From Calgary to Vancouver across the Rocky Mountains

Stage 1: (1446 km, 20,100 M ↑ 12,700 M↓, 74 h)

Finally it starts! On 01.08.22 I started after two weeks of waiting in my adventure. Not with my originally sponsored vsf Fahrradmanufaktur TX-800 bike, but with a second-hand touring bike from the Italian manufacturer Masi. On the one hand, the replacement bike gave me a lot of pleasure, but on the other hand, it brought me to the brink of despair in the beginning. More about that later!

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Day 1 (01.08):

Calgary to Canmore via Highway 1A:

32°C, 125 km, 900 M ↑ 610 M↓, 5h 20min.

Finally, we’re off. Stuck in Calgary for 2 weeks, I didn’t know if and when I could start mei long-awaited adventure. With a second-hand Masi touring bike, I was able to start after all. If you are interested in why I had to buy a new bike you will get the details here.

In the evening I met John and Sean, two climbing friends from Ontario, who invited me for breakfast the next morning.

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John and Sean two climbing friends from Ontario


Day 2 (01.08):

Via Banff to Lake Louise via Highway 1A:

29°C, 85 km, 720 M ↑ 490 M↓, 5h 15 min.

(3 flat tires + broken pedals).

Overnight stay at the hostel in Lake Louise. At the hostel I met Michael, a future climbing guide, and Florance and Clermant from Paris.

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Lake Moraine, above Lake Louise (Alberta, Canada)Day 3 (02.08):

In the morning I took the shuttle bus to Lake Moraine. In the meantime, the bike could be repaired. At the lake I met Danny, who makes a motorcycle tour through North and South America with his Enduro Ducati for an indefinite time.

In the afternoon we continued towards Marble Canyon Campground, 30 km back to Banff on Highway 1A and further along Highway 93 into Kootenay National Park:

26°C, 47 km, 500 M ↑ 550 M↓, 2h 23 min.

Day 4 (03.08):

Marble Canyon Campground to Radium Hot Springs via Highway 93:

26°C, 89 km, 540 M ↑ 1100 M↓,4h 20 min.

3 plates. James, whom I met the night before fortunately comes by and helps me with the repair. During our conversation, he invited me to join him in Vancouver.

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Kootenay National Park

Overnight stay at the Piccadilly Motel in Radium Hot Springs. Lee the owner of the Piccadilly Motel read my story in the Calgary Herald and invited me by email on suspicion if I should drop by his place.

Day 5 (04.08):

Break day in Radium Hot Springs at Lee’s place at the Piccadilly Motel.

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Lee the owner of the Picadilly Motel in Radium Hotsprings

Day 6 (05.08):

Radium Hot Spring to Wasa Lake via Highway 93:

32°C, 117 km, 560 M ↑ 630 M↓, 4h 55min.

After my rear tire went completely flat the next morning, I decided to change the tires completely.

John, the bike mechanic at Columbia Cyles in Invemere fixed my bike. We got to talking and he told me that he had lymphatic cancer removed 4 years ago and now he participates in an annual fundraising tour for cancer patients.

Day 7 (06.08):

Wasa Lake via Cranbrook to Moyie Lake via Highway 3:

32°C, 69 km 620 M ↑ 440 M↓ 3h 25 min.

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Day 8 (07.08):

Moyie Lake to Kootenay Lake via Creston via Highway 3:

34°C, 115 km 650 M ↑ 1020 M↓ 5h 20 min

In the morning, I met David from Ireland, who spent 10 weeks cycling through BC and Alberta. In the meantime, he has arrived back in Ireland.

Day 9 (08.08):

Along Kootnenay Lake to Crawford Bay via Highway 3A. Lake crossing with the Balfour Ferry to Willowpoint:

35 °C, 85 km, 760 M ↑ 750 M↓, 4h 8min.

In the morning I met 2 couples from Edmonton Alberta on their motorcycles,

In the afternoon I arrive at Kevin & Nashira the Warmshower hosts.

Kevin has a beautiful house with a huge garden right on the lake. The next morning I saw a bear for the first time. It was a big black bear that was roaming through the garden only a few meters away and when he noticed me he slowly walked away.

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Highway 3a am Kootenay Lake

Day 10 (09.08):

Via Nelson to Castlegar along Highway 3:

29°C, 61 km, 550 M ↑ 620 M↓ 3h.

I met Sebastian from Calgary who originally came from Chile and James, a homeless man who is walking from Toronto to Vancouver to draw attention to the situation of homeless people in Canada. He has been on the road for 5 years now and still has about 700 km to go to Vancouver.

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James, a homeless man who walks from Niagara Falls to Vamcouver to raise awareness about the homeless situation.

In the evening I stayed with Kelly & Keith Warmshowers hosts. Kelly is cycling from California to Florida in January 2023 to raise awareness for epileptics and to create a documentary with the stories of others with epilepsy.

Day 11 (10.08):

Via the abandoned Columbia & Western Rail Trail to Christina Lake.

Longest uninterrupted climb on the Canadian rail network with 50km of continuous climbing:

26 °C, 90km, 830 M ↑ 820 M↓, 5h 53 min.

In the morning, I met three bikepackers: Anna, Tony, and Melad, who were taking their bikes on a 14-day tour along the BC Trail.

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Columbia & Western Rail Trail.

Shortly before Cristina Lake I met Dean, who doesn’t let his arthritis in his left hand stop him and drives 3000 km to Colorado to a music festival.

Day 12 (11.08):

Continuing on the railroad track via Grand Forks to Greenwood: 36°C, 70 km, 830 M ↑ 530 M↓ 4h 5min.

Marc & Ciele, two very hospitable and bike-crazy Warmshowers hosts where I took a break day. Both have from fatbike to folding bike over 10 different bikes in their garage.

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Highway 3 BC

Day 13 (12.08): Break day in Greenwood

Day 14 (13.08):

Via Midway to Osoyoos:

34 °C, 82 km, 930 M ↑ 1300 M↓, 3h 57min.

On the way, I passed a market and Clint bought me fruits and vegetables for the ride to Osoyoos.

In Osoyoos I met Christie, Karl & Murray and had wonderful conversations and a great and very emotional meeting. The three of them invited me for breakfast the next morning.

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Christie, Karl & Murray

Day 15 (14.08):

Along Highway 3 via Keremeos to Bromley Rock Provocial Park:

39°C, 96 km, 1057 M ↑ 760 M↓, 5h 21min.

At the campground, I shared a campsite with Bill & Ted from Victoria. Both are making a three-week motorcycle trip to Mount Rushmore on their Harleys.

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Okanagen Valley bei Osoyoos.

Day 16 (15.08):

Via Princeton to Manning Park via Highway 3:

34°C, 90 km, 1264 M ↑ 614 M↓,5h 22 min.

My most strenuous and steepest stage on the tour to Vancouver.

In Princeton, when I stopped at a motel to refill my water bottles, I met Raymond. The next day on the way to Hope, his wife and he passed me and greeted me as they drove by on their way to the airport in Vancouver.

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Hardest day 1250 hm at 34 °C

 

Day 17 (16.08):

Via Hope on Highway 7 to Harrison Mills:

32 °C, 117 km, 616 M ↑ 1800 M↓ 5h16 min.

(Strong headwind)

At the beach I met John who invited me to a barbecue. Barbecue with John & Shirley, Larne & Elaine, Herb & Darlene. The three couples know each other from a sports group and from the church community and meet regularly at the campsite. Following the meal, they all prayed for me and blessed me.

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Day 18 (17.08):

Via Highway 7 to Vancouver:

37°C, 108 km, 746 M ↑ 690 M↓, 6h 2 min.

James Fraine family: James, Melanie, Daniel, Patric, Kathy, dog Fernando & cat Billy.

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Frain family with relatives

18.08- 27.08:

In Vancouver, I took 9 break days to sell the bike, donate the proceeds of the bike sale to the Canadian Brain Tumor Aid, pick up the letter of recommendation from the District President of the Government of Swabia at the German Consulate and explore the city. At the same time, the first 4 days were purely for regeneration, to recover halfway from my lumbago. Due to the wrong riding position on my transition bike and my neglected stretching, I could hardly move the day after I arrived in Vancouver. Even the first few days after a chiropractor visit and a hot yoga session, I was only able to keep going in pain for the next few days. Luckily it got a little better the following days so I was able to see the city, which was absolutely worth it. Vancouver is definitely one of the highlights of my tour so far.

What do I learn from it? Stretch, stretch, stretch!

Vancouver (Stanley Park)
Vancouver Downtown. View from Stanley Park

This is how it goes on…

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