Day 5: Vernon

Day 5: Vernon

Today’s plan was to get to Sicamous. The plan fell off the rails when I slept in, then arrived late for my breakfast plans, then lingered over great conversation with family members who I rarely see. So, I set off for final supplies before hitting the trail, finally rolling out close to noon. 

As I was leaving town I met a South Korean man who is on his own cross-country tour, heading from Vancouver to Barrie, where he is attending school. We agreed to travel to Vernon together, trying out the new rail trail that is technically not yet open. We headed toward the trail and then I heard the unmistakable hiss. Flat #3 of the tour. This warranted a second opinion from a mechanic, so I sent my new friend on his way and returned to a bike shop. 

The diagnosis was exactly what I’d feared when gearing up: my tires were too narrow for the loads I was carrying (shouldn’t have had those extra beer this winter…) Thankfully MEC has a rock-solid guarantee and took my nearly-new tires back in exchange for some new ones appropriate for a tour. After grabbing a sandwich I was on the road again at about 2pm.

The rail trail was fantastic. Nearly flat, topped with good gravel, it was exactly what I’d dreamed of. The modest tailwind helped push me at about 20-25kph the whole way. It will be even faster when they pave the trail this summer, the final step before it opens. 

The trail ends just before Vernon, and here I tried to follow the main road. The map showed a shopping plaza not far ahead, where I would get a snack and continue on my journey. After a while I still didn’t see the shopping plaza, and consulted the map. I had taken a wrong turn and gone 6k away from the town, on a decent hill! So, back I went. At this point it was 6pm, I was feeling quite tired from the short sleep last night, and I called it quits. Thankfully an acquaintance in town had a place to stay. Tomorrow I will try to go early and make up for lost ground. 

Today’s lesson is to always check tire pressure before heading out for the day. 

Post script: today I broke rule #1: Just say yes. After arriving in Vernon I was exhausted and had a sandwich in my bag that I just wanted to scarf before sleeping. I declined a random dinner invitation. Within minutes I realized I would have found the energy and it would have been a great time. Always say yes. 

Today’s distance: 76.2 km

Cumulative distance: 535 km

Today’s climb: 459m