Stanley Park Ride

Vancouver looking back from Stanley Park

We wanted to hire some bikes so we could ride around Stanley Park. The problem we had was that we didn’t know where we could do that. I was sure that there were places in downtown Vancouver where we could hire bikes, but we were at the aquarium. So we had to figure a way to get to the hire shops. We thought the trolley system stopped at the aquarium so we waiting for a little while. Some time had past when we decided that the trolleys weren’t coming, so we started walking towards downtown Vancouver. As we neared the edge of the park we came across a trolley. We were going to jump on, but the driver was on break. I swear, if you are on break, do it somewhere that doesn’t make you look like a possible mode of transport.

We kept walking on towards downtown Vancouver. We had a tourist map with us which showed a bike hire place a few blocks away, so that was what we headed for. Kim was getting a little tired and scratchy as we walked on. It wasn’t much, but I knew she was getting tired.

We finally made it to the bike hire place and got our bikes. They didn’t have a bike that was really big enough for me. They extended the seat out as far as they could and it felt like the seat was going to fall off. It didn’t, but it could have been a more comfortable ride.

Being tourists, and people who don’t ride bikes very often, we asked what would be the easiest way back to the park. They didn’t help us much, they just pointed us in the vague direction of the park and told us to ride that way. Neither of us had ridden a bike in over a decade and you could tell that from our riding styles early on. The ride down through light traffic was an experience for us both. Thankfully we made it back to Stanley Park without incident.

It was a wonderful ride around the park and waters edge. As I mentioned in a previous post, we were meant to be on a whale watching tour today, but that had been cancelled due to poor weather. It was certainly overcast all day, but there was no rain. In fact it was a very nice day to be out riding as it wasn’t too hot. We didn’t take many photos while we rode, but I did take one or two photos. The shot of the marina and boats was the best of the lot.

The other highlights were stopping at the totem poles. But the biggest highlight was coming face to face with a Raccoon. We met him towards the end of our ride. A couple of locals rode up behind us and told us “Don’t get too close, they’ve got rabies”. We never got that close. We couldn’t even get a decent photo, but we have seen a Raccoon up close.

By the end of the ride we were both nursing some good cases of bike butt. To return the bikes we had to ride back into downtown Vancouver through the traffic. Kim was handling this much better than me. At one intersection Kim sailed between the traffic and the parked cars with ease. I on the other hand got a little nervous about possibly hitting a parked car, so I ended up walking my bike across the lights at the pedestrian crossing.

We would both like to ride around Stanley Park again. Maybe one day we can go back and do it all again.


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