Posted by: Silver | July 1, 2010

Whitehorse to Fox Lake

Distance: 57.25 miles

Cycling time: 6 hours, 20 minutes

Vertical height ascended: 2740 ft

Average speed: 9 mph

(Oh, how I love my Garmin: trusty friend of all number fans…)

The day of my first ‘full length’ cycle dawned bright and sunny and I was on my way by 9am in just a t-shirt and leggings (just thought I’d mention that for all those back home who said, “You’re going to the Yukon?! Won’t it be freezing?!”) Cycling under clear blue skies with the vast Yukon mountainscapes all round, I couldn’t help myself from breaking into huge grin: I’m really here! As the bald eagles circled and screeched overhead (you know, they really do sound exactly like they do in the movies), my iPod shuffled onto one of the songs my best friend gave me before she died. We first became friends because of our mutual love of Canada, and I found myself crying and laughing all at the same time as I remembered how much she had been looking forward to following my trip, remembered how much fun we’d had together, and remembered that someone once said that no-one is truly dead for as long as someone else still remembers them fondly… Rest well, Sharon – you are making this journey in my heart…

The glorious sunshine continued, and I received many salutes from (motor)bikers (and the occasional lady RV driver) going the other way: not quite sure why, but this made me feel so good 🙂 For a good part of the time, though, I had the road completely to myself, so the dragonflies were the only ones to witness my discovery that it is entirely possible to dance to ABBA whilst cycling on a trike: not much scope for fancy footwork, but the stability afforded by three wheels gives the upper body a whole lot more options… Singing proved a little trickier (you try exercising proper diaphragm control while hauling 60+ lbs of trike plus gear up a 6% slope…), but I did manage quite a passable rendition of ‘Besame Mucho’ during a fairly relaxed stretch of road: evidently, jazz is somewhat easier to sing whilst cycling than rock is – just in case you ever need to know this.

The Klondike Highway is definitely little sister to the Alaska Highway, and there was no paved shoulder for much of the way, but this was never a problem, with drivers being – without exception – very considerate, and generally pulling all the way over to the other carriageway to pass me.

The skies clouded over a little in the afternoon, which was fine as it helped keep me cool as I burned through the miles, but the weather remained dry and pleasant until about half an hour after I reached my destination, when the heavens opened in fairly forceful style. My legs were certainly tired, but nothing was sore (upright cyclists, take note!) and I felt fine. In fact, I felt good.

Please can all my rides be like this? Please?!

View from the Klondike Highway

You may be aware that there is a rule which states that, when travelling to a foreign country, one is obliged to take a photo of the first 'Danger: weird-animal-that-you-don't-have-back-home crossing' sign that you see; here, therefore, is the proof of my conformity to this rule

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Responses

  1. Oh Silver I can’t tell you how jealous I am of you right now! As much as I love my job, I would so prefer being outside under a big sky to being in this stuffy office.

    Only two more days for me though – on Saturday I leave for my paradise of north Sweden. Judging by your photos, we’ll be enjoying a similar scenery!

    Lots of love and warm thoughts,

    Helen.

  2. Oh and Caroline and I REALLY want to see a photo of you all kitted out on Ranger, please!

    Keep them coming!

  3. Careful with those ABBA moves – you might get pulled over on suspicion of triking whilst under the influence… of something or other!
    Of course that ‘someone’ was right – a part of everyone we know and love remains in our minds after they’ve gone. Sharon will travel on with you.

    Regards to the bald eagles, and dragonflies, and lots of love to you,
    John.

    • ‘Triking under the influence of ABBA’: I’d almost be proud to have that on my record… 😉 Lovely to hear from you as always, John, and yes – I’m sure Sharon is here with me.

  4. sounds great – well done you. Loved the bit about your friend, big hug on that one, bests abby


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