Sunday, 11 November 2007

Cold, cold ride

Saturday was a beautiful day. After days of rain and gloom the sun had finally come out. I felt warmer, better, more positive. A perfect day for a ride.

Unfortunately, life got in the way. I had laundry to do, a bunch of wine to bottle, the dog to take for a nice long walk.... By the time I wheeled my Vespa out of the garage, it was 3 o’clock and the streets were all in shade because the sun had gone behind the clouds.

Never mind, I thought. Take the day.

I put on a few layers and grabbed my newly returned camera. Unfortunately, there weren’t any extra batteries in the house but it seemed OK when I tested it at home. I decided to take a road (Dewdney Trunk Road) that heads east and is a lot less travelled than the highway. I was a bit cold at first but the sun peaked out from behind the trees every now and then. The first photo I took was on the side of the road where I saw a horse, sheep and a llama all together. Talk about getting along!

I continued on until I reached the Stave Falls Dam. I took my class here last year as they do a great tour of the old dam there including the turbines and an interactive area. I stopped at the entrance to The Power House (as it’s called) and, what do you know, the camera’s batteries died after the first photo. I decided to continue east along the road, despite the absence of photos, and see if I could hook up to Mission.

The road seemed to go an awfully long time . On a summer day, all of the trees and lack of traffic would have been fantastic. Unfortunately, I kept getting colder and I had images of of my frost bitten body being picked over by a couple of bears getting ready for winter. Finally, I came to a crossroads and, as luck would have it, I took the right turn and ended up by a place called Hayward Lake.

It was one of those moments where the cold seem to disappear. The sun was setting by the lake and the view was breathtaking. I stopped for a couple of minutes and just stared into the sunset. Luckily, the batteries had warmed up enough in my pocket so that I could snap a couple pictures.

A few minutes later I was on the Lougheed Highway. I had about ten minutes of two lane highway and I did not enjoy myself. The speed limit is 80 km/h and there was a lot of traffic. With no place for cars to pass me, I ended up spending half the time on the shoulder while cement trucks, SUVs and black pick ups zoomed by me. It was a relief to get to the Mission Bridge.

I crossed over the Fraser River into Abbotsford and started back towards home. I stopped at a gas station to see if they had any batteries (they didn’t) and when I returned outside, the warming effects of Hayward Lake dissipated. I was cold and the 25 minute trip to Fort Langley was uneventful except for the shivering and teeth chattering as I figured out my route back. As I explained to a fellow bike patroller Friday night, I didn’t know what cold was until I got my Vespa!

In Fort Langley, I stopped for a latté, warming my fingers and my insides before hopping the ferry and getting home. I parked the Vespa, walked stiff legged into the house and took a long, hot shower.

But you know what? I still can’t wait for my next ride!

Here's a link showing the ride - about 90 km and 2 and a half hours (including the brief warm up in the coffee shop).


Bill Sommers said...

Alright, good for you for going out even though it was getting late in the day. And pretty darned cold to boot. It was like that here yesterday too.

I have Monday off, and if the forecasted windstorm doesn't stir things up too much, I'll go for a ride too.

Have fun,

Steve Williams said...

Great ride and post. Making a trip like that on your LX50 is a lesson in patience and perserverance. I could feel the cold myself as I read about sitting along the road waiting for cement trucks to pass.

Cold is no fun for me and I dress heavily. Almost comically to the more style conscious but I don't want to be uncomfortable. Maybe you need to invest in some more cold weather gear?

Glad you got your camera back. I really enjoy seeing the places you ride.

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

Dave Dixon said...

I guess sometimes the urge to ride is just too great to ignore!

It may be time for me to invest in some better gear - but I really don't know where to begin.... all I know is that I didn't know the meaning of the word 'cold' until I bought my Vespa!

Glad you enjoy the pics....

Heinz & Frenchie said...

Enjoyed your ride and your photos. They say that cold builds character, if that is the case then you surely got your dose. Found your blog thru links at Kano's. Nice Vespa!

Dave Dixon said...

Heinz and Frenchie

Glad you enjoyed the blog! Thanks!