Day 37 & 38 - Bear spray instead of water bottle - Mountain biking in Smithers

Distance: 49.11mi & 26mi | Time: 4:46 & 3:55 | 1569kcal & 1400kcal | 2513 & 1776 vertical feet

130911-mountainbiking-at-smithersOn day 37 we rode further from Hazelton to Smithers along Highway 16. This Highway is very busy so the fun factor was rather low. Therefore we decided to check out the mountain bike trails around the Smithers area, since somebody from Squamish told is this region is very good for mountain biking. Smithers is some sort of a skiing town similar to one from the Alps. There’s even a German bakery and a German butcher, welcome home! Starting early the next morning, we rode up to Hudson Bay Mountain, the local ski resort from the Smithers region. In the summer downhill mountain bikers enjoy the prepared bike-park around the slopes of the resort. But first we went up to the Crater Lake, a small lake directly below the crater of this volcano. Mathias was brave enough to take a short bath in this lake, brrrr. Unfortunately this killed one of our two GoPros, which is now living in the “GoPro heaven” From up there we had a brilliant view down to the town and it was also a welcome change to our trip along the highways. Under the ski-lift we rode down on one of the prepared trails, over jumps and helix curves we checked out the performance of our bikes on that day. One thing is at least different from riding in the Alps: Where you see cow poo in the Alps you see here signs of bears. 130911-Smithers 130911-mountainbiking-near-smithers130911-crater-lake-smithers

Day 39 - Helen Lake Recreational Site

Distance: 34.32mi | Time: 3:48 | 1543kcal | 2349 vertical feet

camping-at-helen-lake-after-smithersFrom Smithers we kept going towards Burns Lake and Houston. We crossed the Hungry Hill, which was hungry for bicycle riders this time. It has a total elevation of 900ft over about 2mi. But the hardest is, that you can see all the way to the top, this in combination with a temperature of 92°F gave us the rest. After this extreme hill we took a Forest Road to the Helen Lake Recreational Site, where we could camp another time for free.

Day 40 - Nice Fill-Up!

Distance: 68.00mi | Time: 5:25 | 2140kcal | 2580 vertical feet

cool-gas-station-before-burns-lake-bicycleTruck Drivers are just crazy, at least on Highway 16! We rode up the 6 Mile Hill and it had no shoulder but those drivers there did not care at all. They passed us with no (niente!) safety distance, like when we would have put our arms out we would have touched a semi-truck on full speed. We don’t want to say every truck driver was like that, but every second one passed us really without any respect! At least at the end of the day we finally found the coolest gas station along our way, where we filled up our camping stove tank. And yes, our stove here runs with regular unleaded but also with diesel and even kerosene, which helped us a lot along our tour. The guy at the gas station, Larry, also wasn’t sure what he can say, but he thought this is really funny. And at the end he gave us the refill of $0.62 for free and we got even two ice cream for the way, thanks again!!! And this is already the third time when this happened to us, that somebody gives us the refill for free.cool-gas-station-before-burns-lake

Day 41 - Fraser Lake

Distance: 43.63mi | Time: 5:03 | 1710kcal | 1293 vertical feet

kager-lake-trail-with-bicycle Our last campground was just gorgeous; we stayed directly next to Kager Lake on one of the sites there. Included was already cut firewood and a place with wood chips to put up the tent and everything was completely for free, how nice! Then today we decided to go on the trails back to the Highway 16 and we had to realize, that the shortest way is not always the shortest concerning time. It took us over one hour to get back on the paved road and again strong wind and very hot temperatures. The heat and the strong headwind gave us a hard time and we finally made it to Fraser Lake. And we could stay again for free on a campground directly next to the lake where we had a nice sunset just a few minutes ago. Thanks again to Monique who camped next to us for the good Curry and also for the cold and fresh beers!sunset-over-fraser-lake-northern-bc

Day 42 - An unexpected ride to Prince George

Distance: 49.04mi | Time: 5:04 | 1624kcal | 1994 vertical feet

130915-prince-george-entrance-signOur plan to be in Prince George in the evening would have not worked out. We still had 100mi to go with rather strong wind and little hills. We gave us a short break in Vanderhoof and decided to ride further until a small Rec. Site about 20mi ahead of us. After about 15mi a pick-up truck turned around behind us and pulled over. Guess who got out... It was Kevin, who we met already with his buddy up in Deadhorse where we started the trip. That’s how we still made it this day to Prince George, well with a little more horsepower than usual. There was also the long desired hot shower and we ate some very tasty steaks for dinner and a REAL BED! Thank you very much for the friendly hospitality.