The Rest of Our Victoria Trip

We’re back in Calgary now, after a two-day return journey. Now I need to catch up on all of the happenings between the Tour de Victoria and the Pender Island visit, as well as the trip home.

We spent a lot of time with Dad, Stephanie and the kids over the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The time was relaxing for the most part, with lots of time spent sitting and yakking in Stephanie’s newly-carpeted back yard,  😉 We got to meet her new boyfriend, Tristan, who was fun to be around, and has a great dog, Harley.

Dad, with Tristan's dog, Harley

Dad, with Tristan’s dog, Harley

Tristan and Stephanie

Tristan and Stephanie

The kids got to sleep over in tents in Stephanie’s back yard on Monday and Tuesday night, as well as play lots of games, indoors and out.

Continue reading

Pender Island

I know, there haven’t been any posts since the bike ride… We’ve been busy. I will have to backtrack and catch up on the happenings in Victoria, but for now I will post about our time on Pender.

We caught the 8:30 ferry on Thursday morning, after a quick breakfast in the sunshine at our hotel.

A beautiful morning for a bagel in the sunshine

I stopped the car after we got off the ferry, and I rode my bike from Otter Bay to the Plantation. It was only 8.5 km, but lots of hills.

Lunch was at Port Browning, and followed by a walk along the beach. Ian and I got our toes wet.

Two Greek gods of the Pacific Ocean

And I took a family picture of the Marson Clan.

Five on a log

The afternoon was hot, and we did as little as possible, sitting on the porch at Colin and Carol’s, having a few libations. Tammy and I stayed a little ways away at a “bed-and-no-breakfast”, a room let out by a woman named Kelly-Ann. 😉

In the morning, I went for a ride out to the end of Pirates Road, and Tammy went for a hike around the block. Then we had breakfast and walked up Lively Peak while Colin and Carol took the kids to the New To You store.

The view towards Saltspring and Swartz Bay

At one point, Tammy was looking up, trying to spot a raven, and saw a tree full of turkey vultures instead.

Bring out your dead!

Lunch was a picnic at Thieves Bay. Carol made some sandwiches and we enjoyed them under a shady cedar tree. Afterwards, I pushed Ian on the swings, and we went out and walked along the breakwater.

Nice spot for a picnic and walk

And then we went swimming at Magic Lake. The water was warm once you got in.

Daddy trying to be brave

Paddling out

Tour de Victoria, 2016 Edition 

Today was a great day. Yes, I am in pain right now, but overall I am very happy. I rode in the 140 km “Epic” distance of the Tour de Victoria, after doing the 90 km “Legend” distance last year. 140 km is the longest ride I have ever tried, but I was confident, after having a couple of strong finishes at 100 km in my MEC rides this year.

The alarm went off at 5:00 this morning, so that I could eat some breakfast before leaving for the ride. There wasn’t too much grumbling, surprisingly. We were at the parliament buildings by 6:15, and had time to take a picture.


There were about 800 riders starting the 140 at 7:00 am. Can you spot me in the crowd?


Hint: I am looking at the camera, waving.

It took 5 hours and 45 minutes to finish, inside the window of 5-6 hours that I estimated.

  • We tried to organize a cheering section for when I went through Langford, but that didn’t work out.
  • There was a lot of wind today. The worst was either the crosswind on the way down Metchosin Road into the gravel pit, or the headwind I had to fight from Cadboro Bay all the way to the cruise ship docks.
  • I didn’t do as well against my peers this year, as expected. I moved up from the “B” group doing the mid distance to the “A” Group doing the full distance. Results are here. My bib number was forty six.

We Made It To Victoria

It was a long day, but we are here! 12.5 hours to get to the ferry terminal. We thought we would have a two-sailing wait, but I guess being on overheight vehicle paid off in this case. Only a one sailing wait, and we caught the six.

We had a beautiful drive, with great weather and almost no construction.

The moon setting over the Rockies in the sunrise

The moon setting over the Rockies in the sunrise

Spirits were high. We made Golden before eight, and Kamloops before noon (Pacific).

Rogers Pass: bathroom break!

Rogers Pass: bathroom break!

The ferry trip was nice, if crowded.

Ferry selfie

Ferry selfie

We’re settled into the hotel, and Dad showed up as soon as we did. We put him to work moving stuff into the room from the car. 🙂 We went over to Thrifty Foods to get a few necessary items and now we are off to bed.

Bow Cyclists Family Ride and Big Hill Springs Hike

Today was the second annual Bow Cyclists’ Family Ride. Last year was better-attended, but this year’s weather was much better. Tammy, the kids and I met up at Bow Cycle. Most of the riders there were going on the regular Sunday ride, but eight of us headed out for a nice ride along the Bow to Ed Worthy Park.

Taking a rest

Taking a rest

We had fun, and played some Frisbee and bocce at the park while having snacks and coffee. Then we skedaddled home, and headed to meet up with Robin and Gilad at their place. We were going for a walk at Big Hill Springs Park, just north-east of Cochrane.

It’s a nice park, especially with the stream cascading along waterfalls. We took a family photo:

Us at Big Hill Springs

Us at Big Hill Springs

We wanted to get the walk in before the thunderstorms that were threatening arrived. We did, with the first claps of thunder as we were approaching the parking lot again.

The approaching storm

The approaching storm

We tried going into Cochrane for ice cream, but the weather had different ideas. We’ll have to do it another day.

Getting Stuff Done

It’s been a nice Saturday so far, but thunderstorms are forecast for this evening. Tomorrow is supposed to be the Bow Cyclists Family Ride in the morning and then visiting with Robin and Gilad in the afternoon. So today was the opportunity to get stuff done.

Tammy was cleaning and dusting and putting stuff away, and she and the kids went grocery shopping and suitcase shopping. My giraffe-print suitcase bit the dust on my last trip, with the zipper pulling away from the body. So I am inheriting her zebra-print, and she has a nice purple one for our trip.

I started with mowing the lawn, and I finally put the screen over that bathroom vent on the side of our house. Two years in a row, we’ve had sparrows nest in it. I bought a screen to put over the opening this spring, but I was too late. Next year the birds will have to find a new spot. I also put the roof rack on the Tiguan.

Then I shifted to doing something a little creative. This September, I’m planning on resuming my piano lessons with Piano Marvel. I need to have the computer next to the piano in order to do it, but having the Mac Mini out in the open bugged me last winter.

So, I have built a little shelf under the piano, which gets the computer out of sight and the power brick off the floor.

Piano - Mac hybrid

Piano – Mac hybrid

I’m pretty proud of it. It’s out of the way, and all the cables from the Mac will plug into the sockets you can see right in front of the Mac above.

Hide-a-Mac

Hide-a-Mac

Camps Winding Down

I took this picture on Monday. I dropped off Ian for his camp this week: Tour de Calgary. It’s his second time taking that one this summer. As you can see, the weather has kept everything beautiful and green, but who would have thought that a raincoat would be a necessary accoutrement?

Ian in a green raincoat

Ian in a green raincoat

Miranda’s been climbing walls this week. Next week, both of them are in “Mini Brick Builders” (i.e. Lego) for four days before we’re ready for our trip.

Catch-up: VW Golf Breakdown

This is something that happened last week, but it sorta got ignored. First, when it happened, we didn’t know what the cause was and awaited the diagnosis. Then when it was fixed, we got it late on a Friday when other things were happening.

So… Tammy had picked up the kids from the University on Wednesday last week and was on her way home via Bowness. They stopped at the library to drop off some books that Miranda had borrowed, and when they came out… the Golf wouldn’t start. Or to be precise: it would start, idle for about a half-second, and then die with the glow plug indicator blinking on the dashboard. She called me to come and pick them up, and called a tow truck. Of course, this was all across the street from Bow Cycle, so I went over there and yakked with the guys for a bit while we waited for the tow. The tow truck dropped the car off at the mechanic, but they were closed already. Tammy had called ahead, and they would look at the car ASAP.

It turned out it would be Friday before they looked at it, but when they did, they found that the glow plug relay had gone. They replaced it, and we were able to pick the car up Friday afternoon. $580 was the damage, but considering the complete failure of the car to operate, I feared it was going to be much worse than that. Runs like a charm now. 🚘

Claymation Movie camp

 I did Claymation summer camp this week and this is the stop motion movie we made. The camp was divided into about 7 different groups and this is what my group and I made.

The title is Awkward Food Fight

Summer Camps

Today’s the last day of the fifth week of summer camps for the kids. This week has been Claymation for Miranda and Golf for Ian. I am hoping/expecting to get some sort of a video from Miranda’s camp which I will post here. Ian has been having a great time with the golf camp. Everyday he’s jabbering about all of the great things he did and how much fun he’s having.

But it’s a metronome of how the summer is disappearing. Tick tock, tick tock.

I’ll be riding on the trainer, looking out the window at the snow outside sooner than I’d like. 🚴🏻❄️⛄️