canada · Travel

Canada Day by Day: More from Vancouver…

Vancouver by night Image by CPF Photography

…subtitled A Brummie Home and Abroad Mows Down A Pedestrian.

For my previous Vancouver post, click here!

We make it to 6am which is a triumph. We potter around the apartment, doing social media stuff and making breakfast. We’re heading down to Stanley Park today, so we weave our way through Downtown and the West End before reaching Denman Street. Spokes Cycles had been recommended by a fellow blogger, so Spokes it is. We fill in our details on a tablet, show ID and then we’re good to go.

Cycling in Stanley Park
The bike. Innocent transport method or two-wheeled weapon of mass destruction? You decide…

I’m not a confident cyclist. It’s been four years since I last rode a bike, also in North America. But we get down to the seawall and off we go. I’m a bit shaky, but soon build up confidence. We’re somewhere near the Totem Poles of Stanley Park when it happens.

The famous totem poles at Brockton Point
The famous totem poles at Brockton Point

There’s a road for cars, a path for cycles, and a separate pathway for pedestrians. As I turn a corner, there are two pedestrians on the cycle path. I ring my bell. They don’t move. Mr Fletche rings his bell. They still don’t move. They are walking side by side, completely oblivious. Completely oblivious until I plough into them, unable to avoid them without throwing myself under the wheels of a passing car. They are left shocked but seemingly unhurt, whilst I am lying on my back, staring at the trees and wondering which part of me I should try moving first. Staying put is my best option.

Cars pull up and all of a sudden I’m surrounded by people, cell phones at the ready to call 911. I protest that I’m ok, but would just like to stay lying down here for a while. An off-duty medic takes charge and runs some rudimentary checks on my left shoulder, arm and wrist which took the brunt of the tumble. I’m ok, a little bruised, a little sore, and worried about the state of the pedestrians who have mysteriously disappeared without a concern for the wellbeing of the prostrate English woman. I’m shaken up but refuse to let it beat me. I tentatively return to the bike. Mr Fletche points out that it was a quite spectacular tumble, but we did everything possible to alert the oblivious pedestrians who were walking where they shouldn’t be.

We continue the cycle around the Stanley Park seawall without incident, although we’re still amazed at the number of people who don’t quite understand the concept of separate bike and walking areas. Further disasters are averted and we return the bikes to Spokes after two hours, physically and emotionally exhausted.

Views from the Stanley Park SeawallViews from the Stanley Park Seawall

It’s time for a coffee so we head up Denman Street to Tim Hortons, a famous Canadian coffee and donut chain. I have a Pumpkin Spice Latte, despite not particularly liking lattes or pumpkins. It’s tasty. We retrace our steps from yesterday around the seawall at Coal Harbour and Canada Place. We have a hankering for a good old sandwich for lunch, so it’s a quick Subway stop before heading for Waterfront Station. I’m interested in seeing what Vancouver looks like from the other side so we get the Seabus over to Lonsdale Quay. After a traumatic morning it’s good to relax at the Tap and Barrel with a beer where we can discuss my new role as a human cycling bowling ball.

As we return back Downtown it’s easy to see how walkable the city is. At Gastown we join Cambie Street, which takes us all the way down to Yaletown and back home. Mr Fletche wants some sunset shots from Cambie Bridge so I dutifully play glamorous photographer’s assistant and keep him company.

Vancouver sunset taken from Cambie Bridge, Vancouver
Sunset and the Seabus – image by CPF Photography

It’s then a quick outfit change before heading out locally for some food. Considering Vancouver has seemed quiet over the last couple of days the bars, restaurants and patios of Yaletown are mostly heaving. We manage to get a table at Yaletown Brewing Company, so its beers all round, pizza for Mr Fletche and a wonderful meatloaf and hash for me. It’s an earlyish night as I’m starting to ache, feeling the effects of my earlier Brummie vs Dozy Pedestrian collision.

Tomorrow, we say goodbye to Vancouver, a city we’ve both fallen head over heels in love with, and embark on the next leg of our Canadian adventure!

How not to Cycle Stanley Park in Vancouver. Tip Number 1. Do not run pedestrians over.

 

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