Friday, July 31, 2009

Day 35 July 31 2009

Wawa to Pancake Bay

Depart: 9:30 am
Arrive: 8:30 pm

Daily Distance: 154.03 km
Time: 9:15:26
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

Day 34 July 30 2009

40 km W of White River to Wawa Ont.

Depart: 7:30 am
Arrive: 5:30pm

Daily distance: 133.42 km/hr
Time: 7:53.14
Odo: 3813.0 km
Max: 46.2 km/hr
Avg. 16.9 km/hr

Weather: Overcast/showers, Wind S (headwinds)

Roads: C+

$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.

Day 33 July 29 2009

Terrace Bay to 40km w of White River

Depart: 8:00am
Arrive: 6:30 pm

Daily Distance: 142. 89km
Time: 8:10:18
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

Day 32 July 28 2009

Nipigon Ont to Terrace Bay Ontario

Depart: 9:00 am
Arrive: 6:00 pm

Daily Distance: 109.04 km
Time: 6:50.25
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

Day 31 July 27 2009

Thunder Bay to Nipigon Ont

Depart: 8:00am
Arrive: 4:15 pm

Daily distance: 110.17 km
Time: 6:02.52
Odo: 3427.7 km
Max:49.4 km/hr
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

Day 30 July 26 2009

Upsala Ont to Thunderbay

Depart: 7:00 am
Arrive: 4:00 pm

Daily Distance: 133.91 km
Time: 6:33.32
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

Day 29 July 25 2009

Ignace ont to Upsala Ont

Depart: 8:30 am (Central)
Arrive:: 5:00 pm (Eastern)

Daily Distance: 111.96 km
Time: 5:53.50
Odo: 3183.6 km
Max. 42.7 km/hr
Avg. Speed: 19.0 km/hr

Weather: Rain/sun
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

Day 28 July 24 2009

Dryden Ont to Ignace Ont

Depart: 8:00 am
Arrive: 1:45 pm

Daily distance: 108.46km
Time: 5:03.34O
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

Day 27 July 23 2009

Kenora to Dryden

Depart: 6:30 am
Arrive: 4:30 pm

Daily Distance: 139.77 km
Time: 7:28.19
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.

Day 26 July 22 2009

Kenora Ontario

Rain Day

Day 25 July 21 2009

Richer Man. To Kenora Ont.

Depart: 8:00 am
Arrive: 4!00 pm

Daily distance : 161.70 km
Time: 7:16:02
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.

Day 24 July 20 2009

Portage La Prarie to Richer Man.

Depart: 9:00am
Arriive: 5:15 pm

Daily Distance: 144.61 km
Time: 6:24.22
Odo: 2659.7km
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

Day 21 July 17 2009

Yorkton Sask to Binscarth Manitoba

Depart 8:45 am
Arrive: 6:00 pm (7:00pm Man time)

Daily Distance 128.14 km
Time: 6:02.59
Odo: 2248.7km
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

Day 23 July 19 2009

Neepawa to Portage La Prarie

Depart: 8:00 am
Arrive :5:00 pm

Dailly distance: 114.25km
Time: 7:44.39
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.

Day 22 July 18 2009

Binscarth Man. To Neepawa

Depart: 6:45am
Arrive: 5:00 pm

Daily Distance: 152.14 km
Time: 7:46.50
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

Day 20 July 16 2009

Wynyard to Yorkton

Depart: 8:45am
Arrive: 5:45pm

Daily Distance: 146.61 km
Time: 6:42.56
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

Day 19 July 15 2009

Saskatoon to Wynard Sask

Depart 6:15 am
Arrive 4:30 pm

Daily Distance: 196.6km
Time: 8:39.59
Odo. 1973.9km
Max. 43.5km/hr
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.

Day 18. July 14 2009

Saskatoon- Storm day

Looked out the window at 5:00am and went back to bed. Strong winds forcast with gust up to 90km/hr.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Day 17 July 13 2009

Rosetown to Saskatoon

Depart: 6!45am
Arrive: 3:15am

Daily distance 124.85km
Time: 7:14.44
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

Day 16 July 12 2009

Kindersley Sask to Rosetown Sask

Depart: 9:00am
Arrive: 6:00am (did laundry in there too)

Daily distance: 92.5km
Time: 6:15.24
Odo: 1655.4. Km
Max. 36.5km/hr
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

Day 15 July 11 2009

Youngstown Alberta to Kindersley Sask

Depart: 6:30am
Arrive: 4:45pm

Daily Distance: 168. 23km (first century)Time: 8:24.59
Odo: 1562.9km
Max. 44.1Km/hr
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

Day 14 July 10 2009

Drumheller to Youngstown

Depart 9:15
Arrive: 5:45

Daily distance: 134.38km
Time: 6:53.15
Odo: 1394.7km
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

Day 13 July 09 2009

Calgary to Drumheller

Depart 6:20am
Arrive 3:05 pm

Daily distance: 144.41 km
Time: 7:49.41
Odo:1260.3 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.

Day 12 July 8 2009

Rest Day Calgary

Day 11 July 7 2009

Rest Day Calgary

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

[Suspected Spam]Day 10 July 06 2009

View Qualicum to Calgary in a larger map

Banff to Calgary

Depart: 7:15am
Arrive: 6:00 pm

Daily Dist: 130.97km
Time: 8:08.42
Odo: 1112.0km
Max: 45.7km
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

Day 9 July 05 2009

Golden to Banff

Depart: 6:00am
Arrive : 8:15pm (pst)

Dist : 147.21km
Time : 10: 02.21
Odo: 981km
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

Day 08 July 04 2009

Canyon Hot Springs to Golden

Depart: 6:15am
Arrive: 4:30pm
Daily dist: 118.9km
Time: 7:44.26
Odo: 833.7
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

Friday, July 3, 2009

Day 7 July 03 2009

Salmon Arm to Canyon Hot Springs

Depart time: 5:45am
Arrival Time: 4:15 pm
Daily distance:139.41
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 6 July 02 2009

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

Day 5 Canada Day

Kamloops to Salmon Arm

Depart: 8:00am
Arrive: 6:03pm

Daily distance: 123.26
Time: 7:52.3
Odo: 575.3
Max: 42.8
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.

Day 4 June 30 2009

Merritt to Kamloops

Daily Distance: 106.31
Time: 6:48.23
Odo: 451.7
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.