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!)

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