Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Powell River Adventure

My family has a cabin in Glacier, Washington; located near Mount Baker. My dad has gone up there twice now and both times I said I would come up and both times I cancelled. I felt pretty bad about it and had to make it up to him. So, I decided that I'd bike up to Powell River to visit him (my mom also lives there, so it's a double wammy). He drove back from the cabin on Monday and picked up a bag of clothing from my house. That was awesome because biking up there with a full wod of clothing in my pack would have made it that much more grueling.

I have been a pretty irresponsible biker. Up until Sunday, I never rode with an xtra tube or a pump and I most certainly did not know how to change a tire (in case the occaion arose). I was shown once but had since forgotten. With that said, I was only using my bike to commute here and there and most rides were less than an hour. Here's the kicker- I have no pressure gage on my little pump at home and had been riding around with 30 psi in one tire and 50 psi in the other. To give you some perspective, there should be 115 psi in each tire! Before my sunday ride, I decided to make a pit stop at Steed Cycles. I asked the nice fellow to check my tire pressure for me. He pumped them up and then had me feel what a pumped tire should feel like. I was completly shocked to find out how flat my tires had been. Once I got back on the road, my ride felt completly different (so much smoother).

(Horseshoe Bay)

I trained 2 people Wednesday morning and set out at 10:15am to catch the 12:00pm Landale Ferry out of Horeshoe Bay. The ride was glorious and I was excited to be out in the beautiful sunshine. I arived with plenty of time to spare at the ferry. I enjoyed some lunch by the water and then headed to the terminal. There I met 2 other riders. Both were out for a casual bike ride, one heading to gibsons/return and the other to Sechelt/return. I had no bike lock and one of them graceously said I could bunk my bike up with his. I had not been on a ferry for quite some time and it was such a luxery to be laying on the top deck in the sun, with a good book, and the wind at my back. The ride to Landale went by in a flash. Looking back on my childhood ferry experiences, I swear it took hours to reach the other side. I met back up with the 2 guys and got my bike. The hill up to Gibson's is pretty damn steep. One of the guy's knew of a backroad that was less steep, that switchbacked all the way up to Gibsons. All 3 of us waited for the ferry traffic to die down and headed off together. We were all riding different speeds and it didn't take long before we parted ways.

(The seawall/boardwalk in Sechelt)

The ride from Gibon's to Sechelt was fun. The shoulder was great and I never felt nervous about biking a long the side of the road. It wasn't very hilly and it took me just over an hour to get there.

(The beach in Seachelt- busy day!)

My butt was starting to feel sore and all I could think about was exchanging my seat for something much more cushiony. I stopped in at the local bike shop (I know the owner Lidia) and talked to one of the guy's who was working. He said I had a pretty good seat and that it takes a couple weeks to get used to it. Since I have only been riding longer than an hour for the last week or so I decided that all I realy needed was a 'can of toughen up' and headed back on my way. Before I did, I filled up my bottles and ended up chatting with Gary (Lidia's husband). His opinion was that my handlebars needed to be raised. By being too low, it was forcing me to lean down too far and shifting the position of my butt on the seat. All I have heard from people is that you need to build up the calloses and toughen up the area! Thought's anyone? Perhaps I just needed to reaply some body glide and stop the chafing that occured.

It was 56 km to Earl's Cove and Gary said he has done it in under an hour. I sure hope he was lying because it took me about 2 hours and 20 minutes! The next section proved to be quite difficult. I am not used to eating on the bike and my impresion was that you ate less than running because your heart rate tends to be lower. When the road is as damn hilly as it was- my heart rate was pretty high the entire time. It's deceiving though. Running at a HR of 160 feels much different than riding at 160. My food of choice yesterday was fig newtons and I'd eat one thinking I'd be good for a while but at only 60 calories a pop, I needed to eat more than one an hour. Nonetheless, I got to the point of being lightheaded a few times and quickly re-fueled and was on my way. The ride felt like it was going up and down without many flat sections. The hills were long and with a sore butt I just wanted to be at the next ferry. At one point this lady had pulled over in her austin mini. She waved at me, stuck her head out the window, and said "dorothy?". Unfortunetly I had to tell her the bad news and kept riding. She got back onto the road and pulled over about a minute later. I seriously contemplated asking her if she was going to the Powell River ferry and if so, could I catch a ride. But, as I approached the vehicle, I just kept riding.

All I could think about was chocolate milk, salt and vinegar chips, french fries,nachos and beer. There was a pub coming up called the Grasshopper about 22 km from the Ferry. I thought perhaps it would be nice to grab some food to stop my belly from growling. All the fig newtons were making me 'toot' on the bike, it was quite something. I decided to stop but just to re-fill my water bottles. I was cutting short on time and had to keep going. From the 22km sign, I wouldnt see another one until 6km left to go. I quickly remembered that there was a cafe/concession at the ferry terminal. They served up all sorts of good food and that inspired me to keep moving at a steady pace. I finally saw the 500m to ferry sign and smiled. I rode right up to the concession and grabbed a giant fudgecycle and sat outside and savoured every last lick of that thing.

When the ferry arrived (20 minutes later) I met another guy who was walking onto the Ferry. I am not sure how I do it but I manage to get people's life stories out of them in a matter of minuutes. He was from North Van (where I live) and went to one of the local high schools. He was married but him and his wife had recently separated and he moved to Powell River to live with his dad. They own a business out here and seem to be relativly busy. He wants to save money and travel. With all that said, I never got his name.

My mom was picking me up from the Ferry and it was great to see her. I was so happy to put my bike in the back of a car and just sit. I was starting to get really light headed and we stopped at the store so I could grab an orange juice (it always does the trick). Once I got back to the house, Jim had prepared crab legs, prawns, and clams. It was so delicious! I love coming here because he makes the best seafood. He gets it all fresh from the local area. I enjoyed some stella's with my meal on the patio. It was a long day but even with a sore butt it was well worth it.

(The view from our living room!!!)

As I sit here now, staring out at the amazing ocean view that exists right from the living room, I feel so calm and relaxed. I thank my parents for moving over here. If not, I would not have been introduced to such a wonderful place and I would not have met some of the genuine people they have made friends with. Tonight, Jim is making BBQ braised spareribs with beer and mustard glaze, accomponied by caramilized onion mash potatoes! Have I already mentioned that I love coming here. Tomorrow is the Postie Golf Tournament followed up by a big BBQ back at our house. I havent played golf in years so this should be quite embarassing.

P.S!!!!! My sport med doctor just gave me the ok to attempt a 30 min walk/run. You dont know how extatic I am right now. If all goes well, I'll be running Howe Sound Crest Trail on Sunday!!

See you in the trails really soon!!!

1 comment:

Devon said...

Sounds like a fun ride! Glad to hear you can start run/walking again!