We are in the process of preparing for our return to France.

  • We are looking for places to sleep in between Madrid and Paris (we only need a little corner of land to pitch the tent!). If you can help us out, please follow this link.

  • We already have a couple of conferences lined up along the way. To see the schedule, follow this link. We would be happy to met with you!

We are also looking for an apartment in Paris or the surrounding area, starting in mid-May 2010. Any help or suggestions would be most welcome!

Technical subjects

Many people have many questions about our equipment.

Our bikes have Shimano Deore XT pieces. They have 27 speeds: 9 rear pinions from 11 teeth to 34 teeth and 3 front pinions (22, 32 and 44 teeth). They have steel frames, so that we can repair them anywhere in the world. For solidity, the wheels are tandem bicycles ones and have 36 spokes. Tires are Schwalbe Marathon XR, the better of the world for this kind of usage, like every cyclotourists we met said!

With all accessories, our bikes have a weight of 16kg (35 pounds)… each!

Our load is about 30kg (70 pounds) with food for a few days.

Our bags, our tent and our Gore Tex clothes are truly waterproof as we tested them when it rained.

Before we left, many people thought that our bags were very (too) small. We let you know that we have too much space! This shows that we can leave nicely with few things…

[Drapeau de Etats-Unis Sebastien | Le 02-07-2008 10:05 | Add a comment]

Out of energy on the Top of the World Highway

Our last message is already one week old. We were in fact in the bush last days. The only town we went through had a population of only 25 people (and 5 in winter!) So, here is a resume of our adventures …

When we left the campsite in Tok on Monday morning, we met Joanes, from Spain - we had met him in Anchorage the day we left. He is also going to Ushuaia and following the same way as us. Even with the rain, we biked together for the first kilometers. The weather forecasts predicted only scattered showers for the day, that’s why we decided to leave. Unfortunately, it was wrong… It rained all day… Joanes left us at Tetlin Junction as he was following the Alaska Highway. We took the direction of Dawson City on the Taylor Highway (which becomes the Top of the world Highway once in Canada). This road was not the easiest one: up hills up to 9% grade. With the rain and these many up hills we felt worse and worse. We knew that this road would be difficult, but not that much. We stopped with no more energy on the side of the road to pinch the tent. Even with rain, we had to cook a hundred meters away from the tent, because of bears. As we could not find any tree strong enough to put our food bags on, we put them in pipes that were running under the road.

The next day, no more rain, but it was freezing cold. We went up and down to 1000 meters elevation (about 3000 feet). We even thought to go back and to take the Alaska Highway to go straight to Whitehorse. As always, pickup trucks and RV passed us. Suddenly, one of them stopped in an uphill and offered us a lift to go to Chicken. We thought about it and accepted the proposition, after only 25 km. With this lift, we could arrive early, get some rest, and leave the following day with more motivation, but without the food we would like to purchase there! Indeed, there was no groceries store there, not as somebody told us in Tok…

On Wednesday, we biked the whole day, on gravel road, with sun shining. The day was difficult but the landscapes were beautiful. We finished with a long downhill and stopped at the state campground next to a river. This kind of campgrounds has only outhouses and sometimes drinking water… and food storage boxes for the bears. As the sun was still heating, we went to have a shower in the river. It was a great instant despite of the freezing water.

On Thursday, we went up, and up, and up… We discovered two gold panners in a river next to the road. One of them stopped his work and explained to us how they worked. When we were at the top, a vehicle from Germany stopped : it was Willy, Marga and Fernando. Willy has been travelling with his truck in Americas for 6 years, and they invited us to stay at their place in Mexico. They offered us cakes and sausages. We stopped in Boundary and slept in a cabin. We even have the owner’s daughter coming with two plates of food!

We crossed the border after an uphill of 6km long and 400m high. The border was in the middle of nowhere, at the elevation of 1258m. The Canadian officer was very nice, spoke to us in French and gave us some water. Everybody told us that the road was paved after the border and downhill… It was completely wrong! The road was uphill, and gravel with some paved patches, like they call them. We could not go to Dawson city in one day like we planned and camped in the bush on the tops (over 1100 m high).

Saturday was a day like the others: up and down, gravel, and still more than 1000m high. We understood why this road is called the “Top of the World Highway”! Hopefully, the 14km downhill that people told us was true! We enjoyed it! We spent last 2 days with only 4 liters of water and not much food, something we are not proud of. Now, we are in Dawson City where we had a nice shower, we drunk lot of water and ate all we could eat.

PS: Thank you Willy, Marga and Fernando for the food you gave us and for your invitation in Mexico!

[Drapeau de Etats-Unis Sara et S├ębastien | Le 30-06-2008 00:02 | Add a comment]

Tok Cutoff Highway

We took 4 days to go from Glennallen to Tok, on the Tok Cutoff Highway. It has been opened a century ago, when the American government decided that the town named “Eagle” (near Dawson City) will be the mine center of Alaska.

The first part was very long and not scenic, in spruce forests. We did not know where to sleep, but we found the right place in Chistochina: just entering the village, we saw a picnic table and some installation for a RV. So we decided to go and ask if it was possible to pinch our tent there. Our hosts were working on the cabins of an old lodge, to rent them. We had a complete visit of the buildings, a shower in their own bathrooms (because the shower building was not yet finished) and a really nice conversation on life and bears in Alaska. We were so well welcomed that we regretted not to have spent our rest day in Chistochina instead of Glennallen.

The next day, we left very late because of nice and long talks with our hosts and their friend from California who came to help them. Thea has invited us to stay in her place in Santa Cruz (California) when we will be over there!

After few kilometers, a man told us from his pick-up that there was a « free camping » on mile 61… When we arrived, we saw a nice place with grass and picnic table. We were so happy to pinch our tent over there (in RV parks, grass is very very rare!). But it was not the free camping … the owner of the place who actually was the pick-up man, led us to the back of his house where it was less nice to the free camping: an old bus! He added: “this keeps the bears away” … In the surroundings bears are everywhere, very numerous and do not hesitate to come close to the houses. So the owner prefers to offer “free bus” to people, instead of having them pinching their tent anywhere. Sara was anxious … Sébastien tried not to show it, but he was also anxious!

The third day, up hills were numerous. Even if the landscapes were beautiful, we did not have much motivation for the 17 miles of the day … with head wind! We finally arrived in Mentasta Lodge where we asked the authorization to pinch our tent on the grass … but we had a total refuse: “this is MY PRIVATE property” … So we had to inch our tent in the RV park, on the stones … During the evening, the wind blew off our tent … so we had to get out in the rain to hold it and find a solution to put it back in place … As we could not pinch it, we used stones to hold it on the ground!

We arrived in Tok, after 77 kilometers, with strong front wind! We had the chance to see several moose on the way as well as a porcupine. While Sara was taking back her breath, a moose crossed the road just few meters from her. She thought about putting her bike between the animal and her in case it would charge, but not even a picture! You have to know that a moose can charge you if it feels danger and kill. So you have to be careful all the time and keep away from those calm “cows”.

Tok is a town with lots of people just passing through with all the services that a tourist can need. We will spend tomorrow here … it will be our rest day!

[Drapeau de Etats-Unis Sara et S├ębastien | Le 22-06-2008 23:05 | 1 comment]

On the Gold Rush trail

Tok is our destination ... then Dawson City (Canada)!

We would like to be in Dawson City on the 1st of July for the Yukon Gold Panning Championships...

For the washing machine, don't worry, we are fine now. We know that we will get worse adventures on our trip!

[Drapeau de Etats-Unis Sara | Le 18-06-2008 10:55 | Add a comment]

Finally Glennallen

By definition, as you passed a pass, you should go downhill: we had 2 days of going dowhill slowly to get to Glennallen.

We met 2 German cyclotourists who had come to Alaska to bike for several years and who are dreaming of biking Alaska - Terra del Fuego!

We stopped at the Tolsona Wilderness Campground where we had a wireles connection and we could answer some emails while sitted on a picnic table, next to a river, on the sun.

We are very disappointed by Glennallen which was our objective for the week: this town, if we can call it a town, has no downtown. It is very very long, along the highway, with no beginning and no end ... and there is not much to do overthere.

We had a nice welcome by the owner of the Northern Nights Campground, even if we took such a long time to pinch our tent on the gravel ... usually a place for RV ... no grass! During the evening we had brownie and icecream, baked and offered by the owner, with all the other campers (none of them is in a tent!). sébastien took 3 times of this nice dessert!

As we were having a day off in Glennallen, we decided to do some laundry in the laudrymat of the town. It was a bad idea ... As our old washing machine was finishing its cycle, the water in town was cut! The owner manage to forced the engine so all the water in the machine went finally out ... and our laudry was dirtier than before washing it! We left, depited.

Hopefully tomorrow luck will be with us for the long planned day ...

[Drapeau de Etats-Unis Sara | Le 18-06-2008 00:11 | Add a comment]

Pages

1 2 3 ... 25 26 27 28 29 30