On Wednesday morning we had to take Cathy back to the airport. She was heading back home to Ontario, after being out here for a week to visit with our mother in the hospital.
We took our bikes along, and after dumping her out on the curb in the front of the departure terminal, we headed back over to Lulu Island, which is better known as Richmond. This time we decided to start our ride in a different spot, so we were just across the river channel from Vancouver International Airport.
We were riding along the top of the dyke. Richmond is on island in the Fraser River Delta. To keep all that expensive real estate dry, there is a dyke around it. We hadn't been cycling long before we rode by the Olympic speed skating oval. It has now been turned into a gigantic fitness center.
The first part of the ride was heading straight into the wind. When we got to the point, we stopped and watched three planes take off, about the time that Cathy's flight was due to depart. She didn't stick her arm out of the window and wave, so we weren't sure which was her's.
It was right about this time that the camera batteries went dead, and of course I had forgotten to bring extras with me. After we turned the corner, and were heading south, the wind was blowing at us from the side, which was much better than head on. The map had made it look like we would be riding right along the ocean, but there was a wide expanse of salt marsh or something, a lot of green grass of some sort between us and the sea.
We made it into Steveston, which is a real fishing village. The little town is all cutesy and touristy. Even the McDonald's was made to blend in with all the other little shops. I splurged and spent $1.49 on four AA batteries, so managed to get a few more pictures before the camera started to tell me again that the batteries were low. You get what you pay for. I did manage to squeeze a few more shots out of the camera, but it was a bit frustrating.
The point by the village is a park, with what they call a kite field. It was fascinating watching two guys on three wheeled carts racing back and forth across the field, using the power of the wind on their 'kite's, which were like mini parachutes.
Garry Point kite field
It was really interesting looking at all the houses built just inside the dyke. In other spots where the slough wasn't so tame looking, people had used all the available space and made really interesting gardens on the bank going down to the water.
I had never seen so many turtles in one spot. There were a few of these platforms for them to get out and sun themselves.
On the first half of the ride, Larry pointed out that we were riding past a barb wire fence. Up to that point it had been just open to the grass and driftwood. Way out near the water we saw a herd of cattle. On the ride back, they were all running towards the dyke. There was a little hanky panky going on. These cattle are Belted Galloways. Apparently they do really well on this type of grazing.
The wind was still howling, so near the end we took the option of riding through the Terra Nova conservation area. It was nice and sheltered in the trees. When we turned the corner at the point, the wind was actually at our back, which sure made the last part of the ride kind of nice.
We rode about 13 miles. It was all flat, which sounds good, but most of it was gravel, and it was all buffeted by a strong wind. While 'flat' sounds good, the only downfall is that you have to pedal ALL the time. No resting the legs on the downhill parts. Here's the map.
The orange line is what we rode this week, and the red line is what we rode last week.
Next week I think we are going to pick something closer to home.