In praise of the Perfekt Deli sandwich

6 08 2018

I’m not very good at riding solo.

Which is ironic because, for the longest time, it was the only way I rolled.

Group riding is as much a social occasion as a workout. You drift up and down the peloton having various conversations, and there’s always a snack stop. It’s a priority.

But when I ride alone, I do just that: ride.

The conversations are in my head, and I’m so focused on the rhythm and momentum of my ride, I inevitably keep putting off the snack stop. I can’t make up my mind what I’m craving to eat. I don’t know where to stop. The snack stop options aren’t appealing. I don’t want to spend money. I’ll be home in time for a late lunch anyway. I don’t want to stop pedalling.

Sunday, a family barbecue was scheduled in Chilliwack, about an hour and fifteen minutes drive from home.

I decided I would ride there, about 115 kms.

I mapped out a route, targeted a couple of possible places I could seek out lunch.

For the first half of the route, I was accompanied by fellow FRFer, Maxwell Oakes, who wanted to scout a possible itinerary for our club’s annual Fondont. 

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Of course, when riding with Maxwell Oakes, there must be gravel!

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What to do when approaching horses? Apparently you have to yell your intentions from about a kilometre away.

It was a perfect riding day, not too hot.

After a couple of detours to explore some gravel trails because, well, there must be gravel when riding with Maxwell Oakes, we went our separate ways.

I quickly got into my zone, turning the pedals at a nice, steady cadence. The route was flat, the traffic light, I was making good time.

One lunch option passed by.

A second would have meant a slight detour off my route. Instead, I kept riding.

But as I approached 100km, my energy was waning, my spirits flagging. And with a summit finish up the side of a mountain to a suburban enclave looming, I needed a boost.

And then, in the small hamlet of Yarrow, I happened upon a small deli, Perfekt Deli, and it was open! So I poked through the long weekend Sunday traffic heading to a popular recreational lake just up the road and peeled up to their front door.

And it was, indeed, perfect.

A good, simple deli sandwich can be elusive. Everyone wants to serve you a grilled panini, which is basically a cop out to keep using their stale bread. Or the sandwich options are heaped with needless accoutrements so they can justify charging you $12.

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The Perfekt Deli sandwich. So simple. So perfect.

Give me a mound of cold deli ham, a selection of thinly-cut fresh veggies and tangy mustard between two slices of fresh, spongy brown bread or a kaiser bun, plus a drink and change for a $10 bill and I’m happy.

That’s exactly what Perfekt Deli was offering. It was so simple, yet so delicious. The ham so cool. The veggies so crisp. I savoured every bite. Each washed down with a chilled Coke in a small, sweating glass bottle. 

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Not a welcome incline at km 110.

It was exactly what I needed to get back on the road and up Promontory Heights.

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But there’s cold beer at the top!

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