We scarily descended steep rough Forest Service Road with no brakes (pooched them yesterday) before stopping to shorten all our stretched brake cables. Whew! Beauty swim in St Mary’s River then 20km on bumpy, rolling, dusty Forest Service Road with active logging happening. Not our favourite. Stopped to swim and hide in the shade at St Mary’s lake and ponder how tired we are. 13km more on pavement in 34C to a shady campsite and river dips with pizza delivery.
More 🚲!: We woke up in the mountains next to a creek and started our morning ride just after 8 bundled up in all our warm clothes. Axel fell asleep within 20min…guess we are tiring him out! It was clear immediately that between our two bikes, only my front brake kind of worked. We’d hoped it was just Ryley’s brakes and we could transfer the trailer to my bike so I could ride Axel down; instead we were both walking our bikes. We both still had meat on our brake pads (hadn’t worn through them the day before) which was good news; Ryley was worried we’d glazed the pads from overheating the day before. I managed to fiddle with my barrel adjustors (Ryley’s wouldn’t budge) which helped us figure out to try adjusting our brake cables. We found a good break spot (pun intended) and got all the tools out (Axel was VERY excited, and obviously very helpful) and I got all of our brakes back and running (Ryley sarcastically complained his were now “too touchy” – wooo!). We stopped on the St. Mary’s river for a break (and a swim for me); it was hot without much shade so we got back on the road towards Kimberly, which we expected to be relatively chill with some ups and downs but mostly on road. One of those days where chill expectations but harsh reality made for a grumpy day. The Forest Service Road was freshly gravelled (“What new torture is this?”, Ryley asks as our tires sink and wobble through the gravel, bump over the now-hidden washboard, and we get VERY dusted by a steady train of cars and trucks driving by, plus some loaded logging trucks bombing up behind us). It felt like a long, hot ride to St. Mary’s lake where we stopped to revive ourselves with a swim, lunch and shade. It was pretty early but we decided we’d likely only do another 10km to the Kimberley Campground and call it for the day. The receptionist said, “You biked here? Just now? Do you know it’s 34 degrees out?”. Yes, we do know! They proceeded to be terrible at knowing their own campground, where we should tent, and whether any of the sites had shade (but offered for us to bike down a very steep hill to look and come back and tell them – no, thanks!), but we sorted it out and it was great. We hung out in the river, ordered pizza to our camp spot with our one bar of service, and hung out for the evening. Axel threw many many rocks into the river and clambered all up and down the river bank on very big and wobbly rocks – he had a great time. We also decided we’re nearing the end of our adventure time (combination of being pooped from the Gray Creek Pass, not having an ongoing cat sitter for Zoa, and knowing our potential ride needed to come get us on a weekend), so we called Jaimie and asked if she might be willing to come and pick us up (she said yes, hurray!). We now know we have 3 days left to bike so we’re considering trying to make it the rest of the way (according to the BC Epic route which we are roughly following) to Fernie.
Distance: 57.24 km, Elevation Gain: 453 m, Moving Time: 5h 11m