The trip started out bright and early Monday morning with a 7:45am flight out of Toronto to Vancouver. Naturally, we showed up wearing out helmets because you need all the safety you can get with this Boeing meltdown 😉
After hurriedly unpacking and repacking our beautifully packed bike boxes for security we made it through to our flight, and from there it was smooth sailing until Vancouver.We unpacked and set up in the airport and were rolling out to find MEC Vancouver by 11:30am… because every good trip starts with a trip to MEC!We treated ourselves to some delightful poke for a late lunch.
Refuelled after what already felt like a full day we pushed off for Stanley Park so see a bit more of Vancouver before hitting the open road. Even just riding from the airport to MEC, I thought this city was beautiful. The ride to and around Stanley Park blew my mind. Not only is the city gorgeous, but the bike infrastructure is second to none. The last time I was here was during the thick of the forest fires two years earlier so I missed out on everything I was seeing now.
After a meandering afternoon, we set out sights on Mission, the goal destination for the day. We made a quick detour along the way in Port Coquitlam to visit a friend of Oliver’s that works at Norco (the bicycle manufacturer). He further confirmed how great the road and mountain biking is around here.
It as hitting 5pm by this point and we were a little over an hour from Mission at this point, but we knew we could make it in time to find food without being too rushed. A few kilometers down the road Oliver’s bike decided to push back on that timing by having the seat post screw get fully stripped. Luckily we found a Trek shop to rescue Oliver’s back. This still didn’t dampen the spirits coming from these sweet views though.
One more push and we made it to Mission for the night (and copious amounts of food)
I woke a bit confused by the time change, whether to get up at a more natural 5am (8am EDT) or sleep-in because yesterday was a long day. Eventually the sunrise in the forest lured me out.
After a hearty breakfast of instant oats we rolled out for our shortest day of the trip. Today we were following the Lougheed Highway all the way from Mission to Hope (I’m lovin’ these town names). The day started out at a pleasant temperature with some beautiful views, but by the time we rolled into Hope some three hours later it was a real scorcher, topping out at 32C and not a cloud to be seen.
After rolling into town in the early afternoon and eating lots of frozen lemonade from Tim’s to cooldown, we went to find the Visitor’s Center and fix the aggressive creak coming from my bottom bracket (silly me thought I’d be fine to give my bike a good wash right before packing it up to fly, I ended up with some water in there). While my bike wanted less water, we were both looking for more, so we found ourselves a tributary of the Fraser River to go for a swim in!
And now I write this from the Hope Public Library, as we mentally prepare ourselves for tomorrow. While it only clocks in at 120km, far from the longest day, it could well be one of the hardest. We’ll be tackling the Coquihalla Pass tomorrow, which nets us 1000+ m of elevation is less than 30km. Luckily we get a least a few hundred meters of descending after that!
Cheers and Ride On!