The Vancouver part of our trip began when our Nanaimo host, Wass, woke us with traditional First Nations song.
After tearing down and loading up, we cycled to the ferry and sailed across to Horseshoe Bay. The ride from there was incredible. West Van is full of expensive houses and panoramic views, perched upon rolling hills that were surprisingly challenging and pleasantly rewarding. It took quite a bit longer to reach the Lions Gate bridge than I expected, but it was a ride I would (and already have) recommend to anyone.
View from the ferry
Crossing the Lions Gate was dang tough. The wind up there was intense, and the walkway was narrow so we were constantly struggling not to bash our loaded read ends into stanchions. The whole group celebrated when we made it over and reconvened at Prospect Point.
View from Prospect Point
The rest of the ride to our Thursday night accommodations was equally fresh to me, as we travelled through False Creek and along the Millenium Skytrain line out to Burnaby. It’s astonishing how unfamiliar I am with this city I grew up in. A major motivating factor of me joining this bicycle trip was actually that I wanted to connect with the province I love but hardly know. Touring by bike makes one so much more aware of our surroundings than we are when we’re flying along in a car enclosed by steel and glass that isolates us from engaging in our environment.
Thursday and Friday we stayed at the Burnaby Katimavik house, where all of us ex-Katimavikers hosted a “workshop”, reminisced, and connected with other inspired individuals. I got to jam with my new friend Jason (the first time I’ve ever been the guy calling out tunes and singing unabashedly to a room – it was definitely a growth point), and he showed me some music that I will probably buy to enjoy during this trip.
Friday we all separated for errands – I met an old friend – and then we reconvened for a beautifully prepared meal with a couple of Sarah’s friends. It was the first time in a while that we have all been indubitably feel.
During this three day stint in Vancouver, I keep ending up back on Commercial Drive. This place is amazing. Sometimes we need to leave what we have and revisit it in a new way before we can really appreciate the splendor and joy around us.
This afternoon Doug and I took an abrupt detour off The Drive and found ourselves in the middle of the Stone Soup Festival. Suddenly we were singing Fat Boy Slim with strangers while learning basket weaving. To me, this impromptu discovery is exactly what the Ocean 2 Ocean trip is about.
Right now, I’m standing outside Dream Cycle, where Coady has just purchased his perfect bike. This evening, we’ll be eating and drinking heartily at my parents’ house. Tomorrow, we’ll set out for Abbotsford.
The Coquihalla is coming soon.