Bikepacking, Canada

Details

I am ready! Honestly I was ready a month ago!

I packed my bags and loaded my bike a few times already. I still don’t have a tire boot, but added an extra folded tire and sealant.

Tomorrow we make our way to Victoria (my partner joining for the first leg), just so I can start at mile 0 Tuesday morning to start that crazy 8000+km adventure.

My bike is so heavy I wish I could take some stuff off it, it is 49lbs fully loaded, even if I am keeping it pretty minimal.

-ultralight camping gear

-dehydrated food

-water and water treatment things

-tools and bike repair stuff

-bear scaring stuff

-essential clothing

-personal hygiène things

– important Garmin Edge and Garmin Inreach devices so I do not get lost or do get found

-solar panel and a multitude of charging cables

Sooo excited! But first I need to enjoy one last night in my bed, one last awesome espresso with my Rocket machine and one last tooth cleaning with my electric toothbrush

Advertisements
Standard
Bikepacking, Canada

Choices, choices!

A few months ago I heard Craig Dalton, on the Gravel Ride podcast, say that the best bike for a good gravel event would most likely not be perfect for the entire event. I tend to agree with him!

My adventure isn’t a race, but I still want my bike to be fast. The chosen distance is a bit excessive, so the bike needs to be comfortable, carbon fibre please 😁 this way I can keep the weight down. I will carry all the gear for my self supported adventure, so lots of mounting points are essentials. I am short, so I need a small frame, but not so small that I cannot use the inside of the main triangle. I want it to be fun on singletrack, but still stable since a fully loaded bike is harder to handle.

I chose to go with the Salsa Warbird on this adventure. It feels as fast as my regular cyclocross bike, but has clearance for wider tires and made to be ridden for more the 45 minutes at a time. It has all the attachments for mounting fork racks, a third bottle mount and a big enough triangle for a good size bag.

It won’t be perfect for all the trails I will ride, 🇨🇦 is a big country and no bike can be perfect for all the different terrain I will encounter.

Standard
Bikepacking, Canada

Ooooooh Canada!

Ça y est! Victoria jusqu’à St-John à vélo.

Après avoir roulé aux Etats-Unis, en Nouvelle-Zélande, Taiwan et plusieurs pays d’Europe, je crois qu’il est enfin temps d’explorer mon pays. Départ de Victoria prévu le 16 juin

Quelqu’un veut participer a mon aventure et parcourir quelques kilomètres de la traversée avec moi? Amateurs de gravelle recherchés 😁

Je suis ouverte aux recommendations, des idées pour éviter l’autoroute?

Finally doing it! Victoria to St-John.

After riding in The US, New Zealand, Taiwan, Europe, I think it’s time to explore my own country. Leaving Victoria June 16th, St-John ETA unknown.

Anybody want to join on some parts of the ride?

Any local knowledge, route recommendations?

Looking to limit my highway time and maximize the gravel kilometres 😁

Standard
Bikepacking, Europe adventure

Vacation or training camp?

In 21 days I road 2000km and took 3 days off. I would wake up early enough to allow for extra time in case of navigational errors and limit my planned distance for the same reason. Riding long distance isn’t the same as racing or just trying to keep up with Brad. I get on the bike, turn the diesel engine on and ride. As long as I am not bored, I can ride forever.

I rolled in to Girona on a wet day, with my fully loaded bike greeted by so many pro looking roadies. First stop….the bike shop (Service Course). My little bike needed a lot of love if I wanted it to enjoy the riding to come. Stripped of all it’s bags and accessories it now looks and sounds like a worthy road bike.

Many coffees (Federal ans Espresso Mafia) later, I started the next part of my cycling adventure.

I reunited with my partner that I had abandoned in Vancouver over a month ago and the next day we were off to some amazing road riding. Using the Strava routes of the local bike shop we went on an easy road ride (not easy) to Els Angel with good climbing, amazing views and great descents.

My legs were not ready for Brad’s training camp pace, so I may have suffered a bit, but loved it anyways. Girona has so many quiet roads minutes outside of the city, I can’t wait to explore more of them.

Standard
Bikepacking

Mission accomplie!

21 days

6 countries

2000.59km

17565m of elevation gain

93 hours 19 minutes

3 flat tires

21 croissants

Too much chocolate

Plenty of coffee and wine

The first plan was to follow Eurovelo route 5 and get To Florence, but plans change. The Eurovelo route is not easy to follow and I got to the mountains at the same time as the snow. I explored Switzerland and France instead and had a great time! I discovered so many cities, saw so many ruines, monuments and castles from different eras and met some very nice humans.

The las few days of my adventure were flat and short, so I was happy to see mountains yesterday. I noticed the Pyrenees as I was approaching my last French lodging, but soon after, the clouds rolled in and swallowed them. The worse rainfall they had seen fell that day, lucky for me, I got there just before all hell broke loose.

My last day was another short one. It was a great day! I had another great french breakfast (yogourt and croissant) and left for Girona.

As soon as I left France, a heavy rainfall started and stayed on me for a good 45min, enough to create pools in my shoes. I really didn’t mind, I wasn’t going to stop to put shoe covers on, rubber globes or leg warmers, I think I even smiled! I wasn’t going to get off my bike today.

I was a girl on a mission. I ate my croissant while I was riding through Figueres, only stopped for 2 pictures and had no choice but to stop and lube my chain (every pedal stroke sounded like pure torture).

My bike is getting a well deserved tune up before I get to take it out for the world renowned riding Girona has to offer.

Time to leave the nomadic lifestyle behind and enjoy some greatly anticipated company, as well as more good food and coffee.

Standard
Bikepacking, Europe adventure

Follow the path

Euro velo routes are…..very different from one to another, from a region to another, sometimes marked, sometimes paved, sometimes inexistant,…

Today was a fun one, I am quite happy, because I actually thought it was going to be a boring day. The plan was take it easy, follow another canal, try to avoid the rain and get to my second to last hotel before the final destination.

Everything went according to plan, the canal was there, the rain was blown away by that insane wind and I made it to destination.

The canal du midi is a well known popular touristic destination, a huge project that was created over 300 years ago. I was actually excited to see it, until I saw it… I am pretty sure it is impressive somewhere, but not the section I rode. The bike path that follows it is also mediocre, but I liked it a lot 🙂  A pavement bike path along a canal is pretty uneventful, but a wet and muddy path is pretty awesome and challenging to navigate with a loaded bike.

Maybe they read my blog or it’s just to prove me wrong, but I met some nice cyclotourers today. Nice couple of teachers who quit their jobs and tour Europe. I was envious of their situation, but he was envious of my lightweight setup 🙂 They did not enjoy the mud/rock bike path at all!

A stop in Narbonne for a quick tourist tour and an awesome coffee/lunch break before heading to my hotel in a kinda abandoned off season beach town. The 20km of gravel and dirt to get to the hotel was just awesome, music on, no one in sight, it was awesome! Quite happy I didn’t take the road bike on this adventure.

I’ve enjoyed finishing my days early and visiting the cities, but Narbonne may have been my last city visit before Girona. The pedestrian areas and the patio dinning will have to wait until I reach my final destination.

Standard
Bikepacking

Bikepacking vs cyclotourism

I am snobbed by the cyclo tourists people. No smile, hello, hallo or bonjour! The ebike and road bike people always wave back or smile, but not the cyclotourists.

Why? I am that different. I carry all the necessary stuff on my bike to camp (before I shipped it all back) ride, fix and maintain the bike, survive.

Is it because I am flying by too fast? Going further? Smiling more? Eating while I ride? Listening to music? Because I suffer less?

So bikepacking means I can ride my favorite bike, the best bike for the job, climb steep hills and ride on rough terrain. My bike is also light weight even fully loaded.

My bike is a cyclocross (goes everywhere) carbon fibre (comfortable and stiffer, more efficient) with hydraulic disc brakes (it stops when needed).

I carry only what is needed. I do my laundry in the shower every night, layer clothing for the different temperatures and bring pieces that can be used on and off the bike.

Why do Cyclotouring people need so much stuff?

There are little luxuries that I carry and add unnecessary weight, but after a day on the saddle, they are essential. My wool sweater, real lady bra and a book. I could live without them, but seriously…it’s a vacation not a torture fest!

Standard