Ron’s Recommendations for Rocky Riders
- For the Americans out there: I recommend you set your cycle computer to metric. Canada is on the metric system. The cue sheet will be in kilometers and the road signs will be in kilometers. Your life will be easier if your cycle computer is in metric, too.
- I recommend you bring some toilet paper on the ride. Don’t ask why. Just bring some.
- I recommend you refrain from complaining to volunteers about the traffic, the terrain, the road conditions, or the weather. They already know the conditions and they can do nothing to change it for you.
- I recommend you give your bike a good safety check. Check your brake pads and cables, your rims, your chain, your tires and make sure all bolts are snug. An ounce of bike prep is worth a pound of on-road bike repair.
- I recommend you bring a camera on the ride. You may want photos of the glaciers before they melt to show your friends and family what they looked like.
- I recommend you don’t overlook the scenery on Roger’s Pass, on Kicking Horse Pass, and along the Yellowhead Highway. The Icefields Parkway may be the main attraction, but rest of the ride is scenic in its own way. Take time to enjoy it, too.
- I recommend you move along smartly to the first overnight in Golden. The more sleep you can get in Golden, the stronger you’ll be for the three major passes on Day 2. Sleep buys speed and speed buys sleep. The further you go, the more time you have for sleep. Getting to the first overnight control in Golden with enough time in the bank for a good sleep is crucial.
- I recommend you do not ration water. There are some long legs with few opportunities to get water, especially on Day 2. If you find yourself running low on water, keep drinking at your normal rate. Cutting back on your rate of consumption only starts the process of dehydration sooner. Besides, you might find a source of water before you run completely out. Think positive. I recommend you bring some Iodine tablets if you think you might run out of water and have to resort to drinking from a roadside stream.
- I recommend you use the widest tires you can put on your bike. Between the chip seal, the frost heaves and the broken pavement, there are some rough roads on this ride. True, I have ridden this ride successfully with 700c x 23mm tires, but I just finished the pre-ride on 700c x 38mm tires and they made enough difference to recommend wider tires.
- I recommend you don’t quit if you don’t have to. If you are injured or your bike is beyond repair, by all means, retire. But hors délai is always better than quitting. You can still say you rode “EFI” and you can still wear the ride jersey with pride. There certainly be times on a ride this long where it just isn’t fun anymore and you want to quit. Just eat something, rest a little and get back on the bike. Pretty soon the feeling will pass.
Additional Notes from Other Pre-Riders:
- Try your hardest to get over Rogers Pass in the daylight. We didn’t and found the descent was pretty scary in the dark, especially in the tunnels.
- To clarify Dave’s comments about the out and back to Wells Gray (UCFI – Upper Clearwater Farmer’s Institute). If you want to do this, go to the control in Clearwater first to get your card stamped! Then you can do the 50 km out and back to Wells Gray before resting in Clearwater. This makes for a harder day 3 and a very easy day 4.
- Always be prepared for extreme weather on this route
- Watch for pot holes. Don’t ride through puddles!
- Day 1 is the hardest. Keep moving!