"Ring ring, ring ring," the old rotary dial phone ring tone of my cell catches my attention. "Hello?" I listen take in the ensuing conversation. "You what?" I topple over with the exclamation, striking my head on the semi-lucid descent. While regaining consciousness, I check the side of my head for blood. I have just barely begun to grapple the massiveness of what has just been suggested to me.
Of course this is a dramatization, because it makes for better reading. But really that is what it felt like. I'd just finished communicating with Monia Blanchet of CBC's Francophone TV program C' est La Vie and she wanted to do a piece on the Self-propelled Outdoor Club. That alone is not too ground-breaking, as many publications have run stories on us, however, this is the first time ever, that a reporter has wanted to experience SPOC as part of the story. Monia proposed that we meet up on SPOC terms (all self-propelled), and video an actual SPOC journey, sans automobile-driven tech support, sans interviewer/interviewee disconnect, sans the "neat idea, but I would never be able to do anything like that" attitude. Allow me to put this into perspective: this is the SPOC equivalent of a journalist , joining the Army, training to be a soldier, then being deployed into battle as infantry, so that they could report the perspective of a soldier at war. I was pretty confident our adventure would involve less gunfire and be significantly more enjoyable. What could I say? " Mais oui".
Many SPOC'ers speak french and I am not one of them, so I contacted our senior French correspondent, Gwendal Castellan. Gwendal and I had spend several months riding in South America during his epic, Canada bound bicycle ride up the long road north. I also invited several other of our bilingual members, but they were unable to attend.
After selecting a trip which suited our needs and abilities, we set off to meet up near Stanley Park and continue on our journey to teh delightful Lighthouse Park. Gwendal and I chatted in the morning light, and Mo coasted up quite a surprise. She and the CBC tech had successfully mounted a large video camera on the handle bars of her bicycle. This would allow her to ride, interview, and film all at the same time; a real "one man show". This was an impressive one-point-oh contraption.
We headed off, grabbed second coffee in West Vancouver, and cruised into the park without much difficulty. I was also impressed at our newest club members ability to film and interview with minimal interruption to the flow of the day. We found a nice spot at the bluffs, ate some lunch, completed the interviews, and in typical SPOC style, engaged in some multi-sport activities. We had originally planned to go for a swim, but the day was way chillier than we had anticipated. Instead we chose to co climbing. We found the bouldering area and partook in some fun boulder problems (V0? We did them in our sneakers/Crocs).
The ride home was pleasant and Gwendal and I were graced with some never-been-done bicycle video techniques. Monia was a great sport and again, I just can't underscore more how great it was to have a journalist fully immersed themselves in the SPOC experience, because that is what SCPO is all about; the journey rather than the destination. Watch the 6 min CBC Story -DM