Heading to BC for a few months, any locals want to ride ?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Heading to BC for a few months, any locals want to ride ?

    Hi,

    I'll be leaving Montreal around april/may to live on the west coast for a while. I'm thinking about bringing my bikes, which are a 120mm XC and a Surly Troll steel rigid commuter. I don't have any plans in particular, I'll be renting a house for a month or so in the Vancouver area before heading out to travel the islands and mountains and then coming back to the Vancouver area and see where I stand from there.

    Since I'm going there to take a break from life, I'm not in a hurry to do anything, but I figured it would be a shame to not be riding places. I'm not sure yet on the commuter bike as perhaps the islands aren't made for bike touring ? I was figuring that I could park the car and just set out and explore for a few hours on my rigid bike instead of simply driving on the back roads. However I don't know how often that would happen vs using the XC bike for tho purpose too. I'm not a full day rider, a 20km ride is about the limit of my comfort zone on pavement and 10km of trails is usually plenty. I'm just looking to enjoy life, nothing extravagant, like I don't mind that my whole day consist only of getting up late, brunch, drive out to trail, ride for 2 hours, drive back home, change/shower, go out for dinner and that's it.

    Back when I was in Vancouver for 2 weeks in february 2015, I've noticed that the Vancouver area wasn't really bike commuting friendly except for the harbour and Stanley park where I rented out a tandem bike and rode all around the place with my gf who lived there. That's why I'm not so sure of the use of a touring bike, but I have no idea what's beyond the Vancouver area.

    This is also kind of my only source of exercise as I will pretty much be doing nothing at all beside driving, sitting on a couch or just wandering around town.

    Here are both my bikes :

    Heading to BC for a few months, any locals want to ride ?-22552354_10207604946881851_7178124250624255890_n.jpgHeading to BC for a few months, any locals want to ride ?-img_8388.jpg
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

  2. #2
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    The Vancouver area is commuter bike friendly in the way a familiar video game is friendly, where most things are constantly trying to kill you. As long as you approach bike commuting that way, it is somewhat "safe". An even bigger concern for a commuter bike is the very high rate of bike theft.

    Some of the Gulf Islands are more hazardous to road cyclists than others. My experience on Salt Spring Island is that you can ride on the roads, again aware that the roads are generally of the narrow shoulders type, and the drivers may be distracted by substance intake, advanced age, a preoccupation with their putting game, sloppy steering on their VW bus, etc. They are generally not aggressively out to kill you, you are just more likely to be collateral damage on their shopping trip.

    If you were going to bring one bike, the 120mm XC bike will give you a bike to ride forestry trunk roads, plus green and blue trails around Vancouver, Squamish, Hornby Island, Courtney/Comox/Cumberland, Nanaimo, Victoria, etc.
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  3. #3
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    Thanks for the info. I guess I'd rather just do one bike and keep it simple. I could always rent a cruiser when I feel like strolling around an island town.

    Any locals that could help me check out possible rentals for May in the greater Vancouver area ? I.e if I find something decent online, to actually have someone who know the area give me his take on what's really advertised. I'm looking for a month rental or a sublet for May, I need a fully furnished place that has safe parking and in a quiet neighbourhood, no roommate or private room. Either a house, condo or apartment will do, ideally with a balcony and BBQ. Must have laundry and internet on site, included or extra fee. Max $2k.
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

  4. #4
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    Metro Vancouver's vacancy rate is well below 1%, so if you can find what you're after, the $2K number could be pretty tight, that would barely get you an unfurnished apartment. You could be looking at AirBnB rates for furnished places, as April 2018 marks the start of a new policy in Vancouver that allows short term rentals and legitimizes short term AirBnB rentals.

    Vancouver’s rental costs surge, while vacancy drops: CMHC report | Vancouver Sun

    You might be able to find a short term place in Burnaby near SFU for May as that matches up with the end of Simon Fraser's semester in April so the students that are taking off for the summer might be leaving a spot vacant or subletting. There's no bargains in the area near UBC for rentals in the summer.

    You might need to map out what area you are prepared to live in based on where you want to be spending your time. Driving very far is a pointless activity in the morning rush hour and after about 2PM, the traffic is miserable on any main road and definitely any bridge crossing.
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  5. #5
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    I found a fully furnished studio for $2k at the Meridian at 910 Beach Avenue with everything included and secure underground parking, permission to bring the bike up in the unit, awesome view, etc that available for may
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

  6. #6
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    Regarding bike theft, I usually use a 2 locks technique, first is a grade 70 four feet long chain with industrial padlock, to go around the frame/front wheel and safe anchor point, then a small quality u-lock to get the rear wheel and lower frame tube together. This setup has been great in Montreal, so I assume I shouldn't have to worry about it for locking my Surly Troll with IGH and disc brake for a few hours ? No overnight for the bike tho, it's gonna be safely stored in my unit or locked on the rack on the back of my car.
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

  7. #7
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    That's actually a really decent deal. And close to the seawall and the happenin' parts of downtown...

    Quote Originally Posted by David C View Post
    I found a fully furnished studio for $2k at the Meridian at 910 Beach Avenue with everything included and secure underground parking, permission to bring the bike up in the unit, awesome view, etc that available for may
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  8. #8
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    Less than 20 days before departure from Montreal, closing in on finding the perfect bike rack. Did a lot of prep work to the car and maintenance in the last weeks to ensure everything will run smooth and handle the off roading.

    I've been lay off the job as of this month so I can take the time to fully prepare and hopefully get to do a few bike rides before I leave. I'm excited to finally be going back to BC, especially without having to worry about a limited stay or expenses. I'm really looking forward spending more time on my bike and my feet than my car, which is something that haven't happened ever since I bought a car (shame on me), but at the same time I've never been able to see so many places and so many people without being able to drive out there. The comfort of my seat and the quality of the sound system really help too.

    I hope to meet many riders and spend most of my stay in Vancouver outside a car or house, with other people.

    My only apprehension about the pancanadian drive is the monotony of the road ahead after the second or third day. I hope the great plains have designed their highway to be at least a little exciting ! I'm really looking forward the last stretch through the Rockies after Calgary. I love mountain roads.

    Who's gonna be around and free to hang out on weekdays in May ?
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by David C View Post
    Less than 20 days before departure from Montreal, closing in on finding the perfect bike rack. Did a lot of prep work to the car and maintenance in the last weeks to ensure everything will run smooth and handle the off roading.

    I've been lay off the job as of this month so I can take the time to fully prepare and hopefully get to do a few bike rides before I leave. I'm excited to finally be going back to BC, especially without having to worry about a limited stay or expenses. I'm really looking forward spending more time on my bike and my feet than my car, which is something that haven't happened ever since I bought a car (shame on me), but at the same time I've never been able to see so many places and so many people without being able to drive out there. The comfort of my seat and the quality of the sound system really help too.

    I hope to meet many riders and spend most of my stay in Vancouver outside a car or house, with other people.

    My only apprehension about the pancanadian drive is the monotony of the road ahead after the second or third day. I hope the great plains have designed their highway to be at least a little exciting ! I'm really looking forward the last stretch through the Rockies after Calgary. I love mountain roads.

    Who's gonna be around and free to hang out on weekdays in May ?
    If you are after a scenic drive, try to figure out a way to go on the icefields parkway (between Jasper and Banff) instead of straight through the rockies on Hwy 1

  10. #10
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    Right up to the May long weekend there is still a very solid chance of being snowed on going through the Rockies, especially this year where it just won't stop raining and snowing. Ironic as March 31 is the last day that studded tires are allowed on the highways. So check the forecast for snow as you get to Calgary.
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  11. #11
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    Thats my plan, to have a day or two to spare along the way in case I have to wait out before crossing the Rockies.
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

  12. #12
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    To give you an idea of how oddly snowy it is this winter, they have extended the studded snow tire removal date by a month to the end of April

    https://bc.ctvnews.ca/b-c-extending-...pril-1.3871539
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  13. #13
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    Stop discouraging me ! I'm coming wether you like it or not !

    Hehe


    We got snow here in Montreal today, but it's a little above zero and it's melting away.

    I'll definitively have revert to my 4 seasons tires by the end of the month, just don't know when. No point to head out for the summer with winter tires on.

    However when I drove down to key west for New Years eye this Christmas, I had my set of 4 summer wheels on the cargo carrier for the ride between Montreal and Ocean City, MD where I changed the wheels to keep heading south without driving in winter tires.

    On my way back there was a big snow storm on the east coast, i left Florida driving on snow ! Back at the beach house in Maryland, we had over a foot and a half of snow ! I promptly changed the wheels back to the winter rubber and headed out drifting the huge empty parking lots by the ocean hehe

    Heading to BC for a few months, any locals want to ride ?-img_1935.jpg
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

  14. #14
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    Less than a week before leaving, I received my bike rack, ordered auxiliary taillights, got a new windshield to enjoy the view, balanced the summer tires, got the second air spring into the spring coil, almost done dealing with all government and insurance stuff, now I'm really starting to count down the hours left before departure dead line.

    I'll have to wait for the better weather this weekend to work on the car setup, in the meanwhile I'm cleaning the house and sorting all my belongings and doing a preliminary round of stuff I'd like to bring. Which brings me to what tires are worth packing along ?

    Right now I have mud/slippery fall season tires on, and my other 3 tires are all moist to dry, hard to somewhat loose XC low knob profile tires (Maxxis Monorail, Maxxis Rendez, Maxxis Larsen TT) and I'm wondering if they are worth packing. What's the usual trail dampness in BC ? Here it's mostly dry up to fall where it's not warm enough for the trails to dry out after shower and then it gets covered with leaf and it's slippery. Is it similar in the west coast ?
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

  15. #15
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    The popular tires around here have grippy compounds on wet wood and rocks (because those are a common trail feature), and knobs that are good on loamy and loose trail surfaces (because those are common around here). Most trail surfaces are 75% organic material, not a lot of clay. Maxxis Minion, High Roller and Ardents are common sights. Schwalbe Hans Dampf and Nobby Nic are popular, I like Conti Mountain King 2.4" Protection in the Black Chili rubber compound. So tires with grippy rubber and sizable knobs are always a good bet.

    This is what typically sticks to your bike after a wet ride.

    Heading to BC for a few months, any locals want to ride ?-2009_0325new0007.jpg

    unless you hit a deeper than usual boggy spot

    Heading to BC for a few months, any locals want to ride ?-2013_0303new0006.jpg
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  16. #16
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    In short there's no point to bring anything that doesn't do well in damp to wet conditions ?
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

  17. #17
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    We could get a very warm and dry summer, and then things get really loose and dusty, so knobby tires suitable for loose and loose over hardpack are always good (as there can be exposed hardpan when the loamy surface washes away). You can always buy some grippy gumball tires here if it turns out we have a damp summer. Wet wood work can be slick as Teflon in the right conditions.

    It looks like we might have a warmer and wetter early summer.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Heading to BC for a few months, any locals want to ride ?-weather-2018-prediction-temps.jpg  

    Heading to BC for a few months, any locals want to ride ?-weather-2018-prediction-precip.jpg  

    Last edited by rockyuphill; 04-20-2018 at 06:11 AM.
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  18. #18
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    Thanks. I just brought the mud tires that were already on the bike and left the other tires home.

    I arrived in Squamish last evening and I'll be staying there till Tuesday morning (check in is on May first in Vancouver). I had beautiful weather for the whole trip until I drove past Lillooet where it started getting misty and then a light rain and fog all the way from Whistler to Squamish.

    It's kinda wet to go riding trails, but maybe I'll take the commuter bike and ride around town.
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

  19. #19
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    Looks like dry weather is making a comeback so it's going to be fun.
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    Head down to Backcountry Brewing for a pint. Tomorrow should be sunny

    Did you bring the Surly? Hopefully you did. In the late spring/early summer a Southern Gulf Islands/Van Isle/Northern Gulf Islands/Sunshine Coast bike packing tour would be legit. And a great way to see the coastal area

  21. #21
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    Yeah I'm hoping for at least no falling rain. I brought the Surly too, both bikes are by the bed in the hotel room, staying at Hotel Squamish. I was contemplating the idea of grabbing my rain coat and just taking out the Troll around the city after I'm done lunch. Currently at the Copper Coil waiting for pulled pork while sipping a vodka pineapple cocktail. Looks like rain is actually slowing down now.
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

  22. #22
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    There's the forecast for Squamish this week. Awesome sauce. The trail loam will be perfect this week.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Heading to BC for a few months, any locals want to ride ?-squamish-weather.jpg  

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  23. #23
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    Thanks. I went out for a little street tour and stop by the lbs, learned about the local trails (also bought $20 map to support the local trail builders) and then I took the car up to the Quest University east side trailhead to check out the place. Talked with a few riders and apparently tomorrow it's gonna be awesome on the trails. Rain finally stopped too. I'll be honest, I wasn't expecting that much mud, so I grab a few recycled rags and paper bags on my way out at the store to be able to do a rough wipe down of the bike and myself tomorrow before going back in the hotel. I'm not used to riding trails that get you that dirty, usually it's drier stuff where I'm from, mostly dusty, and only the tires and little bit of the frame gets muddy, if you happen to hit a mud hole, which are usually avoided because it's not good for the trail.
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

  24. #24
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    The soil drains quickly, 24 hours and the loamy trails will just be tacky and perfect. The mud bogs tend to be mostly organic matter (unless you're near some clay stream bed) so it is like spraying your bike with porridge.
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  25. #25
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    I went for a 10km loop in the Lake Alice trails today. It was great ! I got thrown around like a rag doll on that little bike on the way down the blue trails, but made it without a single crash or mishaps. Similar trails are rated double diamonds back home eh ! Definitively would need a bigger bike to tackle anything over the blue stuff, but i don't feel like my 18yo XC bike is holding me back, it's kinda matched to my level of skills and it's a good reminder of my limits. If I wouldn't know better, I'd get a bigger bike and then crash it because I wouldn't be able to handle the extra speed. But again when I watch the XC olympics, they ride pretty big stuff on small bikes too, so that's part of why I feel like I can do away with a small bike and caution. Very positive experience for my first ride of both the year and the west coast !

    It wasn't that bad for the mud, actually didn't had any flung in my face or back, but i wasn't really speeding trough the mud either. More like mulch for the most part. I got good results with the portable 5 gallons shower thing to rinse the bike off and towel it clean as much as possible since I'll bring it back into the hotel room for the night.

    I also was impressed at myself for clearing all the sketchy blue trail sections since I haven't done any trail for 7 months and haven't really tuned the suspension much since I upgraded it last summer, and it's been sitting like that for 7 months (both shocks are air sprung, but they didn't seemed to have lost pressure in any significant way since I last adjusted them 7 months ago on the other side of the country).



    Heading to BC for a few months, any locals want to ride ?-img_2570.jpg
    Heading to BC for a few months, any locals want to ride ?-img_2579.jpg
    Heading to BC for a few months, any locals want to ride ?-img_2581.jpg
    Heading to BC for a few months, any locals want to ride ?-img_2587.jpg
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

  26. #26
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    We always try to tell visitors that blue trails here are equivalent to black trails most anywhere else, that was my experience riding at Mont Sainte Anne the first time, where trail ratings are more about elevation change or exertion rather than the trail surface or technical trail feature challenges. Squamish has the best selection of green/blue XC trails around in the Sea-to-Sky corridor, my hunch is that you'll find your self making that trip to Squamish on a regular basis once you're settled in Vancouver. The green/blue trails on the North Shore are not all grouped to make a lot of options for loops possible like Squamish.
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    Quote Originally Posted by David C View Post
    I went for a 10km loop in the Lake Alice trails today. It was great ! I got thrown around like a rag doll on that little bike on the way down the blue trails, but made it without a single crash or mishaps. Similar trails are rated double diamonds back home eh ! Definitively would need a bigger bike to tackle anything over the blue stuff, but i don't feel like my 18yo XC bike is holding me back, it's kinda matched to my level of skills and it's a good reminder of my limits. If I wouldn't know better, I'd get a bigger bike and then crash it because I wouldn't be able to handle the extra speed. But again when I watch the XC olympics, they ride pretty big stuff on small bikes too, so that's part of why I feel like I can do away with a small bike and caution. Very positive experience for my first ride of both the year and the west coast !

    It wasn't that bad for the mud, actually didn't had any flung in my face or back, but i wasn't really speeding trough the mud either. More like mulch for the most part. I got good results with the portable 5 gallons shower thing to rinse the bike off and towel it clean as much as possible since I'll bring it back into the hotel room for the night.

    I also was impressed at myself for clearing all the sketchy blue trail sections since I haven't done any trail for 7 months and haven't really tuned the suspension much since I upgraded it last summer, and it's been sitting like that for 7 months (both shocks are air sprung, but they didn't seemed to have lost pressure in any significant way since I last adjusted them 7 months ago on the other side of the country).



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    Nice pics! Squamish is a lot of fun!

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    Lurking this thread and the forums for the past couple of weeks but finally decided to make an account. Living the dream David!

    I too recently just arrived back in BC after living in SEA for the past 4 years. Only now am I starting to really appreciate MTB'ing and the amazing trails we're blessed with in BC.

    I am currently out in Richmond BC but definitely looking to get some riding in on the North Shore & Squamish once time avails and I've decided on what bike to purchase.

    How's the new pad?

  29. #29
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    Cool ^^

    Btw I bought a 38ft yacht last week so I'll be spending the summer traveling by sea rather than land. Got some roof rack bike carriers to mount on the deck to store the bikes too.

    Heading to BC for a few months, any locals want to ride ?-img_2667.jpg
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

  30. #30
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    nice home!!!
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  31. #31
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    Thanks

    Been up till 3-4am these past 4 nights moving everything on the boat and then dealing with "why is the engine not cranking" or "where's that leak from" and "that pump doesn't work" things haha but the boat is solid and loaded, just need to do general maintenance and service the on board systems when needed.
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

  32. #32
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    A boat is just a nicely finished hole in the ocean to pour money into.
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  33. #33
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    Heading to BC for a few months, any locals want to ride ?

    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill View Post
    A boat is just a nicely finished hole in the ocean to pour money into.
    Meh, it's not that bad at all. Especially for a private waterfront condo with no city tax.

    I don't think it's any worse (it's probably a lot better actually) than buying an older house and still having to deal with the house systems, roofing, plumbing, landscape, etc. especially for the price I paid, which is about $40k CAD including cash purchase, 12% government taxes (gonna receive a bill in my mailbox eventually) and annual insurance as of $600 (combines property, liability and breakdowns). So I have room for a few thousands here and there to pamper up the things that are nearing their end of life and furnishing the bathroom and kitchen towels (man I'm about to go shower and I have no towels at all, it's gonna be cold when I step out of the shower haha), etc. I think an older luxury car is way more of a money pit and you won't get as much out of it for your time and money.

    I have my bikes, full size BBQ, chest freezer on the deck, fridge in the galley, 140gal fresh water tank, 1000L of fuel, 20gal hot water tank, 3 sound systems, microwave, stove, oven, holding tank, 450ah house battery bank, 3500w inverter, 10ft tender with 25hp outboard on electric davits, a 46" led smart tv, big Garmin navionics, twin inboard engines with prop shafts, etc. that thing is loaded already, ready to go. Of course I could spend money on it, but nothing that actually needs money to be spent on to get it running.

    And you can choose your neighbors
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

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