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Alberta Trek


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#1 cyanide

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 02:44 PM

I will be bike-camping this weekend.  I will start Saturday (after my kids and wife leave for the airport) in Red Deer, and make my way to Drumheller and Wayne, zigzagging through the badlands.  Then I will river jump back and forth across the Red Deer River to Dinosaur Provincial Park to camp for the night.  Then the next day I will venture through paved back roads to the border of Waterton National Park.  At that point I will decide whether to cross into Montana, or head directly to British Columbia.  Either way I intend to finish the day in Radium Hot Springs in BC.  Then the next day, through Rocky Mountain House back home.  This plan is liable to change moment by moment (especially if I decide to shorten the distances).  Anyone in the region is welcome to cross paths with me!

 

Cheers

 

John


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#2 cyanide

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Posted 10 July 2017 - 12:18 PM

That was a long ride!  I think I racked up 1800 km, 1000 yesterday alone.  Some things I learned:

 

1) zigzag roads in the foothills are awesome.  But be prepared for people to speed up when they see a motorcycle trying to pass them.  You commonly have to surprise them with the pass attempt or they will try to thwart you. 

2) mountain cycling is great, but the engine starts sounding a little weird near the top altitude going through passes.  Then it starts sounding normal again on the other side.

3) nearly all other weird sounds come from the headlight can.  That's my next project LOL

4) 38T sprocket is THE ONLY WAY to do this (even fully loaded, and with a windshield on, my bike wanted to drift towards 140 for cruising...had to keep an eye on that)

5) The passenger foot pegs can help you go another 50 km to the next stop before you @$$ falls off.

6) The hospitality of other bikers is rather amazing when they can identify with you

7) A tall thin 8L jerry can (actually holds 11 L) fits perfectly in a padded backpack which can then be strapped to the sissy bar and makes a great backrest AND nearly doubles your range.

7) Don't skimp on tires and the cost of installation.  Either learn how to do it yourself, or spend the dollars on what a proper professional wants to get it done right.  I had new tires put on my bike in May, by a backyard mechanic.  He seemed legit, and only wanted $80 for both tires.  Then, during this weekend, while doing 140 my back tire gave out.  Luckily a) I was able to control the bike (fully loaded, at that speed) without dropping or flipping the bike, b) this happened literally next to a store called "Redneck Superstore".  This was in a backwoods secondary highway 30 km from anything else.  My tire flats right next to this store.  Amazing.  Now, they don't typically work on road bikes; more ATVs, dirtbikes etc.  And, they didn't have a tube to fit my bike.  But, the owner and his friend were there.  His friend (and employee), hopped on his cycle and drove 45 minutes to get a tube from a dealership with a tube (and then another 45 minutes back).  He brought it back and the owner and his kids showed me how to change a tire, and all the intricacies of doing it right.  When they got my tire off, the backyard mechanic who did my tires allowed the tube to be fully twisted twice (of course it would have to be twice, as the tube fully twisted clockwise, then on the other side of the tube would have to fully twist back again in order to avoid breaking the laws of physics).  Further, there were rust spots on many areas of the rim inside which were sharp enough to puncture a tube.  They ground off the rust, properly set the tube, and got me back on my way.  They couldn't balance the tire for me as they didn't have the proper equipment there, but I will worry about that next week.  And, now my back tire has a straight valve which makes it hard to check the pressure or inflate; but that was the available tube.

 

Glad I had the trip, glad I had the experience, glad I took the course (otherwise I might be dead now), glad I lucked out to blow a tire next to these wonderfully accommodating people (did I mention the owner was going to be late to his house party as he was helping me).  Just great!


Edited by cyanide, 10 July 2017 - 12:23 PM.

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#3 Vomio

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 08:13 AM

That was a heck of a long ride.

It sounds like you had a good trip, learning strengths and weaknesses of your machine, yourself and finding out about the great people you can meet along the way.

 

That second item 7) with the tire confirmed your angel was definitely along for the ride.

As for the strange noises at the pass altitude, there are lots of things that could be going on, but due to lack of experience in such circumstances I'd be really only guessing.

 

Can you post a picture of your gas can?

I stuffed a 4 1/2 litre plastic jerry can in my saddle bag once when I was worried about fuel availability on a trip, but it took up a chunk of space in there and knowing more workable options other than the rather spendy auxillary fuel tanks or tiny camp fuel bottles would be good.  

 

Thanx.



#4 cyanide

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 10:52 AM

Sorry, I have been off on holidays that whole week, then back to work routine is always daunting the first week back.  I will get a picture of that gas can/backpack tonight hopefully.


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#5 cyanide

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 02:42 PM

Here they are (I think).  Two pictures.  The first shows my "Mechanical support bag" fully packed, the second shows it partially unpacked.  The main body contains the jerry can, as well as chain lube, a jar of grease, a tiny can of WD40, and a flask of kerosene (for cleaning the chain).  There is a second thin compartment behind the main compartment that holds the two large wrenches, as well as tent poles when needed, and all my bungie cords.  Two side pouches hold my extra coolant and oil.  There is two small compartments on the face of the bag that contain rags, some tools that don't fit in my toolpouch, as well as washers, sparkplugs, extra light bulbs, multimter etc.  Finally, I have added some rivetted straps to the bag so they line up with the grommets on my strap-on Karyakyn "trunk", which makes it much easier to put this bag on the pillion seat and strap in, as well as take it off and makes it overall more stable.

 

I left the shoulder straps on the bag, but I have tucked them in so they are low profile.  That way, if ever I really run out of gas, I can through this bag on my shoulder and carry it easier to and from the gas station.

 

IMG 3838

 

 

IMG 3839

 

IMG 3839 Big

Edited by cyanide, 20 July 2017 - 07:54 PM.

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#6 cyanide

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 03:37 PM

I do not know why my pictures keep on posting upside down


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#7 cyanide

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 06:47 PM

Further, I didn't realize these pictures were so dark.  I will try to improve them


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#8 Vomio

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 09:00 PM

Pictures look good and the explanation makes sense.

Thanx