Monday, September 3, 2012

BC Parkway Urban Trail Not Enough

After a late night at Mike's party, I barely slept a peep before "waking up" for 9am dim sum with the Ng's. Good thing dim sum was just down the street from where I live so rolling out of bed with bed hair and walking myself to the restaurant didn't take too much time. Once my tummy was full, I was ready to roll back into bed. The day after a late night party isn't always pleasant at this ...erhm... age.

Anyway, I napped but not for long. The sun was shining and I had a day and half more before I go back to work after a splendid week off. I was still feeling a bit groggy but the outdoors beckoned. Luckily, bro agreed to go cycling with me. I've been taking the bike out more than expected this week. None of it was planned. Just some good spontaneous rides.

My bro suggested Richmond, and I wasn't sure I'd have the stamina to make it back after a night without sleep. I requested something easier. So, this time we went eastward towards Central Park in Burnaby. Bro warned me that E.45th will have cars and a slight incline all the way to the park. As I frowned a little, he reminded me that that only means downhill coming home. I was good with that. The last couple of rides had been downhill going and uphill coming home... which made no sense that the reward came before the work.

Indeed, there was an incline. But happy that it wasn't a difficult one. Once we made it to Central Park (which took almost no time), I made the mental note that on a day that I don't have a riding buddy, I'll just bike up and down E.45th to Central Park for my slight-incline workout until it gets too easy. That was the extent of our plan though. To make it to Central Park. But once I was on the bike, with the fresh air (and bugs) hitting my face, I was much more awake and energetic.

"Go through the park?" bro asked.


We went through the trails and looped aimlessly wherever the trails took us. Soon after, bro whipped out a map from his bag and said, "Wanna check out the BC Parkway Trail?".

Wherever that is... I said, "Sure."

We had no idea where we were inside Central Park, but followed the sounds of the skytrain to find our way out. Which led us right on the Parkway Trail. We continued to head east. I was looking at all the new apartments being built in this quiet neighbourhood and thought, I could live here. One of the already-built apartments caught my eye. Hmm, where is this place? What seemed like minutes of riding took us to Metrotown. The apartment I was gawking at was Jewel. Ahh... I'm familiar. Biking just seems to take you to places much faster.

We passed Bonsor Community Centre and then hit Imperial St. We would have gone all the way to Queensborough but was reminded that whatever we biked, we have to bike it again to go back. So, we turned around. I was already excited to take the downhill on E.45th.

Of course, downhill means not biking, which felt like we got home in no time. Both still high on fresh air, we didn't want to go home. I suggested we go to Trout Lake. We headed north on the Windsor bike path and it was nothing but downhill. I started getting a little weary. All downhill meant all uphill afterwards. After fifteen blocks downhill, I was ready to turn around. It would be another fifteen more blocks downhill, and I wasn't sure I could hike up thirty just yet. So, we turned around.

Uphill it was. Slow and steady was all I thought to myself. After making it back up the hill, we continued westward. Soon later, we arrived at the steep hill that owned me last week. I had given up and walked it. But it was also after my bro saying "I sometimes just walk this hill" and then speeding up the hill leaving me behind. This time, I stopped at the bottom of the hill watching my bro speed off again shouting to him, "Do we have to do this hill??".

He turned around and yelled, "That's the attitude!". Throwing in that sarcasm.

I watched another cyclist zoom on by me. In his tight cycling gear and spandex pants and blingy road bike. All the while, a man sitting underneath a tree watched intently most probably wondering what my next move would be. He had no intentions of making his stare less obvious. I had already lost all my momentum having stopped my bike. But without thinking much after that, I put my feet on the pedals and went for it. I told myself, if I can make it halfway up the hill, that's halfway better than last week.

I made it halfway...

... and thought, what's another halfway?

My brother was waiting at the top. And I made it. It wasn't so bad after all. Completely mind over matter. And we continued west...

I wasn't tired, but timewise, it was starting to feel like we've been out for a while. Then I remembered, I hadn't really eaten since 9am. And my bro hadn't eaten much period. We were both starting to starve a little. We gobbled our granola bars and decided to call it a day, and headed home.

What was meant to be a short joyride turned into a full three hours 30km ride. I hate the hills but my bro loves them, which makes him a good riding buddy because I can come home saying hey, I did it. Being fooled into doing hills is the only way that I'd do them. Hah.

First bike ride that's actually made me a little sore the next day and I'm loving it.

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