I thought I would take a moment to look back on what I’ve discovered so far about bicycle touring and BC. I hope to do this at the end of each province. It was a bit disappointing that there was no BC/Alberta border, as I wanted to jump across it. Alas, either there wasn’t one or I missed it.
In no particular order, here are some of the things I learned about BC:
The people are super friendly and will go out of their way to help you. It makes me want to be a better person.
It’s all uphill. Even when it’s downhill, it’s uphill.
The mountains are beautiful. It would take a special kind of person to live here through the winter, but it would be beautiful.
Always be on bear watch. They’re everywhere.
I keep seeing “avalanche zone end” signs, but I keep missing where they began. This is probably not a good thing.
Bring a loonie to the shower, and go over your game plan. You may only get 5 minutes of hot water, so use it well.
I’m glad I don’t ride with headphones. It’s always good to be able to hear the trucks coming up behind me on the highway.
I don’t know if the trucks are carrying livestock, or pure manure, but they do not smell good.
Hills on highway 1 look worse than they are. Hills on highway 3 are worse than they look.
BC has a really diverse environment. It goes from “giant” cedars to desert like conditions. It’s really cool.
There are towns in BC that don’t have a Tim Horton’s. They do have multiple liquor stores.
And a few things I’ve discovered (or rediscovered) about travelling and bike touring:
Respect the chain. The chain is god. All hail the almighty chain.
When someone is obviously camping for the first time, offer them help. When they refuse, sit back and enjoy the show. You don’t have TV.
Refill water bottles whenever possible. You never know when you will be able to again.
Never, ever look down a pit toilet. There’s nothing down there that you want to know about. Ever.
Singing or talking to yourself is always acceptable.
Avoid RVs on the road at all costs. Especially rented ones.
Rest days are the best days.
There’s no shame in taking a rest by the side of the road. I’m sure that’s what they’re doing in the Tour de France when the cameras aren’t on them.
Flexibility and patience will get you everywhere.
Take photos, but not too many. You can’t see everything through the lens of a camera.
Focus on the 5 metres of road ahead of you. Not the big hill up ahead.
Don’t forget to enjoy everything.