Day 1: Search for Hope

Day 1: Search for Hope

Months of planning finally turned in to reality this morning. After first joking about crossing the country by bike this summer, I pondered the idea more and more. With some encouragement from a few veterans of the big tour, I committed, and today is the day where I can’t turn back. 

Last night I met some good friends who have all migrated to Vancouver. After the goodbye hugs and a quick Seabus ride, I tucked in for the last proper sleep I can expect for a while. 

View of the Juan de Fuca strait from Stanley Park with missy rocks in the foreground
Looking out from Stanley Park

Today I crossed the Lion’s Gate Bridge and circles Stanley Park to soak in the sea. The bridge was designed by Philip Pratley, who also designed Halifax’s nearly-identical Macdonald Bridge. Stanley Park connects Vancouver to the ocean in much the same way Point Pleasant Park does for Halifax. If all goes according to plan, my ride will end in about six weeks with a mirror image of the first morning. 

Today’s destination is Hope, BC. This marks the entrance to the Cascade mountains, the first range that must be summitted on a cross-country tour. The day began with excellent cycling trails through Vancouver’s inner suburbs, then suburban and rural highways, becoming extremely remote after Port Moody. The final half of the day involved a long, flat ride from Mission to Hope, ending at a campsite on the edge of town.

The main thing I learned today is that they still

A view of log rafts in a river in British Columbia
No sign of waltzing lumberjacks

make log rafts to move wood from the forest to the sawmill. I was tempted to try the log driver’s Waltz. 

All told it was an exhilarating way to start the tour. 

Today’s mileage: 175.8km

Cumulative mileage: 178.5km

Total climbing: 1,095m