Tag Archives: vancouver island

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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Cozy Victoria Weekend

Easter weekend Jeff and I visited the island for a half family, half chill-out weekend.  On the Sunday we checked into an amazing little carriage house I found through airbnb (have I mentioned how much I love that site?).

This place was perfect.  It was just behind the parliament buildings and only about a 10 minute walk from downtown.  We ended up spending more time in our little mini-house than I expected.  It was so cozy and cute with it’s own little kitchen, and a mini staircase up to our loft bedroom with queen sized bed.  It even had a little gas fireplace on the main floor.

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When we did manage to tear ourselves from our hide-away, we pretty much just meandered around town.  Day one we had a late lunch/early dinner at Cafe Mexico.  I loved the atmosphere here, the food was decent, service was friendly – although a little forgetful.  Maybe our server was new.  It didn’t really matter after our double margaritas.

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Day two it was a little overcast and we decided to check out Miniature World.  A full on tacky tourist choice.  We were entertained.  I think the admission is a bit steep, but it didn’t seem to keep people away.  I have a vague memory of a miniature world I visited with my family when we were in either Holland or Germany.  That one was definitely more impressive than this one – more of a fully conceptualized outdoor setup. This one had different displays, put together by various individuals at different times, and with different models.  Best part of this miniature world, in my opinion, was the train from Vancouver to Toronto that faded to ‘nighttime’ for 30 seconds at a time.

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For lunch on Day 2, the sun had started to come out, so we chose to eat on the heated patio of 10 Acres.  A downtown restaurant that sources mostly from their local farm.  I felt like we were in a Portlandia episode.

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Night two we visited a good friend, ordered in pizza and hung out.  We left the next morning, late, and took our time to get to the 1pm ferry.  The sun came out for us and we were able to enjoy an hour on the waterfront in Sydney.

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All in all it wasn’t the most adventurous of weekends, but it was exactly how we wanted to spend our time. Chill and easy.