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DAY 1 - Jul 12th - Vancouver, British Columbia

In case you haven't heard, I'm doing a bicycle tour. Left on July 11th, flew to Vancouver, BC with the help of two friends, Pete Simons and Tom Hanson. Initial plan was to bike over Whistler, head northeast, up the Alaska Highway, maybe reach Fairbanks, down to Anchorage, etc., etc. That plan has changed just a bit. A few days before I left, many inland areas of BC are on fire. Go to plan B. Biking up Vancouver Island to Port Hardy, ferry to Prince Rupert, then biking east toward Prince George and up the Stewart Cassiar Highway. Lucky I'm flexible.

I arrived in Vancouver late at night, biked a little, took a train and stayed 2 nights with a wonderful family with a contact through "warmshowers". Explored Vancouver the next day and got some bear spray and butane fuel. I always knew this was a great city, but it is more than that. I would say it is one of the greatest cities in the world. Next day, headed across Stanley Park, over Lions Gate Bridge to Horseshoe Bay and caught a ferry to the "Sunshine Coast". Camped at a lovely spot near Sechelt in Porpoise Bay Provincial Park. The weather has been fantastic, a few clouds, but mostly sunny, in the 70's.

Burt in Vancouver

Fair warning; I might not be blogging as much on this trip....it takes too much energy, I'm hauling my "normal" 90 pound load, and I will be in some very remote areas without wifi, but I'll do my best. 

Day 1

The pictures: 17-07-12 - DAY 1 - VANCOUVER
The route: Day 1 - Vancouver
Distance 29.43 mi | Time 4:01:49 | Speed 7.3 mph | Elevation 951 ft


Day 2 - July 13th - Vancouver to Sechelt

A little drizzle to start my journey that cleared quickly. Through Stanley Park and over Lion's Gate Bridge eventually got me to the ferry at Horseshoe Bay. Now on the Sunshine Coast, it was a pleasant ride to Sechelt where I went a few miles inland to camp at the very nice Porpoise Bay Provincial Park. There were several other bicycle tourists there.

The pictures: 17-07-13 - DAY 2 - VANCOUVER TO SECHELT
The route: Day 2 - Vancouver to Sechelt
Distance 40.63 mi | Time 4:24:54 | Speed 9.2 mph | Elevation 2,451 ft

Day 3 - July 14th - Sechelt to Powell River

Another beautiful day! Porpoise Bay Provincial Park was my campsite and I got some pictures this morning. Not very full at all and a huge hiker / biker area. You can see there are a few other bicycle tourists. Pedaled out to the McDonalds in Sechelt for breakfast and wifi. Somehow my Garmin took a break there, so my ride is split into 2 segments; before and after McDonalds. I met 3 other bicycle tourists today. A guy from Canada and a couple from San Jose. All travelling at different paces, which is normal. We did catch the same ferry at Earl's Cove however.

Today was not easy, at least until I get used to lugging my bike over any grade greater than 3%! Beautiful woodsy, mountain, lake, and ocean scenery to offset the effort. Having not done much research, I was happy to stumble onto the one and only hostel in Powell River. It was perfect, owned and run by a Swiss gentleman named Edwin. Having a very good Thai restaurant next door was a plus. I was pooped and decided to catch the second ferry at noon tomorrow to Campbell River.

The pictures: 17-07-14 - DAY 3 - SECHELT TO POWELL RIVER
The routes:
Day 3a - To Breakfast in Sechelt
Distance 3.36 mi | Time 20:20 | Speed 9.9 mph | Elevation 164 ft
Day 3b - Sechelt to Powell River
Distance 53.92 mi | Time 5:21:55 | Speed 10.1 mph | Elevation 3,901 ft

*EOR, pronounced Eeyore, with apologies to A. A. Milne
 
In late January Mike told me about a group planning to ride the Southern Tier Route. After some hemming and hawing I decided I would give it a try. I chose a Fuji 58 cm model. I immediately ordered and installed a Brooks saddle. To alleviate a persistent neck pain I replaced the 110 mm stem with a 90 mm one, and switched the 32 C tires for Continental 38s. I also carried two spare tubes although I never got a flat over the entire 3100 miles. Mike and I did a two-day test ride with fully loaded bikes from Ocotillo Wells to Agua Caliente in the Borrego State Park as test run; it all went well so in my mind I was ready.
Ocotillo Practice
Ocotillo Wells to Agua Caliente shakedown and campout with Mike, February 8th and 9th.
 
Group's first meeting in Cardiff
Our group of five met for the first time on March third CCW, Gary from Indiana (in Blue), Mike from San Diego, Susan from Port Townsend, Charlie from Tucson and me from Cardiff by the Sea.
 

Charlie made it to Saint Augustine Beach on May first.  Susan joined riders from Sacramento and arrived a couple of weeks after me. Gary got sick in Florida and had to go home. So close to the goal, he says he’ll complete the STR next year. With less than a week to go, Mike went directly to Jacksonville then home.

Practice ride in late FebruaryPractice ride in late February