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May 11 - 15 Day 4-8

Well, your support has been overwhelming. I'm glad to hear you all enjoy my suffering so much. If I knew you hated me like this I would never have started. Sheesh. Well, not much has been going on here so far. I'm just glad to have a chance to rest and let my muscles build. Of course if I stay too long I'll lose what I've gained.

I have to wait until Monday at least, to find out if I get to beta test that satellite phone. I am not optimistic, but I can dream. Thanks to those who voted for me, by the way. A boo and a hiss to those who couldn't be bothered. I need that phone, dammit! A big thanks to J.D. who got back in touch with me after many many months, that really brightened my day!

I'm trying to make myself useful while I'm here, help around the house. Mow the lawn, that sort of thing.

Repairs went as follows: the first day was raining throughout, and I spent most of it resting, but did find a few superfluous items to leave behind.

Day two I went to Canadian Tire, got a replacement speedometer and pipe collars to fix the seat with (think a Swat strap made of metal, but screwed tight rather than pulled). Their rear racks were all useless, but that night Chris told me what kind of supplies to get if I want to jury rig a solution for weight distribution. I picked up a map of BC and Alberta, to better plan my route, at least in general. The Rockies is not a place I fancy myself to get lost in. I also got the plastic guide rails permanently fixed as well, and Chris gave me a rear flashing safety light for the bike. Now, while I don't intend to bike at night, it happened once before. Also, it would be good for really cloudy or foggy days. The weather today was perfect. Sun, not much wind. Beautiful. Figures it's while I still can't go anywhere.

The next day was also perfect weather wise. Looks like it will stay that way until I leave. Gee, what a surprise. I took care of a lot of little things today, lubricant, zap straps, stuff to modify the rear render, ect... The real stumbling block I've had, however, was the rear rack idea. I can't seem to find a way to distribute some of the weight onto the rear frame. I might have to hope that my repair to the seat is strong enough to last 8000km. It should be, I used metal instead of plastic and four instead of two. Despite my best efforts to cut down on weight, I think I'll end up taking MORE. I needed a simple rain suit, for example, as well as warmer clothes for over the mountains.

The day after (also glorious weather... how long will this last?) was mostly touching up. I've further strengthened the seat base (six metal restraints instead of four), reorganized the weight distribution so that more of it is on the front handlebars (mostly food). It's possible part of the reason the seat broke in the first place was the added weight caused by water absorption in the clothing in my knapsack. I think I've taken care of that problem as well. I've cleaned and lubed the chain, and fixed the rear fender problem. That's about it for today. Tomorrow is monday, hopefully I'll find out if I get the satellite phone or not.

I really hope the good weather keeps up. For those of you who think my suffering makes for better reading, well, there will plenty of it with me trudging uphill all day every day. So fear not, misery will still be my traveling companion.

Monday morning we went to the Chilliwack River, and it made me remember what I had wanted to get out of this trip, but know I won't. A great trail, beautiful forest, babbling river, these things I do not get on the highway. And yet I have no choice but to take the asphalt route, since I can't get any bloody information about the Trans Canada Trail. Dangnabit, it ain't fair! All that is left for today is some Ziplocks for the clothes, and packing the bike, making sure everything works the way it should.

Tomorrow I leave again. I'm hoping to make it somewhere between Hope and Merrit on the #5 highway. This will be my last email until I reach Kamloops, where I hope to update everyone.



Onto Day 9...