Today’s ride from Fort St. John to Whitecourt can be characterized by one word – rain.
After leaving southern British Columbia, rain has been my constant companion. I can only remember 2 days where it didn’t rain. Fortunately, those were the two days it took to go from Fairbanks, Alaska, to Prudhoe Bay. Those were two great days!
I left Fort St. John and it was just cloudy. It didn’t take long before the rain came. With the exception of two short periods, it rained all day. To put it bluntly, it was miserable.
I had planned on tenting in Whitecourt to save some money. I suppose I still could have, but setting up in the rain and having it rain all night after a day of riding in the rain was not something I wanted to do. This time comfort won out over saving money.
I looked around Whitecourt and picked the Ritz. No, not that chain of Ritzs. This was the Ritz Motor Inn. It looked like it would be the cheapest of the bunch of hotels I saw. Again cheap is relative. It cost $91 for the night. The bonus part was that this included a full breakfast. The room was actually quite nice.
I set out unloading all my stuff. Both my panniers leak water 🙁 I need to pack things in waterproof dry bags so they don’t get wet at the bottom. After I unpacked I soaked up the water in the panniers. There was about a cup in one and a half cup in the other. I am not sure what the problem is exactly. I inspected the one pannier and there is a bend in it that may collect water. And the silicone lining is wearing and broken in parts. When I stop for an extended period of time I will see if I can fix it. The other potential reason is that I am packing the panniers to full thereby leaving a small gap at the lid that the water leaks through. I need to see if there are other things to get rid of.
Anyways …. after a day of rain I deserved some warm comfort food. That meant lasagna in the Ritz lounge. Felt good. And it felt good to crawl into a warm bed.
Route for July 31, 2016
It looked like a great day for a ride.
I would have liked to have stayed another day at the Brookside Campground but the weather report was for rain the next day. So I wanted to beat it by leaving today for Prince George. The forecast for there was decreasing rain. So I booked a campsite there and got out of Dodge.
It was a bit nippy out so I put on a base layer. After breakfast in Clinton I put on my heated vest without the heat turned on. The clouds rolled in and it started to drizzle. No biggy. But the drizzle turned to rain. Then mother nature decided to add wind to the equation.
You know how things seem worse when you aren’t expecting it to happen? Well, I was expecting a nice ride and now I had rain, cold and wind.
By this time I had turned on the heat on my vest to “Max.” To get the full effect I leaned on my tank bag to press the vest and heat close to my body and to shield myself from the wind and rain.
On a positive note, it was the first test of the Klim Badlands jacket and pants in the rain. They worked great! I was completely dry. The same was true for my Held gloves!. The damage was more psychological than physical Grrrrrr. I took a break in the best psychological place I know – Starbucks ha ha. I have been making good use of the Starbucks Gift Card given to me by my co-workers as a going away gift. Thanks everyone!
By the time I got to the campsite in Prince George it was still raining. Setting up the tent in the rain, while soaked from the ride, was not my idea of fun. Even if I was going to lose my reservation deposit. Off to McDonalds to use the wi-fi to find a solution.
A quick check on Expedia revealed a hotel in my price range – YAY! I got a nice room at the Riviera City Centre Inn. Time to dry out, do laundry, charge electronics, and better prepare myself mentally for the rain. It was actually great for this to happen now. A bit of a baptism for what I am sure will be much greater hardships in the future.
Route for July 4, 2016.