Last night, I arranged a group ride to get to know some of the women on the website we hadn’t ridden with yet. And, after telling everyone to be there at 5:30, gassed up and ready to go, I got stuck in traffic getting out of Richmond and was late myself. And it was hot. And I was in full gear, and sweat was running down my legs and pooling in my boots by the time I got there. And then we had to wait around some more because Jay’s boyfriend had cleaned her bike and gotten WD40 on her brake pads, and she ended up having to go home. And then there was more traffic on the bridge. So we were very late getting to the church where we were meeting the northshore/downtown contingent.
At the church we split up into slow and fast groups and got on our way. Only to get stuck in an endless traffic jam which was the result of a multi-car pileup. It was especially frustrating because the flag idiots were letting through all of the southbound traffic and then alternating with only about 5 cars from the northbound side. And there wasn’t really a safe way to get a group of bikes to the front of the line.
Which did mean that once we got through and passed the few campers that came through with us, we had an absolutely perfect ride. The vistas were amazing, with the sun and shadow dappling over the rock faces and forest, and the blasts of cold air from the crags in the mountain jetting out at us as we passed. By the time we got to Squamish all of the frustration of the lateness and the heat and the waiting was gone, replaced by pure exhileration.
We had a lovely dinner, and I found out that Dave and Ace had/worked in a related area to me and that we knew people in common, and then rode back into the twilight. Another great ride back with little traffic, broken only by the roadblock – the cops laughingly asked if we’d been drinking.
Most people headed home after that, but Tackle and I can never get enough, so we headed up Cypress on the way home. It was the second night in a row I’d been up a mountain after dark as the night previous I’d gone up Seymour with BCRider. It’s very interesting riding curves in real dark, when you can watch the angle of the beam from your headlight change as you dip in the corners. Riding in a group you see pools of light dipping and weaving with the riders. But it means that it’s very hard to corner because you can’t look through the corner far enough ahead. I found myself flicking on my high beams in corners when I was following others. On the way down Cypress I learned to watch the headlight of the rider in front of me and look through the corner that way.
We got held up a bit both ways by a horror movie being filmed on the road (with body parts in car trunks apparently), and had our ear talked off by the Suzuki-goldwing-clone owning security dude at the top who hadn’t been on his bike in two years. But the night was so warm and pleasant and the more complete darkness on the road made the waiting a pleasant pause rather than an imposition as the earlier waits had been.
(Not) Getting to the Church on time
Photo by Dave
Feelin’ hot, hot, hot!
Feelin’ bored, bored, bored…
At least we had a view…
Rest of photos by Dave:
Meeting (thankfully not eating) at McDonalds
Outside the pub
The helmet table
On the top of Cypress
Tackle tries out my passenger seat and pronounces it comfortable