Update: Cycling Across Canada

The time is near. I thought I’d update you all on how my training and planning is going for my trip of cycling across Canada on fruits.

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I’m planning on leaving for this adventure on Monday July 18th. I’ve planned out all my days and currently planned to be cycling for 25 days with 1 rest day but the goal is to complete the cycle tour in under 30 days so I’ve got more rest days I can take.

I can even take up to 34 days because there’s still a gap between the planned finish of my tour and the start of the festival I’ll be cycling to, the Woodstock Fruit Festival. It August 21st – 28th.

The Itinerary

Day #1: M.E.C. Langley – Hope. 137km

Day #2: Hope – Merritt. 124km

Day #3: Merritt – Kelowna. 151km

Day #4: Kelowna – Sicamous. 127km

Day #5: Sicamous – Glacier National Park. 137km.

Day #6: Glacier National Park – Lake Louise. 164km.

Day #7: First Rest Day

Day #8: Lake Louise – Calgary. 188 km

Day #9: Calgary – Medicine Hat AB. 297 km

Day #10: Medicine Hat – Swift Current SK. 226 km.

Day #11: Swift Current – Regina SK. 240 km

Day #12: Regina – Whitewood SK. 185 km

Day #13: Whitewood – Brandon MB. 191 km

Day #14: Brandon – Winnipeg MB. 215 km

Day #15: Winnipeg – Kenora ON. 211 KM

Day #16: Kenora – Dryden ON. 145 km

Day #17: Dryden – Upsala ON. 211 km

Day #18: Upsala – Terrace Bay ON. 177 km

Day #19. Terrace Bay – White River ON. 167 km

Day #20: White River – Agawa ON. 175 km

Day #21: Agawa – Bruce Mines ON. 196 km

Day #22: Bruce Mines – Nairn Center ON. 195 km

Day #23: Nairn Center – North Bay ON. 182 km

Day #24: North Bay – Pembroke ON. 224 km

Day #25: Pembroke – Cornwall ON. 287 km

Day #26: Cornwall – Camp Walden Trout Lake NY. 252 km

I’ve pre-planned 1 rest day but I can take 5 more to reach Cornwall by the 30th day and even an additional 4 days rest encase things come up. I’ll try to just take 1 rest day a week if I’m feeling pretty. I’ve planned the destinations with cycling 8 – 10 hours a day on average in mind.

The elevation varies from city to city but generally there’s more in BC and Ontario. I’ve started the trip through BC with less distance to ease into it and work out any bugs and hopefully by the end I won’t have too much of an issue completing longer days. BC has the most elevation.

My Gear

I’ve got all my gear except for a couple small things like a 1 liter water bottle cage.

The list:

  1. Ridley Carbon Fenix Road Bike. Approx. 17.5 lbs
  2. ThermaRest X-therm sleeping mattress Regular.
  3. M.E.C. Merlin -3 800 Down Sleeping Bag
  4. Outdoor Research Molecule Bivy Sack.
  5. Arcteryx Pack lite WP Pants
  6. Outdoor Research Helium WP Jacket
  7. Mavic WP Shoe Covers
  8. Porcelain Rocket Top Tube Frame Bag, Medium
  9. Porcelain Rocket Seat Bag 12-17 liters, Large
  10. Galaxy S3 Phone
  11. Headphones
  12. Solar Panel, undecided
  13. 1 liter water bottle cage, undecided
  14. Mini Pump
  15. 3 Tubes.
  16. Maxis Refuse 700/25c Tires
  17. Sunglasses
  18. White Arm Sleeves for sun coverage
  19. Custom Jersey
  20. Mavic Aksium Shorts
  21. 1 liter water bottle
  22. 750 ml water bottle
  23.  M.E.C. thin white gloves
  24. 50ml bottle for suncreen
  25. Passport
  26. Mavic cycling shoes, new pair
  27. Stages Power Meter, 105 crank arm
  28. Garmin Edge 520 Bike Computer

I think that’s everything! I won’t be taking any clothes but will try to get some extra clothes ready for me when I get to the Woodstock Fruit Festival.

My Resources

  1. A charged phone at all times.
  2. Detailed trip itinerary emailed to me and downloaded to my phone.
  3. Camp sited phone numbers on hand.
  4. Air B&B bookmarked throughout the cities for quick contact.
  5. Two days worth of dates and bananas for food stored in my top tube frame bag.
  6. Water
  7. Sunscreen
  8. Increased phone data for the month of August.

My Final Training

There’s only about 3.5 weeks left of training. In the past few weeks I’ve been doing shorter rides of under 150 km and many workouts of high intensity efforts with intervals of 10 – 30 seconds, and even some 5 minute ones. Some workouts would consist of a 30 min warm-up and then 5 – 7 intervals separated by 5 minutes rest followed by a 20 minute cool down.

The next few weeks I’ll just be riding as many long days as the weather and work permit me. This means 150 – 200 km rides. I’d like to get in some 200+ km ultra long rides.

I’ll be trying to get out for some practice overnight trips to Hope, Manning Park, & Whistler. These will provide some good practice and a good bearing on what I do and don’t need. At this point, the less I need the better and any way I can realistically reduce my weight I will.

My Diet

The initial plan was to eat strictly fruits during the whole trip, and this is still the goal but I’ve found that if I don’t eat the right proportion and variety of fruits Dates give me a headache, but remember at times I’m not eating an amount that’s natural nor am I training an amount that’s natural. So when I eat 1-2 bags of Dates a day without much else other foods I get a headache, I’ve tested and it’s all part of the learning and personal experience.

What I’m getting at is the goal is to eat a balance of Bananas, Dates, juice, some avocados, but if I find myself where it’s very difficult to get a balance then I’ll probably eat a cooked high carbohydrate low fat, moderate sodium, low protein meal in the evening at a restaurant.

I of course will absolutely be cycling this route on a vegan diet. Some things may come up that will be out of my control but I will only eat foods that come from plant sources and don’t have a face or a mother.

How To Follow

I will be posting written and photo updates to Facebook and more photos on Instagram. I’ll try to make video uploads to YouTube depending on WiFi accessibility.

That’s Everything, I think.

I think that’s everything and if you have any questions make sure to write them below.

Thanks for reading.

Like, Subscribe, and Share this post.

Carson McQuarrie

My Overnight Cycle Tour to Chuckanut Washington

Hey Everyone, 

Some of you may have seen some photos of my first overnight cycle tour to Larabee Park a few weeks ago from my social media posts. I wanted to give you a more formal story of what that small adventure was like, an adventure used as training for the real deal of cycling across Canada on a  fruit based diet.

This will be fun! It’ll have photos, provide do’s and don’ts, and some extra tips on what else to do in the area.

My Gear Set-Up

The Route

So the week of this trip was a recovery week of training meaning I didn’t want to pick a place too far for my first overnight cycle tour. After contemplating a couple of options I decided to take a co-workers suggestion of Larrabee Park.

I started from where I work, M.E.C. Langley and the finish was Larrabee Park Campground. Google Maps said it was 68km but it turned out to be about 76km.

I won’t focus too much on directions from the Canadian side of the border.
To keep things familiar I’ll use some photos of directions from Google Maps. This is a photo of the Google Maps route.

Tip: I do recommend using Google Maps the find the route that matches the one I used. I would also zoom in and take screen shots that you can later refer to when you’re in the US so you don’t have to use your phones data. You may need to download an app to take screen shots.

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Tip: Instead of taking your first left on the map to head towards Hannegan Road I recommend continuing about 10 – 15 minutes farther down the 539 and taking a left on Front Street because down Front Street there’s an open public washroom, great for cycles passing through. Yes, those are bike locks if your buddies aren’t willing to take turns 😉

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Tip: Now, if you like fueling with fruit like me and you got all your stash confiscated from the border officials then you can pick some more up at the grocery store on your left hand side, about 5 min past Front street on the 539. You’ll just have to turn back and take a right on Front street.

The rest of the route is nice and like almost all the time I’m quite happy with the route Google Maps chooses.

The 539 is the fastest option but the taking Hannegan road is quite a bit nicer and not really out-of-the-way. It was still fairly busy when I went but it at least took me through some countryside.

When you get closer to crossing the I5 (the big orange line/road on the map) you’re right down on busy roads. Just follow the directions to Fairhaven (the small town before Larabbe Park.

When you get to Fairhaven you’ll get to State street which turns into 11th street. 11th street takes right through the town. This isn’t bad because you can see any restaurants you may want to visit that evening. 2016_3_8_7_58_40_905_pm.png11th street will turn into 12th street which will take you out of the town. Once you get out of Fairhaven you’ll take a left onto Chuckanut road which will take you all the way to the Campground. This road is a bit narrow and can be busy but there are laws against big trucks. Plus, I think you’ll enjoy the ocean side views.

Tip: If you need one more place to take a break from cycling then there’s Fairhaven Park just after you turn onto Chuckanut Drive. It’s quite nice and offers a good place to sit at pick nick tables.

After cycling along the rolling ocean side you’ll see the park campground on your right hand side. It should take 10 – 15 min from Fairhaven Park to arrive at. It’s got a big gate and you can’t miss it.

The Campground

You’ve Arrived!!

I found the campground at this time of the year to be quite nice. There were other campers there, mostly in RVs.

The campsite was a good size with a fire pit and pick nick tables. There’s enough space for a truck to drive in and park encase someone wants to meet you there instead of cycling with you.

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Fairhaven Town & Amenities

Dinner

Well as you will see from cycling through the town on 11th street there’s a lot of small shops and restaurants. On this adventure I had a family member meet me down there and later we went out for dinner. We stopped in at one place and asked if there were any vegan friendly places to eat at for dinner. There wasn’t much but one option cam up.

We had dinner at the Paper Sister, A Mexican-style restaurant. I thought the menu was a bit limited for being a Mexican-style restaurant because there weren’t as many simple bean and rice dishes. The service was ok, a couple of times I thought the waitress could be more pleasant.

We got one free bowl of chips and salsa.

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I had an Enchilada. It was pretty good! But I wouldn’t absolutely rave about it.

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We were happy with overall food but thought the service would’ve been better. It was still a good time out after a long 🙂

Breakfast

The second place we went was Town Cafe for breakfast. The staff was friendlier here but you could tell the waitress was a bit stressed when we were asking for vegan pancakes. Plane and simply, the cooks weren’t willing to accommodate a request for vegan pancakes even though they are so simple. I ended up getting a vegan burger which was really good!

(sorry no photo)

Interestingly, two of the waitresses had been vegan for a while, but weren’t anymore. One had a child and craved ice cream, the irony.

The Parks

After going to Town Cafe on Harris Ave you’ll be able to get the idea that there are spots to go for a walk all along the  town side. If you continue down Harris Ave there’s the Marine Park. This is a small spot with a green belt, washroom, pick nick tables, and a great view to relax by.

The End

I would like to thank you for reading.

I hope you enjoyed this read and motivated you to think about doing this trip yourself. I quite enjoyed it and will certainly do it again at some point.

Please share and subscribe.

Thank You!

5 Personal Benefits of a Plant Based Diet

Well you’ve come here for a reason, right?top-5

I’m going to guess the benefits of what you can likely experience by opting for a plant based diet (lifestyle).

The following will cover my 5 top benefits I’ve experienced and what I know is common among others like you that have decided to make the positive change.

So lets get to them!

Discovery of Your New Found Self-Awareness

Everyone says they know themselves well, those also will admit it’s better to know themselves more.

Whether that’d be their personal body or their personality and character. I’ve certainly gone through changes in both areas. I won’t go on explaining how these single handedly are life altering but I hope the examples listed below will help you understand part of the ‘Why’ of changing to a Plant Based Diet.best-weight-loss

  1. Less congestion and more mental and breathing clarity.
  2. Loss of weight. I’ve personally lost (and maintained) 5lbs which isn’t much for some but for myself it’s notable.
  3. Less need to clean my ears and eyes to as little as once a month.
  4. A new level of open mindedness.

I have come to read other transformations of people experiencing these same things after changing!

Discovery of new found knowledge and common myths.

I love learning!

And when I was transitioning (and still today) I was researching what this diet was all about.

One thing was for sure, and that is how I was feeling after completing my first triathlon meant my diet needed to change. So I began to research from mostly YouTube to start. Now I read books by experts, scientific articles from journals like America Journal of Clinical Nutrition, and public health cites such as Harvard School of Public Health and Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM).

One really great source I found was NutritionFacts.Org which is a website and a Youtube channel. Dr. Michael Gregor works for PCRM and runs this not-for-profit site that simplifies vital information about nutrition and health by reading every English language scientific article in the world and distilling the information down in short 2 – 6 min videos.  myth-stamp

Here are some of the myths I’ve learned.

  1. Sugar doesn’t cause Type 2 Diabetes.
  2. Only animal foods have protein.
  3. Some whole plants aren’t a complete protein.
  4. You need a lot of protein to be healthy.
  5. Animal foods are the best source of protein.
  6. Exercise is the main contributor of weight loss.

Discovery of a new level of energy and health.

Most people complain about being tired…that’s exactly why there’s products like 5 Hour Energy, Red Bull Energy Drinks, or all the coffee shops.

None of which I endorse, and sorry if you now have cravings 😉

I have given up all those months before I went vegan so I think my body had adjusted to the zero stimulants well before I went vegan but even then I have a higher, more consistent energy after changing and here are a few reasons I think why:tmp624999336408776706

  1. A whole food plant based diet is higher in carbohydrates, vitamins & minerals, low in bad fats, low in total fat, and higher in healthy fiber (which limits energy [blood sugar] spikes and keeps your energy consistent).
  2. I believe the choices involving being vegan are altruistic and have a positive effect on mental well-being.

You see, every day a change can be created by what You eat; a positive change towards to Your health, the well-being of other people on the planet, the well-being of animals, and the environment.

I believe growing to know these over time has played another role in my attitude and energy.

Hmmm… More Food Options

Ok,

so you may be thinking

‘But, aren’t you cutting out food? Food groups like meat, diary, seafood, and poultry.’

Yes, you’re right.

But, you’re still eating food groups like:

  1. Legumes – Chickpeas, Red Kidney Beans, Black 12645248_10153751810226508_8132861222017149628_nKidney Beans, Soy Beans, Green Peas, Lentils, Tofu (made from Soy Beans)…and more.
  2. Grains – Brown Rice, Wild Rice, Millet, Amaranth, Oats, Barley, Buckwheat, Whole Rye, Whole Wheat Pasta… and more.
  3. Non-animal dairy – Almond, Soy, and Rice are some of my favorites.
  4. Fruits – Mango, Banana, Papaya, Dragon Fruit, Peaches, Apples… and many more.
  5. Vegetables – Dark Leafy vegetables like Kale, Spinach, and Swiss Chard. Red and Orange Vegetables like Carrots, Pumpkin, Butternut Squash, and Tomatoes. Starchy vegetables like Yams, Sweet Potatoes, and Corn. And others like Beets, Mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, and many more.

I promise these foods are healthier and there’s a whole lot more foods within plant food groups than in animal food groups. I have naturally started incorporating foods I’ve never eaten before and actually now like tomatoes and avocados, and I now eat
a lot more leafy greens and tasty fruits.

Great New Relationships
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I won’t lie to you. There’s much less vegans and vegetarians than animal eating people.

I also don’t want to say animal eating people aren’t compassionate or have an altruistic view, because it’s not true of course.

But I will say that, generally, vegans and vegetarians have made a strong emotional and/or psychological connection to the benefits of changing their diet and lifestyle. I’ve personally found a great sense of character in vegans and I love to have great people in my life.

Conclusion

Well, I hope I gave you insight on the benefits from my perspective. I also hope this has provided more reason for you to keep on being vegan or I inspired you to be that much closer to becoming %100 vegan like me or at least have a salad today.

Thanks for reading and I hope you found this beneficial.

Don’t forget to subscribe for more from myself! My other social platforms can be found by clicking the icons on the right hand bar where you can see what I eat, what I do for training to cycle across Canada, and inspiration.

Carson McQuarrie