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Bridges to Buntzen
Permanent #53 Report
by Keith Nichol

Well it was a chilly 2 degrees when Ryan, Eric and I set off from the Cambie Street sky train station and we weren't to warm up for a while, but it wasn't raining. Mount Baker was a bright orange silhouette as we turned onto our first bridge, the Arthur Laing. Not much bird life going out to Iona where we had our first mystery: locating the map referred to in the information question? I hope we got it right? On the way back we saw our first and last heron shivering on a log at the Iona turn around. A raft of white geese had also arrived so maybe the world was thawing?

Various route sheet abstractions later we arrived at River Road and I noticed a large nest on one of the first stands of trees. It could only have been an eagle's nest which reminded me of a story I heard recently. Someone investigated an eagle's nest near an urban area after the eagles had left and discovered 26 assorted collars, the poor coyotes of course get the blame. At the end of River Road there were a pair of bald eagles in the dead tree on the island, looking for cats? Coming off the Alex Fraser bridge we had several lakes covering the path from all the rain. Eric, who was a little behind, was debating going on until he saw two tire tracks coming out the other side! We had our one and only sit down break at the Tim Hortons, so early in the season and we're already using them.

We wiggled and wobbled our way through the arse end of Surrey before finally corkscrewing our way onto the Golden Ears bridge, number 5. It was a bit of an anticlimax, but an easy crossing even though Google shows it a a supreme act of levitation. They still haven't filled in the trench West of the Pitt River bridge where I grimpled my rims, sigh.

As we headed into the Buntzen lake area Eric said just go as he needed to do some hill training. As we climbed up David Ave I thought of when Susan B and I did it last Summer in sweltering heat. We got a bit warm on the climb but once we started the descent towards Buntzen lake we froze in the shade. Another obtuse information question, refill the bottles and then we saw Eric arrive so we briefly chatted and headed off before rigour mortis set in. The rest of the ride back was pretty uneventful until we got to Quebec and discovered the first of the serious Olympic closures. We managed to squirm past, but it's not a pleasant reminder of what's ahead for us in February. A few wrong turns by me and we were done. A fun ride with a mix of old and new routes and just enough hills to keep it interesting without being exhausting. Our bridge count was at least ten. Here's the route URL -

Ride date: January 16, 2010
Go to:
Route 53 (201 km)

Go to: Permanents results


January 17, 2010