By Chris and Heather Hartridge
Submitted to the Observer
Since 2005 we’ve toured on our bicycles in a bunch of different countries and it’s fascinating how the urge to get back on the road starts with the end of every tour. It’s been a fabulous 17 years of cycle touring since we first ‘decided’ to visit our daughter who lived 400 kilometres away. Every year since then, we’ve cycled ‘somewhere’ and the addiction became more ingrained. And… we’re very happy with that – it’s a rewarding obsession.
Getting out there on our bikes is a terrific way to meet people and fostering friendly relations with others on this planet is a rewarding pursuit. Known as the Quesnelbikers on Instagram, we started out touring the Pacific Northwest and since then we’ve had many unforgettable adventures. Quesnel to the southern tip of Baja, Mexico — Haida Gwaii, B.C. to St. John’s Newfoundland — Kamloops to Salt Lake City, Utah — The 4 Rivers Path in South Korea — Following the Mekong River in Southeast Asia took us to Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia. These are just a few of the escapades we’ve embarked upon.
As with many travelers, the pandemic changed our plans. The good news is we’re still touring. Since March 2020 when we returned from Southeast Asia, we’ve stayed in our beautiful province finding rides that were good for the soul.
This summer’s tour starts in mid-July and will take us through several First Nations territories in North Central B.C. We’re looking forward to learning about the cultures, history, languages, and experiences of the native people who live in these communities.
Our route is essentially a circle in North Central B.C. We’ll head down the West Fraser Road to link up with Highway 20 across the Chilcotin. We’re riding this section with three friends from Quesnel and we’re really looking forward to sharing the adventure with them!
Leaving our home we’ll ride into the Tsilhqot’in and Nuxalk Nations. After arriving in Bella Coola, we’ll take the BC Ferries to Bella Bella (Heiltsuk Nation) and then up to Prince Rupert home to the Tsimshian Nation. We’ll board another ferry across to Daajing Giids (Queen Charlotte City). The Haida Nation will be our home for a few days while we tour the historical sites in and around Gwaii Haanas. From there we’re sailing back to Prince Rupert and flying up to Gingolx at the mouth of the Nass River. Now in the Nisga’a Nation, we’ll ride up the river just north of the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary arriving in New Aiyansh. From there, we’ll head south towards Terrace – Tsimshian territories. Cycling east from Terrace we’ll search out roads off Highway 16 to get a different view of this spectacular part of B.C. as we slowly aim for Quesnel. We recognize we’ll be riding through Wet’suwet’en and Dakelh territories in this section.
We’re really looking forward to being back “on the road again!”
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