On My Bike Bike; Veteran Midland TV Broadcaster ALAN TOWERS Is Riding a Motorbike across Canada to Raise Funds for the British Heart Foundation, Filing Regular Biking Bulletins from the Saddle. VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA
BRITISH Columbia is full of wood - some still growing, some on trucks and some under the magic of the chain saw.
In the quaint little town of Hope set in The Rockies, they're proud of their collection of chain saw sculptures. In fact, they proclaim to the world (when you can hear them above the growl of chainsaws) that they are the 'Chainsaw Carving Capital'.
When you walk the streets here you see those sculptures - twenty in total and all the work of a local logging man, Pete Ryan. He's used his chainsaw to shape bears, wolves, the town's coat of arms and a bald eagle with a salmon in its mouth. The work has been paid for by Hope business people.
'I do it 'cos I enjoy it and now folk are giving me commissions,' Pete explained. They look good around the town and not one had been given a touch of spray paint. I imagined them in Birmingham - beer cans on their heads and a blue and white scarf.
Vancouver is beautiful. It's also hot and large. The city of nearly two million is surrounded by mountains, which give the skyline a dramatic appearance. Make no mistake, Vancouver is sophisticated, dynamic and beautiful.
You can't visit Vancouver without going over to Vancouver Island. The ferry takes 90 minutes and deposits you in Victoria, the Island capital. It's pleasant, but in reality it's a pastiche of what Americans think England should be like. Pubs and fish and chips; red London buses; and pots of tea. I was surprised not to hear someone saying: 'My word, this is a proper lark, Guv'nor - and no mistake.' But I didn't.
Instead I heard, with some delight, a rich Black Country accent when a young man asked: 'Where have I seen you before? …