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.

Bikepacking, Europe adventure

Europe, here I come

An unplanned but amazing change in my summer plans forced me to go on a transatlantic cruise to Europe. No more running race, goodbye cyclocross race season, hello Europe adventure! Eurovelo5 seems like a good route to follow, crossing 6 countries in 3 weeks sounds fun 🙂

My mom is turning …ty this year, we live 4511km apart, so the idea of spending a week together anywhere away from both our homes seemed like the best way to celebrate. We embarked on a Cunard transatlantic cruise, drank too much wine, ate too much food and enjoyed each other’s company (As well as my dad and daughter’s)

Since my daughter crossed the ocean with me and we also do not see each other a lot (She also lives on the other side of the country from me) We decided to visit Belgium together. Train ride, overnight ferry, rental car, lots of walking a bit of running and lots of fun, food, wine, coffee and good times.

After all that fun time, Why go home? Why not ride my bike around Europe?

My bike followed silently (except for the front brake squealing due to a bent rotor). Can you imagine how hard it is carrying it for 2 weeks without being able to ride it? I am now a pro at transporting a bicycle.It was packed for the plane, assembled so I could get to the cruise, ridden to a hotel, parked close to me on the train just so it could be taken on a ferry squeezed between a wall and a bike with mean pedals. It’s now disassembled again and waiting anxiously the start of our new adventure in the trunk of the rental car.

Anyone know a good bike shop in Bruges or Brussels? The bike with mean pedals may have bent my front rotor 😦

Bikepacking, Californie, USA

I miss the coast!

The countdown to San Francisco has started, the signs on the 101 indicate that we are now less then 200 miles from destination. Even if we are still enjoying the ride, I can’t wait to arrive.

Yesterday was supposed to be an easy day, we had it all planned out; 100km from Klamath to Eureka have fresh legs for a longer stretch of 150km to Leggett, then 400km to San Francisco split in 3 days. Simple, but we had some issues.

The day started with a great ride through Redwood state park, but I pushed a little too much on the downhill and slipped, no big deal, hurting a bit 😦 Then head to the hotel I had booked in Eureka (Econolodge), just to find out it is home for drug addicts and sketchy people. We didn’t even stop it was too scary, even for Heidi who is the tough one. We rode a few blocs away, I entered the name of the next town in my super Garmin computer and we rode away as fast as we could, following the directions. NOT A GOOD IDEA! Garmin doesn’t want you on the freeway, even if it is the bike route. We ended up climbing a never ending hill of over 10km at grades varying between 10-20%. AAAAAHHHHHH….. I love climbing, but that was insane. We finally asked for direction and got told we would never make it to Fortuna taking that road.

We turned around back to Eureka and made it to another hotel (Comfort inn) with an amazing hot tub, where we could recuperate from that 140km day.

We saw a lot of poverty on our ride, but Eureka and Garberville were the worst. There were a lot of homeless people in the city and even on the sides of the freeway.

Today we spent 100km riding the 101 and an amazing 50km through the avenue of the giants. It’s not the first time I ride through that forest, but I still find it impressive to ride on there surrounded by these 1000+ year old trees. We made it to Leggett staying in a weird looking motel, but clean, nice people, hot shower and comfy bed 🙂

We will take highway 1 tomorrow, a big climb sitting between us and the coast. I can’t wait to see the ocean again!