Archive for March 6th, 2009


SPOT tracking of Mexico bike ride

Baja California

Sunset in Catavina in Central Baja

Baja Photos

Add comment March 6th, 2009


Lower 48 States bike ride

SPOT Tracking Page for Ride in the U.S.

Washington State

Photo Album of WA State ride

Oregon State

Photo Album of OR State ride

California State

Photo Album of CA State ride

US Ride CA at SpotAdventures

Map created by SpotAdventures:GPS Geotagging

Daily Log Notes:

Washington State

Thursday, August 6

Lynden to Arlington

125km / 4701km; 6.3h / 254h; 650m / 47900m

Scenic, idyllic farmland the first 30km. Ripe blackberries are my 2nd breakfast! Email at coffee shop in morning. Following Hwy 9 down South. Several lakes along the way. Fresh baked breadroll, apricot muffin and coffee at 11am. Stop for late lunch near Acme at Blue Mountain Grill.
Also stop at Overlook Golf course at Big Lake, where Ray and Josh spontaneously donate $10 each to my cause! Phone call with Jill. Then scenic ride past a few lakes on to Arlington, where I’m stating for
the night.

Friday, August 7

Arlington to Bellevue (Seattle)

70km / 4772km; 4h / 259h; 770m / 48650m

Got up early with my first Starbucks coffee in months at 6:30am. Started riding at 7:15am in cool (13C), cloudy, light drizzle conditions. Warmed up on the 80m hill in the first km – there were more hills today than expected, especially towards the end in Bellevue.
Stop after 20km for 2nd, more substantial breakfast and email. Then continued the ride at 9 without any significant stops for the remaining distance. More and more traffic. One particularly bad area in Snohomish where there was construction (lane widening) and a 150m hill!
Using iPhone GPS for directions as I get closer to Bellevue. Nice stretch along the Samamish river trail. Finally busy city roads and steep hills towards the Bellevue area where my friend Karl lives with his family. Arrival there at 12:45p – this marks the end of the first long leg of my journey. I won’t be riding this bike now for 2 weeks.

Monday, August 24

Bellevue to Potlatch State Park

84km / 4856km; 4.2h / 263; 750m / 49400m

First short ride to Gregg’s Bike Shop in downtown Bellevue for tire / tube replacement and cable tightening. Haircut and lunch in the meantime. Then ride across Lake Washington bridge next to I90 towards downtown Seattle; mostly separate bike trail, except for a few stretches on busy roads. Downtown reminds me of the recent vacation there with Jill.
Arrival at Pier 52 and WA State Ferry to Bremerton. Beautiful views during 1hr crossing.
In Bremerton first 10-20km are not fun: Busy freeway, lots of traffic, hot and 150m climb make for unpleasant combination until Belfair. There I get some cash from an ATM, buy groceries and call Jill while sipping on a Starbucks latte. Things are looking better again ???
The remaining section on Hwy 106 along the shores of the Hood Canal is very nice. Low sun between 6:30-8:00p is reflected in the water; beautiful homes lime the shores…
Arrive at Potlatch State Park just after sunset at 8:10p and set up tent. Hot shower and sandwich, followed by email and some Kindle reading. Turn in at 10pm.

Tuesday, August 25

Potlatch State Park to Westport

142km / 4999km; 6.8h / 270h; 750m / 50150m

Some rain overnight, but clearing up in the morning with sunshine forecast for the afternoon. I read some more in the tent and get ready to move by about 10am. I am not in a hurry, but there is some headwind and the ride along Hwy 8 and 12 is not pleasant (too much traffic, but thankfully broad shoulder). I make it to Shelton barely 18km when I pull over for brunch at 11:30. Im thinking at this pace I wont make it very far but I also need some substantial food, which I certainly am getting here. At 1pm I continue and now I go for the next 50 km without taking a break: Via McCleary and Elma I ride to Montesano. There I have my signature desert: Blackberry pie a la mode with coffee! Some email and then I continue along Hwy 12 to Aberdeen. This is now a 4 lane divided freeway, but its not too bad. Just a week ago I was driving here in the opposite direction with Jill getting from Olympic NP to Mt. Rainier NP! The road passes by the abandoned nuclear power plant of Satsop built during the 70s until about 75% complete, then stopped due to a billion dollar budget overrun and finally abandoned – an interesting example of huge waste of taxpayer money!
After Aberdeen I ride South on the Pacific Coastal Highway 101, which will be the main road Ill follow for the next couple of weeks! Its another 30km or so until the Twin Harbor State Park near Westport where I camp for the night. Walk to the beach, but clouds prevent a Kodak moment sunset I ride to Westport for some Seafood Fettucine, and on the way back its pretty dark so I need to be careful riding (only have a red blinker for the back of the bike). Crawl into the tent around 10:30pm.

Wednesday, August 26

Westport to Astoria

140km / 5130km; 6.5h / 276h; 750m / 50900m;

Relatively early start at 8:45am going South along Pacific Coast. At times nice views of the bays which now at low tide turn into large mud flats. Many birds here, including Canada geese, Pelican, fish eagle, etc. This may be the flattest stage since the Alaska border reminds me of the two flat stages from Fairbanks to Tok. My first goal is Raymond at about 50km. Before I get there I see plenty of blackberry bushes, so I stop and eat a good 200 of the most juicy and sweet BBs ever yummy! Then at 11:30 I reach the Corner Caf which advertises Free Wi-Fi??? just what I need as I plan to attend a FirstGiving webinar intended to offer help with the fundraising process. I also meet John who is riding his R1100S BMW motorcycle from British Columbia down the Pacific Coast towards San Francisco. We have a good conversation over lunch before we both get going again.
After lunch I continue my ride on Hwy 101 along the coast. I pass two riders Ryan and Leoni several times as I need to stop and place a couple of phone calls related to my hostel and the express package (with SPOT) from Jill. They plan to ride down to San Francisco and then fly to Australia and ride the East Coast there quite a trip!
After a total of about 120km I cross a small hill at 82m the highest point of my day – and ride down towards the mighty Columbia River, which is just huge here near its delta into the Pacific. The Astoria Megler bridge is about 6.5km long, and near the Oregon side it rises up towards about 80m above the water. There is only 1 lane in each direction and the shoulders are very narrow, so its a bit nerve-wrecking riding there, especially the climb up to the highest point which takes me quite a while. However, stunning views to the East with Mt. St. Helens far upstream and with the near setting sun and Ocean-going vessels in the West.
Nice short ride into Astoria town with stop at the piers and some additional photos. Arriving at Norblad hostel at 7:30pm.

Oregon State

Thursday, August 27

Astoria to Netarts

133km / 5272km; 7.2h / 283h; 1200m / 52100m

I get up early to find a place for breakfast, which proves easy as
there are lots of little restaurants in Astoria. After a Hawaiian Omelet with gravy and hash browns I am ready for the day!
After another long bridge the road follows the Western Coast and is mostly flat. Unlike in Astoria here is still fog. I stop at Seaside and again in Cannon Beach; I take my time, hoping that the sun will burn off the fog.
When I reach the crest of a medium-sized hill at Oswald State Park I follow a little path, which according to the description in my guidebook leads to unsurpassed views???. It can’t be the right path then, as this one leads in a half-circle back to the road, all in the forest, so no view 🙁 This cost me about 45min, which is both a good and bad thing today: The good part is that this delay brings me to a lookout point above Nehalem Bay just when the fog is finally clearing.
Fantastic views make me stay for 15 min. A motorist mentions it has been foggy for the past 150 miles… The bad part is that I’m running out of daylight by 8pm on the scenic Three Capes Drive. After a coffee break in Nehalem at 5pm I’m getting into the zone and ride nonstop to Tillamook and then around Cape Meiras, the first of the three capes. The clear sky and low sun are very idyllic; unfortunately I’m a bit late so my sunset is hurried and after the last long climb which caused me to sweat profusely it’s getting cold on the windy descent. I find a place for my tent at an RV park and dinner at the nearby Schooner restaurant. Afterwards I crawl into my sleeping bag to warm up and fall asleep around 10:30pm.

Friday, August 28

Netarts to Newport (State Park)

102km / 5374km; 5.7h / 289h; 700m / 52800m

I get up and search for a bakery or restaurant for breakfast. I find a grocery store and have some pastries & coffee. Back on the road by about 9am. Shortly thereafter the rain starts. I climb the first big hill (275m), pause briefly at a hang-glider launch spot and take a short hike at the top towards the Cape – nice view, but windy & rainy!
After cold descent to Sand Lake I stop at the only place in town to warm up a bit. Eat 2 Hot Dogs, 3 bear claws & coffee. Then continue my wet ride for the next 2-3 hours and stop in Neskowim (50km). I have some Greek salad there, which tastes good but doesn’t sit well in my stomach during next long climb (250m).
Now the rain stops and at 70km the sun finally comes out 🙂 I stop again for some email & phone communication, this time at a Cold Stone icecream shop. After phone call with Jill I have to do another 30km in 1.5h. Some rolling hills, nice scenery with the occasional glimpse of the Ocean and the evening sun.
Arrive at Beverly Beach SP at 8:10p and am surprised by how big and busy this place is! A bit damp and gloomy, but good hot showers. Meet Jenni from Portland who rides the Coast down to L.A. Crawl into tent at 10p and fall asleep despite the loud teenager group nearby…

Saturday, August 29

Newport to Florence (State Park)

100km / 5475km; 5.2h / 294h;

Leaving SP around 8:30 heading for town (Newport) a few I’m down the road. Stopping there for big breakfast. Hoping for fog to clear. Slowly continuing to Seal Rock; here I visit a chainsaw carving store and chat with the artist / owner about art, business and building a brand.
Continue on to Yachats, where I have some delicious Blueberry pancakes and chat with Jim, who recounts his 1979 bike trip – memories that last 3 decades…
Cape Perpetua is next and I stop at the visitor center; however there are still clouds so hiking up to the viewpoint wouldn’t make much sense. Discussion with a man asking “What did you learn on your trip so far?” quickly turns into a semi-religious Atheist vs. Creator dialog, which I need to end so as to not run out of daylight later.
Some hills and a short tunnel ahead near Heceta Head lighthouse. At times nice views from the road. Once a colony of sea lions can be heard and then seen 100m below on the rocky beach.
Sweeping views over sand dunes and beach just North of Florence, so I stop to dry out my tent and sleeping bag while making phone calls to Jill and Philip.
Nice downhill and tailwind sections here. In Florence short stop for groceries and then last 10km with tailwind via Glenada to Jessie Honeyman SP. Setup tent in hiker/biker area and dinner with many other bikers and Jenni.

Sunday, August 30

Florence (SP) to Bandon (SP)

117km / 5592km; 6.2h / 301h;

After breakfast walk to the nearby dunes. Sun is coming out and burning off the fog. Start riding at 10am. Significant hill (through construction zone with no shoulder) on the way to Gardiner &
Reedsport. There I buy a Subway sandwich, half for lunch and dinner each. Short detour to Umpqua lighthouse, but again with fairly steep hills. Meet Jenni and chat / decide to ride together for the afternoon.
Arrive in North Bend after crossing tall bridge with narrow sidewalk and strong gusty winds. Then some grocery shopping and coffee with banana bread. Continuing the ride via scenic ridge route and lots of hills. Unfortunately the ridge and the rest of the day is covered in cloud / fog, so no more sun and much cooler…
Eventually arrive at Bullards SP near Bandon by 7pm. Phone call with Jill, hot shower, setup tent, open fire and some simple bread and veggies for dinner. Sleep by 10:45pm.

Monday, August 31

Bandon (SP) to Gold Beach

100km / 5693km; 5.2h / 306h; 1030m

Cool and wet tent in the morning. Short ride from Bullards SP to town (Bandon) for breakfast. Doing email while having a ham & cheese omelet. No hurry as I’m hoping for conditions to improve like last couple of days. Indeed, the N wind sets in and so the next long section to Port Orford (50km) is much accelerated. At 40km the sun comes out and now with sun and tailwind the riding is just very enjoyable. Soon I reach Port Orford and stop for a small lunch while letting the sun dry out my tent and sleeping bag. Also some blackberries there for desert when packing up again 🙂

Unfortunately my good luck with the weather ends here as the wind shifts to SW and after just a few miles the clouds roll back in. So now it’s riding into a cold headwind under low clouds! Despite hard work I feel like I’m just crawling; the average speed plummets. It takes me 2h40m for just 45km. I realize at 5pm in Gold Beach that my last section on to Brookings at the CA border (another 50km) is too far for today with hardly any CG in between. Hence I decide to stay here for the night. I eat a chef salad at a local Pizzeria and call Jill and Philip. I also replace my front tube due to the old one slowly leaking air (probably a defect valve). Then I buy some groceries and roll around town to find a CG. I settle on Indian River RV which also has a nice lobby and free wireless Internet. After some Blog post and bread & cheese I retire to my tent at 10:30pm. Falling asleep to the sounds of the nearby Indian River…

California State

Tuesday, September 1

Gold Beach to Elk Prairie SP

150km / 5843km; 8h / 314h; 1880m

Big breakfast at cafe next to lodge. Also email and further trip planning into Central America. Start riding at 9:15am. First section to Smith River over one big (220m) and another small hill (100m).
There (50km) I have rice & seafood at a Mexican place. From here continue to the CA border and on via small side roads to Crescent City. I stop for an afternoon mocha at Starbucks (95km, 4pm). Jill checks in via email from 35,000ft on her flight to Arizona.
Next is the big 370m Crescent hill. Now the sun has burned off the clouds and it gets nice and warm – after all we’re in CA now! It’s a long climb, but through great old-growth forest with some giant redwood trees. Ted catches up with me and later also Nick and Morgan.
They are on a 10 day trip going South through OR and CA. Some photos and short considerations where to spend the night. A dangerously close encounter with a speeding truck in a tight right turn on the way up scares me and gives me an adrenaline kick! I continue with the long 6km downhill and a very scenic section on the beach. There is the Paul Bunyan statue and the Trees of Mystery tourist attraction. The bike route now follows a scenic side road through the Prairie Creek
Redwoods SP. Another 300m climb late in the day with tree-tops still in the sun. On the long descent through the redwood forest it’s getting dark. I arrive at the Elk Prairie CG at the bottom of the hill at 8:15pm with barely enough daylight to set up my tent. Nice hot shower warms me up again after sweaty bike cloth made me feel very cold in the evening. Some fruit and nuts for simple dinner and into sleeping bag at 10pm.

Wednesday, September 2

117km / 5967km; 5.8h / 320h; 900m

Elk Prairie SP to Fortuna

Get up at 8am. Quick ride up to 1500yr old “Big Tree” for walk amongst redwood giants and photos. Back at camp I pack the now dry tent as sun came out burning off light fog.
Short ride at 9:30 still in street cloths to Orick (10km) for breakfast. Continue at 11am; short stop at Redwood NP Visitor Center. Route leads past two scenic lagoons with moderate hills between them. Hwy 101 widens from 2-lane winding forest road to 4-lane freeway. Next stop is Trinidad (40km) with beautiful Memorial Lighthouse overlooking Trinidad Bay. View reminds me of Greek Islands in the Mediterranean. Blackberry cobbler & coffee as afternoon snack. Back on the freeway for next 40km to Eureka (80km). Route leads around long bay and along Eucalyptus tree alley. Heavy traffic into Eureka. There I find directions to local bike shop using Google Maps and GPS on the iPhone. I replenish my spare tube and replace the cleats of my bike sandals. I buy some groceries for tomorrow morning and continue riding on freeway.
At Fortuna I stop and roll into town looking for dinner and a CG. I eat at KFC to satisfy my craving for chicken meat. Luckily there is a CG less than 1 mile away; I hurry over there at 8pm as it’s getting dark earlier now. When I pull up there are Emily and Danielle who also stayed at Elk Prairie SP. Luckily the office is still open (closes at 8pm) so we get a hiker/biker site and split the cost 3 ways. Some bread and snacks. Phone call with Jill. Then 1/2h into hot tub, which warms me up and is very soothing. Typing these notes (twice actually as iPhone inexplicably reboots without saving my draft – extremely annoying!) and going to sleep at 11:20pm.

Thursday, September 3

Fortuna to Leggett (SP)

122km / 6090km; 6.5h / 327h; 1390m

Get up around 7:30 for cereal and milk breakfast. The sun is out and helping to dry up various clothing items. Leaving the CG around 9:30, getting right back on the 101 freeway. It’s 20km to the Redwoods – and an unpleasant hot ride with road construction and re-surfacing.
Start of the “Avenue of the Giants”. There are fantastic redwood groves here with many tall trees right next to the road. The entire distance is 53km, so this will take several hours. First stop for coffee at the “Immortal Tree”, so named due to having withstood a lot of adversity over its 1000yr lifespan.
Then catching up to an elderly rider; turns out Jim is riding with his son Andrew on roadbikes (no weight) while his wife Malihe (Iranian) drives the car! So they stop every now and then and enjoy a perfect support system. (They do the Pacific Coast over several years, a few weeks at a time.) Next stop in Myers Flat for sandwich and coke.
Road is nice and shady, but also quite a lot of hills. Once through the Humboldt Redwoods State Park and back out on 101 it gets very hot. Stop at Garberville (85km) for drink, yoghurts and bananas. I sit in the shade to cool off. After 1/2h Jim rides by and I decide to join him again. It’s another 35km to the SP; however there are lots of hills and so this takes quite a while. Jim and Andrew ride along and Malihe offers support at several stops along the way. Very scenic evening light and crossing tall bridge near “Confusion Hill”.
Reach the Standish Hickey SP just before Leggett at 7pm. Set up tent; then I have a burger from the Peg Grill just across the street, followed by a hot shower and some story telling with four other riders here on the CG. Sleep at 9:30 to intensely loud cicada insects.

Friday, September 4

Leggett SP to Manchester SP

139km / 6229km; 8.h / 335h; 1630m

This was a very long day. I leave early to tackle the big hills right after Leggett. First I stop at the mini grocery store in Leggett. It’s still pretty cool outside, but that’s good for climbing a long hill. Plus the sun is out early and warms up nicely. The hill climbs up to 2000ft (610m), but Leggett was already some 800ft up. Unfortunately there is no good viewpoint on the top, so only occasional views of the surrounding landscape through the forest. A long descent follows, which brings back a chill in the cool air. Also, I have to ride carefully, as some turns are tight – it feels like on a motorcycle. After reaching near sea-level there is a second hill of 700ft, which adds up to a sizable total for the morning. After the second hill the road reaches the Ocean again; there is still some fog from the Ocean, but it begins to clear and be sunny also on the shoreline. Continue on to Westport, where there is only a mini grocery store. There is Rory, one of the four bikers at the SP last night who is also riding down to San Francisco. Somewhat hungry we both keep going South. The next big place is Fort Bragg (75km). There we both run into one another again at a Pizzeria / Pub which serves up a lot of beers in addition to a fresh Pizza Calzone. The clouds start rolling back in, and with it there is a chill in the air again.
I stop again after just a mile or so at a Safeway to buy some groceries and to talk to Jill on the iPhone. I end up eating half of the groceries right there in the store with a little coffee. After almost 3 hours in Fort Bragg I continue in much better mood and well-fed. The next section along the coast is very scenic. After Mendocino the sun comes out again and it is just very beautiful. I continue riding South past a little place called Albion and finally reach the little village called Elk. There are two busy restaurants and I stop for dinner. The sun will set in about half an hour and I still have 14 miles to go to the next State Park or campground! What to do? I decide to have a good double dinner (Quesadillas and Pizza) – and then ride after the traffic has died down after 9pm in the moonlight! This plan works out nicely as the clouds recede out over the Ocean and the full moon creates enough light to guide me along the way. Some of the cliffs look mystical in the moon light! I also have my headlamp and of course the rear blinker on the bike to be seen by cars. I reach the Manchester SP around 10:30pm and quickly set up my tent to crawl into the sleeping bag by 11pm.

Saturday, September 5

Manchester SB to Bodega Dunes SP

113km / 6342km; 6.2h / 341h; 1590m

Again a relatively early start to get to the next town (Point Arena, 12km) for breakfast. They have a seafood festival here in town, but it starts only at noon. So I just have some breakfast at a local diner and do some email. (Actually need to carry the laptop down the street to find a working wireless after typing the emails last night and this morning in my Outbox…)
I split the ride in three pieces today; the first is to Gualala at 35km. There I have some more breakfast at a coffee shop with wireless Internet. More and more tourist traffic here in the little beach towns. Then I continue on South towards Fort Ross. I get into a good rhythm and the miles go by fast. Soon I near the 70km mark around Fort Ross. I stop at a small grocery store and buy some milk so I can eat my cereal which I have been carrying since Fort Bragg. I also chat with John and Ludmilla, his Russian wife. Coincidentally there are some Russian local workers here, as Fort Ross was established in the mid 19th century by Russian fur traders to supply their camps up North in Alaska! Interesting history there…
We also witness police arresting a drunk motorcycle driver, who gets handcuffed and driven away; California apparently has very strict laws against DUI.
After Fort Ross there is another big hill. While the scenery is very nice with up to 500ft steep drops down to the Ocean and some cows roaming the road just like in the Alps, it is taking longer than I expected to cross these hills. As a result, the last third of today’s leg sees me riding all the way to sunset after the town of Jenner near the Russian River. (We are in Sonoma County, and there are wineries named after the Russian River…). I pedal into dusk which makes me uneasy as the fog and dusk makes it harder for cars to see me. Finally I pull into the Bodega Dunes SP. It was a long day after all. The hiker/biker site here is sandy and sloped, so not ideal, but I’m tired enough not to care. Also the hot shower isn’t really hot, just luke-warm, barely enough to warm me up after I had gotten really cold from the chilly foggy air and sweating over the Fort Ross hills.

Sunday, September 6

Bodega Dunes SP to Samuel Taylor SP

71km / 6414km; 4h / 345h; 1000m

Even though 70km doesn’t sound like much today was quite a strenuous day due to many short steep hills. First I ride in street cloths to Bodega Bay. I have laundry to do as well as inspect the bike due to the rear wheel spoke break last evening. Also I meet with the two German couples (Bernd + Heike, Willi + Chris) for breakfast at “Tides”. Here we can observe lots of seals as well as Pelicans hunting for fish right outside the window! Then I ride back to the Laundromat for the drier and call Jill. I clean the bike but decide not to mess with the back wheel (wait until I get to bike shop instead). Buy some groceries and get going after 12:00p.
Road has a lot of up & down. Right after the first long uphill I clock 76km/h on the tailwind-assisted downwind. The road leads to Tomales where there is some street festival going on and a lot of traffic. I don’t get into any rhythm and today seems very tough. Only once at the little town of Marshall there is a flat stretch of 4km with tailwind – ah, what a relief that is!
Next is the little town of Point Reyes (55km). There long stop in afternoon with food (1/2 chicken, yoghurt, banana milk) and wireless Internet from a sunny park bench. Finally last 15km of the day with one more 100m hill and a very nice 5km bike path along a little creek to SP. There red wine with the Germans at campfire and sharing a site next to overflowing hiker/biker site. Sleep at 11:30pm.

Monday, September 7 (Labor Day)

Samuel Taylor SP to San Francisco

73km / 6487km; 4.5h / 350h; 850m

The day starts off with cool temps in the shade of the Redwoods. I enjoy the sun of the open fields after a few km. I stop for breakfast at a little roadside cafe; unfortunately I witness the death of a cat which becomes road-kill. My waitress is so distraught that she needs a break – but my blueberry pancakes are still good. Phone call with Jill. I also see the German couples pass… so much for my head-start in the morning!
The road reached the city area and there is a set of bike paths (however not always easy to find). At 40km I reach Sausalito, often by following other bikers or asking pedestrians. I navigate city traffic of an arts festival and then stop for an icecream at the Sausalito bay. Memories of 22 years ago when I was here just out of college…
Then a few steep hills and I reach the beginning of the Golden Gate Bridge. I ride up to the scenic overlook some 250m above the water. On a day like today this is definitely worth it! The view from the top is stunning – just like I imagined it to be. (Yesterday it was all covered in fog so we are lucky today.) Filming the descent with Mino on helmet-mount. Short encounter with both German couples again. Then crossing of bridge with lots of bike traffic and taking more photos. Weaving along the bay towards Fort Mason where I ask for available space in the Youth Hostel; there is exactly 1 bunk bed available. After check-in I ride along Embarcadero to REI store to inquire about fixing the bike. We set up an appointment for the next day as they close at 6pm. I then find another bike shop that closes at 9pm and leave the bike there for repair. More phone calls and email. I walk to a nearby Italian restaurant for dinner. Then Internet work from a hotel lobby and finally back to bike shop. Unfortunately they didn’t fix the wheel as they were not comfortable taking off the rotor of the disc brake. So I’ll try REI tomorrow. I ride back to the hostel and meet another biker who guides me the rest of the way – turns out Dan is working at the REI store!
More Internet work at the hostel and sleep around midnight.

Tuesday, September 8

Rest Day in San Francisco

Wednesday, September 9 (9/9/09)

San Francisco to Santa Cruz

142km / 6641km; 7.5h / 358h; 1550m

Relatively late start at 10am after breakfast and grocery shopping. Route first leads back to Golden Gate Bridge, then NW corner of SF along Pacific Coast. Today is a good example of varying micro-climates: Sunny at hostel, cloudy along first 30km, then sunny again. I know the first sections from previous stays in SF, but not further S towards Daly City. I get pulled over by a cop due to my not stopping at Stop signs; the police officer finally let’s me go, but implores me to “make a better effort” at stopping. Yes Sir!
After quick coffee & pastries from nearby SafeWay store continue straight S parallel to shore past Fort Funston. A big 200m hill in Daly City, followed by steep downhill on Sharp Park Road. Next is Rockharbor and a few other popular surf spots with good facilities.
After another big hill and then the Devils Slide I reach Montara and later Half Moon Bay (60km) around 3pm.
Here a wire got stuck in my trailer tire and causes a flat. I get some food and have a snack first, then quickly fix the flat while sitting in the sunny parking lot. It’s almost 4pm. How much further should I go? There is a long stretch (50km) with no food / restaurants ahead; next camping is almost 90km out! I decide to try going for Santa Cruz, still 80km to go. I get into the zone and make good progress, despite a third really big hill after Half Moon Bay. Beautiful cliffs and dry grass above them. Eucalyptus trees are more dominating now, almost no more Redwoods. Very picturesque is the Pigeon Point Lighthouse, which also has a hostel. After 2h45min of nonstop riding I reach Davenport with its big Lumber factory. Call to Lou to arrange meeting tonight in SC.
Then my gear shifter cable snaps. I can no longer shift gears! Manually I try to set the right gear for flat ground; downhill -> coasting, uphill -> momentum or getting off and pushing! Local rider Kelly stops and helps, then continues with me to SC where she shows me the way to downtown.
Meet with Liu who drove down here from Palo Alto. We had met at the Toad River Lodge in the Yukon and since then stayed in touch via Twitter. Nice evening with philosophic discussions over Pizza and icecream.
Then I find an inexpensive hotel room via, phone, GPS and Google Maps less than 2km nearby. Get to hotel room by 11:30pm.

Thursday, September 10

Santa Cruz to Monterey

82km / 6725km; 4.5h / 363h;

I enjoy the luxury of my own room and wireless Internet for some email over breakfast. At 10am I am at the nearby bike shop to drop off my recumbent for the cable repair. It takes until 1pm, it also includes brake pad replacement on the rear brake. By the time I’m loaded up back at the hotel and ready to go it’s 2pm.
Leaving the city of Santa Cruz is surprisingly difficult when you can’t just jump on the freeway. There are lots of side streets, over passes, and traffic lights. It’s slow going and the hills cause a lot of effort. Eventually I reach the surrounding farm lands where artichoke and strawberry fields line the street.
Unfortunately the fog is rolling in again which makes the next 2h somewhat gloomy. Only at Seaside just before Monterey does the fog clear and there is a half hour of sunshine left. I head for Fishermen’s Wharf and the Aquarium. Of course it’s far too late for a visit… and I’m hungry. I look up a nearby Indian restaurant and head there for dinner. Phone call with Jill over dinner. Then 2km uphill to Vet Memorial Park, a dark and quiet place in the middle of the city of Monterey.
Reading Dalai Lama while iPhone is charging. Met Sheldon ( who video-interviews me about my project in the restroom! Then daily log and sleep by 11:30pm.

Friday, September 11

Monterey to Kirk Creek

98km / 6823km; 5.5h / 369; 1500m

Leaving early at 7:45am by climbing the 200m hill on Skyline Drive. Descent to Carmel and stop at mall with Safeway. Minor bike adjustments and morning coffee; phone call from my parents. Then 50km ride to Big Sur. Very scenic stretch of the Coast, big cliffs and bridges across river chasms. Lots of hills, but great views as rewards. I ride a bit past one restaurant which ends up being pretty much all of Big Sur – somehow I thought Big Sur was like a little town… I stop at the next place (60km) for coffee and muffin. Solving physics problem for my daughter Sarvenaz on napkin and sending her a photo of the solution 🙂 I continue ride to Lucia (90km), the last place prior to Kirk Creek Camp site. Here I chat with Andreas and Patrick, two Swiss guys on rented Harleys on their way to Denver, CO. I decide to have dinner here since there are no more facilities later today. Beautiful setting overlooking Ocean 100m below, late afternoon sun, nice atmosphere, good food – pretty much the ideal dinner location and experience.
Lastly short climb and then descent plus a few km level road to CG. Set up my tent in fading daylight and chat with other riders at hiker/biker site.
Falling asleep at 9:30pm to intense pounding of surf just below.

Saturday, September 12

Kirk Creek to Morro Bay

109km / 6940km; 5.5h / 374h; 1200m

It’s foggy in the morning when I leave the CG at 9am. First stretch is to Gorda (14km). There I have blueberry pancakes for breakfast. There are all these Audi vehicles on the road; there must be some Audi-sponsored event going on. It turns out it’s a bike ride for 1000 people for
As a result there are lots of riders on the road going over the double-hill before hitting flat terrain for the remaining distance to Hearst Castle / San Simeon (55km). I ride with some other riders into the official finish and they greet me with applause and give me a medal. I also can enjoy their buffet food and drinks / Gatorade.
After lots of eating, drinking and some phone calls I get to present my project via the loudspeakers to several hundred riders and volunteers in the finish area – very nice commercial 😉
Finally I continue at 3:30pm towards Morro Bay. The next part is super nice, with flat, smooth surface, good shoulder and tailwind 🙂 so the miles fly by. Dry farmland with cattle and some zebras grazing. I see Nick and Morgan again, whom I had met in Oregon already. Soon I reach Morro Bay (105km). Short ride through town to SP under some tall Eucalyptus trees. I set up my tent, take a warm shower, and then ride back to town for groceries and Italian dinner. Ride back to tent in drizzle. Sleep at 11pm.

Sunday, September 13

Morro Bay SP to Lompoc

128km / 7081km; 6.5h / 382h; 900m

Relatively early start at 8:45 after full breakfast at campground. Getting on Los Osos Valley Road and riding away from the Ocean towards inland farms and pastures. In San Luis Obispo (25km) I have some coffee to post a Blog and recharge my iPhone. Continue at 11:00am. Unfortunately I take a left turn where I should have taken a right due to a double-direction arrow for bikers (with the right arrow bent and not visible!). This costs me about 8km and nearly 1/2h of extra riding. Frustrating, but stuff like this happens…
Pismo Beach (45km) is very nice with groomed gardens and playgrounds. Then the road goes inland and passes farms and open grassland. In Guadalupe (75km) there is a strong Mexican population and they have a street festival celebrating Mexico’s independence. Next stop is Orcutt (95km), where I detour from the Hwy into town to buy some cool drink and refill my water bottles.
Now there is Harris Grade Road which goes over nearly 1000ft (300m) pass; quite scenic, reminds me of some passes in the Alps.
After the downhill I reach Lompoc (125km) and decide to stay here for a good campground and steak dinner – after all I crossed the 7000km mark today!

Monday, September 14

Lompoc to Ventura

144km / 7225km; 7h / 389h; 800m

I leave early as this is going to be a pretty long day. So do Anna & Heidi who I had seen at the Kirk Creek CG and Morro Bay CG the last 2 nights. (They take the inland Route via the Santa Ynes Valley to Santa Barbara.)
First order of the day is to cross a 300m hill South of Lompoc to get back over to the Coast near Gaviota. 7% grade down provides speeds up to 72km/h. Then a long stretch of riding on the 101 Freeway. (Noisy but fast, good shoulder and safe, except for one narrow bridge.) Beautiful coastal scenery, with palm-lined campgrounds, oil platforms off-shore and dolphins visible near shore hunting fish together with pelicans.
I hear more spokes break on my rear wheel so I decide to stop in Goleta just prior to Santa Barbara at a bike shop. Noah from “Bicycle Bob’s” replaces no less than 6 spokes in my rear wheel while I fix the worn out plastic rings in the central frame joint. This takes up my lunch break time without lunch, though, which means I’ll be very hungry tonight…
In the afternoon I ride through Santa Barbara. Stop at Stearns Wharf for quick snack and photos. Beautiful city and beaches. I decide to go further to Ventura. Sun is getting low and painting nice light on coastline. Last couple of miles meeting Rosa who is on a training ride ANC guides me into town and points out a nice Italian restaurant. Phone call with Jill. Then double-dinner (pasta+pizza). Finally rolling to McGrath SB late in the evening (10:30pm) for camping.

Tuesday, September 15

Ventura to Malibu (Leo Carillo SB)

53km / 7278km; 2.75h / 391h; 49m

After letting the morning sun dry out my tent fly I start the day by going back a mile or so to the Venture Harbor & Marina by 8:30am. I give serious thought to taking a day off and exploring the Channel Island NP by boat tour. Spending time at the Visitor Center with great views of the marina from their observation tower.
Then rolling to a nice breakfast place on the marina with wireless Internet. After extensive double-breakfast (omelette+pancakes) and emailing I start riding South at 11:30am. It’s almost noon by the time I pass the campground again. However, today will be an easy day due to positioning for the crossing of the Los Angeles urban area the following day.
In Oxnard / Port Hueneme I stop at a grocery store for some food. I notice another touring bike outside and park my bike next to it. After shopping I meet its owner, Martine, from Holland. As she also rides South we decide to ride together for the day.
Route passes a naval airbase rest stop at a missile park with propped up fighters – and along the Freeway PCH where there is only one road due to the steep mountain shores. Beautiful afternoon sun along the Coast, past Sycamore Canyon CG on to Leo Carillo State Beach. There is one more RV park in Malibu some 10 miles further, but given that it’s a private CG they have no hiker/biker rates, but a ten-times more expensive rate of $47/night! So both Martine and I decide to stay at Leo Carillo SB after a short half-day of riding. There is time for a swim in the Pacific with some bodysurfing in the 8ft waves, followed by a hot shower and self-cooked pasta dinner. Early to bed under Eucalyptus trees and a starry night.

Wednesday, September 16

Malibu to Long Beach

117km / 7396km; 6h / 398h; 500m

Today will be a long day. It roughly consists of three parts: First some 40 hilly km along Malibu (city sign says Malibu 27 miles of scenic beauty???). Then some 40 flat km of mostly bike path right on the beach past L.A. airport to Redondo Beach. Finally crossing L.A. over to Long Beach, Seal Beach and Huntington Beach / Newport Beach. We (Martine and I) get up early and leave after breakfast at the SP around 7:30am. Its nice to ride early with less traffic and into the rising sun when its still cool. Some lingering fog banks near Malibu, but they quickly disappear as the temperature goes up. More rolling hills here than I expected, but nothing higher than say 50m or so. There are a lot of big mansions here in Malibu, so I take several pictures trying to capture this amalgamation of real estate wealth. Around 40km we reach the Los Angeles City Limit sign which states nearly 4 million people living there. The terrain is nearly flat now. Soon there is a nice bike path directly on the wide beach. Luckily there arent many people on the path so we can ride comfortably. We stop for a second pancake breakfast/brunch in the shade as the sun is heating the air up considerably.
Thereafter more riding along bike path – the sand is slippery and requires caution in the turns. Sure enough we come upon a scene of an 11-year old girl having crashed on a bicycle in a turn. She is crying, bleeding from her lips and has some bad road rash on her knee and elbow. Lifeguards are over momentarily; we try to help by locating her family members which supposedly are nearby. As soon as we know the girl is in good hands and receives medical attention we continue. We stop in Hermosa Beach and then Redondo Beach taking in the beach, surf, volleyball scenery. Also looking for a coffee shop or some refreshments. We finally stop at a Starbucks, where I first get into conversations about my bike and trip with two local residents before enjoying a Java Chip Frappucino.
Im now starting to reach out to my former colleague and friend David who lives in Newport to coordinate my arrival while Martine is making her own plans trying to catch a ferry to the Catalina Islands the following day. After some more city riding along major West-East roads and a Los Angeles river canal bike path we reach Long Beach, where we have a final lemonade / coke and icecream. Ride-Eat-Rest-Repeat!
I stop at a drugstore to buy shampoo and call my wife. Since David didnt expect me this evening I need to change plans and find a way to stay the night without campgrounds. As its getting dark I ride only a few km to the next motel and check in a relatively cheap room for the night. Right across the street is a California Pizza Kitchen restaurant, so another double-dinner and Im good. Nice to sleep in a comfortable bed again

Thursday, September 17

Long Beach to Fallbrook

141km / 7537km; 6.6h / 405h; 900m

Again shooting for early start after cereal breakfast in the hotel room. First leg is to Newport Beach for a rendezvous with David over brunch. I ride to the Balboa Island Marina (30km); from here I take a short ferry back to the PCH as there doesnt appear to be a bridge and I dont want to ride several km back again. Nice meeting and catching up with David after what probably was 2-3 years of us not having seen each other. Also checking into distances to the next SP and/or the Camp Pendelton area. I continue the ride around 11:30am.
The next sections are Laguna Beach and Dana Point. Here I stop at a scenic lookout where I take a few panorama shots of the marina below. A strong scent of Eucalyptus trees is everywhere now. The ride is fast due to some tailwind, the heat is on, there are several small hills and I sweat profusely. I stop at San Clemente after rolling along a small foot-/bike-path next to the railroad right along the water. More phone calls and planning for the remainder of the day. I had been invited to the house of a family which I had met two months earlier in Fairbanks, Alaska. Their home is in Fallbrook about 50mi North of San Diego. So it is within reach for me today. However, it is 20+mi inland from Oceanside! But first I need to cross the Camp Pendleton marine base area. At one point the bike path ends with only Interstate I5 as a direct continuation. So for 5mi I ride on an 8-lane Interstate Freeway next to deafening noise of 18-wheelers roaring by at 65mph. But at least its over quickly due to tailwind and vehicle draft
In Oceanside I stop at a gas station for some cold Pepsi and check the GPS. There is a very ice bike path on the levee next to a dry riverbed for the first 6-7mi. Then the route follows Hwy 76 which narrows as I get further inland and ends up with barely a small shoulder on it. Unfortunately there are about 800ft to climb up to Fallbrook and its getting dark. So I ride pretty much full power for the last 1.5hr with no stopping. Consequently Im soaked in sweat but also psyched when I finally reach the friends place after just having had to put on the lights on helmet and bike as it gets dark a little after 7pm. So glad to finally be here at this nice home away from home!

Friday, September 18

Rest Day in Fallbrook;

Bringing the bike to REI store in San Diego for preventive maintenance and tune-up prior to entering Mexico.

Saturday, September 19

2 comments March 6th, 2009


Entering Canada / Yukon Territory coming from Alaska on July 12


Canada ride, Yukon – Photo Album

Ride in the Yukon at SpotAdventures

Map created by SpotAdventures:GPS Geotagging

British Columbia

Canada ride, British Columbia – Photo Album

Canada Ride, Southern British Columbia at SpotAdventures

Map created by SpotAdventures:GPS Geotagging

Daily Trip Log Notes


Monday, July 13

Beaver Creek to (40km before) Burwash Landing

140km / 1535km; 7.7h / 88h;

Late start at 12:30pm due to Blog update in Beaver Creek. Slow and hot
ride with dusty gravel sections. Many former rest stops are closed and
abandoned. Once I jump into a clear creek with shoes and bike jersey
and all to cool off while riding on! In evening at 10:00p I get to
another abandoned “ghost town” and see a sign “Burwash Landing 39km”;
so I stay there for the night (wild camping).

Tuesday, July 14

Burwash Landing to Haines Junction

170km / 1705km; 9h / 97h;

First 40km to Burwash Landing is hard work. There I have coffee and
send email / Blog updates (same place we stopped during bus ride
Whitehorse to Anchorage).
Then I see my first Grizzly bear cross the road in front of me!
More food and coke at Destruction Bay. Then beautiful ride along
Kluane Lake. Stop at Cottonwood RV park and again email connection.
Then stop at airstrip and reunion with Lance and Donjek (pilot to
Logan basecamp) – very nice to see them again!
3 hour Evening ride to Haines Junction, long 400m downhill at the end.
Camping and shower at Haines Junction.

Wednesday, July 15

Haines Junction to Whitehorse

160km / 1870km; 7h / 104h;

Walk over for early breakfast at Village Bakery around 7:30am. There I
meet David Cartier, the Alaska Direct bus driver with another group of
passengers. Then I start around 9am. Ride with slight tailwind, good
average speed initially. After 3+ hours I get very hungry. So I stop
at an abandoned roadside house and cook some freeze-dried dinner.
Later there is some light rain and I need to put on my GoreTex. About
2hrs of riding in rain and somewhat messy roads and passing trucks
spraying water.
Then I stop at a B&B (cabin rental) which looks very nicely maintained
from the outside. It is owned and run by Heidi Hofmann from Bamberg
who emigrated to Yukon 10 years ago – a very cozy place!
I keep going for another 40km and reach the center of Whitehorse by
7:45p, good time for dinner at Klondike Bar & Grill. Meet other folks
from hostel (incl. Brett). Hostel is fully booked, so I proceed to the
Robert Service Campground in the late evening.

Thursday, July 16

Rest Day in Whitehorse

Bike Tune-up at Philippe’s bike store:

  • Clean chain and replace half-broken element;
  • Replace 2 broken spokes in back wheel and true wheel;
  • Adjust rear wheel and disk brake;
  • Tighten suspension bolt;
  • Adjust chain tensioner using spacers;
  • Friday, July 16

    Whitehorse to Teslin

    182 km (196km actually pedaled) / 2077km; 9.4h (10.2h actual) / 115h

    False direction start through town! Cost me 45min and 12km unnecessary riding :-((

    Met German rider who flew in day before (Frankfurt – Whitehorse nonstop with Condor) and rode a few km together. He turned South to Skagway, AK.
    Had second breakfast at RV park – nicely maintained by Swiss couple –
    at 30km. Then along Marsh Lake – with two disappointing detours toward
    lake in search of restaurants – and to Jake’s Corner at 80km. Met Adam
    and Steve from Edmonton on their way North. Huge cinnamon bun and
    blueberry scone plus coffee around 3:00p. Smelled the fresh
    strawberries alongside the road!
    Then 50km to Johnsons Crossing, Hwy bridge across the Teslin river at
    North end of Teslin lake. Stop at RV park, Gatorade and rhubarb
    bakery; thankfully free wireless Internet, 25min Skype with Jill 🙂
    Last 52km to Teslin along lake up and down small hills. Initially rain
    under a small cloud with sun from the side! Then beautiful evening
    light with pictures and video (helmet mount and tripod). Felt really
    strong despite headwind and 10+hr day.
    Arrived in Teslin just around sunset at 10:45p – thankfully motel / RV
    park office was still open until 11:00p. Quick email, then well-
    deserved (and badly needed) hot shower and into tent by 11:45p.

    Saturday, July 18

    Teslin to Swift River

    109km / 2187km; 6h / 121h;

    Doing email and updating Blog; continental breakfast (disappointing);
    visit to Northern Wildlife Museum (great); Skype with Jill; burger for
    Late start at 1:30p up an 160m hill for starters! Despite some drops
    when starting I’m dodging the rainclouds most of the day. More hills
    than I thought – for a total of 1600m vertical for the day! At Morley
    River I pause to eat some more and cool off by swimming in the clear
    stream. Also filtering 2l water to drink.
    Met John and Eddy from Cleveland on tandem since June 1st.
    Then rain the last 15km to Swift River and very cold :-((
    Luckily they take me in at the gas station – Thanks to Jerry, Big
    Larry, Ken, Nick and Mike!

    Sunday, July 19

    Swift River to Watson Lake (-20km)

    138km / 2325km, 6.5h / 128h

    After a hearty breakfast I leave around 8:30am. Lots of hills make for
    a rather slow start. Then there is the Continental Divide and
    gas station / restaurant (20km). Rhubarb and coffee. Internet doesn’t
    work here. I continue with tailwind following a river downstream much
    faster now to Rancheria (40km). Here Internet works and I update Blog
    and Skype with Jill as well as have a Special Omelette. Continue at
    1:45pm downwind and sometimes downhill. At 57km I have a rear tire
    tear and tube puncture. Fixing and only soft tire pump pressure. Meet
    Laura at 80km; she is a teacher from Oregon on her way up to Alaska,
    Skagway, Dawson City and time permitting the Dempster Hwy. She has a
    tough time into this headwind! With her pump I can get decent tire
    pressure again.
    Continue through scenic, but very hilly stretch. Stop at 37 junction
    about 20km short of Watson Lake after 140km and 1500m vertical for the
    day. Excellent food (double-dinner with bumbleberry pie a la mode and
    milk), shower and simple campsite.

    Monday, July 20

    Watson Lake to Contact Creek

    98km / 2422km; 5.2 hrs / 133hrs.

    After small breakfast (Apple Turnover and coffee) I start early 7:45
    to get to Watson Lake. Unfortunately I have a flat tire (front) and
    then realize that my new tubes shrader valve doesn’t fit into my rims!
    (Never had this happen in 40 years of riding!) I lose a lot of time
    fiddling with it and there is also 200m worth of hills to climb. Pump
    up the tires at Watson Lake Motor Ltd. No bike store in town 🙁
    Then breakfast and buying groceries.
    Meet Scott Mullin from Pompano who is on the road since 5 months!
    Visit to the Sign-post forest.
    Skype chat with Jill from her office.
    Leaving town at 1:50pm.
    Flat rear tire again after 8km – tire needs to be replaced! I tie the
    bike to a telephone line pole and hitch back to town with my panniers and back
    wheel. I meet Scott again and it is my lucky day: He has a 26″ spare
    tire! So I put on the new tire and again inflate at the garage. I
    hitch a ride back, put the bike back together and resume my ride (at
    After 2 hrs or so (73km) I stop at the Hyland River to look at the
    map. There I have another flat tire on the front!! I replace the tube
    with the new one from Scott (with Presto valve) and pump it up again
    to resume riding.
    Finally after many more hills I reach Contact Creek at 8:30pm. I buy
    some milk and pastries. Owner Dennie also offers me hot water, which I
    use to make soup. Finally I tent on the grass behind the building.

    British Columbia

    Tuesday, July 21

    Contact Creek to Liard River (Hotsprings)

    146km / 2569km; 7.25hr / 140hr

    Some rain overnight, so I pack a wet tent. After breakfast and email
    check from the convenience store it’s Goodbye from Yukon and Hello BC!
    I start early (8:30) and know from Scott’s website how many hills to
    expect. The first part is tough, as there are 4 substantial hills for
    a total of 1000m to climb. Scenery is gorgeous, weather is cloudy, but
    generally clearing after rains. I see some Bison on and next to the
    road. I finally get to Coal River after 86km at 1:30p after a long
    steep and fast descent (73km/h).
    A restaurant and Internet access, so biker life is good! After a big
    Western omelette I check email and update my Blog with the flat tire
    The afternoon leg will be much easier, as the road follows the Liard
    river downstream without major hills and there is a bit of a W
    tailwind :-))
    I get to the Liard hot springs at 146km around 7pm, one of my earliest
    arrival times yet! That’s great, as the sun can still dry my tent and
    the restaurant closes at 8pm. After dinner and tent setup I walk back
    the 700m wooden boardwalk to the hot springs. The hot water feels very
    soothing. Under a mini waterfall I get the closest thing to a back and
    leg massage. I also get even more tired, so I quickly crawl into the
    tent and sleep for 9.5hrs!

    Wednesday, July 22

    Liard River to Toad River;

    120km / 2690km; 7.5h / 148h; 1530m / 29100m

    After crossing the Liard river long uphill into a side valley; some stretches too steep for me to pedal. Entered Muncho Lake Provincial Park. Saw a black bear sow with two cubs -very nice. Once at the higher plateau of the valley nice views of valley, but also lots of annoying short steep hills – like a rollercoaster!
    Finally arrive at the lake and ride alongside. Stopped at the Northern Rockies lodge, which I remember from 10 years ago. It is run by some Swiss folks who also offer scenic flights, kayak tours and fly in fishing excursions as well as remote cabins.
    I have “Zuericher Geschnetzeltes” for lunch. (If I could have afforded it, I would have had another one right away.)
    More scenic riding along the lake; then hard climb into the S headwind up some 400m! Seemed to never end – one of the hardest parts since the Dalton Hwy! Then 4100m descent at 7% at up to 60km/h, then turn and follow the Toad river downstream. Now the sun comes out and it is downhill and downwind 🙂 Life is good! Great scenery, canyon walls to the right, river to the left. I stop to drink and snack; see a beaver in the river and two caribou on the road (until they get bitten by some horse fly and take off running).
    Some gravel patches on the road lead to a lot of dust from passing vehicles. Finally after 120km I reach the Toad River lodge, where I have two of their Ribeye steak specials and camp for the night. Also free wireless Internet 🙂

    Thursday, July 23

    Toad River to Tetsa River campground;
    98km / 2788km; 6hr / 154hr; 1200m

    Breakfast at the restaurant. Steep hill to start, then some gravel and
    pretty dusty. Then long climb up to Summit Lake at Stone Mountain, at
    1260m highest point of the Alcan. Beautiful scenery coming up to the
    pass. Getting water at “Bubble Canyon” where a camper truck lies in
    the ditch!
    Stop at Summit Lake where I meet Gary and Lynn, who travel with bikes
    and a small camper, relay-style: One rides the bike, the other one
    drives the camper; then they take turns. A great way to travel and
    stay together!
    Long descent and one more gravel stretch (with pilot cars). Stop at
    Tetsa River Lodge (86km) for the “Cinnamon Bun Center of the Galactic
    Cluster” (road sign ad), then some WiFi and at 7pm steak night special.
    After dinner I continue on to Tetsa River campground another 14km or
    so. 2.5km off the Hwy down to the river.

    Friday, July 24

    Tetsa River to Fort Nelson

    100km / 2895km; 6h / 160h; 1250m / 32000m

    Aweful mosquitoes the first 30m gravel hill up through the woods
    pushing the bike. 5min later I have maybe 50 bites :-((
    On Hwy the day begins with a steep 100m hill, followed by some
    relatively flat and well engineered section. After a few km the road
    starts to climb up, eventually some 500m to 1135m. From there super
    long descent to the East. Then another 60km or so of relatively
    monotonous riding through the forest.
    Nearing Fort Nelson the Alcan follows some ridge which offers sweeping
    views to the West. More homes and some farmland. Eventually I reach
    Fort Nelson and stop the library for cold water and Internet. Then
    visitor center for info, a grocery store for lots of fresh food
    (including the blueberries, mill and cereal for next day’s breakfast.
    Doing laundry and Skype with Jill. Lastly dinner at Boston’s Pizza –
    large Greek Salad, followed by Italian Penne and some fruit pie a la
    mode – yummy!

    Saturday, July 25

    Fort Nelson to Buckinghorse River

    184km / 3083km; 10.5h / 171h; 1900m / 33900m.

    Early start at 8:30 after big breakfast (1lb cereal, 1lb blueberries,
    1l milk, 1 yoghurt) due to grocery shopping last evening. Long hill
    down and up from Muskwa River. Long straight roads through endless
    forest, one 11km straight stretch with odometer test km markers. Hot
    on uphills and around noon, hard to find shade… At noon I have 60km.
    Finally at 95km I arrive at Prophet River, but there is nothing there!
    A little further is a B&B and a wedding is going on, so plenty of cars
    and people. No water (unless I wait until after wedding ceremony), but
    I’m told there is a creek in 6km. Unfortunately the water is fairly
    muddy, so I need to work hard on the water filter – I take 2l filtered
    water. Getting up to the plateau from the river is another 100m hill –
    hard work!
    Buckinghorse River will be very far, but there is nothing in
    between… I am told there are no hills – not true: The road climbs
    slowly but unrelenting; eventually I reach 1130m, some 800m higher
    than in the morning down at the river! Total elevation gain 1900m for
    the day – more than the last two days! I calculate that it will be
    tight to get to the restaurant before 9pm; so I push myself hard, and
    I get very tired.
    Last hour on ridge in beautiful light and great views to the West.
    Also see 1 big black bear and a moose with calf. Arrive at B.R.
    exactly at 9pm after pushing hard up those last hills… Great food
    (restaurant open until 10pm) for dinner, then walk over to Provincial
    Park campground and tent setup at 10pm.

    Sunday, July 26

    Buckinghorse River to Wonowon

    120km / 3204km; 7h / 171h; 1500m / 35400m

    Early breakfast, then easy 23km to Sikanni River; stop and nice chat
    with owner lady. Bought Alberta map. Then 350m hill back up to the
    ridge – two long push sections and 45 min later I’m up there again…
    Then another short section to a motel / restaurant just prior to Pink
    Mountain which I reach at noon (49km). Here I have a clubhouse
    sandwich and coke. Then I sleep in the shade of the building for 1h
    while sun & wind blow-dry my wet tent 🙂 Then Skype with Jill and
    more email & Blog reading. Finally after the heat of the day subsides
    I hit the road again near 5pm. There is another 150m hill up to Pink
    Mountain, which then offers a rewarding view. From here it’s another
    60km along a ridge with some gas field exploration sites. Plenty more
    hills, unfortunately, but nice evening light again. Arrive in Wonowon
    at 9:15pm – luckily the gas station / convenience store is still open
    until 10:30pm and has wireless Internet 🙂 I drink two milk mixes and
    check some email. I set up my tent on a public rodeo field /
    playground around the corner. Sleep at 11pm.

    Monday, July 27

    Wonowon to Hudson’s Hope
    155km / 3360km; 8h / 186h; 1400m / 36800m
    Early departure after coffee at the gas station. Rolling hills through
    the forest, not quite as strenuous as yesterday around Pink Mountain,
    with a bit more downhill than uphill. Some farmland as I get closer to
    Fort St. John. On the last 20km of the Alcan I meet Danny Chew and his
    nephew Steve who ride up North. Danny is a multiple RAAM winner and
    knows Wolfgang Fasching quite well – small world! They travel on a
    small budget ($10/day) and do 100miles/day! Hats off to them!
    At Charlie Lake I drink and rest at gas station. Here the road turns
    West to Hudson’s Hope in the Peace River valley. Crazy hills here,
    lots of steep up&down. Very scenic, great views of the river; smells
    remind me of the “Waldviertel” in Austria and our summer vacations
    there on the farm as a young boy. Arrive at Hudson’s Hope 80km after
    Charlie Lake late around 8pm. Dinner at Sportsman Grill, plus email,
    then roll another 2km to campground near town limit. Pitch my tent,
    good shower and then chat with Helen and Hans from Denmark who worked
    here as engineer on the dam some 40 years ago and now comes back to
    visit as tourist. Sleep at 11pm.

    Tuesday, July 28

    Hudson’s Hope to Chetwynd (semi rest day)

    70km / 3438km; 4.5h / 191h; 700m / 37500m

    Today is a semi rest day for several reasons: The next town after
    Chetwynd is too far to reach from H. H. There is the interesting
    Bennett Dam here on the Peace River to visit. I have gone for more
    than one week now without rest day and it’s very hot.

    After breaking down the tent I roll back to town at 7:00am for
    breakfast and email. At 8:30 I continue to the Visitor Center. There I
    leave my bike and try to hitch a ride up to the dam. 1/2h wait, no
    luck! I walk across the street into the restaurant there to have some
    coke (as it’s already pretty hot). I mention the German flag outside
    and there is chef Freddie from Germany. We chat a little bit and I
    mention my plans to go up to the damn. Without hesitation Freddie asks
    whether I have a drivers license. Before I really understand what’s
    happening he already holds his car keys in front of me and offers me
    his car – amazing!
    I accept and go up the 20km by car – an unusual mode of transportation
    for me after 1 month of just riding…
    The dam is quite interesting and very large. Back in the sixties it
    was the largest hydroelectric plant in the world. Total capacity
    2700MW, together with the smaller sister dam at Dinosaur Lake
    downstream those two create 1/3 of all of BC’s electricity need!
    After I return I have lunch at Freddie’s and leave a good tip
    including some gas money at least…
    Then back at the Visitor Center more email and Twitter as well as
    chatting with Kathy, the friendly agent. I buy some delicious apricots
    and cheese bread at the farmer’s market across the street and also
    check out the Hudson’s Hope Museum. Great views of the Peace river.
    Then at 3:30p I finally start my ride. Quick stop at the smaller dam,
    but they close at 4p. Then long, hot climb 300m above the river! Ride
    leads past two lakes which invite for a swim in this heat. At the
    second (Morley Lake) I use a technique to keep bikers cool on very hot
    days: I jump off the bridge into the lake (local attraction for
    Then one more 250m climb, followed by a 300m descent at 70km/h down to
    Chetwynd by 8p. I shop for groceries, proceed to dinner at
    “Buckroads” (great country style cooking and Internet), and finally
    roll down the street another 2km to the local RV park, where I pitch
    my tent at 10p in the dusk.

    Wednesday, July 29

    Chetwynd to Mackenzie Junction

    158km / 3597km; 8h / 199h; 1280m / 38800m;

    First 50km uneventful ride into valley with three huge high-voltage
    lines. Stop at Silver Sands Cafe (73km). Meet with Florence from Lyon
    over lunch who will stay here for the day. I continue on to the Pine
    Pass – beautiful scenery along the Pine River. Unfortunately road has
    no more shoulder, so I need to monitor traffic and pay close attention
    at times.
    Climb up to pass is not very high (990m) but very hot. At Lake
    Azouzetta lodge I stop for a refreshing swim in crystal-clear lake
    water with nice mountain scenery all around. And a chat over coffee
    with owner Curtis, who has an interesting MTB.
    Then fast descent to Bijoux Falls for a quick stop. Remaining 30km or
    so are rather boring through forest. Arrive at MacKenzie Junction and
    after bridge and short, steep hill at Windy Point lodge run by the
    Dutch van Boois family. Very nice place here, free wireless – actually
    phone-line based and fast DSL – free camping, nice chat with parents
    and kids love playing with my iPhone. Email with Jill, sleep at 11pm.

    Thursday, July 30

    MacKenzie Junction to Prince George

    151km / 3749km; 6.75h / 206h; 940m / 39700m

    Relatively flat and easy stage. Get up at 6, breakfast at restaurant
    at 7, depart at 8. During breakfast I see lightning and black clouds
    to the North. I hurry to get going and only get a few raindrops and
    some spray from passing trucks as the road is wet the first 25km. Then
    I get slightly ahead of the cloud line and it gets sunny and warm. At
    noon I already have 80km and pause at Bear Lake gas station /
    convenience store. They have cool soda and wireless Internet. I write
    two Blog posts, check email and so pass the time until 4pm! On the
    road again by 4:30pm. Very fast ride the next 50km with flat good road
    (some RR crossings, though) and slight tailwind. Then pause at Salmon
    River and some snacks right next to the water in the shade under the
    bridge. Hard climb up from the river valley some 120m and construction
    zone with no shoulder… Finally reaching outskirts of Prince George
    and stopping for food shopping. Lots of friendly and curious people
    there. Luckily I hear about a campground just a few km down the road
    and it’s just rolling downhill. I get to the Roblyn motel & CG by 8:40
    or so. Free camping, shower and wireless Internet 🙂 Very tired.

    Friday, July 31

    Prince George to Quesnel

    130km / 3880km; 6.5h / 212h; 1300m / 41000m

    On the road at 8:20am after big cereal / blueberry breakfast at Robley
    CG. Already hot at 9am. 120m climb out of P.G. in construction zone
    and narrow sidewalk crossing of Fraser River. Stop near airport
    turnoff for coffee to finish my 2 remaining Danish butterhorns –
    yummi! Not very scenic ride today, and more little hills than I
    expected! It always seems to come out to 100m vertical per 10km
    distance. Brief stop at Stone Creek Lodge – nicely maintained and with
    German flag (but owners were not at office). Lunch stop at Hixon. Some
    coke, but no big meal. Continue at 1:30p in full midday heat. Another
    stop at a roadside “Cinema Cafe”. Huge cherry pie a la mode – yummi
    again! Then continue to Quesnel. On last long downhill into town
    something feels weird with the bike. I’m cruising down at 65km/h and
    an impatient truck driver trying to pass right behind me. When I roll
    out at the bottom of the hill there is a campground. I inspect my
    tires and get a sickening feeling: My backtire has a 1 inch long nail
    in it which slowly leaks air! I patch the tube and have it fully
    reinflated at a nearby tire shop. Decide to stay at the CG and take a
    shower and pitch the tent. Skype with Jill and roll down to town
    center for dinner.

    Saturday, August 1

    Quesnel to Williams Lake
    139km / 4027km; 7h / 220h; 1300m / 42300m

    Roll down to center of Quesnel, breakfast at Granville Coffee and
    email / Skype with Jill. Start riding at 9am. First 20min out of town
    are terrible: 120m uphill, construction, traffic, heat… But after
    that it’s a good ride, slight tailwind, often 100m above Fraser River
    with beautiful views. When I stop for some fudge and icecold coke I
    realize how hot it is when stepping out of the A/C cool building – 1pm
    and 32C. And no shade on the road… Actually, on the next long hill
    up to lake Leese there is a thundercloud forming with lightning and
    thunder, which provides much appreciated relief from the sun like a
    giant umbrella! At Lake Leese I stop for a snack and drinks. Seems to
    be the weekend getaway for the local folks, as the lake and resorts
    here are quite busy and crowded. I meet Diana and Peter, who are on a
    shopping trip up to Quesnel; they live in Williams Lake and give me
    lots of useful information; we set a tentative dinner date for
    Williams Lake.
    After another 2.5h (45km) and a long climb to almost 1000m I roll down
    at high speeds to W.L. I stop at Boston Pizza for a salad and emails.
    Then at 7:30 I am at the next restaurant and meet up with Diana and
    Peter. Turns out that restaurant is closed so we just switch plans to
    another one 1km down the road. We have dinner and I tell them about my
    At dusk another 5km ride along lake shore to Will Yum Campground.
    Setup tent under clear sky and moon. After brushing teeth I walk back
    to tent and notice bright object tracking across night sky – perhaps
    the Space Station?

    Sunday, August 2

    Williams Lake to Green Lake

    125km / 4155km; 7.5h / 228h; 1600m / 43900m

    I get up early at 6:30 and hit the road at 7am. Per Peter’s tip I
    detour slightly at the beginning of the next hill and take a small
    backcountry road around the hill. Windy road, many cattle guards. At
    one I stop and take a picture when I suddenly see Peter come out of a
    driveway; he just wanted to ride back towards the campground to meet
    me! Had I been 2min earlier we would have missed each other! So he
    invites me into his house for breakfast – fresh coffee and toast with
    fresh raspberry jam. After we talk for a while he joins me for the
    first part of the ride back to Hwy 97. There it’s Goodbye to Peter and
    I continue South. I pass the scene of a fatal head-on collision the
    day before on the Hwy – a grim reminder of the fragility of life. Then
    at 30km I have a flat back tire. I walk 200m to a litter barrel area
    and unload all bags to find the leak and patch the tube. A car stops.
    It’s Dustin and Jennifer, asking whether I need any tools. I ask
    whether they have an air pump. To my surprise he has an electrical pump
    and so I’m back up to 50psi tire pressure right away 🙂
    I continue to Lake La Hache at 55km. There I buy 1.5lb of fresh
    apricots at a fruit stand and chat with Lionel (from South Africa) in
    German! He also offers a delicious peach and Greek cheese for free.
    Then I proceed to the Austrian Edelweiss restaurant across the street
    and have Homemade “Spaetzle” for lunch – oh my, is this good! Checking
    email and then going for a swim in the lake. Resume ride at 3:15p.
    Again many hills until I arrive at 100 Mile House at 85km. Visitor
    center with Swiss folks, plenty of info and free wireless – hence
    Skype with Jill. Planning overnight stay, decide to detour to Green
    Lake East of Hwy. Call ahead to “Little Horse Lodge” with German
    restaurant sounds promising. Not too many hills, I ask. Not to worry,
    no problem… Well guess what: Big problem; there are probably another
    500m vertical in those 35km, so it takes me more than 2h and I arrive
    very tired a little after 9pm when it’s about to get dark. Beautiful
    sunset, bright moon (near full) and red colored thunderhead in the SW
    distance. Here at lodge big disappointment: Restaurant already closed
    at 8pm, only opens at 9am for breakfast, Internet not working … I go
    to sleep hungry. Then my tent pole snaps near the top – going to be
    hard to fix. Tonight is not my night, so go to sleep early. Tomorrow
    is another day.

    Monday, August 3

    Green Lake to Clinton

    58km / 4213km; 2.75h / 231h; 420m / 44320m

    I get up, take a shower and cook some noodles as I’m really hungry.
    Then I pack my gear and write a few emails. Finally at 9am the
    restaurant opens up for breakfast. Over breakfast some more emails and
    eventually I start my ride at 10:45!
    Rolling hills along Green Lake, little traffic and some cattle guards.
    Then at 30km I get to 70 Mile House. Coke and email break. I received
    two donations within 24hrs of $350 total 🙂
    The next 30km to Clinton are the worst of the entire trip: Nonstop
    traffic both ways, bad shoulder almost unrideable (gravel, debris,
    washboard), construction, heat, smoke – after a few near misses I have
    enough of this and stop in Clinton. Unfortunately the roads via
    Lillooet are closed due to forest fires; so it looks like I will have
    to take the Fraser canyon route via Hope!
    I decide to stay put for the day and let the insane traffic (from the
    long BC holiday weekend) subside. All-you-can-eat BBQ buffet with ribs
    help compensate for last night’s calories deficit 🙂
    Two Blog posts and email. Also a walk up&down Clinton mainstreet (I.e.
    Hwy 97) and visit to Clinton museum. Sleep at 10p – fixed up tent pole
    using duct tape for now.

    Tuesday, August 4

    Clinton to Hope

    241km / 4455km; 11h / 241h ; 2400m / 46700m

    Rarely have I seen more difference in riding conditions within 12h:
    this morning the air was at least 10C cooler, smoke-free, there was
    much less traffic – well I started at 6:20am and the long holiday
    weekend is over – and the first 40km were aided by a 450m drop and
    tailwind :-)) At 8am I already had 40km. (I remember a day in the
    Yukon where I had 40km only at 5pm!) At 11a I stopped for a quick soda
    at 90km and at noon the 100km mark rolled around. At a fruit stand I
    buy some apricots to eat a little later at Spences Bridge with coffee
    and a cinnamon bun (1:30p, 135km).
    Before Lytton my good luck with the tailwind runs out and it changes
    into headwind 🙁 This also brings smoke-filled air from a nearby
    forest fire :-((
    Of course the initial downhill is long past, and there is a lot of
    up&down now in the canyon. While this provides often great views and
    some relief / fun on the downhill, it takes a lot of sweat to grind up
    those hills in the afternoon heat. Eventually the smoke clears and at
    last I can breathe easily again.
    At a hill called “Jackass Mountain” (no kidding!) I stop at an
    overlook with a 250m drop to the river. A German couple also stops
    there and we chat briefly and take mutual pictures. (They got my last
    business card.)
    At Boston Bar (175km) I drink another liter of Coke and wonder whether
    I can still go all the way to Hope with this wind and only about 3h of
    daylight left. Usually the wind does down in the evening, but not
    before I have to fight some more jet-like blasts through the half-
    dozen tunnels. Traffic is moderate, but a few trucks pass pretty close
    where there is little shoulder. Last bottle of Pepsi in Yale, then
    24km to Hope. Towards the end it starts to get dark, and there is one
    more 90m hill after 10.5h on the bike -yikes. Then rolling down and
    over Fraser river bridge into town. I eat at Subway, as no restaurant
    in sight is open at 8:45pm. The campground is right next to the river
    and I pitch my tent under some huge Redwood trees. I’m tired but also
    very satisfied. Great shower, then some email and fall into a deep

    Wednesday, August 5

    Hope to Lynden, WA

    121km / 4576km; 6h / 248h; 650m / 47250m

    After the long ride yesterday I take it easy in the morning. Yet, I wake up at 6:30 and go looking for some breakfast place that’s open in town. There I feast on some “Logger’s Special”, followed by a cinnamon bun, while I update my Blog and do email. I continue with the latter from my tent, as I’m trying to coordinate a meeting with Rich, our Logan mountain guide.
    I leave around noon and expect a semi rest day, i.e. somewhat shorter distance. After 1km or so the road merges onto the Trans Canada Highway 1, a four lane divided hwy – one of only two choices in this valley. It feels like riding on the Interstate or German Autobahn. Trucks and cars are passing at 100km/h while I’m riding along on the shoulder. It’s relatively safe due to the wide shoulder and also cyclist warning signs – and it’s definitely legal, too – but what bothers me most is the noise. I can hardly hear anything but the wind and engine noise – it’s deafening. At one point bicycles are rerouted to a parallel route, which is infinitely nicer through residential neighborhoods and some rural areas. Lots of farmland and fruit growing up here. Once coming out of the mountains it’s completely flat. Yes, there is some headwind, but no more hills.
    I stop at Chiliwack (60km) for some food at a Best Western after inquiring at the Visitor Center about roads and restaurants. Due to my rather leisurely pace it’s already 5:30pm when I start rolling again. I underestimate the distance to the border: It’s another 40km zig-zagging down towards the SW through beautiful and quiet farmland. What a contrast to the noisy hwy earlier. Here I only need to stop for the occasional dog “attack”. At one point I am close to pulling out my bear spray due to a somewhat aggressive Rottweiler out on the public road – that’s one thing I don’t like about free running dogs…
    At 8pm I get to the border at Sumas. The usual questions about where I live, what I do for a living, who pays for the trip etc. But it takes only 10 min and I’m riding South again, now in Washington State. The sun goes down as a perfect red ball over the cornfields. To the West I briefly see Mt. Baker with its glaciers, triggering memories of my ascent 10 years ago at the end of August 1999…
    I continue on West to Lynden, which has a KOA campground, about 10km (which I have to come back tomorrow) in the dusk. I’m happy to get there by 9pm, when they just close the office. They send me to a plaza some 3km away, and there I find a Pizzeria Bar still open. I eat two pizzas and have a glass of red wine in celebration of the event. Also I receive a phone call from my parents, who realized from my Tweets that I am back in the US and my phone probably is working! Rolling back to the CG around midnight. I don’t even bother with my tent and just roll out the sleeping bag – which is a bit warm (it’s 15C, some 40C warmer than most nights on the glacier), but there are no mosquitoes and no rain (bright full moon).

    (end of British Columbia section)

    Add comment March 6th, 2009


    At Alaska / Canada border

    Summary: 10 days of riding; 7 days on the Dalton Hwy from Prudhoe Bay to Fairbanks, 840km, 54hr, extremely hilly (12.500m vertical), 2/3 on gravel, often very dusty due to heavy truck traffic, bothering mosquitoes, little wildlife (too much traffic!), less remote than expected, very friendly people, beautiful scenery, especially North of the Brooks range with stunning views of the mountains, clear lakes and streams and endless wilderness away from the road. Then 3 days of flat riding on Richardson Hwy (Fairbanks to Delta Junction) and Alaska Hwy (Delta Jct to Tok to Canadian border); 530km, 36hr, 4000m vertical; long stretches through boreal forest, some hills along Tanana and other rivers, very scenic late evening light.

    Dalton Highway: Prudhoe Bay to Fairbanks

    SPOT tracking page

    Photo Album of bus ride and bike ride along Dalton Highway (59 images)

    Fairbanks to Canada

    Photo Album of bike ride from Fairbanks to Tok and Canadian border (Alaska Hwy)

    SPOT tracking page

    Map created by SpotAdventures:GPS Geotagging

    Dalton Hwy – Daily Travel Log typed on my iPhone (with info on distance and elevation gain):

    Wednesday – July 1 – Day 1 Prudhoe Bay to Happy Valley Camp
    135km, 950m vertical; 11:30 – 23:30; dinner from 20:00-21:00; First 90km gravel, at times very difficult and deep, once I pushed my bike in muddy conditions for 2km. Great help by pumpstation 2 guard Jason Shea, the German couple Markus and Jutta, as well as Jim Colleen ( at overlook during dinner). Met two other riders Matt and Bhatiste who are also doing the Panam Hwy. (Matt’s website is

    Thursday – July 2 – Day 2 Happy Valley to Galbraith Lake turnout
    99km, total 230km; 1860m vertical, total 2810m. 7h ridetime (14km/h). Sore throat upon awakening at 7:00am. Breakfast cereal with milk courtesy the folks at Happy Valley! Tough first 30km with gravel and lots of hills; 2 hrs sleep at 40km pumpstation 3 (again Jason Shea who gave me water) and Aspirin.Matt and Bhatiste ride by and I pack my stuff and catch up to them. Lots of hills; some so steep that we have to push. Bhatiste’s drailleur breaks so he can’t continue; however he hitches a truck ride within 1/2 hrs! Very scenic landscape in evening with Brooks Range close by.

    Friday – July 3 – Day 3 Galbraith Lake turnout to Coldfoot
    170km, 406km total; 1925m vertical, 4735m total; 10h ride time (16.5km/h), 25 total. 6:20am – 19:10pm 50km to Atigun Pass (1410m); last 2km too steep for me (pushing was hard work). Beautiful summer day, perfect weather, except early morning very warm. After Atigun Pass nice downhill sections; I wanted to reach Coldfoot for the dinner buffet, showers and nice campground. I put myself under time pressure to reach camp before the buffet closes at 20:00 – so the afternoon was very hard with only two short breaks to filter river water (turned into deliciously tasting Gatorade!). Unfortunately my throat still hurts and every now and then I’m coughing on the bike :- ( I was completely exhausted by the time I got to camp. Soup and Salad buffet, then setup tent, then hot shower, then meet & chat with Markus and Jutta one more time 🙂 in sleeping bag by midnight, nice cool air to sleep.

    Saturday – July 4 – Day 4 Coldfoot – Arctic Circle
    101km, 507km total; 1660m / 6395m total; 6.75h/ 32h total; Very relaxing start in the morning, breakfast at restaurant, visit to Visitor Center; gave a 15-20 pound bag to Joe the van driver to bring back to Fairbanks. This made climbing somewhat easier today. Also entire section of road is paved 🙂 rest at Grayling Lake and in evening at Gobblers Knob (after long climb). Got water from truck convoy, but unfortunately my fuel pump didn’t work :-(Beautiful evening sun, purple fireweed flower meadows, arrive at Arctic Circle camp at 11:30pm

    Sunday – July 5 – Day 5 Arctic Circle to Hot Spot Cafe (near Yukon Bridge)
    93km / 600km total; 1720m vertical / 8115m total; 6.3h / 38.3h total. Start at 9:10am; chilly downhill, but soon very warm on the many steep hills. 2hrs rest at noon at Finger Mountain after long climb. Very tiring hills, also end of pavement, but gravel comparatively good. Filtered water twice, then got water from Jitka, the Czech lady who drove up North to see the midnight sun… (had seen her at Gobblers Knob yesterday) Arrive at Hot Spot around 7:45pm and have Mushroom Burger and Milkshake for dinner 🙂 Met Josh and Rene who bike from Anchorage to Prudhoe Bay and were on day 11 of their tour.Tent on undeveloped campground, but great water from well right next to it.

    Monday – July 6 – Day 6 Hot Spot camp (Yukon bridge) to Livengood (end Dalton Hwy, Elliott Hwy)
    106km / 707km total; 2330m / 10445m total; 7.6 hrs / 46 hrs total. Start at 7:30am, short 8km ride to Yukon River Bridge / Camp for breakfast. Need to pass time (45min) as they only open up at 9:00am! Walk to Yukon river and to Alaska Pipeline display / interpretive center. After 4 pancakes with lots of butter & sirup I start a long uphill over the Yukon bridge and into the hills at 9:45. Plenty of hills, first 40km still paved; great mood, almost philosophical thoughts, thinking about opening chapter if book and about Jill and the “celebration of life” … Very nice long descent on great paved road, slow uphill… I get water from some motorcycle riders at a great overlook on a ridge. When I tell them about my project they take a picture of me and say: “One day you’ll be famous!” The km are ticking by, I almost see myself at the end of gravel and finishing the Dalton when 20km before I get a flat front tire at 30km/ h downhill! Luckily I can stop without crash, but the front tube got punctured many times after the initial flat! My repair kit doesn’t have enough rubber cement, so I can fix only 5 of the 6 holes :- ( waited for 1 hour, then motorcycle driver stopped and gave my supplies, thankfully I could continue!Reached end of Dalton around 8pm. After a few km on the paved road I see a campground sign; turns out this is only a normal parking lot, but at least we’ve got flat ground. Nearby I find water from a creek to wash off the dust and sweat, as well as to filter drinking water. Then I meet & greet with John – 79 yr old widower on fishing trip in camper mobil – he gives me hot water for my freeze dried food and invites me to sit in his camper for dinner, where we chat for about 1 hour.

    Tuesday – July 7 – Day 7 Livengood to Fairbanks
    130km / 838km total; 2105m / 12550m total; 7.6h / 54h total; I wake up when John starts his camper bus right next to my tent; it’s 6:30 and the tent is getting hot from the sun already. I pack my stuff and hit the road shortly after 7:00am. Every 15km there is a big hill – 200 – 300m up and down. Soon the cool morning air gives way to heat under a perfectly blue sky. I stop at Joy, Arctic Circle Trading Post for coffee and muffins at 40km. More hills and heat, just grinding up those slopes and shooting down the descents; beautiful vistas from the ridgetops. Eventually I reach the suburbs and cell phone signal at the Hilltop truck stop. Phone call with Jill, then rush downhill and over one last hill to Fairbanks and Tanana Valley campground as their office closes at 20:00. I get there with 10 minutes to spare…

    End of Dalton Hwy and Prudhoe Bay to Fairbanks section.

    Fairbanks to Canada

    Photo Album of bike ride from Fairbanks to Tok and Canadian border (Alaska Hwy)

    SPOT tracking page

    Map created by SpotAdventures:GPS Geotagging

    1 comment March 6th, 2009


    Index Page for all bicycle ride trip reports.

    Alaska (United States) Canada United States (lower 48) Mexico Guatemala El Salvador Honduras Nicaragua Costa Rica Panama Colombia Ecuador Peru Bolivia Chile Argentia

    Rides across 15 Panamerican Countries

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