Sunday, 23 August 2009

On plans afoot

Well, for better or for worse, I have begun to commit to crossing B.C. by bike. I have started to book beds for night for the first portion of the trip, starting with friends in Kelowna, B.C.. (The bookings that is, I won't be starting in Kelowna!!!) Actually, I had really started with Stephen, John and Louise for Victoria and Vancouver months ago, but they don't count so much as booking.

In the last week or so, I revised my worksheet of days and distances. In the process, I am embarrassed to say that I noticed that I had been following the TCT guide to BC too closely, and hadn't noticed that it took quite a circuitous route between Castlegar and Nelson. By taking the more direct route, I cut at least one day from the journey.

The distances all seem quite reasonable, though the terrain factor is relatively unknown. There are, however, two days that are of concern. The second is from Gray Creek to Kimberly/Cranbrook which involves taking a Forestry Service road that is part of the Trans Canada Trail. It involves at least 45 km of dirt/gravel road along with a very steep climb early in the day. I am not 100% sure if it is a good idea on my bike, so I plan to inquire about current conditions at a bike shop in Nelson before committing. The advantage of the route is that it shortens the journey by a whole day. The first day of concern is from Hope to Princeton. This is a relatively long (130 km) and hilly (I have heard ca. 1000 m gain) day. The problem is that in addition to it being the first day of real climbing, there is no really useful way of shortening the day as there is no suitable intervening accommodation. I have planned that the day before be a rest day so I can only hope that all will be fine. I would be somewhat more confident if the hacking cough that has been bothering me for several days were to pack up and leave.

I will be taking Leonardo in for a tune up on Tuesday and have re-installed the bike-lock holder. I had removed it as I didn't think I needed it in Atlantic Canada. However, between Victoria, Vancouver and Calgary, I think I should bring along to be on the safe side.

I have also made a MEC run and picked up spare hex bolts, waterproof breathable treatment, bike munchies and some emergency supper rations. Possibly overkill, but I'd rather not have another night like the one I spent in the Midway Motel in Newfoundland.

1 comment:

Victor Chisholm said...

Hey, did you know about sites that allow you not only to plan your route but also see the elevation/descent along the way? is one of them; (I think) is another. It's nice to be able to know in advance what kind of climbs await you.