I enjoy road rides. I have mentioned previously how I do some of my best thinking on my bike. My preference are quiet, rolling country roads but these are difficult to find for city riders.
I have my favorite rides and over the years have developed criteria for selecting a suitable route. This is what I take into consideration:
- The ride must be within a 30 minute drive from the house. Otherwise, it will take all day and I will be driving as much, or more, than riding.
- There has to be little or no traffic. Cars are a menace to bikers so I prefer to minimize the chance of any accident. I keep to traffic calmed streets and bike paths whenever possible in the city. Fortunately, Vancouver has an extensive network of bikeways.
- There must be stimulating scenery, something to look at and enjoy throughout the ride.
- There must be a combination of flat, technical and hilly terrain. I ride to train and like to test myself on each and every ride.
- I look for rides that are 40-50 KM in length. These can be completed within 2 hours. Although I like longer rides, I can ride more frequently if I select shorter routes.
- And, there must a café enroute. At the end of a 2-3 hour ride, I like to relax with a coffee and my feet up.
One of my favorite rides is in and around Vancouver’s Stanley Park. I have been doing this ride for over 30 years, usually early Sunday morning before the seawall and road are busy. From the house and back, it is 40-50 km depending on how many laps I complete. I usually ride around the seawall and then a lap, perhaps 2, around the road. The seawall is flat and, if there is no congestion, somewhat technical. The road includes a short, steep climb (64 metres)and an exhilarating descent. I live atop Little Mountain so I also have a 3 km climb (152 metres) back to the house.
The Stanley Park ride meets all of the criteria listed above. I don’t need to drive anywhere, the scenery is beautiful, there is no traffic, the terrain is varied, I can complete 40-50 km within 2 hours and there are a number of neighborhood cafés when I finish the climb up Little Mountain.