Monday, July 23, 2007

almost back

I edited this post Tuesday evening to show you a photo of Paul at our first winery, Tinhorn Creek.

We're back in Vancouver, and I'll be back on my island tomorrow. The trunk of the car is filled with Pinot Noir, Merlot (yes, I know the movie Sideways was supposed to wise us all up about Merlot, but the BC Okanagan does this wine well), Gewurztraminer, and some Cab-Shiraz and a few other blends. We packed a lot of wine-tasting into just a few days, ate some great meals (and many, many cherries!), revelled in the stunning desert landscapes, and even managed to bike a short portion of the Kettle Valley Trail. Also managed to use the driving time to make decent headway on a few knitting projects -- another baby cardigan and something else I won't talk about 'til the July birthdays around here are done. I hope some of the photos turned out well so I can post a few, but I won't know 'til I get back to my own computer. 'Til then . . . .

Tuesday morning now (the paragraph above is from Monday night) and I'm going to head out for a run along English Bay before I head for the ferry. Since I wrote several weeks ago about icing my ankle, there hasn't been much running at all, but last week I managed two short runs (25-35 minutes) being careful to walk for a minute between the four-minute running sections. That didn't seem to cause any problems even though I wasn't able to keep up the icing while away --( I have been stretching religiously though). We went for a few walks but otherwise my Achilles got a chance to rest for three days and I'm crossing my fingers that I might be able to start increasing the mileage again.

If I have to slow down with that, though, I'm encouraged to think I could do some cycling as an alternative -- we had a great time Sunday morning with bikes we borrowed from the hotel. The fellow who set us up with them sketched out a few routes up to the Kettle Valley Trail warning us that one of them (the one we took) would be a real grunt and that unless we were super-toned cyclists we'd probably end up walking our bikes up the hill. Well, he was right -- it was a real grunt! But I pedalled that beast right to the very top although by the end I was down to my last resource, gear-wise and was zig-zagging back and forth across the road to maintain some momentum. It took us almost 45 minutes to get to the top (where the trail started) and we flew back down it an hour or so later in about five minutes! In fact, while the outing reassured me that I would be able to go on one of those cycling tours in Europe and not embarrass myself in terms of keeping up, my big weakness is my need to control the brakes on the way down, especially on a rented bike whose maintenance I'm not sure of. Paul was so far ahead of me on the way down that at one point I wasn't sure if I had taken the correct fork 'cause I couldn't see him at all.

I'll try to find some pictures to give you a sense of the views from this portion of the trail -- it's some pretty spectacular riding, although if I went back I'd want better bikes with comfy seats, some shocks, and perhaps bigger or better-quality tires. These were strictly Canadian Tire specials, and on such a bumpy, rock-strewn and sandy/gravelly path they required a lot of steering attention.
Still, it was so satisfying to get back from a good workout which simultaneously showed us such glorious views of the vineyards and then head out to buy wine and lunch on the patio of one of those vineyards. Even more satisfying was to be able to answer the hotel bike guy's query about our ride by saying we hadn't had to walk our bikes at all. And most satisfying of all -- the stiff legs I'd anticipated showing up the next day never materialized! So now I'm off to check same legs out on the running paths.


  1. sounds like you had a terrific get away. Cycling really gives you a different view of things. I heard someone compare her bike across Canada to running her hand across the country. You get a real feel for things(especially on Canadian Tire type bike seats) I must confess I hold the brakes quit a bit on my ride down Cariboo Hill in the morning to work. Hope your ankle held up after your run and if not hope you enjoy some of the wine while you recouperate.

  2. Hi Hilary, Thanks for stopping by my blog (and leaving a comment -- I love comments!). Yes, I think I got a feel for that part of the country and the CT-type bike seat really contributed. Found out that the climb to Little Tunnel took us up 340 metres -- good reason for hanging onto the brakes, no? Do you get used to that downhill feeling racing down Cariboo every day? And the Achilles seems not bad at all after my shitty little run yesterday--someday I'll be doing another half, I hopE!


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