We managed to catch up with friends, but didn't make it into the city as much as we planned and only rode the bicycles into town once! And that was only because we had to get them in there to get them serviced by Meshkat at Mighty Bikes (who I think was surprised to see us back in one piece given that we had shakily ridden out of his shop four months prior, scared of riding on the right side of the road and with the mechanical knowledge of only two two- hour lessons!).
The two weeks passed way too quickly and we realised that we hadn't done half of what we had wanted to do in this time. We missed catching up with people we wanted to, we didn't want to say goodbye to the people we had caught up with and we hadn't eaten nearly enough of the food that we wouldn't be able to get on the road (that's my excuse for the gigantic bowls of ice-cream that I was stuffing myself with anyway).
We couldn't hold off leaving any longer, and we were itching to get back on the bikes too, so we were pretty excited when the day we had chosen as our leaving day dawned with beautiful blue sky. We got off later than planned, spending longer than usual packing the bags and cleaning up the house after ourselves. Then we had to face the trauma of trying to ride through the outskirts of Vancouver. Vannie has awesome bike routes but somewhere this has missed the outer suburbs. The area we were riding in had some promised bike routes, but often these would disappear at a major intersection leaving us stranded in the middle of a busy freeway. Or alternatively we'd be happily cycling along along a bike trail alongside the river to find it blocked off with a large detour sign describing the detour that started kilometres back down the bike path. This happened twice on our way through the outskirts and caused me to throw a minor tanty. Jules had to put up with tears and a torrent of four letter words, before she could finally calm me down enough to turn around and cycle back the way we had come, trying to find our way through to the next road. The whole way I cursed everyone I could think of and promised to send in a number of strongly written letters to members of government.
We were knackered by the time we got through the industrial areas, managed to cross the Fraser River and found ourselves in the farmlands of Delta, which were a lot easier riding. But we really had to push ourselves to get to the ferry in time and our legs were questioning our decision to leave the comfort of the couch. We were pretty amazed how much fitness we had lost in our two weeks off. Before we reached Vancouver we had been easily cycling 100+ km days (in very hilly country ) but after two weeks of eating and drinking and napping we were going pretty slowly.