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The bike Twitter users bought to replace Ivan’s stolen bike…has been stolen

Ivan slumped over his morning coffee at 8 a.m. this morning—tired…of bike thieves no doubt.

After my homeless friend Ivan Saunderson had his bike stolen on the night of February 2-3 while sleeping in a Fairview parkade, Vancouver Twitter users quickly raised over $500, which he used to buy another bike. That new bike, I am sorry to report, was stolen on the the night of February 14-15—again while Ivan was sleeping rough, this time in the Downtown Eastside. Read more…

Are you seeing what I’m seeing?

As decorative shrubs go, this one is head and shoulders above most.

Monday afternoon (February 12) I may—or I may not—have seen a giant green guy in the alley southwest of West Broadway Avenue and Birch Street.

He’s gone. But whether he was ever here depends on how you look at things.

In this case I’m willing to hedge my bets and admit that I may have been seeing things because, well, I’ve done it before and I was a bit bushed after my Family Day bike ride back from East Vancouver. Read more…

Steal a peek at one of the lost bicycles of Fairview

CCM Prime FS26 abandoned with a flat tire in the east side alley of the 2500 block South Granville.—SGBIA

On Tuesday (February 13) Sharon Townsend, Executive Director of the South Granville Business Improvement Association (SGBIA), emailed me a photo of a bicycle that was found abandoned with a flat rear tire last Thursday (February 8) behind the EQ3 home furnishings store in the 2500 block of South Granville Street.

Townsend, who takes a wide-ranging interest of all within her BIA—home furnishing retailers and homeless residents alike, apparently—was wondering if the bike found behind EQ3 was the one stolen from my homeless friend Ivan Saunderson on February 2.

Regular readers will remember how Vancouver Twitter users spontaneously raised over $500 on February 7 so Ivan could buy himself another bicycle (a wonderful secondhand Norco Bigfoot) to replace the stolen one.

The bike found behind EQ3 is a black CCM Prime FS26 hardtail with white front shocks and side-pull brakes. It appears to have been a new product eight years ago. Judging by the photo it’s in good shape, beyond the flat rear tire and an apparently rusty lever on the seat post quick release.

Someone may belong to it but I showed the photo to Ivan and that someone isn’t him. So far there has been no sign of his stolen bike, beyond a possible sighting, maybe 10 days ago, in a locked parkade in Fairview.

And I really can’t say for certain that this CCM bike was stolen. But it is stereotypical bike thief behaviour to ditch a stolen ride when it gets a flat tire—it being better, seemingly, to put the effort into stealing another bike, rather than fixing the flat.

If this bike belongs to you or to someone you know, it is currently in the possession of the Vancouver Police Department and has the case number: va18-28001.

By the way, you can find out if a stolen or lost bicycle has been recovered by police in Canada by searching for its unique serial number (usually embossed into the underside of the crank) in the Canadian Police Information Centre online database. Click the image to enlarge it.

Yesterday’s late snow is gone but it might be back

Snow flying around like stair rods (thanks to my camera) on Birch St at 9:25 p.m.

Snow quietly began falling at about 9 p.m., Tuesday evening (February 13), in Vancouver’s Fairview neighbourhood—likewise (it is to be assumed) across the rest of the city, if not the entire Metro Vancouver region.

I was sitting in a McDonald’s on West Broadway Avenue when it became clear in the streetlight shine that rain had turned to snow. And though this had been forecast to happen late Tuesday for some 24 hours, I heard many expressions of surprise, both from staff and customers.

“Stanley!” my homeless friend Ivan called to me in a tone of mock alarm from his nearby table—”It’s snowing!”

It was, but it wasn’t sticking. The temperature was still high enough at ground level that the falling snow was ice-cold rain by the time it reached the pavement. Read more…

What B.C. Family Day means to some of us

10:03 a.m. Binner with many alleys left to check crossing Willow St. and West Broadway Ave at a trot—it was Family Day after all!

Monday morning (February 12) was Family Day here in Vancouver, B.C. This is a statutory provincial holiday that has been observed in British Columbia on the second Monday in February, each year since February 11, 2013, thanks to the government of then-Premier Christy Clark.

If nothing else, Family Day means that homeless people like myself, who call parkades our bedrooms, can sleep in, at least a little bit.

I finally got up and out of bed just before 8:30 a.m.—after two of the building’s employees arrived and parked in their usual parking spots—neither of which, fortunately, happened to be the spot where I was sleeping.

For these two people, their jobs clearly meant more to them than Family Day. Read more…

Ivan “wheely” loves the new bike Vancouver Twitter users gave him!

Ivan says that he want to hug each and every one of the generous strangers who helped to get him “back on the road.”

After I wrote on my blog Tuesday evening (February 6) how my homeless friend Ivan Saunderson had been left hobbling on a bum leg after the bicycle he relied on for mobility (not to mention his livlihood as a bottle picker) was stolen, an amazing fundraising effort began Wednesday morning on Twitter to make good the loss.

Spurred on and coordinated by the efforts of several people, including Georgia Straight editor Charlie Smith, homeless advocate Jeremy Hunka and Linda Lupini, executive vice president of the Provincial Health Services Authority and aided through the day by retweets and likes from dozens of engaged Vancouver Twitterati, an amazing $545 was collected by 4 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.

Once it sunk in that complete strangers had so generously put their money where their hearts were, Ivan’s enthusiasm literally rode away with him and he couldn’t wait to go and buy a bike, if he could find one.

Read more…