Friday 29 June 2012

News of the Day

This is my brother Doug, who, as you can see, is an enthusiastic cyclist.  I'd go so far as to say he's more than an enthusiast.  
He cycles about 1000 km (621.37 miles) every month!

Last weekend, Doug participated in Ryder Hesjesdal's Tour de Victoria.  

For those of you not familiar with Ryder, he's a local boy made good; the first Canadian cyclist ever to win the Giro d'Italia.  

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Anyway, back to the Tour de Victoria:  

The ride was conceived by Ryder Hesjesdal and Seamus McGrath as a means of showcasing the incredible cycling routes here on Vancouver Island.  

Cyclists riding the Tour de Victoria have an opportunity to choose from three routes: a 50 km route (31 miles), a 90  km route (55.92 miles), and a 140 km route (87 miles).  

Doug rode the 140 km route and completed his ride in 4 hours, 54 minutes, making an average speed of 28.5 kmh (17.7 mph).  

Are you impressed?  

I sure am!  

Here's a map of the route.  You can click on it to enlarge the image.

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While I'm terribly impressed with Doug's achievement, I'm no cyclist myself.  
I do love to walk though, and Victoria is a city very hospitable to pedestrians.  

I thought it might be nice to show you a few of my favourite Victoria spots.

This is the legislature, our provincial capital building.  Doug works here, as MLA (Member of the Legislative Assembly) for the constiuency of Nanaimo - North Cowichan.

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The buildings were designed by Francis Rattenbury and are quite beautiful both inside and out.  Public tours are available and it's a fun way to spend an afternoon, checking out the beautiful stone work, stained glass widows, murals, and fountains.  You'll learn a little provincial history along the way too.

Directly across the street from the legislature is the Royal BC Museum

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We lived near the museum for a time as kids, and visited it nearly every single day.  It's still a wonderful place to explore, with outstanding exhibits.  
I can easily pass an entire day there,
exploring the First Nations gallery,

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visiting the natural history gallery and saying hello to the woolly mammoth 
(We call him Fuzzy :),

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and exploring the old town, mine, cannery, and dioramas constructed within the building.

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The Empress Hotel is the third stately building on Victoria's inner harbour; across the street from the museum and kitty corner to the legislature.  

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Like the legislature, the hotel was designed by Francis Rattenbury and, even though the building was renovated and expanded in the 1980's, it remains strikingly beautiful.  

The older part of the hotel, which houses the tea lobby, the dining room, the Library Bar, and the Bengal Lounge retains its original details, including some amazingly intricate carved wood paneling and ceilings.  

Every Victoria visit takes me to Beacon Hill Park.  

Since 1882, the park has formed the heart of the city and is enjoyed by residents and visitors alike.  I love the park for its beautiful gardens, but also for the peacocks that wander the grounds near the circle drive,

the herons that nest in the trees, 

the waterfowl in the many ponds, 

and the turtles often seen sunning themselves in the afternoon.

All of these wonderful things can be seen within a kilometer's walk of each other and, if you have the time, you can enjoy a walk along the seaside too!

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You can see why I love it there.  :)

Thanks for letting me take you on a walking tour.

Now it's time to say goodnight.  
Wishing you sweet dreams and a happy tomorrow.

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