Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Rolling Round Richmond: The Great Lulu Loop — Post 2 of 5

I was touring the perimeter of Lulu Island, aka the City of Richmond, in a counter-clockwise direction and, late in the afternoon of a sun-kissed day, had reached the easternmost point. With a pleasant feeling of fatigue I turned westward along the northern edge of the island. Residences and light industry changed briefly to major roads and big box-stores and then back to residences. I detoured to seek out Paulo`s Pizzeria, the easternmost restaurant in Richmond. Starved, I wolfed down a House Special pizza. Delicious!

Refreshed, I headed toward the sinking sun in a rural landscape along River Road, which was narrow, gently winding and seemed endlessly long to my tired body. A log boom about 600 metres long snaked upriver towed by three tugs. More logs were anchored all along the shoreline.

Much of my enjoyment, I realized, was because I had never cycled these paths and roads before. I felt like an explorer, with a sense of exhilaration, anticipation.

Twice, bike racers, dressed in colourful, sleek garb, flew past making me look like a doddering slowpoke. But I didn’t care; I was enjoying myself immensely. Finally, I entered an urban area, passed under the Knight Street Bridge, cycled along some streets and dismounted at the Accent Inn, which features a Bike Love program, complete with washing and tune-up area.

After a shower and brief rest, I place my weary butt back in the saddle and pedalled to the International Summer Night Market. What a vibrant place! Over 60 vendors offered a wide variety of mostly Asian food including hurricane fries, squid jerky and fish balls. I munched a waffle-on-a-stick while mingling with the happy throngs. A continuous stage show featured local young people hip-hop dancing and singing. Vendors sold crafts, mobile phone covers, jewellery and assorted odds and ends, all at cut-rate prices. As dusk crept over the market, I headed to a well-earned sleep.

Next morning, I gently rubbed my sore behind, mounted up and headed north to rejoin the river-side path. I rolled along watching sleek Canada Line trains cross a bridge, log booms in the river and beautiful purple loosestrife and other wildflowers along the shore. Ah, the lazy dog-days of summer. I briefly joined two young ladies picking the first blackberries of the season. Yumm!

The path ended and I followed streets through an industrial area to the River Rock Casino. I stepped into the main lobby, which towered elegantly over me. Feeling out of place in my scruffy biking gear, I mumbled an apology to a statue of a Chinese man and departed.

I detoured inland a few blocks to explore the Golden Village, an area that feels like the Orient for Richmond has an enormous Chinese population. I entered the Yao Feng shopping centre and the Osaka Supermarket where I was almost the only non-Chinese shopper. The store had a Dim Sum bar and the shelves were stocked with unusual Asian foods. Next I cycled along Alexandra Road with more than 200, mostly Asian, restaurants in a few blocks. Alas, it was too early for lunch.

Need to Know
International Night Market -
River Rock Casino & Hotel -

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