Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Cycle Touring - Victoria, British Columbia. Day 3. I'm Coming Home, Tell the World I'm Coming Home

Today is the day I go home.  After another restless night of sleep, I awake to a very bright and sunny morning.  I took my time packing up all my gear and letting the morning dew dry off my tent.  I wanted to take my time as I had all day, but I also did not want to waste too much of my morning, I was going to take 'the long way home'.  What should have been only a 40Km ride back home from Tsawwassen, I managed to double that.  The plan for the day was to ride to places that I had always wanted to ride to on day rides.  This day gave me the opportunity to do so.  The trip would consist of riding through Richmond, Steveston, Vancouver Airport and through the southern part of Vancouver into Burnaby.  This should be a perfect ride to end my 3 day Victoria trip.
Goodbye Tsawwassen!  See you again soon.  And a huge thanks go to my friends for allowing me to camp in their backyard while they were away.
All packed up and ready to ride home
Leaving Tsawwassen and into Ladner, I've always wanted to check out the Bike Shuttle Service that is offered to cyclists for free to take you across the George Massey Tunnel that spans the Fraser River and is under water.  I know this service existed and today was the first time that I tried it.
George Massey Tunnel Bicycle Shuttle Service

I, along with other cyclists, get our bikes mounted up
My bike on a trailer for the very first time.

My trailer in the back of the van.
Driving through the tunnel
This Bicycle Shuttle Service is so cool and extremely convenient as there really is no other way for cyclists or even pedestrians to cross the George Massey Tunnel.  No bikes are allowed through this tunnel as it is a highway and there are no shoulders.  It is very dangerous as you can see from the above picture.  There have been instances where some touring cyclists who are not local to the area, have been 'forced' to ride their bikes through this long stretch of a tunnel.  My main example would be the two guys I wrote about on a previous blog who was riding across Canada on their bikes and rode through this tunnel because they didn't know any better.  I just find this crazy!

Once across the tunnel, there would be a long ride on Dyke Road through Richmond going into Steveston.  This was a first that I have ridden this way and it was actually really nice, right along the water most of the way.  Once in Steveston, I stopped for a few picture taking.  Steveston is a very well-known tourist spot known for it's waterside restaurants and fishing wharf.  There were so many people in Steveston this day as it was a beautiful sunny day.

Saw quite a few wedding parties taking pictures today

Steveston Farmer's Market
The next portion of my ride is to ride around the Vancouver International Airport.  Armed with my trusty GPS on my iPhone, the map shows a road that goes all around the airport.  So I stay on this road as far as I could go until I came upon this..
No Trespassing.  Owned.
Arggh!  A dead end!  And the only other option was to go all the way back!  So I turn my bike around and pedaled my way out of there.  This was somewhat of a lucky break as turning around led me to a new route which was actually much more scenic.  And it brought me straight to this..
Richmond Olympic Oval
Funny enough, this is the first time I've ever been here.  I've always wanted to check this place out ever since it was built for the 2010 Winter Olympics.  What a beautiful complex this is.  My cycling directions blunder brought me here so someone was kindly looking out for me.
The next portion of my ride home also brought me somewhere unexpected.  I was losing track of my directions as the cycle routes and pathways have become broken up in areas.  So I started asking for directions from other cyclists that I see on the road.  One group suggested that I take the Skytrain Bridge to go across the river and go into Vancouver.  The what?? Skytrain Bridge.. ?  that's a first I've heard of it.  I never even knew people were allowed on the skytrain bridge let alone bicycles!  So since this was new to me, of course I had to take it.
The Skytrain Bridge
Oh what a great crossing it was!  Someone had really thought this through as it was built and designed specifically for the cyclist and pedestrian.  Great to see infrastructures for the future being put in place.

Once I was across the bridge, it became my final stretch home.  It was still 20kms away but it's all what I've done in the past.  The end was a long up hill climb to where I live in Burnaby.  This part I did not look forward to and I've been dreading since getting into town.  This is when the hard work starts and when hard work starts after being on the bike for 6 hours it makes for a very exhausting end.  It was tough, it was hot and at this time I only wanted to get home and jump in the shower.  Finally, at about 5pm I make it to the front of my house.  Home from a 3 day epic journey.  One that I will remember for a long time.  No one to greet me, no cheering crowds, no congratulations and awards, only my own personal self-gratification of a job well done. A 3 day weekend trip to Victoria, British Columbia.  I'm home.

Here's a GPS tracked map of my whole Victoria Bike Trip -->Click Here to see the Map in Full Detail<-- (pls. ignore the sudden spikes in speed. I WISH I could be that fast!)

Total Distance: 285 Kms +/-
Total Distance on Bike: 200 Kms +/-
Total Time on Saddle: 18hrs +/-
Total Calories Lost: Don't know, don't care. Maybe around 7000 or so.
Total Weight Lost: 7lbs. But I gained 8lbs back after having a huge dinner. :D
Total Amount of Money Found: A smashing 20 cents!
Total Roadkill: 0 this time!
Mayacycle Bicycle Trailer


  1. Congratulations on a great trip!!! I'm glad it went so well for you. That Sky Train bridge looks fantastic. I love it when they do things right for cyclists.