Cycling Advocates Ride to Pro Walk Pro Bike 2006

Daily Trip Log

from Vancouver B.C. to Madison, Wisconsin

Picture of Vancouver, BCGrouse Mountain Vancouver B.C.
from Plummer to Lookout, ID
Date: 2006-08-05
Distance: 118 Kilometres
Cycling Time: 6.73 Hours
Average Speed: 17.53 kph
  Trip Distance since Leaving Vancouver 963 Kilometres  
Thoughts for the Day  

As a cycling advocate it was a difficult trip today along the Coeur d’Alene Trail, there was nothing to be critical of. It took about 100 kilometres before a mild criticism surfaced. As a sign on the trail announced that we were entering the municipality of Wallace, I realized that such signs were not evident at the entry of each municipality along the trail. Many a times that day we wondered which municipality we had come to. Such signs would have removed some of that confusion. Other than complaining about a couple of curves that were not designed for 25 kph speed, there was nothing else. I guess one could complain that there were no food-oriented businesses on the trail. Certainly for a trail of this length, there should be one every 1.5 to 2 hours apart. This trail is incredible.


  The Coeur d’Alene Trail begins at Plummer in the west and terminates in Mullen in the east just 10 kilometres from the Montana state line. For the 118 kilometres, one cycles on a wide paved trail though forested ravines, along the edge of lakes, on bridges across waters, on raised trailways between two bodies of water, through small villages and towns, parallel to Highway 90, into forests, through semi-arid lands, though contaminated lands, and so on. For most parts, all one could hear were the sounds of birds breaking the stillness of nature. Quite a variety of landscapes passed though this day. Some of the municipalities were focused on benefiting from the trail with bike stores, accommodations, and eateries that would attract trail users. Other municipalities were oblivious to the potential of business generated by the trail.

  Trail usage today was quite active. It was not at the level of that of Le Petit Train du Nord, the 200 km trail running north of Montréal from St. Jerome to Mount Laurier. However, it was quite busy.

  What can one say? The trail is a joy to ride. There were walkers. There were racing cyclist types, recreational cyclists of all capabilities, small groups of friends, families, children by themselves using this trail. Some came here explicitly to ride the trail. Others lived along it.

  At Kellogg, John and I had stopped at the information centre at Kellogg and were resting on an outside table when John recognized an oncoming cyclist on a recumbent. We called out to him. It was Ron Richings from Vancouver. What chances of coming across someone here from back home. Ron initially made me aware of this trail.

  As we started cycling the trail I wanted to stop and put more clothing on. Full length cycling gloves would have warmed up my cold hands. Finally the sun broke over the top of the trees. Then it got hot. Most likely the temperature reached the 30’s degree Celsius. For the day the sun blazed down with a supporting wind from the west. The air was filled with particulates from a first fire in Washington State. There was a haze in the sky.

  It was a pleasant cycle today. From an elevation of about 900 metres, we descended for the first few kilometres down to the lake elevation of about 700 metres, then started a long 70 kilometres ascend to 1,100 metres. What an easy way to make one’s way up to a mountain pass by cycling on a rail-trail. All mountain passes should have such capability. Tomorrow, we will need to climb another 500 metres in 10 kilometres on the Interstate Highway 90.

    This trail connects with another trail that would take us into Montana and about 30 kilometres from our destination in Superior. Unfortunately, we will not be able to make us of it as the trial is not paved.

Cycling Facilities  
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