Departure

The day has come… After a year and a half of preparation, our trip starts today.I’m leaving for the airport in about two hours. These last days have been hectic, whether it was to find the last pieces of equipment or to finish my job in the lab. There have been disappointments (thanks to the National Bank who told me they never got my credit card application form even though I filled it in one of their agencies. No Canadian credit card for me…) and comforting moments (thanks to all the staff of Le Yéti for helping me solving the problems I might have had, answering all my questions and showing some interest for our trip).

The only concern now is the mount for the video camera which, though strong enough to hold a stove on my handlbar, might affect my tremendous speed in the hills.

I’ve also (finally) added the questions by the children of the École Enfant-Soleil. They have not been translated to english yet due to a lack of time.

To those asking us if we are ready, I’ll just give you en excerpt of a phone call I had with Jean on wednesday:
Jean: “I think we’ll do 60 miles a day for the first 3 days, but I’m going to ride like a grandmother.”

Nicolas: “Don’t worry. Anyway, I’m out of breath after riding for 50 meters uphill.”

Jean: “Oh, I’m tired after walking 10 minutes.”

Nicolas: “…”

Jean: “We really are stars”

Nouvelles

Hi everyone !

Today, we answered three more questions, thanks to Jean. As usual, all the answers are summarized in the Questions page. I also reorganized that page to outline our answers.

I also would like to mention that Mumu has been promoted from the status of “moral support” to the one of “Editor”. She will be in charge of updating the blog when we will not have access to the Internet (namely, we will give her lots of information once a week and she will split it in daily updates).

Thanks Mumu!

And the questions with the associated answers:

What will you do if it rains when you are cycling?
We have waterproof equipment, so except if the conditions are really, really bad, we will keep cycling when it rains. — Jean

In Alaska, will you cycle on road or on snow?
We will always travel on road. Some road will be gravel roads. We do not expect to have snow on the road. However, it is not completely impossible to have snow close from the Arctic Ocean. The snow should be removed from the road as vehicles need to use the road. If there is snow on the road itself, we will not be in a position to cycle. We will then either wait for the snow to be removed or we will have to change our plans and to use another route. — Jean

Will there be snow in the Rockies?
There will probably be snow on the tops of the Rocky Mountains. No snow is expected on the road though. — Jean

If you are caught in a very violent storm, will you keep going or giving up? — Charlotte, Ecole Stanislas
If we are caught in a very violent storm, we will look for a shelter and wait for the storm to calm down. We will not keep going. — Jean

Drawings

Hi everyone,

A little update to tell you that almost everything is set now. We have a Bed and Breakfast booked in Vancouver, a satellite phone and bear-proof barrels.

I also visited the school Enfant Soleil on tuesday and gathered many questions and drawings. We also got some drawings from Kincardine in Menteith and Jean decided which one he wanted to see first.

Edit: the drawing is from Becky Hamlyn (Primary 7).

I have also been told that the “Questions” was bit confusing. I will thus try to explain it a bit better: we will answer the questions regarding our attitude towards the trip and the preparation before leaving for Vancouver. The rest of the questions will be addressed during our trip. Every time an answer to a new question is given, it will be both posted on the blog and added in the Questions page.

11 days left…

(Click on the image to access the album)

Drawing made by a student from Kincardine near Menteith

Statistics

In exactly a month, we will be in Vancouver (without anywhere to stay yet) for the beginning of our trip. We are almost ready (except for the video camera, a few schools to visit, having the access to the Arctic Ocean granted and the bear-proof containers) and have only one desire: leave!

Besides that, we have had just over 1000 visits in May (compared to 584 in April, 151 in March and 52 in February, for a grand total of 1789) and 162 different visitors. This is not that much, but it encourages us in what we are doing.
Regarding the training, Jean cycled 680 miles so far and I cycled 400. I have a hard time realizing that what I did in 6 weeks is going to be our weekly average.

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Salsa

Today, I got my Salsa Ala Carte! It’s orange, weighs 14.6 kgs and gave me the smoothest ride I ever had. Riding this bike makes me realize the huge difference there is between such bikes and the ones I rode until now.

Pictures of it can be found THERE.

Avion

I now have my plane ticket too! I’ll land in Vancouver 45 minutes Jean and leave 5 minutes before him. I just need a bike now…

Alaska, here we are!

Flight

Here it is! Jean just bought its plane ticket from Glasgow to Vancouver. We will have to go now, no matter what (to be honest, we didn’t wait for the ticket to be bought to be sure we would do this trip). The trip will thus be from June, 29th to September, 20th.