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Lungs & Legs...

posted 1/9/2017 1:26:07 PM |
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tagged: cycling, photography, adventure, travel, gym

As this winter and the snow seems to be hanging around this year, I may be forced to join a gym so I can get my bike legs in shape for my trip, hopefully, in June.

Usually we just have lots of rain, which still makes exercising outside doable, even if it's just for a walk. We've had snow for the past couple of weeks, and lots of ice, so walking is pretty much out of the question as well. Mom gave me a key to her place so I can go and swim whenever I want, but I also just remembered she also has a gym, so I can go over there and use the bike to keep up those particular muscles.

I have to start now, as waiting until spring will be too late. The trip I've planned is from Mile 0 in Midway, at the foot of the farm I used to own, to Hope. A mere 600km on the old Kettle Valley Rail trail, which means I have to pedal 60km per day to complete it in 10 days.

I was a bit concerned about finding places to stay along the way, as there will be days when there will be nothing but mountains for miles, but recently saw online a 'trailer' for a bike. It can sleep 4, although I'm thinking maybe 2 adults 2 kids. As there'll be just me, I'll have lots of room to sleep, but also to carry some essentials, like water and food. It won't be lots of food, as I have no desire to attract bears, or pull any extra weight, but easy packaged stuff.

One thing I have to do this spring is take a bike repair course so if I get a flat or other minor bike issues, I can fix them right away. There is a company who rents out bikes for the ride and basically is your support base while cycling, but I'd rather not rent someone else's bike. I'm not even sure I really want to take a 'trailer' with me. I'll have to think about it. It'd be great for expediency, but just the thought of pulling something extra in some rather rough terrain isn't exactly appealing.

I know the trail is not as well groomed as those I've ridden in the US. Having lived in Midway, I'd always wanted to bike to Greenwood. Ha! I tried it a couple of times, but when they pulled up the ties, they didn't groom the trail for actually cycling, they just left the big rocks of the rail bed. It made it almost impossible to navigate, and I remember how sore my wrists were from the constant jarring.

It's unfortunate, as a lot of Europeans come to Canada to cycle the old Kettle Valley Rail trail, and that was the biggest complaint, that they didn't make it easy for cyclists to navigate. It's unfortunate as they could do a lot with that trail and increase their tourism significantly if they'd groom the trail for walking and cycling. Even walking it is difficult. But Midway is typical of small towns and small minds - they didn't want 'tourists' and outsiders - but they liked the money they brought.

My neighbour from Midway has offered me a place to stay before I embark on my sojourn and I'll have to map out where there are other places along the way and how far I'll have to travel to get to each one. I'm so looking forward to cycling the railway my grandfather worked on and photographing the amazing vistas I've heard stories about.

The journey will end in Hope, where my grandfather met my grandmother, who was teaching there, and married on Christmas Day way back when. I'll have to look at the year they got married, but it would have been around 1918 or so, as my Dad, the younger of two boys, was born in 1926. My uncle was, I believe, 5 years older.

I mentioned in a previous blog that I'd never been to the Othello Tunnels in Hope until this past summer and that's when I found out my grandfather had worked as a bridge foreman on the trestles there. I loved the tunnels and can hardly wait to go back. The Coquihalla River that boils through the canyon next to the tunnels is fascinating in it's power and twists and turns. The water is an incredible aqua and is mesmerizing against the white cliffs and boulders.

I've only heard tales of the trestles and the views from others, but if my trip to the Iron Horse Trail was any indication, the scenery is spectacular. I'll have to invest in some rain gear and I see a waterproof back pack for my camera is on sale, so I'd best snap one up. That's another reason to find accommodation on the way - so I can download my pics every day and have a shower.

If I don't get my bike legs in shape, I won't be doing any of this, this year. Ten days on my bike (or maybe longer), nature, the wilderness, and I can hardly wait to get out there. I believe June will be the best month to go, as the summer in Midway can be unbearably hot. Either that, or late September when it starts to cool down a bit.

I'm not really sure what the weatherman was talking about today, with the severe conditions in the valley (where I live), but it looks pretty nice out there right now. I think I'll brave it and attempt a walk around the lake. My preference is always for outdoor activity vs a gym.

Gotta get those lungs and legs working.....

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Jan 9 @ 1:37PM  
Several of those bicycle tours come through my town. The company van carries your camping gear, and some even set up the tent and inflate the mattress for you (with a leaf blower - fast). I like to talk to them, and check our their gear.

There are more experienced cyclists on the tour for tech help, and the cyclists seem to enjoy the evening comradeship almost as much as the ride. There are mostly folks over 50. If at this point you don't already know maintenance and tire repair, I strongly suggest going with the touring group. Some of the skills take a bit of practice in addition to knowledge.

Jan 9 @ 2:50PM  
That's nice, that your mom has an indoor pool & a gym you can use.
Perhaps you can pick up a stationary bike for your place.

Jan 9 @ 4:23PM  
Sounds to me that you best quit petting the kitty and get a working on those cycling legs

Jan 9 @ 4:34PM  
@Smooth, somehow your post comes off as X-rated. It can be taken more than one way....(my mind seems to be stuck in the gutter)

Jan 10 @ 8:01AM  
Well get it out of the gutter Northern, while mine floats by.

Hey Imp - I'm impressed again, this sounds so exciting - I can't wait to go on this ride with you if you go. I live vicariously through your adventure blogs.

Jan 10 @ 9:21AM  
That's a long ride but it sounds exciting and you are sure to encounter beautiful scenery.. Here is hoping for the best weather for your bike trip.

Jan 10 @ 10:29AM  


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