Total “Around the World” bicycle miles: 22,468 (36,159 km)
June 23, 2016
A few days before our flight we rode our bikes to a recommended bike shop for boxing the bikes. There we found Carlos the owner of Taller Chicle who is a Taller de Bicicletas (a mechanic of bicycles) http://www.tallerchicle.com/. What a nice and interesting guy who rents touring bicycles and repairs bicycles (http://www.touringbikerental.com/). He expertly packed our bikes. We asked him if people do bicycle through to Ushuaia this time of year. He told us of one cyclist he knew of that ended up walking his bike from southern Chile to Argentina because of the deep snow then continued east and not south.
Also thanks to Jocelyn’s grammar school and high school friend Danielle and her husband Maximo for arranging all of our transportation with our bikes. They had also recommended Carlos to us. We enjoyed them being our tour guide and along with their young son we enjoyed their company at their apartment and a few nice lunches. We had a lovely time.
We flew with our bikes from Santiago, Chile to Calgary, Canada where we will start the next portion of our tour. The price of extra baggage was a bit steep at $100 each bike and $200 for extra bags with a total of $400. Unfortunately, we had a stop in Houston, Texas before continuing to Calgary and no matter where your final destination is U.S. rules dictates that everyone goes through customs after gathering all of your checked bags. After inspection, the baggage is then once again checked in at the transfer area. This took a long time and we were up against the clock to make our Calgary flight. Also TSA removed the bikes from the boxes and didn’t pack them as well as we did. The boxes were in good shape when we picked them up in Houston but rather dinged and damaged on arrival in Calgary.
We did make our flight but on arrival my bike was missing. Jocelyn’s bike along with our four large “rice” bags that contained our panniers make it okay. I say okay because Jocelyn’s bike box was pretty well dinged with frame parts sticking out. Thom from Prime Ski, Board and Bike Tune shop (http://primeskiandbike.com/) in Calgary picked us up and took us to the shop where we went over a few things that needed servicing on her bike. He then took us to our Airbnb (a service that finds vacation rental homes/rooms) house where we have a nice room and kitchen in the basement. This is a nice, comfortable and convenient house to stay in and our thanks to our host Audrey who has a wealth of local information and assisting us with our travel and preparation needs. This sure beats a hotel. Prime Shop also set us up with two bike rentals to explore Calgary.
My bike arrived the next day and was delivered to the house. I was told that prior to take off the Air Canada Express was overweight and some baggage, including my bike, were removed. I spent yesterday morning re-assembling my bike. All went okay but during disassembly in Santiago a rear rack bolt broke off in the frame. I rode to Prime Bike shop and hope that they can drill the broken bolt out and rethread it for a new bolt. The afternoon was spent cycling around Calgary then shopping for a few days of food at the Safeway store. We were in culture shock as we walked down the aisle and saw all of our favorite brands of food. Our rental bikes have racks so we filled up one of our panniers and a backpack full of food.
The craziest difference is the sun changes. In Chile the sun rose at 8:30 and set at 5:30. Here in Calgary the sunrise is 5:20 and the sunset at 10. What a difference!
June 25, 2016
Yesterday our next Airbnb hosts, Linda and Ralph, picked us up to join them in a hike with a fellow touring cyclist family that they met in Cuba late last year. Linda and Ralph have cycle toured and hiked in many countries and they met this family of Derek and Kathleen along with their two children Anna (12) and Jasper (10) from Ottawa who have been bicycle touring Western Europe, Colombia, Cuba (for two months!), Western United States, and Canada for one year (they are on the home stretch!). This family is incredible and the children are getting quite an education about the world as they tour on their bikes (https://bikingwithkidsadventure.wordpress.com/). The eight of us drove to Banff National Park near Lake Louise and hiked 20km in Paradise Valley past Lake Annette, up Sentinel Pass at 8,600 feet, and down Larch Valley to Lake Moraine. The Rocky Mountains are incredible and the views stunning. What a great day and “tales from the road” with three cycling groups.
We fly to California Sunday morning the 26th for a family reunion and my niece’s wedding and back on the bikes heading east through Canada on July 9th.