Thursday, April 9, 2009

Wrong Turn

Took a wrong turn today. I was trying to get onto the Blenkinsop Greenway and instead I turned up Feltham. Turns out that there's a trail at the end of Feltham, and seeing as I wasn't going anywhere in particular, I decided to follow it. Turns out that it's quite extensive and ends up at a big pond full of ducks.
The trai itself is nice--gravel and twisty, lots of trees. It pops up onto streets and then drops back into the trees. Then it comes out behind some row houses, and Boom!


There's ducks everywhere.
The pond is really quite big--and currently very full. The ducks really pay no attention to people--unless, I suspect, they come bearing food. Then you could expect to be mobbed.


I ended up coming out on McKenzie St. just east of Blenkinsop. So I ended up cruising down Belnkinsop to the Greenway and then north out of town on the Lochside Trail.
I made it as far as Mt. Newton Crossroad, where I decided to try the treat thing again and had a bowl of corn chowder at The White Spot. It was actually better than the soup at Adrienne's the other day, but that doesn't make White Spot a destination restaurant either....
The legs just didn't want to ride today. I don't know what it was, but they seemed to think that being home soaking in a hot tup and sipping wine would have been a better use of our time. This compared to yesterday when I picked up my bike after its one month tune up (included in the purchase price). The tune up was welcome, because the shifters weren't hitting the gears properly, due, I'm sure, to the cables having stretched. Well, at the end of the day, the mechanic at Mac's Cycle had replaced the cables completely. I hopped on the bike, sans pant clip, helmet, coat, etc. (I really wasn't ready to ride home...), and my legs were thrilled to start pumping. Today, they just weren't interested.
Still, they did carry me 43 km and at a reasonable speed. I thought of just biking out to Sidney and taking the bus back, but I know me: I'd have tried biking home as well. I'm thinking I'll just take the bus out to Sidney and bike back. That'll keep me from pushing myself like I did in Nelson.

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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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Saturday, April 4, 2009


Did decide to push out a bit today. The sun was out, the weather warm, so I headed out to the transition point of the Galloping Goose/Lochside trail to decide which way I would go: north or west. West won. I headed out along the Goose to View Royal and Colwood to see if I could find this:

Lee Valley on  Wale Road

Yes, the rare Vancouver Island Lee Valley Store. In fact, I think this may be the only one on the Island. As you can see, I got lucky and found it, and only 17 kilometres from my own front door! It's still early in the year, and it won't really be out of hibernation for another couple of weeks, but still it's nice to know that its okay and has made it through the winter.

About 500 metres from where I spotted the Lee Valley (and yeah, I'm still jazzed about that...), I stopped at one of my favourite places on the Goose:

Bridge over creek on the Galloping Goose Trail

This bridge is only accessible from the Goose, and only by bike, or on foot; You can't drive there. And why would you want to go there? Well, it's just over a really pretty (and pretty deep) gorge with a stream rushing through it.

Creek on the Galloping Goose Trail

I've often wondered if I could take the Pamlico down it, but it's probably too narrow for that. The creek boat I sold Joel last week might have made it, but that will have to be up to Joel now.
On the other side of the bridge, the creek gets a bit gnarly, before settling down.

Creek on Galloping Goose Trail 2

This is what I love about Victoria; if you bike, hike, or kayak, there are these amazing places within an hour of your front door that are completely inaccessible by other, more conventional means of transportation. Heck, add the bus and a huge area of the lower Island opens up to you.

As for me, well, after getting home, I have to admit, the legs were pretty empty. Not the crippling pain of my Nelson ride a couple of years back, just empty and noticing that there wasn't a whole lot of energy left available to them. I'm really glad there was no crippling pain and missing out on that feeling that I was about to have a fatal heart attack, well, that's all good.

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

More Lying Weather

Seriously, when I left, the sun was out. I rode around the weather system as I headed out on a pure urban ride--all pavement, traffic lights, and freakin' scary cars. I headed down Cadboro Bay Rd and Fort St to Government, and then out to Fisherman's Wharf. After checking out the float homes for sale (ranging from 175K to 425K) and the sailboats also for sale (didn't see the prices, but pretty sure they were less than the float homes), I went down Dallas Rd and them back into James Bay. Then down Government to the Goose, and off at Quadra, Reynolds, etc., and finally down McKenzie. The last 10km in the rain. And not a light shower. Oh no, a real downpour. Could not have been more wet. Of course my helmet's raincover was at home--because it wasn't going to freakin' rain! Completely overwhelmed the weather resistance of my MEC bike jacket, although it took a while. But I especially loved that moment when, glasses covered with rain (the new helmet's visor does nothing to shelter my face from either sun OR rain), I powered down the bike lane on McKenzie with cars racing by on both sides of me--and me just hoping that everyone understood what was supposed to be happening.

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