Canada 2011

Canada 2011

Maurizio Belli and Fulvio Giovannini

From To By
Mountain bike
Traveled miles Travel time Uphill difference in height
2500 km
17 days and a half
20.000 m

Adventure – By mountain bike with no external support and using only basic equipment we crossed British Columbia and the Rocky Mountains up to the Yukon. A unique and scenic journey through British Columbia and part of Yukon on endless Canadian highways, like the Sea to Sky highway. We rode through Whistler, the ski paradise that hosted the Winter Olympics together with Vancouver in 2010, and climbed up on the coastal mountains, still covered with snow, then the vast internal plateaus and the colder, wilder, and less populated regions of the north of the country.

Difficulties – The most difficult stretch was the 724-km long Cassiar Highway, with infinite distances, no support along the way, no shelter, long sections of gravel road. But on this road we enjoyed landscapes of unbelievable beauty, close encounters with bears, elks and many other wild animals. Impressive mountains, rain forests, rivers, deep canyons, imposing glaciers, uncountable lakes and pristine areas make this region unique.

Equipment – As to our equipment, we decided for the first time not to carry any messenger bags on the sides of our bikes, bringing only basic clothing, bike repair tools, and first aid kit. We carried all this in a small backpack and in custom-made cases that we fixed to the frame of the bikes. No sleeping bag, no tent, no spare clothes. Only what is strictly necessary for personal hygiene to travel as light as possible, pointing on speed to ride as much as possible every day, stopping at the few lodges and gas stations available for accommodation and meals. For the longest stretches with no support at all, sometimes even 100-150 kilometers, we set up a bivy in the outdoors wearing all the clothes we had, one item on the other, to stay warm.

Strategy– We followed a precise strategy: spare energy riding at a reasonable pace, covering a good number of kilometers in the first days, to be able to cover longer distances in the final days. On average, we rode some 140-150 kilometers per day and, at the end of our journey, we made 350 kilometers in 32 hours, and 700 kilometers in three days.