May 19, 2009

The Giant TCX first bike tour: Hornby Island!

 Following a morning of volunteering for the North Shore Triathlon Bike Check at Steed Cycles Andrew and I biked over to the Nanaimo ferry on our cross bikes (all toured up with panniers and camping gear). We had decided last minute to bike to Comox, Denman and the highlight: Hornby island for the weekend. It was to be my first time touring with panniers and touring on my lovely new Giant TCX Cylcocross bike. It was also my first time on Denman and Hornby islands. 

We managed to leave Steed Cycles at 2pm to catch the 3pm ferry (we left the car in west van to save time) to Nanaimo. We were so glad to be on our bikes as the ferry line-ups did not look appealing or fun at all. We arrived on the island around 5pm and with loads of energy took the scenic route around the bay before hitting the Island Highway. The highway between Nanaimo and Nanoose Bay (Parksville) is quite busy and loud and not the peaceful bike ride one looks for on the island but once the highway splits into inland and oceanside the noise diminishes, the nervousness of getting hit diminishes and island life begins. I love the smell of the forest and the ocean... Its the one thing I miss loads living in the city... After many hours of riding, singing, chatting, get lost within thoughts we made it to Comox by 10pm. I must admit that my neck was cramping rather vigorously within the last 15 km and I believe I biked those last km with my neck cocked sideways with a little grimmace on my face. Arriving at Mark and Nicki's place in Comox was a welcoming site, some pizza and beer were on the menu along with some good chatter...

The next morning feeling strong again, the three of us heading back down to Buckley bay and managed to catch the 11am ferry to Denman. It was a gorgeous sunny day and my excitement was building. We rode across Denman quickly and managed to time it perfectly with the Hornby ferry so we rolled our bikes on and enjoyed the scenary and break. 

Once on Hornby we cycled to Tribune Bay and took lunch and coffee at Vorizo cafe. SO CUTE! Bought some snacks and some beverages for the night and made our way to the campsite at Ford's Cove. It is lovely there with some really cool rock but we prabably couls have done without the roosters in the morning! I think they decided to have a mass meeting right beside the campsite!!!

After setting up camp we jumped on the bikes sin panniers and found some trails and went for a walk around Helliwell Park until we all got very hungry. Back at camp we made some curry in a bag and enjoyed some fine wine and a fire until I fell asleep on Andrew in front of the fire. 

I had such a great sleep that night. Which is a blessing as we had a big day ahead of us. Before leaving Hornby we rode up one of the trails to the summit. It was gorgeous! and to my surprise I loved the offroad descent on my cross bike... go figure!

We stopped for lunch on Denman (best brie/pear bagel I have ever had!) and laughed at the poor cars waiting in line for the ferry as we cruised by and caught the next ferry on our bikes. Back at Buckley bay Andrew and I said bye to Mark and we began our big journey home. We made it on the 7pm ferry with relief and enjoyed pizza, fries and coffee with pleasure... we deserved it!

a beautiful weekend on our bikes! I have learned that biking onto the ferries is the way to go: cheaper, no lines and lots of fun!

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!

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