Saturday September 6, 2014
I must have been quite the spectacle this morning out on the patio up against the wall cleaning my bike and lubing my chain (Kristi, I cleaned and lubed my chain). A gentleman approached and asked if I did as good a job at tuning up the machine (me) and I responded that that is the hardest part. Afterwards I was sitting down putting on sunscreen when I looked up and noticed a woman having breakfast with (apparently) her husband, looking out the window at me. She gave me a thumbs up and motioned on her face about the sunscreen. I'm not sure if she was telling me that I was smart to apply it, or that I needed to work the cream into my face better. I worked it into my face better. Then as the three of us were leaving, I looked in at her and she waved, gave a huge smile and a two thumbs up. A neat morning and great way to start out the day.
We rode (of course) downhill to a convenience store to get food supplies as we know there will be no opportunity on the trail. Then we rode (of course) up that hill to get to the trail.
|The beginning of today's adventure|
|The Galloping Goose and the Lochside trails|
I am hoping you can enlarge the photo of the map above. The red is The Goose; the blue is Lochside. These trails are former railway lines. The Goose (as the locals affectionately call it) was named for the gas-powered passenger car that carried passengers between Victoria and Sooke during the 1920's. Beginning in 1917, The Lochside ran a daily 74 passenger General Electric gas car that transported passengers and freight between Victoria and Swartz Bay.
You will see Victoria at the right bottom of the red path. That is where we started today. Sooke is over on the far left side near the bottom. That is our destination. We will ride back on The Goose and continue on Lochside tomorrow. We will get to Sidney -- the very top of the map, and a bit hard to see -- after about a 45+ mile day. Phew.
|There are several Rest Stops along the paved part of the trail that have interesting art sculptures|
|A caboose sculpture|
|An interesting Bike Repair shop along the trail. We did not need this (yet)|
After about eight or so miles of paved trail it becomes unpaved but very hard packed gravel.
|Not too bad of a transition which stayed nice for riding.|
This transition spot was a little tricky. The trail was right in front of us but the sign pointed to the sharp left. The sign looked official and we went back and forth about what to do. The guy we asked was very friendly and assured us we continue straight ahead on the trail. He has lived right here for 50 years and he knows that is the Goose. We took his advice and within about a quarter of a mile we could see the continuation of the trail across the very busy highway-like road. We were directed to the left (again) to the crossing at the traffic light -- where we would have gotten to had we taken the first left turn sign. Oh well, the guy has lived here for 50 years but must not ride a bike. We got where we wanted to be.
Just at the time that lunch time was calling we came upon a perfect spot.
|This is either Lynne Lake or Glen Lake (I must check the map)|
The woman who came down and hopped in for a swim before having to go to work told us the name of the lake but I am not clear about which name she said. Her swim looked tempting and if it had been hotter or later in the day when we felt closer to our destination, we may have jumped in ourselves.
|Parked our bikes at the top of the stairs|
|Sat on the rocks and had our lunch with a view|
After lunch we continued on the tree covered trail and through miles of tree tunnels. A beautiful forest surrounded us.
|Tunnel of Trees|
There were two places on the trail that involved a very very steep, more gravelly, downhill to meet up directly with a very very steep, somewhat rutted, uphill at bottom. These were "hairy" places to bike, as I witnessed when I did not dismount early enough for the down part!! I got to the bottom safely, but am not sure how! Pushing up a semi-loaded bike on the other side was WORK!
Then we got to the highway that would take us through Sooke and to our hotel. The hills and traffic were not fun. What a way to end a day. Gerry had the eagle eye to spot the sign that read "Seriously Coffee". Our bikes veered off the road and to this fine little cafe where we could fortify ourselves for the remaining mile!
Once fortified and assured that our hotel was about a ten minute bike ride away, we were pumped! Off we went. For about 100 yards. Then ...
An inch long screw had embedded itself into the tire and out the side wall!! Here is where we could have used that cute little bike repair shop. Looking at the holes that this screw had imposed, a new tire seemed to be needed. I went into the nearby bakery and got directions to a bike shop that was a 5 minute walk behind us. Vickie walked up there with her wheel and bought a new tire and tube and had them do the work of installing it. Returned to the scene and mounted the wheel and we were again on our way.
Our digs for the night are more plush than I am accustomed to (more expensive anyway) and the deep, smooth sided, tub with comfortable curved back rest was a perfect way for me to ease my used and abused muscles.
Tomorrow to Sidney.