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Day 29

We woke up early today to make sure we could make it up to the campground (North Thompson River Provincial Park) just outside of Clearwater. It was a gorgeous day, and we were making amazing time! We had a wicked tail wind and were going 27km/hr on the uphills! We took our first real break in Barriere (we saw a liquor store and thought we would buy something for around the campfire!). We ended up talking to the woman working in the liquor store (Jazz) and the woman who worked in the hotel next door (Brenda). They were very nice and seemed really impressed with our trip! They told us to send them a postcard from Newfoundland (which we intend on doing) and gave us a business card with the hotel address to send it to. Probably just over 5km out of town Michael clipped a piece of metal and I couldn't avoid running it over. It slashed my tire (the tire had a gash in it from one end to the other). I didn't have a spare tire, so used a tire boot on the inside (and obviously had to replace the inner tube) and used duct tape on the outside (to prevent anything going into the obvious hole on the outside of the tire). With every rotation the tire made, The bulge in the tire would rub against the brakes (which made it annoying to ride and made it a bit slower too). I tried calling the number on the business card Brenda gave us, and a guy answered who told me there wasn't a bike store in Barriere that he knew of, so we decided to go forward, and hopefully there would be something in Little Fort. Turns out there wasn't. The guy working at the gas station said there was a home hardware in Clearwater that might have my size tire (we called and the only size tire they had was for a 26” rim, and mine is a 28” so there was no way it was going to work! We continued onward, hoping there would be something in Valemount or something along the way tomorrow or the next day. Seeing as how we were cycling an average of 120km for the next few days, I was really nervous about my tire. I was hoping it would last!!! But there was only 30km from Little Fort to our campground (probably just uner), so we gunned it. About 10km later we had to stop again because Travis broke a spoke. Upon closer inspection, he actually broke three (which you could not bike on! His wheel no longer had any structural stability!). At this point, Michael also broke a spoke, and ran over a staple of sorts. Luckily, he was able to make it to the campsite with one broken spoke (decided he would change the spoke at the site), and he had Armadillo tires and self-sealing inner tubes so you heard the air escape, then slowly stop. He didn't actually need to do any bike maintenance at the side of the road! Travis on the other hand, did. He has had a broken spoke already on this trip, but this time we could only fix the one. In order to fix the other two spokes, we needed to first remove the cassette, but unfortunately didn't have the tools to do so. So we stuck out our thumb. Eventually a really nice man named Grant stopped and gave Travis (and his broken bike) a ride to the campground (right to the site!). Grant lived in the area for a while and told Travis a bit about the area (and showed him where the bike shop was for tomorrow morning). Michael and I cycled the rest of the 20km and met Travis at the site. We made a campfire, had dinner, and celebrated our day of technical difficulties with some rum and coke! But regardless of our bike troubles, we still make the 114.8km scheduled, so we were still on schedule!