Terranova Expedition 2010 is now officially underway. We left about 1:30 pm, gassed up and rode to Golden, BC. It was cold (about 4-6C degrees), but sunny and clear skies. A great day.
We want to thank everyone who came out to the Send off party (about 50 ppl), and again today to the Departure at Crescent Heights. It is humbling to have such wonderful friends.
We rode from Calgary to Golden on the first day. Nice and cool, it was a great day for riding. Slightly slower through some of the construction, but no issues.
Day two dawned cold (-5) and frosty. We waited around Golden until about 10:00 am, I went and bought a buff because my neck was kind of cold on the first day. We then headed out to cross the Rogers Pass.
-1 isn't cold. -1 at 110 km/h is. We had every stitch of clothing on, which was fine, but constricting. I fully filled my jacket. It was hard to move.
Other than some slightly cold hands and feet, it was fine. We did about 650 km today and ended up in Chilliwack B.C. We'll move on to Vancouver tomorrow morning, where we need to make a couple stops to pick up some supplies we've ordered, then will head south to the US border.
Short riding day today. We stopped in Langley BC and toured the Alco aluminum plant, the company that manufactures the products I sell in my "regular" life.
We stopped by Pacific BMW to get some visors for our helmets. They didn't have any in stock. So the accessories manager called the owner at home and asked if they could take apart the two helmets they had in stock. The owner said sure, whatever to help out. We got there, and they not only gave us the visors, they gave us a couple other pieces off the helmets that we needed too. Plus stickers and T-shirts. We NEVER would have expected such gracious help, but it was offered without us even asking.
This is the second time that we have been to Pacific BMW, and both times they have gone so far beyond our expectations.
We crossed the border into the USA. It took about 1 minute. They scanned our passports, asked me where we were going, and waved us through. Russia could learn a thing or 10 from them on border efficiency. :)
We rode till about 6:00 pm, and are camped about 70km north of Seattle. The ladies who run the campground kept the pool and hot tub open late for us. Nice of them. :)
We left our camp north of Seattle, and rode into the city. Our only stop of the day was to visit the US headquarters of Touratech. What blew us away was the absolute awesome way we were treated by Matt from Touratech. He gave us full run of their shop to work on the bikes, and ran back and forth getting parts for us. When it was time to settle up, he gave us an really fair deal, and threw in some free t-shirts and stickers. In other words, he went above and beyond what he needed to and provided incredible customer service.
We have quite a bit of Touratech gear with us on this trip, and dealing with Matt reinforced that not only do they make great products, but they stand behind them as well. Thanks Matt.
After leaving Touratech, we rode about 300km to Washougal, Washington (across the river from Portland), where we met up with our friends Jason and Don, and had a wonderful supper.
We're sleeping in Jason's garage tonight (it's warmer than outside, and dry).
After 118 days on the road last trip you’d think we’d have our packing and gear list all in order but this morning we managed to pare down our packs quite substantially. I’m not sure why when we leave on a bike trip we feel the need to take ½ our home contents along but after a few days you have a moment of clarity (or frustration) and started dumping things left, right and center. Between Tim and I we managed to fill a photocopier paper sized box with things we realized we could do without. A great weight had been lifted, literally.
Anyone that knows Tim knows of his numerous food allergies. This affliction makes it difficult for him to eat on the road (especially when traveling through non-english speaking countries). To alleviate this issue he carries a large amount of MREs (meals ready to eat). MREs are all in one, freeze dried meals that you simply add boiling water to, wait a few minutes then eat. Although this may not sound real tasty they are pretty good actually. Tim had pre-ordered his MREs before we left and we needed to swing by the warehouse in Tangent, Oregon to pick up the goods. We will be gone about 170 days and Tim had ordered 60days worth of food…60days X 3 meals a day… that’s 50 lbs, yikes! After half an hour of shuffling things from bike to bike and packing, and repacking we had it all stuffed in and on the bikes.
About 3 months ago I was in a car accident and my back hasn’t been 100% since but it’s been pretty good for the last few weeks so I didn’t give it much thought before leaving on Sunday. Since the 2nd day of our journey my back has been giving me grief. After a few hours of riding I have a stabbing pain just under my shoulder blades. It’s made riding very un-enjoyable. After 4 days of this annoying issue I was starting to wonder how it would affect the trip and if it may lead to a shortened trip for me. I was losing sleep thinking/worrying about it. While riding this afternoon I began thinking that I shouldn’t assume the pain was caused by the accident. Things have been great for several weeks so no reason to flare up now. I was trying to think of things that I had changed on the bike since the last trip that maybe an issue and I realized my handle bar position was rotated slightly forward. I figured I was grasping a bit thinking that maybe the cause but stopped and I tweaked the bars a couple degrees and viola! Problem solved. I spent the rest of the day wondering how different the trip could have been if I wasn’t grasping at straws! I also spent some time wondering what very small adjustments I could make in my regular life that would net me big improvements. I’ll keep you posted should I come up with anything ; )
We were hoping to make it Grant’s Pass Oregon this evening but it was getting late and traffic was moving slow on Interstate 5 due to an Oregon Ducks football game (Ducks, really??). Since neither one of us is a big fan of riding at night we grabbed a camp spot at a nearly empty state run park in Pass Creek, Oregon, complete with a gazebo and pond full of Canadian Geese.
We started out this morning from Redding in the pouring rain. Which was a little depressing, but after 10 or 15 minutes, we remembered the 23 days of rain we rode straight in Siberia, and then it didn't seem so bad.
We covered a lot of ground, about 660 km, but we did have one problem with the bikes. Tim noticed that the front end was vibrating a lot, and was making his hands numb. He rode like this for a while, but we came around a corner and the bike lurched. He quickly pulled over to the side, jumped off, and saw the front tire was flat. We mixed up some soapy water, checked the tire, but there was no leaks. So.. WTF? We pumped the tire back up, it held air fine, and is still holding air 5 hours later. So no idea so far what happened.
We checked into a hotel tonight, to dry out a bit, and were hoping to watch the UFC fight at a local bar, but no go, there are no bars in the city showing the fights.
So, we'll go for a walk around the town tonight, and see what we see.