Ride Day 4: 100.1 kms
Ride Day 5: 63.0 kms Vertical: 915 m
Ride Day 6: 114 kms Vertical: 1636
Total to date: 464.1 kms
Day4 Took a while to get out of Abbotsford with many twists and turns, then joined the TCT and headed towards Hope. Bike paths, closed roads, and quiet country roads through farmland, bright red barns, blueberry fields, and friendly farmers all in the sunshine.
Other than a daring dash across the mind numbing narrow bridge into Agassiz, riding was spectacular! Over 37 of the 100 kms I’m sure were circling around the tiny (population 77) but quaint town of Agassiz (Jay was navigating) – we can confirm that there is no where to stay here – so don’t even try. Added an extra out of the way 7kms to go to Harrison Hot Springs. Fortunately for Jay, it is beautiful here. A bit like Banff – this is the best time to be here – rates are lower (still expensive), great restaurants are empty, and the water front is quiet.
Speaking of navigating, we continue to struggle with Garmin and find our phones difficult to see when we have sunglasses on. Add in road signs like this and we may never make it to the east coast!
Jay Rant – We have 2 Garmin Explores. Garmin is an excellent tracking device. That is to say it works well if you know your precise route and stick to that route. Of course you have to go through the days/weeks of mental anguish to figure out how in the hell to actually transpose a route on to Garmin Connect. But if you have the mental stamina to do that and you actually follow that route, then Garmin is happy and provides you with a whole bunch of statistics such as distance, vertical ascent and descent, average speed, max speed, heart rate, the number of times you blinked your eyes, your flatulation rate per hour and all kinds of other useless stuff that only your mother would pretend to enjoy. But here’s the thing. If you deviate from your route then Garmin objects wildly and becomes the most user unfriendly, satanic, hostile instrument you will ever encounter. And of course when you are bikepacking, you always are deviating from your route for various reasons. When you deviate from your route Garmin simply signs “off route” but other than that it does nothing about it. It does not show you back to your route where you last left it. It might ask you if you want to be re-routed back to the START of your route (whether that is 1km or 100kms back). And yes, we’ve fallen for that one. So for a GPS navigation tool on a bike packing trip, Garmin does nothing more than track your ride. You need to have backup from an IPhone, as we do. We run RIDE WITH GPS and also an app called GAIA, which Steve suggested we try. GAIA is an excellent off road trail and bike app that you can actually down load maps to so you don’t have to be within phone range. But the down side with running both Garmin and IPhones is you need power. So we have 2, 10,000 mAH battery banks to serve our daily requirements. If you use Garmin as a navigation tool on a bike packing trip, you will go mad. That’s all I’m saying.
Day 5 Leaving Harrison we sang our way to Hope on a relatively flat road with our new speaker. Song of the day “Together – Having a Ball”. Despite how sweetly appropriate this song is, who puts the Partridge Family theme song on their “Fav” playlist? Certainly not DJ Sue or I.
We chose to skip the Kettle Valley Trail from Hope, as all local advice so far led us to believe that it would be epic – think lots of vertical, sandy and washed out areas that could be unpassable. We don’t need extra epic. Will try again from Princeton.
All of today’s 915 vertical meters came after Hope to our lovely cabin in Sunny Valley. Although it was sunny, the name is disturbingly deceiving, shouldn’t you go down to a “Valley”?
Good news is we managed to split the Hope Princeton vertical into 2 days by staying in this tiniest of middle of nowhere spots, so we ONLY have 1700 vertical meters and 112 Kilometers to Princeton.
Day6. First pass was Allison Pass at 1342 meters, long but doable climb with MY playlist rockin’ and we reached the Manning Park resort just in time for lunch! Perfect.
We may have been less prepared for the afternoon. 66kms to Princeton. Sunday Summit was only 60 meters less that Allison Summit, missed that mental preparation note on my Garmin!
Rolled into Penticton with enough time to eat and get to bed.
By the way, don’t worry about the bear sighting – he heard Keith Partridge and ran.