Posts Tagged With: desert

Race to the Wet Coast !

We had talked about our “end of the bike ride bucket list”. On that list, was to have some kind of an apotheosis, a Grand Finale for our bike ride.

So there we were one day, happily eating pancakes at a local restaurant. And all of a sudden, she says to me “How about we ride to Vancouver fast enough to make it for Canada Day, July 1st! We race to the coast, enjoy the parades and celebrate the end of our journey with fireworks!”. Sounds like fun, but how far is it? How fast do we have to ride?

After a brief map analysis, it turns out we’ve got over 700 km to go and about 1 week left before Canada Day. After 9 months of riding, it sounds like we could do it. The only problem, we found out later on, is British Columbia looks like a giant sheet of corrugated metal, with all the mountain ranges running North to South, ans dominant winds come from the West. It sounds like a challenge! Let’s do this!!!

And so the race began, with a couple of mountain passes each day, a Sasquatch, daunting headwinds, a rainy desert, provincial parks, mosquito attacks, and a century (100-mile ride) on the last day!

And we even got there a day early!

 

Categories: British Columbia, Canada | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Mir’Arches

Déjà 13 jours depuis notre départ de St George, et toujours aucun McDonald à l’horizon. Etions-nous bien toujours aux States ? Le Grand Ouest Américain est clairement une contrée à part. On pensait commencer à maîtriser le désert. Les 5 litres de réserves d’eau avaient trouvé leur place sur chaque vélo (en bouteille de 50 cl, ça permet d’être vraiment encombré lors des remplissages aux stations d’essence, à chacun son carburant). On avait trouvé le noeud parfait pour fixer la tente à de grosses pierres (adieu l’idée d’enfoncer les sardines, le sol étant plus dur que nos selles de vélo). On savait se passer d’une connexion internet et téléphone plusieurs jours d’affilée (l’absence d’ondes fm laissant malheureusement ma petite radio bien silencieuse). On commençait même à voir de beaux cocotiers s’élever aux bords d’oasis verdoyant … non, ça on laisse à Dupond et Dupont, nos chers casques protégeant nos petites têtes de toute surchauffe.

Enfin, c’est ce qu’on pensait avant de voir des bateaux nous dépasser en plein désert, de faire la course avec Flash McQueen, et de tomber nez-à-nez avec les parents de Seb, un ami de Bruxelles. Mais le plus grand des mirages nous attendait une fois de plus en plein coeur de parc national : de fabuleuses arches s’élevant de nulle part, prêtes à faire chavirer la tête de tout randonneur osant s’aventurer sous elles … L’illusion était alors parfaite. Et pour redescendre sur terre, rien de mieux qu’un bon jet d’arrosage nocturne, carchérisant la toile de la tente. S’endormir sur une pelouse bien verte en plein désert ? Faut pas rêver quand même ! Ou alors rêver de gros pick-ups tractant des bateaux, se préparant à naviguer dans l’un des lacs formés par les barrages du Colorado…

Categories: Southwest - Part II, Utah | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

We the People

The family’s taxi rode away to the sunset… Sorry, to the airport.

And as we faced each other, all sorts of feelings fled through our minds. Here we go… last 3 months of our journey. No doubt the most beautiful and challenging rides ahead of us. How do we do this again? Just ride off not knowing where we’re going? How are we going to manage food and water? And safety?

So many questions we used to answer with a reassuring smile on our faces. But on this scale? In the desert, the mountains, the cold and the heat?

The good news is, these are questions that can worry you when you’re not on the bike. Once you get back on, you just go for it. And so, we went.

We made our farewells to Vegas and its craziness, to head East for the first time in our journey, off through the desert and to the Rockies!

We were of course equipped with our “Poor Boy’s Gatorade” (add a pinch of salt to your water bottle… patent pending) as we ventured off. And the desert rewarded us with some wild scenery… And wild people. After all, this is the West! And if you doubt it, try stopping by the Bundee Ranch. In the middle of Nowhere, Nevada, you’ll meet people who’ve been defying the Feds over their grazing rights (or lack thereof). Apparently, it’s been on national news for a while, especially since the armed face-off between federal agents and the Bundee’s militia.  But we just rode in innocently, received some cold water and (we’re in here for the experience after all) attended their press conference.

The bottom line? “We the people” will take control of our land and constitutional rights. Another “out of this world” experience for 2 young Belgians. But hey, it’s what we’re here for!

Categories: Nevada, Southwest - Part II | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

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