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Gulf Island s24o - Fatpacking Salt Spring

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Gulf Island s24o - Fatpacking Salt Spring

Old 08-04-19, 05:33 PM
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Gulf Island s24o - Fatpacking Salt Spring

Decided to get a way for a bit this weekend so I set out on an unplanned s24o to Salt Spring Island. Salt Spring is part of the southern Gulf Islands between the BC mainland and Vancouver Island. To the south of them, the American extension of this string of islands are called the San Juan's.

s24o is a term Grant Peterson uses to describe an overnight trip that just gets you out in the weeds and back again. It's a great way to do some riding and some camping for fun and to gain experience if new or testing gear. In my case I'm still getting acquainted with my recently purchased Specialized Fatboy. The idea was to drive to the ferry terminal (about 1 hour from my home by van), park in long term parking, catch the ferry to the north end of the island, do some trail riding, traverse the island by road, camp and return by ferry from the southern end.

Boarded the ferry with lots of other cyclists and settled in for a scenic 1.5 hour cruise across the Strait of Georgia.

Passing a sister ferry in Active Pass






On island most cyclists veered south to Ganges but I went east to a spot that has a network of off road trails called Channel Ridge. I looked this up on a mtb website https://www.trailforks.com/trails/map/?activitytype=1&z=13.6&lat=48.90248&lon=-123.57531 and decided to do two routes "The Loop" and "Bouma Sequence". Besides doing some singletrack for the fun of it, I wanted to see how the panniers held up to a bumpy ride.

The loop (1Km)



The start of Bouma Sequence (6Km)












To be continued next post...

Last edited by Happy Feet; 08-04-19 at 06:17 PM.
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Old 08-04-19, 05:47 PM
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On pavement again I passed quite a few deer while I rode back southward to the main town of Ganges where I stopped for first and second lunches.







And then struck out for the 20 Km ride along windy narrow pavement towards Ruckle Provincial Park. By taking the back way (Beddis Rd.) I avoid most of the local traffic. The Gulf Islands are super hilly!
At Ruckle I set up camp and then wandered down to the ocean.










And then wandered back to camp for some supper. In this case Garlic mashed potatoes and herb and lemon couscous - right out of the bag.



Then back to the beach to watch the sunset





To be continued next post...
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Old 08-04-19, 06:09 PM
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The next morning I awoke early and went down to the beach once more to check out the sunrise and then it was off for a 10km ride to Fulford Harbour and a double ferry ride back to the mainland.






In all it was 52km of riding with 42km the first day (7km of which was singletrack). Not including food, it cost $20 long term parking, $30 ferries and $20 $0 camping... because the attendant did not bother to collect the fee from three of us stuck in overflow camping
Booking a campsite at Ruckle in the summer is nuts and on a long weekend even crazier and I was winging it without reservation and planned to stealth camp if SOL but it turns out they don't turn cyclists away. They just stick them in a group campsite field.

Last edited by Happy Feet; 08-04-19 at 06:43 PM.
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Old 08-04-19, 06:13 PM
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Food and water resupply available? Tent model? I'm shopping around. Detail pics of your bags please. Looks like a cool trip.
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Old 08-04-19, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
Food and water resupply available? Tent model? I'm shopping around. Detail pics of your bags please. Looks like a cool trip.
Salt Spring is one of the highest populated of the Gulf Islands and has all the amenities. Supermarkets and cafes, coffee shops etc... Ruckle Prov. Park has clean drinking water.

The tent is a North Face Storm Break 1 man. A 3'x7' footprint but you can sit up in it. Stripped down with all the doodads removed and 2 pegs it's just a tad over 2lb's.

The sleeping bag drybag on top of the rack is waterproof Event compression bag. Not necessarily needed (any stuff sack will do) but a nice luxury for easy packing in the morning. It is held on by a bungee cargo net that also traps jackets and shirts etc...

The panniers are Carradice Carradry front panniers. A waterproof PVC design with the new fangled fancy schmancy attachment system. Coming from the old hook and bungee setups they are a breeze to put on and take off but were solid off road including some decent drops and rock hops.

The frame bag, gas tank bag and front dry bag are all from the Blackburn Outpost series. The frame bag expands or collapses to allow 2 water bottles on my road bike. I forgo the Handlebar bag attachment setup and just use the double ended drybag by snapping the ends over the bars. Lighter and stays put.

My goal is to have a touring bag system that can transition from bike to bike. The other piece is a saddle bag, also from the Carradice Carradry series. I did a product review of it here: https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/1...-diy-rack.html

My next purchase will be a dropper post (seat lever actuated) in 27.2mm size. This is the same dimension for both my road and fat bike so I can swap it out for both when needed for downhill mtb (fat) or steep gravel (road). I'm big on modular designs right now and want to use two bikes and 3-4 wheelsets to run the full gambit of terrain environments.

Frame bag collapsed to allow water bottles


Front and back shot of the panniers. The rail clips are not on yet.


Last edited by Happy Feet; 08-04-19 at 09:18 PM.
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Old 08-05-19, 05:00 PM
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Cool, and thanks.
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Old 08-05-19, 05:32 PM
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I spent many a long summer day on Salt Spring. It was always a bit of a mission to get out to Ruckles - sounds like it still is. In those days there was lots of fast traffic (ferry dependant) and little or no shoulders on the roads. I expect that’s still the same too - but I think most drivers are a little more ‘bike conscious’ than they were 30 years ago.

Thanks for the report. I enjoyed the trip down memory lane!
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Old 08-05-19, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Mountain Mitch View Post
I spent many a long summer day on Salt Spring. It was always a bit of a mission to get out to Ruckles - sounds like it still is. In those days there was lots of fast traffic (ferry dependant) and little or no shoulders on the roads. I expect that’s still the same too - but I think most drivers are a little more ‘bike conscious’ than they were 30 years ago.

Thanks for the report. I enjoyed the trip down memory lane!


Drivers there seem to come in two varieties, Fast and super cautious. The roads are narrow, some with small shoulders and some with none but the main ferry traffic connector road north / south can be bypassed using Beddis and Stewart which have very minimal traffic. If you unload from the ferries just pull over initially and let car traffic pass then it's pretty light after that.

It's a weird phenomenon but anywhere you are on the gulf islands you seem to be traveling up hill!
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Old 08-07-19, 12:38 AM
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Cool to see a fat bike with panniers, also the number of bikes on the ferry. A bit mystifying why biking, esp touring, is so much more popular in the west than the east coast.
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Old 08-07-19, 01:09 AM
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Originally Posted by DropBarFan View Post
Cool to see a fat bike with panniers, also the number of bikes on the ferry. A bit mystifying why biking, esp touring, is so much more popular in the west than the east coast.
That wasn't even half of them too.

I don't know about out east but the Gulf Islands in summer are a cycling paradise (except for the hills). Usually dry, not too hot, enough services and cheap ferry fares.

I took the fat bike mainly for the challenge. That island is only about 22 kms long and would take maybe 2 hours on my road bike - what to do with the rest of the day?

As it was I still had lots of time to site see and could hit some singletrack too. Next time I'll take my travel size watercolour set.
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Old 08-07-19, 03:29 PM
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given the super cush of the wide tires, I'm surprised you went with the sprung Brooks. I guess in the end, if it works then it doesnt matter. The used one I bought a bunch of years ago lives on my fendered commuter bike, and its fine, but they do certainly weigh a lot.
Can't recall if I've already asked you this....

fun little trip.
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Old 08-07-19, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
given the super cush of the wide tires, I'm surprised you went with the sprung Brooks. I guess in the end, if it works then it doesnt matter. The used one I bought a bunch of years ago lives on my fendered commuter bike, and its fine, but they do certainly weigh a lot.
Can't recall if I've already asked you this....

fun little trip.
Not needed for cush but I find it my most comfortable saddle for more upright riding. When not going far I usually use my C17 as it's weatherproof.
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Old 08-07-19, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
Next time I'll take my travel size watercolour set.
Painting & cycling just naturally go together


(start at 12:24)
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Old 08-07-19, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
Not needed for cush but I find it my most comfortable saddle for more upright riding. When not going far I usually use my C17 as it's weatherproof.
righto.
funny that the islands have so much up and down. I've never been myself.
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Old 08-08-19, 07:57 AM
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Bravo!

Wish I lived close enough to cool places to be able to do really scenic two-day trips. S. Jersey and the Jersey shore, which I can reach from my house, just don't measure up. Still, it is nice to get away, even if only for one night.
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Old 08-08-19, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by DropBarFan View Post
Painting & cycling just naturally go together


(start at 12:24)
Monty Python Picasso Cycling Race
Gotta love John Cleese losing it

Here's a pic of my watercolour kit. An artist friend turned me on to travel size cases and a brush that holds water in the handle - super easy to use. I also include a couple of other brushes, non running felts and masking fluid. She keeps picture journals of her trips but I am not that good. Still, a decent way to wile away the hours in camp.

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