Posted by: Silver | April 23, 2011

Castlegar to Nelson

Distance: 77 km
Ascent: 770 m
Cycling time: 5 hours, 15 minutes

Throughout my journey so far, evidence has seemed to indicate that I am pretty noticeable on the road, ie. vehicles have been very good at pulling out to go around me long before they get to me. With a flashing taillight and five reflectors (seven if you count the back of my shoes and eight if you include the reflective logo on my notably pink safety flag; oh, and a pair of fetchingly fluorescent arm bands too…), the little feedback I’d received about my visibility was certainly all positive. Until about a week ago. Out of the blue, various unconnected people in various unconnected places suddenly started commenting on how inadequately I was broadcasting my presence to passing motorists. I’m by no means superstitious, but it really did get to the point where I genuinely started to wonder if the universe was trying to tell me something. And so, despite yet another uneventful journey of being reassuringly noticed and avoided by all the other traffic on the road between Castlegar and Nelson (which was also blessedly unblighted by the rumble strips that had dogged me for most of the journey to Castlegar from Rossland), I decided to up the brightness of Ranger’s rear end a little: after all, there really is no such thing as being too offensively obvious when you’re a cyclist.

Considering its fairly small size, Nelson has a pretty good selection of outdoorsy/sports type shops, so I was hopeful of finding a fluorescent pack cover or stuff sack or similar, which I could then use to cover my backpack; when none of the available options turned out to be a suitable size and/or colour, however, we finally ended up in a work wear store, eyeing up the potential of their hi-viz vests. I never for one moment imagined that my dressmaking skills would get much used on this journey, but with a few strategically-placed darts, the shapeless and unwieldy vest transformed into something which, although I say so myself, looked almost like it had been custom-made to fit my pack. And boy, is it bright…

Getting smarter by the day: Ranger with his new hi-viz hat on! Huge thanks to my extremely kind host in Nelson, who bought the vest for me

My host actually lived a little way outside Nelson, necessitating a ferry ride across the west arm of Kootenay Lake. This meant we had to leave rather early to make it to the Daybreak Rotary meeting I was speaking at, but this wasn't without its compensations...



  1. Excellent – good job! Have a great Easter.


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