With less than two month to go, I need to start training a bit. Even thought most of the actual training happens during the trip it self by covering shorted distances at the start, it’s always a good idea to give my legs a heads up and let them adjust to the challenge. I’ve already done a few rides around Vancouver, but those are mostly on the flat. So this morning I decided to attempt to cycle to Cypress mountain and climb to the top, where the ski resort is.
The first little challenge was cycling into the highway 1, which I had never attempted before on a bike. It was much easier, as the road has a fairly wide shoulder. It was just the fast moving cars and trucks that are annoying passing next to me. And of course, that was the best spot to get a big fat staple and a product label stuck on my wheel. I stopped and pulled out the pin which got about 1cm into the tire and only then I realized I had no puncture repair kit with me. Way to go George! I waited for a minute and the tire didn’t seem to lose any pressure, so luckily the Kevlar protection tire did its job very well. That’s really good to know, as it also means the tire will most likely make it through out the whole trip.
Right after the highway, I entered the one and only road that leads to the top of the mountain. Not much longer into the climb and I started straggling. The bike has plenty of gears, but my legs and stamina are not that strong, at least not yet. I stopped several times to take a breath, allow my legs to recover a bit and hide from the sun as the heat was slowly building up (25-30c). I wish I had some sort of emergency energy food with me. George, you forgot the bananas! The stops were becoming more and more frequent and few times I thought to just turn back and enjoy the downhill. A fellow cyclist caught up with me and said that we were almost there, so that helped me do the last push. We talked for a bit on the way and he told me he had cycled the west coast in the past and it is indeed a beautiful ride. He is now preparing for a trip to France to do some of the Tour de France rides, as well as a couple of the ones I did when I was there. What a coincidence that was.
Not much later and I got to the top. By that time, my single water bottle as well as my mouth was completely dry. Way to go again George! I am so grateful the resort’s side restaurant was open. I went in, had plenty of water and a light lunch.
One of the reasons I wanted to do this ride, was to also visit Cypress for one last time and get to see it without any snow. I’ve been there several times during the ski season, as it’s only half an hour away from the city. It was nice that there was a last patch of snow, right by the restaurant, even if it’s already mid July and the weather has been above 20c for the past 10 days.
The way back was much easier and quicker. Going down a mountain on a bike, is a reward it self for climbing it. Within an hour I was back at home and under the shower.
The ride was around 60km, with 15km climb and the top of the climb was at 900m.