Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Out for a Training Ride

I hope we are FINALLY done with the snow! A howling blizzard blew through this very spot on April 19 -- the day before we came through on a leisurely "training" ride.

I hope we don't have too many snow storms on our trip -- but I suspect we will have several nights of snow-camping (Manning Park summit for one).

Mark got out for a good long ride over the weekend too and ended up riding back to Victoria with several members of the Sea to Sea 2008 group who are riding across Canada too. They are leaving a little bit after us -- probably wise given the amount of snow that has fallen recently in the mountains!

Check out their blog at seatosea08.blogspot.com .


Monday, April 21, 2008

Introducing Mark and Sapphire (the bike)

Mark is very experienced with self-supported cycle touring. Rides in England, Scotland, Western Europe, BC, and the US Northwest have provided him with lots of kilometres in the saddle.

Mike and I have had many adventures with Mark. We have cycled and camped through southern BC together, riding the Kettle Valley Rail trail before the Myra Canyon trestles burned down, fording rivers, and crossing avalanche paths where necessary.

Mark is famous for leading us, with fully loaded touring bikes, over single track mountain bike trails (unfortunately, no pictures exist to attest to this -- but it is TRUE!).

Last year (2007) we decided to try and push though the Trans Canada
Trail on Vancouver Island (at least where we thought the Trans Canada Trail might go) from Shawnigan Lake to Goldstream. We ended up bushwacking with loaded bikes through some tough going, but the icing on the cake was getting stuck in the secure Victoria Water District Lands.

We had to pass the bikes over a 4 metre high barbed wire fence to get out. We escaped just in time -- a Water District truck was driving up the road just as we were over the fence and riding into the town of Goldstream.

In this picture Mark and Mike are on the Terasen Gas pipeline bed -- this was relatively easy -- next up was gorse, broom, and scrub bushwacking. Click on the picture to see the whole story. (Hey, the route looked fine on Google Earth!)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Introducing Mike (Antler) and Mary (the Miyata)

Back at home
Originally uploaded by Calypso Orchid
Mike and I do a lot of bike touring -- but the longest we've ever been out for is two months. Crossing Canada will be a much bigger undertaking!

Check out our recent trips:
Biking and Bagging (hiking) in Scotland. Sept, 2007

Two Wheels on the Front. A ride through the Canadian battle lines of the First World War (England, Belgium, northern France).

England by Bike. A 2003 spring time ride through Merry Olde England -- with stops in Scotland and Wales.

Bike BC. Two months of biking and camping through British Columbia.

For the Canada C2C ride we'll take the bikes you see in the photo. Mike's trusty steed is named "Antler", and my workhorse goes by "the Miyata" (cause that's what it is). I've got over 150,000 km on the Miyata. This trip should add another 8,000.

Mike is a much more experienced cycle tourer than I, but Antler is a newer bike and hasn't been around long enough to pile on the kilometres. To date, I would say that Antler has racked up more than 50,000 kms.


Sunday, April 6, 2008

Getting Ready to Roll

Only a month left to go!
But that means only one more month to plan, check bikes, check gear, get the house set up for Eva, deal with family issues, and make more arrangements than I can imagine. Who knew leaving home for a few months would require so much effort.

Obviously we're not riding yet, but I thought it might be a good idea to record some of the set-up necessary to get this show "on the road". This is also a good time to introduce the team, check out the proposed routes, and talk about all the amazing things we hope to do on this journey.

From left to right: Mike in Scotland, Mary in Canturbury, and Mark in Victoria

More soon!