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Old 02-16-06, 05:09 PM   #1
dwbell888
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Three sides of a really big rectangle

I will be taking off this summer (early/mid june 2006) from Atlanta GA.
I will be heading north all the way up to Nova Scotia, Canada by (tentatively) late July.

I then plan on turning west and biking across southern Canada to Victoria. approximatly 2-2.5 months.
this opens up the whole east/west vs west/east debate. from everything i've read, it seems there is an equal chance of having tailwinds or headwinds on any given day.

biking from east to west has been done, therefore i don't see any reason why it can't be done again.

The last leg of this ride will be from victoria, south, down the west coast to San Fransisco. 1-1.5 months

I like to put in about 60-90 miles a day. usually earlier in the day.
I'll be using a BOB trailer for carrying my stuff, and I'll be camping most of the time. Looking to meet people from all over North America during this expedition.



I'm writting this post to see if anyone just thinks this expedition idea is absolutly crazy and if anyone might be willing to do parts of it with me.
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Old 02-16-06, 05:53 PM   #2
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It's 3600+ miles between Halifax and Vancouver on the TransCanada - more biking back roads - - maybe 4000, like 400 miles per week, every week. 10 weeks from the end of July puts you in Vancouver in the middle of October. Late September and early October can be beautiful, but you can also have early snowstorms. They can come as early as Labor Day. You can usually wait a few days and glorious weather returns, but your schedule is awfully tight. Then you get into early fall rains on the Washington/Oregon coasts by late October.

October is incredible south around San Fran and south of there. Same goes for Sept on the Oregon coast. I would urge you to consider hitting Banff no later than Sept 1.
That will put you into Victoria by mid-Sept and into San Fran by early/mid-Oct.

Best - J
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Old 02-16-06, 06:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamawani
Late September and early October can be beautiful, but you can also have early snowstorms. They can come as early as Labor Day. You can usually wait a few days and glorious weather returns, but your schedule is awfully tight. Then you get into early fall rains on the Washington/Oregon coasts by late October.

... I would urge you to consider hitting Banff no later than Sept 1.
Sounds like an amazing trip, but I agree with jamawani that the time frame may be tight.

If you are OK about not being a purist, consider doing what some friends of mine did on their cross-continent trip (San Diego - Vancouver - Montreal - New York City): They took "shortcuts." Eager to reach Toronto to visit me, they went as far as they could on their own steam, and then hitchhiked 500 miles or so with their bikes to Toronto. After visiting for three days, they continued by bicycle to New York City. I believe that they also hitchhiked through a section of the Prairies.

Of course, instead of hitchhiking you can take a train, a bus, or rent a car one-way.
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Old 02-16-06, 08:48 PM   #4
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winds from the east are good for man nor beast

but you know what, after reading a lot of non-fiction books lately I get the impression that people these days are bred a little weaker then those of yore. I mean, can you imagine hauling your sorry ass to the south pole in the early 1900s in what can only be called primative gear? I've heard neverending complaints about a winter in Alberta, and a mild one at that! geesh

enough. Anyway, what I'm saying is that a little bit of rain, a brisk wind - these things can't hold you back. God dammit, I don't know why I'm so flustered. Maybe because I'm young and its late.

If you have the drive to do an east to west trip in the dead of winter then heck, you can do it. So I say to you, get out there! I say hit the road!

agh
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Old 02-16-06, 08:58 PM   #5
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I am with kamoke, don't let a little wind or snow stop you. If you want to train for all weather conditions, get a job with the Post Office.
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Old 02-16-06, 09:19 PM   #6
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TomM and kamoke,
i like your style

db
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Old 02-16-06, 10:14 PM   #7
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But DB,

If you are from Atlanta, I'm guessing you don't have much experience with winter conditions in the Canadian West. Here in Wyoming we always lose a few hunters every fall who come out - usually from places like Illinois or Missouri - places that have a lot more winter than Georgia, but still not much wilderness. Cold rain is probably more dangerous than snow if you get soaked. Then hypothermia makes you lose any sense of direction.

Plus, given the choice between cold, snow, and headwinds - I'll take warmth, sunshine, and tailwinds every time. Sure I've had to deal with pretty brutal conditions from time to time in my numerous multi-1000-mile tours - but I try, at least, to plan to have as little as possible. Inexperienced people with a "Why worry?" attitude are the ones we find frozen stiff.

Don't mean to rain on your parade, but I suspect that you may not have backcountry, cold-weather experience. I may be wrong, but if I am right, it would pay to be prudent. Ask Machka about inexperience, fall weather, and the Canadian Rockies.

J
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Old 02-17-06, 06:19 AM   #8
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although i have had cold weather experience, i do fully appreciate the advice.
i am considering not starting in atlanta, but in eastern canada, this will give me a months head start.
hopefully now i won't have to deal with potential snows during the early fall. i will be in banff by early to mid august instead.

thanks for the advice
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Old 02-17-06, 09:15 AM   #9
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haha, don't count on that eastern weather either! you might get snow in june
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Old 02-18-06, 07:43 AM   #10
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Hi there,

I hope your trip goes well, it sounds like a great one. As for cycling across Canada East to West, I've heard different accounts about it. Across the Prairies most ppl say the wind will be against you, but in my West to East trip last summer it was only slightly in my favour (60% of the time), leaving you with a headwind 60% of the time. Despite the winds, many people have done the trip East to West, I've created a web directory of all the journals i could find regarding cycling across canada, there are a couple of East to West journals.

http://xcanada.roosmachine.com

I hope you do a journal, i'd love to follow along.
roopurt
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Old 02-18-06, 08:32 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kamoke
winds from the east are good for man nor beast

but you know what, after reading a lot of non-fiction books lately I get the impression that people these days are bred a little weaker then those of yore. I mean, can you imagine hauling your sorry ass to the south pole in the early 1900s in what can only be called primative gear? I've heard neverending complaints about a winter in Alberta, and a mild one at that! geesh

enough. Anyway, what I'm saying is that a little bit of rain, a brisk wind - these things can't hold you back. God dammit, I don't know why I'm so flustered. Maybe because I'm young and its late.

If you have the drive to do an east to west trip in the dead of winter then heck, you can do it. So I say to you, get out there! I say hit the road!

agh
Well, I agree with you, Kamoke. If you read Cherry-Garrard's The Worst Journey in the World, those trips really were a pain in the butt. My college students complain about a few inches of snow or rain. I mean, c'mon!

I think the main way it could ruin a touring trip is if it was in an unmaintained area, and it got warmer, and then the snow melted and the roads became ice in the following days. Unless you're carrying studded Nokians with you, that could really disrupt the tour for a while. On the other hand, mountaineers deal with that kind of stuff all the time, and just wait it out. I admire that.

For the OP, if you fell behind your schedule, you probably could figure out a way to use transit to catch up.
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