Sunday, July 24, 2005

The things we do for poutine

It all started with a dare. I was tired of being ostracized by my co-workers because I like to ride my bike to Grouse Mountain, hike the grind and then ride home every Wednesday night after work.

The reaction was always the same: “What the hell’s wrong with you? Are you crazy? Isn’t hiking the grind hard enough? Why would you ride your bike up there too?”

So I decided that whenever someone asked me about my after-work adventures, I would invite them along. Only Jenny and Sheldon were brave enough to take me up on the offer. Of course, it only took an entire year to convince them it would be fun and not a hellish slog from sea level to the top of Grouse Mountain. So after 12 months of arm-twisting, the three of us finally set out to ride the hills and conquer the mountain on Friday.

Let the adventure begin! Jenny (left) and me (right) point to Grouse Mountain in the distance. It’s amazing to think that in a few hours our legs will propel us to the top of that peak. Jenny and Sheldon start having second thoughts: “Um…it seems kind of far. How about we just go for coffee instead?”

The mountain gets a little closer with every kilometre we ride. The fact that we are already tired before crossing the Lion's Gate Bridge isn't a good sign. Sheldon notices a nice restaurant along the way: “Why don’t we just go there instead?”

After the long, steep ride up Capilano Road, we arrive at the base of Grouse Mountain, sweaty and out of breath. We lock up our bikes and start the brutal 3 km hike straight up the mountain. Although they look dead, they’re not. Jenny and Sheldon are just taking a little nap on the rocks.

After being eaten alive by bugs on the trail, we make it to the top! High fives all around. Jenny and Sheldon admit that it was fun and say they will join me again. Vindication at last!

Mmm…poutine. The reward at the end. Well, not really the end since we still have to ride home. At least it’s all downhill from here. Maybe next time I'll have something healthier, like a banana. Flying down a hill at 60 km an hour with a bellyful of poutine isn't as fun as it sounds.

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