SECTION 2 First week

Published: July 27th 2015
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Stage 11 WHITEHORSE TO SQUANGA LAKE ( 2nd SECTION) Distance 108 Kms Total Dist to Date 1223 kms Road Condition: Average Weather: Cold and overcast start, then rain. 6-8c Time in Saddle: 4.35 hoursSpeed: av 23.8 kph. Av Cadence 71 rpm Elevation: 800 m up; Total up to Date 9625 m; 635m down. Total down to date 8265m.

Left Whitehorse in reasonable temperature, but then bad weather caught us and it rained for two hours. Feet felt like ice blocks. Rained all afternoon so no chance for boots to dry out. Looks like feet icicles tomorrow.

Site a little muddy with the rain as it is nestled in Spruce trees. A storm with lightening and thunder erupted mid afternoon adding to the general cheeriness.

A pretty ride that felt good. Didn't seem like a big climb! Lake views much of the ride. After lunch had a warming stop at Jakes Junction, hot coffee and warm sitting area. Amazing cinnamon and blueberry buns. Not sure why I abstained, possibly because it was only 5 kms after lunch.! Foolish!

Arrived at a scenic camp and managed to set up tent before rain resumed. Very cold in afternoon and read book by fire in beanie and gloves. A comical sight!!

Saw a wild fox. My third animal type. No sign of ELK, although supposedly prevalent in this region

. Stage 12 SQUANGA LAKE to TESLIN. ( 2nd SECTION) Distance 73.3 Kms Total Dist to Date 1296 kms Road Condition: Average Weather: Cold and peasoup wet fog 3c at start, then rain. 6-8c. Lunchtime 16c Time in Saddle: 3.07hoursSpeed: av 23.4 kph. Av Cadence 71 rpm Elevation: 800 m up; Total up to Date 10,425 m; 730m down. Total down to date 9995m.

Today we woke to thick fog, maybe 30 m vision. Made first 6 kms tricky with concern about following vehicles. Broke through fog at 6 kms to sunny blue sky. Before hand it was freezing and damp, despite hands in warm full gloves. Had 2 jackets on so body was ok. Very pretty ride along two lakes, Aitlin and Teslin. Both are used extensively by First Nation people, Inuit, Indian and Aboriginal. Fish are Whitefish which grows to about 3 feet, Salmon and trout. Fishing licences are required, there are bag limits, and licence fees for non Yukon residents are very pricey! Near the town of Teslin visited a First Nation heritage Centre and later the George Johnson Museum, both interesting and showcasing the local history and craft.

A pretty camp site. The facilities in most RV camps so far have been pretty primitive. Pit toilets (1) between 30 people; 1 hot shower, cold showers or no facility! I am told facilities are better in the lower 48, US speak and Alberta south ( Canada)

Knees, with not wanting to jinx myself, seem to have settled down thankfully. A big day tomorrow.

Stage 13 TESLIN to RANCHERIA ( 2nd SECTION) Distance Kms 142.5 Total Dist to Date 1439 kms Road Condition: Average Weather: Cold 10c and rain. Time in Saddle: 6.40 hrsSpeed: av 21.4 kph. Max speed 55 kph Av Cadence 71 rpm Elevation: 1200 m up; Total up to Date 11,625 m; 1000 down. Total down to date 10,995 m .

Today was a hard climbing, occasionally wet, occasionally strong head wind day. Scenery was mountains and spruce some occasional fast flowing streams with pretty creek views. Past through 50 kms of moose country, signs everywhere, no one saw one!! I think the first nation people ,who are entitled to kill one moose per family per year, have stripped the forests bare!! Also no sighting of bear! I thought they may have been like kangaroos haha.

A big day riding. All riders arrived in good order but tired. Another bigger day in two days! Rewarded by a a dribble shower, at least it was warm.

This camp site is managed by the local indigenous tribe. The owner likes cyclists, so volunteered to cook us dinner tonight - spaghetti. Watched on big screen tv the Tour de France. They cycle nothing like us !!!

The camp site quality is pretty poor. Very little seems to work, 4 out of 5 toilets are broken, the showers as described, mosquitoes are everywhere and squirrels scratch at the tent looking for food. Much of the site is muddy and unkempt. One cyclist found a squirrel in his bag. The real outdoors. Still packed with HUGE trailer vans!

Northern Canada is somewhat of a surprise. Maybe outback Australia is similar, although I don't recall it from our travels. It is not as though there are few tourists. Maybe its such a short weather season, that the money earned is spent on essentials.

Stage 14 RANCHERIA to WATSONS LAKE ( 2nd SECTION) Distance Kms 119 kms Total Dist to Date 1558 kms Road Condition: Average Weather: Cold 10c. rainy start. Time in Saddle: 5.29 hrsSpeed: av 21.6 kph. Max speed 48 kph Av Cadence 72 rpm Elevation: 940 m up; Total up to Date 12,550 m; 1100 down. Total down to date 12,095 m .

This morning the camp owner cooked the cyclists pancakes with maple syrup. A nice gesture. Wore my shoe covers for the first time as it looked like rain all day. Surprisingly it was fine, it appeared that in many places it rained shortly prior to my arrival. Covers kept feet dry, but made feet quite hot and on the nose!

Today was very hilly. Although the elevation was not as steep as yesterday, the ride was more tiring. The scenery was mountains and trees.

We met an independent german cyclist who told us of a Bison at the 1000 km mark. Rode on but didn't see it. One of the others ventured off the road into the trees to find it and came within 25 metres of it. The photos showed a huge animal with a thick black furry coat and curved horns. Tonights camp is in the wilderness. 5 kms off highway on muddy road. No facilities. Bike and I arrived mud splattered. Luckily I have wet wipes! I only cleaned and oiled bike last night after yesterdays rain and bike noise!!

Stage 15 WATSONS LAKE to COAL RIVER ( 2nd SECTION) Distance Kms 160.46 kms Total Dist to Date 1718 kms Road Condition: Average Weather: Cold 8c + wind chill rain all day. Very Crappy Weather. Time in Saddle: 7.25 hrsSpeed: av 21.5 kph. Max speed 57.6 kph Av Cadence 68 rpm Elevation: 1300 m up; Total up to Date 13,850m; 1500 down. Total down to date 13,595 m .

Rained most of the night and all day today. Tricky packing wet gear into one bag with other dry goods and electronics!Very cold. Haven't felt so cold for twelve months, since when in Kyrgyzstan.

This part of Canada, the Alaska Hwy in Yukon and British Columbia is devoid of people, and those here are wary of foreigners. Most are borderline unfriendly. The RV camps are rubbish, public facilities very poorly maintained. This is the rule not the exception all across the Yukon.

The scenery is fast flowing rivers, mountains, rain clouds and minimal animals. Plenty of Ravens though. The drivers are like Australians, exhibiting a lack of regard for cyclists, passing very close and spraying plenty of road water.

Had my first real animal experience, just before lunch, a stampede of 20-30 Woods Bison, calves and adults. Running no more than 30 metres from me. They run at 25+ kph. Very exciting. Unfortunately it was pouring rain and I couldn't get out my camera in the excitement. Bison are very large beasts, probably 1.5 times the Aussie Water Buffalo. Huge furry heads and shoulders with short stumpy legs. Later on saw three others grazing by the roadside. Now very blaise!!

A very long tiring day. At least the shower was warm. Camp site littered with Bison pats, so will need to be careful tonight, although it is still very bright at 1am!

Stage 16 COAL RIVER to MUNCHO LAKE (2nd SECTION) Distance Kms 110.84 kms Total Dist to Date 1828 kms Road Condition: Average Weather: Cold. Sunny spells. Some Head Wind Time in Saddle: 5.28 hrsSpeed: av 20.2 kph. Max speed 49.1 kph Av Cadence 66 rpm Elevation: 1150 m up; Total up to Date 15,000m; 800 down; Total down to date 14,395 m .

Today we woke to a dry, grey morning. Heavy dew. So camping gear still wet. Left my cycle shoes outside under the fly, due to ripeness!! They were soaked. Nothing better than putting on heavy wet shoes knowing you are going to be in them for the next 7 hours. At least they were dry by days end!

The ride of 58kms to lunch was enjoyable and fast. Good scenery. I also saw my first small Grizzly bear about 20 metres from the road. That was exhilarating! Latter saw stampeding Buffalo.

After lunch the real climbing began, a 6 km climb at a gradient between 8-10.5%. Thank goodness for the large 36 teeth cog, made ascending hard but not impossible! Unfortunately was not rewarded by a good decent! There wasn't one. The remaining 50 kms was mostly at an ascending grade of about 2%, which looked flat. Couldn't work out why it felt so tiring, until i checked with someone with a gradient reader.

Scenery in afternoon was high, largely barren mountains. We are in the middle of the Canadian Rockies, and this area is snow covered much of the year. Road signs said snow chains and tyres between September and April. Know I couldn't handle the constant cold and bleak sky, even though the scenery is beautiful. Like China and Australia, dramatic, but after a while i don't really notice it!

Staying at Muncho lake which means big lake. Very scenic. Staying at the Northern Rockies resort for two nights. Modelled on a swiss chalet, with swiss pricing. A glass of beer with tax, $11-.

Stage 17. MUNCHO LAKE (2nd SECTION) REST DAY Today didn't do much- Cleaned bike, clothes, tent. Not sure why its called a rest day!! A big week ahead so everyone quite muted.


27th July 2015

Enjoyed the read! Hope the knees hold up, get some good quality krill oil 2x2bd will help greatly. Have read mum first parts if blog, so will catch her up by end if week I hope with the latest. Sounds like I'd rather drive then ride the route, hope u get some more photos, still, enjoying the adventure with you! Safe journey & take care... Cheers bub xx

Tot: 0.339s; Tpl: 0.017s; cc: 13; qc: 44; dbt: 0.0136s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.3mb