Thursday, January 24, 2008

I'm going North!

I was bummed that I didn't get a bike tour under my belt in 2007. I did get lots of work done on my recumbents and got started in the rando world so it wasn't an unproductive year from a cycling point of view. The lack of a long trip had a definite negative impact on my mental state so I am want to be sure to correct the problem in 2008. I've got two big -ish tours planned this year. I'll leave you in suspense about the second tour, but the first will be a ride from Inuvik NWT Canada back home to Calgary. I was inspired by Pat's Crazyguyonabike journal about his trip from Seattle to Inuvik and I thought a long ride back home would be fun. I'm excited for my first visit to the arctic and the Arctic Ocean. Let's face it. Any town with "vik" in the name can't be half bad - right?...=-)

I'll follow Pat's route backwards down the Dempster Highway to the Yukon, south into BC and then I'll hook a left to head into Alberta. Naturally I'll be sure to visit Jasper and ride the lovely Icefield's Parkway to Lake Louise and pass through Banff and Canmore on the final leg home.

My rough plan is to fly to Inuvik around 15 July and be back in Calgary by 20 August. The distance of ~3600kms will take about 5 weeks to cover at a daily distance of 120kms riding 6 days a week. My job is fairly flexible so those aren't firm dates. I'll ride my Thorn Sherpa - 26" x 2.0" Marathon XRs will be appreciated on the unpaved roads up North and it will be a good test run for the Pan American Highway tour I continually threaten to embark upon.

Given the scarcity of roads in Northern Canada route planning will be as easy as in Baja. The road you are on is probably the only option which makes getting lost pretty hard. I love that! I'm working on what gear to bring at the moment. I like to travel light, but the remote nature of the trip means I'll probably suck it up and use 4 panniers. Still I want to be on the light side of fully prepared

My short term goals are to finalize my gear list over the winter and go on a short tour [probably the Icefield's Parkway] in June to work out any bugs before game day.

BTW - if anyone wants to come along I'd certainly be open to that if our capabilities and personalities seemed like a good match.

BTW2 - thanks to Pat and all those other cycle tourists who take the time and trouble to document their exploits on the net. The inspiration and information you provide others is invaluable!

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