Bicycle Canada 2010: T-minus 40 days

There are hundreds if not thousands of sites made by others who have bicycled across Canada.  These sites provide a great resource obtaining feedback on their trip experience, gear choices and route planning.  When it comes to preparation I have to answer the following questions (and many more):

  • Will my Specialized Sirrus 2004 Hybrid handle the trip with updated touring wheels or do I get a new bike altogether? FYI, touring wheels have more spokes to handle the heavier load. 
  • Should I get bike panniers or use the Bob Yak carrier?
  • Should I get the Spot GPS system, Revere Personal Locater Beacon (PLB) or use my Blackberry GPS Tracker to upload my route to the web? I did test the Blackberry GPS Tracker system but so far I couldn’t get it to work. I’m getting an error message “unable to access GPS”.  Safety is my first priority. The adventure comes second.
  • My laptop is over six years old and heavy. Should get a Netbook and tether my Blackberry to it for web access so I can update my blog? I do have a data plan with my cell phone provider.
  • I don’t own a digital camera. Should I get a basic one that I don’t mind having it damaged during the trip or something more versatile for future use?
  • Do I stop eating poutine and chicken wings now or work it off riding through BC?

The route planning would be a simple process. Get provincial maps for each province travelling through.  Mark the route taken by two or three other people who’ve done the trip before and have posted their itinerary online. Follow whatever route works or even carve your own.  Allow for an average days travel of 150 km.  Keep in mind the locations of camp sites, hostels and the occasional hotels (with Jacuzzi) in advance. Afterall, I don’t want to get stuck at night in the middle of nowhere without a safe place to sleep. I was also advised by my buddy G.U. that I should look into where the bike shops are just in case I need to have a tune up or major repair done.

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Bicycle Canada 2010: T minus 45 days

I have had the idea of bicycling across Canada stuck in my head for the past seven years. I first thought about it in 2003 as my backup plan when I wanted to join the Army Reserves. Unfortunately, I injured my knee playing sports and spent the next three beautiful summer months in physiotherapy.  It wasn’t until October of that year that I was sworn into the military. I spent a lot of time juggling between the military, full time work and studying part time. A few years later I left the military for a couple of reasons. I developed pneumonia from training where I didn’t think my lungs would ever get back to normal and I was burning myself out with my school and work commitments. Now fast forward to December 2009 where I graduated from university with a bachelors degree in Commerce.  It is such a great feeling to be free of studying, school projects and exams. I was then able to obtain an unpaid leave of absence from my job at a local college.  Now, after all this time I’m T-minus 45 days. I have my flight booked for Vancouver, BC and am  leaving on May 8, 2010. When I arrive I’ll be crashing at a friend’s place.  I’ll hang out for a couple days then  hitch at ride to Vancouver Island’s Western point (Tofino or Port Renfrew?) to start my trip East.

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