Posted by: Huw Thomas | August 9, 2010

Day One Done!

Finally on the road – hurrah! Just 32 miles out to Maple Ridge to the east of Vancouver but it’s a start. (Actually it should have only been 25 miles but we took a little detour on some back roads. Ooops. Think we need a decent map.)

Still, it was fantastic to get on the bike and start riding after about 14 months of talking about it. And, even though today was largely pretty flat it was reassuring to know that everything works and we can make it up the occasional hill. Which is quite important as we’ve got some little things called THE ROCKIES coming up.

We cycled into Vancouver first thing this morning so we could set up ready for the launch. It was a damp, uninspiring day but having the ShelterBox tent and display set up outside the city Art Gallery got us a fair bit of attention – including an unexpected interview with CBC (The Canadian Broadcasting Coporation). Apparently we should be on the 11pm news tonight, although I’m not sure either of us are going to be awake to watch it.

Our bike and the box behind also attracted a fair bit of interest from other cyclists, not all of them Canadian either. We were able to spread the message about ShelterBox to a couple of German bike tourists and chatted at length to a pair of fellow tandem riders from Ohio.

But then, at 3pm it was time to stop talking about it. We said farewell and thank you to our new friends from Vancouver and (with mixed emotions) mounted our bike. A police escort – complete with flashing blue lights – led us out of downtown and to the bike path that then took us off out of the city.

The bike path took us out through some nice quiet suburbs but then it was onto bigger, faster main roads and increasing traffic as we headed east through Port Moody and along Highway 7. It was a relief to get out of the urban sprawl once we’d crossed the Pitt River Bridge and started cycling past acres and acres of blueberry farms. Just a shame we turned off the highway a junction too soon and added a few unexpected miles to our journey. Oh well, day one accomplished. Just a few more to go… hope my navigating improves.



  1. Well done. following your progress already……

    Can’t believe you are already on your way… just seems mins ago we were on court!

    have a great ride and I will check in weekly!



  2. Awesome, guys! Just arrived and all that press attention! 😉

    I’m waiting for the post about grizzly bears in the blueberries! hahaha Good luck for the rest of your trip. Let me know when you are nearing Tampa so I can give Grandma the ole heads up and give you directions.

  3. Interviews, a television appearance and a police escort… to say you’ve started your epic bike ride in style is somewhat of an understatement! What amazing publicity – already. Looking forward to the next update and a thigh report!!
    Helen x

  4. UUAAAAUUU!!! on your way!!!!hope all goes well!!!good luck and have fun!!!!here in Portugal it’s REALLY REALLY HOT!!!!now on hols which is great!!!
    XXXXX Jo

  5. Guys, what a start – many congrats and happy peddling! Tiago’s just managed to ride a (proper) bike for the first time too!! I’ll send him over to join you after the Rockies!! Godspeed and have fun!
    Blessings for the next 9,968 miles!

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