Archive for August, 2011

Day 46

Here are some things I’ve learned about long distance touring so far:

1. It doesn’t appear to be a weight-loss program. Sure the legs are now made of steel, but the bit in the middle doesn’t seem to want to go. He and his stomach can now leap buildings in a single bound!
2. Don’t skimp on the lube. It’s the only thing between you and the dread chafing.
3. Maintaining your ‘form’ when pedaling is vital for efficiency. Nice and smooth revolutions gets you up any hill.
4. Keep your hands on the brakes down hill. And, conversely keep your hands on the bar-ends up hill.
5. A cadence of between 80 and 90 seems to suit me. Change gear accordingly.
6. Stop when you like. It’s not a race.
7. Wear a hat with a peak. It soaks up the sweat and keeps the rain or sun out of your eyes.
8. Always wear gloves. Your hands will be the first things that get it when you come off.
9. Stand up out of the saddle down hill. As long as it’s not too fast, it gives things a chance to air and you can stretch out the calf muscles.
10. Honk your Honker at least once a day. The following is a non-definitive list of the effect on some animals: Bears, bemused. Moose, never Honk a moose, especially with children. Cows, not bothered. Sheep, not bothered. Goats, not bothered. Horses, slightly bothered. An ass looked up, but I don’t think it was bothered. And crows positively stare you down. The research continues.

Let’s try another video…



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Day 45

Good riding, but nothing eventful. I’ve met a few more tourers – mostly from Seattle heading to San Fran. Seems like a popular thing to do, and I can’t blame them. This is spectacular scenery and perfect cycling weather. I’ve also seen a few unfortunate cyclists battling the other way against this wind, and they don’t look happy at all. Head down, arse up grinding slowly along a flat bit of road. Not much fun. You’re lucky to get a wave or a grunt from the poor beggars as you whistle past them barely touching the pedals, reading a paper and enjoying a small espresso. Still, I had about 600km of headwind on the Cassiar and Alcan, so suck it up!

I stayed in an enormous state park campsite, which I imagine is what Bedlam would have sounded like had it been outside. Screaming, whooping, whistling, crying, maniacal laughter. Kids and parents alike just letting rip with the sheer joy of being outside and separated by the enormous distance of three feet from the next nest of harpies. And then at about 2100 it all goes silent as they all retire to their RV’s to watch TV. To be replaced by the screaming, whooping and whistling of the local fauna. This can’t be helped, I understand, and once the raucous crows have turned in the the rest of the wildlife gets their chance to gently scream you to sleep. Ahh, the great outdoors! I love it.


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