Tag Archives: bikeride

training mission: deep cove & doughnuts

My commute gets me biking a fair distance everyday (~24km) and with more riding around the city on top of that, I think my fitness level is in good standing for the trip. Still, training seems like a good idea. Not just to make sure my body (aka. my butt) is okay with 60, 70, or 80km a day but for mental training too.

Over the year my ride to and from work has become routine. It’s a rhythm up and down hills and swerving ’round potholes. I know exactly when to use my energy, and when I should save it. When leaving home I don’t think “ugh…early…ride…far” at all. I just go because it’s a habit.

But my experience with the little bike touring I’ve done is that (and this is also something I love about it) you have to deal with the unknown. The unknown is exciting and at the same time can wear you down as uncertain distances start to seem really long and throw you off if you miscalculate your energy usage. A lot of this comes from your head: the strategies you think of and your perception of the ride.

I figured the best mental training would be rides going against the grains of habit. And what stronger habits do I have than those of my pre-work morning rituals? So I decided that one morning I would get up early and bike to Deep Cove before biking to work:

Deep Cove seemed like a good place to go because it’s in the exact opposite direction of work. It requires an extra bridge and the scenery is completely different from that in Richmond. It also has a coffee shop that bakes the most amazing doughnuts known to mankind: Honey Doughnuts and Goodies .

With doughnuts in mind I woke up early and was on a bike a bit after 6am. The streets were quiet and I felt good and happy until I was on the Dollarton Hwy about halfway between Second Narrows Bridge and Deep Cove. The road started going up and down with more up then down and I kept thinking the next intersection would be where the Hwy turns right to end with two quaint shopped-lined blocks and the view you see above. I had to tell myself to chill out and enjoy the ride. To not fret about the expected destination. My mental training.

I made in to Deep Cove within an hour and picked up a dozen + a few more doughnuts to take back to work with me as they taste much better when you can share. Minutes after getting packed, grease stains were already forming on the brown paper bags. Mmm…

The way back to the Second Narrows was much quicker (confirming that the way there had more uphill than down) but the route off the Dollarton Hwy and onto the bridge was not obvious. Again I had to stay calm, stop and think things out. Heavy traffic was zooming by in 5 or 6 directions. But I didn’t have to adopt the anxiousness of the car. I got off my bike and onto the sidewalk, had a look around, and judged that crossing one road, and then another and would lead me to the ramp onto the bridge. It was confusing and unknown but I got on and over the bridge.

It was all smooth after that. I came across a few fun unknowns. One being the sign to the Templeton Park and Pool that reads Templeton Par and Poo. Another being a single block North of William St. called Rose St. that is narrow and quaint and I could imagine a good life there. I arrived at the office, showered and was at my desk by 9:30. Mission completely accomplished. Now I’ll admit that the benefit of mental training with a reward (doughnut) at the end is very questionable. But does it help to say that doughnuts were more of a purpose than a reward? I actually was at my desk but had too much energy to sit down. I wanted to get back on my bike. I can’t wait for the bike ride. Seventeen days and in the meantime, I’ll enjoy my doughnut.

the great gear list (draft)

This weekend being the last I have to get personal things done before the bike trip, I spent it working on this site, giving my bike some lurve, baking bread, and staring at GEAR. Yes, one of the most satisfying pre-adventure activities because it involves lists.

I started going through my list and made a big pile of gear. I hoped to pack it all up and play with weight distribution but didn’t get that far. Actually got a little overwhelmed. I have almost everything but one or two things missing made it seem like many things were missing and that I was completely unprepared and never would become prepared (felt like the dream where you’re trying to catch a bus but you’ll never find your pants).

To soothe my anxiety, I decided to post my gear list because 1. it helps me feel like I’m “preparing” and 2. you might read it and give me advice. Am I missing anything? What will I be specifically angry at when biking uphill? Do you know of any cheap, light and solar-powered speakers? Etc.

Bike Fashion
- 1 pair cycling shorts
- 2 pairs cycling tights: 1 warm weather, 1 colder
- 2 long sleeve shirt
- 1 short sleeve shirt
- 2 pairs cycling socks
- gloves
- clipless shoes
- shoe covers for rain
- rain jacket
- rain gloves
- helmet
- sunglasses
- reflective sash (bicycle beauty pageant)

Guess I Won’t Always be Cycling Clothing
- 1 pair leggings
- 1 pair convertible shorts/pants
- jeans
- 1 shirt
- 1 light dress
- a mid-layer shirt
- 1 tank top
- a wool sweater
- 2 pairs wool socks
- 4 pair underwear, 2 bras
- 1 pair long underwear
- running shoes
- flip flops or green flats (super light and squish down to nothing…maybe cause they’re almost worn to nothing)
- cap, bandana, toque
- bikini
- glasses

Things to Keep Me (Feeling) Healthy
- toothbrush + paste + floss
- dr. bronner’s soap
- hair conditioner
- a razor
- chapstick
- emergency TP
- divacup
- sunscreen
- mascara (could be a few nights in town)
- nail file
- tweezers
- brush
- quick-dry towel
- scissors
- first-aid kit: ibuprofen, bandaids, gauze, adhesive bandage, antiseptic ointment or wipes, tincture of benzoin, Qtips, safety pins
- knee brace (grrr tall person’s curse)

- tent
- light tarp
- cord/laundry cord
- sleeping pad
- sleeping bag & liner

Cooking for Two
(some of this will be split between me and Anna)
- big pot & little pot
- frying pan
- whisperlite international stove
- fuel bottle
- thermos
- coffee cone + paper filters (or screen filter)
- fork, spoon, chopsticks
- knife
- lighter, matches
- flexible cutting board
- bowl
- pot sponge
- small kitchen cloth
- a few ziploc bags
- 1 L water bottle
- camelbak water bag
- food staple: olive oil, salt, pepper, curry powder, cinnamon, powdered milk, brown sugar, and possibly a few other nominated spices and herbs
- coffee (or course)

- patches for tent, panniers, etc.
- few spare grommets
- folding spare tire
- 2 (3?) spare tubes
- spare brake pads
- spare spokes, spoke wrench(?)
- spare cables(?)
- few screws, bolts
- tire levers & pump
- simple multi-tool with phillips, torx, and 4 allen
- slotted screwdriver(?)
- lube / small rag
- duct tape round a pencil

- bike lights: 2 front, 2 back
- headlamp + spare batteries
- camera, USB cable, power cable
- USB thumb drive
- phone + charger cable (…will I get an iPhone?? music!!)
- external speakers(?)
- walkie-talkies(?)
- bike computer(?)

- maps
- notebook
- 2 pens, mechanical pencil, eraser, a few colored pencils
- a book

Oh Yeah, Civilization
- money devices
- health insurance info
- driver’s license
- passport
- phone numbers / contacts
- emergency contact information
- keys
- U-lock (I wasn’t sure about this but we decided to carry one lock between the two of us, half a lock each, and when venturing into shady areas we can lock our bikes together.)

To carry it all:
- front and rear panniers
- small under-the-seat tool pouch
- camelback backpack
- and maybe a basket that I can put the camelback and a few other things inside for easy reach.
- my bike : ) Devinci Amsterdam

If you made it all the way down here, I have a treat for you:

Screw Heads

Came across it while googling what the not-a-phillips-or-allen head was (the torx). I like the images. They’d make for some interesting tattoos and thousands of years from now could be interpreted as an ancient symbolic language.