The trip is over after 5314km of awesome times on the road. We woke up to a rainy day in Squamish and packed up our wet gear one last time. Erik’s rear tire had sprouted a bulging tube overnight so we stopped at a local bike shop and got him a new rear tire. We took the final riding day pretty slow, meandering south along the the sea to sky highway towards Vancouver. We had a few flats (Eriks new tire included) along the way and stopped at a few view points for breaks and lunch. There was a bike lane along parts of the highway into Vancouver which is always a welcome change, despite being difficult to follow at times. The outskirts of Vancouver started in the late afternoon as we made our way towards the Lions Gate Bridge and into Stanley park. The ride over the bridge was beautiful with big views of the city and waterways and the lush green park up ahead. Vancouver is a pretty bike friendly place and we tried our best to stick to the road signs labelled with bikes on our way to the home of Cec, who is a close friend of Richards family. We got there just in time for a big spaghetti supper and spent the night both celebrating and mourning the end of our trip.
The next day we walked around Vancouver a bit and picked up bike boxes to ship our bikes and gear home in. It was mostly a quiet day spent dismantling and packing our bikes, a sad time as expressed by Richard above. It was a tight fit but we eventually shoehorned all our extra stuff into the boxes and sealed them up for the UPS man who would come the next day. Richard and I sent our bikes home to Ontario while Erik kept his to take with him back to Alaska. It was hard to pack up what had been our lives for 3 months, but we had to trust everything would make it home safe.
I (Lucas) took a Greyhound bus the following morning to meet my friend Candice in Seattle while the guys spent another quiet day in Vancouver with Cec. The bus ride to Seattle was nice and quick and I found Candice waiting at the station. We spent the night exploring the vibrant downtown of Seattle and looking for a hostel to stay in for the night. We ended up near Pikes Place market for a local seafood dinner and made our way to the International Hostel where there was live music and tons of new people to meet. The hostel was really nice and was a perfect spot to explore the city from. We spent the next day walking around town and also rented some kayaks for a paddle around Lake Union. After returning to the hostel we used their huge kitchen to cook a delicious supper with fresh salmon, rice and a big salad. It was refreshing to have a proper kitchen and supplies after months on the road with a small camp stove. Richard and Erik arrived by train later that night and helped us finish off the rest of supper. We met up with Candice’s friend Ashley who had just moved to Seattle and we all went out for a night on the town. We found some local tourist attractions including the infamous gum wall and the original Starbucks while hopping between bars.
The next day started pretty slow, only accelerated by the 11am check out time for the hostel. After stashing Eriks bike and our gear in the hostel for the day Ashley drove us down to the beach. It was a nice sunny warm day and we were happy to spend it in cold ocean water with friends. We saw lots of barnacles and crabs and jellyfish littering the shore which were a first for us on this trip. It was cool to step into the ocean after having ridden towards it for so long. Ashley drove us back to the hostel where we said our goodbyes and the three of us got on the light rail train to the SeaTac airport. The airport was pretty empty and we were quickly through security and on a plane for Alaska!
As I write this we’ve just spent a week with Erik’s family an friends in the town of Palmer, Alaska. Erik has been talking up his home for the entire trip and it truly lived up to our expectations. We spent the days hiking and canoeing and hanging out with new friends and family. I could really get used to being surrounded by mountains and wilderness in all directions. There’s so much up here to see and explore, you could spend a lifetime trying and never see it all.
In a few hours Richard and I will catch our flights home and end this Ragebikeathon, for now at least. There’s already talk of the next few trips on all of our radars and I can’t wait to see where we end up. The past three months has been a blur of amazing people, beautiful places and shenanigans all around. Thanks for sticking with us throughout this adventure, we’ve had an incredible time riding across this vast country and taking some pictures along the way. Until next time
(ignore the loop in the map around Calgary.. silly google maps..)