Now that I am more comfortable with the clipless pedals, I have been out riding the R3 around UBC and over to the Northshore. I was quite impressed that I was able to maintain 15km/h going up the hill of NW Marine Drive from Spanish Banks to UBC. I hadn’t ridden uphill that fast before. I rode to out of the lookout and then did a U turn and reversed my steps for a full 30km ride at an average speed of 22km/hr. Still a bit slow, but better than what I had done in the past.
Sunday I decided to tackle the Northshore. I hadn’t ridden over the Lions Gate Bridge before. Weird thing was I kept thinking that the most dangerous part of the ride would be the Stanley Park Causeway (sidewalk riding). I hadn’t heard the news, but a woman had been killed Saturday riding the causeway sidewalk into Vancouver, clipped a pedestrian and then fell onto the roadway into the path of an oncoming bus.
As I viewed this a dangerous stretch, I decided to head out at 6:15am under a cloudy morning sky, with a slight threat of rain in the air. Taking advantage of the lack of traffic, I headed down the Hornby separated bike lane, which was a controversial decision when it was implemented. For training it is not that great as there are a lot of traffic lights. Once on West Georgia I headed for the Causeway and the sidewalk. I was alone on the sidewalk, until this guy on a regular bike, no helmet, came at me in the wrong direction. I stuck to the right hand side, closer ot the trees, and figured if we were going to get in an accident, I would go into the bushes, and him into the traffic. Luckily nothing happened, and I carried on towards the bridge.
I hadn’t realized that there was a fair climb from the entrance of the causeway to the bridge, and was surprised to see my GPS register at least a 2% grade if not more in certain sections. Once on the bridge, I was on the separated sidewalk, and not as concerned about traffic. There was no one on the bridge at 6:40am. I decided that I was going to tackle Capilano Drive to the entrance to Grouse Mountain. I was making good progress up the road, but was surprised by the number of cars that kept driving by. I know the Grouse Grind had opened, but this seemed like a lot of traffic for 7am on a Saturday morning. By the time I got to the Clevelnad Dam, I saw cones on the road, and a sign saying a race was in progress. I decided to turn around, a bit disappointed that I didn’t go all the way, but figured this was a good next step up from the UBC hill. The GPS indicated that I had climbed 175m to the dam.
On the way back, I got off the Stanley Park Causeway just after the bridge, and entered the park. This was a great ride, on a two lane one way road with no traffic. I was able to get up to 35km/hr on some of the downhill sections, and make it back home in a decent time for breakfast!
Overall the climbing ability of the myself on the R3 was quite something. I was able to climb up an 11% grade sitting down using the largest gear on the rear cog. The definite limitation on this bike is myself, but hopefully over time this will become less of a problem.