PEZ Rides Local: The Steveston Dyke
This ride along the gravel covered Steveston Dyke (aka the West Dyke Trail) from the fishing village of Steveston to the north arm of the Fraser River is flat, often windy and popular with pedestrians and strollers. But the scenic views to the north and west make it worth slowing down and fitting into any ride around Richmond, and is a perfect early season refresher when flat slow miles are on the training plan.
Click Play below to watch the video, and see more at the PEZ Youtube channel here.
Oh it’s nice to be getting out of that winter deep freeze here on the west coast (apologies to anyone who’s still stuck in it elsewhere).
But I think we’ll all agree that was one long winter. I for one didn’t touch my bike for a good 8 weeks in the middle there – just plain lost my mojo. But once January hit, and I was so sick and tired of living in lockdown, that I just threw up the middle finger to the cold and crappy wet weather around here and resolved to get my ass out there.
The bike was never a more fitting escape vehicle. I’ve logged around a dozen or so rides now, but those first few were the usual slogging grinders where my legs and body were completely devoid of power, and speed, and just turning over the pedals was an effort that lasted around 8 rides.
Then I had my first yearly milestone – that breakout ride where I actually felt some speed back in my legs – and even a touch of power. More importantly was the lifting of my spirit in response to my own body’s response to the riding. There were enough endorphines left floating around my system over the next few days that I couldn’t wait to get back out there.
Those good vibes led to slightly longer rides and pushing myself add in some climbing and just more of everything.
So on the say of this ride, with the weather looking to be it’s best of the year so far, I aimed south for one of those long slow flat days to build in some volume, and visit some neighbourhoods I hadn’t seen for many months.
The southern most destination is the historic neighborhood of Steveston – an old fishing port and still an active fresh fish market today with a vibrant old feel, and plenty of cafes and restaurants. It’s in the southwest corner of pan-flat Richmond, and a perfect draw for early season rides.
Despite Covid distancing rules still being in full effect here, I did see several large groups of riders. I was riding solo, and didn’t miss the group one bit. My favorite part of the ride is a 5-6km stretch of gravel pathway along the dyke. To the west is marshy wetland, and then the Straight of Georgia, across which you’ll find Vancouver island, and to the south Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. On the east side is residential, where people give up basements due to the high water plane, but do enjoy some amazing views in a secluded setting.
The pathway is wide enough for comfortable two-way traffic, but also popular with walkers, joggers and people. There’s usually a wind blowing in one direction, and on this day it was behind me.
If you’re ever in town – check this route out.