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British Columbia






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Rant Log: British Columbia

Day 1

June 13

Vancouver BC

Simon Frasier University

50.1 km

3 hr



I got up at 4:45 AM. I took airways transit bus from Waterloo to Toronto.

I flew with 3 things: A bike box, and 2 panniers. My bike was too big for the box. My drop-down handlebars made the box flex out, as did my wheels putting a lot of pressure on the spokes. The

bike had wheels off, seat off, pedals off... I assembled the bike just outside the airport, but not very well. The wheels are out of true and the front wheels bumps. Also the front derailer does not change properly (but that was from a bad tune up job from a bike shop the day before... he had the cable go over top the bottom water bottle cage)

Plane landed at 12:30, got bike assembled by 1:30. There was not too much damage to the bike. I then headed out for Vancouver after giving the box to some airport official to dump. Once in Vancouver, I followed the coast on Marine drive to University of British Columbia. Checked out UBC. The trees out here are really tall. I saw an eagle flying up among them. Later I headed up Burris street, crossed a bridge to downtown. Took Hastings to Simon Frasier University. It had a big hill(for me). It took a long time. Man.... I am not sure if I am ready for a full day of mountain riding. These poor students are suffering from a bus strike. Imagine doing this everyday... or walking it.

I stayed at Ben's residence. He is a bike wizard and fixed my derailer using little screws that I was not aware of. Ben was a Waterloo Comp Sci guy like me. Ben has biked across Canada and Europe. So he gave me some advice or what not...

Day 2

June 14

Vancouver BC

Simon Frasier University

96.4 km

5 hr



I spent the day touring the bike routes in Vancouver. In particular, the Stanley park and Seawall paths. I saw some interesting architecture apartment buildings.

I had 3 dinners. Subway @ 4:00. Ben made roast @ 6:30 and ate at a trendy Cuban restaurant with Christian @ 9:00. I still feel like I can eat more. The only problem remaining with my bike now is the bump in the wheel which I can leave till Kelowna. Tomorrow I head out.

I got to see the worst part of Canada several times. The corner of Main and Hastings is overflowing with drugged out people. They will just step right out in front of you. It's amusing to pass by, but I sure would not want to live there. Christian says he sees people picking up pebbles hoping they are a crack rock. [Update: Years later, I still see that corner on the news sometimes and it still makes me laugh. How could one corner of the city be so bad? The rest of that neighbourhood seemed fine.]

Day 3

June 15

Hope BC

Telte-yet Campsite

146.0 km

6.17 hr

Av 23.2

Max 62.0

This was a great day for biking! Not to hot. In fact it was a little chilly at 13C. No rain. Overcast skies so I won't worsen my sunburn. I am writing this on the side of the Frasier River at my campsite. I won't be seeing much more of the Frasier past today. This day turned out well. I got subway for lunch and dinner. Only one tough hill. I had a high speed of 62.0, that was coasting with brakes applied. That's probably nothing for a BC biker but it concerned me.

The only bike problem I have now is the improperly inflated tire. It has lots of pressure but it bumps when I ride. This slows me down and scares me when I go fast.

This is the farthest distance I've done before. I think the wind helped me a lot. Though when I first got going I saw headwinds but after a while I felt nothing which means tailwind.

I should count some things... such as... I dunno... Subways subs! So far 3 subs.

Yesterday there was a small rash from my bike seat. Today I doubled up in underwear for more padding.

That night I heard the weirdest noise that woke me. Sounded like some large animal ran by my tent at break neck speed, grunting and wheezing... did I dream that?

Day 4

June 16

Princeton BC

RV/Tent Campsite

146.5 km

7.35 hr

Av 19.3

Max 63.0

hrmmm.... Today's bike ride was a lot more worrisome. I had 2 flats. My patch jobs are crappy and do not work so I used 2 spare inner tubes. I have 1 spare left. When I was fixing my second flat( a piece of glass ) Alfonzo caught up to me and said hello. He is from Spain and is spending the next few months cycling the rockies. he had a lot more gear than I but could match my speed or go faster. He had a mountain bike too. After 2 flats I am beginning to think I should have gone with a mountain bike too.

Today was a tough bike. Several climbs going up to 20 km. Two peaks Sunday peak(1250 m) and Allison pass (1350 m). Originally I thought I'd have to stop at Manning Park. But going with Alfonzo made me feel like I could get to Princeton. Notice by my average speed, I did not get in till 7:30 PM.

My hair feels weird... it is flat in some spots... puffy in others from the helmet

Alfonzo studied to teach gymnastics in Spain. He doesn't camp at campgrounds like me... he just finds a forest... I like showers. So we parted ways, we would soon take different paths the next day anyways.

Alfonzo wanted to see a black bear. Late in the day I spotted a grizzly and it's cub. I continued down the road a little and took a picture from far away. But jeez.... Alfonzo walked up to the fence... and even climbed over the fence to get a really close up picture. I was too chicken to do that. I wonder if he knew that bears are potentially dangerous.... especially a momma and her cub.

In Princeton I almost stayed at this crappy "AOK" campground, in some house backyard, but there was no one there. I found a better one later by the Smilkameen river. It cost 12$.

5 subs.

Day 5

June 17

Kelowna BC

My Grandmother's house

180.0 km

8.44 hr

Av 20.6

Max 61.0

... It was cold this morning at Princeton. Took a long shower to warm up. I had to stop a couple times to warm my hands. From Princeton to Keremeos it felt like it was all downhill. Near Hedley my chain squeaked really loud. I put some chain lube on it(that stuff is expensive).. still squeaked.

Got to Keremeos, a neat place. It looks like the Colorado dessert at this point. Less and less rainfall means smaller and fewer trees.

Got some groceries there... I wondered why the cashier girl looked at me funny. LAter in a gas station washroom I saw my nose was white. It's irritating my nose runs a lot when biking, leaving a white frosting when it dries.

I took highway 3A to Penticton. I am starting to see more cycling weekend warriors. My chain locked up from being squeaky. It happened earlier in the day too, but this time I flopped over. I bloodied up my knee. I was getting frustrated with these clipless pedals. My other knee has not healed yet from a fall a couple weeks ago. This time I dumped half of my chain lube on the chain. It should not lock up now but it still squeaks. It is only day 5 and there's been no rain. Why is it squeaking?

Got to Penticton. Now I had to decide... on to Kelowna or camp here. It's another 77 km to Kelowna. My grandmother lives there and I can rest, heal and look into these gear problems.

I took Hw. 97. I had headwind and lots of traffic. So far 97 has been the worst highway, where 3 was the best. That will all change once I get to Manitoba.

A couple of bikers flagged my down as I was flying downhill. They thought I was someone else.

Near the end everything was unpleasant: wind, drought hill at Peachland, traffic, small shoulder, some rain and my rear derailer is not working well now either. I didn't even stop to get a picture of the floating bridge. Oh well, I got here and now I can sleep in a bed.

6 subs.

Day 6

June 18

Kelowna BC

My Grandmother's house

0 km

0 hr

Av 0

Max 0

I had three rest days in Kelowna. I didn't do much. I went to the Cyclepath. I basically said I want the best sturdy tires they had. I upgraded from 700x32cc to (I think) 700x35cc Contitop tour 2000 tires. In time I will realize that good tires are worth every penny. I never had another flat on the trip. I barely had to put put any additional air in them. I also had them do some maintenance... they trued my wheels, and fix the gearing.

I've noticed now that my big toes are a little numb.

I visited my Grandmother, Uncle Bill and Aunt Maureen. My Uncle is fighting with cancer. My grandmother recently almost died from a heart attack(actually she was dead for a short while). But both seemed to be quite strong.[Update: my Uncle Bill passed away that summer, I was glad I got to see him before that]

I hung out at the Kelowna beach front, it's such a nice area.

Day 7

June 19

Kelowna BC

My Grandmother's house

20 km

1.3 hr

Av 17.0

Max 29.0

See above... still resting in Kelowna

Day 8

June 20

Kelowna BC

My Grandmother's house

0 km

0 hr

Av 0

Max 0

See above... still resting in Kelowna

Day 9

June 21

Sicamous BC

Cedar Campgrounds

147.6 km

7.03 hr

Av 20.9

Max 51.5

I headed out at 7:30. this morning from Kelowna. Hw 97 was pretty busy up until Vernon. I then too Hw 97A to Sicamous. The road had good shoulder and passed by towns like Armstrong, Enderby and Mara.

I would have like to get to Revelstoke because then I could make through Glacier Park in one day. Now I may have to camp at Roger's Pass.

I called it quits early 14 km outside of Sicaous. The campsite (Cedars) has an indoor poor and spa. I didn't know if there was much past here and Revelstoke was too far, so I stopped here at 4:00 PM. I took a long swim.

There was weak headwinds all day.

Man there is a lot of mosquitoes here. There were non at the others. I'm hiding from them now at the pool.

My sunscreen exploded in my pannier.... gross. My big toes are quite numb... I hope it doesn't get worse.

Now that I have put on bigger tires I should probably have adjusted the bike computer but I don't know how without the manual. So it is probably reading thins a little lower than before.

7 subs.

Day 10

June 22

Rogers Pass BC


134.0 km

7.17 hr

Av 18.4

Max 55.5

I feel a little ashamed. Today was my slowest day but to make it worst I got an expensive hotel room. I knew I'd have a problem ever since I left Kelowna. In order to get through Glacier Park in one day I'd have to start from Revelstoke, but I did not(or could not)

I started from Sicamous early about 7:30, but had headwinds. Got to Revelstoke and the headwinds disappeared. Had a sub and toured Revelstoke. It is one of the more interesting towns.

I almost flopped over on my bike again. My clips refused to let me out of the bike. I oiled it up and it seems good again. I bought stale pita bread for 2.75 at the Revelstoke Coopers grocery store.... 3 times the price in Ontario.

From Revelstoke to Rogers Pass there was nothing. I had used 2 water bottles by the time I got to the summit. Still had most of the third. I looked at the time and it was pretty late. There is nothing from here to Golden which is too far for my tired legs. This summit took a lot out of me, plus there is second climb coming up. The campgrounds around here would be cold.. and the only one I saw was closed. PLus I am a little worried about bears. I used all these excuses to justify the 90$ room. It did rain that night, so it was another excuse.

I checked out the museum. I think I was supposed to pay. It was kind of neat. In the winter the army uses cannons to force avalanches. I saw the locations for the cannons, but did not know what they were for when I was biking.

8 subs.

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