May 3rd 2017 is forever engrained in my mind as my oh-so-appropriate “Goodbye Vancouver” day. Comfortable temperature, but very cloudy and rainy. Good news is I had a relatively short day planned, and a warm shower at dad’s house to look forward to. More good news is I invested in quality rain gear (kudos to MEC)!
With Friend Nishant there to see me off, I reset my Garmin’s odometer at the Vancouver Rowing Club, the beginning of my counter-clockwise route on the Stanley Park seawall.
This was a strong statement on my intentions for this trip. *cliché alert* The journey is more important than the destination. Beginning with a lap of this incredible park made no dent in the kilometres remaining to St. John’s. But it did set the stage for a journey where quality experiences trump the need to reach the end.
Couldn’t help but dip my back wheel into the Pacific Ocean. Sand got everywhere, even between my brakes and rims as I soon found when trying to brake – good thing bikes have both front and back brakes! And pushing my steel framed bike with 60+ pounds of gear through wet sand was not quite the easiest part of my day. But totally worth it! Tough to get a good shot as I was holding up said bike with gear while trying to minimize my own wetness from the waves.
Cousin Sophie met me as I completed Stanley Park to congratulate me on surviving my first 8km. We discovered Cactus Club for lunch – since their patio was empty due to rain they let me park my bike there and gave us the window seat right beside it! Added bonus was a video conference with Younger Cousin Adele, who was at school on her lunch break (or so she told us!) but insisted on seeing me off.
Then began the bulk of my ride out to dad’s house in Langley. My second rainy trek across the Port Mann in the past month delivered me there for a warm shower before heading out for pasta dinner.
Dad and I were curious how much my gear weighs – rear panniers weighed in at 16 and 18 pounds, front panniers 8.5 each, and sleeping gear 10 for a total of 61 pounds.
Potentially my last night in a bed for a week or two! All electronics fully charged? Check. Wet clothes now dry thanks to this magical contraption they call a dryer? Check. Stomach stuffed with “regular people” food courtesy of the Johnston fridge? Check. Next couple days planned after much discussion with dad? Check!