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C-KAP GOLD MEDAL Don Magie - CKAP 1150
PAC Tour Elite 2007
************
Albert Martz - CKAP 941 - Age 70 - 2006
Cycles self supported across Canada
************
CKAP 1006 - Irwin Nayer - July 2006
Mississauga, Ont. to New York City U.S.A.

Don Magie - CKAP 1150
PAC Tour Elite 2007

I am having trouble sleeping tonight, so I thought I would put together some information for you regarding my PAC Tour ride across the US.

The first picture
(Yuma desert)
was on day 2
just after entering
the dry hot desert
(we actually entered on day 1
but this was to be one tough day).

The 2007 cycling season started without any fanfare, my goal was to ride Paris-Brest-Paris in 50 hours which would make for a significant improvement over my 2003 time. As part of my training I flew down to Arizona in spring to train with the famous and incomparable PAC Tour headed by Lon Haldeman and Susan Notorangelo. During that period, Susan asked why I was doing PBP again, noting that there were so many roads to ride. By early June, I begged to get in on the ‘Elite Southern Crossing’, a 17 day crossing from San Diego to Tybee Island Georgia, with an average of 280 km/day. Susan relented I will always be thankful.

The second picture is me standing
over the edge of the
Salt River Canyon.
I went into it thinking
I was going down a steep hill.
It took a long time till I saw
the drop off into the canyon,
and realized the amount of work
to be done in the afternoon.
It was one of the best days
I have ever had on a bicycle,
despite the difficulty.

The trip started on June 10th just after my birthday, with 50 riders and about 10 support people. As we road through mountains and deserts, I was privileged to see some of the most beautiful scenery I could have imagined, witnessed however briefly some unsettling sights (not to mention some questionable behaviour by drivers) and made great friends. With each day’s ride, (up at 5:30, on the bike at 6:00, ride until you are done, usually 4-6pm), I wasn’t aware of the enormity of the effort that all of the participants undertook. It remains a peculiar conversation for many, the act of riding 280km, then eating and drinking throughout the night so you can get up and do the same thing again, each day in an effort to survive.

The third picture shows the four real leaders and myself (I am 2nd from left, in the blue shirt) on Day 8 (Sayre, OK). I finished about 200 miles with these guys, and Mark Pattinson (2nd from right) slowed down to allow us to ride with him. Watch for him in this year’s RAAM. IT was truly an unbelievably difficult day on a bike but the scenery was beautiful, including parts of the old Route 66.

There were great days that will remain forever in my mind, such as descending down into
Salt River Canyon. After seemingly falling off the face of the earth for 10 minutes, I figured I was about at the bottom, then turned a corner and dropped another 15 minutes to the bridge at the bottom. The climb back out was almost as stunning in its beauty yet not too unpleasant in the difficulty. Traveling through the heat and humidity of Arkansas and Alabama was also tough, but it was the first time in my life that I had an opportunity to see the beauty of these states and from the smaller roads it was picturesque to say the least.

Next three photo's from:
George Metzler's blog

After this day, I took very few
pictures. My recovery was getting
worse, and It was suggested that
sleep was more important than
blogging, and I took that advice to
heart. On the last day, I took many
pictures and I have included the
glory shot of me standing in the
Atlantic, bike in hand. I was happy
it was over and long for my next
opportunity to take on an
endeavour like it.

I was lucky to be joined by many great riders, including names such as Ed Pavelka and Fred Matheny. Ed broke his hip, another gentleman broke his kneecap, some went home with infections and sores that were beyond description, but the real heroes are the one’s that stayed on the bike through unbelievable circumstances for reasons which varied from an attempt to get closer to God to those who rode in honour of friends. My only goal was to see the US by bicycle and I accomplished that in spades and have a great story to tell.

The echelon photo was taken
on the same day that this group
(well most of us)
finished at Sayre, OK.
The reason that this was a tough
day was not just the 206 miles on
the bike, but it was SOOO windy,
we rode like that the entire day and
the winds were running 20-40mph
against or beside us. It was brutal.

A repeat of Paris-Brest will be delayed at least a few years, and I may never enjoy the
‘Elite Tour’ again, but I will be happy knowing that I did something that few get to do, in a way that is beyond difficult and I survived and enjoyed the experience if only after the completion of the event.

The 'lead pack' photo was shot on a
very, very bad day, when we lost
one rider with a life altering injury.
We were the lead pack, but we had
very tough winds again, and that
echelon was put together to get out
of the wind, not for a photo op.

Albert Martz - CKAP 941
'I have this adventurous streak'

The Standard - St. Catharines, Ontario Canada - Newspaper, dated Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Web page photos from Albert's camera - This is a copy of the Standard article
PDF version of The Standard - St. Catharines, Ontario - The Daily News - Halifax, Nova Scotia
at the end of this article

Albert Martz didn't cycle across Canada for a cause.

He wasn't trying to raise money, deliver a message or change the world.

The 70-yearold semi-retired St. Catharines man didn't really do it for any reason except maybe to prove to himself that he could.

And he did.

For 54 days this summer, 41 of those were actually spent pedalling as many as 11 hours a day - Martz travelled 6,877 kilometres from Vancouver to Halifax because that's just the type of guy he is. "It's in my nature. I have this adventurous streak," the German-born Martz said. "I like challenges and that was a challenge."

A challenge that he almost didn't meet.

Leaving Vancouver, B. C.

By the time Martz hit Rainy River in northern Ontario, his left knee gave out. Martz, who had just spent 11 days in Winnipeg for a wedding, was ready to call his family to come pick him up and use a different kind of pedal power to get him home.

But he found a doctor who gave him a cortisone shot and the sage advise to take it easy for a couple days.

"That healed up and I was on my way," Martz said.


Last Spike - Revelstoke, British Columbia
On his way into some of the toughest terrain he'd face on his journey. Travelling through the Rockies was almost like being on cruise control compared to navigating the hilly landscape of northern Ontario. "You go up and up and up for kilometres and then you go down - that's not so bad - but then you go up again," he said

It wasn't exactly smooth pedalling after leaving the Canadian Shield.

Martz got a ticket in Quebec for walking his bike across a bridge that was under construction. Farther down the road he was squeezed off the asphalt by a gravel truck - an event that left him "really shook up."

Still, "the good outweigh the bad," Martz said.

"I'm a believer in God and I think there was a guardian angel and lots of prayers," he said.

Some of the positive thoughts came from Elizabeth, Martz's wife who stayed behind in St. Catharines, charting his daily progress on a map.

"I'm happy for him and I'm thankful to the Lord because I did lots of praying for him," Elizabeth said Tuesday, a week after having her husband home.

When he finally arrived in Halifax earlier this month after departing June 21, Martz was elated, and tired.

He took a break from cycling for four days, recuperating in a Halifax hotel before returning to St. Catharines Aug. 16 and his regular routine of morning bike rides through the city.

Banff, Alberta

This isn't the first time Albert has taken to the road on two wheels powered only by himself. In 1992, one year after taking up cycling, he traversed the U.S., pedalling from California to Florida in 27 days.

"I said if I live (in Canada), why not do this in my own country?" said Martz, who ran a heating and cooling business.

For the next 14 years, the idea brewed, untill finally Elizabeth reminded him he'd better get going before the brakes were put on his plans for good.


Atlantic Ocean - Halifax, Nova Scotia
"That was a dream he had for a long time and then it was, 'Well, if you're this age, you might as well do it.' When you're 70, you never know what's going to happen a year from now," Elizabeth said.

Now that Canada's under his fanny pack, Martz isn't ready to put the kickstand down for good. "Some of (my siblings) younger than me... they say, 'What do you want to do next?'" Martz said. "How about Europe?"

The Standard - St. Catharines, Ontario Canada

By:Tiffany Mayer - Photo by: Julie Jocsak

The Daily News - Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada

By: Sarah Regan

Written by : Irwin Nayer CKAP 1209
Photos by: Marla Nayer

Following is a series of email messages sent to family (including James at CKAP) July 7 to 12, 2006 during a little ride I took on vacation. Some editing has been done for this form.

This ride is Mississauga to New York City, is a solo effort with my wife Marla providing support. The idea for this ride arose a couple of years ago when I was web surfing and came into contact with a state offcial who sent me some maps of state bicycle routes that traverse the entire state.

I am following Route 5 (this is not a single road, but there are signs indicating bike route numbers) from Niagara Falls to Albany where I will pick up Route 9 and follow it to the New Jersey end of the George Washington Bridge which I will cross to get to Manhattan.
I started from my home in Mississauga.

Day 1 - Mississauga, ON to Niagara Falls, NY
144 km, 5 hrs 25 min riding time plus forever to cross the border.
Min. temp 13C max 43C as recorded on my bike computer.

This was an easy ride. It was colder at the start than would have been ideal, but overall the conditions were super. Wind was never a significant issue.

I had the pleasure of starting the climb up the Niagara escarpment at the start of km # 121. It goes up for about 2 km and the vertical is 67 metres, but it is actually easier than going north on Winston Churchill Blvd. from the lakeshore in Mississauga, which I do on weekends.

The border crossing at the Rainbow Bridge was brutal. Marla chose the lane and put the kiss of death on it. Other lanes were moving five vehicles to our one. We were processed as separate entries into the U.S.

There are some acknowledgements due; Thank-you to the folks at the Diabetes Management Centre of Trillium Health Centre. I have been posing a challenge for them and they have been super in providing support beyond the call of duty over the past 39 days. They are a team of real professionals who perform a valuable service. In their case, our health-care dollars are truly well spent.

A big expression of gratitude also goes to the guys at Re-My Sport in Streetsville. They have also given me support above the call including providing some valuable service on no notice last Monday to ensure that my bike was in great condition for this little adventure.

Some other business:
Katherine, so far so good. I am a bit on the high side (8 to 9 range), but within the plan we worked out. I will record everything and send the data eventually.

Shane, I really missed Cora's today as I consumed a large plate of grease and oil at the 5th Wheel Truck Stop in Grimsby this morning. Even more, I missed the great service and friendly atmosphere.

It is now time to go and tank up for tomorrow's ride which will be much more of a challenge.

CKAP 1006 Irwin Nayer Mississauga, Ontario

Day Two - Niagara Falls to Palmyra
172 km in 6:22 riding time, Min. temp 15C, Max. 35C.

Day two was not very challenging in terms of terrain and wind. It was just long for me. Breakfast was at a diner in Middleport called Peggy's Towpath Cafe, a reference to the Erie Canal that is my constant partner on the east bound leg of the journey. I am not on the Canal path system as their trails are mostly unpaved. The road surfaces are generally excellent and traffic has not been an issue, at least not on the weekend.

This leg featured a pass through Rochester which was an adventure. You miss one sign and that's it, you spend time and kilometres being lost and getting found. It did not help that I ended up at a corner where every street name changed as it crossed the intersection. Marla had much the same problem. By coincidence we ended up at a place called 12 Corners, around the corner from where her Uncle and family used to live.

Palmyra was an interesting little town dominated by churches, four at one intersection with a fifth behind one of the four. The Mormons were in Palmyra before they went to Utah and they have a huge event happening in town this coming week to be attended by adherents from around the world. This is their 50th annual event.

While having ice cream (Willie, Katherine and Chantal, no cringing, I rode 172 km!) we saw a deer walking across a farm field. The ice cream was superb (Black Cherry) and huge. Ice cream is the end of each day, a fine punctuation mark on an interesting day.

The photos taken
in wet conditions
are from the sixth
and last day of the ride.

Day Three - Palmyra to Rome
181 km (a new personal one-day best) in 6:22 - Min Temp 16C Max. 36C

There was some wildlife spotted today; three deer, one groundhog.

One great thing about getting on the road early on a weekend morning is that there is nobody else out there. I love the quiet and stillness.
Today there was no significant presence out there with me until late morning. Heaven!

It strikes me that the founders of many of the towns along the way had no creative spark. There are so many that end with the suffix 'port' in reference to their place on the Erie Canal. No doubt there was a time when the water-borne commerce the canal carried made these hamlets into ports of some small magnitude, but compared to what we know as ports today on the Great Lakes and on sea coasts around the world, these port bear greater resemblance to the wine of the same name than places of commerce.

The other dominant feature of town names is reference to places ancient and far away; Rome, Egypt, Macedon, Jordan, Clyde, Lyons, etc. Every town has a VFW or American Legion Hall, but many have no eateries. Today it took 64 km to find breakfast. On the other hand one can find a wide variety of road kill (commonly known to some of the more dentally challenged of the locals as 'lunch') anywhere. Today's menu included skunk, deer, cat, dog, raccoon, frog, Canada Goose opossum, and several species to mottled to identify. They occupy my riding lane making for some pungent manoeuvring.

Once again this ride was not much of a challenge. Climbs were easy (because I make them easy) and there was no getting lost. The distance beats my previous one-day best by 3 km. The 178 km was Kingston to Cornwall several years ago when I did Mississauga to Montreal.

Challenge comes tomorrow when I expect to be begging for mercy before the end of the day. Here is a hint, in Montreal I prefer to ride an extra 60 km around the mountain instead of going over it.

It rained all day
and I was pretty miserable
when I finished, but my bike
was in even worse condition

Day Four - Rome to Schenectady
161 km in 6:51, Min. Temp. 15C, Max. 35

I have had the New York State Bike Route maps (route numbers 5, 9 and 17) kicking around for over two years and in thinking about doing a trip like this one only one aspect has been intimidating me the whole time - today's ride. I am not much of a hill-climber and I knew that today I would have to leave it all on the road in order to stay on track.

I had the pleasure of enduring two years of self-doubt because the route maps contain topographical detail showing the elevation from end to end. Today's ride was the most challenging ever. This is saying a lot since I have ridden the Hana Highway in Maui and it is a continuous chain of serious climbs; however, Day four was longer by 58 km, hotter by a long shot, and the climbs steeper and longer.

No gear went unused today. Fortunately the bike was the best performer (I came in second) today thanks to the expertise of the guys at Re-My Sports.

No aspect of Day Four was easy except following the route... except for when got lost in Utica and burned a few km getting found. Marla's support was the best yet and made a huge difference. Today's hotel room is one of the best I have ever enjoyed. I am not a highly experienced traveller so it is easy to impress me with things like a dual-head shower and oodles of open space. I tend to explode into a hotel room and fill it up immediately, but this room defends itself well against such an assault.

Although it is only 5 PM, we are both famished, so we are off to explore the gustatory delights of Schenectady and then search for perfect ice cream.

Tomorrow I will explain the BPI (this will not be a lesson in economics).
Irwin - CKAP 1006 - 5,942 km so far in 2006

The photos taken
in dry conditions
were shot with
Central Park
in the background

The Ride - Day Five - Schenectady to Hyde Park
143 km in 6:04, Min. Temp. 22C, Max. 39C

The BPI was first conceived in 2001 when I rode from Mississauga to Montreal (four days, 633 km). It came to mind as the pain in my backside increased, thus the Butt Pain Index. It is a scale of 1 to 10 whereby 1 is mild discomfort that barely registers and 10 is "find any excuse to get off the bike, oh, look, a tree is growing, I think I will stop for a while and watch".

On this trip the BPI maxes out on steep hill climbs. Thus far I have endured the following maximums:
DAY BPI
   1      1
   2      2
   3      2
   4      9
   5      8
There is more Butt Pain yet to be enjoyed.

Today was supposed to be an "off" day. The ride was not long and the maps indicated that there would not be any serious climbing. It turned out to be as hard as Day Four. We started with a serious thunderstorm that pre-empted my usual start before 6:00 AM. As a result I did not benefit from cooler early temperatures. Today I was sweat-soaked in about 5 km. It also took only 3 km to lose the route, but less than one to find it again.

By the time I was ready to have breakfast I was in an area that had no diners of any kind.
I ate nuked 'Eggers' in a convenience store.

Heat stroke was a concern today. At times it was so hot and humid that wind on sweat did not provide any cooling. Frequent (for me) stops to cool off were required.

To top off my pleasure I had a flat tire today. This no big deal and even less so when I have Marla's support as she brought me my stand-up pump. This allowed me to avoid great energy and sweat expenditure using a mini-pump that I carry with me.

On the up side, there were beautiful views of the Hudson River valley today and I saw a couple of deer in the roadside forest. It is interesting that they are undisturbed as motor vehicles of all descriptions zoom past, but when I get near they skedaddle. I think it may be the odor.

Tomorrow looks like it will be a serious challenge with much climbing almost all the way to the end.

The ride was 942 km
done in
37 hours and 19 minutes
of riding time
about 25.2 km/hr average

Day Six - Hyde Park to New York City
141 km in 6:15; Min. Temp. 19C, Max. 27

Conditions: Extremely humid and rainy, heavy at times. - Max.BPI: 9

I made it! This was a tough day as it rained almost all the time and it was so heavy at times I had to stop because I could not see for all the water in my eyes.

There was a lot of climbing (984 metres all told) and the route was so badly marked in several places that getting lost became the norm. There would have been some great views of the Hudson River and surrounding area if there had not been a shroud of mist blanketing everything.

Crossing the George Washington Bridge was great, but diminished by having to carry the bike up and down stairs to do the crossing. I had to cancel plans to ride along Riverside Park for a while as serious storming was closing in on us. The sky opened up just as I got into the car.

We are staying in Secaucus, New Jersey. We drove here via the Lincoln Tunnel during rush hour. The traffic here is insane. I am right at home in it.

The weather will force an off-day tomorrow. I hope to explore the area by bike on Friday before heading for home on Saturday.

This was an adventure, but in the moment it really was just a bunch of bike rides. Many people do much more, much faster. It only seems remarkable to those who don't try stuff like this, but once you do, you find reserves you never knew you had. Mine are still largely untapped.

The real pleasure comes from finishing. Irwin

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