Vancouver Island was all a blur, literally. Fog, rain, mist, and low clouds obscured much of the region’s charm and kept us glued to our saddles from Port Hardy to Victoria, helping us log several 100 km + days in a row. In Nanaimo, we stayed with the Ringhams, a Warm Showers family. They were extremely helpful in helping us plan our attack on the Capital, and gave us a great cycling map of the Victoria area. Thanks!
We managed to get to my cousin Lorne’s for the weekend. We were met in the driveway by the whole family: Lorne and Sherri and their daughters Katie and Tessa. It was almost 8 at night and we were exhausted after getting blown around on the highway all day. We had a wonderful supper and got settled in.
No media frenzy, no tenting, no sleeping bags, no campstove. For a few days we managed to forget that we’re on a wild trans-continental cycling adventure; we were just visiting with family we don’t get to see enough of. We went fishing for crab, walked along the harbour, baked cookies and apple crisp, watched a movie, went to the kids’ theatre rehearsals, played Rock Star and Wii Fit (interactive video games), ate (a lot – sorry guys!) and talked and laughed. It was magical.
Staying with family in our home country is as familiar as things will get for Lucie and I this year, and I was keenly aware of this during our visit. From here on things will get progressively stranger. Both of us now feel a bit more ready to dive into the unknown. It was wonderful to have the chance to stay with the Olsons, especially right before leaving Canada.
Mechanical troubles: My rear wheel started making a strange noise on the Cassiar. It turns out my freehub body – the ratchet in the rear wheel that makes the clicking noise when coasting – is worn out from all of those long mountain descents in the North. The fine people at Goldstream Bicycles in Colwood let me use their shop and tools so that I could diagnose the problem and put some new bearings in my hub. Thanks to Steve and Doug! The part I need awaits us at JRA, a Seattle shop that responded to a Craigslist post (or plea) for a replacement.
Final note: For all you Twilight fans, we’ve been riding in Edward and Bella’s stomping grounds this week. Apparently vampires like the Pacific Northwest because the sun never shines here. We’ve ridden through long tracts of lush temperate rainforest in Washington. In places the pavement has a greenish hue where it’s covered by a thin layer of moss!
Also: for cyclists visiting the Victoria area: Get a cycling map! The city is a cyclist’s paradise but you have to know where to find the converted railway cycle paths (Galloping Goose, etc) and, of course, where they lead. Photos to come soon!
Next: Cycling Seattle, Portland Bound, photos and more!!!