Fall in the Fall

It’s hard to believe we’re almost through September already. This month is really flying by, and the next few months don’t appear to be slowing down! The leaves are definitely turning colour, and the conkers are starting to fall – I came home the other day with a pocket full of them. They remind me of my mother-in-law – she was a master at picking the biggest, shiniest conkers while out on her walks. Hopefully she will be proud of my selection 🙂

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Collecting conkers

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Collecting conkers

The last few weekends have been a mixed bag of weather and health. On the ones with good weather, I struggled with a nasty bug, which put a damper on some of the climbing (for me). On the wet ones, I was healthy but Jonty was not. What can you do!

One Sunday a few weeks ago was supposed to be a good one, and we had a vacation day the next day to climb, so we used Sunday as a “rest day”. We were up early and cycled down to the Cambie Street Bridge in an attempt to catch the sunrise. The clouds were almost in the way, but we still got a few pretty great moments!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Olympic Village sunrise from the Cambie Street Bridge, Vancouver BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Olympic Village sunrise from the Cambie Street Bridge, Vancouver BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Olympic Village sunrise from the Cambie Street Bridge, Vancouver BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Olympic Village sunrise from the Cambie Street Bridge, Vancouver BC

There was a stiff wind that morning and we were already looking forward to our coffee at Whole Foods, but we persevered to get “the sunrise shots”!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Olympic Village sunrise from the Cambie Street Bridge, Vancouver BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Olympic Village sunrise from the Cambie Street Bridge, Vancouver BC

The next day was a vacation day and we headed up to Squamish to jump on our climbing projects. The weather was supposed to take a turn for the worst later in the week, so we were pretty excited to make the most of our day off. On our third warm-up climb, Jonty was leading a route, and did a slight drop-knee to make a quick power-move up to a hold. Next thing I knew, he had fallen 10 feet down and was clutching his knee, yelling to be lowered immediately.

Not good!

Once he was down and we were trying to figure out what happened (and how bad it was), he said he heard a tearing / fluttering sound in his knee and then his knee just collapsed (like the key was turned off on the engine – no power!).

Definitely not good!

With the aid of two makeshift crutches, he made the sloooooow trek back down to the car (the standard 20-minute hike took close to 1.5 hours), and headed into the Squamish ER.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Jonty's crutches

The ER doctor there was very good and got Jonty an appointment with a highly-regarded orthopaedic surgeon in North Vancouver, so hopefully we will find out his true diagnosis today at his appointment! (We’ve been consulting Dr. Google over the past week, making our own assessments.) He’s hoping for the best, but preparing for a few months worth of recovery. Unfortunately, that marked the end of his performance session this year 🙁

The good thing (for me!) is that being on crutches has not prevented him from making pie on the weekend – he just needs to sit down to do it!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Jonty's crutches

So, without a belay partner, I’ve been getting back to the climbing gym to boulder, and Jonty has been working on his pull-ups (currently over 50-a-day!), since he’s out of ideas of what he can do safely right now. I think we’re both looking forward to hearing what the surgeon says today so Jonty can get back on the road to recovery as quickly as possible!!

Pedal Puddle Pictures

Well, we had a good run. The rain finally returned this past weekend, and it returned with a vengeance! Many areas in BC have been on Level 3 / Level 4 water restrictions for most of the summer, Vancouver included. When the forecast said “heavy rainfall and high wind warnings”, deep down we didn’t really want to believe it. But, yes, it came true!

Winds infiltrated lower BC, gusting up to 80 km/hr. Leaves and branches scattered the roads, massive trees came down, power outages were abundant (keeping BC Hydro very busy), with some still without power!

The talk of our street? This guy. A huge branch broke off one of the trees and everybody had to come and take a look (and take pictures!). It fell neatly between two parked cars, missing both unbelievably!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Wind-damaged trees, Vancouver BC

The weekend was far too wet to climb outside, so we spent our Saturday morning baking bread, making pie, and spending a few hours at the very-busy climbing gym, doing some Limit Boulder Circuits.

The forecast for Sunday was not supposed to be much better, but the rain did break for a few hours in the early afternoon and we were able to get out for a nice 30 km cycle.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Old church, Vancouver BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Old church, Vancouver BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Cloudy skies, Vancouver BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | R&B Brewing, Vancouver BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Cloudy skies, Vancouver BC

We finished the weekend off with a bit of binge-watching, beet dip and brewskies. All in all, it ended up being a busy, active weekend, despite the weather!

Fingers crossed the weather brightens up for the coming long weekend, as we’ve got climbing projects to start!

Weekend Meanderings Vancouver | ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com

Pedal Pictures: Seeking Sunrises

If you would have told my mid-20’s self that, by the time I hit my mid-30’s, I would be a full-fledged early riser, I would have laughed in your face. But here I am, in my mid-30’s, and I’m (dare I say it?!) an early riser!! When the alarm goes off, between 5:30 and 6:00am (for 6 days of the week), I may not always want to get up, but I never regret it, once I’m up.

There are a few great reasons to start getting up early:

  1. It’s quiet! Especially on the weekend, the world doesn’t stir much before 8am; the roads are quiet (which is great, for those early-morning cycles), you get your choice of waterfront view, and a big bonus is there are no crowds!
  2. You can get stuff done! Our lives seem to becoming increasingly busy, but it’s amazing how productive you can be in those hours before 9:00am, especially on the weekend!
  3. You get to watch fantastic sunrises! Enough said.

The days are getting shorter and the sun is rising later, so we are taking advantage of these still-light mornings before the seasons change. During the summer, we try to eat breakfast down by the water, once a week. It’s a nice way to start the day! This past week, we walked down to Kits Beach and had our choice of bench, overlooking the water.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Breakfast at Kits Beach, Vancouver BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Breakfast at Kits Beach, Vancouver BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Breakfast at Kits Beach, Vancouver BC

From there, we walked down past Granville Island, along the seawall, before heading up towards our respective workplaces.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sunrise over Granville Island, Vancouver BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sunrise over Granville Island, Vancouver BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sunrise over Granville Island, Vancouver BC

Yesterday morning, we hopped on the bikes in an attempt to catch the sunrise. A great place to do this is on the Cambie Street Bridge.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sunrise over Olympic Village, Vancouver BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sunrise over Olympic Village, Vancouver BC

We trundled down to the Olympic Village seawall and, again, we had our choice of bench!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sunrise over Olympic Village, Vancouver BC

We had almost an hour to enjoying our breakfast and morning coffee as the sun rose, before the rest of Olympic Village began to stir.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sunrise over Olympic Village, Vancouver BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sunrise over Olympic Village, Vancouver BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sunrise over Olympic Village, Vancouver BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Seabus in False Creek, Vancouver BC

We never tire of mornings like this 🙂

Chocolate Cherry Cake… and Another Year Older!

It was my birthday this past week. Jonty and I both took the day off work, as it fell mid-week, and we both believe that nobody should have to work on their birthday! It was a beautiful day, and it was filled with many of my favourite things: we started with an early-morning climbing session at Porteau Cove, and were back in town by 1pm, just in time to trundle down on our bikes for a little mid-afternoon food-truck snack and a celebratory beverage (or two!). The evening was filled with birthday cake, tasty snacks, and Sprinter planning. All in all, a most enjoyable day!

Jonty made my birthday cake the night before, so I was able to snap a few pictures before we demolished it over the following days – a chocolate sponge cake, layered with toasted almonds and a cherry reduction, and topped with whipped cream, chocolate shavings and more toasted almonds. It was fantastic!!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Chocolate cherry cake with toasted almondsClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Chocolate cherry cake with toasted almonds

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Chocolate cherry cake with toasted almonds

I felt very loved on my birthday, and look forward to all the exciting adventures of the coming year, who knows where we’ll be in a years time!!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Chocolate cherry cake with toasted almonds

Layered Chocolate Cherry Cake
 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 1 - 8" layered cake
  • Serving size: ⅛th cake
  • Calories: 476
  • Fat: 29.4 g
  • Saturated fat: 16.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 48.3 g
  • Sugar: 27 4 g
  • Sodium: 90 mg
  • Fiber: 1.8 g
  • Protein: 7.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 164.1 mg
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
The recipe Jonty uses is for a basic sponge cake, using the ratio of 1:1:1:1 for eggs, sugar, flour and butter. So if you have a scale, this recipe becomes very easy to make.
Ingredients
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 200 g caster (extra-fine granulated) sugar
  • 200 g all-purpose flour, minus 2 tbsp
  • 200 g butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp (scant) baking powder
  • 125 mL whipping cream
  • 10 - 15 cherries, pitted and chopped
  • ¼ cup almonds, coarsely chopped and toasted
  • Good-quality dark chocolate (we used Lindt 70% Madagascar Dark Chocolate)
Instructions
  1. Directions:
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F and line two 8-inch circular baking tins with parchment paper (this recipe also works with one 9-inch square pan).
  3. Place the eggs and sugar in a stand mixer and let them come to room temperature so the sugar desolves. Whisk on high for 6 minutes (less time than this may not give enough leavening to the cake).
  4. Sift together the flour, cocoa and baking powder.
  5. In two rounds, gently fold the flour mixture into to the egg mixture.
  6. In two rounds, add the melted (and cooled) butter and fold gently in.
  7. Divide the batter evenly into the two prepared cake tins and bake at 350°F for 25 to 30 minutes (for one 9-inch square pan, bake for 35 minutes).
  8. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then remove the cake from the pan and cool completely.
  9. While the cake is baking, pit and chop the cherries, place into a small pan with a drop of water and simmer on low until they have reduced and thickened (10-15 minutes). Remove from the heat and set aside.
  10. Chop and toast the almonds (toaster oven works well here!) and whip the cream (additional sugar is not needed here - the cherries and sponge cake are sweet enough!).
  11. To assemble the cake, sandwich the cherries and half the almonds between the two cake layers and spread the whipped cream over the entire cake (top and sides). Use a microplane to shave chocolate onto the top of the cake, and sprinkle with the remaining almonds.
  12. While this cake tastes best the day you make it, it does hold up (covered) in the fridge for up to three days.

Enjoy!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Chocolate cherry cake with toasted almonds

Weekend Meanderings: Porteau Cove and West Vancouver

It’s been very dry in BC this summer. Currently, there are over 100 wildfires burning across the province and many people have (and still are) evacuated from their homes. Vancouver finally moved to a Level-3 water ban mid-week because the water reservoir is so low – so we need rain, definitely!

It started to drizzle yesterday, and the forecast was for rain all weekend. This is good, for so many reasons!

But… Vancouver-ites like to complain… about most things. So the complaint? It’s great that it’s raining, but on the weekend?? Really!??! We’re supposed to go climbing!!

Yes, we’ve got horrible first-world, weekend-warrior problems.

But today we start the next training period – the Power Phase. I will write about our plans in the next few days. So we’ll be at the gym today, training for power on the campus board. It was our intention anyways (to climb inside today), so probably best the weather is making it easier for us to handle 🙂

Last weekend was a hot, hot weekend. We planned for our usual 5 am wake-up time in order to climb in cooler conditions and we went to an often-quiet crag at Porteau Cove.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Rock climbing at Porteau Cove, Vancouver BC

Yes, park in the pull-out that says “No Stopping”.

We first came here a few years ago on an exploratory hike, and we climbed only a couple of the easier routes. We’ve been back a few times this year, as we really like the super-long (~30 m) routes and they’ve cleaned up a bit since our first visit. As a bonus there are great views over Howe Sound!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Rock climbing at Porteau Cove, Vancouver BC

It’s a relatively short hike in from the road, maybe 10 minutes, but the path is not as worn as other crags, so make sure you keep an eye out for the pink marker tape!

As expected, we were the only people there for the day, so we had our choice of routes! The routes are long, well-bolted, and have some really fun moves! We will probably use this crag for some power-endurance training in a few weeks time.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Rock climbing at Porteau Cove, Vancouver BC

On Sunday’s, we try to get in a long-ish cycle ride in the morning, with the mid-way destination being somewhere to stop for coffee and a treat. On the really nice days, we like to cycle over to West Vancouver, usually to the Whole Foods Market. The early morning start means the bridge isn’t busy yet, and we love the views over the water.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Cycling over Lions Gate Bridge, Vancouver BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Cycling over Lions Gate Bridge, Vancouver BC

It was really warm and muggy last Sunday, even by 7 am, but so calm and peaceful – early mornings really are the best part of the day for us!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Cycling over Lions Gate Bridge, Vancouver BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Cycling over Lions Gate Bridge, Vancouver BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Cycling over Lions Gate Bridge, Vancouver BC

Ah, the half-way point!

Happy weekend!!