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Bicycle Tour Adventure #16
Pictures and Stories About Bicycle Tour Adventures
Fernie, British Columbia, Canada,
Trans Canada Trail (Segment)
By Bicycle, June, 2006
We are on a Bike Touring Shakedown.
Above Near Right: This picture demonstrates how we carried the bikes (picture taken at Provincial Park just outside of Fernie). We carried the bikes on a hitch rack (as we have an interior space shortage). The Bike Fridays have a monotube (rather than an up tube and a down tube) so we had to find and use a Top Tube product to be able to mount out bikes. While the bikes do fold up and pack in a suit case, the setup time isn't justified for the time that it takes us to remove and to reassemble all the touring components. Granted that we are still learning the INs and OUTs of foldup bike management for touring. The bikes themselves are wonderful (300 miles on hers, 500 miles on his).
We learned that our Top Tube adapters for the bicycle hitch mount could not handle the bikes and the road jarring. We are going to need a new bike carry system as a result of the monotube (versus having an up and down tube). Our current hitch mount bike rack system worked well for our previous bikes which had top tubes.
HUMOR: Terry still chuckles at Dennis because he mounts his bike, out of habit, by swinging his legs around the seat. Terry just steps over the low positioned mono tube.
Above Right: Proof that we made it to Lake Island Resort, Tamarack Lodge. We started with no intention of entering the resort. The resort was by reservation and it was for well dressed clean people. By the time that we completed our 100% uphill ride to get there, we were hot and sweaty. We asked if it would be OK to have a beer at the bar. We were invited in and quickly found ourselves around other people, all from other countries. We drank Fernie Dark (BTW, very good!) and found ourselves in a lively discussion about Scotland from a Scotsman, Kyle, as we are going to Scotland in a few months with these same bikes.
Above Right: Typical Lake Island Resort View. According to Kyle, the resort owns the mountains in this view and uses Snow Cats to carry skiers in the winter.
Above Right: A view of the Lake and Mountain Reflection. The Island is just to the left - there has been a moose feeding there in the evenings for the past week - we missed him today.
Above Right: Our hired fly fishing guide service.
Above Right: Terry and her native Cutthroat Trout. There was a significant stone fly hatch and one of us was landing a Trout about every ten minutes (for eight hours)! Nope, Dennis' arm never got tired.
Bike Day 1Above Right: The shadows and rich light color reveal that its morning. Terry is throwing in her rain jacket and about to close her Bike Friday [Suitcase] Trailer. Dennis' bike, further back, is rigged with full panniers. We each carry six to eight water bottles. Water is heavy. Note Dennis' coffee cup on the picnic table. We're off with no agenda. We're going north through Sparwood, a coal mining town with the largest truck in the world, and maybe as far as Elkford.
Above Right: "NEVER Drive Faster Than Your Guardian Angel Can Fly" - An interesting roadside marker.
Above Right: Its billed as the world's Largest Truck. Note the legs of the adult in front of the truck's front tire. The rims are about six feet tall. Note the full sized door on the driver's cab.
Above Right: The same Mural, back street view, dedicated to the Canadian Armed Force's contributions to the resolution of WWII.
Above Right: View West (North of Sparwood, Canada).
Note: Both Terry and Dennis have ergonomic positioned handlebars with long steering tube. The long term riding/touring comfort overrides the mountain bike steep climb convenience. We still can and do ride steep hills, but every now and then we do have to push our bikes where before we may be climbing in granny gear. However, at the end of a long trail day, we don't have sore backs from being bent over all day.
Above Right: A field of Daisies.
We had been riding up hill, up river, and up valley for half of the day. We had considered riding a little longer, trying to get to Elkford. It was probably only three or four kilometers away. We decided to eat our picnic lunch at 1230 Hrs and by 1300 we turned around, following our own "travel rule of thumb." We expected to have a quick short ride of about three hours. Its a good thing that we did turn around at that time as we turned back into a ferocious head wind. NORMALLY a downhill run of about 35 kilometers would take us about three easy hours, HOWEVER, today it was going to be a six hour return ride!
Above Right: Pictured is a Fernie Bar and Grill that we rolled into at about 1900 Hrs (7 PM). Terry is standing next to her bike. We stopped here because Kevin's girl friend works here. We missed her but the food and beer was great. We still have to ride another three kilometers to get back to our camp site, so we have to budget our time and alcohol wisely.
Bike Day 2Above Right: Today we are going trail riding. We have to ride into Fernie to access the trail. We don't actually know it yet, but we about to travel a segment of the Trans Canada Trail (for Bicycles and for Hikers). We are arriving into Fernie via the south end of the main road. We expect some mountain biking single track and all varieties of dirt road and conditions. While the temperature is cool at the moment, it will quickly become 85° F (sort of hot for biking).
Above Right: Terry on a creek path.
Above Right: Terry on the trail, rail tracks ahead.
Above Right: Dennis is carrying the Suitcase Trailer over the tracks.
Above Right: Terry, pulling trailer up trail stairs.
Note: All of the gear from Bike Friday works fine and proves to be trail durable.
Above Right: Elk River Beaver Sign.
Above Right: 2nd Avenue, looking East. ... Good Day, eh?
Bike Operations Summary-- The Bike Fridays operated well! --
We had one flat, nail in rear tire, easy to fix.
NOTE: We had a brand new tire pump,
a ToPeak Mountain Morph with Inline Guage.
Terry did the pumping. It was the First Time ever with any pump
that Terry could successfully bring the tire pressure
to the correct road touring pressure.
Bike Carrier: Our older model top tube bike carrying rack cannot
carry monotubes because the monotube is oval shaped
and therefore will not safely stay clamped.
So, we bought a Toptube-Crosstube-Adapter.
The supplemental Toptube-Adapter could not handle much road stress.
Consequently, we almost lost a bike while traveling home.
Therefore we decided to purchase an entirely new bike carrying system.
A System Style similar as those seen on some RVs that support the wheels from
the bottom and supports/holds the frame in place from the top hook.
It was a fun trip that allowed us to learn a few touring
ideas and lessons while not costing in terms of a big mistake.