Spring has sprung in Vancouver!
Our timing was almost perfect. After almost five weeks on the road, we came back into the city on March 5. It was still wet and cold during our first week in town. But we were recovering from our jet lag and catching up with our normal routine.
This weekend, Vancouver was showing off its best self. All of our whining about the city, expensive, rain, traffic, lack of Uber, etc., all but disappeared. When the sun is shining, the crocus and daffodils start to bloom, we are so happy to be back in Vancouver to enjoy all of our favorite outdoor activities.
Today we decided to kick off the cycling season by taking a leisurely ride through one of our favorite Vancouver cycling routes. Our ride was just over 30 kilometers from our home in Metrotown in Burnaby. Our favorite route to downtown Vancouver is via the BC Parkway, then through a short section of the Central Valley Greenway, which then connects to the Vancouver Seaside Greenway at Science World.
From Science World, we can ride either on the south side of False Creek to Kitsilano or further west to Spanish Banks, or the north side to English Bay and Stanley Park. We took the longer north side route, through Yaletown, Sunset Beach, English Bay, Lost Lagoon bikeway, circumnavigate through the 10 km Stanley Park loop (this part is one way only), back through the Lost Lagoon bikeway to Coal Harbour, and end up at Canada Place for our ride home via Skytrain.
The Olympic Village area, especially the children’s play ground area was packed with families. This is the first weekend of the annual two weeks spring break vacation period.
On a sunny but cool March spring day in Vancouver, some people will be wearing T-shirts and shorts, yet some will still be wearing their cozy winter parkas. It doesn’t matter if you are in designer gear, or purchased your gear at Walmart, as long as you are lucky enough to be enjoying the fresh mountain air with the sparkling sea, that’s what is important.
Vancouver will receive many visitors over the spring break holidays, and even more heading into the summer period. Our friends from Malaysia will be heading into Vancouver for a few days before going on an Alaska cruise, followed by a trip to the Rockies.
Snow packs are still visible on the North Shore mountains. Local ski hills are still open. This is the time of year when Vancouver residents brag about being able to ski in the morning, then go sailing or play a game of tennis in the afternoon.
This section of Stanley Park, between the Lions Gate bridge and the famous Siwash rock, was closed for one month for restoration. Today, it is difficult to imagine that it was closed partly due to the danger of falling ice. For the novice cyclist, this is the section to exercise caution as the cycle trail is quite narrow. In spite of the signage for cyclists to go slow, there are cyclists who will try to pass when there is little room to pass.
After exiting Stanley Park, some sections of the cycling trail is not separated from the pedestrians. The ride passes some big yachts docked at Coal Harbor on one side, and the glitzy high rise towers on the other side.
The green roof of the Vancouver Convention Center West building is visible as we continued our ride toward Canada Place. Harbour Green Park on the right is a great place for a picnic.
We were at Burrard Landing, the retail and offices surrounding the perimeter of the Vancouver Convention Centre West. This is a great place to hang out and watch the Vancouver Harbor Air seaplanes take off and land.
We rode passed the “Drop”, the public artwork that is a long and slender sculpture in the form of a gigantic and elegant water droplet. The Drop was installed in 2009, at the Bon Voyage Plaza, as part of the City of Vancouver’s mandated public art program.
Today being Sundays, with fewer passengers on the sky train, it was not a problem to find room for our bicycles. Our excursion, including the sky train ride home from Canada Place station to Metrotown, was just under 3 hours, with many stops to admire the scenery.
This is an unbelievable gorgeous bike ride. No matter how many times we have cycled this route, we still somehow managed to end up with too many photos.
Vancouver.ca is a great resource for planning your cycling routes.