I got motivated after watching the Tour de France, especially after Vancouver Island native, Ryder Hesjdal, won the Giro d’Italia, becoming the the first Canadian to do so. I decided to get on my road bike and do my own tour, which is about as close as I’ll ever get to starting a grand tour, riding from Horsehoe Bay to Naniamo with four ferry crossings.
I started at my friend’s place in Robert creek, getting a very early start to avoid all traffic. I put the hammer down on the steep rolling terrain of the sunshine coast and rode toward the ferry. I enjoyed the calm of no cars and the amazing views of the coast mountains and ocean views.
Making the connection with time to spare, I took a rest on the ferry and just had a short ride to the next crossing in Powell River. Comox to Nanaimo was the longest leg at about 120 km, luckily it was relatively flat and the sun was warming me up. I met a couple doing the same trip over a three day period. They we were riding with heavy panniers and trailers. I was happy to be able to travel light and fast with just one pack.
There was a head wind riding into Parksville and I was getting low blood sugar. So I pulled over for a coke, licorice and chocolate bar for a much needed energy burst. I hopped back on the bike for the quick surge till the next low energy moment. This time it was before Nanaimo when I noticed a big gnome on the side of the road. It looked like the perfect spot to take a rest, so I pulled over and took a nap.
After my rest, I had just a short stretch to go and coasted my way to the last ferry crossing at Naniamo after 9.5 hours and more than 200 km of riding. Cycling is one of the best ways to see a landscape and as I rode the ferry, I reflected back on my ride… it was a great way to see the island one pedal stroke at a time.
Andy Traslin’s parents strapped him on skis and into the mountains at a young age. As Andy progressed to ski racing and front country, he started finding powder stashes that kept him exploring further and further to see what was around the next corner. He lives in British Columbia and spends as much time as possible earning turns and finding singletrack.