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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8 Responses

  1. I would agree that keeping your route or keeping the bicycle shops in mind while you’re planning your route.

  2. 150km/day? Wow, that’s a lot to maintain for 3 months. I hope you’re planning on giving yourself a day off every few days for R&R!

    • I will be taking days off when needed. Either for a rest break or if I camp in a very scenic area. For days when I experience severe headwinds I will be only biking 60-70 km per
      day. And on days where the wind to my back I’ll be biking at least 200 km.

  3. Go with a netbook. A heavy old laptop will definitely weight you down. Or maybe you can even do without a computer and just use a combo of internet cafes/Blackberry? Blackberry’s WordPress app looks promising: http://blackberry.wordpress.org/

    As for camera, I’d go with a basic point and shoot. Something thin and light that won’t weigh you down. Panasonic Lumix is quite good, and I’ve also heard good things about the Canon PowerShot cameras.

    And poutine’s a great energy source! No need to stop eating it!

  4. Congratulations on a Trip of a lifetime. I can understand the personal reward but is there more to it? I love my Panasonic Lumix. Good pics and good battery and simple download.

  5. Good luck Martin, we will be keeping tabs on you from GBC!!!

  6. Marty:

    It’s been so interesting reading about your incredible trip. Really glad you haven’t run into a bear or cougar along the way. Sounds like you have met some incredible people and are able to offer support to each other. Thank you for doing this for Griffin Centre.

    Safe Journey,

    Barb

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