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Monthly Archives: June 2007

Revelstoke

I first woke up around 5 but was too lazy and slept in my warm tent until 8. I was on the road by 9:30 after breakfast and hand washing a shirt and some socks which I hung over my panniers to dry while riding.

Shortly after riding through Sicamous, a truck tire blew out from a truck that was heading in the opposite direction when it was directly across the street from me. Just yesterday I had been looking at the remains of tires on the side of the road and hoped I wouldn’t have that happen next to me.

I took a break at the “Last Spike” rest stop further on where the last spike of the CN railway was nailed in. Just as I was about to leave I met Elizabeth who was also biking to Newfoundland and was on a rest day in Salmon Arm with a friend.

In Revelstoke I stopped at the visitors center to ask about the area between there and Golden and was told that nothing in the park was open for me to camp at half way.

Before checking into a campsite I bought some more groceries and stopped at the Main Street Cafe for a Smoothie (it had been a hot day).

At Williamson Late Campground I quickly setup my tent and immediately went for a swim in the lake to cool off. It was a pretty nice campground with free hot showers and a sink to do dishes in (among other ammenities). I tried to find out if camping was allowed in Glacier during the off season but couldn’t so I booked a dorm bed in Golden for the next night (150km away over Rogers Pass) so I had to go to bed early for an early start the next morning. Just as I finished dinner there was a thunderstorm forcing me into my tent for bedtime anyways.

Distance 103.3km
Time 4:39:00
Max Speed 58.0km/h
Odometer 686km

I got off to a late start, leaving at 10. Possibly because this was my first day on my own and I wanted to make sure I had everything ready. It was fast going for the first while and I stopped for my first break at 31km next to the North Thompson River (I couldn’t find anywhere earlier).

On my way to Chase another cyclist caught up with me and we chatted for a little while before he took off at a faster pace (he didn’t have to carry any gear so was much faster). I had lunch in Chase on the patio of a Subway. If I had gone only 2 blocks further I would have found a much nicer park to stop in.

I took another break along the lake before the road started climbing away and towards Salmon Arm. I looked for campgrounds on the west side of the city but they were $28 even for a tent site. Probably because they were beach front and also included water/power even for tents. I eventually went into town and asked the visitors center where they pointed me to the Hidden Valley Campground & RV Park at the east end of the city for only $17+tax. This makes the next day’s ride shorter too. It was mostly RV’s at this campground so the tenting area was pretty quiet.

Distance 125.0km
Time 5:18
Max Speed 53km/h
Odometer 583km

Quilchena HotelAfter breakfast in the hotel we were heading north by 9:15. There were clouds of bugs floating everywhere until we got past Nicola Lake. Dozens of them would stick to my arms and clothes. At 24km we stopped at a truck pullout by Stump Lake (most of our breaks were roughly 25km apart).

A few kilometers later we stopped to put on rain gear as it started to rain (and looked like it wasn’t going to stop). Yet it stopped by the time we had it all on. We continued with our raingear on as a precaution until lunch next to another lake. At lunch it started to get sunny and we had a large climb up ahead so the raingear came off.

At the top of the climb was a very windy plateau from which we eventually descended down into Kamloops where we would be staying the night in a house being lent to us. After settling in a little we went off to get groceries and a new spedometer for my bike (I dropped mine after arriving which caused several digits in the LED display to not show anymore).

Tomorrow morning I head off on my own…

Distance 82.3km
Time 4:13:00
Max Speed 54.0km/h
Odometer 459km

Moose

Headwinds! That’s the only way to describe this day. We got on the road by 8:00 and had breakfast at the Shaw Springs In 20km along. Once we got to Spences Bridge and onto highway 8 we were hit by headwind after headwind for the next 60-70km to Merritt. We stopped a couple times for lunch, snacks, and a break from the wind.

Highway 8 is a simple, 2-lane road with no shoulder most of the way from Spences Bridge and Merritt that takes the route of the Nicola River. Asside from the winds, we also encountered some wildlife. Within 20 minutes we saw a small black bear as well as 3 moose (what is the plural of moose?) in a marsh like area next to the road.

In Merritt at 99.9km we bought some groceries and left the city on highway 5A. For the next 20km to Quilchena we had a tailwind which helped make up for the headwinds earlier. We stayed at the Quilchena Hotel which is one of the oldest still operating hotels in BC (built in 1908). Having a beer with dinner in the saloon felt well earned.

Distance 119.9km
Time 6:16:30
Max Speed 57.5km/h
Odometer 376km

In a tunnelAfter encountering another cyclist in Hope heading east (an older woman biking home to Toronto solo), we had a quick breakfast and set off around 8:30. Our first stop was in Yale for a quick snack next to a historic Museum/Church. A few kilometers down the road, I got my second flat around the Yale Tunnel by turning my rear tire over a large rock and causing another pinch flat.

We had lunch at Alexandra Bridge Provincial Park and went down to the old bridge which used to take the highway across the river. The overcast skies started to clear up to be sunny for the afternoon. Continuing on, we had turned in to Hells Gate to look over the edge.

Some time later we had a huge climb up Jackass Mountain which was about 2.8km long and gained 150m of altitude. The heat and sun made this climb even worse. Not too far past the top we were lucky enough to find the Kanaka Bar Cafe where we stopped for milkshakes before descending into Lytton.

We looked for a campsite in Lytton and passed on the one we found because of it’s odd pricing scheme (charging per bike,person,etc). We went on another 6km to Skihist which also turned out to be a nicer site than the one in town.

Distance 123.8km
Time 6:41:51
Max Speed 63.7km/h
Odometer 257km

Hope

So the trip has finally began. We started around 9 (my uncle is accompanying me again as far as Kamloops) in cloudy weather. I got off to a bad start with a flat in Maple Ridge around 25km into the trip. It was a pinch flat in the rear tire, though I don’t know what caused it. I carry 3 spare tubes so we put a new one in at the side of the rode and continued on.

We stopped at the visitors center in Mission around 51km for lunch and again later around “THE Campground” in Lake Errock to put on rain gear. Of course, as soon as we had it on it had pretty much stopped raining. And by the time we got to Agassiz it was sunny.

In Agassiz we met Jed and Jeff who are also biking to Newfoundland and happened to leave the same day only an hour and 3km ahead of us from Rocky Point Park. Marie at Cap’s Bicycle Shop had mentioned that there were two other leaving the same day as me. Little did I know that I had went to high school with one of them (Jed). Someone else from my high school did the same trip last year and had also bought his bike at Cap’s.

We left Agassiz to head on for Hope where we stayed at th eRed Roof Inn Motel which was the very first one off the highway and advertiszed having the best rates. After settling in we had dinner in town where we also saw Jed and Jeff eating across the street.

Distance 133.2km
Time 6:03:38
Max Speed 70.3km/h
Odometer 133km

Earlier this week I completed the first stage of my trip between Victoria, Nanaimo, and home. I started this portion of the trip a week early since I could end it at home to wait for my graduation before continuing eastwards. This stage, as I will be for the next, I was accompanied by my Uncle Michael.

Sunday afternoon, we were driven to the Tsawwassen ferry terminal to catch a ferry to Swartz Bay. Unfortunately, as a result of being driven, I left my odometer at home. Normally, I would never bike anywhere without it but in this case, I didn’t leave by bike and so didn’t miss it until too late. Fortunately, my uncle has one as well and I would be able to read the distances from his at the end of the day. It did feel unusual to not know my speed while traveling though.

From Swartz Bay we cycled south along the Lochside bike route into downtown Victoria where we would find the western ‘Mile 0’ marker of the Trans Canada Highway in Beacon Hill Park. The route was a very nice combination of low traffic side streets and both paved and gravel paths, much of which used to be a rail line. Most amazingly, while on this route, we are completely hidden from the city, and it from us. Eventually we came out in the middle of the city and made our way to Mile 0. At this point, we had rode 37.3km. After taking some pictures, we backtracked north and made our way to my Uncle Chris’s home in Saanich where we stayed the night. Another 15.3km for a total of 52.6km for the day.

After a quick breakfast, we left at 8:30 the next morning as my Cousin Alistair had to leave for school and lock the door behind us. We took the Brentwood Bay Ferry to Mill Bay to avoid the steep climbs of the Malahat highway and then took a variety of back roads to Cowichan Bay, where we had lunch at the Rock Cod Cafe. We continued north to Chemainus and across another ferry to Thetis Island to stay the night at my grandparent’s. 62.7km for the day.

Another early start got us on our way to Nanaimo along the Yellow Point and Cedar roads. I’ve cycled this route several times before, most recently as little as two weeks earlier. A short while into the trip we stoped for a roadside visit with my Uncle David and the rest of his family when we encountered them driving in the opposite direction. From Nanaimo we caught the ferry to Departure Bay and cycled home so that we could continue the next stage from here later with no gaps in the route. This was a longer day of 91.5km. Though with the 2 hour break on the ferry, the extra distance did not seem noticeable.

Distance 206.8km