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.