Tuesday night was my night to pick the ride, and it was an easy choice if you know where I come from. Anmore BC is sandwiched between Indian Arm and Port Moody on the north side of Burred Inlet. It’s a cute little village away from the craziness of Van-city, while staying close enough to be able to make it to work on time in the morning.
I get the same question every time I tell people where I live….”Where the hell is Anmore?!” they’d say. And after explaining it for the 12th time, I just started replying with “It’s an hour east of Calgary….minus the C”….Which would usually result in that head-cocked-to-the-right look that my dog gives me when I pick up his leash.
It’s actually the reason why I live there. As close as it is to Vancouver, no one seems to know where it is. No one except for the long time Kona staff used to ride out there, and those who still do. The group for Tuesday night was Smiley, Michelle & I. We met at my place, where Michelle mentioned she was hyperventilating from all the fresh air, and Smiley, who lives on the infamous Commercial Drive looked around the neighborhood with realization that we didn’t have a restaurant or coffee shop from every European or Asian country within a 5 minute walk.
But that’s not necessarily a bad thing…
The ride planned was a loop of Buntzen Lake. Buntzen’s been bit by the Hollywood bug lately showing up in a bunch of award winnng movies & tv. It’s been in Lake Placid (think giant alligators & Betty White), The part of Hot Rod where Andy Samberg is training for stunts by doing Tai Chi, and Isla Fisher hits him with a punch that makes him crap his pants (it’s a real move, I checked) and most importantly, Highlander, which won the award for the greatest movie ever made….ever. Hey, the reminder of those movies when you see the lake will make the ride already worth it.
We headed toward the Academy trail and ripped down across the floating bridge. After getting some great views of the south end of the lake, we started climbing up the Lakeview Trail. The trail traverses 4 ridges through a series of switchbacks and technical (again, switchback) decents. Hence naming the ride, the Tuesday night “Switch n Bitch”.
As soon as we tucked into the woods, the first climb welcomed us with a twisted ribbon of cedar coloured dirt that noodled around boulders and big hemlock trees before climbing up to the powerlines and the first lookout.
The trail hugged the side of the mountain and where ever we saw a guard rail we knew we either had a great view in store for us, or a steep reminder of how well these trails were built. The ferns and trees surrounded everything until we felt nice and lost out there
After the third climb, I looked at Smiley and said, “Well. I think that’s it for climbing, but I’m not going to say anything as I don’t what you guys to whip rocks at me…” and after a couple of minutes, we met one last climb heading up to the North Beach lookout. The rocks sounded like pretty little hummingbirds as they buzzed passed my head, and as we topped the last climb, the sun shone through the trees just before it dropped behind Mt Seymour.
We descended all the way down to the hydro dam, and I pointed down to the water for Smiley and Michelle to see. What they were looking at was Indian arm and the north side of Deep Cove. Michelle, looking like she just woke up in Bizarro world was blown away by the view. It was awesome to make it all the way to Indian arm.
We spun back along the access road to the north beach for a look. Checked out the suspension bridge and started home. Feeling the burn of the 3 hour ride we cruised back up the academy trail and wound up back at my place. We packed up the bikes, cracked a beer, and sat on the tailgate of my old truck until the bugs started chewing on our legs.
As cyclists, we all know why we ride. It’s not even a question you have to ask. But getting good and lost with good friends, spinning your legs, seeing some stuff, laughing, cracking beers and getting eaten by bugs sure makes a good reminder.
Next week! Squamish or Burnaby Mtn? It’s Michelle’s call…