In a world increasingly preoccupied with throwaway materialistic things; where people are constantly busy earning money to pay for those things, or so their children can have those things;
This is the story of my dreams of travelling the world by bicycle. Because it's there. And because I dont want to die without experiencing the truly important things in life .

A sense of wonder and a sense of adventure.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Alberta Heat!

Day 13.

Our last day in the Rockies and it promised to be downhill, although only gradual on the way out. The day weather wise also looked promising with blue sky and little wind. Pity then that I discovered upon putting the rear panniers on my bike that the rear carrier stay had broken. Now any long distance cycle tourer that has been around for a while knows that aluminium carriers are just pure junk. Mine happened to be made by Zero (a rather apt name for this piece of equipment), but to be fair a whole heap of companies make them and usually they will let you down at the worst possible time. In my case this didn’t happen as cycling across Canada can hardly be described as alien terrain.

I braced the stay with an allen key and a couple of zip ties and then wrapped the whole thing with insulation tape. This got me down the rode where there happened to be a bike shop catering to weekend mountain bikers . There I bought another crap alloy rack and threw the other in the bin. I know that I should have quality stainless steel racks on Adi’s and my bike and I will buy them when I get home. The annoying thing is the predictable inevitability of the whole thing. So if you read this Rob and Jude I’m happy to take your s/s racks off you if you decide that cycle touring is not your cup of tea.

On the plus side I found a pair of clear glasses further down the road, thanks Mr Harley rider they fit perfectly, although you could have shined them before passing them on.

The visitor centre told us that due to the recent flooding the cycleway was washed away and the main road was not open to cyclists! They then told us that we would have to put our bikes on a shuttle for 15km!  All that was true except the bit about Niel the Wheel using a shuttle, he just rode the highway with every other vehicle.  The police appeared to have real problems elsewhere as we weren’t bothered.

With the rack problem and the fact that the Indian reservation we later had to cycle through having no camping grounds, we ended up cycling 172kms to Cochrane before we found our tent site. It was just lucky it doesn’t get dark until 10.30-11pm. It was a late night once we’d got the tent up and had showers.

Day 14.

A late start as we had to do some clothes washing. My white shorts took a hammering yesterday with the repairs and greasy hands. Once that was done we were on our way. We are in Alberta now and with a light cross wind we covered the 92km across the mainly rolling country. I found another pair of glasses but this time 3D ones, pretty useless as the view is 3D without them.

The main thing of note today was the temperature. 30C! The locals are all telling us that they are not used to this sort of heat. Of course for Nelsonians from NZ it’s just right. What isn’t just right is the killer mossies’’’’! Mozzies are multiply at a rate only matched by that of the human population. Due in their case by the very wet and warm summer the Albertans are having. I think Adi would agree that we could use a day of cloud again as our skin is beginning to become more red than brown.

Day 15.

We are on the Alberta plains it is again 30C but today we had a stiff crosswind. I have to say that although Adi initially was zooming along I was finding my rather heavily laden bike a bit of a drag. I was pleased to stop at the 65km mark for a bit of McD. Due to it being Canada Day and also an area where Dinosaurs once regularly kicked the bucket, families and kids from near and far have today descended on Drumheller AB. And when kids need feeding McD is ready.

We were trapped in there trying to use the WiFi. But by the time Adi had posted her blog and we were out of there our heads were ringing. They really need to provide the poor staff with earmuffs.

Further along the road shoulder reduced to about half a meter and on this narrower provincial road the Albertan authorities have decided to allow blind people to drive vehicles.  Well this is the only conclusion I can come to for the rumble strip along each side of the road leaving nowhere safe for cyclists to ride. A shoulder that would normally be quite safe to ride on is now not available just so that blind people can drive thirsty RVs or whatever takes their fancy. And just so that they know when they are approaching major intersections and can apply the brakes in a safe manner the authorities have put multiple rumble strips on the lead up to these as well.  Honestly what are they thinking, blind people and people asleep in their RV’s while travelling should be discouraged and not pander to at the expense of cyclists safety.  

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Due to the heat and wind we didn’t get the required 140kms today covering only 110km. But as I sit here I have managed to do all chores, fix another Adi puncture and have had a diner beef and chips meal. Not too bad.

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