Wednesday, 24 September 2014

On how I got to Penticton

I opted to take the Highway to Penticton rather than the Princeton-Summerland road and/or KVR route as I had done much of it five years ago and the scenery wasn't terribly memorable. Also, that route put the hardest bits near the end of the day, the same time rain would be likely.  In hindsight, I made the right decision.

Highway 3 runs down the bottom the valley of the Similkameen in wide sweeps with the canyon walls rising steeply on either side. The road ran smoothly downwards, generally with nice shoulders for biking. I could tell the route was well used by cyclists of the road racer variety, unfortunately. I used that word as they left their spoor behind, in the form of used CO2 bottles. I am not impressed.

I stopped at Hedley* for a look see of an old mine located several thousand feet up on precipitous cliff side. It made me wonder at the determination of the miners. There are tours of it in summer. Part of me would like to go back and do the tour.

I rolled on to Keremeos where I found an Indian buffet for lunch which had great nan bread. I stopped at an old grist mill but didn't go in. As I was about to leave, noticed my rear tire was flat, again! The cause was apparently a piece of glass. I went back into Keremeos in search of a replacement inner tube as I was now without a spare and my confidence in the rear tire was shot. I found a bike shop by dint of flagging down a local cyclist who showed me the way to the Sagebrush Bike Shop which was run out someone's garage. I got a Presta tube for a skinnier (up to 23mm) tire as that was all he had in the way of 700C Prestas.  I then rode up Highway 3A towards Penticton as clouds gathered threateningly behind me. The climb wasn't bad and was followed by repeated and prolonged "whees" at speeds exceeding 60 kph. I alternated between taking the lane at speed and pulling aside to let larger traffic through as the shoulder wasn't very good for high speeds. From the bottom of the hill, it was a shortish and easy ride into Penticton.

* I kept revisiting the Heddy/Hedley Lamarr joke from Blazing Saddles in my head.

No comments: