Friday, 22 May 2015

On the road again (North Vancouver to Abbotsford by bicycle)

Yesterday I went on a quick bike ride to Horseshoe Bay and took a ferry to the Sunshine Coast to have lunch with Hans & Denise. Denise handed me a bag of her home-made Banana Bread to take home.  This stuff is so fabulous, it moved me to write a fake newspaper story:

Bomb discovered on BC Ferries Vessel

Not my picture
All details are not yet known, but our sources have confirmed that on a BC Ferries sailing from Langdale to Horseshoe Bay a German national living in Vancouver opened his backpack and immediately after exclaimed "A Calory Bomb".  The man then apparently ingested small quantities of the unknown bomb substance. Other passengers nearby report that as he kept eating out of his backpack the man mumbled words that sounded like "Good Bye Boyish Figure".  Attempts of other passengers and the alarmed crew to prevent the man from eating the entire bomb failed and the man exploded shortly before the ferry reached Horseshoe Bay

 When I came back to the hotel (unexploded) and looked in the bathroom mirror, a dark stranger looked back at me. Cycling every day in sunny weather can have that effect.

The day starts going odd this morning at the hotel.  There is some kind of a Girl's Rugby Contest on a sports field near by and all these over-estrogened teenage mutants seem to  stay in my motel, scream their hearts out when they jump into the pool (read: constantly) or shout at their mates in the rooms across the court yard.  Oh what Joy!

Yes, I'm in THIS MOOD again. There must be some kind of way out of here !!!!

not my picture
At noon, I cycle downtown to catch the SkyTrain. The ticket-vending machines on the Concourse Level surprise me with signs "Transit Free Today". I'm still wondering what the reason could be when an announcement proudly declares that the two SkyTrain lines are now back in operation and apologizes for the long long long wait.  Again?  And still no Compass Cards?  What is WRONG with this city?????

Since it's free anyway, I get off the SkyTrain at Commercial Drive to eat some sushi and consume some white wine.  Broadway Station Sushi has undergone a strange transition. Prices went up, filling ratio of the wine glass went down, and quality of service evaporated in a puff of smoke. Too bad, this had been a great place for 10 years. 

Then it's the SkyTrain to the end of the line again.  The most direct way to Abbotsford leads along the Fraser Hwy, but I have enough of the noise and stink of cars and follow the bike path under the power lines in an Eastern direction.  Good choice

I have to cross several major roads and am glad I'm not in a car

Hwy 15

I'm not crossing the bridge but wonder whether and how they charge toll for bicycles

 It is this or another intersection when I am treated to the infernal spectacle of three (3) 18-wheelers standing abreast at a red light and simultaneously accelerating when the lights turn green.  Hell couldn't be any worse!

Somewhere before reaching Fort Langley I loose the Wind Mobile signal (and it doesn't even come  back in Fort Langley). This might  be co-responsible for me getting lost in Derby Reach instead of heading straight for Fort Langley.

Just before I reach Fort Langley, my stomach tells me that it wants a Clubhouse Sandwich.  That should be easy in Fort Langley, shouldn't it?  NOPE.  2 Japanese restaurants, 1 fancy Parisian Cafe, 1 hipster place and various other touristy places, but none of the old-school restaurants that would have served a simple Clubhouse sandwich are left.  Fort Langley has sold its soul for tourist dollars.  I eat a roasted turkey sandwich (good, but not quite the same) at the hipster place and partially recharge my battery.

Google maps works and informs me that I still have 35 km to my hotel ;0( oops, the battery isn’t going to make it. Will I be sitting in the shade at the side of a gas station while my battery charges?

The Rocky Mountaineer is not moving at all when I pass it

The Fraser River from close up (try that on the Highway)

All of a sudden I am in a part of Abbotsford without barely any cars, just agricultural land with a couple of farmers in trucks or on tractors.  It is still QUIET here.

Bike path on a dyke
Somewhere after this dyke is a hill  that is so steep that the force of me pushing the pedals plus maximum battery assist pops my rear wheel out of the frame lugs.  Good thing I brought the minimum amount of tools so that the animals in the forest don't have to listen to my cursing for too long.

I should have recharged my battery when I ate Sushi in Vancouver because about 3 km from my hotel, the BPS decides that the battery is empty and I experience what it is like to pedal a fully loaded e-bike uphill without battery assistance (It's called pushing ;-).

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