Around Vancouver

Western Canada tour

The Georgia Straight, from Stanley Park

I have started to get in some kms around Vancouver before I start my trip west on the 10th or 11th. On Monday (4th) I did a lap of Stanley Park with a friend to watch the sunset. I did some riding around town on Tuesday and Thursday finalising some things. On Wednesday afernoon I had a good ride from Vancouver up to Whytecliff Park and back, a little over 60km and a little under 2 hours.

The ride up to Whytecliff Park is a popular one. We passed a number of cyclists in both directions and I was advised that the weekend is the busy time for rides. The route was similar to one on bikely—we started in Gastown and road the eastern side of Stanley Park before getting on the Lions' Gates Bridge. The route takes you under the north side of the bridge, through some car parks, then west along playing fields before turning onto Marine Drive. Marine Drive is a scenic road and not too busy. The cars that passed us (it is a narrow road) gave us plenty of room and were patient. It was an undulating road, though more uphill on the ride out (North). The weather has been favourable these last few days—after the grey days with some rain of the past week. It has been quite warm, pushing the 30 degree mark.

I regretted not taking my camera on the ride as soon as we hit the Lions Gate Bridge. The view from Whytecliff Park is what was pretty spectacular. You can see a number of the islands and the forested mountains towering above the Pacific Ocean. I remember this view in October a couple years back just after the first snowfalls: blue ocean, dark green tree’s contrasted with those a little higher having a distinct dusting of snow. It reminded me how aesthetic Vancouver is when you get beyond the downtown sprawl. I will be seeing a lot of Canada in the next few weeks, and going on all the bicycle logs I have read of late, reactions and impressions differ significantly. Won’t be too long before I have my own...

Today I ran around some more, trying to pick up a couple more things for my ride. I decided to get a short sleeve jersey and a back-up pair of gloves—my current gloves have close to 5000 kms on them and are starting to give it up. I also picked up simple fenders [front, rear] for any prairie storms that may hit and some more bottle racks for my Bob Ibex (4 on the trailer, one on the bike). I will post a list of the gear I am taking with me soon—probably some things I will not end up needing. I hope the bear spray I picked up today is one of them!