We brought our bikes up with us when we spent a long weekend in Vancouver, and it proved a very useful mode of transportation. We never had to worry about parking or traffic, and it’s faster than walking. We biked from Yaletown to Granville Island, all throughout Stanley Park on their dedicated paths to Gastown and Chinatown; we put countless miles on those tires. They only proved a hindrance amidst the throngs of revelers along the waterfront during the Canada Day celebrations.
Our last day across the border was spent lazily (and not-so-lazily) pedaling around the city. We were out early, as usual, and we made our way along the last bit of shoreline we had yet to hit.
The wind was absolutely brutal. Wind can be a force to be reckoned with when walking. But when you’re on a bike, fighting the gale blasting your face, struggling up a steep incline to cross the bridge, barefoot in fifteen feet of snow…. it can be a bit exhausting. I always marveled at how the wind always seems to blow against you on a bike – in both directions.
We made a quick stop by the famous inuksuk, and for a tourist attraction warranting plastic figurines and snow globes in all the gift shops, it was completely unpopulated (though, granted – it was also quite early).
We took some time to watch the Sunday morning rowers and admired the local sculptures all the way to Science World.
We came back into town for some lunch at a traditional Japanese restaurant (natsukashii!). We sat next to a gentleman from Seattle and had a fun conversation about our respective home cities while we enjoyed curry. I was once more struck by how friendly Vancouver is and how easy it is to strike up conversations with complete strangers there (usually a difficult thing for me).
We followed the meal with some macha-and-mochi frozen yogurt at a local parlor. After having previously stumbled upon a conbini (Japanese convenience store) earlier on the same street (where we picked up some onigiri for later), we realized: we came to Vancouver to go to Japan!
We then crossed the bay once more to Kitsilano and biked clear down to Jericho Beach. Fortunately, the wind had died down by this point. I watched a fisherman for a while until it was time for a surprise dinner – and boy, was it a surprise!
Dinner was the most unique dining experience I have ever had, and if you ever find yourself in Vancouver, I encourage you to give Dark Table a try. They cater to most diet restrictions (we’re gluten-free), and you’ll come away thinking about your food in a whole new light. They even frequently have Groupon offers, so it won’t break the bank.
We had one final evening of stunning clouds before they blanketed the city and opened into a sprinkle. I was then faced with a dilemma familiar to photographers everywhere: protect the gear or get the shots? The city was beautiful at night, and we’d barely advance a few yards before I saw something else I wanted to capture. As time wound on, though, it got wetter, and I didn’t have my camera poncho on me. Aaron didn’t care to get wet, so that tipped the scales, and we eventually made it back to dry ground.
I still managed to get a few city shots – and even a panorama – so I was happy.
We biked over 20 miles that day. I was sad my Fitbit reported less than half that. But the photos and the experiences were worth the aching legs.