Day 2: Heading Northwest (Vancouver to Roberts Creek)

Vancouver Skyline from Stanley Park

The theme of today is “out of sync”.  The entire morning was spent trying to get on the Internet one way or another to publish my first blog post and schedule the weekly newsletter here in Vancouver.  As you can see, I was finally successful after spending about an hour in the hostel lobby, where the signal was at it’s strongest.  Juggling between my publishing schedule and packing up for our first miles of the ride, I was in major stress mode.  We finally got on the road to log our first miles at noon.

Shipping Woes

Before we dive right into our journey, we had to run a few errands.  We needed to get some items at the drug store like some contact solution as well as some snacks for the road.  We wondered around Granville Street for about an hour until we found a store opened.  Items in this city is sure expensive!  All our provisions costed us over $40 CDN!  That was for Mac N’ Cheese, beef jerky, cliff bars, sun screen, wet wipes, & trail mix.  We then went back to the hotel to pick up our 1 box with both our luggage and things we wanted to send back home.  We walked about 2 blocks north to a FedEx location.  When we got there, the guy immediately asked if these are sending back personal articles.  We said yes and he said FedEx won’t be able to do it for us without having to incur huge fees and taxes (~$500+) and it wasn’t guaranteed that they would deliver it because of some regulation.  We were in a bit of a pickle so he suggested we call UPS.  With a quick phone call, the operator told us it wasn’t a problem sending things back using their service.  We immediately asked for the nearest one, which was about 5 blocks south of the FedEx station.  We marched down the street and found the store, filled out all the necessary paperworks, and shipped it for about $100 CDN.

Heights, Water, & Cars

West Vancouver & Lions Gate Bridge

With every errand out of the way, we started our journey toward Horseshoe Bay to catch the ferry over to Langdale.  The bike path took us around the northern side of downtown Vancouver until we reached Lions Gate Bridge.  We almost missed the turn off to get on the bridge but luckily Sang Hyun spotted an entrance while we checked out tourist vista area.  We finally got on the bridge and boy was I nervous.  The bridge was high up above a body of water with high speed traffic to our left.  This was going to be interesting as I am facing 3 of my fears at the same time: heights, water, and high speed cars.  I cautiously stayed as far left as possible away from the edge.  I think I held my breathe the entire length of the crossing while Sang Hyun flew by me and down the other end.

Gibson to Roberts Creek

We made it on the West Vancouver side of the province.  The lanes were narrow and the cars were plenty.  Not LA kind of plenty but plenty to make it uncomfortable for 2 bicycle tourists on our way through the Sunshine Coast.  We finally made our way to a small town called Gibson.  At Gibson, we procured some more food for the night and morning (so we thought) at the local market, which was pretty much a convenient store with some produce.  We picked up a small container of milk, can of soup, and 3 bananas.
Getting out of the Gibson coast, there was a straight hill with a sign posted that read 21% grade.  Both of us looked at each other and said, “Um, I don’t think so.”   Sang Hyun found us another route with his Garmin gps.  We still had to slowly ascend up into what I would call the populated side of Gibson where we ran into a huge supermarket.  We stopped again to get some staple snacks and more food: tortillas, peanut butter, jam, and oatmeal.  We headed back down the road in search of Roberts Creek Camp Grounds.  We rode about maybe 10 kilometers before we found it tucked in the dense forest.  We found a camp site right near the entrance and settled there for the night.

Rain is Here

We were told by locals as well as hearing on the radio that a storm is coming in.  This should be interesting as this would be one milestone crossed out for Sang Hyun as he gets to ride in the rain.  We’ll check in again tomorrow.

About Johnny Lam

Johnny is an avid cyclist who enjoys bicycle touring as well as anything bicycle related. Johnny has traveled the entire Pacific Coast by bike from Vancouver to the border of California and Mexico. He's also toured through-out locations in Southern California. Johnny is also a League of American Bicyclists League Certified Instructor (LCI) and also completed the Adventure Cycling Association's Leadership Training Course (LTC). He is an active member in Los Angeles bicycling community being involved in organizations like the Los Angeles County Bicycling Coalition (LACBC), C.I.C.L.E. (Cyclists Inciting Change through Live Exchange), and Bike San Gabriel Valley (Bike SGV) by taking part in ride marshaling, pedestrian & bike counts, and other volunteering opportunities.