Downhill both ways!

We learned some more about e-bikes today! We knew that they make life a lot easier on the uphills, but didn’t realize it can turn uphills into downhills!

Well, they are probably not quite that powerful, but it was a really interesting experience.

To celebrate Father’s Day we were invited to dinner at Nicky and Derek’s house. The weather this afternoon was perfect – sunny and warm and ideal for a bike ride. So we decided to put the bikes on the carrier and find a trail close to Duncan.

We found a 20 km out and back, for a total of 40 km, on the TransCanada trail. This section follows an old rail bed, so grades are not an issue. But as we climbed, by road, to the trailhead we figured it would be downhill going and uphill, even gradual, coming back. Well, it felt downhill BOTH ways.

The trail started out very easy, a bit bumpy and muddy wet puddles from the previous day’s rain, but not a problem for the bikes. The ‘green tunnel’ and towering trees made it delightful. We were just thankful to be outside enjoying the weather and scenery.

The going was really easy and we just figured it was a slight downhill all the way.

We stopped at the Kinsol Trestle bridge. This is an old train trestle bridge, spanning the Koksilah River. Completed in 1920, its dimensions measure 44 m (144 ft) high and 188 m (617 ft) long, making it the largest wooden trestle in the Commonwealth, and one of the highest railway trestles in the world. It fell out of use in 1979 and into disrepair. After a community-based fundraising campaign for restoration, it was re-opened in 2011 and lies on the TransCanada trail. We last visited this bridge in 2017 when visiting the island during my “sabbatical” between jobs, and it was spectacular with a recent very large snowfall. It was nice to see it again in different weather!

Another 6km of easy ‘downhill’ brought us to a park beside Shawnigan Lake. We felt like we were flying and in no time we were there. We stopped briefly to enjoy the lake before turning around.

Well the return trip was just as easy; we felt like we were going downhill again! We could not really believe it. The stats on our workout app showed almost identical time, average speed and average heart rate for both legs, which was quite a revelation. In fact, we ended 26 m higher in elevation at the end than where we turned around at the lake. So in fact we did ‘climb’ a bit coming back. What we now understand is that the assistance from the motor, essentially removes light head winds as well as slight grades. We could motor along with ease and enjoy the ride.

We spend a delightful evening at Nicky and Derek’s with a Father’s Day BBQ, enjoying their lake view, seeing eagles overhead and lots of Canada Geese families. Another great day in paradise!

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