Saturday 21 February 2009

Buntzen Lake

It was a beautiful Saturday today - sunny and crisp - and I felt like going for a local scoot. The temperature was pretty good for a day in February - around 12° C. - but I didn't feel like a long trek.

After coffee at a relative's house in Port Coquitlam, I headed towards my destination, Buntzen Lake. Buntzen lake holds many warm summer memories with my side of the family as we often meet there near the end of summer and catch up on vacation highlights.

I turned off the Lougheed Highway and went up Ioco Road and then towards the community of Anmore. It was quite a steep climb up the hill and a fairly twisty road. On the map above, it's the red route. Parts of the road in Anmore were very rough and bumpy and I had to slow down considerably.

I went through Anmore (basically a residential area) and continued onto Buntzen Lake. At the entrance of the park was a sign that read "Caution - Extremely Slippery Road". At this point I thought, hmm, maybe the fact that I'm on a scooter means I'm a bit of risk taker in the first place so perhaps I will carefully try this road. Also, the temperature was warmish and the sun was out so I carefully went down the road.

I did notice a fair bit of snow on the sides of the road but there were no near death experiences on the road or, for that matter, during the entire ride.

I arrived at the lake to a beautiful vista. I snapped a few photos, noticing that the people that were there to have a picnic had the whole beach for themselves! I would have stayed longer but I smelled hot dogs cooking over a over a barbecue and realized I had missed lunch.

I went a different way back, through Belcarra and Ioco. The road was much better as were the opportunities for photos.

I first stopped in Ioco and took this picture looking at Burrard Inlet. It was very bright out at this point which is why the photo is a bit washed out. Still, I liked the sparkling water from this viewpoint.

On my way down the hill, I also saw this church/religious centre. I liked the look of this old house and how it was being used.

I ended up in Newport Village (where Ioco Road meets the Lougheed Highway) and had a latté and a prosciutto and bocconcini sandwich at an Italian café before heading home - feeling warm and content despite the crispness in the air.

Wednesday 18 February 2009

Back in Black - well sort of...

Well, maybe back in green and black....

So why, oh readers of the blogosphere, has this blog been so silent these past few weeks?

Well, not long after my last blog entry, I scooted off to school one morning. It was icy out but I thought, hey - I'm careful, I know what I'm doing, I'm experienced, and I'm Canadian so cold weather should be a snap for me.

I was wrong.

Yes, I know Steve Williams rides in minus 20° temperatures and has no problem. A few weeks ago, there I was, with the mercury at maybe -2°C. , on the way to school in the morning. Just before the turn for the school, I hit a nasty patch of black ice and slipped and slid for about 15 metres. Miraculously, I managed to somehow stay on the scoot and recover. Even better, another teacher from my school was right behind me and witnessed what he thought was some great riding. Thus ended Near Death Experience Number 48. (No, that's probably not an accurate count - I'm actually just guessing!)

Even though that day ended in a sunny ride home, I have to admit I was a bit shaken. Between that, more cold weather, and some school related reasons, I did not ride at all until yesterday.

Yesterday, I rode just to school and back. Nice ride, a bit cold but not icy. Some sun in the afternoon.

Then today, I decided to not only to go to school but I also had an appointment in New Westminster.

It was my first longish ride in a very long time - and the Vespa performed very well. What was more revealing was that I felt wonderful after I returned home. Yes, a little chilled but very positive. It's that elusive feeling that I have missed so much over the past while - sort of a excited contentment that seems to come out of nowhere. I know I've blogged about it before but I'm still amazed at the positive effects of scooter riding.

Now I'm looking forward to a bit more frequent rides - and some more regular blogging. Here's hoping.....