After spending the last few days redesigning my stupid @&%#@ veggie beds 85 times, I decided to take a break... after one more redesign this morning, but that's the last one, I promise.
We had pastries for breakfast and I drank (really strong) coffee for the first time in a month, so I had a lot of jittery energy. D hauled out the bikes, dusted them for spiders (but not dust. he left the dust), and we headed out. I picked the Dawson loop for our first outing of the year because I know it's about 13km from having walked it and that's a decent length for making sure everything works as it should without completely destroying our butts. It came out to 15km on the bikes doing what I thought was the same path - we might've walked closer to the river's edge in the past, which can shorten the length.
First, I just wanna mention that when you've been riding a stationary recumbent cycle for two months, the switch to riding upright and actually moving is a little disconcerting. I felt like my legs weren't in the right place. It was weird for the first 3km.
That first leg is pretty straightforward, just a neighbourhood road to get to the valley. Once we got into Dawson Park, the fun began. The path on the north side is really wavy. Like that suspension bridge that failed in... Quebec, was it? The one that engineers get rings from because you shouldn't build bridges like that. You don't really notice it walking... probably because we usually walk the lower, gravel path, now that I think about it. It's nuts. Freaking weird like a waterslide but for bikes. I couldn't decide if it was fun or annoying.
Next, the bridge. It starts as this big blue thing that's quite picturesque, but then you get the other side and it's just one veryyyy long hill. At the end of the hill is... another hill, but going down.
Now, ordinarily, this isn't big deal, except that I hate going downhill as a rule and going downhill on a winding path covered in a winter's worth of gravel is particularly scary on my bike. The wheels are not good on any kind of scree and will skate instead of breaking. One of my to-do items for this spring is get new rubber. The bike was sold as a hybrid, but it's a women's bike and to get a women's bike that's as good quality as a similar type of men's bike requires more money (this is a thing; watch Marketplace). This bike cost the same as D's (both on sale and reg price) and it is not nearly as good - no disc bikes, crappy pedals (i replaced those), and shitty rubber among other things. I don't like the men's style frame though and they had very few women's bikes under 800$ on sale or not. I enjoy cycling, but I'm not a diehard so I thought I was getting something suitable for my needs. It has been, for the most part, as long as I avoid gravel paths and wait for the streets to get swept in the spring. Since moving here, I kind wish I'd spent the extra $$$.
Anyway, the next few km were interesting. D thought he'd lost me because there were two hills (the whole stretch is hills - you're either going a little up or waaaay down) I had to walk down because they were so curvy and there's enough people out and about that I really didn't want to discover the limits of my abilities around some of the steeper blind corners. At one corner, I braked and proceeded to skate another 4 meters slightly sideways before stopping... and I wasn't going very fast to start with. Yeah.
After we got dodged the skateboarders under Capilano Bridge, it was smooth sailing. Well, there were a few more hills, but they were either just challenging or really fun. I wish I'd looked to see how fast we were going down towards the boat launch parking lot. That.. was amazing. Also, very drying. I could feel all the moisture being sucked out of my face on the way down. We also made it up the switchback in Rundle, which surprised us both. I credit the indoor cycling for that.
I didn't bring my phone or I would've taken pictures at the end of our ride. We had our first thunderstorm today and, while the storm itself was mostly bluster with a little thunder and a smattering of rain, the sky was incredible.
Before the storm hit, I set up the rain barrels and the cats got to spend a little time outside. I laid out my final (I promise!!!) plans for the beds using all the scrap wood and stakes I've spent the last week playing with and measured to see what size shed we can reasonably fit back there (5x8ft, in case anyone wants to know).
Tomorrow, we'll get the stuff we need for the Freedom Fighting Fence Topper (if we ever made a side business of installing these things, that's what I'd call our product). We plan to put that together (maybe some day I can post pictures) and fix a nuisance downspout at the same time.
These journals... I know it's not riveting stuff and certainly not thought-provoking at all, but I don't write often anymore and this was the best way I could think of to sorta re-build the habit. My goal was to write every day, but you can see how successful that's been. I'll keep trying. Now, I have to go to bed, or so Furgus tells me. He's inside my sweater right now, purring into my armpit.