Do you ever stop in your tracks because the world is just so pretty? I was having one of those days yesterday. After a few days of rain, Vancouver went back to showing off the mountains under a perfect blue sky. I was planning to cycle straight home BUT as the scenery was looking so gorgeous, I took a detour along some of Vancouver’s ridgeways. These are well sign-posted bike lanes that follow the contours of the city. The way I chose involved quite a lot of uphill pedalling, but I was rewarded with views of the city and of streets lit-up by the sun streaming through the Autumn leaves.
If you’d like to copy me and peddle through the prettiness, you can download a copy of Vancouver’s bike lanes here.
This is the tree that changed my evening. I had to stop my bike for a photo! I just love the way the autumn colours turn from green to yellow to orange to red. This tree was halfway down a hill, so I actually had to peddle back to see it. The sun was just the right height to light up each leaf and make it almost look like it is on fire. Once I’d seen this tree, I started planning a new route home in my head to see as much of the Autumn colours as I could.
These were all on W 18th Avenue, just East of Pacific Spirit Park.
Just around the corner, the houses were already in the shade of the evening, but the autumn colours still shone through the leaves up high in the street’s trees.
I then had a chance to zoom down a hill, and start re-climbing along the ridgeway bike lane up Quesnel Drive. I’d get occasional glimpses of the amaaazing views through people’s back gardens; But most of the best views are hidden by lucky people’s houses.
I love the way the side of this street with the most sun has changed colour faster than the shady side.
This view was near Trafalgar Street, at around 30th Avenue. If you want to find this viewpoint, it is close to where Trafalgar Street meets Elm Street. There is a footpath that goes between two houses. So suddenly there is a decent view for everyone, not just homeowners!
From there, I kept cycling slowly further up hills, looking down more streets lined with fire-coloured trees. It seems like quite a few streets have chosen to all plant the same tree species. This means it is really lovely for cyclists and walkers to explore as different streets all seem to bloom together. Yes I know autumnal leaves are dying rather than blooming, but the level of picturesqueness is similar so it feels like the trees are in bloom.
It’s funny, but after you have seen any pretty scenery you become slightly desensitized to it. Once I had been cycling for around an hour, I found myself stopping slightly less often for photos. I suppose my eyes had started to take the crazy autumn colours for granted. Even then, I couldn’t resist stopping for this tree on West 37th Avenue!
Next, I found myself on the midtown ridgeway. This follows a ridge along 37th Avenue for quite a long way. It also goes past both VanDusen Botanical Garden and Queen Elizabeth park, so I have a feeling this easy part of the route is a more obvious bike route for tourists.
This street was near VanDusen Botanical Garden. I love the way these trees jump straight from green to red. There were a few green trees with just red tips, and others like these two that were halfway through their transformation.
I also want to share this photo because the shadow of one of the leafs looks like a cat. Can you see it?
The sun was starting to fade just as I reached Queen Elizabeth Park. I took a bush shadow selfie:
And, as I was already near the top of the hill, I had one last detour into Queen Elizabeth Park. I shared this lovely view with a few busloads of tourists.
This is one of my favorite views in Vancouver (I already mentioned it here). So it was really nice to see the same view, but with the bright red leaves on display.
Two weeks ago, Marc and I walked up here at dusk (just to get out of the flat one evening.) So, I have seen the change in seasons here is incredibly quick! Vancouver only needs a couple of weeks to go from summery weather and green trees, to cold breezes and full-on autumnal views!
On my last walk here, I almost stumbled into an owl. She had been perching on a road sign halfway down the road at dusk. I had never been so close to an owl before and she was truly beautiful! I was really hoping to see her again, so even though the hill from Queen Elizabeth park is really steep, I rolled down slowly on owl watch. *Sigh.* I didn’t spot her. BUT I did find a bush that is celebrating 150 years of Canada!
So, that was my commute home along Vancouver’s pretty ridgeway bike lanes yesterday. I hope it makes you want to pop outside and enjoy a bit of autumnal sunshine too!