Friday, July 27, 2012

Cycle Touring - Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Day 1 Tsawwassen, British Columbia

The day could not have started off on a bad note.  As expected, I did not get much sleep and I had to work in the morning before I could head out.  But what made the morning even worse was,..  you guessed it... Rain! My place is atop a valley so I am a little higher than the rest of the surrounding area.  It seems that it only rains where I live and everywhere else is dry.  It was raining in the early morning but has stopped before I even started working. This was a good sign. Unfortunately, the dark clouds loomed all morning and never did let off.  I had hoped to be done work by around 1pm so I can finally get on my bike and start pedalling.  The day dragged on, I was starting to get stressed and the dark clouds were really threatening to unleash.  1pm came and I was done work.  I was ready to ride.  Then nerves started setting in.. it often seems this way whenever I set off on my own to do these bike trips.  My stomach, once again as from previous bike trips, started feeling bad.  The lunch I had downed did not make me feel 'right'.  Once again, I chalk this up to nerves and jitters.  The day had started off poorly so I had so much doubt on how the rest of the day would go.  Meh.  As seemingly bad as it was, all I know is that the moment I start pedalling, all the nerves and stomach aches go away.  It's time to get going.
Nerves started to set in as I start my trip

It was already 2pm when I finally left my place...  I wasn't worried.  And I wasn't even thinking about rushing it.  Learning from previous cycling trips of rushing to get to a destination is a bad way and the wrong way of doing cycling tours.  I promised myself that no matter what, I will take my time and enjoy the ride rather than kill myself just so that I can reach my destination in a timely manner.  I realize that this can't always be achieved because there's always that ferry that you have to catch, or darkness just around the corner, but it is always good to plan way ahead of time so that you don't run into these issues too often.  As I say this, now I'm thinking to myself,  'but cycle touring is so dynamic that anything could happen while you're in the middle of your journey!',  In that case, my thought is just go with it.
Ok, before I keep rambling on, here is the breakdown of how the day went.  It will be short as this first leg of the trip is also very short.  Today's destination is Tsawwassen, British Columbia.  This is where the ferry is located that would take me over to Vancouver Island where the city of Victoria is located.  I will be getting on this ferry at first sailing at 7am tomorrow morning.
Coming down from my place was very easy, it was all downhill.  There was no need to stop and 'smell the
roses' on this part of the trip, I had been through this area a million times.  In no time at all, I was already making my way up my first challenge of the day,  Sir Alex Fraser Bridge.  This bridge is so deceivingly long and steep.  Adding a very strong headwind and a nearly 70lb bike and trailer cargo became challenging.  But I relished it.  It gave my lungs a chance to open up and I started getting in that 'zone' of seemingly being able to ride forever.  I felt very strong.  All the stress and aching stomach are long gone by this time.  I can finally enjoy my ride.
Climbing the Alex Fraser Bridge was a welcomed challenge
Ok, just a little premature on 'enjoying my ride' there.  Immediately as I got off the bridge, I had to deal with River Road traffic.  As most locals would know, this stretch of road is a truck route. It is very industrial and always congested.  There was no way of slowing down to 'stop and smell the roses' here either because you'd be smelling nothing but exhaust fumes from gargantuan semi trucks that always seem to want to run you off the road.  I did not have to take this road, but it was the most direct route and the bad part is only a short portion of this stretch of highway.  I wanted to get out of the congestion as quickly as I could so I pedalled on a quick pace.  However, I did manage to stop and take one picture of the Alex Fraser Bridge spanning the mighty Fraser River.
Bridge Over Water
From here on, I was finally able to cruise and enjoy my ride.  The ride was easy.  The terrain was flat.  I was making headway pretty fast. There was not much traffic going my way but the oncoming traffic was bumper to bumper craziness.  I was feeling quite sorry for everyone in their cars and trucks that they had to sit in their vehicles handcuffed to the traffic ahead of them.  Oh well, nya nya.  As I was nearing the township of Tsawwassen, an amazing thing happened.  The sky opened up and there was absolutely no clouds ahead of me!  It always amazes me that everytime I come to Tsawwassen it is always sunny even if everywhere else was miserable.  It wasn't long until I arrived at my destination for the night.  I was welcomed with sunshine, warmth and a great patch of grass that I can put my tent up on.  Once my tent was up it was time for dinner. McDonald's to be exact.  It was only a couple of blocks down so I walked and grabbed my meal for the night.  Yea yea, I know,  it's so bad for you..  but it was soooo good!  ;)
Sunny Tsawwassen.  My home for the night.

This is about how I feel right now.

You can't have a better first night campsite than this.  Lawn furniture, nicely cut grass, power to charge up your devices, and most importantly FREE Wifi!

So this is where I am, typing this blog. Soon it will be completely dark and I will be heading off to bed. I will have to try and wake up at 5am so that I can pack up my things to catch the 7am ferry. Breakfast will be had on the 2hr ferry ride. From then, off to Victoria I go. This has been a great start of the trip so far. It might rain tonight, it might not. I don't care, I'm enjoying myself.

Next blog update, tomorrow night, somewhere in nowhere Victoria... maybe. Thanks for reading.

Mayacycle Bicycle Trailer

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