Dunville to St. John's Nfld.
Depart: 7:30 am
Arrive: 2:14 pm
Daily distance: 126. 31 km
Odo: 6853.4 km (Total trip distance)
Max. 56.7 km/hr
Avg. Speed: 21.5 km/hr
Weather: Light fog/ 22 deg
Road: Easy grades
Shoulder: good condition narrow in some sewctions (B-)
I got up early to catch the weather network, it looked like clear sailing as the Hurricane isn't due until tonight. Frank and. Barb had breakfast going and I packed the bike. I hade a great homemade breakfast, prune yogurt, bacon, eggs, and home made jams on homemade toasted bread. I filled my water bottle and was given 3 muffins for the road, I like this B&B set up.
The ride today went smooth with the tailwind and I msnaged to beat Bill to SJ.
I found the Terry Fox monument where Barb had suggested I dip my front wheel but the waterfront access had been fenced off since 911. I spoke with a security guard who took my picture at the monument and led me to a low dock at Harbourside Park. At 2:14 Newfie time, with my front tire dipped into SJ harbour, and having beat Bill I officially completed my trip.
After getting settled in a B&B in the downtown I went for a walk and ran into the two couples I had met on the ferry, they were on a patio at one of the many pubs, I joined them and they bought me a couple of beers, it was a nice way to wrap up the trip.
I want to extend a very big thank you to everyone that helped me along the way by sending Emails, feeding me, giving me places to stay, providing directions and advise, servicing the bike, I did not do this trip alone. I would also like to give my biggest thanks to Lorraine who encouraged me to do this trip, supported me and provided many hours looking up information, booking rooms, ferrys, planes, looking after the house and kept my prize lawn green and manicured, even through BC's heat wave.
Im taking a day or two to look around SJ and to rearrange my airline ticKet, when I get home I will be doing a final update to the blog.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Dunville to St. John's Nfld.
North Sydney NS to Dunville NFLD.
(Ferry to Argentia)
Depart: 1:30 am
Daily Distace: (bike) 10.84km
Max. 39.5 km/hr
Avg speed: 16.9 km/hr
Today was the big ferry ride to NFLD, 14 hrs and I was glad to have gotten on, I swtched the date from the 24th, that sailing has now been cancelled due to Hurricane Bill.
The ferry ride although long was a welcome break, the chairs reclined, it was quiet and I slept not bad. I met 2 couples from Vancouver that have been doing bike vacations together for a while, it seems like a good idea, they travelled light and B&B'd and Hoteled it, good plan.
When I got off the ferry I headed to the B and B Lorraine had arranged for me. When I arrived at the B&B, the host Frank and Barb had a rib dinner ready for me as they knew there was nowhere else to eat in town. I had a good visit with Frank, Barb and Franks brother Brian and headed off to bed so I could race Bill in the morning. This was my first B&B and it was great.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Port Hastings NS to North Sydney NS (ferry terminal to NFLD)
Depart: 7:30 am
Arrive: 4:30 pm
Daily Distance: 144.99 km
Odo: 6716.2 km
Max: 49.7 km/hr
Avg. 18.1 km/hr
Weather: Sunny , 26 deg
Wind: E 10-20 km/hr
Roads: Ups and downs all day. 1 climb, Kellys Mountain, 7 km
Shoulders: Good (B)
Big day today, I had the last ride of this trip on the mainland, tonight I catch the ferry and head to NFLD.
I'm in a bit of a hurry to beat Hurricane Bill to St. John's so I am leaving the mainland tonight. The ferry ride is approx. 14 hrs and is due to arrive in Argentia Nfld on Saturday the 22nd at 3:30. I still need to do 130km before arriving in St. John's. I will stay in a B and B that Lorraine had arranged for located just N of Argentia before heading out Sunday, hopefully . Currently the winds on Sunday morning are forcast to be 30km/hr picking up to 60 km/hr in the early evening, if I get an early start, I should be able to make great time getting to SJ, but risk being stuck in the middle of nowhere should the winds become unmanagable, I'll play it by ear.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Pictou NS to Port Hastings Cape Breton NS
Arrive: 5:00 .
Daily Distance: 130.19 km
Odo: 6571 km/hr
Max: 48.8 km/hr
Avg. Speed 18.9 km/hr
Weather: Sunny/ 28 deg
Wind W 10
Shoulder: (C+) narrow in several sections but in good shape.
My buddy Dale met me at 7:30 this morning, bought breakfast and rode with me for the first 15 km. He drove up from Halifax and it was good to spend time catching up and swapping notes.
The route was hilly today but it was somewhat cooler so I only had to bring out the Sham Wow once.
I'm down to my last leg on the mainland tomorrow, 140 km to the North Sydney. Ferry to NFLD which leaves at 11:00pm Friday night. Once in NFLD I may break up the last 130 km into 2 days depending on when the ferry arrives in Argentia NFLD.
I'll be up and on the road early so I get the boat tomorrow, I was scheduled to sail on the 24th but I want to be on the rock before Hurricane Bill causes Ferry disruptions.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Murrays Beach NB to Pictou NS (Via PEI)
Depart: 7:00 am
Arrive: 8:30 pm
Daily Distance:145.36 km
Odo: 6441.0 km
Max: 41.7 km/hr
Avg. Speed: 18.6 km/hr
Weather: Sunny/Hot/ Muggy/overcast in the afternoon
Wind: SW 15
Roads: gentle grades/ some small hills
PEI wide shoulders but in poor condition (C-)
Stepped out of the tent this morning and was greeted by a skunk, I think he was scared away by my odour. Actually, the campsite last night had laundry facilities so all my domestic chores are up to date. I have enough clean clothes to last me until I throw them all out at the end of the trip.
1 day, and I've set foot in three provinces, never done that before. My time in the Maritimes is far too short, I loved NB and plan on returning to see PEI, it looked like a beautiful spot to spend some time in, I feel I could fit in here (except in the winter)
The Northumberland straight was covered in a haze this morning so I never got a picture of the Confederation Bridge and was somewhat disappointed.
Dale, the fellow I met in Aggasiz is from these parts and knows everyone, when I got up this morning there was a note on my bike from the park staff saying goodmorning ( they must have been by later than 8:30 last night) and when I went to get the shuttle to cross the bridge the lady knew my name. I spoke with Dale on the phone grom the shuttle booth and we may hook up tomorrow for a short ride.
Bridge Shuttle and return ferry is $20.00, great deal..
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Moncton NB to Murray Beach NB
Depart: (from bike shop) 11:00 am
Arrive: 4:00 pm
Daily distance: 92.97 km
Odo: 6295.7 km/hr
Max: speed: 44.5 km/hr
Avg. Speed: 21.1 km/hr.
Got to the bike shop before it opened and greeted the owner who had still not opened the lid on his Tim Hortons coffee. I explained that I wanted to move the rear tire back to the front from whence it came and to put on a new rear tire including new tubes. I was going to put 2 tires on but the one is good enough to finish the trip with. Also it was the actual tire that was dIpped in the Pacific prior to leaving and I don't know how the ruling comittee would feel if I don't dip the same tire, I also save $30.00. I also asked the guy to adjust the front derailer as I have been having trouble shifting and its easier, like any task, to repair in a clean shop rather than a sandy shoulder., He said he would look after it and that" I could pick it up sometime today." I said "how about in 2 hours" he agreed as long as he didn't get" swamped with customers"
When I returned 2 hours later my bike was sitting out in the showroom with a flat front tire, "its all ready" he says so I asked him if air was extra, he installed another tube and I paid him and left. About 10km down the road I went to shift, and nothing, the derailier cable hadn't been tightened, so I did it myself on the sandy shoulder. Todays lesson, Don't bug a guy that hasn't yet had his coffee.
Strong wind, fast riding. Was going great when I came over a hill and there it was, it took me by suprise. All along. I've been focused on reaching St. John's especially as I near the end and am planning my trip down to the hour. But when I crested the hill and realized I was staring at the Atlantic Ocean I stopped in my tracks. I wasn't prepared for it today and suddenly realized I was looking at it for the first time and I had come from coast to coast on a bicycle. It was quite a feeling for me and I grabbed a provincial campsite just down the road, I have a great spot and I ended the day early enough to go dip my feet. The bike wheel has to wait for the completion of the trip otherwise, what would be the point of continuing, I think this has been what I wanted to see all along, just didn't realize it.
Fredricton NB to Moncton NB
Depart: 6:30 am
Arrive: 7:00 pm
Daily distance: 182.65 km
Odo: 6202.7 km
Max: 49.5 km/hr
Avg speed: 20.5 km/hr
Weather: Sunny/ Hot/ muggy
Wind: W 10
Road: hwy 2: some hills
Road Condition (A+)
Left early to beat the heat and make a run for Moncton on a good tailwind, there's no great places to stop in between the two cities. I took hwy 2 as it was the shorter route and the road is excellent. As long as I was moving at a good pace the heat was managable but on slow hill climbs the inside lens of my glasses were dripping like it was a rain day.
I'm looking forward to heading to PEI, its somewhere I've wanted to see, the Canada Games are on right now so I'm just going for the day, no accomodation anywhere on the island.
The last of my big milage days are done, the next biggest one is in NFLD and its only 130km, a distance I don't mind, some of the next few days may even be below 100km
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Woodstock NB to Fredricton NB
Depart: 8:00 am
Daily Distance: 122.43km
Odo: 6020.0 km
Max.: 46.3 km/hr
Avg. Speed. 17.7 km/hr
Weather: Sunny/Hot 31 deg 38 humidex
Roads: Lots of hills on Hwy 2, 105, 102.
Got onto Hwy 2, the new TC highway to try it out. After putting in about 10km I was heading down a hill full speed and the tail end of the bike started swaying, another flat, two in 2 days, this time a shard of glass. Burt whom I met last night and his wife were passing by, saw me and stopped, I was ok so they headed on, NB is good for people wanting to help, even if they are from Ontario.
It started getting hot so I thought I'd get back to 105 which I felt would be better shaded, which it was, but it was full of short steep hills which, combined with the heat was very draining.
I was about to take the bypass route around a little town called Nackawick when an old guy who was stopped in his car called me over. "If you go that way you won't see the worlds largest axe, you can get back onto the highway at the other end of town" how could I resist, it was very impressive, quite sharp.
I got to the next town after several rest stops and bought a couple of popsicles. Before I left the store I thought I'd top up the rear tire with air. as I was removing the pump, I tore the valve stem right out of the tube, another flat to fix. I ended up speaking to several people, one nice lady even gave me a map of Fredricton which came in useful and provided me a better route than I had planned, figure it saved me half a hour in the heat.
5:30 start tomorrow heading towards Moncton.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Grant Falls NB to Woodstock NB
Depart: 7:30 am
Arrive: 5:00 pm
Daily Distance: 130.69 km
Odo: 5897.6 km
Max. 46.2 km/hr
Avg. Speed: 16.9 km/hr
Weather: Sunny/Hot Wind: S 10
Roads Hwy 130 Sud, hilly
Road Cond. (A)
The ride today was on an old secrion of the TC highway, virtually abandoned and in excellent condition. After riding on generally flat conditions for the past week I really was enjoying the hills, they break up the monotiny. The wind was quite fickle today and would change direction in an instant which came in handy at times.
I'm enjoying the people here, Burt whom I met at the campsite lent me his laptop for some google mapping. When I asked for directions at the gas station I had two people offer to drive me where I needed to go and one offered me to follow them.
I got to get a few things at Sobeys tonight which was very nice, when I got back I called home, got back on my bike only discover a rear flat, second one of the trip. When I went to change the tube I discoverred my new tire that I bought in Saskatoon is paper thin and worn right down to the threads. The rest of the evening was spent swapping the half worn front tire to the back and the worn tire. (Just over 4100km) to the front, by the light of my helmet light. Looks like 2 new tires when I get to Moncton.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Cabano QC to Grand Falls NB
Depart: 8:00 am
Arrive: 6:00pm (Atlantic time)
Daily distance: 135.07 km
Odo: 5766.9 km
Max. 43.2 km/hr
Avg speed: 19.0 km/hr
Weather: Sunny/ HOT
Roads: flat/ some rolling hills
Road condition (B+)
I thought it would be quiet with not a person around me for miles, forgot about the racoons, they never shut up all night.
When I arrived in NB I was surprised to find that nothing has changed from. Quebec, I guess I have to get closer to the big cities,
I'm taking Hwy 144 which is a bike route and its great, most traffic stays on Hwy2, and its much flatter, nice route.
Looking forward to seeing the Maritimes and starting the last leg.
L-Islet QC to Cabano QC
Depart: 6 :30 am
Daily Distance: 173.35 km
Odo: 5631.8 km
Max. 52.4 km/hr
Avg.: 18.6 km/hr
Weather: Sunny 24 Wind S 10
Road: Flat until Riviere du loup, steady 4% grade firs 50 km of trail to Cabano
Road and trail condition (A)
Had a quick ride to R du Loup, I had done 110 km and had lunch by 1:00. I wanted to get to Cabano and because I had made good time to RDL so I opted to take the bike path. The path is part of the Route Verte and Trans Canada trail systems and although they are longer and slower, they're generally more shaded and quieter. Being there's no traffic it dawned on me that I could listen to my IPod instead of the voices in my head that were beggining to speak French, I was hoping the music would re-set everything.
The trail also provided " rustic" campsites which I am staying in tonight and are better than most campsites I've stayed in, however I do miss the sound of the generators in motor homes running all night.
Lorraine has booked my Ferry to NFLd for the 24th and my flight home on the 29th, I wanted earlier but she insisted I stay a little longer.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
St. Augustin- de Demaures QC to L' Islet QC
Depart: 8:00 am
Arrive: 5:30 pm
Daily Distance: 104, 41 km
Odo: 5458.5 km
Max: 38.2 km/hr
Avg. Speed: 17.2 km/ hour
Weather: Sunny 24 Deg. Wind E 10
Roads: small rolling hills
I knew as soon as I said I won't stop until I do 130 km it would come back to bite me. Today was a "going through a city day" which is always slower and Quebec city is a fair size. (On a bike) Lorraine insisted I stop and look around so I headed to the old part spent an hour and a half and took it all in, I don't think I missed a thing. I was mildly ticked though when I got on the ferry to get to Levis (which isn't pronounced like the blue jeans) I realized I could see the whole old town from the passanger deck and didn't even have to ride through it.
The roads are becoming less flat and the wind contiued to be a pain, with friendly Southerlies in the forcast for tomorrow and the next campsite 30 km away, I called it a day.
I have to say that I am really enjoying QC even though the Quebecois are a little more reserved than the Prarie folk.
QC. has been a great part of my trip. The roadways are a cyclist paradise, the shoulders are wide and well looked after. The towns are close together so anybody that can ride 30 km in a day could easily have the experience. Another big plus is how clean the highways and ditches are. And the biggest plus is that campsites, motels and good food are all plentiful.
Yamachiche QC to St. Augustine de Desmaures QC
Depart: 7: 30 am
Arrive: 6:30 pm
Daily Distance: 146.22km
Time: 7:58: 00
Odo: 5349.1 km
Max: 36.4 km/hr
Avg speed: 18.3 km/ hour
Weather: Sunny 21 degrees
Wind: NE 10
Road:: Flat, starting to get small hills at Nouville
Shoulder: B+ not a well travelled highway by trucks, or cars
An annoying head wind, actually, head breeze was just enough to keep my speed and motivation down. I was looking for any excuse to stop and today there just happened to be more cyclist on the road than I had seen the whole trip. It seems this strech of flat scenic Highway between Montreal Quebec City is a popular cyclist route and gave me ample opportunity to stop and chat with all kinds people. Some were groups staying in B and B's others were individuals asking home owners along the way to borrow a patch of grass to set up a tent on.
I stopped and helped three sisters Jen, Christine and Char fix a flat tire, these three were all around the same ages as my three sisters and reminded me of them. It wasn't hard to pick up that they were Americans, Jen had the exact same accent as our friend Jan, turns out that Jen an Jan live close to each other in Maine . I ended up runnimg into them again later in the day and they shared some cheese, bluettes, baggettes, hummus and a few laughs, they call themselves. "realwomen.realadventures.realsisters".
My plan was to stay in Nueville for the night but I had only done 127km when I arrived at a campsite, so that didn't meet my 130 mark I try to do each day. It was about 6:00 and the wind had tapered of so I thought I'd just keep going. I found a private campground and had my laundry walk over to the machines and jump in, it was long over do.
Alls well and I figure I have 9 riding days left.
Monday, August 10, 2009
St. Eustache QC to Yamachiche QC
Depart: 7:15 am
Arrive: 5:45 pm
Daily Distance: 136.13
Odo: 5202.8 km
Max. 34.7 km/hr
Avg Speed: 18.7 km/hr
Weather: Overcast/ Sunny perIods/ VERY Humid
Roads: Flat, very flat
By noon I had only completed 50 km, lots of stop signs going through the many villages on the 344. After getting twisted around on the route verte this morning and not able to find a decent map, I abandoned the path and stuck to the two secondary highways, 344 and 138. The route verte cuts on and off both these highways, I just didn't follow the diversions.
Once on the 138 I made good time for about 50 km until the wind shifted, the last 30 k was a push.
Both highways follow the river which is lined with beautiful homes, from large estates to small stone cottages, it was very interesting, I even picked up some new building envelope details.
Travelling for 6 weeks and always being in the middle of nowhere, reststops have never been an issue. Travelling through residential neighbourhoods for hours on end requires better rest stop planning.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Alfred Ont to St. Eustache QC
Depart: 8:00 am
Arrive: 4:30 pm
Daily Distance: 105.75km
Odo: 5066.7 km
Avg speed: 17.9 km/hr
Weather: Overcast/showers 20 degrees Wind SE 10
Shoulders Ont (C-). QC (A)
Left Ont. For the last time today just shy of the 5000km mark and was glad to see the last of the Ont. Highways.
Entering QC I got right onto the 'route verte' which a network of dedicated bike routes that consists of either a wide marked shoulder or seperated paved trails.
I managed to go the whole day without seeing a tractor/trailer and never once got forced onto a gravel shoilder.
Signage on the trail can be confusing but as always there is always a kind stranger to help me out as happened today near Carrilon. Another problem is lack of information at the Info centres, the host just don't seem to know a lot about the bike routes.
The route verte is an excellent concept that should be adopted by every province and I think in time, will be.
Tomorrow Laval and hoping to get near Trois Rivieres.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Fitzroy Bay Ont to Alfred Ont
Arrive: 5:00 pm
Daily Distance: 141.05 km
Odo: 4960.9 km
Max: 41.9 km/ hour
Avg speed: 18.5 km/hr
Weather: Sunny 21 deg
Shoulders : mixed (A+ - C-)
I'm hoping the racoons found my bran bars helpful today, seems there was a party in my panniers last night.
Managed to go through Ottawa along the bike paths that followed the Ottawwa River, its a mixed use path and there were plenty of people using it today. I stopped at the Parliment Buildings, got someone to take my picture and immediately became lost.
Its not easy finding people to help you with directions as most are tourist themselves, others keep walking and don't even aknowledge you, that'd never happen in Saskatchewan.
I was helped by one group of cyclist who had me fiollow them to near the end of the path where I was met by a fellow named Doug who escorted me right to the Highway I needed to be on.
Doug is retired and has become a proffesional cyclist, trouble is, no ones paying him.
I'm 22km from the border at Hawksbury where I will be crossing tomorrow morning for my final entry into Quebec. Lorraine has sent me some great info on taking the route verte all the way into Montreal. Not sure whether I'll get right into the city tomorrow, I may have a reduced distance day and try and get out of the city monday morning to avoid Sunday afternoon traffic and dealing with finding my way around at the end of the day.
Friday, August 7, 2009
Pembroke Ont To Fitzroy Bay Ont (via Qubec)
Daily Distance: 125.75 km
Max: 35.5 km/hr
Avg: 17.0 km/hr
Weather: Sunny 21 deg
Wind: N 10
Roads: bike path B
I left Pembroke and decided to cross over into Quebec to ride the bike path and stay off the highway, this was not a shoter route, just a pleasant change. The 'cyclopath" is about 90 km of well compacted limestone over an old railbed so the grade never exceded 2%. The trail finished at a town called Quyon where the ferry crosses to the ontario side, near Ottawa. My plan was to Free camp at the Kwannis park and continue on the Quebec side, however, I was told by a cyclist the Ottawa side was a way better route, he suggested I cross over.. As the ferry doesn't start running until 8:00 on Satudays, I headed over tonight in order to get an early start tomorrow.
Lorraine provided me with some good info regarding a bike path from Ottawa to Montreal and the park warden showed me how to get to the start of the path, I should be set to go.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Mattawa Ont to Pembroke Ont
Arrive: 6:00 pm
Daily distance: 146.02 km
Odo: 4694.1 km
Max: 52.1 km/hr
Avg. Speed. 18.6 km/hr
Weather: overcast with sunny periods.
Road: hilly first 100km then flattened out past Deep River
Spent the first 100km yoyoing up and down with really poor asphalt, in several areas the asphalt was broken half way into the drive lane. The rough roads rattled me to the bone, I hit my front wheel hard twice and shook the mirror on my helmut right off. Taking a run at hills was impossible so each climb was a slow grind.
I pulled into a restraunt in Rolfton where a fella asked me to join him at his table and wanted to hear about my trip. In order not to repulse him with my "cycling cologne" I opted to sit at the table next to him. We were joined by his cousin and both these guys gave me good play by play on the upcoming road conditions. I always enjoy chatting with the locals, I gave him my blog adress to follow my trip. When I went to pay my lunch bill it had been taken care of. Unfortunatly these guys names have slipped my mind an I'm hoping I get an Email from him so I can add him to my "thank you" list.
After a good flat ride to Pembroke I found a cheap Motel, when I asked the owner if there was a place close by to eat he said "No" but went into his Kitchen and loaded me up with supplies for dinner.
Today was yet another reminder of how good complete strangers can be and there are lots of good folk out there.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Sudbury to Mattawa
Depart: 7:15 am
Arrive: 6:00 pm
Daily Distance: 177. 47 km
Odo: 4548.1 km
Max: 56.5 km/hr
Avg. Speed: 22.2 km/hr
Weather: 21 deg. Overcast with Sunny periods.
Wind: W 15km/hr
Road: Flat/ med hills
Shoulder: Very Poor (D)
Gary dropped me off at the Highway near where I had turned off 2 days prior and I was happy to find the wind blowing from the west and a long flat section of road in front of me.
Taking time yesterday to have a grand tour of Sudbury was a nice break and allowed me to actually see a city that I pass through. My daily focus tends to be on achieving my distance goals and being in bed by 8:30 so I don't actually ever get to see to many attractions.
I stopped for a bottle of orange juice at a little restraunt just outside of Rutherglen and began talking to a gentleman and the lady running the place about the road ahead as they both seemed to know the area well. They convinced me to get to Pembroke then cross over the river to the Quebec side which gets me off these crappy highways on the ontario side and allows me to bypass Ottawa. I looked at this option tonight on the map and the distances are identical, also, there seems to be more towns on the Quebec side, I think I'll go for it.
I'm hoping for another wind at my back day so I can make tomorrow night my last stay in Ontario and scratch it off my list.
Sudbury Ont to Sudbury Ont
I spent my rest day at the home of Gary and Lessa Noble. Gary and Lessa are the parents of Kurtis who I work with at Chatwin.
Gary picked me up at the motel I had stayed at the previous night and we met Lessa at a local restraunt where they treated me to breakfast.
After breakfast Gary took me to what I had come to Sudbury to see, the grand daddy of roadside change, the Sudbury Nickel.
Later in the day the three of us took a walk around the lake in the centre of town and then a tour of some of the differnt neighbourhoods and came back to the house for a BarBQ.
Thank you Gary, Lessa and Kurtis
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Blind Bay Ont to Sudbury Ont.
Depart: 9:00 am
Daily Distance: 172.0 km
Odo: 4370.6 km
Max. 48.3 km/hr
Avg. Speed: 20.1 km/hr
Weather: Rain/ overcast 19 degrees Wind: SW 10 km/hr
Roads: fairly flat, easy grades
I was wondering how I escaped the usual heavy Sunday traffic yesterday, then I realized Monday was the holiday. I had a good ride in the morning even in the rain. About 1:00 pm the traffic started and it was a steady stream in both directions until about 5:00. That, combined with poor shoulders made the section from Massey to Sudbury made me feel the most uncomfortable since I left.
As I will be going grocery shopping tomorrow I wanted to finish up some old stuff I had been hauling around for the last week or so. I was making a peanut butter and prune roll up on Weight Watchers wraps (1 point each) when I spotted a small bear, it wad clawing at a tree. By the time I got my camera out it had disappeared, I guess he wasn't interested in my snack.
I arrived in Sudbury late (for me) and had a hard time finding a cheap motel, its harder in larger centres because everything is spread out further, in small towns you can see eveything no matter where you are.
Young Kurtis in our office had sent me an Email giving me his parents contact information in Sudbury, I called them and have arranged to take my rest day there and spend the next night with them, thanks Kurtis.
Philip sent an Email, he had bike problems and got a ride to Sault, that along with my rest day may put us in contact.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Heydon Ont. To Blind Bay Ont.
Arrive: 6:15 pm
Daily distance: 161.95 km
Odo: 4198.6 km
Max. 45,6 km/hr
Avg speed. 22.3 km/hr
Wwather: Cloudy with sunny periods 20 degrees. Wind: SW 10-15km/hr
Roads: Mainly Flat, a few small hills.
Shoulders: "C" narrow rough shoulders
When I left Heyden this morning my plan was to just do 60 km to make up the 2nd half of my partial rest days. Shortly after I got going the sky lightened up, the road was flat and the wind was pointing the bullrushes east, I knew I had to take advantage os this weather.
It seems that a lousy day of cycling is always followed by a good one, I felt I was being rewarded for the previous dfficult day.
I hit Blind River which is the home of Wayne and James Orten whom I had met in Kamloops. I called their home and spoke to Waynes daughter who said they were in Marathon tonight and expected home in the next 4-5 days, they must be close to Phillip.
I met a young couple staying at the same motel who were from Errington near Parksville, they had purchased a home who's history of flooding annually was never disclosed to them. To make a long story short, they ended up filing for bankruptcy and were moving back to Ottawa to live with her parents.
$1.40 in change today and probably one of the nicest riding days so far, weather permitting I will be heading for Sudbury tomorrow.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Pancake Bay to Heyden
Depart: 9:00 am
Arrive: 3:00 pm
Daily Distance: 69.59 km
Odo: 4036.7 km
Max. 38.1 km/hr
Avg. Speed: 14.7 km/hr
Weather: Rain. Wind: S 20km/hr
Road: Flat and hills mixed, shoulders (C)
Left Pancake Bay into a stiff wind that lasted all day. I'm due for a rest day but I want over the last big hump into Sault so I decided to do 2 short days instead. During a downpour I pulled into a coffee shop at Goulais Bay. Two local guys suggested I take the Old Hwy 17 and avoid the big hill to Sault. Lorraine and the kids have often heard me say "a shortcut is the longest distance between two points" and once again I proved that I was right. Although the route was about 5 miles (oops, I've been in Ontario too long) I mean 8 km longer, the grades weren't to bad. The downpours were extreme and the head winds reminded me of the Praries.
I arrived in Heyden and grabbed a Motel room so I could dry out.
I'll be doing another part day tomorrow and try and get some R and R.
I took a quick look at my schedule and figure I'll be making the Kweebeck
border next Saturday.
Friday, July 31, 2009
Wawa to Pancake Bay
Depart: 9:30 am
Arrive: 8:30 pm
Daily Distance: 154.03 km
Odo: 3967. 1 km
Max: 48.1 km/hr
Avg speed 16.6 km/hr
Weather: Foggy wIth a breeze from the south, 12 degrees most of the morning.
Cleared in the afternoon.
Road: hilly, condition C+
I know you folks on the west coast don't want to hear this , but, its cold here. There was a heavy mist off the lake most of the day which forced me to put my coat on at the crest of each hill prior to my deccent. In the late afternoon just as I was about to pack it in the skys turned blue, I had only done 100km but I wanted to take advantage of the weather and get the dlimb at Montreal River behind me so I decided to do another 50 and try for pancake bay.
Fortunately, after the big climb the remainder of the trip was on level lakeshore. Along the way there must have been 100 places that I could have free camped with nice sandy beaches but I prefer campsites for showers and bear security. I was shocked to find Ontario campstes are 32 bucks a night and my site backs onto the highway, next time I free camp.
Mosquitoes are plentful this year but don't tend to bother you if you are moving faster than 11.6km/hr which has been a great incentive not to slack off on hills, if I do start going to slow, lunch is on me.
I've set up camp, cooked my lentil soup with a can of salmon and Ichiban noodles. In an aluminium pot so to keep from getting Alzheimers, I better go do a Sudoku.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
40 km W of White River to Wawa Ont.
Depart: 7:30 am
Daily distance: 133.42 km/hr
Odo: 3813.0 km
Max: 46.2 km/hr
Avg. 16.9 km/hr
Weather: Overcast/showers, Wind S (headwinds)
$10.20 today, 2 nickels a dime and a ten. Dollar bill, that's a good day. The terrain continues to be hilly and I'm starting to consider a rest day in the near future as soon as I'm out of Red Green country, just 2 more days to Sault Ste. Marie.
I have very fortunate with the weather being overcast and showers, I can't imagine doing these hills in the type of heat that's being experienced in the West, just remeber we had snow that stayed around for two months.
Tomorrow I head for Montreal River where I will camp prior to tackling the climb this side of the Sault.
Terrace Bay to 40km w of White River
Arrive: 6:30 pm
Daily Distance: 142. 89km
Odo: 3679.6 km
Max. 51.4 km/hr
Avg. Speed: 17.5 km/hr
Weather: Sunny and Cloudy most of the day, two rain showers.
Roads: Good, (B+)
Waited for the rain to stop then took off. I was determined to make better milage today. The first 80 km to Marathon was short steep hills, I stopped counting after ten, it makes for slow going. Just as I approached Marathon, the rain started, I decided to go for lunch and get a few groceries. After waiting about 2 hrs I was thinking I was going to have to stay having completed only 85km, then the rain stopped and I decided to keep going.
Just outside Marathon I stopped at the information booth to see how far it was to the next campsite. It's been bothering me that when I ask how far a destination is I always get an answer like " about 20 mins" to which I ussually reply "on my bike?" The other answer I get is always in miles, common in these parts. So today I go in and say " hi I'm on my bicycle heading to White River, how far in Kilometers is the campground?" So she tells me " about half an hour" " oh so its close" I say " ya, about 25 miles" she says. I give up
I made my milage that I wanted too today and have positioned myself to make decent hops between the next towns and campsites. I'm starting to see the light at the end of the Ontario tunnel.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Nipigon Ont to Terrace Bay Ontario
Depart: 9:00 am
Arrive: 6:00 pm
Daily Distance: 109.04 km
Odo: 3536.7 km
Max. 51.8 km/hr
Avg. Speed: 15.9 km/hr
Weather: Rain all morning, showers on and off all afternoon.
Road Conditios: shoulders generally good(B+) 1 big hill 3 major hills,
Today was one of the most challenging yet satisfying day I've had this whole trip. Whether it was my new gears, the cool weather or my superb conditionig I'm not sure, but, I did 3 very large climbs today anyone of which would have required some walking in the past. Very satisfying.
Although cycling in the rain can be miserable and really make my feet stink, I go through far less water than on a sunny day. Today I drank less than 1 L. compared to maybe 6 on a hot day.
I have been hearing talk of 'the big german guy' who is cycling across the country yet had never met him, until today, this guy is HUGE the Paul Bunyen of the cycling world. I met him just prior to the end of the day and asked him how he found the hills, "easy" he said. "Really" I saId kinda surprised. "Ya" he says" but my legs are killing me and I'm calling it quits early today", even fellow cyclist won't give a straight answer.
Tomorrow, weather permitting, I'd like to get some serious distance in and get to a campsite beyond Marathon.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Thunder Bay to Nipigon Ont
Arrive: 4:15 pm
Daily distance: 110.17 km
Odo: 3427.7 km
Avg speed: 18.2 km/hr
Weather: sun/cloud am. Thunder/lightning in the afternoon including 2 downpours. (Any sympathy yet)
Roads: lots of hill climbs today but all managable.
Shoulders: 50% D-, 50% A+
The rain has caused a few squeeks and groans to the bike. I took some time this morning to make a few adjustments, clean some sand out of places it shouldn't be and added a few drops of oil, everything is running so much smoother and quiter.
Thunder Bay reminder me a lot of downtown New Westminster, circa 1986. Let's just say it needs work. Although I never saw the sleeping giant, I did see Sleeping giant park which had a great railway tressle.
One thing Thunderbay should be proud of is the Terry Fox Memorial. The memorial is within a park located off the highway just east of town with a great view of lake Superior. Even though the park is off the highway you don't hear a sound, very peaceful with a very tasteful granite monument and statue with well kept gardens. I was very moved and impressed by it.
Apparantly there is also a plaque on the roadside where Terry actually stopped but its not well marked and I missed it.
Nipigon is famous too, its from the Nipigon River the little boy launched his toy Canoe in "Paddle to the Sea" the town is now building an interpritive centre based on this story. I wonder what Lorraine would think of a canoe trip for next summer?, the two of us.
I got a message from Philip today,the young English chap I met in Kamloops, he's in Thunder bay tonight if he tries hard he may catch up to me.
Re my rear wheel. I replaced the rear wheel in Saskatoon and have put close to 1700km in it without a glitch.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Upsala Ont to Thunderbay
Depart: 7:00 am
Arrive: 4:00 pm
Daily Distance: 133.91 km
Odo: 3317.5 km
Max: 51.0 km/hr
Avg speed: 20.4 km/hr
Weather: Cloudy and light showers
Roads: 'C' narrow cracked shoulders most of the way
Officially crossed the time zone line today putting me 3 hrs ahead of PDT. Arriving in Thunderbay signalled the halfway point and am happy with progress so far.
I met a guy today who's story I happened to catch on the weathernetwork last night, he's riding the country from West to East and back again to raise money for cancer research. I believe his website is called 'thereandback' his name is Trevor. Trevor has attempted to cross the country before, on foot, he pulled 500 lbs of his belongings in a cart, I don't believe he completed this journey.
He, like myself, found the Praries to be a breeze, and ussually against us. He tells me the eastern half is tougher than the west.
One of my biggest frustrations is getting accurate information regarding accomodations or groceries from either locals or tourist information booths. Bad Info can either send you too far or make you stay when you could have moved on. Although I like the scenery of Northern Ontario, I look forward to being back in civilization where I can buy real food.
Tomorrow I would like to get about 40 km east of Nipigon Ont.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Ignace ont to Upsala Ont
Depart: 8:30 am (Central)
Arrive:: 5:00 pm (Eastern)
Daily Distance: 111.96 km
Odo: 3183.6 km
Max. 42.7 km/hr
Avg. Speed: 19.0 km/hr
Roads: C+: narrow shoulders with split asphalt.
The rain last long enough to get me soaked before the sun comes out long enough to dry off, then another downpour. I was wanting to go further than Upsala today but a thunderstorm made me run for cover to a gas station where the attendant phoned and got me a room in the local motel.
My friend Rocky told me of a collection of plastic debris comprised mainly of plastic bottles floating out in the Pacific Ocean. Apparenty, all plastic litter eventually finds itself caught in currents called the Pacific Gyro and has been spun into a ball the size of a large city. When I used to ride the Island HigHway I would notice a lot of recyclable containers laying on the roadside and always wondered if I could collect enough bottles to fund my way across the country, I'm glad I never chose that option. First, most provinces don't use the deposit system , when I return my water bottles most times clerks will just throw bottles in the garbage and look at me like I'm some hippy freak. Secondly, when I started this trip, I found it strange how many half filled bottles of Iced tea were lying on the side of the road, turns out its not Iced tea in those bottles.
When they go to unravel the plastic mass out in the Pacific Gyro that's been destroyng marine life, I hope they wear gloves.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Dryden Ont to Ignace Ont
Depart: 8:00 am
Arrive: 1:45 pm
Daily distance: 108.46km
Odo: 3071.6 km
Max: 48.3 km/hr
Avg speed: 21.4 km/hr
Weather: Cloudy/Rain. Wind: West
Roads: Mixed wide and narrows shoulers, excellent cond. Some hills but mainly easy grades.
Been gone 4 week today.
Had a good breeze on my back most of my ride today. I stopped at Ignace rather than carrying on to English River to avoid getting caught in a rain storm that caught up with me just as I arrived here. The towns are all around 100km apart which is less than I like to do in a day but I hate to commit to a 200 km day with the weather the way it is.
I'm staying at the White Otter Inn which is run by Joanne and Albert Morris, a teacher and her retired train engineer husband. I spent most of the afternoon sending my photos home and updating my blog photos with the use of the motel computer that the couple offered me to use. Joanne also offered to do my laundry and I happily accepted.
I hit the 3000km mark today which signalled that the halfway point is near.
Hopefully the weather improves and I can start doing some more serious milage again.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Kenora to Dryden
Depart: 6:30 am
Arrive: 4:30 pm
Daily Distance: 139.77 km
Odo: 2963.1 km
Max speed: 47.7km/hr
Avg Speed. 18.7km/hr
Weather: Cloud in the am Rain in the pm
Road Conditions: Good wide shoulder for95% of the distance, lots of climbing.
Now that I'm a little deeper into Ontario I'm hoping for fewer 'dead spots' with the Blackberry and should be able to keep my updates daily again.
I knew today was going to be a climb day so I installed the clipless pedals and shoecleats to lock my feet into the pedals which helps me climb better.
Most of the day I kinda took my time stopping to look at all the lakes along the way until the raun started, its amazing how my pace picks up with a few drops of rain.
I ran into another father and son team today heading East to West. They told me I hit a plateau at Dryden an start heading downwards until I hit Thunderbay. These guys scared me when they told me it took them 7 weeks to get as far as they had, turned out they only do 100 km a day and have taken 10 rest days. I think I'm still on track for completion for the last week of Aug, time will tell.
Tomorrows destination: Ignace or English River it'll depend on the weather and hills.
Richer Man. To Kenora Ont.
Depart: 8:00 am
Arrive: 4!00 pm
Daily distance : 161.70 km
Odo: 2821.4 km
Max: 49.4 km/hr
Avg. Speed: 22.2km/hr
Weather: Sun/cloud/ light rain. Wind: SW
Roads: several patches of gravel shoulder but very managable driving on the roadway. Rolling hillls start 40km west of ontario border. New asphalt being layed wiith shoulder from Ont border to 20km east.
Finally off the prarie and into more familiar looking scenery, eastern Manitoba and the beggining of Ontario remind me of the Sunshine Coast which I have always been fond of. Although there are more hills, they're what I call "roller coasters", you get up enough steam on the downhills to get up and over the next hump without having to work very hard.
If I had known how many wrenches and sockets were laying on the roadside I would have towed a roller cabinet, todays catch was a nice pair of needle nose pliers. I've decided not to keep sockets as I already have quite the collection at home.
Prior to leaving Manitoba I was really wanting to find a dollar in change, I found a quarter yesterday making $.70 total. With only 100km to go today things weren't looking good.
I was 20km from Richer (which is 30km from the middle of no where) when I spotted a heavy winter coat down in the ditch. During my trip I've seen every type of clothing lying on the side of the road including mens and womens undergarments (NOTE: no womens undergarnents were noted in Saskatchewan) so I wasn't to alarmed when I saw a coat. As I peddled on for the next few meters I thought to myself ' hmmm that's strange, was there jeans sticking out of the bottom of the coat with boots on the ends of them'. I slammed on the brakes and hesitated before going back for another look. Sure enough, as I approached I could tell there was a body in the coat. When you come across situations like this all sorts of things go through your head. The first thought I had was to get a stick to poke him with, the second thought was wondering whether or not he had thirty cents on him. All I could actually do was shout at him "HEY" then he answered me" f... Off" "you ok" I said, he answed back "f... Off" "you need something to eat, water?" I asked. "I'm sleeping now f... Off"
I left wonderig what he was doing there. I see lots of people out wandering in the middle of nowhere, I guess they need to sleep too.
I never did make my dollar goal, Manitoba didn't leave me much richer.
Ijm in Kanora tonight and debating having a rest day, it looks like a great place to hang out for the day, a mini Victoria. I'll stay here if its raining in the morning, gotta make miles if the sun smiles.
Portage La Prarie to Richer Man.
Arriive: 5:15 pm
Daily Distance: 144.61 km
Max. 35.2 km/hr
Avg speed: 22.6 km/hr
Weather: Sun and Overcast mix 28• C Wind SW 10k
Spent a lot of last night looking at different options for staying off the number 1 because of the poor shoulder and avoiding going through Winnipeg. When I got up this morning the answer came to me in the wind, I headed straight down the #1 with a good south western. Breeze on my back and straight through Winnipeg. The unpaved shoulder made up about half the ride to Winnipeg but it really wasn't an issue. I've come to rely heavily on the goofy looking mirror attached to my helmet and because you can see traffic coming behind you for MILES you could see if they were pulling into the left lane long before they neared me. Only twice in 50km did I pull onto the gravel because I felt it may get squishy.
Pulling into the outskirts of the city I checked my average speed for 50k completed, 26.6km/hr. I was in Tim Hotons before the lunch rush.
Headed right through down town with no problems, got a picture of the Golden boy and a picture of the Red River to show Megan.
The rest of the ride into Richer was through 30km of construction zone but I had a paved shoulder. The 30k strech east of Winnipeg is being redone and will make for nice riding next year.
I felt like Pasta and seafood for dinner so I Had canned salmon mixed with Chef Boy R D ravioli
Monday, July 20, 2009
Yorkton Sask to Binscarth Manitoba
Depart 8:45 am
Arrive: 6:00 pm (7:00pm Man time)
Daily Distance 128.14 km
Max Speed: 42.8 km/hr
Avg. Speed: 21.2 km/hr
Weather: Overcast in the Morning, Hot and Sunny in the afternoon.
Another good cycling day although I think that may be the last of the good ones for a while. Although the roads were good for the first 25km of Manitoban hwys the last few were challanging as the shoulder is non-existant, hopefully it's just a rough patch I'll know better in the morning.
Three weeks today of being on the road and three provinces behind me, arrived in Manitoba today and got to move the clock ahead again, I'm now 2 hrs ahead of BC time. I'm happy with my 132km/cycling day average and 107km/day overall. I'm not planning another restday until Ontario so I hope to bring that 107km/day overall number higher.
The asphalt in Sask contains a lot of glass fragments making the pavement glitter. When riding on that type of pavement I was never sure whether I was about to run over glass or not At times, I would also think some of the larger chunks were coins. Occasionally I would stop to go back and checkto see if it was a coin. but never did I find anything, so I just gave up. Coming into Manitoba the asphalt was different, no glass. Within 5km I found a quarter and 2 dimes which leaves me wondering if I should go back and check Saskatchewan.
Up early tomorrow to try and beat traffic until I can figure out the road conditions.
Happy 40th Stacey
Neepawa to Portage La Prarie
Depart: 8:00 am
Arrive :5:00 pm
Dailly distance: 114.25km
Odo: 2515.1 km
Max. 30.4 km/hr
Avg speed: 14.8km/hr
Weather: hot, wind S 25km/hr
Had a long slow day fighting the wind heading south on Hwy 16 with its narrow shoulder.. I was looking forward to getting onto Hwy 1 where the wind would hit from the side and I would have a decent shoulder. When I got onto #1 I was disappointed to find a gravel shouler only.
I had dinner and found a good campsite and talked to a few people about the highway, its mixed paved and unpaved to Winnipeg.
Thinking of backtracking and taking secondaries a little further north but that will depend on tomorrows winds.
Binscarth Man. To Neepawa
Arrive: 5:00 pm
Daily Distance: 152.14 km
Odo: 2400.8 km
Max. 39.7 km/hr
Avg speed:19.5 km/hr
Weather: Sunny and Hot
The highway was shoulderless as I expected. Fotuately it was only for the first 60km and it wasn't that unsafe. Because this section of road was long and flat I could see traffic coming from 3km away which gave me lots of time to pull over if I figured the oncoming traffic was going to meet the the traffic travelling my direction and myself all at the same time.. Leaving before the traffic got to bad helped.
I found the nicest town I"ve seen so far, Neepawa Manitoba, lots of pride in the homes here, very tidy.
I happened to stumble into. Town in the midst of "lilly fair" so you can imagine how much activity there was. Neepawa is also home of Margret Laurance, who knew.
The Lions club runs the campsite here, its just like camping in Stanley park best campsite by far. I
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Wynyard to Yorkton
Daily Distance: 146.61 km
Odo: 2120.5 km
Max speed: 35.3 km/hr
Avg. Speed: 21.8 km/hr
Had a light tail breeze most of the day which helped keep the speed consistant throughout the day. The road/shouler conditions varied but I still think Hwy 16 beats the noise of Hwy 1.
I stopped in a town called Foam Lake for lunch today, it was layed out the same as Wynyard with a Shop Easy right acrossfron the Co-op and plus an assortment of old buildings. Both of these towns had been forgotten when we left the 50's.
A packed bike tends to gather about 6 old men no matter where you stop in this province, and everyone of them offering a helpful suggestion or two, or ten. Most point out that I don't have a light or rear fender and that my tires should have better tread. I just smile and nod.
The weather was clear and sunny and the burn on the South facing side of my right leg is turning brown.
Todays "Good Saskatchewinian Award" goes to the Lady that runs the Yorkton Regional Campsite. She did my laundry for me while I went for dinner.
I can't help but like this province.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Saskatoon to Wynard Sask
Depart 6:15 am
Arrive 4:30 pm
Daily Distance: 196.6km
Avg. Speed: 22.3 km/hr
A steady light wind at my back, new rear wheel and gears, flat prarie, cloudy skies, all add up to a good cycling day. With unseasonally cooler weather, I,ve been riding with my coat on most of the way through the praries, the cooler temperatures also reduces the amount of water I need to consume which is not always easy to find out here.
My planned destination for the day was a little town called Lanigan but I arrived there just afternoon having done 130km and decided I could get in 60 more so I kept going.
Coming into Lanigan a train started passing me so I waved at the conductor and started racing it, my goal was to not let the last car get by me. Thank god it was a long train and it's final destnation was only about 15km down the road, as it rolled to a stop I passed the engine and waved at the conductor, victory was mine.
The wind approached from the side for the last 20 clicks of the day but I was happy with my progress.
I stopped to get some grocery's in Wynard and was offered a place to stay along with some fresh warm bread, although I turned down the offer I was greatful for the gesture, it's difficult for me to break from my routine.
Tomorrow the weather forcast looks as good as todays so I'm shooting for Yorkton or Churchbridge, either way it will most likely be my last night in friendly Saskatchewan.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Rosetown to Saskatoon
Daily distance 124.85km
Odo 1780.3 km
Max. 33.2 km/hr
Avg speed: 17.2 km/hr
Cyclist come in many forms, from the Lance Armstrong's to the guy who carries huge plastic bags filled with pop cans. I fall inbetween, not in the middle, just inbetween.
Today I felt closer to the Lance type than usual. I decided last night that I couldn.t afford to be using a rest day running around Saskatoon hunting down bike parts. I decided I would leave Rosetown early enough to get to Saskatoon in time to get my bike into a shop. I was hoping it would be ready for noon tomorrow and I could lay low and do Sudoku's all day. I peddled hard leaving Rosetown and was making good time on the flat prarie when the wind started hitting my south side slowing my progress. I kept going until I hit Saskatoon.
When I got here I asked directions to a shop that the bike repair guy in Kindersley recommended. I drove like a bicycle courier all through town. As I approached the The Bike Doctors shop 2 guys were outside the door shouted "Bring it right in". These guys were amazing they had the wheel I wanted, installed it, installed a new rack and a new gearset and chain all within the hour. It was a busy store and they kept up with everyone else. The new gearset has a much better low gear for hill climbing and a faster top gear. Third gear on the new set feels like first gear on the old set.
When I went to leave the guy I was dealing with said there were tornado warnings down south and lots of rain forcast for tonight so he phoned and booked me a room at a nearby motel. Only in Saskatchewan, and this tpye of service is everywhere. I wonder if it was me passing though that caused the tornado today?
With my bike done a day ahead of schedule, I've decided to head east along Highway 16 and find a quiet spot to take a break in the next few days, and do sudokus.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Kindersley Sask to Rosetown Sask
Arrive: 6:00am (did laundry in there too)
Daily distance: 92.5km
Odo: 1655.4. Km
Avg. Speed: 14.8 km/hr
Slow start, slow going. Had south easterlies making the whole day seem like a hill climb, it was a difficult day.
Before leaving I had coffee with Dick Stubbs who has done this ride before. One of the thing he said was "the praries will be some of the best days and some of the most difficult" I see what he means.
After arriving in town I stopped at the info centre and started talking to a guy and told him I was going to the bike shop in Saskatoon and then asked him where the laundry mat was. As I was doing my laundy the same guy pulls into the laundry mat riding his sons old mountain bike and says " If any parts on this thing could help you just let me know and we'll strip them off while you wait here" Unfortunately there was nothing I could use but I was impressed with the gesture.
Rosetown is very friendly and I,m staying in their regional campsite tonight $6.00, free showers. The average cost for my last 3 nights stay is $2.00/night, maybe the praries aren,t so bad after all.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Youngstown Alberta to Kindersley Sask
Daily Distance: 168. 23km (first century)Time: 8:24.59
Avg. 20.0 km/ hour
As promised Bill brought me my coffee and I gave him one of the 2 10 inch crescent wrenches I had found on the road the previous day. They're to heavy to carry but I had to pick the first one up because it was there and 30 km later I found the second. I took it as a sign that I was supposed to have them and who was I to mess with the universe.
The funny part about me carrying 2 wrenches is that the previous day I bought a special socket to remove the gearset on the rear wheel (yes it has to do with my ongoing spoke saga). The head on this socket required a 1 inch wrench or a 10 inch crescent wrench to turn it, I however determined that either one of these tools would add crippling weight to my already overpacked bike and I would not compromise trip on such frivolous devices. So instead of the wrech, my father drilled through my socket so I could insert an allen key to turn the socket. I found this whole thing amusing.
When I ate dinner last night a former Campbell Riverite/Newfy told me he liked Youngstown because it was like the twighlight zone, when I chuckled he said"don't laugh, you're here too" he couldn't have been more right, except for all the new Dodge 4X4's the praries have stood still in time in so many ways.
Great ride all morning 80k went fast until the Sask border then the hills and the wind (in the wrong direction) started, but I still managed my highest milage day yet.
Tomorrow I hope to get close to Saskatoon it's 199 km but if the wind comes from the SW it may be possible.
Another night of free camping in a park behind the regional campgroud in Kindersley with access to free showers. " Nothing makes me happier than getting a free T shirt" Warren Buffett
Friday, July 10, 2009
Drumheller to Youngstown
Daily distance: 134.38km
Max Speed: 45.9km/hr
Avg speed: 19.5km/hr
Got going a little late today, I camped next to a family that snored, yes the family, all four of them.
Climbing out of Drumheller I heard the all to familiar twang of spokes breaking, I was able to do the repair without removing my gear or the wheel off the bike so I was very happy about that. I had one more go just out of Hanna making it 3 spokes today and only 2 left in my inventory and not many town around.
There were lots of ups and downs between Drumheller and Hanna but perfectly flat from Hanna eastward and I made good time this afternoon.
The weather was cloudy with very light breezes making it perfect for cycling.
I'm not roadside caping tonight, better, Youngstown has a free tenting site with washrooms and running water. I had dinner in the Hotel/pub/ general store/liquor store. The girl running it was from Campbell River along with a couple of other guys in there, she was good enough to let me charge the Blackberry while I ate and I chatted with the three of them. After dinner she opened the store for me and I bought some water.
When I got back to the tent a fellow rode up on his bike and we chatted about different routes to take, he introduced himself as Bill and said he'd bring coffee down at 5 Bells tomorrow.
Small towns are friendlier.
Due to my bike heavy ingestion of spokes, I will head to Saskatoon and plan to be there either late. Monday or early Tuesday.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Calgary to Drumheller
Arrive 3:05 pm
Daily distance: 144.41 km
Max speed: 45.2 km/hr
Avg, 18.4 km/hr
So much for global warming, I rode all the way today with a coat on. One of my biggest fears next to losing my wallet was how I was going to handle the heat of the "Badlands", crisis averted. Even though the temperature is cool, the winds are something I wasn't familiar with, and I thought I was going to miss sailing this summer.
Heading North between Calgary and Crossfield the wind was blowing out of the northwest slowing the 30km strech to a slow crawl, sometimes less than 10km/hr on the flat.
Turning east at Crossfield the wind was. nudging me along and I was making up for lost time.
The passing traffic seamed to create greater suction today than normal providing no relief from keeping a tight grip on the handlebars.
I'm staying at a. campsite in Drumheller tonight and will be heading into a strech of eastern Alberta that doesn't seem to offer to many amenities, perhaps tomorrow night will be my first roadside campout.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
View Qualicum to Calgary in a larger map
Banff to Calgary
Arrive: 6:00 pm
Daily Dist: 130.97km
Avg speed: 16.1km/hr
I left Banff and had a leisurly 25 km cruise into Canmore, cool, overcst and mostly downhill ,perfect conditions.
I stopped at the information booth in Canmore and asked about hwy 1a which runs through Exshaw and Cochrane, parrallel to the Trans Canada. The girl in the booth said it was good and the prefered route for cyclist. I had read that this was a quieter route and it came into Calgary just a few blocks from my Moms place where I am staying.
I got on the 1a and like most secondary routes it was quieter and slighty more hilly, but again I was quit happy to take it and it would give me a chance to focus on my quads this time, (I have to be sure I focus on each muscle group so I don,t become mis-proportioned)
About 10km down the road a truck pulls up in front of me and a guy waves me over, "I need to warn you, the shoulder disappears and this road is dangerous" he goes on to tell me he is a touring cyclist and that he has travelled through most of the west coast of the States and. All through BC and how he hates seeing bikes on the road with all the truck traffic. The guy was about my age so I knew he must know everything, I took his advise and took the Seebe turn off and got back onto the Trans Canada, Hwy 1.
I had been very fortunate to make it through BC with only one small shower as I entered Golden and that was just sent to give me an excuse to stay in a Motel, my luck was about to come to an end. About 50km from Calgary it statred, not much at first, just enough to make me glad I was getting use of the $ 12 front fender I had installed prior to leaving. I pulled over, put on my rain jacket, and grumbled along. Shortly after the skies opened up, it was pouring hard and the spray from the traffic made it difficult to see or more importantly, be seen. I was lucky enough to be passing a weigh scale so I pulled in and ducked into a shed that was under construction. After providing the Ministry of Highways with a. complimentry building envelope condition assesment, I was again on my way.
As I approached Calgary the hills started levelling out and I was making better time than I did when I was coming. through the foot hills east Canmore.
Since the rain had given me a shower and washed one set of biking clothes, I only had one small bag of laundry to take to Mom's.
We had a perfectly done prime rib roast for dinner with an apple pie for desert. While we ate the same thing happened here that happens at home, like magic, when I got up from eating laying cleaned and folded in a basket was my laundry..
Calgary was a milestone for me and I had complted it in the 10 days planned including the one day un-planned rest in Salmon Arm.
I'll be revisiting my rear wheel troubles while in Calgary for 2 days and will resume my trip on July 9th, just 9 more provinces.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Golden to Banff
Arrive : 8:15pm (pst)
Dist : 147.21km
Time : 10: 02.21
Max speed: 39.8
Avg speed: 14.6 km/hr
Had a good nights sleep last night and was ready for what I knew was going to be a big hill climb day.
The first attack was rght out of the gate leaving Golden, steep and narrow. My timing couldn't have been better leaving this 15km climb for Sunday morning not only for safety but for heat, looked like it could get a tad warm through there. The trip over the new Kicking Horse bridge was well worth the long climb, it's very high up.
I've been running into Dale, an Engineer from Nova Scotia on and off since Aggasiz, I thought I had lost him in between Merrit and Kamloops but he caught up with me and we rode together most of the day but parted company at Lake Louise.
The weather and scenery were perfect, high clouds so the mountains were still visible in all their magnificence, also caught my first look at mountain goats and a glimpse of my first bear, he took off quickly when he saw me, I thinkhe heard the bear bell in my pannier, thanks for that Lorraine.
By 4:30 I had only made it 85 km to Lake Louise, I was tired but was disappointed with my milage so I decided to head to a campsite somewhere closer to Banff. Had I taken the Bow Valley Parkway I may have found a campsite but I took Hwy 1 and there are none. Although the road was straight and flat the headwinds were strong and progress was slow but hey, I,m well clear of BC. This was the longest most tiring day.
Staying at a nice place tonight, The Homestead Inn, had a nice chat with the lady at the desk the headed off for greek salad at my favorite chain of Scottish restraunts.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Canyon Hot Springs to Golden
Daily dist: 118.9km
Avg speed: 15.3km/hr
The day started with a climb that didn't end until after 10:am at the Rogers Pass summit.
Lots of ups and downs all day.
Tomorrow I climb for 15km out of Golden and plan to end the day somewhere between Banff and Lake Louise that should be the worst of the big hill climbs until Ontario.
I,m not able to receive my Gmails on the Blackberry. If you want to send a note use firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, July 3, 2009
Salmon Arm to Canyon Hot Springs
Depart time: 5:45am
Arrival Time: 4:15 pm
Max speed: 43.8:
Avg speed: 18.2
Pullimg into Salmon Arm the other day my nephew Greg and his wife Ruth pulled up and stopped me tp say Hi, they were doing a winery tour in the Okanogan. Today my good neighbours Judy and Vic pulled me over halfway betweeen Salmon Arm and Revelstoke, they said they were returning from Alberta after picking up a trailer for their son, but the real reason was that Vic was hunting me down to make me take back my derogatory comments regarding Englishmen that I had made the previous day.
I was in Revelstoke by noon which was my original destination but felt good so I. decided to continue on.
Todays ride was great, long but very managable grades, felt strong after resting my legs yesterday.
The campsite here is but the most expensive so far at $30.00 a night.
Tomorrow I plan to get to Golden which will take me over Rogers Pass, should be down hill all the way to St. John's from there.
Day Off Salmon Arm
Had the bike into Skookum Cycles in Salmon Arm today to have the rear wheel tuned up.
I was able to get my laundry done and a few other chores at Sue's.
Joe and Deb came for dinner, Sue and Joe's daughter Kendra joined us for dinner too but left right after, I guess her friends are more fun to hang out with than me even though I rode my bike 600km to see her.
Bob and Martha came for desert and I went to bed shortly after,
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Kamloops to Salmon Arm
Daily distance: 123.26
Avg. Speed: 15.7km/hr
The Canadian flag that Laurel had given me is sticking out of the pannier and I'm off for what should be an easy Canada day ride. And why wouldn't it be easy, its as "flat as a pancake" between Kamloops and Salmon Arm.
The young Englishman Philip that I met yesterday also rode Duffy Lake road. When he planned his trip, he, like the father son team Wayne and James thought it looked like the shorter route. Philip was a really nice kid who just graduated with a degree in Physics at 21. When he suggested I take the road from Kamloops to Chase on a road on the other side of the Thompson I had to consider it, after all, the road was "flat as a pancake" he has a degree, he's 21 and he was British. What I forgot was he thought the Duffy lake road was the easier route, so off I went. Although it was nice to be off the main highway away from the noise and diesel smell, it was a tougher way to go, but hey, that's what's going to sculpt my glutes.
Leaving Chase I was dreading the hill before me but was happy when I rode up the whole thing in one shot, I'm happy with how much easier hills are becoming As I carried on, it was getting late in the day and I heard a flopping noise, first flat. While I was fixing my flat, along came Philip, he kindly helped me repair the tire but I was secretly thrilled I had stayed ahead of him most of the day. Phil pulled into a campsite before Salmon Arm so we parted ways, I hope to run into him again.
I am staying with our old friend Sue Shores and will take tomorrow for a rest day. and get my bike into Skookem Cycles to tune up the back wheel.
Merritt to Kamloops
Daily Distance: 106.31
Max Speed: 45.7km/hr
Avg speed: 15.6 km/hr
Dep time 7:00am
Arr time: 4:15pm
Took Hwy 5a from Merritt to Kamloops that goes for 30 perfecly flat kilometers, my kind of riding. Part way through I decided to check out an annoying rubbing sound coming from the back wheel, broken spoke. The previous day the rear corner of my pannier folded into the rear wheel while I was heading down a hill on the Coq, didn,t think much of it at the time, just re-secured the panniers and headed off. I,m hoping it was the previous days events that caused the damage, at least I,d know the cause. I carried onto Kamloops hoping I could get the rear wheel fixed there but it was too late in the day for the shop to repair it. I bought 3 spokes so I could replace them myself and carry on as tomorrow is Canada day and I don,t want to lose a cycliing day, especially in Kamloops.
My sister Nancy met me in the Silver Sage Campground stragically located in the Industrial part of the town, right next to the truss plant. We went for dinner at the Keg and then went and did a tour of the town which included a drive by of all the Scotiabanks, I was glad to see her and I know how proud she is to have me as her brother.
After I got back to my campsite, replaced the spoke (turned out to be two) and met my neighbours.
When I checked in the girl at the desk told me I would be staying next to a father and son who were biking from Richmond to Ontario Via Whistler, Oh crap I thought, these people sound extreme, I know they,ll be wearing Cervelo gear, have european accents and laugh at my tent. Instead the dad Wayne was a regular guy (just like me) we had a good evening talking and were later joined by a 21 year old English chap, Philip.