MEC Great Rides

The Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition and MEC organized 4 bike rides this summer to showcase the wonderful bike trails of Greater Vancouver. We heard about the Great Rides after the first one had already happened, and we were in Kelowna the weekend of the second one. But we were not going to miss the third one, which was yesterday in Port Coquitlam. The fact that it turned out warm and sunny, probably one of the last summer days of the year, only added to the excitement.

We had to book a car with a bike rack from the Car Co-op, and we found out that there are only 2 in the Co-op’s entire fleet, which is something we are planning on complaining about if we ever get around to it. But despite my skepticism, the rack actually worked, and we made it there at a reasonable time to tackle the 24 km ride. It was flat and easy, although mostly on gravel so I had to borrow Zak’s gloves because the vibrations were killing my hands in the beginning. Some of it was near the river, some more inland and some in forested trails. The landscape was beautiful, the signage was mostly good (although we did have to backtrack once after missing a turn that wasn’t indicated) and there were stations every 6km for water, snacks and mechanical help.

Zak had to stop, of course, to help a damsel in distress (well, ok, the lady with the flat was actually in her 50s, so I wasn’t really jealous) and we took the time to take some photos and have a picnic in a park, where our son enjoyed the playground. He then fell asleep for the last hour of the ride, which made it all the more enjoyable… It took us 4 hours to finish the loop, although only 2 of those were actual biking. We had a wonderful day and we definitely want to go back on that trail. It would be a great place to take some visitors, rent some bikes and enjoy an easy stroll (oui, Mireille, c’est à toi que je pense).

Next weekend is the Bikennale, the last of the 4 Great Rides, and we are planning on participating, although we will wait until the last minute to register because it is supposed to rain all week. This one is offered in two versions, a short one (13 km) or a long one (36 km). To Zak’s dismay, I am definitely aiming for the short route. My legs were fine after 24 km yesterday, but it was on flat ground and my bum was quite sore at the end. There is no way I could ride 36 km when it includes Vancouver’s hills…

But there should be a fun party at the Vanier Park, so let’s hope the rain stops on Saturday!

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