Cycling Whistler B.C.

Whistler is one of the top mountain biking destinations in the world.

There are a LOT OF TRAILS.

I like singletrack, twisty forested green trails best. Last week I cycled mostly around Lost Lake.

The easy trails are free.  You do probably need to pay for parking.

This video gives you an idea of the terrain.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.


CanaDream 4 days Calgary → Vancouver CAD $618

For the first time I rented a CanaDream camper van to get me and my bike back to the left coast.

My cost for up to 4 days,  3000 km is CAD $618 (US $466) including insurance. Plus about $340 for fuel.  About $960 total.

That would be a great price for two people as flying cost over CAD $550 right now with bike. COVID prices.  I should have flown or taken the bus for about $140.

That price is cheaper than usual from CANADREAM because more people rent Vancouver to Calgary than the other way around. It’s called a relocation sale.

I departed Calgary Friday August 21. Dropped the vehicle in Vancouver Tuesday August 25th.

Did some adventuring en route.  But not as much as I had hoped.  I was behind the wheel for 2000 km.

Wild camped one night.  Stayed in inexpensive campgrounds the other three.  If you don’t plug in to electricity and water, cost is only $15 – $25 at B.C. Recreation sites.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

MAP – driving Calgary to Vancouver

Update.  I ended up driving only about 2000 km. in 4 days.  The plan below was WAY TOO MANY HOURS behind the wheel. 

I skipped the backtracking to Jumbo Pass.

I have 4 days, up to 3000 km in my rented CanaDream Camper Van

Short hikes and bike rides along the way.

Here’s my itinerary, so far.  Of course I’ll change this on a whim once on the road starting Friday August 21. 

Eco-Challenge Fiji – now on Amazon Prime

Intense. Emotional.

If you’ve never watched an Adventure Race, this is the one.

I binged the 10 episodes over the weekend.

Click PLAY or watch the trailer on YouTube.

Eco-Challenge Fiji had 66 teams racing non-stop, 24 hours a day, across hundreds of miles of rugged backcountry terrain complete with mountains, jungles and oceans.

Each race team is comprised of four competitors, including at least one member of the opposite sex, and one assistant crewmember that will be helping their team from base camp.

A variety of non-motorized forms of transportation and other various challenges including outrigger paddling, mountain biking, rappelling, climbing, whitewater rafting, paddle boarding, and canyoneering ….

Navigation must be done with a map and compass only and teams will be required to use expedition problem-solving skills in their quest to the finish line.

If any team member quits or is unable to complete the race, the entire team will be disqualified. Only teams that can work together under extreme stress and fatigue have any hope of reaching the finish.

Sound like the TV show is renewed. Next edition will be hosted in Patagonia.

Bikepacking South Korea

This sounds ideal to me.

The Four Rivers Trail, launched 2012, runs from the N.W. corner of South Korea to the S.E. corner spanning almost 600 km.  Some claim Korea has the most advanced bike-touring infrastructure on Earth.

You can start from either Incheon or Seoul.

It’s mostly a flat paved route dedicated to cycling.

Read a 2013 trip report.

There are many other excellent long distance cycling paths in South Korea, as well.

Dreaming of Senja, Norway

I loved my trip to Lofoten, Norway in 2018.

What’s next?

Senja, even further north of the Arctic Circle.

click for larger version

Norway’s second-largest island, rivals Lofoten and Vesterålen for natural beauty yet attracts a fraction of the visitors.

Norway is the most expensive place I’ve ever been.

So I’d fly in with a bike and camping gear.  Sleep most nights outdoors.  Norway has a freedom to roam law so you can tent almost anywhere for free.

The weather is frightful, of course.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Lessons learned cycling Vancouver → Calgary

Day 1 | 2 | 3 | 4-5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | info

17 days July 2020. No zeros.

One flat tire. 

The scenic Trans Canada ‘Great Trail’ is the best route as it tries to keep you off busy highways. However, it’s not possible to cycle it precisely as a few sections are ‘hiking only’, too steep and technical for a bike.

Happily there are often alternative routes.

I’m glad I skipped the 91km Gray Creek Pass, for example. It’s very steep on the west side.

The Great Trail Elk Valley is the best way to cross the Continental Divide to Alberta. Elk Lakes are a highlight.

I skipped a couple of other sections as well based on information I got from cyclists coming in the opposite direction. Each year there are unexpected detours, washouts, etc. Some years forest fires may force you to off the Great Trail.

I can’t recommend any apps for navigation. Certainly you should have the free OFFICIAL Great Trail app, though it’s crappy. Keen should be embarrassed to sponsor such a shoddy product.

Remember to click the Offline Maps (BETA) link and download the sections you need. Obviously offline maps should be the default as there are many sections with no service.

I used the free, as well, though it doesn’t always show the Great Trail route.

I used Google Maps when I had service.  It doesn’t include the entire Great Trail, however.

BEST would be to download the route to something like the paid Ride with GPS app or a dedicated GPS navigation device.

I found it easy to resupply with food en route. Easy to recharge my batteries.

There are plenty of bike shops en route, but all were BUSY during COVID-19 2020. I had to beg in Cranbrook to have my steed looked at immediately.

I did not have much problem tenting free en route. Any crown land not posted is legal. There are campgrounds too, of course, but many cater to RVs not cyclists.

I love my gravel bike but for B.C. a mountain bike would be better. There are some rough trails. Some steep downhills.

Mosquitoes were bad in 2020 due to the late, wet spring. On the other hand, no forest fires to worry about.

Day 1 | 2 | 3 | 4-5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | info

Cycling Vancouver → Rockies day 17

Day 1 | 2 | 3 | 4-5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | info

July 24, 2020 – Elk Lakes to Calgary 

I awoke early in Elk Lakes Provincial Park to another day of great weather.

Coffee in bed.  Then I packed up quickly before enjoying an early morning hike to Upper Elk Lake.

This may be my best photo from the entire trip.

This is a lovely part of the Rockies.  I’ll definitely be back for more hiking.

It’s an active logging area, however.

I rejoined the couple who convinced me to try this route.  A combination of cycling and pushing over the Continental Divide.

George had told me the crossing was fairly easy.  And it was.

Still, we were relieved to get to the top.

Cyclists take this Trans Canada Great Trail powerline route, much easier than the alternative Elk Pass Trail most often used by hikers.

It was mostly downhill from there.  A combination of fun paved bike paths in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park and busy tourist highway.

I planned to push hard all the way to Calgary.  The end of my trip.  It would be my record for distance covered in one cycling day.

Feeling great, I wasn’t surprised to see a big storm looming in the Calgary distance.  My home town seems to be cursed in 2020.

When heavy rain began, I cycled harder.

When lighting appeared, however, I started to consider finding shelter.

Seems I was on the edge of a supercell thunderstorm.

Finally, a flat rear tire on my puncture resistant 😕 new Marathon Plus.

I huddled under the Trans Canada Highway about 30km from Calgary until Brian drove out to rescue me.  Bringing pizza!

“This is the way the cycling ends / Not with a bang but a whimper.”

Day 1 | 2 | 3 | 4-5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | info