I need a vacation. From my vacation.
As has become something of a Big Ring tradition for more than a decade, I book off for the last two weeks of Le Tour de France. Unfortunately, I don’t have the funds that allow me to actually attend Le Tour de France every year.
So I get up early to watch the live TV coverage, then head out for a ride that pales in comparison to what the pros achieve on a daily basis.
It’s a vacation of many kilometres, guilt-free snacking and little rest or relaxation.
This year, circumstances have allowed me to ride in the company of my former colleague, and current cycling fashion curmudgeon, Grant, who’s taking full advantage of his summer sabbatical to crank the pedals and crank up the mileage.
Grant has an issue with simple out-and-back rides. That means we have to design circuitous loops. Not always easy. But certainly conducive to new explorations and long rides.
We climbed the highlands above Kanaka Creek in eastern Maple Ridge. We crossed an old wooden single-lane bridge to the rural enclave of Westham Island. We hopped a free shuttle service that ferries us underneath the Fraser River. We were amongst the first dozens of cyclists to try the new traverse on the Port Mann Bridge over the Fraser River. We found excellent new sandwich stops in Ladner Village, Maple Ridge and North Vancouver.
With more than a week still left in the month, I’ve already achieved my 1,000 km goal, an annual yardstick of my cycling fitness that eluded me last year.
My legs are tired. But it’s a good tired.