Monday, April 6, 2009

15 the Hard Way

Wasn't really planning a big ride today, so I headed out along Arbutus Rd., ending up passing through Mt. Douglas Park on Cordova Bay Rd. and out to Mattick's Farm. An excellent day for a ride, sunny and warm. I rode with only a t-shirt and jersey and bike shorts: no no windbreaker, no pants. Wonderful!
With the exception of the last kilometre down Ash Rd. to Cordova Bay Rd (which is a lot of downhill), there's a lot of uppage between our place and Mattick's. But the day was so gorgeous that it really didn't matter how much up there was, every minute was worth it.
I stopped briefly in Mt. Douglas Park to catch the view, but the brush along the bank is so thick that it's difficult to actually see the view from the top of the bank. I wasn't ready to walk down to the beach, but once I got out of the parking lot and back onto Cordova Bay Rd., the trees opened up, offering a beautiful view of the bay.

Cordova Bay 1 small

I stopped again in Cordova Bay Village to have a look at Mt. Baker.

Mt. Baker over Cordova Bay 1 small

When I look at Mt. Baker when walking down Sinclair Rd. from the university, heading home, it's always so far north of where I am. By the time I bike out to Cordova Bay, it looks to be almost due east. By the time you get to Sidney, it seems to be a long way south.
It was also nice to see D'Arcy Isl. again. D'Arcy is the first island I camped on after having kayaked out to it. D'Arcy was also the subject of my first Wikitravel page, and for some reason I'm kind of sentimental about it.

Sidney and Darcy from Cordova Bay 1 small

I made Mattick's Farm in good time, but I really noticed the rise in elevation between the Beach House and the Farm. Only 15 km, but 15 km that I did notice.
I decided to stop at Adrienne's Restaurant at Mattick's Farm and try their roasted red pepper and cauliflower soup. Not too bad, but not really going to become a destination restaurant for me. But the idea of treating myself for getting out and riding, now that's something that just might catch on.
I headed back along the Lochside Trail toward Victoria, and by the time I got to the Blenkinsop Greenway, I decided to keep going into downtown. I stopped at MEC and picked up my new panniers (56 litres and red like the bike), and one or two other items. Then it was back in the pedals and out of the downtown core to the Greenway again.
The Greenway starts off nice, leading you off the Lochside between Galey's and Eng-land Farms, cutting considerable distance off from any alternative routes. But then it's up and up again, and up even more to get to Cedar Hill Rd. Once on Cedar Hill, it's a pretty straightforward run back to the Beach House.
At 41 kmn total, it seems that the practice of making a big ride, taking a break for a day, and then another big ride is a good one. I don't feel particularly tired--though again, the legs feel a bit empty. As usual, the major problem is getting out on the bike in the first place. After that, everything (crash included) seems to go well.

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