On most Saturday mornings, I awake at about 7am, quietly dress, grab my bike and leave my still sleeping family to "hit the road". As I live at the top of Silver Valley Road, the first 2.5 kilometers of my ride is an exhilarating, awakening and speedy dash down this long hill that reminds me so much of "first tracks" (as I am a skier as well). For an hour or two, I will cruise and explore the various neighbourhoods of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows enjoying the peace of the relatively car-less streets, the warming day and watch the community awaken. While I have lived in Maple Ridge for over 40 years, I continue to discover new streets and enjoy seeing the individual creativity of each homeowners' landscaping and house design. Also, I find that seeing the community by bike is at a pace which allows for more personal interaction with other "townfolk", and I find this quite satisfying.
Along the ride, I will stop for tea and a light breakfast at a coffee-shop or restaurant and share greetings with other early risers then proceed to the Farmers' Market where I will stroll by the various vendors and select an assortment of tasty food items for myself and family. My recent favourites include a bag of hazelnuts, fresh cucumbers and always the deliriously delicious pear tarts from Laurie, the pastry baker there, with whom I also share some interesting conversations.
With panniers full of treasure, I ride northward toward home, down the "ridge" of Maple Ridge, then up the now grinding Silver Valley Road hill. How much I indulged for breakfast in town will determine the speed and vigour of my ascent, but always a good shower awaits as a reward for a "good sweat". At home, I happily share my food-finds with the late-awakening household, then I am fully charged to get to the myriad household chores of a busy family.