Day 1: 40 miles

Click to enlarge image of Spencer with staff

Click to enlarge image of Peter the bike mechanic

Click to enlarge image of Lon

Click to enlarge image of Amber


We woke Sunday morning at 6 and were on the road by 6:30. We arrived at Capilano College in North Vancouver around 9:45. Quickly we assembled the bike, changed clothes, and headed out for the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal. I thought it was 12 miles away, an easy ride to catch the 11:20 ferry.

The easy ride turned quite hilly as we got on Marine Drive. It became apparent to me that I’d miscalculated the conversion from kilometers to miles. I re-worked my figures and realized it was more like 18 miles. We’d have to really hump it to make the ferry.

We tried, but soon gave it up. Our STP-weary legs couldn’t work that hard. We both were favoring sore knees. I can’t imagine how the guys on the Tour de France go out and give it all, day in and day out. You have to try something like this to get a feel for something like that. We decided there would always be another ferry. We’d just get in a little later than planned.

The terrain was amazing. Every time I thought we’d be doing our final drop to the ferry, we’d end up going up another hill. Finally I could see the ferry landing. We were at sea level. Then came an incredibly steep, short hill. These were to become regular features of the ride. We just dug deep and muscled up the hill.

We rolled in to the ferry terminal at 11:30. We couldn’t tell where to go, so we rode against traffic to where a guy was directing cars onto the ferry. We showed him the chits we’d been given by Danelle, the tour organizer. He pointed us to the Langdale line which was still in the process of boarding. Apparently they’d had a man overboard drill on the run before and had gotten behind schedule. Moments later we were boarding the ferry as they raised the ramp behind us.  We didn’t even have time to take a picture! A lesson in giving up the goal in order to reach the goal.

The rest of the tour had caught the 9:30 ferry so we were surprised to find the Tour BC mechanic’s truck on this one (that’s Peter working on a bike). We also met Nick and Jean who had missed the first ferry. She is diabetic and was going to get sagged to the lunch stop. We joined up with Nick (first photo) and rode.

It was HILLY. We quickly figured out that we needed to change our attitudes about hills. Every up would lead to a down. Every down would lead to another up. Get used to it. Enjoy the ride. “This moment is like this.”

The lunch stop appeared (second photo). We met some of the tour organizers and continued on the way to Sechelt, the first stop. At least it was dry. We’d covered 40 miles in 3 hours, averaging 13.6. Not fast, but surviving was our only goal.

We had a motel for the first night in Sechelt. We also had massages scheduled. The room wasn’t ready when we checked in but Sheila managed a quick shower before her scheduled massage with Lon. My massage quickly followed with Amber. Then we ate dinner and crashed in our room. We fell asleep trying to watch the men on the Tour de France climb Alpe d’Huez. We got 9 hours of sleep before getting up at 5:30 to start day 2.

Click to see day 1 elevation larger

Tour BC: Sunshine & Whales
Sechelt to Powell River