We woke up on day 2 at a leisurely 9am. Enjoyed some breakfast and tweaked our bikes a bit after they had been bounced around on day 1. Rolling out onto the GDR at 11am was relaxing, but we paid the price for our slow start by facing the heat of the day immediately. For some reason we had expected the day’s ride to be flatter….we were mistaken. Day 2 resembled day 1 a lot in a long hot climb as we cruised east on Cabin FSR. The climb wasn’t anywhere near as steep as day 1 so there wasn’t a whole lot of pushing involved. Just lots of grinding uphill in the lowest gear we had. This provided a great time to contemplate my Pugsley setup. The gearing was fine, but I needed to reduce my load to the point where I could ride with just a frame bag and some stuff strapped on top of the front and rear racks. I can’t complain about how our Pugsleys handled fully loaded, but with less weight the uphills would be a lot easier and we could ride the downhills like mtn bikers as opposed to bike tourists who had to worry about breaking racks and such..
At breakfast on day 2 we realized Kurt had lost his spork…bummer…8 panniers between us and only a single spork to show for all that weight! We resolved to beg for a spoon the first opportunity that presented itself. Happily only a couple dozen kms into the day we came across a hunting cabin. The lone occupant listened politely to our one spork sob story and kindly gave us an old spoon….=-) Sweet!
The great thing about a long uphill is that there is often a long downhill on the other side. Day 2 on the GDR proved to be no exception. We bombed down the last section of Cabin FSR as fast as we dared. I was stoked to see the end of the 42kms of Cabin FSR – nothing wrong with the road itself, but the whole day to that point had felt like slow motion. I should note that this is the first tour I’ve ever done without a bike computer. I had a GPS on my bike, but since the route was so simple I left it off most of the ride just checking my position occasionally. Maybe it was the lack of performance data or the climbing, but the last 42kms felt more like 84kms!
It was nice to turn north on Flathead FSR for the run to Sparwood. I could taste the beer and burgers already!…=-)
The rest of the day’s ride on Flathead FSR was nice and flat – appropriately enough. So we could make some decent time and we went another 25kms north before calling it a day around 8pm at a really nice campground that we had all to ourselves. The whole CDN GDR reroute so far had been really devoid of people and this section continued the trend. We managed a quick bath in the Flathead River to rinse of a couple day’s worth of sweat and dust before bed.
Getting of to a slow start on day 1 & 2 we vowed to hit the GDR early on Day 3. Out of our sleeping bags at 6am and on the road by 7am was a nice change. Day 3 featured the least amount of climbing of any day so far and we managed to get it all done while it was still cool out. Flathead FSR got really rough at spots and the river crossed the road several times. Not a problem on our Pugsleys and in fact it made the route feel a lot wilder than the well maintained sections which was fun.
It didn’t take us long to ride to the coal mine at Corbin and the end of the dirt on the revised CDN GDR.
Although the 30km paved downhill to Sparwood was nice it felt a bit anticlimactic after the tough riding we had done so far. I have to say I actually started to get bored of coasting downhill for so long! The Bike Gods must have decided that letting us cruise casually into Sparwood was too easy so we had our first and only flat of the trip 3kms from town. Kurt has lot of experience dealing with Pugsley flats so I just got out of his way while he repaired the puncture. We were quickly back on the and Kurt vowed not to ride so far right of the white line so he could stay clear of all the debris on the side of the road – smart move!
Naturally we wasted no time digging into some wings & beer, then a proper lunch and more beer. It was only 2pm when we were done feasting so we had time to hit the road again, but decided not to. Kurt’s knees were bothering him enough he was thinking of bailing on the tour, but felt like some ice, a massage and some rest might sort him out. Never one to turn down an afternoon nap and ice cream I was happy to call it a day.