Greetings from sunny Whistler! We are sitting outside at the Riverside Campsite, feeling very ‘techy’ with the powergorilla charging up the laptop as I type this. When we first started travelling 10 years ago this was our first destination, and it’s awesome to be back in The Whis enjoying the fresh air, clean rivers & lakes, amazing mountains and huge smiles of all the locals. It’s a fantastic place to be to start our trip and we feel really rejuvenated by the chilled vibes here. But of course, Bremma has not been chilling! In fact, since landing in Canada we haven’t stopped! So many missions!
Last Thursday we did our first kms with a fully loaded bike. She’s a heavy beast to be sure! Finding all the right spots for all our gear was like a mega game of tetrus, but as Brendon is the master of packing, we managed to get all the gear in place and slowly, really slowly, get on our way. We cycled about 40km from Vancouver heading to Squamish and loved every minute of it. She really is a dream ride. The hills are quite testing with all our gear (we reckon about 50kg) but once we got our team mojo flowing, the balance and synchronicity came together nicely.
We were met by our mate Clyde, a Canadian fella we met in Tokyo, and spent 2 days hanging with him and his gorgeous wife Chii at their lovely home in Squamish. We dig their lifestyle and can easily imagine slipping nicely into the pace of things there. We will head back there tomorrow to celebrate their wedding anniversary with them on the weekend.
On Saturday morning, our Aussie mate Bec (who lives in Banff) and her dog Mac the boxer, met us in Squamish and we headed up to Whistler together to share the tail end of her summer vacation camping by the river. It is super hot here, and we spent our first afternoon soaking up the cool clear waters of Lost Lake. It rained all day Sunday but the sun came out again yesterday and we couldn’t resist the opportunity to slip in a sneaky spring skiing session, so headed up Blackcomb for some nice slushy runs. Got a little bit sunburnt but that is to be expected when skiing in 30degrees temps. Good times!
Yesterday morning, we saw our first black bear up-close and a little too personal. He was just roaming through the campsite in the morning when a fellow camper pointed out that we may need to put the dog in the car even though ‘it was just a small bear’. Well, it wasn’t really small at all but indeed, he was just roaming on through. We reckon he would’ve been about 6ft tall when standing, and quite a lumbering thing he was too, so we were glad he didn’t pay any notice of us. Although, Bren did decide to put his sandwich down before checking if he was gone, but the whole encounter was over too quickly for us to grab a photo. But I am thinking that might be a good thing. We even had another bear sighting from the chair lift, but it was from a much safer distance, and the photo kinda just looks like a big black rock. I think that may be the perfect vantage point really.
Testing out our all equipment has been #1 on the cards and we are feeling pretty chuffed about our purchases. A few thanks to pass on at the end of this blog. We are loving ourselves sick in our adidas climacool gear and our sweet HooRag bandanas. Did you hear our interview that we did with Hoorag? Check it out here; http://youtu.be/ydG79GKsIVQ
And we finally named the bike! After much discussion over many refreshing beverages, there was a lot of googling to check names of famous explorers, interesting German names (the brand Hase is German you see), some fun Japanese combos (I liked ‘Futari Mama-chari’ but it didn’t get approved), names of successful rocket launches, and mythical two-headed creatures just to mention a few of the avenues we explored. We finally settled on naming her after The Luck Dragon from The Never Ending Story, and so we called her ‘Falkor’. We are pretty stoked with the name, thanks to Bec for her perseverance during this long and convoluted process!
Tomorrow, the TotallyTandem journey officially starts and we will start to clock up the stats on the Garmin. We are yet to work out how to download maps onto the tricky thing but hope to sort out that, along with a few bike modifications over the next few days in Squamish, with Clyde’s expert advice and amazing garage. We are looking at about 60kms from here to Squamish, and after some test rides the last few days with top speed reaching 57km, we hope to do it in about 5 hours. Although there are some nice steep climbs ahead, so for good measure, we plan to start early.
Stay tuned for more pics and a video we are making to properly introduce Falkor and show our Pozible supporters where all that money went!
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Gratitude section. HUGE thanks to the following people for their personal contributions to our trip;
Tomoko & Chris Tozer, our Sierra Design tent is fantastic.
Jamie Slaymaker, our Garmin GPS is a beaut little unit and the SIC charger is on the job list to install on the bike.
Derrick, the whisper lite stove for all our cooking needs.
Michael Cary, the powergorilla is doing an amazing job at charging the laptop and we think it may be one of our fave pieces of kit.
The Vogler family, for our super cosy down sleeping bags. They are so light but so warm and snuggly.
Charlotte & Sam, for the awesome travel washing machine. Keeping us clean & Fresh!
Chelsea Carland, for the amazing merino nicks! They are completely fabulous!
BST year 4 team, the TotallyTandem stickers look hot!
BST year 4G class, with your contribution we bought a super little cooking set of pots, plates & cups that all sit neatly inside each other. They’re so cool!
Falkor – awesome! Go guys, loving the blog and can’t wait to hear about all of your adventures 🙂
HI guys, great reading your new adventures and series of “firsts!” Looks like an exciting way to view the world. not sure about the bears!
Brendon is going to have a beard like Bin Ladin by the time you reach your destination. lol! Be sure to take an arm’s-length face portrait of yourselves so that you can make a Youtube time-lapse record of your changing adventure. Be safe!
Hi Brendon and Em, Good luck. When the hills get steep, put a smaller wheel in the front and it will be downhill all the way. Arthur and June