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Tue Apr 30, 2002 - An update - finally!

Ok, so here we are, sitting at an internet cafe in Hope, BC. Yesterday was a trying day, about 30 minutes after starting out I noticed my back tire was a little flat. Replaced the tube (lots of fun, since that required unpacking the bike, and repacking afterwards). Picked out a few pieces of rock and glass that were embedded in the tire, probably should do that each night. We got going at a nice clip for awhile, a few hills, but nothing major. Just after lunch, Jeff managed to get a flat (Just after saying that carrying 3 spare tubes was probably overkill, heh). We got going again, and not 2 minutes later we hear a loud *bang*. That was Jeff's tube bursting. I can still hear my ear ringing it was so damn loud. Ended up biking about 55km or so into Hope.

We're taking a rest day today, figured our knees and legs could use the rest. There's not much in the way of semi-large cities between here and Kamloops.

Once I have a bit more time I'll write a more detailed update :-)

Wed May 1, 2002 - Hope -> Lytton BC: 118km

Well, after a nice rest day in Hope, we felt like we could tackle a mountain, and so we did! (well, almost). Biking up the Frasier canyon is a beautiful ride, although some of the climbs are killers. Most of them we had to walk up, when you're carrying 60 pounds of gear, biking uphill for 2 or 3kms is rather difficult!

We left around 8am so it was refreshingly cold out. Nice biking temperature. It quickly became an extremely hot day though, so we took our time. Arrived in Lytton around 6pm. Today was the tunnel day, where we biked through 7 tunnels varrying from 100 metres to the longest which is around 700 metres long. There's no shoulder in the tunnels, so one option is to walk your bike along the pedestrian walkway, but that's about 3 feet wide which makes it really difficult to walk your bike. We opted to bike through most of them, and were a little worried about the longest tunnel where we wouldn't be able to see the other side to wait for a break in the traffic. As luck would have it, there was maintence work being done on the tunnels, so only one lane of traffic was being let through. We pulled up to the front of a huge line of traffic waiting at the mouth of the tunnel, and as soon as we arrived, it was the north bound lanes turn to go through! So we managed to get a head of most of the traffic going through the tunnel.

The traffic on the Trans-Canada is pretty light on this section, and the trucks are usually pretty nice to us, moving over to the oncoming lane if they can to give us more room. Luckily there's usually a lot of shoulder to ride on. At the end of the day we were pretty tired, so it was nice to set up the tent at a BC Parks campground, cook dinner (Stew, PBJ sandwhiches) and relax. The BC Parks campground was pretty empty, so we had a nice quiet evening to get lots of sleep. It's up early tomorrow to head to Cache Creek!

Thu May 2, 2002 - Lytton -> Cache Creek BC: 80km

Up early again at 6am or so, the mornings keep getting colder. Brr! The change of scenery over the span of about 20 kms is amazing, we're now entering a desert like area, very stark and barren in sections. I had no idea BC was like this!

I hit a piece of wood yesterday (was paying too much attention to the scenery, and not the road in front of me, oops!), so my back wheel needs truing. Hopefully there will be a bike store of a decent size in Kamloops. Other than that, the bikes have been amazing.

A few steep climbs today, which we once again walked up. We were up to 520 metres above sea level at one point. It's really tough to tell if you're biking uphill sometimes, since there's no good point of reference. We'll be biking along thinking it's flat and wondering why it takes so much effort! When you look back you realize that you've really been going up a slight incline all the way. There's almost no flat sections at all, either you're climbing, or going downhill. The Trans-Canada is cut into the side of the mountains at some point, a little scary! We thought we were going to get rained on, the clouds to the south looked pretty menacing, but we seem to have outrun them for now. It doesn't look like it rains much in this part of BC anyhow.

We got into Cache Creek fairly early around 2pm. There was a nice tail wind all day which helped is along, really ups the average speed quite a bit! Just a little while after setting up the tent, we look outside and see massive storm clouds rolling in. The wind was insane, almost thought the tent would be blown away! The temperature dropped about 20 degrees in a short amount of time. Well, I guess that's what you get for being in the mountains in early May!

We're off to Kamloops tomorrow, where we'll take another rest day. Getting used to carrying all our gear is taking awhile, but I think we're almost there.

Fri May 3, 2002 - Cache Creek -> Kamloops BC: 80km

Heh, they call this section of BC plateau, yeah right! There's more hills here then in the mountains! Climbed up to over 700 metres at times. We walked up more hills today then the previous two days combined! Overall a pretty good ride though. The air is slightly thinner at 700 metres then we're used to, took us awhile to figure that out, and to breath more deeply. We were wondering why we were having such a tough time of it!

We stopped for much needed food at Savona, as luck would have it there was a nice bakery so we had some sort of apple cinnamon pastry which was incredibly good! Speaking of food, almost anything tastes really good when you're hungry! The canned stew we've been eating tastes like the best stew I've ever had!

Quite a few cars (and some trucks) have been honking at us, makes us wonder if they have seen us biking on a previous day. It's a little unnerving though when a car honks right beside you, makes you lose a bit of concentration especially when you're biking uphill!

We've gone through a jar of peanut butter, and a jar of jam since Hope, so it's time to stock up again. Usually we eat about a loaf of bread a day. Plus Power bars, apples, or some sort of fruit. Subway has been a good place to eat as well :-)

The rest day in Kamloops will be much needed, it took us much longer to get anywhere today, muscles are getting a little tired :-) So far we've biked about 560kms, not bad at all!!

Sat May 4, 2002 - Kamloops - Ahhh, Rest Day!!

We're enjoying a day off in Kamloops, give our leg muscles a much needed break before the Rocky Mountain passes. Have to get my rear bike tire trued as well, and it's in the shop as I type. It was slightly bent due to that silly piece of wood on the road that I accidently biked over a few days back. It's probably a good idea to get the bikes checked out before the real mountains begin as well.

There's new pictures up as well, so have a look! Some of them turned out really good! Probably won't be able to update the site for awhile after this, the next major town is Revelstoke, and I doubt they'll have an internet cafe, so the next place is probably Calgary. Talk to y'all then! :-)

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