January 17, 2016

Change of Address

One of my bigger projects for the year is to train and complete The BC Bike Race stage mountain bike race in BC, Canada. I'm writing a bit about the journey to capture the experience as a reference for myself and also as something that may be interesting to others pushing towards a similar goal. Or, just perhaps, some entertaining escapism for those unlikely to ever subject themselves to this type of crazy.

Check out the new series: BC Bike Race: The Duct Tape Protocol

I may come back to the Blogger site when I settle back into a new normal of posting daily rider photos and thoughts after the race is complete. Or maybe not. I'm curious to try something new and see how the Medium platform and community is.

over to a new space

November 5, 2015

On the road to the BC Bike Race 2016

Update: the BC Bike Race series has moved to another site: BC Bike Race: The Duct Tape Protocol

Talk about needing to ride daily, the Daily Rider is off to the BC Bike Race.

This seven day stage mountain bike race will require some serious training and riding to get back into the groove that is long past in my overall bike skills and conditioning. Primarily single track trails, 40,000' of climbing, tent sleeps every night - this will be fun!

But that fun doesn't start until July 6, 2016. So why even think about it now and not in May or June next year? Because I have a long way to go physically and mentally so i don't break myself or disrespect the race with a medivac from a mountain top or 12hr completion time each day.

It's not hard to imagine what fateful scenario for preparation could look like:

Cautionary Tales abound about BCBR and the punishment it can deal out - prepared on not. Judging by the guy that looks back at me from the mirror I am not in any kind of shape like I used to be. And based on how little time i've spent on a bike in the past 5 years I can only imagine my skills are rusty too. So this is going to take some work, and that's okay.

The work is actually the 'why' of it. I can't say i've met or talked to anyone that immediately thought this was all a good idea at first, like the reaction you might get showing off a new car with leather seats. You have to kind of slide around sideways to the idea of subjecting yourself to this kind of 'suffer fest' (as it was described to me in a bike shop recently). It took me a while to come around to it too.

Since learning about the BCBR several years ago i've wanted to do it. It's a big, but not impossible challenge. It's in an exceptionally beautiful part of the world that I happen to love and call home. And it's on a bike. What could be better? And how can it make me better? If i completed a checklist at the back of a self-help book right now I would fail several categories. Emotional, physical and mental capacities need a bit of tuning up from damage and neglect (gee thanks, Life!). A single day race isn't enough to really motivate an overhaul of your life. A seven day marathon in the forest is.

Registration for this event sells out in a few days so i've been signed up since July. Since day one i've been busy with preparation in various forms from daydreaming to weight lifting. I'm trying not to fall into the trap of scenario one (above) and instead have mapped out a basic preparation plan:

the basic plan

The success or failure of this plan is part of my reason for documenting the journey. I hope to have some lessons that may be of use for future participants of BCBR 2017 or beyond (or other big stage events), particularly those sharing a milieu of age, work, and family that results in extremely limited time to motivate an exhausted spirit to mobilize a frequently stiff and sore body. 

So let's get on with it. 

November 3, 2015

Pedal Power

The Daily Rider was a site I set up to record the experience of riding a bike through photos and words. The focus has always been on the magic of small daily moments and documenting as many of them as possible. I guess what I'm more interested in is a life full of magical moments rather than promises to wait for something grander around the next corner. What's here? What's now? What's unique to this step in the grand adventure?

The blog was an excuse to push aside daily hustle just long enough to snap a pic and think of a few words for what it meant at a time and place. Bikes have been the greatest influence on my own adventures and were a perfect way to frame those experiences. And they are really good at pulling you into new adventures too. Since 2008 motorbikes were the feature transport.

After a blogging hiatus (years??) I'm headed off on a new adventure. I think i'll blog about it. The subject will be completely different from posts past - I considered starting a new site but the essence of the subjects is the same, and the title still fits. This might be the point where anyone following the motorbike photos unfollows my posts and audiences diverge completely. Or not? It's all good as we make our own adventures.

Uplands Jump, Victoria, BC, Canada, 1991
the author, 'Uplands Jump', Victoria, BC, Canada
Bridgestone MB-1

February 5, 2013

The perfect hundred

One hundred kilometres seems the perfect distance for a quick afternoon ride.

daily rider
Panasonic LUMIX GF1 @ ƒ5.6

February 4, 2013

Damp vocation

Rain on the screen? Of course.

daily rider

February 3, 2013

Rest stop

Taking in a mountain lake with a bit of lunch warmed on the camp stove.

Lillooet Loop - May 22, 2010
Panasonic GF1 @ ƒ3.5

February 2, 2013

All curves ahead

Pointing up one of BC's spectacular mountain roads.

Lillooet Loop - May 22, 2010
Panasonic GF1 @ ƒ4.5

February 1, 2013

Yin & Yang

Parking at roadside to find a good spot for lunch. Dark clouds roll in from behind while the bike stays pointed to the fairer weather.

daily rider
Panasonic GF1 @ ƒ7.1

January 31, 2013

Alternate transport

Toe-to-toe with a relic of forresting past

daily rider
Canon EOS 5D @ ƒ5.6

January 30, 2013

Another day on the coast

Waiting at a ferry lineup in the rain with the BC Ferry coming in to dock. At least the bikes get the front of the line!

daily rider

Canon EOS 5D @ ƒ4.5

September 19, 2011

Wet Luck

On a twisty northwest road two riders stop mid-hill to break out the rain gear. Again.

Wet Luck
Lumix GF1 @ ƒ3.5

September 2, 2011

Mr. Baker

Where do you find snow in August on the west coast? On Mount Baker! I was on the way into Washington State for some non-moto activities when, looking at the map, I thought I would be able to make the slight (250km) detour and make a run up the mountain before my afternoon events. Up early and headed over to an easterly border crossing I was suddenly met by a very confused border guard that didn't understand why someone from Vancouver was taking such an out of the way crossing. Logically, I was doing myself a disfavour. He seemed sure i was working in the US and trying to game the system by taking the smaller crossing. My argument seemed to hold just enough water to get me through. "Right, you're taking the long way there..." Car people never seem to understand the joys of long hours on the road.

Mr Baker
Panasonic Lumix GF1 @ ƒ7.1

August 31, 2011


Taking a minute to enjoy a beverage at the side of the road in a rather sketchy small town in Washington state. Not wanting to leave the bike too long I reclined in the grass behind it and enjoyed a coffee before continuing the next 200km of interstate home. I liked the way the traffic blurred by as my attention faded in and out.


Panasonic Lumix GF1 @ ƒ22

May 1, 2011

Gold River

Throwing a dart at a map and going to the closest place with a curvy road and cool name. Can't do better than Gold River, BC.

daily rider
Canon EOS 5D @ ƒ8

April 30, 2011

Motorcycle Preference

Got to love your own spot at the front of the line.

daily rider
Canon EOS 5D @ ƒ11

April 19, 2011


What are the chances - I ran into another black BMW R1200R! Filling up with fuel the twin actually recognized my bike from the blog (shout-out Zedman!) which was fun. With Ewan selling all these BMW GSes and mileage warriors going for the RT the lowly R with its naked fairing and raw good looks doesn't get much love. Always fun to see another on the road! Could be another 3-4 months before the next R sighting.

daily rider
Panasonic GF1 @ ƒ2.8
Hope, BC. May '10

April 18, 2011

In the gates

It's a tight spot when even the cycle won't fit.

Daily Rider

April 10, 2011

25mph Beach

Taking a rural road I come across a sign that says 'beach access'. Continuing on the road turns from pavement, to gravel, to sand. It just spills out onto the beach perfect for all your sand driving needs. I'd never before wanted paddle tires but but now it's all I can think of. Please note this is a 25mph beach so don't exceed that.

25mph Beach

April 9, 2011

Skeptical of Cows

I've always had a love/hate relationship with cows. In one way, they always seem rather dignified as they walk around without a care in the world and chew chew chew. On the other hand they are huge beasts and can run quick when given the need to chase or flee (not that they ever invoke this skill very often). I'm nervous around them. But i think the most distressing thing of all is how they cluster into packs, heads down, chewing... but never take their eyes off of you. They are conspiring, and it's something so grand they have yet to reveal their plans for the world. Until then I'll always stop and watch the cows.

skeptical of cows
Lumix GF1 ƒ5

more cows!

April 5, 2011

Stormy Twilight

I think I had an audience setting up camp this night. Rolling into the campsite the sky was dark but no sign of rain. Taking my time, i searched for the perfect site to give me a twilight view of the ocean and nighttime soundtrack of the crashing surf. The wind stirring the huge waves was also blowing around the skies and soon a dark cloud was upon us. Hail and rain. Jumping to action I think i had the tent up in 90 seconds and turned to a crowd of encouraging onlookers huddled under umbrellas. I could just see the thought clouds above their heads saying "we don't have to do with with our RV!" and I couldn't argue with that. Eventually the rain subsided and a violent stirring of black and blue filled the sky for the next few hours until well past sunset.

Lumix GF-1 ƒ4

April 4, 2011

Break in the clouds

Stopping to admire the light as I search for a campground. Two riders on the Port Townsend ferry had recommended I try Kalaloch (map) and so I was.

And the rumble is?

Akrapovic Exhaust Install, originally uploaded by Zutter Bug.

I decided on a new can for the R1200R a few weeks ago and the shiny new Akrapovic is in, installed, and after my weekend of riding the Olympic Peninsula (very top-left corner of the U.S.) no longer shiny or new looking.

February 25, 2011


This is the west coast... and it's the end of February... it's supposed to be warmer than this! Hopefully the spring flowers aren't killed off. Update: the Rev 'it Alaska gloves are finally meeting their match for keeping the hands warm; numb fingers result.

February 21, 2011

Snow Day

With mounting snow the evening commute became quiet and surreal.

January 27, 2011

Morning Pause

Taking pause to watch the sunrise on a slightly modified morning commute route.

January 14, 2011

What's up in 2011

Don't kill your Daily Rider RSS feed just yet.

Daily updates per the tradition for this site have become difficult due to some new responsibilities at home (baby!) and work (lots of it). Where I used to take pleasure in letting the mind wander while on the commute and express that though pictures I find these days I'm always planning the action for my next destination during every ride. Not the way I'd want it all the time but this might be a trend for a while. Fear not as there's still lots of riding, it's just become a challenge to get the photos processed.

I do have some bigger rides planned for 2011 that will definitely be reported here. I'll also try get a few old school posts made as I do really enjoy creating them. I might even post the odd review or how-to as I think i'm refining a pretty awesome gear setup for simple commuting and touring.

One final project for the year is to finally get some of the Daily Rider pics into book form. I do this for most of the trips but this one might make it to Blurb or something so they can be shared.

With eyes open to the next adventure.

September 24, 2010

Day 9: Rediscovering home

(Return to the first Utah Loop trip post)

John Day OR to Vancouver BC (902km)

View Larger Map

This was the day of finals as I took down the tent for the last time, made my last pot of oatmeal, configured the GPS for the last time. I was looking forward to getting home and my body knew the worst was over and started to submit to the various pains accumulated over 5,000km and nights in tents with wind storms and bear scares. Resisting temptation I didn't want to skip out with dreary ride out the Interstates and planning a fun looking route through northern Oregon and crossing Washington. From John Day I took the small squiggle in Hwy 19 north and met up with Hwy 206 to the Washington border. Crossing the very large Columbia River that naturally divides the two states I took Hwy 97 into Washington and took the long and surprisingly rewarding ride through the Wenatchee National Forest with grand pacific mountains the perfect bookend to the southern desert columns I admired a few days earlier. Joining the I-5 in Everett I made the monotonous pilgrimage to the Peace Arch border crossing and a cool evening ride across Vancouver to a welcoming garage and home.

Day 9
As reassuring as waking up next to your horse

Day 9
The view for breakfast

Day 9

Day 9
Bugs are an occupational hazard

Day 9
Packed for the final day

Day 9

Day 9
Winding roads

Day 9
Straight roads

Day 9
A ranch

Day 9
Half way between the equator and the north pole. I had no idea.

Day 9

Day 9
The end of Oregon

Day 9
Now it's looking like the pacific northwest

Day 9

Day 9
A massive rainstorm pulled in for about 15 minutes.

Day 9

Day 9
Even the little insignificant stops become sentimental moments at the end of a trip

Day 9
Great skies opening up

Day 9
In the border lineup

Day 9
Across the border and the day is almost done.

Day 9
In the garage at watches stopped. 33,466km.

September 23, 2010

Day 8: Iron ass run

(Return to the first Utah Loop trip post)

Salt Lake City UT to John Day OR (1,007km)

View Larger Map

Weather reports called for extreme thunder showers in the area and I had been warned about the heat reflected off the salt flats so I was happy to be on the road before 8am. During the 200km ride to Wendover along I-80 I mapped out the rest of the trip in my head and figured if I pulled two big, big, days I could be in Vancouver on a Saturday, leaving a day to regroup before returning to work. I was also starting to show the signs of 4,000km without a break as blisters rose on my hands, head, and feet. My bum was staring to hurt. I'd set course later. Riding into the Salt Flats I had no idea what to expect. This is the area where almost all world land speed records are set and is a naturally flat dry ocean basic made entirely of salt. Following some signs I was on my way along service roads and out into the flats. At the road's end and the salt's start I stopped for a photo and spoke with Peter who was positioned on a lawn chair in a way suggesting he was a guy to talk to. Turned out they were prepping for a race the next day and no one was allowed out onto the salt flats. However, Peter had spent his entire life building racers and hosting events on the flats and we had a remarkable discussion about the flats and their history, geography, track maintenance, and race engineering. He obliged with a few photos of me by miles of white stuff and recommended a route North to Oregon and I was off. Making one last stop in Wendover for gas I struck up a conversation with an old guy, who I think lived in the van he was gassing up, but he knew his bikes and knew the local roads and recommend a different route for me through Nevada and into central Oregon. I took his advice and headed West to Wells NV and then it was up Hwy 93, into Oregon, and I-84 and a series of by-ways to Vale OR. In Vale I had to decide how far to push that night as I was already 800km into the day but there was still at least another 1.5hrs of sunlight. I found a little tent symbol on the map in some distant quadrant and set off ending up in John Day along Hwy 26. I longingly past a few motels and wondered if I should really try to camp on this final night. Again, in the spirit of spite for half-attempts I found a campground and resigned myself to the $25 RV-O-Matic when the camp officer came by and told me to ride out to the backpackers area for $5. I did and ended up having a whole section of the camp to myself. Well after dark another guy on a BMW rolled in and we shared stories of the road and machine and drifted off to sleep to the sounds or horses from the ranch next door.

Day 8
*Check* Ready to start the day and put on some miles. I would see four states in the next 12 hours.

Day 8
First view of the salts.

Day 8
Turning on the TV in the morning the weather report was for massive lightening storms, but coming in the afternoon. I was headed east, where the weather was, so concerned I'd meet it. Dark to the south, bright to the north. The road twisted north and everything was fine.

Day 8
Looks like I'm bundled up for the cold. But it was 33°c.

Day 8

Day 8

Day 8
The official Salt Flats viewing station off the interstate. There's a little tap to wash your shoes after walking out there.

Day 8

Day 8

Day 8
At the entrance to the Bonneville Salt Flats racing grounds. It's a dead end leading into the salts.

Day 8
You can't help but have fun at the Bonneville Salt Flats

Day 8
Welcome to Nevada

Day 8
I was mesmerized by this trailer when Interesting Dude came over and handed me a sticker saying 'Play Hard, Play Safe, Stupid Hurts - Burning Man 2010'. And off he drove into the desert.

Day 8

Day 8

Day 8
Blah. Interstate.

Day 8

Day 8

Day 8
Just another abandoned town

Day 8
Brilliant sunset in Oregon

Day 8
Ending the day at a great campsite in John Day, OR