Total Distance Travelled: 56KM
Total Distance Travelled Entire Trip: 181KM
Total Time: 7:23
Moving Time: 4:29
The rainy weather was gone, and it was back to sun – so a great day for a bike ride! When you look at the elevation differences along the KVR, you realize why it was such an impractical railway. Climbing out of Castlegar the elevation topped out at around 1200M, than it descends to Grand Forks and bottoms out at around 500M, then climbs all the way back to nearly 1000M on it’s way to Midway.
The climb out of Midway was beautiful:
The trail was dug right out of the side of the mountain to create the grades the KVR wanted, so as you kept going further down the trail the valley floor got further and further away.
As the trail turned inland, you can see the impact forestry has on the landscape:
It’s worth noting today that today I saw the first group of cyclists all trip. I’ve seen plenty of ATV’s, a couple of people on motorbikes but cyclists have so far been quite rare. On the first day in Castlegar the owner mentioned that two Swiss cyclists had started out the day before me and were also headed for Vancouver. They probably would have stayed ahead of me, but they were carrying heavier gear since they were camping some of the time and they don’t ride in the rain. When I did the Christina Lakes – Grand Forks segment I ended up catching up with them. Just as I was pulling out of Grand Forks on the trail, they showed up. They are an older couple who started biking in Calgary and were taking about 6 weeks to get to Vancouver. They used the much more difficult trails over the rockies instead of going along the highway.
The trail today topped out in Eholt, and than began a fairly lazy descent into Midway.This is the first place on the trail I encountered a locked gate that forced me on to the road for a short section. For whatever reason, some land owners aren’t friendly towards trail users. I suspect they have a problem with motorized traffic more than cyclists. The issue is most of the barriers put up to block ATV’s end up getting moved, or they push a bypass road around them etc. The Swiss cyclists decided to jump the fence and transfer all their gear over, but as a single rider I can’t get my bike and gear over a gate very easily. The bypass on the road was fairly short and in the end it wasn’t a big deal. The place I rejoined the trail was where the rail grade use to cross the highway on a fill:
The fill and the tunnels through it became unstable and it had to be removed, and when they were excavating the fill they found an older tunnel from 1913. The tunnel was preserved for historical purposes next to the highway, and as a millennium project the flags of the world were painted on it to discourage graffiti. Of course it still ended up getting graffitied but…..
Greenwood was one of the small communities on the way into Midway, it was an old mining town and it had some great historical buildings.
The nice thing about todays ride was it actually went through some populated communities, the first day from Castlegar to Christina Lake had absolutely nothing along the way as the trail followed a different route than the highway. Greenwood was a great place to stop for an ice cream before the short ride into Midway.
For dinner, I met up with the Swiss cyclists and one cyclist from Quebec at the Hotel Midway for dinner and drinks:
The hotel had great character, and was over a 100 years old. The story is the first owner got shot inside the hotel and they never found the bullet hole.
On a side note, it turns out the saddle bags I’m using really aren’t up to the job. The hooks that hold the bag to the rack are starting to stretch and really aren’t looking very good, so at the next cycle shop in Kelowna they will need replacing assuming they stay together until than. Parts of the KVR grade are anything but smooth, coupled with a fairly heavy load in them meant they were under quite a bit of stress.