Thursday, July 29, 2010

2010-07-28 Copper Mountain BC - Vancouver BC (finally!)

And for ending this first part of this trip had set the alarm to 5AM, Started a bit after 6AM with a very nice sunshine in the middle of nowere and still have to climb the mountain until Allison Pass (But was worth it! Still had seen snow during the hot summer). Once again the GPS failed on me as marked quite like 20km to the pass when it was really 60km from my departure point.
So, after Allison pass,the road was mostly down but going against the wind, even with high grades it was quite difficult to get a decent speed (35km/h going down is really slow).
Once entering in the freeway BC 1 the wind blowed even stronger and with the road more flat it was even harder. Once left the freeway to get the road 1A from Abbotsford, I didnt counted that would be even slower! The wind calmed down but it's impressive the number of traffic lights all over the way, it's inevitable to get many red ones! I was just 60km near Vancouver at around 6PM that only arrived to my host's place at midnight! Way too slow!

But at least I did it! Against oposite wind, uproads, deserts, rain, thunderstorm, red lights, I did it! Finally Vancouver! And with a such lovely sunshine day!

This was my longest day:
Early morning in the mountain:

And the arrival at midnight to downtown Vancouver:

Route: 2010-07-27 Copper Mountain BC - Vancouver BC

The record in pedal in one sigle day: 17h42m, Distance 273,18km/169,75mi Moving time: 14h15m, Max Speed: 61km/h, Average: 19,8km/h Total: 5987,011km/3720,15mi

This song is really perfect for me: Memory Tapes - Bicycle

2010-07-27 Wauconda WA USA - Copper Mountain BC Canada

So, slept in an old school in Wauconda on which the garden outside was well treated but the inside was full of construction. On the night before had asked some people on the gas station nearby where is a camping site but they dont know any and recommended me to stay in an old school and if anyone appeared they wouldn't mind.
So Yeah, stayed there and in the morning at 7AM someone appeared and was a really nice morning, telling that don't have many visitors and like the bikers to come around! And the place is really warm! Just bring a sleeping bag and that's it!

As there were no hosting confirmed for Princeton, and while the day was still light, depite got a big cloud with some lightning (as usual), decided to go anywhere until 9PM and then just came somewhere in the forest.
This is also the first time that I had opened the tent!

Another funny thing is the confusion of gravity, the road seems always down but is going up the river, the southeast wind was also a great help, despite the big mountains I had to climb again!

2010-07-26 Colville WA - Wauconda WA

After crossing mountains mostly soft this days was really crossing passes, which mean long long way ups and long downhills!

However the morning started in the farm thanks to Angie and family, on which I made some raspberry pickup and had all the food from their farm! It reminded my first 10 years of my childhood! (Yup I had a farm in the 80's). There is no need to mention that after a great meal, there is no need to eat anything for a least 5 hours! i never felt starvation the entire day! Even climbing more than consecutive 40kilometers!

The day was hot but as the road was made in the forest, there were lot's of shadow and river beside, which means lots of freshness, but the road never ends going up!
So up that this day only allowed me to make just 120km, making me end my trip much before Tonaskett as I planned.
Already cycling in the dark, saw a gas station which was closed but there were some guys having some beers and asked them if there was any camping spot. they didn't know any but told me that there was an old school under construction and they wouldn't mind to stay there.
So yeah, that night I slept in a school and actually was pretty warm and insect free!
Also to mention bikers are welcome there, so if You plan to go on this road WA20 You have a good shelter (meaning didn't opened the tent so far!)

Route: 2010-07-26 Colville WA - Wauconda WA

Time: 7h54m, Distance 121,82km/75,70mi Moving time: 7h14m, Max Speed: 62km/h, Average: 16,8km/h Total: 5499,38km/3417,15mi

Monday, July 26, 2010

2010-07-25 Sandpoint ID - Colville WA

What a wonderful Sunday!
Today before continue my journey to Colville, my friend's host offered us a boat trip to the breakfast in the lake Pend Oreille near Sandpoint area. Was a great start for the day and a great finale on a crazy weekend who started from a refreshing momnet on the beach right after I arrived to Sandpoint, then going out downtown till 2 AM, Saturday crashing on a wedding from knowing only one person and ending in meeting almost everyone!
About biking it was also different than the usual roads on which a third of the road was unpaved and not very friendly for touring bikes, also a note that was mostly going uphill and with all the cargo I have with me, well, made me increase my production of salt and arrive a bit later than expected. The good thing is that the route is GPS tagged, so I didn't got lost in the national forest!
Another note, this was my goodbye to the US 2 highway who was been with me for around 2 weeks and introduced many different types of landscapes.

Yup, there were obstacles too!

Route: 2010-07-25 Sandpoint ID - Colville WA

Time: 7h13m, Distance 152,78km/94,93mi Moving time: 8h07m, Max Speed: 58km/h, Average: 21,2km/h Total: 5377,56km/3341,46mi

And the song: VHS Or Beta - All Summer In A Day (Turbotito Remix)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

2010-07-23 Troy MT - Sandpoint ID

This day was very short, road mostly downhill but once I got int the merging of the US2 with the US95, was quite hard to reach Sandpoint, with opposite wind, even going down with big grades the speed wasn't that fast as usual! However it was a great sunny day!
So great that once I arrived to Sandpoint, my host and friends brought me immediately to a lake near in the area! And the water was pretty warm! At least much warmer than the Lake Superior! And ending the night in downtown for a nice finale of this day :)

So I had some freshness on this lake:

Route: 2010-07-23 Troy MT - Sandpoint ID

Time: 5h36m, Distance 107,76km/66,96mi Moving time: 4h58m, Max Speed: 50km/h, Average: 21,7km/h Total: 5224,78km/3246,53mi (GPS failed in Bonners Ferry)

And the song: LCD Soundsystem - Home

Friday, July 23, 2010

2010-07-22 Bigfork MT - Troy MT

This day had all the kind of weather.
Mostly cloudy at the begining, then sun and 30 degrees, opposite Southwest wind, then after made 150km started to be very dark, storm and rain, temperatures under 15 degrees at least until I arrive to Libby, and from there only amazing landscapes with some random fog, road and train line shining, I will call the "city of angels moment" Just missing the Goo Goo Dolls soundtrack.
When I arrive to Sandpoint I'll put this up to date as I'll have a resting day tomorrow (still cycling one day of advance than expected).

And this was my day (recommended to listen with this song: LexiconDon - December Sunset

Mostly Sunny

Before the heavy rain

A bit after the rain

And the best after the rain! Priceless (I love the shine of the road after a heavy rain and the little fog in the mountains)

Also to mention that temperature decreased from 31 degrees celsius to the 14 in less than 2 hours!

Route and stats: 2010-07-22 Bigfork MT - Troy MT

Time: 10h38m, Distance 212,13km/131,81mi Moving time: 9h17m, Max Speed: 48km/h, Average: 22,8km/h Total: 5117,02km/3179,57mi

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

2010-07-20 Shelby MT - Bigfork MT

Now that was a real test! As I had to wakeup at 4AM due to the owner of the vans needed to use to work, rainy and stormy night didnt allowed to camp and motels were full, but luckly there was someone who was kind enough to host 3 cyclists (had met 2 who were planning to make the road 2 heading East).

So, after made some little maintenance on their bikes (specially on the scopes and wheel), started the trip at around 8:30 with a wonderful sunny day!
Then the mountain had began! Right passing East Glacier Park! The funny thing, the road was always up till reach Marias Pass, but was so easy to make it that I could cycle faster than a freight train most of the time until he makes a technical stop in the Pass. From there was mainly going down and enjoy the wonderful mountains!
It remainded me cycling in Austria 5 years ago! Very very similar if you exclude the population, the train (replace BNSF to OBB and put overhead wires on the tracks), the weather... so yeah! I made Innsbruck to Feldkirch again :)
Just wonderful! Another day to remember!
Now heading to Kalispell, hope with some time to update the rest of the blog properly! At least the pics and stats!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

2010-07-19 Havre MT - Shelby MT

This time I was not able to make the 280km due to weather conditions, I'm in a bar in Shelby and will sleep in a van of the BNSF tonight. Wake up at 4AM, meaning long long day tomorrow! And hopefully a lovely sunrise on the way :)

Sorry for the rush!

Monday, July 19, 2010

2010-07-18 Glasgow MT - Havre MT

Today was the proof that the wind can be also the best friend of bikers!
Has mostly Northeast wind blowing at around 30kph which was really wonderful!
Tomorrow I'll try to reach East glaciar Park and hopefully the last trip with lenght above 200km! After that only mountains which deserve to be explored more soflty!
Pics and links and references only when I reach Kalispell which is planned 2 resting days! (Ill save one tomorrow!)

And also a big thanks to the Holom family (my hosts in Glasgow)for the great welcome, sightseeing, movies, bike repair and Huge kindness! Thanks a lot!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

2010-07-16 Williston ND - Glasgow MT: Hot hot hot

Yes, if I'm not mistaken this was the hottest day to cycle and also right when entering montana the road started to be quite hilly and with all the heat that lasted till around 8PM, to add that I got a flat right about 60km before reach my Glasgow.
Also quite bad was the big ammount of insects that once i stopped as soon as they landed on my skin just wanted to bite. So next time will be cycled in a long sleeve.

Sorry again for not posting links to pictures and stats, but I really need a decent resting day for put all the details.

Tomorrow is expected some good tail wind and some rain, as the journey is long, for sure they will be a great help! And avoid many undesired insects!

Friday, July 16, 2010

2010-07-15 Minot ND - Williston ND

Long day specially because of the wind. Had a quite late arrival to my Host in Williston and had to replace the back tire as it was already with a yellow line. Also needed adjustments on the wheel. When possible I'll update this post properly. Tomorrow.. Montana!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

2010-07-13 Grand Forks ND - Minot ND (New record!)

This day was a test to myself and also as the weather was expected to be stormy on most of my way with wind from southeast (so good wind for me), no host in the middle of the way and also the very early departure due to my host job (6AM) I took the chance to make the longest dinstance, so here are the stats:

Time: 15h40m, Distance 345,36km/214,60mi Moving time: 14h09m, Max Speed: 41km/h, Average: 24,7km/h Total: 3759,85km/2336,26mi

In Google maps:2010-07-13 Grand Forks ND - Minot ND

Here is the image of the GPS software who registered all this route (moving time and average are the stats from bike computer:

Funny thing os the route seemed to be always going down! Seems I'm cycling on a illusion!
In the center of North America:

And a sunset while on pedal:

And tell me if this isn't the best song to listen on an amazing sunset: Whitey - When the Sun Goes down You'll know

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

2010-07-12 Alida MN - Grand Forks ND

Same here, need to be updated, but I can tell that was a very easy and fast route. Tomorrow will be the challenge of distance, weather resistance and I dont know what else to add, but will be a real challenge.

About this trip, flat, normal, good temperature, again a nice day to ride. Not needed many food or drink.

Route: 2010-07-12 Alida MN - Grand Forks ND

Time: 8h25m, Distance 178,78km/111,09mi Moving time: 7h30m, Max Speed: 42km/h, Average: 24,4km/h Total: 3414,49km/2121,66mi

And the song: Sun Airway - Put the Days Away

2010-07-11 Grand Rapids MN - Alida MN

This trip despite the normal course on the main road US2, there was a detour that the GPS recommended me to go, and it was mainly to dirt road, so dont trust the GPS very often.
This need to be updated as tomorrow (July 13) is expected bad weather and long long jouney, lets see.
Stats will be shown later as I have to wake up very early due to my host's job (6AM)
See Ya!

And now the updates:
Sometimes you should not trust in a GPS, specially if you have big cargo with You

Time: 7h47m, Distance 144,16km/89,58mi Moving time: 7h03m, Max Speed: 39km/h, Average: 20,4km/h Total: 3235,71km/2010,58mi

In google maps: 2010-07-11 Grand Rapids MN - Alida MN

And the song: LCD Soundsystem: 'Drunk Girls' [Holy Ghost! Remix]

Sunday, July 11, 2010

2010-07-10 Duluth MN - Grand Rapids MN

Left Lake Superior, entered on national road number 2, so far nothing big to tell as the landscape is quite more of the same for now, flat, light opposite wind, hot day, the good thing is that the shoulders are very wide making this a safe journey!

For some users of a certain brand:

Route: 2010-07-10 Duluth MN - Grand Rapids MN

Time: 6h44m, Distance 132,69km/82,45mi Moving time: 6h03m, Max Speed: 39km/h, Average: 21,9km/h Total: 3091,55km/1921mi

Have this sound in my head now (don't look at me now, look at my intelect): New Young Pony Club - Before the Light

Saturday, July 10, 2010

2010-07-08 Lutsen MN - Duluth MN: The last trip around Lake Superior

And so this is the last day cycling around Lake Superior. The widest lake in the world and Duluth the most inner city where You can navigate by boat to the ocean.
This biking day was done in some parts on bike paths on which the road conditons is much better than the route 61, however sometimes makes quite big detours and once made me come back.
This was done very close to the lake, where was able to see clear water and almost temptated to have a bath there, but the water is very very freezing! Had tried that with my hosts at around midnight near Duluth!
And now as I spent the resting day in Duluth, from now on there will be no resting days until Vancouver, if there are no adverse conditions who force me to pause, let's hope not!

Route: 2010-07-08 Lutsen MN - Duluth MN

Time: 6h21m, Distance 91,06km/56,58mi Moving time: 5h39m, Max Speed: 36km/h, Average: 16,1km/h Total: 1379,98km/857,48mi

And the song: The Hundred In The Hands - Tom Tom

2010-07-07 Thunder Bay ON, Canada - Lutsen MN, USA

Now with the new wheel, let's see how far can this wheel go.
First of all still have to thank Mike's family, for the HUGE generosity and support that gave me for the next half of this trip. I expect to meet Max and Mike in Vancouver as they plan to cycle the American west coast, so it would be nice to have some company!
Continuing the ride, entering back to United States was still faster than I expected, and no new stamp (it would be nice to collect some on my passport), questions were very few and no fingerprint like the airport. Welcome back to USA!
The road 61 is very close to lake Superior and the view once again is very relaxing! Another note is that I found my fellows who had met after Wawa and they were almost finishing their ride. I was almost camping with them but as soon I had phone network I had a message from my host Johnny.
Arriving to Lutsen and when I called Johhny, he gave me directions to his reastaurent where he worked, in stead of searching for the Caribou Highlands restaurant I was searching for "Terrible Islands"! Stupid me! However found the place and had a great welcome by my host! And his place is really beside the lake! Trully a must! As Johnny is expert on travelling and will have a visit soon, I may find him on my way as well! Thanks a lot Buddy!

Route: 2010-07-07 Thunder Bay ON, Canada - Lutsen MN, USA

Time: 9h46m, Distance 182,81km/113,59mi Moving time: 8h41m, Max Speed: 44km/h, Average: 21km/h Total: 2805,3km/1743,13mi

Listening: Caribou - Leave House

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

2010-07-06 Back wheel repaired, new route to Vancouver

Now that I had a very lucky forced stop in Thunder Bay, first of all I have to thank Mike, his family and friends for their support, hospitality, tips and everything else that would not fit on this list!
So, with the wheel specially made for me, as was hard to find a compatible hub or my rear wheel despite the price, it should survive till Vancouver (cost 119CAD), but this time was suggested to make on the United States side, as roads are more bike friendly, more interesting landscape and more populated on which will increase my chance of being hosted.
So here is my new route to Vancouver with expected day of arrival in 29 of July.

Planned route Thunder Bay ON, Vancouver BC via USA

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

2010-07-03 Marathon ON - Cavers ON: The worst and the best of lucks

This day is for sure a mark on this trip.
Had left Marathon a bit quite after 11AM and saw very dark clouds in front of me (direction west), now this part despite having lot's of highs and lows, there is still nothing in between 90km (except Terrace Bay and Schreiber that were 15km nearby each other), there were places listed on the map, but not populated at all.
Right after 30 minutes of cycling got heavy rain, thunderstorms and strong opposite wind, considering I was heading up, just had a small walk. That last for around half hour, then was just light rain and wind got calmer. Few housr after there was a bit of sunshine, but then at around 7PM, the thunderstorms, lightnings, and opposite wind came back and to add more unluck, on the moment I was on top and starting to pedal again, the back wheel created his own brakes and heared a kind of a click, so there was no other choice than walk on the heavy rain, then walk down and see if there was some populated area... well... nothing, the next population would be only on the next 35km. Luckly the rain had gone, but still only had seen heavy trucks, buses and cars passing by, no vans or 4wd. So, just had to stop, unpack my baggage from the bike and see if anyone stopped.
Now that my luck had started with some light of sun in the background! 2 families stopped by, had just arrived from camping and got bored of the weather so they were coming back home, and for luck they were very bike friendly!
So already inside the car and divided the bike for fit in 2 cars, and after share all the story of the day and informing that I couchsurf during this journey, the driver (sorry, I forgot his name! but I'll ask and correct here), told me that had a friend who not only repair(ed) bikes but he's also a couchsurfer! Now that was REAl luck! despite I had confirmed host in Thunder Bay, but this time my arrival would be earlier.
I had such a great welcome (again) by Mike and all his family, still can't find words to describe all of them! They are really really great!

About the picture of the day, this is after the first big storm (seems night at 1PM):

Route: 2010-07-03 Marathon ON - Cavers ON

Time: 9h10m, Distance 142,38km/88,47mi Moving time: 7h59m, Max Speed: 68km/h, Average: 17,9km/h Total: 2622,49km/1629,54mi
Total of the bike when back wheel was damaged: 9993,8km (neither reached the 10000km!

And the song: Au Revoir Simone - Another Likely Story (Aeroplane Remix)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

2010-07-02 Wawa ON - Marathon ON

So... after the long day, very friendly night at the non couchsurfers (at this moment) but local journalists ( who have always information updated, got the news that were road accidents and one of them was a car who hit the moose this morning (but could be the moose wanted to be hit by the car, hope at this time they found out the real veredict), that happened on my way to Marathon as You can see on the picture of the day.

On my way found several touring cyclists mostly in opposite direction as mine, and found 2 americans who were making the tour of lake Superior (who makes border with United States as well... (It seems I'm making half of it, or just simply the Canadian side, at least it will be like that until I arrive to Thunder Bay.

Another note is that I will only have phone coverage when I arrive to near Thunder Bay. The most stupid thing as was told me is that the mobile phone operators rent/buy the "air" in stead of the place where they put the antennas, so it means no coverage in the operator I'm using between Sault St Marie and Thunder Bay (and is more than 600km!). So, I'm unreachable during the day, I wonder how it will work if You need to make an emergency call with a standard GSM phone.

So, about the trip there were 2 variants of the wind on when I was heading North, the wind was my best friend, and then when heading west was my worst enemy. Still was doable, let's see tomorrow.

So about the photo of the day, this is what happens when You hit a moose:

Route: 2010-07-02 Wawa ON - Marathon ON

Time: 10h21m, Distance 194,29km/120,73mi Moving time: 9h32m, Max Speed: 54km/h, Average: 20,4km/h Total: 2480,11km/1541,07mi

As for sound: Voltage - All Night

Friday, July 2, 2010

2010-07-01 Sault St Marie ON - Wawa ON

A day of records, landscape, no phone network and a Huge thank You to the population of Wawa for a wonderful welcome!

So.. this time starts with the bike stats as it is my record of lenght so far:

Time: 11h35m, Distance 224,96km/139,78mi Moving time: 10h19m, Max Speed: 58km/h, Average: 21,9km/h Total: 2285,82km/1420,34mi

Route: 2010-07-01 Sault St. Marie ON - Wawa ON

And now, as I am speechless... the photos talk on my behalf:

A HUGE thank You to Wawa red cross, Brenda and family and also to the band

And Happy Canada day everyone

And this was the soundtrack of the day: Delorean - Real Love