Saturday, October 1, 2011

Tour De Jasper 2011 - Part I

Participants and Crew of Tour De Jasper 2011
Tour De Jasper has come and gone for another year, but the memories still linger.

For the tour this year, I volunteered as a sweep, which meant that I would be riding at the end of the group every day.   I had already planned on joining Jim, who is a cook on Tour De Jasper, on his tour from Jasper to Vancouver.  I was thinking of volunteering, but never got around to asking the organizer Nicole.  Jim thought that it was a good idea to volunteer as it would cut costs down on the whole trip.  I'm glad that he got me involved because I really enjoyed it!  Thanks Jim!

In fact, if Nicole organizes another one for next year, I'd love to do it again, as I love to share my bike touring passion with others.  It's so addictive.
Proud to be part of the 'crew'
I was so eager to do the trip, that I arrived early on the departure day on July 20, and had to bike around town to waste time.  Eventually as I biked by the train station (departure point of tour) some people started to show up.  I began to meet all the riders for the tour.  I had met some at a pre-tour meeting, but as many from the tour were from out of town this year, I only met a couple new riders.

The funky sign my bike got to wear

There were a couple of familiar faces, people who had ridden on last year's tour also.  But there was also a lot of new faces.  One was Scott #1, and this too was his second time doing Tour De Jasper, but he didn't ride last year when I was on it.
Scott #1
After Nicole talked to the group for a bit, we departed.  Being so anxious to ride, I had a hard time waiting!  After everyone left,  I had to wait a bit to give them some space.  As I left and headed to the hill I was exhilarated in getting to do the ride again.  As I approached the hill leaving town, I saw what looked like one of the tour riders slowly making their way up the hill, so I stopped and waited for a bit at the bottom.
Then as he disappeared around the corner I started to ride up the hill.  I soon bumped into Mike, the Tour photographer and he got me worried when he said they were all far ahead!  What?  I swear that I saw a rider going up.  Maybe not.  So I put the pedal to the metal and started peddling fast to 'catch up'.  Not that far away, I saw some bicyclist on the side and it sure looked like a tour rider.  It was! It was Scott (#2).  So, I wasn't THAT far behind.  Whew!  Got me worried that I was being too slow.
On the road to Purden

Me and Scott #2
As we reached the pitstop by Tabor Mountain, it started to rain.  The weather wasn't as nice as on Tour De Jasper 2010.  Nevertheless, we stopped for a quick break.  We soon headed on even though it was a short ride day at only 60 kms or so.  We stopped for lunch at a rest stop by a river.  It was a little bit off the road, and we'd have to climb back up to get to the highway after our rest.  Ah, what's a little hill?  Some tourists offered us a drink, but we declined as we had lots on our bikes.

We soon arrived at Purden Lake.  The tour organizers tried to set my tent up for me as I was coming in last, but they couldn't find my poles as they were in my Rubbermaid bin that I had brought along and they didn't want to rummage through that.  They managed to set my tent up 2 or so times during the trip.  I must keep poles with tent next year.  That's so nice that they do that for me, especially on the last day as I was so tired and it was later in the evening.   Most memorable thing said that night?  Jim's joke when I put my bike together with his under some tarp to keep them dry.  With the two bikes being together, you'd better watch out for the little scooters running around in the morning!  Good one.

We enjoyed a nice dinner, and sat around the campfire.  But then, it started to rain.  And when we went to bed, it was still raining.  It rained all night.  It was raining next morning when we woke up.  It was raining when we started out for the day.  Everyone had glum looks on their faces.  It in fact rained most of the day! Before we left, we dropped our unpacked tents in the tour trailer.  They were going to dry them for us.
This is NOT the rainy Purden Lake, but in fact La Salle lake the next day
 You may have noticed that there isn't much for photos from Day 2, that's because of all the rain.  Here's one though, of me going down muddy road to La Salle Lake Campsite.

Biking down to La Salle Lake Campsite
 It didn't rain all the day for me and Scott, as down below I'm biking near La Salle Lake and it's definitely NOT raining.  When we arrive at the campsite, it starts raining again for a little while.  Go figure.
It didn't rain all day.
When we arrived at the La Salle campsite, I noticed a tent with steam coming out.  It was a drying tent and had a propane heater.  My tent was already dried and set up!  I hanged my clothing and shoes onto the lines to try to dry them.  I almost killed my cheap mp3 player by washing shorts as the player were still in them when I dipped them into the lake.

I was choked, here I did all I could to protect them from getting wet while riding and I do something stupid like that!  I played with it for a long time to get it to work, but I thought it was toast as it didn't seem to want to work.  Jim told me just wait for a while, that it will work again.  And he was right, it worked next morning, hurrah!  Never again will I do something stupid like that.

Bike Maintenance

Harvey, the Ruckus Mascot

More tales to come........oh, and photos too.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoy reading the tales from your trips - keep them coming! :)



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