Yesterday as I pedalled home from work along Burrard St. through traffic, I knew that our ride that evening was going to be a hot one. The wether in Vancouver has been off the hook for what feels like many weeks now. It almost seems as though it's been sunny and 25C straight since last summer and it never even rained all winter. Interesting how quickly you forget the damp, dreary days of winter when you have sunshine and bluebird skies to enjoy for over two weeks straight...
I picked Stuey up at 4:15 at his place and we were off like a fart in a windstorm. We chatted out to West Van and when we hit Marine Dr at 31st, the chit chat pretty well ceased as the heart rate kicked up a notch. We rode really hard out to Whytecliff and stopped briefly to enjoy the view from "Stu's patio"and have a quick bite to eat.
From there it was up to the highway and heading for Cypress. As we neared Cypress I realized that this was going to be a tough one a) because of the temperatures, b) how gassed my legs felt and we hadn't even started the climb yet, and c) because Stu was steadily crushing the life out of my legs with the pace he kept setting.
We ditched our helmets, set the timer at the chain-up shed and went to work. We slowly wound our way up the 12 km, thankful for any shade we found and especially the cold air pockets hovering around the small waterfalls we climbed past. We came around the last switchback surprised at the time on the clock, and gave one final push to the big yellow cedar on the summit. We hit the line at 39 min 45 sec! We were stoked...
On the way down we saw a small black bear munching some dandelions and so we stopped to visit with him briefly. When the car with the pumping techno beats reversed down the road to join the party, Mr. Bear scuttled off into the woods leaving Mr. Techno bewildered that he had missed the sighting...perhaps Mr. Bear preferred pubs to clubs?
Anyways, we descended the rest of the mountain like Paolo "Il Falco" Salvodelli and were soon back on the highway heading to Taylor Way. Stu was just mashing the pedals at this point pulling a steady 45 km/h and coming really close to dropping me even though I was fully in his draft. Mr. Fitness ended up pulling me the entire way back from Cypress to Kits and would start gapping me if I thought about easing off a touch. That was a performance that would have provoked Eddy Merckx to point at his biceps and with a stern face, say "strong!". Nice work Stu!
The ride ended on an interesting note with a passing SUV loaded with girls yelling some expletives at us right after I snuck in front of them on Burrard. Unfortunately for our friendly femmes, they didn't look ahead to see the red traffic light 100 m up the road. What was very puzzling was that when we approached, all of the sudden the window was fully rolled up?! I wonder if all of a sudden they had found 29C a bit chilly and didn't want the windows down anymore? Then when Bookie bellowed out "PARDON?!!!" the girl in the passenger seat looked about to pee her pants and the driver had all of a sudden become extremely interested in something on the opposite side of the car and seemingly didn't notice Stu and I at all now that we were inquiring what the problem was...har har har.
Anyways, a good ride with a good friend on a great evening...tonight I rest in preparation for an awesome XC MTB ride in Squamish on Saturday!