Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Doozy of a Second Half

When I was calculating the miles for Day 2 I factored in the fact that I was riding from the train station as opposed to the airport in Vancouver. It was supposed to be shorter. But, nooooo, it was actually longer! Okay, yes I had to go to MEC. MEC is the equivalent to our REI except there you must be a member. So I had to pony up $5 extra to become a member so I could purchase the fuel for my stove. I thought that was kinda rotten. Anyway, that added maybe 3 miles. I might have picked up a few more extra miles in Stanley Park but I wasn't clear about the route directions and turned before I should have. Then, in West Vancouver I back tracked a bit until I figured out what road I was on. Oh, and then I met Dennis on the Langdale ferry and he rode with me all the way to Roberts Creek, taking me a different way from the route guide. But, that part should have saved miles.

My average speed today was only 8.8 miles per hour. That's because there was a boat load (yes, a double-decker ferry boat load) of hills. Up down up down all the way from West Van to Horseshoe Bay. And, it was very warm.

The other reason for the slow average was from the ride through Stanley Park. Talk about a Mecca for cyclists (actually for all things wheeled)! I think there were more bikes on the path Than cars on the road. In fact, I finally went on the Scenic Dr. road because if I hadn't, I would have never made out of the park! It is a cool park though. I wish I could have spent more time there.

My premature turn in the park was due to trying to get up onto Lions' Gate Bridge. I had to go across it. I figured it out after a couple of wrong turns. Going across the bridge was similar to going across the Narrows bridge.

Once in West Van, I was back to a bike path for awhile. The route guide is somewhat outdated because it said to get on this gravel path. Well, the path is now paved. I still managed to make it on to the path. Problem was I got off too early. Consequently I had to battle more traffic and traffic lights that turned red for me everytime.

After a bazillion hills, I made it to Horseshoe Bay with what turned out to be a two hour wait (the Langdale ferry was late). Since I had spotted a Subway as I was coming into Horseshoe Bay Village, and I had had very little to eat, I got my ferry ticket then went over to Subway for another late lunch (even later than yesterday's). If the Horseshoe Bay Subway is indicative of Canadian Subways, I won't be eating at any more of them. They have no spinach and no avocado.

I returned to the ferry when I was done. The ticket agent gave me a special code to get through the gate for people on bikes. Another guy happened to be there going onto the ferry too. We both went in on his code.

Finally the ferry arrived and off loaded its passengers. Then us bikes got to board first. I just followed a couple of other cyclists to see where to go. They have bike racks, but Betsy wouldn't fit so I just leaned her against the wall.

The ferry ride to Langdale was beautiful. It was about 40 minutes to Langdale. I could see a road from the ferry. Later I asked Dennis if it was possible to ride from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale. Nope, the road I saw goes to Squamish and Whistler. The only way to get to Langdale (and points North along the Sunshine Coast) is by ferry. One can imagine that this area was probably very sparsely populated before the ferries started.

As we pulled into Langdale, an unbelievable amount of walk-on passengers assembled on Vehicle Deck 2 to depart. I've never seen so many walk-on passengers. I hadn't seen them get on because where I got on, again Deck 2, only people with bikes and pets got on. All the rest of the walk-ons got on up above. Anyway, it was a big ferry with two vehicle decks. Dennis said to follow him, so I did. Instead of staying on the Hwy (BC 101), we turned left and went up on a quieter road that was, mercifully, in the shade. It was a bit steeper according to Dennis, but shorter and an overall less elevation gain. Fine by me!

At Gibsons, we took another turn to avoid going through the town. Also a good idea as it was a nice quiet road. That's not to say the Hwy was bad. There was a fair amount of traffic, but a good shoulder the whole way. Dennis and I were even able to ride two abreast and chat for some of the time.

After a few more hills we arrived at Roberts Creek. It was 8:15. Later than I prefer to get in, but that's the way it goes. I got my tent set up while continuing to chat with Dennis. He was going on to his mom's, but had told her he wouldn't get there until 10:00 (he had good lights on his bike). He left about 9:30. I ate some Sin Dog, did my best to clean up a bit (no showers), started to write this post, but got too tired, so went to sleep. I'd been up since 4:00am. I was tired!

Currently, I am at a Starbucks in Sechelt. Gonna post this then get back on the road. Lots of miles to go today in an effort to get as close to Powell River as possible. Enjoy the photos (not many from Langdale to Roberts Creek because I was just trying to keep up with Dennis). Notice the one of Betsy on the train.

Okay, so the wifi at Starbucks didn't work (arrrggggg). I'm now at the Sechelt Public Library. It's 9:44. They open at 10:00. I'm going to wait.

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