...from the usual
The most memorable rides are the ones that weren't like all the others - sometimes that means meeting someone new, your first ride on a new bike, even a wipe out. Other times it means hauling your bike over a big concrete lock block wall...
So yeah... We met up down at Science World and headed East. There's actually a decent bike path starting to come together along the edge of the train yards by Terminal. Still has a pretty major hole - ie once you get into the parking lot at Home Depot you're pretty much screwed.
Once upon a time if you went down the remains of the road there you could get across the rail road tracks and be on Glen Drive. In fact if you look at Google Maps you'll find it still thinks it's the case. Guess what? You'll get to the end of this piece of single track trail, the final outcome of which is completely obscured by a thick forest of blackberry canes. Once you get to the end of that track with your group of 8 or so and discover the rather large lock block wall you'll pause for a moment, look behind you at the narrow, narrow path and realize that unless everyone suddenly becomes incredibly good at riding backwards the blackberry canes are about to engulf you as you try to turn around thereby resulting in no small amount of cursing, scratched paint, torn clothes or whatever else it feels like throwing your way.
Your path becomes clear... you're going over the wall. It helps to pretend you're making a prison break, the guards will be by in just a few minutes and unless you and your crew manage to haul themselves and their bikes up and over before anyone notices you're in for it.
For those of you who are interested in such things the whole area west of Clark used to be part of False Creek. When the rail yards were built way way way back when the powers that be filled it all in. Unfortunately they didn't plan for cyclists wanting to find their way out again leaving us with a rather significant climb.
Got ourselves up to Clark drive at 8th and kept heading east. Fortunately by that point things were back to being somewhat flat. Motored on past Commercial until we hit Victoria and then things got a little goofy again.
So we're kind of looking at traffic along Victoria and thinking we don't REALLY want to ride there. OK, sidewalk it for a bit... Hmmm, maybe there's a sidestreet we can take, ok let's turn down here! Oh... we're going straight back to Commercial... Hmm... Didn't want to do that... Well, here's an alley, let's turn here... Oh... Hmmm... OK, everyone back up the hill!
I swear it's not my fault...
Found our way over to a park for a quick breather. Good times.
Vitt wanted coffee BAD so we headed over to Commercial to take care of his craving. Of course any time you've got a bunch of cruisers lined up among friendly people you attract a bit of attention... Got some good comments and smiles while we waited. Hopefully you all know by now that's half of what it's all about.
Kept up Commercial and got ourselves over towards the bike routes through the east side there. Actually got on the reverse of the route we did last week, lemme tell you that's a GREAT route going down hill! I swear it was a non-stop coast from Commercial all the way down into Gastown, too cool.
Well, ACTUALLY too cool is this truck we spotted on Cordova!
Kept saying we should throw our bikes on the back for a picture - I ALMOST would as I'd be pretty sure the owner wouldn't mind but hey, you never know. Generally best not to mess with other people's vehicles...
Amber and I have actually ridden home past this on our route home a few times. Usually it's at the top of the hill and we're not exactly wanting to stop and look too long so it was nice to see it out on the street somewhere.
Anyhow, we rode on along Cordova, past Waterfront, Canada Place (dangit, just realized we should have popped out there for a bit), skipped the usual ramp down and rode past the tumbling church/schoolhouse in Coal Harbour there back down to the seawall.
Got ourselves over to the roundabout... Then suddenly realized it was about 3 minutes to 9:00!! QUICK! GET YOUR BIKE!!!!
Rode like mad - my legs were burning by the time we got there. Unfortunately it took us about 4 1/2 minutes so we JUUUUUUST missed the gun but hey, at least we tried.
Joe, Vitt and Logan took off after that... I was going to head myself until Kendal pointed out it was only 9:15. Well, can't give up just yet...
We all rode on over towards the water park and set up camp under the bridge. Strangely enough the washrooms were still open, good times.
Up and over the park from there and through the West End. Popped past the Dover quickly and kept on keeping on along into False Creek again. Good times. Rode on through to one of our alternate stopping spots and enjoyed the scenery for I don't know how long.
From there it was pretty much home - awesome ride, again something totally different and actually a decent workout. The beauty of having a smaller group sometimes is you can try out something different and not worry too much about coordinating a full on mob.
Looks like we're in for a wet dump now, dunno how the rest of the week is looking. Here's hoping we get another break on Friday, see you out there!