June 24, 2015
Whistler to Vancouver
The rule is that alarms will be set for 6:00 AM. However there was lots of zippers and crunching of gravel as people were walking around closer to 5:30 AM. Finally I had to call out that it wasn’t 6:00 am. I know most tours run that breakfast is at 7:00 Am and you plan when to set your own alarm. However I have always felt that this only encourages the “A” types who have to be there first to set their alarms earlier and earlier.
We were able to push off at 7:30 AM rather than the usual 8:00 AM as a result but as we had 120 kms to go it was fine. The first 35kms were all downhill and I mean downhill. I don’t know what the average speed on this leg was but every time I looked down at the speedometer it was reading 45 kms/hr. The road was absolutely fabulous. There was a large well marked bike lane down the highway. We rolled into Squamish which is about half way before we started hitting the climbs which were only 2-5 kms long but were steep pitches and you had to grind up each and every one.
At the 100 km mark we turned off of the main highway on to Marine Drive in North Vancouver. There was our good friend Howard B waiting just like he said he would be. He took us a great ride down Marine Drive in North Vancouver. The views were to die for looking out over the ocean. The homes are all in 4+ million dollar range and lots of them are probably in the 20 million range. It was a lot of fun on this winding rolling hilly back road with very few cars. Howard then ducked down a few back roads, sidewalks and one way streets and took us up a path onto the Lions Gate Bridge. WOW is the only word and it doesn’t even come close. Across this huge span and right into our hotel which is right downtown.
Howard then invited us all over to his luxury condo for drinks and snacks before supper. Howard even walked back to the hotel to get us. The cheese and crackers disappeared in record time along with lots of beer and wine. Then we all adjourned over to the Cactus Club in the Vancouver Convention Center. The steaks were sooooooooo good. A million thanks to Howard and Merrilynne for their very kind hospitality.
Today’s ride wound up with a total distance of 120 kms and 1975 meters climb. On this note of accuracy I must correct yesterday’s climb which I said was 2100 meters as it was really 2770 meters.
What a great day!