Believe it or not, our first trip to a B&B on Pender Island for our friend’s wedding was meant to be a biking trip.
I would like to believe the bike behind me in the photo below is mine… but sadly… none of our bikes made it on this weekend getaway…
The planning went a little something like this: Andrew and I had the brilliant idea to bike onto the ferry (which we later found out were in fact two ferries) that would take us from Vancouver to Pender Island. You see biking made sense mostly because we missed the opportunity to reserve our car on the ferry (I blame Andrew, Andrew blames me)— but also because Pender Island is only about 4km wide, there are no major roads and there is only one taxi on the entire island. Biking is a popular way to get around the smaller Gulf Islands, like Pender, off the coast of Vancouver so we figures why not?
I pictured Andrew and I in our Subaru outback with a bike rack with two fancy bikes attached, kayaks strapped to the roof of the car and trail mix in the front seat ready for some snacking….
Well, there’s a couple of problems with that vision… one, we don’t own a Subaru, two, we don’t have a bike rack or kayaks, three, there was no trail mix on this trip and four…Andrew has a bike, and I do not.
Back to reality: Andrew had wanted an excuse to buy a new bike for quite some time, so we thought, hey, wouldn’t this be a great opportunity to buy a new bike? and then I could ride his old one.
So Andrew was all set to buy himself a bike a few days before the trip… he even had one picked out. But on Friday a co-worker told him he could get him a pretty great discount, only if he waited until next week to purchase it. The problem was, if Andrew still had his old bike, then we still needed a bike for me to ride on our Saturday morning ferry.
Andrew’s co-worker said, no problem. Your wife is shorter than you right?
Let me pause right here… this is the part in the story where Andrew should have said no. As in, No, my wife isn’t that much shorter than me and NO she will not fit on that bike made for a 13 year old.
Instead Andrew answered, sure (give or take 2 to 8 inches).
So Andrew brings home this borrowed bike in our car. As I said before, we have no bike rack so he had to take the front tire off of the loaner bike just to fit it into the car. I probably should have taken the time to reassemble the bike when he got home and test it out before trusting my dear husband that it would be suitable for the vast kilometers we would bike over the weekend, but I didn’t (my mistake) and so we went to sleep ready to wake up at 6am to catch this very important ferry.
We woke up to downpour… the rain just wouldn’t quit, but we were still determined to bike. In the morning Andrew dissembled the front tire of his bike and squished it into our tiny Nissan Sentra and away we drove to the ferry terminal. We parked in the long-term lot and Andrew began to reassemble the bicycles.
Once he was done, I climbed onto my borrowed bike and realized all too quickly that my knees bent outward when I pedaled, my back was hunched in order for me to hold onto the handle bars and I had the most unimpressed look on my face (I am sure you can imagine)… oh ya… and it’s still raining.
I began to voice my doubts when Andrew reassured me in a timid voice, you don’t look… that…. bad… on the bike. Pouting I began to pedal away (huffing and puffing no doubt) towards the ferry’s ticketing kiosk, when I noticed Andrew wasn’t behind me. I circled back in the parking lot to find him walking his bike. When I asked what happened he said his bike chain broke off and he can’t fix it without tools…. which means he can’t bike onto the ferry. Andrew may have been cursing the world under his breath but all I could say was Hallelujah!
So back into the car the bikes went, after of course dissembling the front tires once again, squishing them back into the tiny backseat of our Nissan and leaving mud on our hands.
I guess the gods were on my side that day… And instead of a biking trip, you could say our weekend on Pender Island turned into a foodie adventure. With gourmet breakfast in the morning prepared by our lovely B&B hosts Maggie and Bill, aka Brown Sugar, at the Oceanside Inn…
…to the delicious local and organic cuisine at the Hope Bay Cafe. I would have never described Andrew or I as foodies but after this trip, I feel like we could become some!
Walking on to the ferry, made getting around Pender a little less than ideal but not impossible. Our hosts, Maggie and Bill graciously gave us quite a few rides in their car to different destinations and we walked every where else. Or if we were really desperate there were always car stops, the island’s only form of public transportation:
It was hard to be frustrated when the place was just so beautiful. Our B&B suite had it’s own private hot tub with tree fogs around it, there was a deer that sun bathed in the front lawn of the Inn and the fact that we were away from the hustle and bustle of the big city was really calming and romantic.
Bikes? What bikes? It was a great Canada Long Weekend on Pender Island!