Thursday, July 16, 2009

Houston hello

We have found ourselves in Houston after a half day's ride (65km) following a very sociable breakfast with our Warm Showers host, Emily, in Smithers. We've been doing some huge days, way beyond what I thought I could do. My body doesn't seem to be changing shape much but my fitness is improving and my colouring is taking on a healthy glow (no sunburn yet), with the raccoon look more and more evident (glowing cheekbones and lower face with pale eye sockets and forehead). I wish what fat remains could shift to my backside to provide a little more padding. I've now improvised with my fleece neck tube as extra saddle padding but it's not a huge help.

Expecting to have another wild camp tonight, instead, we were greeted on the edge of town by the very friendly and warm Paul Comparelli and his equally fun and welcoming daughter, Jo (aged 13). They sweep in cycle tourers regularly when they're not off on family adventures, cycling to Mexico or around Canada or heading to Peru or Cambodia. An inspirational family with so many cycling trips under my belt, I feel inadequate. Robert has been insisting that 100km/day is a sustainable and easy distance to work on with cycle touring and I've been in denial until Paul told us that he and the family cycle 100-150 miles a day (160-lots more km/day) in good conditions. I'm inspired to start earlier each day so bigger distances are bigger.

It's been roasting hot here on the Yellowhead Highway. 30 degrees in the shade with the hottest blast from 2-5pm. I'm keen to rejig our cycling days so that we can ride more before the heat of the day.

I've updated the blog a couple of times ( but need to add more pictures. Some entries I wrote after the 160km day (Prince Rupert to Terrace) so apologies for any errors during my delerium! <,-135&spn=69.492148,186.152344&z=3> . We've covered amazing ground these last few days: 160km to Terrace, 105km to wild camp, 135km to Smithers and a half day today of 65km. We've stayed with 2 Warm Showers hosts and the wonderful "Team Compi" tonight so we've had a lot of wonderful Canadian hospitality in only 4 days!

Too many stories of how fantastic Icefield Parkway is has made me return to my old travel plans. I think I'll be catching a train to Jasper on Thursday (1 day rest on train rather than 3 days' riding) and perhaps the last bit into Vancouver if needed for time, to reach there by the end of July. Robert will probably remain faithful to the cycle and keep pedalling but I'm sure will catch me up down the way.

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