We rode from Vancouver and got to the base of the Rockies. 3T Canada set us up with the 2 STRADAS and we were off to see the snow-covered peaks. We are a bit sore but very hopeful.
#Transcanada Day 2 of (hopefully) 30…
We started our day as we began climbing from the base of the Rockies. Now, we are deep in the mountains. The temperature was fine during the day but it quickly went down to minus 5 celsius as the sun was setting. Hypothermia became a concern as we were descending in the cold and our bodies began to shut down leaving us feeling exhausted.
#Transcanada Day 3
We made the final stretch to the end point of our first segment. The day started out gloomy and we had a few showers along the way, but we felt we were getting into the groove.
We stopped in the afternoon at a Thai restaurant in Karemeous to carbo-load with rice and went on our way.
#Transcanada Day 4
We had a rest day in Kelowna yesterday. Today, we started the ride from 7:00 am. This was the first day that we actually felt really comfortable on the trip, and we were able to cover some kilometers. We made it to Revelstoke, at the base of Rogers Pass. Tomorrow promises to be brutal
#Transcanada Day 5 of (hopefully) 30…
We are now deep in the Rockies. The Mountaintops are covered with snow all year around here. We just crossed Rogers Pass to arrive in this cool little ski town called Field.
This will be our last stop in British Columbia as we hope to enter Alberta tomorrow. The Continental Divide peaks at around 2200 meters above sea level. It will be a hard push.
#Transcanada Day 6
We left a small town called Field and rode across the Continental Divide, which also serves as the border between British Columbia and Alberta. The descent into Calgary was nice despite the headwind.
This is the end of our second leg. We will take a rest day in Calgary and start our third segment tomorrow. (3/14) Now, all we have to do is prepare for the icy temperatures awaiting us on the prairies
#Transcanada Day 7
We have finally made it over the Rockies and arrived in Calgary. After having a rest day in Calgary, we started our ride into the Prairies. This region in winter is quite magical. In the morning, a cold fog floats up from the frozen ground. It’s beautiful, but can really take your breath away…literally. The wind gusts in every direction and the temperature stays below freezing.
The population density is very low and it can be hard to find spots to refuel. Today, our hunt for food led us to tribal lands. Cal’s stomach wasn’t feeling quite right and we had to cut the ride short, landing ourselves in Bassano, Alberta.
#Transcanada Day 8
We started out riding on day 8 in Bassano, Alberta. We were soon caught in a freezing rain/snowstorm. As we were trying to figure out what to do at a gas station on the side of Highway 1 (Trans-Canada Highway) a truck pulled over and offered to give us a lift.
He ended up being a member of Parliament and we got a ride to Swift Current, Saskatchewan, where his office is located.
#Transcanada Day 9
Day 9 started as we pushed ourselves towards Regina. As we sunlight waned, the temperature dropped to -14 celsius. It wasn’t long before we couldnt feel our fingers. Luckily we arrived at a hotel before anything got too serious.
The Prairies in March are officially unrideable.
#Transcanada Day 10 of (hopefully) 30…
On day 10 as we left our motel in Regina, it was already snowing. We waited out the snow till noon and continued east, not making it very far.
#Transcanada Day 11
Day 11 was no different. It felt as if the snowstorms were following us around the Prairies. Everywhere we were, so were the snow and hail, so was the headwind. We gave it a hard push to get over the border of Manitoba. Things were looking bleak and our spirits were near the lowest they had been.
#Transcanada Day 12
On day 12, Cal’s knee finally blew out. All the miles had finally taken their toll. We got in touch with the guys and Bikes and Beyond in Winnipeg and they offered to help out. We picked up a rental car, loaded the bikes and drove a few hundred kilometers to avoid risking further damage. Once there, we were greeted with a warm welcome and plenty of hospitality. They washed and tuned our bikes, trimmed Cal’s seat post and once again the Stradas were ready to hit the road.
Before setting out, we tried contacting a few hotels to set a destination for the next leg. Unfortunately, the next stretch seemed too desolate to ride in this weather, lacking even gas stations and refueling spots open this time of year. We finally accepted that the best plan was to drive on to Thunder Bay in Ontario and continue our ride from there.
#Transcanada Days 13 to 16
With Fresh legs we started riding southeast along Lake Superior. Once you get out of the Prairies and enter into Ontario, the landscape changes suddenly. The lakes are everywhere and so are the trees. It may have to do with the lakes reflecting the light, but even the color of sunset changes its hue in Ontario. Although the wind was still in our faces, we were happy to finally witness a change in scenery making us feel as though we were making progress. BTW, the Strada bikes are super fast. We definitely felt the aero gain, especially facing the headwind.
#Transcanada Days 17 & 18
Now the hard stuff. We enjoyed the constant rolling hills in this section. Then we were met with massive hail and freezing rain, turning into snow. We tucked in our chins and pedaled as hard as we could to get through this section. Not a whole lot to see here, since we were basically riding through forests. The small town diners were the only things that we had to look forward to.
#Transcanada Day 19
Now, Ottawa is the city where Cal went to college. We were averaging around 35-40 kph on flat, well paved highway. Then we got sidetracked and wound up on some back-country gravel roads. We were making such good time prior to getting lost that we were really enjoying our approach to Ottawa. Our arrival here marked our first proper Canadian city since leaving Winnipeg. It felt comforting to be back in a proper city where we no longer needed turn by turn navigation. Tomorrow we will rest, eat good food and check out what the city has to offer before getting back in the saddle.
#Transcanada Day 20
Riding into Montreal, we were greeted by Jabig, a Montreal resident and world traveling DJ who has also cycled across Canada. Jabig (https://www.instagram.com/jabig
) cycled across Canada in 2016 from Saint John’s, Newfoundland to Victoria, British Columbia, then from Victoria to the Arctic Ocean. His distance totaled about 17,000 KMs and took him over a year to complete his ride. Jabig was a guy who definitely understood what it’s like to cycle in the winter in Canada. He greeted us in Montreal and showed us a nice route out of the city.
#Transcanada Days 21 and 22
Montreal – Trois Rivière – Quebec City
After leaving Montreal, it was smooth sailing along the Saint Lawrence River. The river was grand and beautiful. We finally had some wind on our backs. We actually started to feel that we were getting closer to our final destination, that the ride was coming to an end.
#Transcanada Days 23, 24 and 25
Quebec City (Quebec) – Quispamsis. (New Brunswick)
While we were on our way to New Brunswick, Cal’s parents tracked us down on the road and greeted us.
We made it into New Brunswick and Cal was finally home. Looking back on the journey, there were many highs and lows. Canada is a huge country and winter in Canada is brutally harsh for cyclists. But the beautiful mountains in British Columbia, the vast landscape in the Prairies, the grand lakes of Ontario, beautiful rivers of Quebec and the rolling hills of New Brunswick kept us sane and pushing forward each day. The people of Canada were genuinely nice to the naive traveling cyclists. We really got to see and know Canada through cycling. Although, we wouldn’t recommend cycling during the winter in Canada, our journey brought us so much closer to Cal’s home country.
After settling in at Cal’s home, we were happy to get out and explore Saint John, New Brunswick where Cal grew up. At least on this ride, we were finally able to leave the bags behind.