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Thu Apr 25, 2002 - Up... Too... Late!

Well, it's 1:30am right now, and I have to get up at 5:00am to catch my flight to Vancouver! So the trip is just about to begin... :) I'm pretty excited! Anyways, I'll be meeting up with Ian in Victoria, and on Friday we'll come back to Vancouver before heading out into the Rockies. Bed time! G'night.. :)

Fri Apr 26, 2002 - Vancouver-Victoria-Vancouver - The Trip Starts

Ian pointed out an interesting fact to me - yesterday I travelled on: Airplane, car, bus, ferry, and bike. So, a real transportation day! I left Toronto at 7:45am EST, and arrived in Victoria at 6pm PST.. Not bad for a day of travel! I took a bus from the airport to the ferry, to cheat a little. After that it was a short bike ride, 33.3km from where the ferry dropped me off, to Victoria. The flight was spectacular - I had clear skies from Manitoba through B.C., so I got to see a lot of what I'm going to be travelling soon! I snapped a photo or two of the Rockies from the plane:

Yesterday was the first time I had ever ridden with all my packs on the bike, and it took me a little by suprise to be honest! A lot more effort than I thought it was going to be. It made me a bit scared for today, when we were going back to Vancouver, except biking all the way. Fortunately, it went suprisingly well! It was 92km (a little more than the 75km we thought it would be) from Victoria to Vancouver, and we made it, only getting tired at the very end. Yes, I'm tired now, but I didn't think 92km would go so well with the packs on! :) We of course went to the "Mile 0" sign at the start of the transcanada highway in Victoria, and took a couple pictures - have to start from the very beginning!

The roads in BC are SOOOOOO much nicer than those in Ontario - wide shoulders, well paved, and very accessable to bikes. There are many more people biking here than I'm used to seeing in Ontario - more healthy lifestyle overall, I guess! I still find it odd to be able to bike on roads with speed limits of 80-90km/h - divided highways with on/off ramps - that's never allowed back home!

Sat Apr 27, 2002 - Semi-Rest Day

Today was a pretty relaxing day - we didn't get going until 12:15 or so, and I must thank Jennifer and her parents - they were absoultely amazing to Ian & I!! Our rest stop at thier place was quite relaxing and enjoyable!

So we spent the bulk of today running errands - I had a small problem with my bike that required a bike shop, so we stopped off at a good one in Vancouver. We ended up buying fenders for our bikes (not having them in the rain yesterday was a mistake!), and it took over an hour to figure them out and put them on! We stopped at MEC after that and picked up some needed supplies. After that we travelled a small 36km to a relative of Ian's

I must say the scenery here is AMAZING. The ride today was easily the best scenic bike ride I've ever had, and we aren't even out of the city yet!

BTW: if you want to see all the pics I've managed to upload so far, click here. It will always contain all the pics, whenever I can upload them back home!

Tue Apr 30, 2002 - Where can you find Hope?

In the town of Hope, or so the locals say.. :) I'm currently in an Internet cafe in the town of Hope, so I'll keep this entry brief!

BC continues to be a constant source of great scenery! We have entered the mountains proper, and being surrounded by snowy peaks is wonderful! The weather has been nothing but nice - 20 degrees during the day, sunny, wind at our backs - who could ask for more? I've been told the rest of the country isn't faring so well though.

In the interests of gaining strength, we've been taking it easy for the past few days, which the terrain has been helping - mostly flat with occasional hills. Ian & I both had our first flat tires, and I had my second - two minutes after my first! We were biking along, and with the sound of a gunshot BANG!!!!. The sound echoed off the mountain wall, directly into Ian's ear. I was somewhat spared as it happened behind me, but not so for Ian, who was mostly beside the offending tire. Turns out my tire pump has a faulty gauge, so I overinflated the tire, causing it to blow up quite nicely. Pictures will be coming sometime soon.. :)

Otherwise, we are off to relax for the rest of the day, and get Ian's hair cut, it's driving him mad.. :)

Wed May 1, 2002 - Lytton, Here We Come!

The Hope for today was to reach the town of Lytton, which is approx 100km away from Hope. The goal was reached! We biked approx 117km today, and it was by far the most impressive ride so far! We had it all - big ups, big downs, tunnels, nasty trucks, nice cars, and a little gatoraide to speed us along!

Seriously though, today was a very good day. The following things interested me:

  • The terrain - you remember grade 9 geography class? I do.. Since we have now passed the coastal mountain range and are behind it, things have become VERY DRY. The terrain has changed from what I know B.C. to be like, green and growing, to desert-like. There is little grass growing anymore, the slopes are mostly covered by a scrubby looking bush.
  • Tunnels are fun!! There are 7 tunnels between Hoe and Lytton, and they are an interesting time for bikers. They are too narrow to allow two lanes of traffic and a bike to go through, so you have to be careful. There are tiny walkways along the sides of the tunnels, but they are so narrow you can't even BEGIN to concieve of biking through them! You have to walk your bike, and you barely fit between the wall and the guardrail - not fun! So of course, we only walked through 2 of the 7 tunnels, and made a break for it when we could on the others.
  • Up & Down. Up & Down. Like the Vengaboys song.. There wasn't as many hills as I thought there would be, but it was quite fun anyways! We reached a high of 350 meters at one point. The downhills are fun, I get up to about 65km/h. 40-50km/h is standard down a good hill!

Thu May 2, 2002 - Headed to Cache Creek

Did I mention that Ian has turned into an eating machine?? It is really quite funny to watch him eat, and eat, and eat, and eat!! And talk about eating. And wish he was eating. Grin - you get the picture! He needs to eat to keep going, so eat he does! I am eating a little more than normal, but I have some reserves to get through before my body starts demanding a lot more food.. :)

Today went quite well too! We had a STIFF wind behind us the whole way from Lytton to Cache Creek, and made it (approx 80km) in by 2pm, for an early stop. The overall altitude difference was about 200m (330m at campground outside of Lytton, 510m at campground in Cache Creek), but we had a number of 150m+ climbs. Easy day!

The oddest thing about the mountain terrain is the optical illusions both Ian & I are suffering from. Since we are not used to the scale, there has been countless times that my eyes tell us we are going downhill, but we are going uphill! Not steep hills, but the more gentle grades. The only was I can tell if it actually is up or down is by looking backwards a few times, or just by judging the amount of effort I need to put into biking. Makes me understand how that "Magnetic Hill" thing works!

The weather has been beautiful! We haven't seen any rain since that one day Victoria! Forcast was for rain today, but since we are in the "high country" it doesn't rain much here. We did get a nasty wind/rain storm after we had set up our tent, but it blew over, and we hid in our tent! Good thing we weren't biking. It cooled down a lot though.

Fri May 3, 2002 - Kamloops... Gasp!

Whew! What a trip. We thought getting to Kamloops would be a breeze, it's only 80km, and after yesterday's 80km, this should be easy! Well, it wasn't too bad, to be honest, but it was harder than I thought it would be! We had to climb from 400m to 575m (approx) a couple times, and then up to 737m before going into Kamloops! I didn't realize that it would be as high as it was before hitting town. I was having trouble at one point (no energy, just starting to feel dead), when Ian came up to me and mentions: "The air it thinner up here!". As soon as he said it, I realized it was true, and started taking deeper breaths. Like night and day, it was! I felt much better, and had my energy back again. Such a simple concept, but I had forgotten that it would happen. Just wait till we are in the mountain passes, which are 1300m & 1600m! That'll be fun!

Kamloops is quite nice - we are staying in a Motel tonight, just for a break. Get cleaned up, and rested!

Sat May 4, 2002 - Relaxing in Kamloops

Today is another rest day (whoohoo!). So, we are of course sitting in an Internet Cafe, updating all of you!

Tonight we are staying in a Hostel - it looks like fun! There are about 40 other people there, and we will likely go out with them tonight. Our bikes are in the shop getting a tune-up, as were are only days away from the Rockies!

Weather looks to be interesting - the frost line is down to 1000m, and the passes we go through are at 1300m and 1600m, so basically, we better be ready for some snow! Hopefully not too much - we've had such good weather so far. There is a new set of pictures up here, so take a look if you like!.

Sun May 5, 2002 - Salmon Arm (116km)

Today was quite a day! For some odd reason, Ian & I always seem to feel worse after taking a rest day. My knee was bothering me more than ever at the outset of the day, and my muscles were quite sore. Just part of our trainig, I guess! It was cloudy today, and in fact the weather decided to have some fun with us - it was raining for a while, when someone decided to get really nasty and the skies started dropping hail on us! That was an experience (grin)!

We've run into two other bikers now, and the one today took the cake. He was an older guy, who "Was waiting to die.". He was "put on this earth as punishment, and was free before, and will be free after". He has a kids mountain bike, piled with stuff, and a "The end is coming" cardboard sign on the back. This was his second time across the mountains! The first guy was back before Lytton, and he was tame in comparison. Just a little odd. So this got me thinking - the only people we have seen biking so far are crazies. So what does that make us? (grin). Kidding - but it was amusing for a moment.. :)

We took a break once we got to Salmon Arm, because it looked like rain was coming in - ironically, if we hadn't waited, we'd have made camp without getting wet! Because we did wait, we ended up hiding under a gas station roof waiting for it to end so we could go on and find our campsite. We never did find it - gave up and found a motel for that night. :)

Mon May 6, 2002 - Revelstoke (103km)

Made it! Revelstoke was my first real goal on this trip! I don't know why, but I guess it seemed like a town a decent way through B.C. that I could feel proud about making it to. So when we got here today, it was a natural high! This also meant that we started to see even more impressive mountains for the first time, as Revelstoke marks the boundry of the Coulmbia Mountains, which are higher than the Costal Range, but not as high as the Rockies.

Weather was kinda wet today - not really raining much, but the clouds were quite low overhead at points - and it was cold!! As long as we kept on biking, we were fine though. The Mountains continue to astound me - I could only imagine the sights I was missing today due to the low clouds. The main scary thing today was how close the frost line was (the altitude where snow remains show, and doesn't melt to become rain). It was onlt 100 meters above us at points! If it gets much colder, we'll be seeing some snow pretty soon! The mountains passes are coming up, and we have to get over them, so it better not snow!

The BIG debate right now is indeed if we will be able to go up into the passes. The frost line is forecasted to drop tomrrow, and the big problem is that we want to go to a place called Albert Canyon, which is halfway up Roger's Pass. The catch is that none of the campgrounds are open in Albert Canyon, so we'd have nowhere to stay! When we wake up tomorrow, we'll check the weather and see what we can do. Going to Golden straight from here isn't an option - 800m of climb to get up Roger's pass, and 153km to Golden through mountains simply won't work! We need an intermediate point. Tomorrow will tell!

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