Sunny and 70. There could not be better conditions for my first solo bike ride to downtown Vancouver.
Having just taken a bike safety class this weekend, the warnings, words of advice, and proper hand signals were fresh in my mind. Anxious to get on the road for my 2 o’clock Nexus appointment at the Canada Border Services Agency downtown, I unlocked my bike from the basement bike rack around 1:15pm.
Speeding through the smooth concrete floor of the garage, I rode up the exit ramp and emerged into daylight. A couple turns later, I was on the Seaside Bike Trail, headed east. I breezed past beaches, picnickers, swimmers, and joggers, all basking in the afternoon sun.
Turning off the Seaside Trail, I made my way up the Burrard Bridge with the downtown skyline growing more and more in focus. At the peak, I took a few deep breaths of relief, then sailed down toward increasing traffic and busy-ness.
Without a dedicated bike lane, I had to ride in traffic with the cars. As I was taught, I took over a whole lane, huffing and puffing over hills and dodging parked and turning cars, using the proper hand signals the whole way.
By the time I reached my destination, my shirt was soaked, and my face was beet red, but alas, I was alive! With just a few minutes to spare, I locked up my bike and headed inside for my appointment.
After being directed to the proper counter, I gave the agent my name and informed her I had a 2pm appointment. “Um, no, you don’t,” was essentially the response I received. Apparently, I had failed to click the “confirm” button when making my appointment online, and thus it was never registered in the system. They’re pretty no-nonsense people, so I decided it was in my best interest to reschedule rather than argue.
A few minutes later, I was back on the road, sore and thirsty but determined not to give in and take the bus home. With the beautiful parks, beaches, and buildings in view during my ride home, my frustration quickly receded.
Overall, quite a lovely, though unintentionally purposeless, first solo ride.