Thursday, May 15, 2014

day 2: university of bc to gibsons

our first 30 miles, a bike chain gone very wrong and renegade camping on private property (because some guys said so). 

we started the morning off at the matthews' place, got all our gear together and we were off. we hit the road and samuel asked me, "did you get the directions?" i said, "no, [mumble]." he said, "i thought i asked you to look them up earlier." uhhhh..i asked him if he would be the directions person after that interaction. that should prevent future mismatched expectation regarding directions. he he

we rode around looking for an outdoor store to buy camp fuel, which got us lost on a street with a store (les amis du frommage) that had a huge selection of cheese and a wonderful patisserie specializing in waffles. oh dear. conte and salami at one and baguettes, mini waffle and mini quiche lorraine at the other. (that would turn out to be lunch and dinner for today.)
after riding up and down along the coast, we finally reached horseshoe bay where we rode a giant ferry to langdale. that was my first time on a ferry where you cycle in and cars drive right on. all i could say was, "wow." the view was spectacular with the mountains speckled with the last bits of snow, and covered with a lush forest showing off their new spring greens. i spoke to simon, a 25yo taiwanese visitor who was headed to bike camp solo for a couple days. he zipped off after the ferry ride, i think eager to buy some groceries before settling into his campsite. i didn't even get to say good bye. 
meanwhile, samuel and i took a wrong turn (which we realized after our sunset evening with a group of guys who own/work at a spin cycle). while cranking up a hill, my chain slipped and got stuck really really bad. like, we took apart almost everything in the rear of my bike to carefully screwdriver it out. i don't know how i got myself into this mess. it took about an hour to fix with the help of a random stranger, who helped us because i walked up to the back of his apartment and knocked on his sliding door and asked to borrow a wrench. his name was john and he ended up giving us the wrench. plus, he said, "you need to convince it to come out" regarding the very stuck chain. haha, i loved that because it was about gentle coaxing, not brute force. so that was that. 
then we hit a hill (the locals call it school hill because it's on school blvd) that was a 21% grade!!!! i wish i took a picture of the sign because i couldn't believe it. the thought, "there must be some percentage conversion because we're in canada," flashed through my mind to justify what we were about to do. needless to say, we walked our haul up that monster. 

well, it's day 2 and i can already say that we've already walked our bikes. my friend alisa said i should have no shame in walking my bike during a bike tour. so there. no shame. 

gosh, from that trecherous hill to me in my sleeping bag on private land writing this post, was the following: hurriedly arriving at a local bike shop, talking to the owner, getting convinced to replace my front crankset because of my chain slippage issue, being shown their secret spot by said owner, his son, and bro-in-law, washing up in a grocery store bathroom and going to bed 25 yards from the road, tucked away in what felt like the wilderness (if it weren't for the sound of cars). 

tonight, i'm thankful for john, and the three guys who opened up "their" spot to us, simon's enthusiasm to live out a worthwhile story to call his life, and a place to rest our homeless heads.

tomorrow, i look forward to breakfast and a place to shower.

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