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Day 1: Vancouver to the US

2011/07/10

What I rode by today: The smells of Vancouver.

Today was our first day on the road and it started with an escorted ride down the hotel’s freight elevator. We headed off through the streets, traffic, and bridges of Vancouver. After bridge #2, and looking a little lost underneath it, a cyclist named Frank stopped and offered to guide us through the city. We then made our way to River Road and the theme of today’s post: the smell of things. You see, when you’re riding a bicycle, things pass by so much slower than in a car or a train. Following a branch of the Fraser River, we rode by an industrial area of Vancouver. Building after building and shop after shop, we rode by one smell after another. Paint fumes. Plastic. Wood. Chinese food. Petroleum. Some of these were on the aptly named Vulcan Road.

Back to Frank. He couldn’t understand why our bike map was taking us a certain way at times and would suggest other routes. We resisted because those tended to be higher traffic areas. We finally parted ways shortly after crossing the Alex Fraser Bridge. The bridge has a bike lane that is separated from vehicle traffic but seemed more of an after thought. The bridge is almost a kilometer long and about 150 meters tall, but as long as you don’t see yourself as that special piece of straw on a camel’s back, it’s just another bridge to ride over.

Day 1: Vancouver, BC to Birch Bay State Park, WA

Miles: ~50

Rainfall: 10 minutes (sprinkle)

Riding down in the freight elevator

Bridge #1

Border ahead

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