Tag Archives: Ride To Conquer Cancer 2014

Three BC Bike Rides

N. Saanich off Lochside Dr.
N. Saanich off Lochside Dr.

The Ride to Conquer Cancer is coming up fast, and my training plan got delayed as I was sick for the entire month of March. I’ve gotten back on the horse (or should I say, bike?) the last few weeks, and put in 3 different 20Km + rides.

Start at Brentwood BAy
Start at Brentwood Bay

Ride #1: The first was while visiting Vancouver Island for Easter weekend.  I was staying with in-laws, and took a late morning ride on the Sunday.  It was on the verge of rain, but stunning none the less.  Starting point was Brentwood Bay (gorgeous view), end was a park in North Saanich (also not a bad view).  Most of the ride was not a bike route – Mt. Newton Cross Rd. – but is a quiet (beautiful!!) road through rolling fields so traffic was not a problem.  I then linked up to the Lochside Drive bike route which, if it was not my first ride out and I had more time, I would have just kept on going and going.  The route stretches all the way from Victoria to Swartz Bay.  I will absolutely revisit this route during my next family visit.

Driveway off Mt. Newton Cross Rd.
Driveway off Mt. Newton Cross Rd.
Mt. Newton Cross Rd looking toward Brentwood Bay
Mt. Newton Cross Rd looking toward Brentwood Bay

Ride #2: The second was a local Vancouver ride.  I decided to visit my sister, brother in law and nephews in Richmond.  My ride-mapping app unfortunately didn’t record my ride (annoying!) but judging from time and Google maps, the distance from my place near Commercial Drive to their door  is about 20km.  The Vancouver portion was straight forward, taking 10th to Ontario and following it all the way up to 63rd.  It was a beautiful Sunny day, and the blossoms were still out.  I enjoyed the Cambie bike lane under the Skytrain, although finding my way to the bridge and then to my chosen bike route in Richmond was not familiar, and quite industrial.  On my way back I shortened my trip by hopping on the Skytrain from Brighouse to Broadway, which cut about 20 minutes off my trip home.  I had to teach that eve, so didn’t have the luxury of time.

Cambie Skytrain Bike Bridge
Cambie Skytrain Bike Bridge

Ride #3: My 3rd ride was with my friend who is also doing the RTCC in June.  We took it easy, as my legs and shoulders were feeling pretty tight.  It was a relaxed ride from East Van out to Jericho Beach and back.  We chatted and stopped a couple times along the way, and of course took advantage of sitting out at Jericho Beach for a snack break.  The 10th ave bike route is one of my favorites – the tall trees creating a leafy canopy for the entire East portion of the route. We lost track of our route just before Alma, so on the way back we took Seaside and hopped up to 7th for the West portion of our trip.  Vancouver lacks consistent signage on it’s routes, and construction can be a pain.  For the most part it’s great, but as soon as you want to skip from one route to the next, it can get a bit confusing the first time around.

Jericho Beach
Jericho Beach
East 10th Ave Bikeway
East 10th Ave Bikeway

Next on the menu will likely be Wall Street in East Van, one of my favorites, then finding our way out towards S.F.U.

If you have any suggested Vancouver routes, let me know in the comment section!

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If you want to donate to the RTCC, CLICK HERE for my personal page.

 

 

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Inspirational Bike Routes Here and There

bikes kelowna

I have put much thought into The Ride to Conquer Cancer next June and training routes.  The RTCC route from Vancouver to Seattle is about 120km each way, which I’m estimating will take me about 6 hours.  The last time I did a ride of this length was the Kettle Valley Railway in 2010 and 2009.  I did minimal training for the KVR ride, and definitely felt pretty achy during and after.   This time around, I plan to work on a slow build of distance rides.  If I can set a long ride once a month, with shorter rides in between, I think I’ll be in better condition come June.  I have 8 months to prepare, and have already done a couple 20km rides, so the next step will be a 30 – 40km route.  I’m thinking of joining the celebration ride on October 26th as a way to get accustomed to riding along-side do many other cyclists. I then may need to take it indoors for winter, and step into some spinning classes if the roads get too slippery.

Although most of my training will take place at home, I’ve made a list of my favourite routes in five of the cities I’ve cycled in or around for inspiration.  I am planning to revisit all but one of these cities before next June – so I am now making a pact with myself to make these routes a priority as a way to motivate myself as the big ride approaches.

1. McCulloch Road/Spears Road Route: Kelowna, BC

The fall is probably the best time to explore this route as you can see and smell the apples during harvesting season.  Not to mention the colours of fall are beautiful in the valley at this time of year.  This can be a long or medium ride depending on where you begin and end.  For me I’ll start near downtown, make my way to K.L.O road for a nice long warm up on the flat valley bottom, then make the climb up to the top of McCulloch road, where I get a spectacular view of the Harvest Golf Course and the valley before making my descent.

       2. Don Valley/ Lakeshore Route: Toronto, ON

When I lived in Toronto, this was my favourite option for a long ride.  This route is great because the only stops are when the Don Valley pathway intersects the Lakeshore bike path.   I tend to favour the east route, as it takes you to The Beaches, which has a long history of recreation that seems to hang in the air as you cycle through.  It’s also a route you can manage without too much meandering or tourist-in-your-own-town-ing which tends to happen to me on other bike routes in the city.

beaches toronto

  • 3. Seawall/ Stanley Park: Vancouver, BC

This is a route that requires either a hybrid or mountain bike.  Best to try this route during the week, as it’s also a top meandering destination for tourists and locals. Be sure to start out on the Coal Harbour side, or you’ll be going against traffic – it’s a one-way route!  The ride around Stanley Park is one of a kind, and you can then make your way along English Bay and around False Creek. Spectacular.

seawall english bay

4. Point Pleasant Park: Halifax

This is the one route I will not get a chance to visit this year, but I thought I’d mention it as it had an impact.  Also a great route to visit in autumn, although you’ll have to dodge all the leaf-watchers. The park has all sorts of paths throughout and is hilly, so good for pushing those leg muscles.  If you’re lucky, you might even see or hear a whale on its way to or from the Bedford Basin.

point pleasant park

5. Parque Aztlan eco-reserve / Playa Linda: Ixtapa Mexico

This is route takes you through a little bit of jungle and ends with spectacular pay-off of a gorgeous palm-tree lined beach. I have made the mistake in the past of starting out to late in the day, and end up speed cycling back at dusk as large unidentified insects smash into my face and my imagination runs wild with crocodile attacks.  It’s best to hit this fantastic route up first thing in the morning, which means limiting your tequila intake the night before.

playa linda

If I’ve sparked your interest in cycling, why not check out the Ride to Conquer Cancer.  It’s always great to have a goal to motivate yourself to get out and be active.

For More information on the RTCC Vancouver, Click Here.

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