We're on our way: Day 1- Victoria to Surrey - And Then We Pedalled...... Cross Canada 2015 - CycleBlaze

June 3, 2015

We're on our way: Day 1- Victoria to Surrey

It's finally happening. Our 'entourage' assembled at the mile zero sign in Beacon Hill park, the requisite pictures were taken, hugs and kisses exchanged, and then we pedalled...

It been a long time since we've been in Victoria (other than me coming in for a few 'whistle stop' business trips) and unfortuntely we didn't get much of a chance to explore more on this occasion.

We headed north towards the ferry, took a few of the 'standard' photo ops in front of the Empress Hotel (a Grande Old Dame from the late Victoran era) and the more modern 'Galloping Goose' bike trail, and enjoyed the ride to Swartz Bay aong the Galloping Goose and Lochside bike trails. We pushed a pretty good pace as we wanted to catch the 11 am ferry (the one that Alison was on with the car) so there's not many pic's of the great 38 km ride.

Had another 'retirement moment' (actually many). There were lot's of people out riding. Some single, some couples, several 'peletons', and everyone looked to be about our age (or older). Then I realised it was Wednesday at 10 am. I'm going to like this!

Made it to the ferry with lots of time to spare (should have stopped and looked at a few more things - note to draft) and settled in for a very nice passage to the mainland.

Our goal for the day was Kirsten's long time friend Dave Clark in Surrey, a nice 35 km ride from the ferry terminal along the Boundry Bay dike. We had bit of a tailwind and the ride was great. A few other bikers, one runner (who looked to be doing about a 20+ km route!) and one small tractor. This was great because we knew just a few km's away was the craziness of the lower mainland / Fraser Valley traffic.

We made good time to Dave's place. Both Dave and his wife Steph were off at work, but Kirsten had their address and the code for their door and we were to let ourselves in and make oureslves 'at home'. All was well until the door code didn't work. Several attempts by all of us, and much peering into windows (yep ... looks like the place) yielded the same result, a locked door.

A quick phone call to Dave and the problem was solved. We were at the wrong house. They had lived where we were at, but about six years ago. New address in hand we were back on the bikes and 9 km's later at the right place. We had a great night with Dave, Steph and their family, all in all, a great start to the trip.

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Song of the day 

On My Way - The Melodic. It just seemed right ....

Kirsten's Historical Moment 

Terry Fox monument, Beacon Hill Park, Victoria.

Every Canadian knows the story. A unheralded teenager from Burnaby lost his leg to cancer in the mid 70's. Undaunted by this 'set back', he and a buddy driving a camper truck for support, set off from Newfoundland in almost absolute obscurity, to raise money for cancer reseach and to foster the notion that cancer can be beaten. 

He never made it to his goal, this spot in Beacon Hill park, some 7500 km from where he started. His cancer came back and took him just outside Thunder Bay Ontario, but not before he touched the entire nation. 

Terry Fox 'runs' have become an institution in Canada, and in many parts of the world where the canuck diaspora exists (we've been involved in running Terry Fox runs in Aberdeen and Saigon) raising HUNDREDS of millions of dollars for cancer research, education and rehablilitation. Even better, cancer more often does get beaten now than it did when Terry had it, and we can probably thank him for some of that.

Terry Fox memorial in Beacon Hill Park, western terminus of the Trans Canada Highway.
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This is where it starts...
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The iconic Empress Hotel - Victoria Harbour. The city's moved on a lot from the "Tea at the Empress" image, but it's still the first thing a lot of folks associate with Victoria
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Nice bike trail system in Victoria... the Galloping Goose trail leading into / out of downtown. Lots of commuters at 9 am! We were headed AWAY from downtown :)
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Bill< Alison and Kirsten on the ferry to the mainland
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Never get tired of the coast! Calm water and beautiful views, even if it is overcast
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Great riding along the Boundary Bay dike trail from Tsawwassen to Surrey. Lots of farms, golf courses and tidal mud flats. But no people or cars!
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Boundary Bay mudflats - the tide is out. There was thriving oyster industry here bt it hd to shut in the '90's due to pollution in the bay
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Our host for the night, Kirsten's long time friend David. Once we got the right house it turned into a great evening!
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Today's ride: 81 km (50 miles)
Total: 81 km (50 miles)

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