Archive for June, 2008

posted by gavin on Jun 30

Alex is stopped over at the Prairie Oasis tourist complex in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. He biked about 120km today, and says it was really hot (got up to 37 degrees). They wore bandanas to cover their necks while riding, which made them look like ninjas. The heat is draining energy so he’s having to eat more than he normally does to stay energized.

Tomorrow they plan on making it to Regina for Canada day celebrations, and Alex says he’ll have a chance to post some pictures from there.

posted by gavin on Jun 29

Alex and Dave made it to Morse, Saskatchewan today, about 115km from Gull Lake. He says it was really hot – up to 40 degrees at some points – but that they kept well hydrated so it wasn’t too bad. They have been a bit surprised by the hills (aren’t the prairies supposed to be flat?) and the number of mosquitoes in Saskatchewan.

He’s staying at a municipal campground in Morse, located right near a big grain elevator. I think he’s a bit tired of the Saskatchewan scenery – he says there’s nothing to see but open fields and grain elevators 🙂

posted by gavin on Jun 28

Alex had a bit of a tough day today. Road conditions were good, but it was hot, dusty and dry, and there were few places to stop in the shade, so his back is a little bit sun burnt. Eventually he and Dave found an ice cream shop, so they stopped there for refreshments.

He’s now in Gull Lake, Saskatchewan at a small campsite, about 116km from where he started out this morning. There’s a public pool there so Alex and Dave had a swim and are just relaxing. Someone gave them a free pie, but Dave’s eating it all according to Alex 🙂

Tomorrow they plan on getting up early to avoid the heat, and stocking up on water and Gatorade to make sure they don’t run out.

posted by gavin on Jun 27

Just got a text from Alex, need to post quick because I’m at the airport about to get on a flight to Ottawa for Canada day (extra)-long-weekend.

He’s right at the Saskatchewan/Alberta border, camping out near a visitor center. He saw some strong sidewinds again as he was ending his day. He says he met up with a riding partner named Dave, and that they plan to ride to Regina together for Canada day (Regina is about 420 kilometers away, so they’ll probably get there just in time to take part in some of the celebrations).

The bike is in good shape, just needs a chain cleaning which he’ll do tonight once he’s all set up. He watched the Transformers movie at the motel yesterday night and enjoyed it quite a bit. Tomorrow he’ll be crossing into Saskatchewan, and will likely make it to time zone border into central time (only one hour off from Ottawa time!).

posted by gavin on Jun 26

Just got a call from Alex, he left my grandparents’ place today (after my grandmother loaded him up with food!) and biked 160km to make it to Brooks, AB. He’s been keeping up a pretty quick pace, averaging about 25km/h with some bursts of up to 40km/h! I think the Rockies have really whipped him into shape 🙂

As he was getting close to Brooks it started getting extremely windy, and he heard from the locals that there was a storm warning in effect, so he decided to seek out a motel rather than try camping for tonight. He’s staying at the Plains Motel, about 160km from the Saskatchewan border. Tomorrow he’ll likely stay on the Trans-Canada and head towards Medicine Hat and Saskatchewan.

posted by alex on Jun 25

So far, I am only one day behind schedule, that’s not bad considering how long I have been on the road. I was supposed to be around brooks Alberta today but anyhow. This morning Richard and I strapped the bike on the trailer and drove down to Tuxedo Source for Sports (an oddly named bike shop) in Calgary to pick up a new rear wheel for Carmen. Now normally I don’t go gaga for components but you should see this wheel haha. It’s a heavy duty cyclocross wheel that will surely not cause me any problems. As a bonus, it has my name on it (the company that makes it is called alexrims). For lunch we went to Peter’s Drive-In, a popular burger joint in Calgary that specializes in high carb meals 🙂 Back home (for me home is where I am sleeping that night) I rode on the Tote Gote which is a small dirt bike that is quite famous in the Sharp family. I also fed the horses and checked out Mr Sharp’s tractors that he uses when he competes in tractor pulls. I would like to thank the Sharp’s for the generosity they have shown me, they’re definitely one of the kindest families I know.

posted by alex on Jun 24

Boy what a long day! I managed to put another 167km in just one day! I rode the Trans-Canada Highway for most of the day, only getting off in Calgary where I rode the bike path that follows the Bow River. It’s very similar to what we have in Ottawa along the canal. On the path I met some bike cops and I quickly snapped a picture with them. I hit a bit of rain while riding but it lasted only about 45 minutes. Besides that it was an awesome ride, I really don’t mind the flatness of the prairies! I am now spending the night at Gavin’s (my best friend) grandparent’s house just east of Calgary.

For those who panicked last night because there was no update, let me explain… I got a tattoo! It took about 2.5 hours to finish but it is definitely the best souvenir I could get of the trip. Yesterday I visited Banff with German tourists that I met at the hostel. We all had a great time checking out the hot springs, cowboy shops and the Banff springs hotel (their version of the Chateau Laurier) . I also picked up a bit of German, well sort of. Meeting them has made me want to bike across Europe and possibly add to my tattoo one day… 🙂 Thanks for the memories guys!

and now the photos!

posted by alex on Jun 22

Made it to Banff even though I honestly thought I could have made it to Calgary today, no joke! I was averaging around 30km an hour when I broke another spoke! I’m totally sick of having mechanical breakdowns. I managed to make it to a bike shop in Banff. I wanted to have my wheel completely rebuilt but there was no time. However, Carmen has now passed inspection. My fingers are crossed for tomorrow. I’ll try to make it to Calgary, which is about 140km from here. I am spending the night at another Hostel International in Banff.

posted by alex on Jun 22

Well folks, I am now in Alberta. Yes! No more mountain passes, although the last two (Rogers Pass and Kicking Horse) weren’t much of a big deal. The climb is slow going in some areas but it’s worth it for the downhill. I would already be in Calgary if it weren’t for all the flats I got today! Just kidding, but seriously I broke 2 air chamber valves when pumping my tires and then I broke a spoke. I must have spent two hours just working on the bike in the sun today. This morning I spotted some mountain sheep and got an extremely close up look at them. I also saw a black bear just after the summit of Kicking Horse Pass. I snapped a quick picture of him just laying in the grass minding his own business. I am now at a hostel in Lake Louise. I ran into a friend from  the University of Ottawa who was just leaving the place. What a small world!  Anyhow time is running up on the internet. Talk to ya soon!

posted by gavin on Jun 20

Today Rheal drove Alex and the group up Mount Seven (elevation: 6500ft / 1980 m), home of the Golden Flying Site, for a beautiful view of the Rockies. They even saw a black bear!

Alex is staying at the Whispering Spruce campground just outside of Golden tonight.

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