Four cities, four rides

My life was eventful last month, what with the long vacation and its aftermath (all happy). One of the highlights was the cycling trips in different cities. So after I completed a ride yesterday at one of my favorite events – car free in Jakarta, I thought it would be fun to post all the routes, and relive those rides. Here they are, in reverse order:

Sunday, July 1: Car free Sunday in Jakarta. We usually park the car at Plaza Senayan, which is a km away from Jl. Sudirman with all the action. After the ride it’s mandatory to have a leisurely breakfast at Starbucks to put back all those burned calories, and then some more. My friend, Prachi, did her first ride yesterday,  and is presently lamenting the lack of appropriate cushioning!

Wednesday, June 20: All around Lake Monona, Madison WI. The subject of my last post, with no pictures yet (am still sorting them out!). Unforgettable ride all by myself, trying to decipher the route with the billowing map, and getting rewarded with some views of scenic neighborhoods of Madison. Rukmini took me out to a Lebanese lunch after that. I think we skipped the baklava, but compensated with salted caramel cupcakes from Cupcakes-a-gogo later.

Thursday, June 14: Central Park, NY (where else?). Souvik & I started this route with a bit of trouble with my bike – flat tires and grumpy me – but we cheered up at the sight of bare-chested runners (aspirational for Souvik, eye candy for me). We could’ve done a couple of rounds more, but it was lunchtime. We missed lunch, but had mini cupcakes “Baked by Melissa“. Oh, you think there’s a theme to this post that has nothing to do with cycling? 🙂

Wednesday, June 6: Twice around Stanley Park, Vancouver. Sigh! That’s all I want to say here. If you want to know more, I did a whole separate post on this one here. What did we eat? Ummm, cupcakes and ice-cream at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory ;-).

Day 5: back to Stanley Park

Today we said goodbye to the family Nichols and Aunty Dagmar and moved to Niti & Harish’s home. After a very early lunch, we all set out to cycle around Stanley Park. Yes! Didn’t have to work too hard to get that wish checked off.
Predictably, the route was beautiful, with the added bonus of the sun shining and spreading cheer. The sea wall was as majestic as all the websites boasted. I didn’t get my fill in one round, so I took off on another, while the rest of them played in the park. I can never get bored of the pictures of the park, so here are a few more:

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With all this exercise, we felt the need for some nourishment, and what could be better than the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory?

A few short and pleasant walks around downtown first, and then Commercial Drive, and we were ready for more food! I wanted to see the Christ Church cathedral up close (after admiring it from the bus yesterday), but by the time we got there it was shut. Very quaint church!

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I haven’t gone around Vancouver city, photographing buildings as I normally do, but I did get a few shots here and there. The nicest view is towards the north on any street, so see the big mountains in the distance!

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We haven’t left Vancouver yet, but I’m missing it already!

Day 4: More Vancouver (or, now I know what the fuss is all about)

Today was the day we actually saw Vancouver city. Piali had booked us all on a bus tour, plus it was little Jaian’s birthday, so we had a family day out.
Wet and rainy didn’t dampen our spirits, especially once we got off the bus to explore Stanley Park. There’s green, and there’s green and there’s all kinds of green! Feast your eyes:

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Just some random shots to show that we weren’t the only ones to appreciate the refreshing weather:

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Some blues followed the greens – as we took up the boys’ call and waddled off to see some African penguins at the aquarium, plus some exciting fish from around the Canadian arctic.

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After dinner with Aunty Dagmar, Souvik & I took in an exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery on Matisse and modern masters, and got home later to an absolutely sinful birthday cake:

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If there’s just one more thing I wish to do in Vancouver at this point, it’s cycling in Stanley Park. Don’t know if there will be time for that, but I’ve already seen that if I pray hard enough, my wishes do come true!