Thursday, 7 September 2017

Leaving for the Hills

Leaving Vancouver as the sun does its best to fight its way through the smoke clouds of the forest wild fires that are roaring away in the mountains

My plan today is to head for Whistler some 75 miles away.

I've studied the map and I'll take the coat route first avoiding route 99 which as far as I can see is a busy route.

This takes me through North Vancouver the place you go to live if you have a few dollars to spare. The route is very up and down coastal routes tend to be but is very pretty. I'm pulled over by what I can describe as a YMCA motor bike cop big mustache too and I think to myself I'm about to be searched again hey ho when in Canada. But no he tells me theirs a big group of cyclists coming through and to be aware of it. Numerous police bikes and cars later I'm surrounded by a 50 plus group of cyclists all pushing up a hill in their colour catching Lycra getting cheered at as they tackle the same hill as me the difference is the weight their carrying probably compares as much as my front lights hey ho it doesn't take long before their wobbling backsides bob away into the distance .
I take the sea to sky route 99 acclaimed to be a breathtaking sight. But unfortunately, due to the wild fires, I couldn't see the sea or the mountain ranges around me. I have to take their word for it.
I struggle today which I put down to jet lag and the noise of the traffic on route99. It's not a bike friendly route so much traffic big trucks and cars speeding way too fast. Yes, I do have my own lane but the noise is hard work I have to resort to my I music through my headphones to drive it out.

I finish the day with 3 pints and a bison burger in a side cafe with great friendly service listening to the sounds of, YMCA I will survive and dancing queen, I think I might have wandered into a gay bar, hey ho the beer is wonderful.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Canada ready and waiting

The Captain says Welcome aboard West Jet,  in a very relaxed manner which I find reassuring, you don't need a highly strung captain taking to the air with 300 people on board He follows this with something which puts a smile on my face as well as questioning how relaxed West Jet are. " we'll be taking off in  a few minutes once we finish off  putting the aircraft together" That's quite a mixed bag of information and I think of the ground crew with some bits of plane on the floor and a diagram.
 The journey itself is long nearly 10 hrs and it takes us from London, over Scotland, Iceland, Greenland Hudon Bay and over the amazing Rockies into Vancouver. I have to admit the Rockies are much bigger than I thought they would be, even from up 30,000 feet and they look amazing. So looking forward to meeting them at ground level.

I get a taxi from the airport as I don't fancy carting my bike bag across town it's so heavy. It has everything in there all the camping stuff and clothes not that there are many clothes the usual 3 of everything. It cost me £15.00 to get it all flown in, that's cheap.
Then into the hotel room and reassemble the bike, it's always a relief when nothings broken.
As the adrenaline wears off I start to get tired its only 5 in the afternoon but back home its 1 in the morning, I need to stay awake as long as I  can, so I head out to try the bike out explore and find some food. The bike works fine and I find myself at a  Canadian Diner and Carb up and drink some ok Canadian Pale Ales. Sitting here watching all going on is like being in a film the waitress is very friendly and there's a lot of 'Sir' and politeness, I do have Pancakes and Maple syrup for pudding.
As I knock back my second beer the tiredness hits me, its only 830 pm but home time is 430 am. Time to sleep I think, really looking forward to tomorrow. 

Friday, 18 August 2017

Monday, 4 May 2015

3 Lakes Challenge

Well it was meant to be Cyclists V Canoeing, to see who could paddle/cycle the length of Windermere, Coniston and Ullswater.  However the wet weather seems to have put them off and we the canoeists set off at 10am on 3rd May from Waterhead on Lake Windermere, into the pouring rain and mist.

2 hours and 10 miles later we made it to the bottom of the Lake.  To be greeted by Julia, who proceed to blow up her air bags in preparation to paddle Lake Coniston.

After a quick ferry from Windermere to Coniston we set again into the mist.

50 minutes and 4.37 miles later, we had completed the length of Coniston.  A quick cup of tea in the blue bird cafe and it was off to Ullswater.

That was done in 1 hour 40 or 1 hour 20, depending on the route the team took.

So 3 lakes challenge completed in 4 hours 30 minutes, or in real time from 10 am to 6pm.

So cyclists, can you get from Waterhead on lake Windermere, to Pooley Bridge, cycling the length of the 3 lakes in 4 hours 30 minutes or beating our total time 8 hours?

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Life is Good II

Just in wales visiting Angelsey on a cycle trip!

Friday, 24 August 2012

Life is good

Out of the city into the villages is where I prefer to be, here you get to relax and see life go by. The pictures above give you an idea how time goes by. I watched these old boys playing chess it got so intense after a while that it became a team sport, not sure if that's in the rules.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Dont panic I'm just a man on a bicycle

Athens, I have arrived, not an army to defeat you as so many have done in your 7000 years of history, but as a traveller with two wheels not a cart pulled by horses but the simple bicycle with my own form of horse power, my legs and my lungs.  Entering the city like all cities I've been through takes some doing, and of course with all of it in the Greek alphabet it makes asking directions great fun. The outskirts of the city is like most cities a bit worn and battered but then so is the Acropolis. I passed some of the Olympic stadiums that were built for the games in 2004 and it doesn't look like they've been used since then with smashed windows  graffiti and litter dumped everywhere, I don't know if that's got much to do with the crisis here but i hope London doesn't go the same way. I found myself a cheap hotel room with air conditioning 23€ that with the 23% vat and took my unladen bike for a tour of the city. Athens two words chaotic and exhilarating, and not a bike in site strange for a city but not surprising with the way the drivers hit the accelerator  here while the police two to a motorbike watch on targeting by the looks of it immigrants with no papers.To get to see inside the big monuments you have to pay  and the tourists were in some big lines with their cameras poised in the 38c heat the thing is these monuments are so big you get a better view from the outside and that is what i did. I spent the next few hours touring then headed for the sea, i guess Ive seen so much land and cities the sea is calling so much to me at the moment. a half hours ride and I'm at the clear blue sea I'm like a little boy with his bucket and spade i chain the bike up and go skinny dipping  its allowed in Greece on the beaches I'm a little concerned of the shock of my bronzed arms face and legs against the pale white rest of my torso so i head for a quiet rock swim and with mrlion we walked into the , no shivers warm intoxicating sea bliss. after a dry out in the sun the evening came and i headed to a rugged outcrop that overlooked the Acropolis and the city, amazing views, and inhabited by my fellow tourists, the rocks we were siting on were so smooth from the gazers you had to be careful of your step. There was a gang of pickpockets, bag snatchers working this area so  easy to see the only view they were watching was that that contained valuables, in a couple of the photos you can see them. I had to tell a couple of tourists that the were about to get their bag stolen much to the annoyance of the on looking  thieves.
 So i will have a few days here and enjoy my journeys end, i have to return so i can go again, its been brutal, exhilarating crazy wild and emotional and something i hope you all get a chance to do. The trip was done on a budget of 3500 and out of that came my bike costs, I've been away for  3 months travelled into 16 countries and cultures and cycled a few miles. My eyes and mind have seen so much good and bad sadness and joy  and as they say I have had the time of my life i only hope one day you will get that time too, live life thanks for Reading, now how the hell do i get back from here?