Day 4: Fillongley PP to Departure Bay - Four-day Sunshine Coast Loop - CycleBlaze

August 12, 2014

Day 4: Fillongley PP to Departure Bay

I was packed and on my bike by 7 this morning. Instead of riding back over the spine of Denman Island, even though it is less steep from the east side, I decided to take the longer, less hilly route, about 15 km compared to 6, back to the ferry terminal. I easily made the 8 a.m. sailing and then turned south on the Old Island Highway, otherwise known as 19A or Island Highway South to distinguish it from the newer high-speed Inland Island Highway (Highway 19).

It was a quiet, peaceful ride to the Bean Counter Cafe in Bowser where I stopped for coffee, a morning snack, and an AC outlet to charge my phone. I need to be able to call for a pick-up at Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal because I don't want to ride the 40 km home from there. I'm seriously thinking about getting a solar charger for next year.

Leaving Bowser, the shoulder deteriorated somewhat, or was it just more traffic later in the day? My next stop was the first grocery store coming in to Parksville. I had decided to eat in a park, preferably on a beach with a breeze as the day was quite muggy. Change of plans as I got back on the road and it started to rain. I hoped the Parksville Community Park and a covered area. It did, thankfully, as the rain poured down for about an hour. I read my book under cover, glad I was on the "dry" side of Vancouver Island.

Sadly, the mugginess continued after the rain stopped. Leaving Parksville, I turned onto Northwest Bay Road, a very pleasant rural alternative to the Island Highway (19A merges into 19 just past the turnoff to Northwest Bay Road). Sadly, however, one must rejoin the highway at Nanoose Bay and I am unaware of any alternative to the Island Highway for the next section. It was extremely unpleasant with heavy traffic including many heavy trucks zooming by at 120 km/h. I think the speed limit is 80 but I know from driving this route that nobody pays attention to the speed limit.

As soon as possible, at Superior Road, I got off the highway and onto Lantzville Road and breathed easy again. Lantzville Road takes one to the Nanaimo Parkway Trail from which one can take a quiet road to the E&N Trail and then to the Departure Bay Ferry Terminal. At the ferry terminal there is ice cream! I should have taken a photo of my delicious, well-earned ice cream since I didn't take any others today. Too late now; just the ferry crossing and home.  Happily, I got a pick-up at the ferry so I didn't have to ride home from Horseshoe Bay.

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Today's ride: 107 km (66 miles)
Total: 287 km (178 miles)

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