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A Day at the Beach
  Kurt Ellingson 12:00 AM
Summer is finally here - YES, it's even here in Vancouver! The sun is out, dogs are running in the parks, it seems everyone is happy, and life seems swell all around.

* Cue dreamy music *

Aaah, it would just be so wonderful to spend a whole day lying on the beach doing nothing at all......

**** !!!!!!! ****

With only one month until I leave for my trip, there is no time to procrastinate – let alone spend a whole day at the beach! It is time to get serious about training! In the past few weeks, I have been working on increasing the number of kilometers I ride each day. I am also making sure to practice riding both in the warm sun and while carrying extra weight on my bike in order to prepare for those factors that are sure to affect my performance when I am on tour.

But wait... the beach is pretty warm, and I'm pretty sure the stairs leading down to Wreck Beachwould be of some benefit to my calves and thighs, no? I think so!

Yesterday, finding more than a few hours between yoga classes, I decided to take advantage of this extra time and squeeze a few extra kilometers into my day. Starting at Kerrisdale Community Center, I rode all the way up Marine Drive and down to Wreck Beach on the UBC Campus. It was such a gorgeous route, and very little traffic made for peaceful riding. Since I hadn't had lunch yet, the wild raspberries and salmon berries along side of the road made for an extra-delicious boost of energy!

11 km later, I arrived at (the top of) the beach, and worked my way down the steeply 473 stairs to the ocean. This was my first visit to Wreck since last summer, and after throwing off my shoes and sinking my feet into that warm sand, I knew it had been too long! I was hot as a habenero and so immediately made my way down to the water. As soon as I my feet touched the tide, my whole body was re-energized. I couldn't resist; I threw off all of my clothes and went straight into the water!

Weeeeeeeeeeee!

Best...training day... ever.

After I had my moment, I wrapped myself up in my only dry piece of clothing, and laid in the sun, waiting for it to dry me. With just enough time to ride to yoga and have a bite to eat before hand, it was time to head back up to my bike.

Oh yeah... those stairs!

Alllllllll the way back up those infamous Wreck Beach stairs I went, needless to say much slower and less enthusiastically than when I was coming down. A chocolate acai berry brownie ElevateMe! Bar gave me just enough energy to ride the 10 km back to Kitsilano. After having some dinner at Whole Foods Market- make that a LOT of dinner - I taught my two evening yoga classes at Yogacara Studio. The 12 km, generally uphill trek home was the last bit of biking I was able to squeeze in before the end of the day. Needless to say, I had a great sleep!

Today, my calves "thank me”, and I feel just a little bit stronger and more prepared for my trip.

Now, if only every training day could include a dip in the ocean!

* Interested in learning more about my ride this summer? Check out my new webpage athttp://themooncycle.webs.com, or join "The Moon Cycle" page on facebook. Happy riding to you!

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