Ready Set Pedal

A charity bike ride has changed my life :)

Archive for the tag “Bike Ride”

Cycling Trip to Sunshine Coast B.C. Canada

A couple of weeks ago some friends and I headed up to one of the prettiest parts of the B.C. coast…. the Sunshine Coast.

The plan to head up there fell into place thanks to the fact that I wasn’t sure if I could enter the States with my 2004-issued Maltese passport. I wouldn’t ordinarily travel to the States with this passport, but my new Canadian one hadn’t arrived in the mail yet. So an original plan to re-do the Point Roberts, WA trip fell through and was quickly replaced!!

During the 4 years that I have been living in Vancouver B.C. I never once made it up to this part of the province – but I’d heard a lot about it. So naturally, I was super excited!! Kathy grew up in that region so we relied on her expert advice to plan out the route and show us the sights – hence why I referred to this operation as ‘KP Tours’ on the day 🙂

To arrive at Sunshine Coast, we took a BC Ferry from Horseshoe Bay. This was the first time I had EVER travelled on a ferry with a bike, and it was amazing. I just LOVE leaving the city behind me, to explore a whole new area, and I love travelling by boat.

The route we took was as follows:

The ferry dropped us off at Langdale, from where we started our cycling trip via Gibsons, Roberts Creek, Davis Bay, Sechelt and back. A total of 62km – which is pretty good. 🙂

The weather was truly glorious. So sunny and lovely – but extremely hot. I REALLY wanted to dump the bike by the side of the road and jump into the ocean so many times! Yes – when it’s cold and rainy, I complain, and when it’s too hot and sunny, I complain…. I’m like the cycling Goldilocks trying to find her perfect weather conditions for bike rides!

We cycled by the YMCA camp and had to do a YMCA pose 🙂 Few people may know this already… but for those who don’t, my first ever job involved dancing to silly songs like YMCA and those from Grease for ESL students…. those were the days! huh?!!

I had a near-miss on one of the roads leading up the highway 101… I unclipped my shoe to stop but for some reason I started to loose my balance. Desperately trying not to slam into the hot tarmac I hopped on my right foot to prevent the fall, all the while heading out into the oncoming traffic (which I was unaware of). It looked like clumsy once-footed tap dancing, and just as soon as I finally found my footing and came to a stop, a van zipped right by me. Probably a foot away from me. Close call!!

And of course, we took jumping shots!! BUT this time I figured out the “how to” ahead of our photo shoot. In pervious attempts we’d do a million jumps, trying to time the jump with the shutter speed. BUT… just prior to this trip it occurred to me to use the continuous shoot function – where you get a bunch of shots and can select the one that shows the person in the air. Using this function on my camera is pretty simple –  the quality is kinda reduced and only OK for digital media though… but that’s all I really need it for.

As we were having lunch at Pier 17 in Davis Bay we looked at this giant map of the Sunshine Coast – there are so many places to swim, sail, dive, camp, hike, etc. Would love to spend an entire weekend up there sometime – rent a cabin with some friends and enjoy the great outdoors! You don’t have to travel too far from the city to find stunning retreats!

And now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for…. Here’s a little video I made of our trip. I hope you like it 🙂

Ride to Conquer Cancer Training – Vancouver to White Rock

On Saturday June 2, 2012 my friends and I went for a cycling trip down to White Rock – a city literally a stone’s throw from the US border.

We prayed AND prayed for a clear day all week – and our prayers were answered! Although the skies were heavy with rain when we started – the clouds held out for as long as they could as we escaped Vancouver and Richmond to reach our sunny destination. 🙂

Some facts:

Local pilots refer to White Rocks as ‘the hole in the sky’ – since the city is often bright and sunny while the rest of the Lower Mainland is covered by a thick blanket of grey clouds.

The city is named for a distinctive large white boulder on its beach near the promenade, a glacial erratic that migrated south during the last glaciation. 19th-century sailors used it as a beacon.

One Native Indian legend claims that the gigantic rock marks the landing spot of a stone that was thrown across Georgia Straight  (i.e. the area with the killer whale fin)  by a young Indian chief in order to determine where his bride & he would move from Vancouver Island. Isn’t that cute? I like it!

Below is a play-by-play outline of the route we took…

By the time we reached Delta (which is beautiful BTW)… we felt like this trip was NEVER ENDING!! haha Man is White Rock ever far!

I’d love to explore more of the Southern Lower Mainland… one of my favourite parts of this trip was the Mud Bay area between Delta and White Rock.

That’s Jason panting… he was so tired from keeping us with us girls!!! ;p

There is nothing better than an ice-cold beer after a lonnnnng bike ride!!

And finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for… here’s the video I did about this ride. I was inspired by the vintage 1974 bike ride I had seen earlier that week – so I decided to give this video a vintage-feel. Hope you like it!

VanFondo 2012 & Iona Beach (Richmond) – 90km Training Ride

On Saturday, May 12th, 2012 Comor held the 1st Annual VanFondo. The leisure-style bike ride was a HUGE success with over 1200 cyclists participating in support of Canuck Place Children’s Hospice. The registration fee of $10 went towards this charity (2 thumbs up!)….. so that’s a donation of  $12,000 towards Canuck Place!

According to this Georgia Straight article  “It may have been the largest gathering of cyclists in Vancouver history”. The fact that the weather was just OUTSTANDING surely helped too! 🙂

When I signed up for the Ride to Conquer Cancer 2012 – my first ever bike ride for charity –  I knew I would be training a lot, but I didn’t anticipate that I’d get to experience another, smaller charity bike ride to serve as a teaser! 🙂

It was a great way to get a feel for what riding in a large group is like. I was so nervous as I was leaving the house – it was my first-ever “on the road” clipless cycling experience. So naturally, I crashed on my left side literally 5 secs after leaving my house. Terrible chain scratches along my ride leg… but I was kinda glad I didn’t wipe out during the actual ride before oncoming traffic!

My guard was definitely up to ensure I rode safely and unclipped well before the red lights!

The route was fantastic and there were a lot of volunteers (and policemen on motorcycles) to ensure we had safe passage through the many intersections.

Some of those hills in Kits really killed me though!

Comor,  a well-known Winter Sports store based in Kits,  recently ventured into the cycling/ bikes business (it seems to be booming in Vancouver) and they launched this new event to raise awareness among the cycling community, rather than spend money on advertising, sales promotions etc. Pretty smart!

When I stepped into the store on the Friday before the event to pick up my event registration pack and I was taken aback by how different the store looked without the racks and racks of ski gear!

The VanFondo 2012 route was circa 45km long – Since Kath and I factored in the extra cycling we did in Vancouver to go to the venue and to go to Kath’s house afterwards before we continued to Richmond – and had a 50km distance stamp on our monitors.

Riding out to Iona beach was lovely – it’s totally level so you can really pick up some speed, and by the time you reach the beach it is just so peaceful and relaxing. For those who don’t know – the long jetty that extends into the water is actually a sewage pipeline… so I’m guessing no one actually swims there, because that thought is kind of gross.

I ended up getting a major sunburn that day – mostly because I was having so much fun and with the breeze whipping on my exposed skin I didn’t realize I was burning up!

The 2013 VanFondo will be held on Saturday, May 11th, 2013. Unless I am out of town – I will definitely be signing up again for this event!!

So here’s my video of the day (check it out for more photos!): 

And here are some more vids – by other people….

An AWESOME video with cool info-graphics (I have to find out how to make those!!): 

A time lapse video of the VanFondo 2012 Route: 

An interview with Comor’s Paul Player: 

A Vancouver Bike Ride in 1974

How cool is this video???!

Look how different Vancouver looks like – almost 40 years ago!

I’ve cycled along some of the same roads/ areas as this cyclist 🙂 I’d love to be able to do a video like this very soon…. and then people 40 years from now could look on amazed at how much Vancouver has changed!

Thanks to VancityBuzz Blog for posting this video – this blog shares some really cool material relevant to Vancouverites!

38km ride to Lighthouse Park (West Van) and back

Last Sunday (April 8th) Kath and I went for a bike ride to Lighthouse Park in West Van (and back!!).

38km in all for me … which was only a day after the epic 78km ride. OUCH!!!

The ride there is so pretty! Lots of hills and beautiful properties to day dream about living in!! I also saw a real estate agent’s sign with a Maltese surname (Grech).

Kathy and I at the Lions Gate Bridge - that connects Vancouver to West Vancouver.

Cycling through Stanley Park enroute to West Van was a KILLER – my legs were so sore from the previous day. We did a double-duty cycling weekend to see what it feels like to cycle on a Sat AND Sun – since that is what we will be doing for the Ride to Conquer Cancer…. only each day will be 125km and 125km NOT 78km and 38km. Needless to say – I am over the moon with our steady progress and dedication!!!

Silly pic with sign! No need to watch for me I was travelling super-slow!

Ambleside Park - I had always wanted to check out West Van's version of our seawall!

We cut through Ambleside Park instead of the crazy-busy road that leads into West Van…. and hit the endless, super steep hills that take you to Lighthouse Park.

Midway through I asked Kathy to make an emergency pitstop at a gas station/ mini market to fuel up. I bought a double chocolate bar, protein bar and Gatorade… Yes sometimes I eat like a hockey player!! haha Note to self: Never go for a ride when you haven’t eaten properly before!!

A nice guy whom we met at the park scoped out whether we can descend further into the park to get a view of the Lighthouse without having to lock up our bikes in the car park. Can you imagine getting your bike stolen way out there??? I would burst out crying! Turns out you can only make it half way…

We made it! 🙂 Now time to walk with our bikes in the park.

If you want to get right by the water and the lighthouse you’re going to have to leave your bike behind (car park) … so take a shitty bike!!

We found a nice little sign to pose with...

I was reading about the history of this place...nerd that I am! 🙂 ... and the first keepers of this lighthouse (19th century) had the first white baby in West Van. Maintaining a lighthouse = lots of time for baby making!

Of course... we wanted our money shot with the lighthouse... so after some off-trailing and rock climbing, we got our vantage point!

And then by SOME MIRACLE we managed to cycle all the way back!!

🙂 The End 🙂

God Bless your bravery Sara Duncan!!

Cancer Victim Haircut with Daughter

Sara Duncan gets a haircut by her daughter Lola and the video becomes a YouTube Hit … I watched this today and it really inspired me to PUSH HARDER with my workouts and to FORGE AHEAD with my fundraising activities.

I really hope that Sara makes a full recovery and that her daughter will continue to have a mom for many more years to come.

This is why I am doing the Ride to Conquer Cancer!!

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