As fall arrives we need to think about more “close to the city” activities. The ride to Steveston is one of our favourite rides in the area, and it is especially appreciated during the shoulder seasons. The first weekend of fall this year seemed like a “stay in the city” kind of weekend, so we decided to ride to Steveston.
We took the Ontario Bike Street to Marpole in south Vancouver. In Marpole we noticed many signs calling for “No Rezoning in Marpole”, it looked like a real battle. We connected with the elegant Cambie cycling (and Skytrain) bridge and crossed over to Richmond. Then a short ride down some side streets and we were on the dike trail that follows the water all the way to Steveston. The dike protects Richmond from floods, since it is just slightly higher than sea level. The trail is flat and easy and we enjoyed the views out to the ocean.
There were a few people out, but it wasn’t crowded and the ride was pleasant. Once in Steveston we went to our favourite Fish & Chips – Pajo’s. Oh, yeah, the ride to Stevston is perhaps good exercise, but once in Steveston, well that’s a different story… There are actually two Pajo’s locations, one is more of the “local’s location” and it is less crowded. That’s the first one you’ll come across if you ride on the dike, beside a large park. The second one is the “tourist hangout” and it is right where all the other restaurants are. At Pajo’s they also have crab cakes that we highly recommended.
We had our lunch and a short nap, and off we were to explore the fish market. For a moment I had a flashback to our trip in Asia several years ago. Then I remembered where I was, the “fishing village” of Steveston. We bought two large pink salmon and put them in Gili’spannier. The fish were frozen at sea, and the guy wrapped them for us in ice and newspaper. Although it still took us several hours to return home, the fish was still frozen solid when we arrived back.
Another excellent treat in Steveston is the frozen yogurt from Timothy’s. It is made from real fruit and comes in a waffle cone that is made on the spot, and is typically still warm when the ice cream is piled in it. Just passing there and smelling the cone is almost a treat by itself. In the 90’s these frozen yoghourt places were very popular in Israel. Now I am not sure there is a single one left. But in Steveston it is alive and kicking and we always treat ourselves to this delicious treat.
To return to Vancouver we continued riding along the water and eventually connected to the Shell Rd. bike route in Richmond, which makes the ride into a nice loop. We passed a dog park with several sculptures of colourful metal dogs that I liked. Then across the Cambie bridge again, and soon after we found an apple tree with delicious apples (actually we were already familiar with this tree) and by shaking the tree we collected many apples. The problem was that we didn’t have anywhere to carry them in, since the bag was full with the two fish. Gili found a box and with some improvising with our extra bike tubes he managed to tie it to the rack and arrived home with all the apples in tow (and two fish). We took the Heather St. bike route on the way back, and got home just as it was getting dark.
It was a great fall activity and as Lou Reed says in his famous song: “Oh, What A Perfect Day.”
55km, see map for rough route