, but all who survived were soon treated to some warm soup, drinks and snacks! A couple hours of warming up –inside and out- we headed home to prepare for the last day of our trip (in east van).

Chapter 6. The last day
We all woke up and rode down to freshen up with some coffee at JJ Bean. The buzzards got packed up for their ride home, we exchanged contact info and took some last pictures and they were off. The seattle boys however, stuck around for a day of touring with the last standing MC3 boys and eventually caught their train back home.

All in all it was a totally non-stop rad weekend of awesome international and local bike love. We had such an awesome time hanging out with everyone and can’t wait to go ride in new cities with new friends, old friends, and friends to be made.

Until then………BEST WEEKEND EVER!!!!

Ians Photos!!!!

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