So I've finally gotten around to typing out my road log (locations, distances, times, road conditions, etc) and putting it online. It's in MS Excel format and you can get it here.
Here are some lovely charts I made from it too!
August 12, 2001 (real day 94)
DONE! We got into St. John's, NFLD yesterday after the 15 1/2 hour ferry ride to Argentia. The ferry ride went quicker than expected (perhaps it was the 3 movies I watched), but I still managed to get a solid 2 hour nap -- more than enough to get me through the final 140km ride!
One thing I forgot to mention in my last post is that we managed to get out to a local bar and enjoy some good eastern fiddle music! All in all, I'd say that the east coast is very beautiful and definately warrants another trip to see it in more detail.
It feels good to have finished, but the reality of it hasn't really sunk in yet -- today feels like a normal rest day. The final odometer reading is just over 7700km and the day counter on this web site is definately wrong as the trip actually took 91 days (making today day 92), 31 of which were days off. To contrast the rising numbers of the kilometers and days, all our bank accounts have been dropping throughout the trip and are continuing their downward trends. Oh well, it was worth it!
We started this trip as just Buddy & Joel, but now the group has grown to the "Fabulous Five" or "B.J. and T.E.D." for short (the girls' names are Tracy, Elaine and Darcy).
Not to get too sentimental or profound, but this trip was quite the experience. Well worth the effort and expense -- I'd recommend it to anyone who's even considering it. This will be my last post on this page so I hope y'all enjoyed it -- I know I did!
August 10, 2001 (real day 92)
We'll be on the 10th and final province by 6am tomorrow! We're catching the ferry at 3:30pm this afternoon and then it'll be a nice 14-hour-ish ride to the Rock (as they say out here).
We managed to hook up with that trio of girls just outside of Moncton and have been riding with them ever since. It's a good way to finish off the trip, since as you know "A trip isn't measured in kilometers, but in friends made along the way"!
PEI was a blast, we hung out on Cavendish beach for a day, then it was off to Charlottetown where we stayed in a motel and rented a mini-van to tour around the island. While in town we went to see the "Anne of Green Gables" play which was very funny and highly recommendable! We also took in some of the Anne of Green Gables tourist places (ie: Lucy Maud Montgomery's house, etc) and drove up to the eastern tip of the island.
Nova Scotia's alright, kinda hilly, but nothing we can't handle. Saw "Planet of the Apes" the other day -- very disappointing. Too predictable and cheesey, but good make-up. We also met up with a trio of bikers the other day, they were an... interesting group, but, alas, we didn't bike with them for long.
My next update will either be from St. John's, or from home, we'll see where I get the next oppourtunity! BTW, I'll be back in Ontario on the 15th, so see you all then!
July 30, 2001 (real day 81)
So I think somehow my "real day" count on the web page is off, I'm pretty sure that today is not day 81 by my paper journal (which is correct). Oh well.. I'm sure none of you really care all that much anyhow.
We've since left Quebec (which is so far the best province for biking) and are well into New Brunswick. By tonight we'll be just past Fredericton and in Moncton the day after. Things are going well and we expect to be in St. John's, Newfoundland by the 12th of August.
Still haven't caught up to that trio of girls yet, but we're hot on their trail. So perhaps by PEI.. met a solo biker the other day, a 76-year-old named Dan. Pretty good stuff, he was interesting to talk to as he has done a lot of mountaineering and rock climbing.
Well it's about time to keep on trucking, so rock on!
July 25, 2001 (real day 76)
After spending a few days in Quebec City I can honestly say it`s a beautiful place! Very nice, although I`ve been hanging out in the touristy parts and am getting kind of sick of seeing yet another t-shirt shop. Today we decided to get some culture and am currently in the Musuem of Civilization -- very impressive stuff here!
Apart from that, nothing much is new. Checked out the bridge to PEI on the net and doesn`t look like we`ll be allowed to bike it, also the ferry from Cape Breton to Newfoundland is 14 hours and will cost us about $75 each. Oh well, I`m sure it`s a pretty ride.
Anyhow, I must get going, so take care!
July 20, 2001 (real day 71)
Hmm.. so I just typed in a nice long message and then due to the wonders of technology it got lost when I tried to preview the page. :/
Here`s the short recap:
Alas, I must be off to finish the trip. Fare well my friends!
July 10, 2001 (real day 61)
Ok, so I made it to Waterloo on July 4, 2001. Not qute in time for Canada Day, but oh well..
For the last few days of riding (from Canada Day onwards) we met up with a group of 3 girls: Tracy, Darcy and Elaine. They're all from BC and are biking across the country to spread the word about Celiac disease. Anyhow, they're all super cool and even laugh at my jokes! They continued on, but hopefully we'll catch up with them again in Quebec somewhere. We all stayed at Joel's dad's motel/restaurant in Meaford, ON (called The Fishermen's Wharf) on the night of the 3rd, and in repayment the girls cooked us a nice pancake breakfast with fresh fruit and everything -- yummy!
The week off in Waterloo has been well desevered (we did 10 or 11 days biking in a row!) and I've been having a good time seeing Vicki and all my friends here. But alas, it is once again time to go. We leave tomorrow morning!
June 26, 2001 (real day 46)
We've ducked down South under Lake Superior and am now in the library in Ironwood, Michigan. We're already passed through Minnesota and Wisconsin. We are currently 309 miles from Sault St Marie, which we will hopefully do in 3 or 4 days. Then it's a measely 3 days (or so) until we hit Waterloo!
Two nights ago at the campsite in Ashland, Wisconsin there was a garbage bear wandering around the campsites! Kinda worrisome, but another set of bikers told the police and they said "Oh, there's bears all over, but don't worry about them". Seems like a lack of safety if you ask me -- everywhere else garbage bears are relocated so that they are not a threat to humans. (Garbage bears are bears that are accustomed to people and eat their trash instead of hunting/foraging for their own food. They are a threat because they are not scared of people and have associated people with food).
Also back when we were in Canada (Fort Frances) we met up with a cool dude named Todd. He biked across the country two years ago and so we got into a nice conversation. That night he took us for a night on the town. Ahh.. it was just wait I needed.
Spent a rest day in Duluth, Minnesota a few days ago. Pretty good.. watched Swordfish and Atlantis. Both movies had bad reviews I'd read: Atlantis had too much killing for a typical Disney movie and Swordfish looked like the action wasn't part of the original script and was just added in later for excitement. I still liked Swordfish, it was a decent action flick -- however the gratuitous topless scene was pointlessly dumb. Atlantis made me a little bored.
Picked up some more books in Duluth. I finally started reading the Red Mars, Blue Mars, Green Mars trilogy by Kim Stanly Robinson. And I also picked up an intellectual book called "Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea" by Charles Seife -- it's about the history of the number zero. Yes, I know -- I'm such a geek. ;> Anyhow it's really lightly written (the reviews say that even non-mathies will like and understand it) and really interesting to boot!
Oh, we also did another century on the way to Duluth. That's starting to be old news though.
June 17, 2001 (real day 37)
Ok, so we're now in Winnipeg, Manitoba! We're staying at a friend of Joel's for a couple of rest days. During our time off we brought our bikes into the store for a tune-up and have (as usual) watched a few movies. Our visit also coincided with the Jazz Festival here so we took in some of those acts as well.
On the day we got here a few noteworthy things happened:
Since last writing we also took a rest day in Fort Qu'Appelle, SK. We had met up with the Quebeccor's again (Gabor had since parted ways) and travelled with them for a few days. Promising a rest day in Fort Qu'Appelle we followed them there and then they decided to move on. Anyhow, since we'd just done 8 days of straight riding (and 1038km since out last rest day) we took a day off there and hung out on the beach. This time I managed to get their email address though so we can stay in touch.
We are taking a long 2 day break here, so we'll be leaving the comforts of the house tomorrow morning and hitting the road again. I can't wait to ride through Kingston soon, I hear that there'll be people with signs to cheer us on! ;>
June 7, 2001 (real day 27)
Quick update: I'm using the computer at the Radio Shack in Kindersley, SK. That's right -- we made it to Saskatchewan! Made short work of Alberta.. anyhow not much time to write anything, but I'll give a good long update when I hit Winnepeg (if I don't get a chance before).
PS - We caught up with those Quebec folk I was talking about before.. good stuff!
June 3, 2001 (real day 23)
Had a nice day of rest (hey, even God took a day of rest) and am now in Calgary! We're still living the high life and are staying in the hostel here. Pretty swank!
So we're really out of the mountains now and the roads are really nice and (comparatively) flat! We made some awesome time on the road today despite the cool 10 degree weather that included periods of cloud cover, rain and even some hail! Hopefully the weather will co-operate tomorrow as we're planning another long day to Drumheller (approx 150km). This is where we'll leave the Trans-Canada Highway and take Highway 9 through Alberta.
Check out my math jokes, I added 2 more!
May 31, 2001 (real day 20)
Finally made it out of BC! Now I'm in Lake Louise, Alberta! Hear that? ALBERTA! :> I'm just glad we got out of there before the month was over. It was a long ride over Kicking Horse Pass but made it without stopping.
We've been living it up lately.. here's where we've slept the past 5 nights: hostel, campground, hostel, hotel, hostel! Nope, I didn't mis-spell that second last one, we stayed in a real hotel! The room even had three double beds in it! I also enjoyed the hot tub (not in the room) while I was there! Fantastic.. I don't mind roughing it at all!
The day that we stayed in the hotel, we decided to make it a long day to try to make up some time (we'd been having some short days for various reasons -- weather, bike repairs, etc), so we did a 150km from Revelstoke to Golden, up through Roger's Pass (which summets at 1330m!).
Things are still going well, so TTYL!
May 29, 2001 (real day 18)
So yesterday we biked from Salmon Arm to Yard Creek Provincial Park (a measly 45km). Today we biked from there to Revelstoke (another measly 60km). We were planning on going further today to make up some of the lost time, but it started to rain and we got really really cold so we stopped in the hostel here. Guess what? It snowed last night! Not where we were, but witihin 40km of there! The Coquahala (sp?) highway even got 15cm of snow! Nutso.. Just another reason to stay in the nice warm hostel.
So the plan is to bike from here to the top of Roger's Pass tomorrow and then on to Golden the day after. Next comes the ride to Banff and on to Lake Louise and then we'll finally be outta this province!
On a good note, the odometer finally got into them 4-digit numbers a few days ago. It's now sitting at 1106.4km. Not too shabby!
May 28, 2001 (real day 17)
Since I last wrote here's what we've been up to: Biked from Vancouver to Kilby Provincial Park (109km) and then from there to Emory Creek Provincial Park (70.5km). The next day we started biking and then I realized why my bike was feeling strange -- I had many, many busted spokes and my wheel was so un-true that it was rubbing on the frame! Yes, if only I'd taken the time to look at my bike more frequently. Ah, you live, you learn. So since this happened on Victoria Day I had to wait until Tuesday to get it fixed, and then that took most of the day so we were stuck back at Emory Creek until Wednesday. So finally we got going again and it was super hot, about 30 degrees out I was told. We were also getting into the hills by this point and had one biggun' that is called "Jackass".. very aptly named! We also had to go through some tunnels that day and we decided to play it safe and walk our bikes on the nice sidewalk that was provided, it even had a nice railing so no cars could hit you. On the fifth and longest tunnel (almost a kilometer) we were walking and then found that the railing was too close. Usually there's about half an inch of space on either side of the bike, but not this time.. my handlebars wouldn't even fit! So, being stuck in the middle of the tunnel I had to half turn my front wheel and handlebars and carry the front half of my bike through this tunnel.. I'd love to talk to the people who designed it! Oh, and on top of that there's signs that say "Bikes must yield to pedestrians", I can't even fit my bike through, let alone yield to anyone!
So after we got to Skihist Provincial Park (101km) we met up with a group of 4 other people biking across Canada! Three of them are from Quebec: Carl, Mark and April, and the other is a fellow they met on the train who is from Ontario named Gabor (not sure of the spelling). Anyhow it was good to have some other company (you know how Joel can be!) and we biked with them for a couple of days. We got split up in Kamloops, but had agreed to meet them at a hostel in Squilax, BC but when we got there they weren't there! So, now that we've been stranded here (Salmon Arm, BC) for a few days they must be way ahead of us.. Oh well, maybe we'll run into them later. Perhaps they'll even find this web page and email me! I had hoped to get their email addresses since they were planning on making a web page of their own about the trip and it would have been interesting to get their perspectives on it.
Aside from that not much is new.. watched Pearl Harbour and A Knight's Tale while killing time in town. They were decent movies. Aside from kicking Joel's butt in pool that's about it. Oh, except for last night, we stayed in a campground that had a hot tub, I tell ya, there's nothing better than a hot tub to relax sore leg muscles! Ah, it was heavenly!
Hopefully we'll be out of BC soon and then we can just cruise through the Prairies to make up some lost time.
May 18, 2001 (real day 7)
The trip to Victoria ended up being our longest day yet, ending up at 135km in just under 7 hours. The Malahat wasn't too bad, a measely 352m of elevation, but had a nice 10km of downhill on the other side!
The hostel in Victoria was pretty nice, a fully featured hostel that had everything but a ping pong table. :/ The only thing that sucks is that my rear light went missing so now I have to get a new one sometime. While out in Victoria we went out for a beer but after one pitcher we were too beat to continue and ended up going to bed. But we made up for that last night! After a short 35km bike to the ferry we made it to Vancouver and e're staying with some friends. Being my birthday, we went out to celebrate last night at Kit's (a bar) which was dead. However as the night went on, and the beer was flowing, it got better. We also went out for dinner before at The Cactus Club where they put up with our rowdiness for 2 hours. They even gave me a free drink for my birthday -- a Muff Diver!
Today is another rest day partly from last night but mainly because I forgot my windbreaker in Nanaimo and have to wait for a courier to bring it over to ferry for me. Oh well, my knees were killing me after the ride to Victoria so this will be a nice break. Cheers!
May 15, 2001 (real day 4)
Ok, so here's the scoop. The trip has actually started now, and this is day 4 of the trip (hence the "real day 4" thing). We started up in Tofino on Saturday and just as we were about to set off it started to mist with rain and looked like worse. Even though we were itching to set off we checked out the hostel there since getting soaked the first night wasn't too appealing. After seeing th $25/night price we decided to bike the 20km to Greenpoint Provincial Park. This was a nice easy ride which we did in just under an hour. The campsite itself was decent, located right on Longbeach, so it had an amazing view!
The next day we got up early (5:45am) expecting a really hard and hilly day. Luckily the day went better than expected and we biked the 94km in just under 5 hours. There were a few long steady climbs, but nothing too bad, except for this one 18% grade hill. On one of the lovely downhills (the reward after struggling up a long climb) I got up to a crazy 65km/h! That night we stayed at Sproat Lake Provincial Park which was really nice. It had some petroglyphs (drawings carved into a rock face), free firewood and, most importantly, free hot showers! There was also a nice retired couple there that recognized us from the road and lent us their axe so we could chop up the firewood.
We ended up going to bed at 9pm because is started to rain, and we woke up to still more rain. After spending the morning hiding in the tent we decided to suck it up and bike in the rain (since we were going to Joel's mom's house and could dry off there). We were warned about the big "hump" between Port Alberni and Coombs but we didn't pay much attention since we'd already powered through the hilly country between Tofino and Sproat Lake. Let me tell you, this was a long hill! It was a bit of a disappointment on the other side of the hump too since we didn't want to get going too fast on the windy road (with our wet brakes). Even keeping pressure on my brakes I had trouble staying under 40km/h! After that the ride wasn't too bad, had a short break at Cathedral Grove to heat up some hot chocolate, then we stopped for a late lunch in Coombs at the store Goats On The Roof (it's a large store with a grass roof and goats living on it!).
Today we're having a rest day and drying out our gear. I hear that the route to Victoria crosses a mountain or something.. though I'm sure it won't be much of a problem. Until next time...
May 11, 2001 (day 4)
BC is as nice as I remembered it! The majestic mountains.. the flowing rivers.. the expansive ocean.. Anyhow, we haven't actually started the trip yet. On the 8th we flew into town and then spent a few hours putting our bikes back together in the airport. It wasn't all that hard to get them together, except for the front racks. The store hadn't installed them (since they had to box up the bikes), but said that the included instructions were "very explicit" and that it would be "no problem". Anyhow, after trying to follow the instructions for an hour or so we gave up and improvised -- and it worked! The instructions didn't seem to work on our bikes, but whatever, it's all together now.
That night we stayed at a friend's house on the North Shore and got a ride to the ferry the next day. Since then we've been staying at Joel's mom's house in Nanaimo (Lantzville to be exact). Yesterday we went on a training ride (ie: partially loaded with gear) out to Cathedral Grove and back. It was a total of 94km which we did in a good time of 5 hours. The ride went well and we were pleased with our time, and with our equipment which works well.
Today we have to go pick up some more equipment as well as food for the real trip which is starting in two days. Tomorrow we're getting a ride up to Tofino and staying there for the night. Sunday we will begin the trip by riding from Tofino to near Port Alberni, and then back to Nanaimo the next day. Unfortunately it is scheduled to rain all of next week, which sucks, but we have to deal with the rain sometime..
May 7, 2001 (T-minus 1 day)
Today's the last day in Waterloo. Tonight Joel and I will be taking the bus down to Hamilton and sleeping in the airport until our 6:15am flight. So much to do, so little time (and here I sit updating the web page)!
A bunch of my friends took us out to Molly Bloom's last night as a going away party.. very nice! Anyhow, I should get going, but stay tuned the best part is still to come!
April 28, 2001 (T-minus 11 days)
Last year while working in Vancouver with Joel we decided to do something huge.. eventually we came up with the idea of doing a bike trip across Canada (I think it was over a few beers). Who would have thought that it'd actually happen? Well here we are, 11 days until we fly out to Vancouver! I've been pretty excited about the trip lately, but I don't think the full magnitude of the trip has set in.. and I don't think it will until we start biking up those HUGE mountains. Don't worry though, I'll keep y'all updated!
Here is a picture of my bike. It's a Specialized Sirrus Sport 2001, a cross-bike (ie: a mixture of a mountain bike and a road bike) made for long distance cycling. Comes complete with Shimano's Deore components and clipless pedals!