Well after nearly a week in Manning Park it was time to head on. This bike trip really makes me relate to this “little” piece of Canadiana http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgGKSjiw0HQ
Leaving Manning was definitely a challenge largely because the 40+ staff members, live in a super cool little mountain village and they made me feel incredibly welcome, connected and useful, what else could someone ask for in a community? The park bolsters an astounding amount of facilities and I hardly scratched the service of what it has to offer. I am going to try and come back in the winter to bar tend and run stand up nights for a couple of months. Here are highlights of what I was able to do:
Bike ride and a swim in Lightning lake with Morgan, Meg, Laina, Camillie and Coolio. (The day before it had ice on it!)
A hike up to Cascade lookout with Matt, Christine, Anna, Justin and Tessa.
I also accomplished one of my main goal as a bike enthusiast, getting people on bikes. With the help of my friend Toby I rescued a total of 12 bikes from the landfill. We picked them up from the Princeton dump for $50. I asked people for $5 a bike and being a bit light on funds I was happy to take a little extra if people could afford it.
It was hard figuring out how to distribute the bikes as I didn’t want to do a “first come, first serve” basis nor did I desire to pit people against each other in a bidding war. A couple of the rescue bikes were better quality so I tried to get them to riders who would get the most use out of them. And I also tried to distribute the bikes evenly between households, encouraging those with bikes to share with their house mates. In the end almost eveyone was happy. I even saved 2 bikes that were on the property getting a total of 14 bikes back on the road! So with 8 hours of labour, I turned this
using only a car port and this small set of tools I brought with me,
I will say that I was and am extremely happy with myself, I had envisioned towing a small bike trailer with me that contained tools and a bike stand. So to be able to fix peoples bikes and save them from the landfill with the efficient set of tools I packed is pretty awesome for me.
But alas it was time to go so with a heavy heart I peddled Monday morning to Princeton. Where I spent the night with some old family friends the Buchners. They are a great family whom had lived down the street from us in Williams Lake for 25 years. We played hockey with their sons and I even dated their daughter who is soon to be a mother. We dated for an entire 24 hours. We were in high school and after 25 hours we could tell it wasn’t working out.
When I arrived in Priceton the Buchners were awesome hosts and it was an absolute time warp as they still have the same kid pictures up. We even made some beef and veggie burgers and watched playoff hockey, it was like no time had passed at all.
Princeton was a pretty straighforward 4 hour ride, with one super amazing down hill that I hit 70kmph. I only had to battle one summit. Here is Worf at the top.
Random note I met this super cool fellow Matt who is a vegan and is a monster on his bike, all the biking I’ve done, he was doing in half the time and in turn doubling my distances. All on a fruit and veggie diet. For fuel one day, he ate 20 mango’s! He is a super cool cat and is pushing our understanding of the human diet. I hope to be able to post a link to his blog on my next post.
On advice from Rob Buchner I took an old logging road to Penticton and despite The Enterprise breaking it’s chain and getting 2 flats it was easily my favourite ride thus far. I had a whole valley to myself riding on really nice compact dirt road, beside a river, waterfalls and “all the colours of the wind”. In a total of 7 hours of peddling 3 were on pavement, the tough part was climbing out of the valley on a wash board dirt mountain. But the nearly 3 hours of cruising through a lush valley with not cars in sight made it all worth it.
My good buddy Mike gave me his old phone so I threw on some of his music and fortunately Mike and I have similar taste. I unfortunately now have a huge crush on the lead singer of The Gruff, whom I’ve never met or seen, but am pretty sure she wrote and sung many of her tunes just for me.
In Penticton I Couchsurfed with some cool cats Ashley and Broadie and was able to fix their bikes for them, which always makes me feel good. Anyway that about sums up my week. I am heading to the Kootenays and will hopefully be there for my next post. Who know though, when I’ll get there, as it’s so hard to leave nice people and nice places. Intense but fleeting friendships continue to be the happy burden of this bike traveller.
I am left contemplating if a timeline and itinerary would help or hinder me? Please post your thoughts in the comments.
Thanks for reading,