A friend and I are now planning the route of our proposed Vancouver to Calgary tour this coming summer – late July to mid August. We will be using touring bikes with appropriate gearing of about 21 gear inches. We will be carrying camping gear and plan to camp some nights, and use rental accommodation others. The weight of gear carried will be in the 33-38 pound range. Tires on our bikes will be 37C Continental TravelContacts with a recommended 58 psi. We have done fairly extensive tours (on various types of roads and rail trails) in Ontario and Quebec, the Finger lakes District of New York and in Eastern Europe – Bulgaria and Romania.
For approximately the middle third of the route we are looking at cycling the Kettle Valley Railway. We are thinking of starting on the KVR in Hope and proceeding through Coquihalla to Princeton and on to Summerland and Penticton. From there we'd go through the Myra Canyon and after that leave the KVR and go to Kelowna, Vernon and then to the Trans Canada Highway.
I have a couple of questions, one general, the other more specific. We have a copy of Dan & Sandra's “Cycling the Kettle Valley Railway”. In it the authors are fairly clear in recommending mountain bikes for any extended use of the KVR. I also do not recall any pictures in the book of people using road/touring bikes. The question is, has anyone here cycled over substantial parts of the KVR on a touring bike? If so, where, how far and how would you advise others about a KVR/touring bike combo?
The more specific question is about the Hope to Princeton portion. We have the third edition (2002) of the Langford book which I believe is the most recent. Back then substantial portions of the trail in the Coquihalla Canyon area were in private ownership and not usable by cyclists or were impassable or in bad shape. Has this situation changed? Has anyone cycled this portion of the trail – Hope to Brookmere – in the past couple of years? How was it? And what sort of time did you require to do it? If you have also cycled Highway 5, the Coquihalla, how was that in comparison to the KVR?
Thanks for your help. Any other suggestions you have for our trip will be much appreciated.