Cycling experience around Southern Vancouver Island

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Summary of 10,000 k and 1 year of riding

To busy cycling to keep this blog up todate.

I have had the Catrike for just over a year and logged just short of 10,000 K. Enough to have run into many different cycling scenarios.
The highlight of the year is my ride from Saanichton, along the Hope Princeton and on to Osoyoos at the end of July and first 1/2 of August. Then up through the Okanagan to Salmon Arm, through Kamloops, Merritt

Nicola Valley

Nicola Valley
Between Stump Lake and Nichola Lake
Approximate location of photo

and Spences Bridge and back down the Fraser Canyon to home. A total of just under 1500 k and 10,000 m of elevation gain in 13 days of riding, I did take 2 days off to do some work at a friend’s Organic Farm. My legs needed the break from peddling more than I realised. Learned a lot about cycle touring during the ride.
After the summer tour of the Okanagan etc I had time for 1 more short trip. A ride from Saanichton through Sooke to Port Renfrew and back through Lake Cowichan. A trip that I have not done since the mid 1950’s when I as a small child did the trip with my parents. I took my time on this ride and did the 250 K in three days – actually was a bit more, closer to 300 k with some extra side trips. On that trip I was able to incorporate some of the lessons learned on the earlier trip and this time some video clips which I will be posting shortly at Saanichton-Port Renfrew ride Sept 05-07 2019

The surprise of how much per kilometre it costs to ride

Few of us ever give a thought to how much it costs to ride a bike.The 10,000 k was enough distance to be able to calculate the cost of consumables such as tires, chain and light maintenance. It surprised me to find it costs around 20 cents a kilometre and if one were to adding in replacement or heavy maintenance, my guess 30 cents a kilometre is not an unreasonable cost to operate a bike. No where near a free ride as many assume. I have spoken to a few others about the costs, few had thought about but when they think about it they realise the cost is higher than the would have thought of course costs for individuals will vary on where and the type of riding the do mine is probable in the area of typical. Even at 30 cents a k it is still substantial less than the cost for any motor vehicle and the health and exercise benefits are significant and not even possible in a motor vehicle.

I had planed to take a number of videos of the ride but between too busy cycling to get much footage and I realised the major level of work editing the footage ended up taking a few stills which may or may not get posted. I had not realised the curious have to keep cycling that takes hold of many on these types of trips. Stopping to prepare a meal or even camp for the night was an unwanted delay and often when it became time to stop the location was not the best.

    There were 2 low points on the trip which deserve being mentioned.

Faulty by design Blackburn pannier rack

The first was my Blackburn pannier rack broke on the first night out. The problem was the rack is a poor design and vibrates apart unless one stops every hour or so and unloads everything to tighten a number of set screws.
This was a problem that plagued me for the whole trip and did damage the bike. Had the rack been more reliable I would have extended my trip to ride through some of the Kootenays as well. Ultimately I realised with a few snap ties I could hold the defective in design rack together. When I returned home I contacted Blackburn re the problem I had. First they offered me a replacement defective by design rack. I turned that down, they responded that not all bikes are designed for that rack (that response from them could best be described as what is left behind once the bull moves on) The problem with the rack was its design features which made it able to fit almost any style and size of bike. Not a happy customer

Rumble strips installed by the Province of British Columbia with the full knowledge they can injure cyclists

Another major issue that arose time and time again was the rumble strips in paved shoulders. These strips are intended to wake up dopey the drunk driver they are veering off the road. The rumble strips are gouged out by the province when the paved shoulder is 1.5 m wide.
What they do not take into account is the strips take up about the first .5 m of the paved shoulder, leaving 1 m for the cyclist.
The design envelope for all cycling design guides I have seen is 1 metre as the cycling envelope and safety margins etc as to be added to the 1 metre. The rest of the paved shoulder is frequently taken up with debris from the road (apparently the line in the Highway Maintenance contracts is to use ink and compliance is not necessary).
If the narrow strip and debris was not enough of a problem then one has to contend with unexpected catch basin depressions up 0.3 m deep or enough to dislodge a cyclist. Spoke to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure about the problem and the best response they could give was we know they are a problem for cyclists. A problem for cyclists - more than a problem for a cyclists that gets caught in a rubble strip on my bike they set a harmonic vibration and the fender tucked into the tire bring me to an immediate stop from 30 k+ on a downhill run. With the traffic to the left of was more than disconcerting.
If the intent of these rumble strips is to keep Dopey the Drunk Driver in their lane then the rumble strip should be in the last portion of the motor vehicle lane just before the fog line. By the time the vehicle tire hits these strips already part of the vehicle is outside the main travel lanes. When I raised this concern with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure in BC they were very clear that in their opinion saving Dopey the Drunk's car from getting some quick body work on their vehicle was more important than the life of a cyclist.


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