Saturday, 10 February 2007

Park Scooting

It was a stunning day. Really!

After cycling for a few hours this morning, I came home, had lunch, and then took the Vespa for a spin. I thought I’d visit one of the sights that Maple Ridge is famous for - Golden Ears Park . It’s a pretty straight forward ride with the only difficulty the steep hill as the road approaches the entrance to the park. The scooter slowed down to 25 or 30 km at the steepest part but seemed to run fine.

The Golden Ears are two mountain peaks that look like ears and turn golden at sunrise or sunset. It is a Provincial Park which in Canada means that the park is very good to visit with good facilities. The only parks that are better are National Parks like Banff which are the top quality government run parks in Canada.

But that doesn’t really matter, because when I got to the gates I discovered that the park was closed. Lots of cars were parked outside the entrance and people were walking inside the park but no vehicles could get past the gate. The reason it was closed was fallen trees all over the road blown down by the big wind storm several weeks ago. I snapped a photo and then turned around.

The ride down the steep hill was fun but, because it was curvy, I didn’t go really fast. I don’t have a problem with speed on the straight roads but I’m a bit of a chicken when taking curves and corners. I think it’s because I’m used to cornering on a bike and I’m not ready to corner faster on a scooter than I do on my bicycle.

After descending from one steep hill, I went up another that was fairly close by. This took me to the UBC Research Forest. The ride up was less steep than the road to Golden Ears. Vehicles from people visiting for the day can only go to the front gate but it has a nice shady parking area that hikers use when they hike on the trails. There is also an excellent camp called Loon Lake further in. I will be taking my class there for a camping trip in June.

After zipping down the hill,I stopped at Maple Ridge Park where we used to take our girls when they were small. I sat on a bench, cracked open a pop, and basked in the sun. The sometimes frosty, sometimes wet weather has left, at least for a while. Int fact, it got up to 14°!

Days like today are wonderful. In between bike rides, taking one daughter shopping, taking another daughter to lunch, doing work for school, and having dinner at my in-laws, it is an extra treat to be able to get away for even an hour on the Vespa. It’s a different kind of fun then being on the bicycle, although they are similar. The scooter is a guilty pleasure - all that fun of going fast without have to work for it.


Steve Williams said...

Sounds like a great ride Dan. Brings to mind many of the parks around here that I need to visit again. What kind of class are you teaching?

I used to take my bike on the bus to work and ride home at the end of the day. But since getting the scooter the bike has not moved. No guilt though. I still hike on the mountain with the dog so I get some exercise.

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

Bill Sommers said...

Ahh...the guilty pleasures of scootering. Spoken like a true scooterist.

What a nice day to escape for a while and visit such wonderful places. I enjoyed your photos very much.

Have fun,

CodyandMichelle said...

Just one more reason we want to visit that area. Really beautiful!

Dave Dixon said...

I teach Grade 6 - so basically I teach everything!
I still get my exercise with long walks with the dog but I do want to ride my bike a bit more...

Thanks for the positive comments on the photos - I'm not that great of a photographer but I'm trying...

Lots to see in this part of BC!