Anxious to feel the difference a new steering head bearing might have made to my bike, I take her for a short spin through Victoria and out to the waterfront road. Crazy as it sounds…the bike feels worse! And when I report back to Brian and Al, they agree…it sounds crazy. I chalk it up to being so used to the bike being a struggle to steer that I need to readjust to the new freely moving (and unsteady feeling) steering.
Al lines up a ride with some of his friends for Saturday morning and I’m looking forward to seeing a bit more of the island. They plan to take us on the Port Renfrew loop, which it turns out must be a fairly popular route.
This morning is also the start of the annual Swiftsure sailing races and Al leads us down to the shore to catch a glimpse of the start of some of the races before we meet the other bikers for our ride.
It’s a cloudy day, and there isn’t much wind. Not a great way to start a sailing race , I am told.
Al leads us through town to a pub where everyone will be meeting. Shannon and Mathew are there. Ryan, another rider and friend that Brian met a few years ago when he rode through here, is here. A Scotsman named Collin, who is hilarious, is there….and some of the nicest people we have ridden with ages are there….lovely way to spend a day.
Al and Collin take turns herding us through the tangle of country roads they have selected in order to avoid main highways. It’s a gorgeous series of twists and turns that lead us in the direction of Duncan. We stop every now and then to regroup and for cigarettes for the smokers.
Eventually we get to a low rise on a hill where the guys stop and show us a marker a friend of theirs had made for a fellow rider. Apparently a man named Nelson had a spill on this road and somehow went over the edge of the road and into a ditch. His bike landed on top of him which is horrible enough…but he had landed somehow in a small, but very deep, water hole.
It’s amazing to see how narrow and deep this drop off and the hole in the bottom are….and how he lived through it I will never know.
We stop again later at the Big Tree, which is well-named.
It’s a lovely and peaceful place. Much as I would love to linger here, my tummy is asking me for some lunch. Next stop Port Renfrew.
After lunch we continue on our counter clockwise loop and now follow the coast south. Al pulls over at Jordan River to see if we can see some of the bigger boats making their way back toward the finish line back in Victoria.
And sure enough we can!
As we keep moving south we start to meet a bit more traffic. At one point I pass car after having gone slowly for what seemed like ages without having a place to pass. As I passed the cars and ducked back into my lane I looked up and saw a big black bear run left to right across the road in front of me. Wow! What a sight! Just wish I’d had my Go Pro on.
We ride back to the Six Mile Pub and Shannon takes us on a short tour of a hidden skate park under a bridge somewhere in Victoria…such a cool place!
What a fantastic day! And what a fantastic group of people….thanks so much Al for showing some of your beautiful island.