Paddle Not, Bike Yes (V2)

Previous version of this post did not display some photos properly.

We had planned to be on a group paddle off Sooke near Victoria on Saturday. Weather looked perfect and we would have explored waters of the Juan de Fuca strait so we were excited. Given the 1.5 hr commute each way we decided to make a weekend of it, booking into a B&B in Victoria. Well, best laid plans…

We left on Friday, the car fully loaded with bikes, boats and all associated gear. We explored the city of Victoria which was absolutely charming in the warm sunshine and blue skies. There were flowers blooming, still lots of color on the trees, and the harbour was picture perfect. We toured the Royal BC Museum and learned more about this part of the country that is now our home which we really great.

Legislative Buildings (from museum)

While we were being busy tourists we learned that the paddle was cancelled due to forecasted high winds and surf. If there is one thing we have learned with outdoor activity is that you have to respect the weather and be flexible. So instead of paddling one day and biking the next, we now planned to do 2 days of biking!

We were thrilled with our choice of B&B. In a stately old home on the waterfront, with views of the water and the Olympic mountains in the US, it was the perfect place to spend a weekend. Views from our room were wonderful. We watched the many dog walkers, bikers, joggers, families, walkers making their way along the path that winds along the water front. And we were treated to two spectacular sunsets! One without clouds and intense color, the other one with clouds which showed so many different colors.

Saturday started off very cloudy and cool and the winds that were promised were delivered. So we bundled up in our best cold-weather biking gear, which Bill thought was just too colourful, and set out on the Lochside Trail that goes north from Victoria to Schwartz Bay. Even though it rained a bit and was quite windy we had a great ride. The trail passed by beautiful homes in Saanich and Oak Bay, through farm country, along treed paths and along the ocean. Such variety and what we now take as ‘normal’ in this beautiful and varied landscape we explore. We warmed up with lunch by the water and then made our way back, taking the waterfront path back to the B&B. The clouds made for some interesting light patterns as the sun started to set. It was beautiful to see and a great way to close out the day.

Today was a clear sunny but still cool day (5°C-7°C) and we did a bit shorter ride along the Galloping Goose trail. Trail quality was fantastic, and we passed through some urban areas as well as some pleasant treed paths. We landed back up in downtown Victoria which was very pretty in the sunshine!

We topped it off by lunch with Nicky and Derek at the top of the Malahat at a restaurant with a stunning view of Findlayson Arm and Saanich Inlet. A great way to end the weekend. The weekend wasn’t exactly as planned but that doesn’t matter – it was great anyway.

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