Mariners have their telltales and expressions. Red Sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in the morning, sailor’s warning. For cyclists, silver green leaves, cyclist’s delight.
All morning a strong north wind pushed me along with every gust exposing the silvery side of every leaf and blade of grass.
Started the day meeting three Pearson alumni: Alix Wilson, Andreas Conradi and David Pinel. Andreas and David joined me for a smooth ride on back roads out of Courtenay. After an hour together, Andreas had to return to his oral surgery practice and David to his work with his company, West Coast Expeditions.
Made it to Campbell River just before noon and found a Japanese / Korean restaurant for a fill of Udon noodle soup. Like many places, there was no place to park the bike so the owner had me wheel it into the restaurant. He rearranged his potted plants to make room.
In Campbell River there is what I think is called a glacial erratic. It is so massive it reminds us there is a lot of geological history that did not include us.
The journey from Campbell River to Sayward allowed me to test my stamina for long climbs and my rain gear. The rain was not pelting so it was a light test. The Shower Pass rain jacket worked well but I missed having at least one pocket. I will do equipment reviews later in the trip.
Lots of signs for Elk but I did not see one.
I did have two encounters with deer. In each case I was barreling down the road quietly and must have completely surprised them. In one case, the deer leaped up just parallel to my bike with his hoofs nearly as high as my handlebars. So today, instead of reaching out and touching a passing motor home, I could have touched the deer. I started paying much closer attention to the side of the road after that and realized I have to be completely alert of my surroundings at all times. It is not just cars and trucks i have to tune in. The road had a good shoulder to ride on, separated by rumble strips, which felt safe. But there were several kilometers where the shoulder was gravel and not very safe with passing logging trucks.
Many clear cut areas along the way. Is this the best we can do? For our streams and salmon? For a sustainable ecosystem?
These are early days but it seems like 5-8pm is a good time to ride. Traffic is light, the light is perfect for photography, the birds come alive before their bedtime and other animals begin to wander the sides of the highway. I think this is when most Canadians eat dinner. I like to eat much later but it means being the last one before closing or missing the option of a cooked dinner altogether.
Arrived at Sayward junction at 7pm and registered at Fisherboy Campground. They give a special rate for solo camping cyclists: $16 an it includes Internet so you get this blog as it is written. Very kind and new owners. They support crazyguyonabike. Google him.
Start: Courtenay 9:30 am
End: Sayward Junction 7:00 pm
Distance: 119 km
Time on the Bike: 5:54
Average Speed: 20.0 km/hr
Maximum Speed: 44 km/hr
Distance to Date: 371 km
Hardly – more of a back packer, but I have done my share of cycling to work (5k each way), all year round (ice spikes in winter).
I am hoping there will be no need for Ice spikes for me although the snow line is low up north.
I’m loving it too, David. As you may remember, I’m a runner rather than a cyclist, but you’re making me think it’s time I got a good bike and did some serious riding!
Be careful out there. Our thoughts and prayers are with you!! And – for sure – I’ll keep reading and checking your route. It would be wonderful to see you in Nova Scotia.
May the wind be at your back too. Helps runners and cyclists alike.
David, I love reading this! Your writing is so evocative I feel I am right there with you. What a cool thing you are doing; thanks for sharing it!
Hi Vicki – thanks for following along. I wouldn’t be here without your help with the bike.
I like the way you describe things. I am looking forward to following you on your journey.
You must be a cyclist too. David