Today, I rode the Pacific Populaire.

“What’s the Pacific Populaire?” you ask? Well, according to the site:

What is the Pacific Populaire Bike Ride?

Greater Vancouver’s first major public ride of the cycling season is the Pacific Populaire. Since its incepption in 1986 the focus of this event has been to encourage participation by all cyclists regardless of fitness level, cycling experience, or age. For some, the ride is a challenge to turn in a fast time, a personal best, or to complete a greater distance than in a previous year. Others will be out for a relaxed spring ride, fresh air, and exercise.

Pacific Populaire 2007 PinSo, I rode the Pacific Populaire for a relaxed spring ride, fresh air, and exercise. 105 km worth of spring air.

And, oh, Tammy rode with me. Unfortunately, it was Tammy’s first ride of the season. Play big or stay home, eh? She did amazingly well. The last 20 km were somewhat tough, what being mostly uphill, but she made it without any walking of the bike (a personal goal of hers).

The route wound its way from Nat Bailey stadium across town to Jericho Beach (@10 km), up around the university (@15 km), down to the airport (@30 km), through Richmond to Steveston (@40 km), along the dike for a bit (@50 km), up to the Westminster Highway (bollards!) and out to New West (@60 km), back along the north arm of the Fraser to the airport (@80 km), back along SW Marine Drive to the University (@90 km) and (whew!) back across town to the Nat (@103 km). We had a few “potty” detours, so our total was actually a little over 105 km.

The route info (if you’re really *that* interested) is here:


It was an unusual spring day in Vancouver, cool, grey, but dry. Apparently upwards of 400 of us left the Nat and took over King Ed for most of the way towards Macdonald. Of course, we pretty much hit every. single. stop light. along the way. The trip up the hill from the beach was pretty uneventful, but that’s where we started losing the pack of cyclists. By the time we hit the Arthur Liang, the road was a little wet but the upshot was that while the main pack of riders may have been rained on, by cleverly holding back we avoided the presumed deluge. The sun came out on the ride down towards Steveston, and the ride along the South Dike was just great. We had a stop-over at the half-way point (with absolutely di-vine date squares) and then rode up to the Westminster Highway and had a rather boring ride to New West. After turning the corner and coming back west along the river, we were confronted with a bit of a headwind and light showers. Combined with the dreary scenery (lots of discarded machinery and log-booms) it was a reasonably miserably segment. The beginning of muscle fatigue didn’t help. The sun came out and the rest of the ride was pretty nice, slow and determined, but nice.

So, that was that!

Did I mention that I did it all on about 5 hours of sleep the night before? Thanks Aidan!