Sunday Afternoon on the Stewart Cassiar.


Well Alessandro rolled in finally (to the rip off bell something or other lodge and heliski joint where $100 worth of fuel and about $30 at their café isn’t enough to use their Wi-Fi) and I was quite surprised there were no issues, no complaints. It was still wet and grey and puck ugly, but after a quick rebuild off we went in search of the secrets of bike. This time I rode with Laura and Lorenzo and we traveled about 90 k down the highway. It was slow, ugly, grim and it reminded me why I went to Australia for 3 months only to stay 5.5 years, something we call sunshine.

I kept an observant eye on Alessandro. He looked surprisingly good when we reunited earlier, it was like he was wearing his Sunday cycling best, his shoes were dry, his kit was clean and dry, there was no mud on his face or anywhere except his bike which looked like it lost a mud wrestle with a pig.

As I watched him ride now I had empathy and admiration for his determination. Conditions sucked and nice scenery can only take you so far. He rode with frustration, little things irritated him, he got off the bike a few times to make adjustments on the bike but were more useful in helping him come to grips with his reality. It spit rain at places and it came down harder in others. The temperature was 14 Celsius and he responded by getting rid of his jacket and arm warmers. The man was trying to be tougher than the conditions. He wasn’t going to win any sprints but I doubt you could push past him in a doorway.

We played cat and mouse; sometimes when I drove up beside him he didn’t speak, other times he barked out orders or insults to his children. Other times he seemed concerned for them. Just earlier he had kissed his son in honor of Sans Lorenzo Day or something like that. I had grown weary of all the freaking Italian and just tried to read him from his riding, his interactions with others and the ride he was trying to put forth. Have you ever seen anyone happy to flat? Ha-ha, I seriously couldn’t blame him. Unfortunately that was about a 23 second repair job as I have been taking pointers from the pit crews at Nascar and Formula 1.

It seemed every time he climbed one of the giant rollers the rain came down harder and the sun slide behind darker clouds to make his descent as miserable as possible. Maybe that is what he wanted,; “if the going gets tough the tough get going”.

One of the search and rescue helicopters must have saved the day already for someone as he flew overhead to check out Alessandro and it was a very entertaining moment, just as A.C. crested a roller the ‘copter was on top of him I took a photo but was slow to get into position which can happen sometimes when you are 6’1 240 jammed into a Chevy Spark with two people rambling on in Italian and two cameras to pull out of the car once you have pulled off the highway onto a non-existent shoulder on a rainy day. The point I am trying to make is enjoy the photo.

We just got kicked off our camp ground where we mooched our wifi and had glorious showers. Onward we race more photos at