So you know how much I love biking? Well today was perhaps the one exception. My mom and I were meeting my cousin and her boyfriend out in Delta (like an hour away) for some go-karting, and since that only lasts about 15min, we wanted something else to do. I had the hair-brained (or is it hare-brained??) idea that we ought to bike down to Point Roberts. Point Roberts is a little piece of America surrounded entirely by water or Canada - so yes, after our go-karting adventure (which was awesome!!!!) we planned to venture down there. And by planning I really mean we agreed to do it with no planning whatsoever, which may have been the problem.
Things got off on the wrong foot when my mom 'realized' she left the bike book at home, and we had to use google maps to try to figure out where to start, where to park, all those details - we both were getting frustrated... so we parked in a random residential area and went from there.... and discovered this whole time the darn book was in her bag... had to laugh. So we got ourselves on track. This is where I should tell you that this book was written in 1973... that's really old for a guide-book.
After following one road for miles, it suddenly ended, well sort of ended... it gave us the option of crossing a murky, garbage filled ditch on a log someone kindly laid across. Mom was a little hesitant (and perhaps logical), but I was sure we could carry the bikes across and carry-on... so we did. This new route led us to the train tracks - we again had no choice to follow this oil-soaked road along the tracks until we found a place where it wasn't illegal to cross. This was one instance I really wished I had fenders on my bike!! I was covered in oily grime within minutes. Still have marks on my legs that just won't come off. Anyway I was still cheery and enjoying the adventure at this point, and really enjoyed the whole ride to the race track. It was after that point that things went really downhill.
Well really, I started to get hungry... and every dead end we ran into (which was often - seriously out of date book!!) made me get irrationally angry. At one point I hear my mom chuckling behind me... apparently she finds it quite humourous how my normally cheery and positive attitude (I think my positive spin on everything annoys her) disappears quickly as my hunger grows. Sorry mom! My mom had told me that we would find beautiful beaches lined with fish and chips shops... not true! It took us forever to find a place to eat. Once we did, my mood improved drastically and despite more wrong turns (the books fault, I swear!!), we finally made it back to our car.
Just one random fact about Point Roberts (also affectionately called Point Bob - that doesn't count) - in 1973, a drought hit the area causing tensions between the American and Canadian residents of Point Roberts. If Delta did not agree to provide the residents with water, the Americans threatened to cut off the Canadians water supply and apparently even hung up signs saying "Canadians go home." Delta complied and in 1986 this arrangement became permanent.
Despite having lived in Horseshoe Bay as a teenager for some 10years, I have never explored north of there by bike. True this was also the part of my life when I hated exercise and hoped in all seriousness that I would break my leg to get out of PE class.... but still biking has always been the exception.
But yesterday we ventured out into this unchartered territory. We rode up the Eastern side of Howe Sound in the direction of Squamish and Whistler on the Sea to Sky Highway. It's a funny thing; you (as in I) think you know the city you live in, but then someone goes and says the Eastern side of Howe Sound, and you have no idea that is precisely where you have lived most of your time here. That's why I love this blog. It pushes me to figure these things out.
The ride was surprisingly difficult - there were 13 (!!) small (ish) climbs at giving it a climb rating of 5 according to mapmyride.com - whatever that means. I think it's something like - good for you, you warmed up your legs a little for all the real climbs out there, here's a pat on the back.
Porteau Cove lies just south of one of the most dangerous spots for rockslides along the Sea to Sky Highway. In 2008, a slide blocked the highway seriously messing up traffic for 5 days, but thankfully nobody was physically harmed. Porteau Cove has an emergency ferry dock, so that when slides do happen, traffic can be sent via ferry either to Horseshoe Bay or Squamish.
The area is really spectacular with views of a million little islands (I exaggerate a little), and bluey/green water, unlike the adjacent ocean water - perhaps due to glacial water coming down from the mountains?
So another thing I came across - Howe Sound is a sound - a sound is a geological term, not just some word they stuck to Howe to make it sound better. A sound is a large ocean inlet larger than a bay, deeper than a bight and wider than a fjord ... what are all these terms!!!
When you wake up and it is a beautiful day, what do you feel like doing?
For me, it is riding my bike. I couldn't come up with any errands to give myself a destination, so I decided just to explore. It's weird, I have lived in this area for about a year, and yet everywhere I went today felt like new territory. I had been getting bored out here - thinking there was no character and lacked the greenery of the North Shore ... but after my ride today I realized that I haven't really given the area a chance.
There is Trout Lake - a beautiful dog friendly park, and on sunny days like today - just packed with large groups of people having barbecues or playing sports. There were numerous times I wanted to stop and watch a little league game but didn't... I have always wondered if it is weird to watch (and cheer for, of course) random kids Sunday games?
CMHA bike riders
There is also a large park in the center of Burnaby - creatively named Central Park. Something kind of cool about this part is that it was opened in 1986 (same year I was born - exciting time :D!) by Prince Charles and Princess Diana. Who knew?
Again there were families everywhere. An grampa was out having a barbeque with his grandson. It made me itch to go camping and roast marshmallows over the fire - I haven't done that in way, way too long.
The park was also the finishing grounds for the 55km Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) ride to support mental wellness and recovery. This is from their website:"We ride to raise awareness and acceptance of those living with mental illness. We ride because recovery, when the right supports are in place, is possible. We ride because healthy choices, including exercise, builds resiliency and promotes positive mental health. We ride because cycling is fun and good for us and our environment and we ride for us, all of us."
Something to keep in mind for next year!