We drove to the Bellingham, WA airport in the morning to drop off the van and officially started the bike tour. Our plan was to ride the flat fast miles and arrive at our Airbnb in east Vancouver at around 4:00 pm. We arrived at 8:00 pm and managed to climb 2,500! We were thrown off course a few times and had to closely follow the map and also stopped to ask for directions. Unlike our Great Divide map last year, we did not have turn by turn instructions. The ride to Vancouver was not nice. We ride through Surrey which is like riding through San Jose or Fremont, CA. Lots of cars, many stop lights, and drivers who think yellow means keep going only faster! I’m not looking forward to the ride back to Bellingham.
As we reached the Canadian border I could not stop thinking about walls and fences that divide us. Animals cross borders freely, avians fly to and from one border to the other, and extra terrestrials probably don’t give much thought about our arbitrary borders. The freedom to roam, venture, and discover our world requires a compass, luck, and a cup full of guts. Borders and fences kills that adventurous spirit buried in all of us.
We crossed two bridges to reach western Vancouver the Alex Fraser and the Oak Street bridge. There were at least a half dozen riders on the second of the two bridges and it had a dedicated bicycle lane. Once in western Vancouver we noticed many streets that were “bike boulevards”. Bike boulevards have dedicated bikes lanes or are a preferred streets for bicyclists to travel on. They are usually less crowded with cars and have stop signs to cross busy street. As we traveled east toward the Airbnb, the roads to my surprise were crowded with bikes commuters.
It seemed like a long ride from the west to east side of Vancouver. I was spent and wanted to get off the bike. I walked the last steep block to the host house. It was nice to meet our welcoming Airbnb hosts Tammy and Clive. Their house was a cute remodeled home in a lively and restaurant dense “east van”. They fed us a muffin and tea before a hot shower. I was too tired to eat dinner and we walked to the grocery store, stretched, and went to bed.