Epic Canadian Trek Passes Halfway
For most people, if they want to see the sights and sounds of this beautiful country, they’ll pack the car or motorhome and head east or west, whatever the case is.
But for Alexis Barbot from Vancouver, that’s not how he rides. What better way to see this glorious country than by bicycle, that is to say by bicycle and not by motorbike.
Those of us who live near the Trans-Canada Highway have seen countless people cross the road over the years, whether on foot, bicycle, wheelchair or otherwise, passing through these parts in the summer.
One of them, Alexis Barbot, 25, as is tradition, dipped the rear wheel of his bike into the Pacific Ocean in Vancouver on June 5, starting his journey which will end in September on Earth. -New and in the Atlantic Ocean, more than 7,000 kilometers in total.
Chime caught up with Barbot last week (June 30) about 10 km east of Richer as he began a long day of biking that would take him through Kenora to Longbow Lake, where he planned to spend the night until on Canada Day.
The night before, he had set up camp at Rock Garden Campground, near Richer. And of course, after spending the night in Winnipeg, heading east again, he stopped at the Longitudinal Center of Canada, at Central Canada Park, to mark a milestone in his journey, mid -path across Canada.
With the traffic on the lake and the constant hum of roaring semi-trailers as well, Barbot stopped to reflect on his trip so far.
Web designer by training, he used all his available vacations and some unpaid leave to embark on this crazy journey.
He averaged about 100 km a day, although his longest leg to date was Brandon’s getaway to Winnipeg, a distance of over 200 km, arriving in Winnipeg late at night, where he crashed into relatives he hadn’t seen in years.
Its 100 lbs carefully packed with precision and repackaged comes with the ride. of equipment, which is affixed to his bike, a Fuji Touring Disk bike, fitted with puncture-resistant tires, which he bought new for about $ 1,300 before he left. He says the bike held up pretty well, stopping for repairs at a few bike shops along the way, including a much-needed tune-up at a Fuji bike shop in Winnipeg.
As for the terrain he faced along the way, BC’s famous Coquihalla Highway was the toughest, maybe even more so than the Rockies. There were also lots of bears, including disturbing sightings of grizzly bears, yes grizzly bears.
“And whoever said Saskatchewan is flat,” alluding to the fact that the western half of the province is full of hills. “Everyone assured me that Manitoba is flat, which it is.”
But he says that province’s flat terrain presents other challenges. “As I approached Winnipeg, in some of the flattest stretches of Canada, you can watch the exact same scenery in the distance for hours.”
Although he camped most nights in his tent, he also spent nights with relatives and friends in various locations as well as complete strangers who invited him. and beyond what I could have imagined. ”And that includes many meals provided by people he met on the trip, including at restaurants.
He prefers to spend the night in smaller communities where he can more easily come into contact with people when traveling from province to province to visit the country.
His plans are to be in Toronto by mid-July, where he has friends and plans to spend a week there. This is where he hopes to receive his second vaccine after his first injection in Vancouver.
This is also where he will return to work remotely, then continue his trip on weekends. He then plans to stay with Airbnb in the major cities of Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec and Halifax during the week while he continues to work during that time.
Meanwhile, Alexis Barbot continues to write, a week after that interview on the freeway near Richer, pedaling to Toronto through northern Ontario and the next stop on this epic journey across Canada.