Cycle Across Canada goes to the USA – San Juan and Beyond!

Not far from this house is the Lavender Farm which was in full bloom:


The Lavender Farm on San Juan

It being a fine sunny day, Dave was put to work doing some groundwork!: bbDavePlows.JPG

Dave at the plough!

From Friday Harbor we took the Ferry to Orcas Island, where we stayed at The Inn on Orcas a great B&B in Deer Harbor. The owners had spent several years collecting artwork hoping one day to be able to open a B&B where it could all be displayed. We certainly recommend this B&B:


This is just one room, but they are all filled with pieces from their collection!

We cycled across the Island through Orcas Village to Moran State Park with the intention of riding up Mt. Constitution, but the clouds descended, so not being able to see the mountain, we went back to our B&B


Cloud and rain at Cascade Lake

Our next Ferry ride took us to Lopez Island where we cycled all the way across the Island to our final B&B in Mackaye Harbor:


Sunset over Mackaye Harbor

We spent several hours on the beach here collecting “Beach Glass”, but at the nearby Agate Beach, some detailed searching failed to produce any agates – but others nearby were successful! We cycled the Island once again back to the Ferry Terminal where we left the Islands and went to Anacortes.

From Anacortes, Maxine had to ferry back to Vancouver Island and return to work, but Dave headed east to cross the Cascade Mountain range. Leaving Anacortes at 3pm, he followed Hwy 20 along the Skagit River as far as Concrete and camped for the night. Next day was sunny and very hot but the first sign encountered warned:


Wind warning in the Skagit Valley

There then followed hours and hours of steady climbing in a temperature of 32°C (88°F) with lots of great views:


Looking back over Diablo Lake

Lots more climbing until finally at the Pass after 12 hours of riding!


Washington Pass – for info, bike plus load weighs 50kgs (110 lbs)!

Needless to say, the ride down the other side to Mazama took only 40 minutes at speeds around 60 kph (37 mph) and on a loaded bike weighing 45 kgs (100 lbs) luckily nothing got in the way on that descent! Next morning took in Winthrop with its Old West style buildings, and then I met up with Peggy and Jerry from Fulsom CA who were also cycling to Pateros where we camped by the Lake:


A campsite with a view!

Next day, we went our separate ways, and I discovered that the road to Grand Coulee was without shade – and again hot and sunny at 34°C (92°F) all day!


No shade in sight in any direction!

Spent the night at a campsite in Grand Coulee, where I was politely advised I “must be crazy” to ride out and up the “Wilbur Hill” in that hot weather! Well, crazy or not, I had to ride the hill next day, and the 6kms (4 miles) took me a full hour!


Looking back to Grand Coulee from the Wilbur Hill

The next leg of the ride took me through the wheat growing area of this part of Washington State, and once again, no shade!


It is a long road travelled!

All that wheat reminded me of earlier rides through the Canadian Prairies: mWheat.JPG

Wheat all the way to the horizon

Finally made it to Spokane where I caught up with family friends I had not seen since Dubai days some 20 years ago! It was great to visit with them and catch up on family news, and a promise to meet again in a lot less than 20 years! Rather than retrace my steps back to the coast, I took the advice of Peggy and Jerry (met earlier at Pateros) and used Amtrak to get back to Edmonds. Thanks here to Randy at Novelis who helped me make a box and pack my bike – which needed 2 ½ standard bicycle boxes – and to my friend Bob who took me to Spokane Station at midnight!


Un-packing and re-assembling the bike at Edmonds Station

From Edmonds I took the ferry over to Kingston, and headed west along the Olympic Penninsula. Much of this route was traffic free along the Discovery Trail:


The Discovery Trail across an old railway bridge

While on the ferry to Kingston, I met Pat and Jack, a motorcycle touring couple who later passed me on the road, and invited me back for pizza on their 60ft boat in Sequim Marina! It was already late, and I was beginning to wonder where I would find dinner, so this invite was very welcome! Next day I reached Port Angeles, took the Victoria Express to downtown Victoria, cycled up Island to Brentwood Bay and ferry again to Mill Bay where Maxine met me, and we drove home.

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Cycle Across Canada goes to Africa 2010!


Cape Town



”Uncle” Dave with Krystal and Jordan – and Table Mountain backdrop.

Dave is in Cape Town to participate in The Cape Argus cycle race which is held on the Cape Penninsula on March 14th. This is a 109 km race starting and finishing in Cape Town. There are 35,000 entries, including Lance Armstrong – and he need not worry about being beaten by Dave, because they are in different groups! Dave is in the 65-69 years old group, and Lance (plus most of the other riders!) are in somewhat younger categories! Here are some photos taken on Chapman’s Peak, Suikerbossie Hill and the finish line:

At the start of Chapman’s Peak

All on Chapppies!

Near the summit of Chappies!

On Suikerbossie

This hill goes on forever!!

Finish Line!

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Cycle Across Canada – Local Charity Ride

Team Lung Life completes the 25th Anniversary BC Lung Trek

The weekend of 12/13 September saw our Team ride in the 200km Trek along with a total of some 400 other riders. Our Team raised just over $10,000 to support the BC Lung Trek The overall total raised was just over $400,000!

Here is our Team with Scott McDonald of the BC Lung Association:


From the left: Jill; Rene; Jean; Rose; Maxine; Dave and Angela

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Warm Showers – Cycle Across Canada

We have had the pleasure of hosting several touring cyclists this summer, and who – like us – belong to the Warm Showers List. Click and check it out! This List is a hospitality site for touring cyclists. People who are willing to host cyclists sign up and provide their contact information, and may occasionally have someone stay with them and share great stories. The minimum requirement is a place to pitch a tent, and use of your shower and laundry, but if there are no other visitors, members often provide a bed and a meal. Continue reading to see some of our recent visitors:

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Cycle Across Canada – Lightning Encounter

Have you cycled in the open during a thunderstorm, and wondered how to avoid being struck by lightning?

The most common advice is to “remain in your car with each window closed”! Useless advice for cyclists! We asked an expert, Dr William Burrows, PhD Research Scientist at the Physics and Severe Weather Research Section – Downsview, Ontario. Following the photo below, is his expert advice:


Prairie Lightning photo courtesy Andrea Schneider at Prairie Angels Co.

Cycling safety during a thunderstorm.

Essentially you have to be sure you are not the highest object around when a thunderstorm is overhead. You are likely safe in the situation where you are between narrow high walls of rock – but beware when you are in a wide open area such as the Canadian Prairies. The best idea is to be inside an object such as a building (maybe find a barn or other farm building). It will act like a Farraday cage, where the electrical charge can flow around the outside to ground – be sure you do not touch the sides. If you are in the open and there is nowhere to hide then you should get as low as possible by crouching in the ditch until the storm passes. It would also be wise to remain a few feet away from your bike when in the ditch in case it is struck and the lightning jumps over to you. Do not stand under or near a tree – many people have been injured or killed when lightning strikes them by jumping out of the side of the tree, or when it runs a short distance from the tree through the ground and strikes them on the soles of their feet. Bicycle tires are not going to help you much if lightning strikes you because they are too small and thin to insulate you against the massive electrical charge in a lightning bolt. To judge when you are in danger remember the 30-30 rule. Take precautions if there is less than 30 seconds between seeing the flash and hearing thunder, and wait for 30 minutes after you see the last lightning. The reason for the 30 minute wait is there can be very strong lightning flashes out of the cirrus cloud anvil at the top of the storm. The anvil spreads out a long way from the central core of the storm, so you need to be sure it is not overhead.

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Sûreté de recyclage pendant un orage.

Avez-vous fait un cycle dans l’ouvert pendant un orage, et vous êtes-vous demandé comment éviter d’être heurté par la foudre ? Le conseil le plus commun est “restent dans votre voiture avec les fenêtres fermées”! Conseil inutile pour des cyclistes ! Nous avons demandé à un expert, Dr. William Burrows, scientifique de recherches de PhD à la physique des nuages et à la section de recherches de temps grave – Downsview, Ontario.

Essentiellement vous avez pour être sûr que vous n’êtes pas l’objet le plus élevé autour de quand un orage est aérien. Vous êtes probablement coffre-fort dans la situation où vous êtes entre de hauts murs étroits de roche – mais prenez garde quand vous êtes dans un secteur grand ouvert tel que les prairies de Canadaian. La meilleure idée est d’être à l’intérieur d’un objet tel qu’un bâtiment (trouvez peut-être une grange ou tout autre bâtiment de ferme). Elle agira comme un camp de Farraday, où la charge électrique peut couler autour de l’extérieur à la terre – soit sûr que vous ne touchez pas les côtés. Si vous devez dans l’ouvert et il y avez nulle part pour cacher alors de vous devrait devenir aussi bas comme possible par l’acroupissement dans le fossé jusqu’à ce que l’orage passe. Gardez-vous vont à vélo plusieurs mètres à partir de vous. Ne vous tenez pas de dessous ou ne vous approchez pas d’un arbre – beaucoup de personnes ont été blessées ou tuées quand des grèves surprise ils en sautant du côté de l’arbre, ou quand il court une distance courte de l’arbre par la terre et les heurte sur les semelles de leurs pieds. Les pneus de bicyclette ne vont pas vous aider beaucoup si des grèves surprise vous parce qu’ils sont trop petits et minces pour vous isoler contre la charge électrique massive dans un boulon de foudre. Pour juger quand vous êtes en danger rappelez-vous la règle 30-30. Prenez les précautions s’il y a moins de 30 secondes entre voir le flash et entendre le tonnerre, et l’attente 30 minutes après vous voient la dernière foudre. La raison des 30 l’attente que minute est là peut être les flashes très forts de foudre hors de l’enclume de cirrus au dessus de l’orage. L’enclume étend loin du noyau central de l’orage, ainsi vous devez être sûr qu’il n’est pas aérien.

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