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Craig Allen’s Father Is Bicycling Across Canada Update [PHOTOS]

Sudbury
Craig’s Dad, biking across Canada last year. (Craig Allen photo archives).

“Craig-a dad update please. !!”

This is just one of the many social media inquiries that I’ve gotten in the last few days.

NWK_6-26-14
Dropping my father off at Newark Airport…his bike is in the box. (Craig Allen photo).

You may recall that I dropped my father off at Newark Liberty Airport early in the morning, back on June 26th. His flight destination, Vancouver, Canada. At which point, he would start bicycling back home to New Jersey.

To get caught up, click here to read my nj1015.com article from June 29th.

My dad has been pedaling steadily since the 29th. In his own words, he is “in good health and plugging along.”

As of this past Monday, when I got the first e-mail from him (after several failed attempts to get e-mail through), he had stayed in motels for two nights (due to rain), and had spent the rest of the nights in his tent, under the stars.

tent
The tent is up, after a full day on the road. (Craig Allen photo archives).

So far, he has camped in town parks, in fields, plus several gas stations have allowed him to put up his tent behind their building.

In his own words from the Monday e-mail (and pardon his typos, as he rushes out his e-mails in a few minutes during a mid-day break, or at the end of a long day):

“I am at Sparwood, just before Crows Nest Pass near the Alberta border. Been soaked twice.  Once near Hope the third day out and last night. It was a surprise, My sleeping bag dried out in about 15 minutes this noon at Fernie.

Grade from near Elko (B.C.) has been upward steadily, and biking in good gear. 29km in 3 hours.

At Osoyoos I did not (reach) the top of a steep grade until 3pm.

I have gone over several passes over 5,000 feet.  On the third day I climbed at least 4,000 feet to a pass.

So far my odometer has died and this morning my travel alarm died.  Found a cheap travel alarm to take its lplace.

At Keremeos I had some red cherries almost the size of a half dollar.  Sweet!!!!”

Cross-country biking takes a lot out of a person, especially if one is biking through very warm conditions, into the wind, or biking uphill a great deal. My father is taking good care of himself, drinking lots of water and other fluids.  Plus, eating balanced meals, and frequent snacks:

“A standard meal is Campbells Big Chunk Soups. a great mixture of meat potatoes green beans tomato and celery lplus a fatty soup.  Good Balance.  I have also had some appy in grocery stores.  Drinking a lot.”

He’s enjoys talking with people along the way: “Met 2 French cyclists aand spoke with others.” His group e-mail from Thursday added: “2 pretty girls biking across Canada stopped and talked with me for maybe 15 min.”

Now, more “quick” information from his Thursday e-mail update…

Yes, his biking day often starts early…he’s usually back on the road just after sunrise!

“2 days ago upon leaving 5:30 am in the morning I saw  a glint of sun on the road.  Went back and picked up a Canadian $1 coin. Later I found a nice metal soup spoon. That night I splurged and bought a carton of Mint chocolate ice cream on sale at the Co Op.  I was not able to eat the whole container–Just a little over half. Used outside table in the shade to enjoy it.

Last night (Wednesday) I slept in Purple Creek Cemetery.  Last burial 1974.  Earliest birth 1854.  Purple Creek has only 4 residents.

The road shoulders In Alberta have been wide and mostly easy rolling. forget the mileage, with a slight back wind.”

As of this past Thursday afternoon, he is pleased to report that: “I have completed the province of British Columbia and in another 2 hours will have (totally) crossed Alberta Province, just outside the City of Medicine Cap, near the eastern Border.  Next is the province of Saskatchewan.

(Its) Hot but at least another week of no rain.”
Remember, it was the almost daily rain during his two previous attempts to cross Canada, that lead to his current third (and last) attempt.
He concluded his Thursday update with: “Few details til I get back.  The trip is all that matters this time.”
So, I was surprised by a “very quick” e-mail composed during a Friday afternoon rest break:
“I am about 40 km into Saskatchewan.

Slept in the little town of Irvine (last night).

Next big town is 72km away and time to make a decision of altering my route at Gulf Lake. Keep my original map (route) or take Transcanada 1 through Regina.

Features rolling hills.  Some hills easy to bike and some tough.
Still sunny but t storms do pop up.
Temp yesterday middle 80′s  So far today middle 60′s. Weather forecast is all sun for a week.”
So, my father continues to pedal his way across Canada, in “High spirits-good health.”
We’re all proud of you, Dad!
“Stay tuned” to nj1015.com for more updates!

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