Master the Dempster

Find the best spot on the road to bike without sliding.
Control the wrists to move slightly my 65-kilo equipment on the right track where gravel is less worst.
Think twice about leaving a hand from the handlebar to take a bit of water.
Nod the head instead of waving the hand to answer back to motorists.
Eat the dust when a truck pass by.
Hear not only the mosquitos’ noise flying around like electrons, but the general buzz of the whole forest shaking in the Mackenzie Delta.
Enjoy a never-ending sunset followed immediately by a sunrise that is never-ending as well.
Think that the sun enlightening from the north brings sunshine at the same time in Australia and in Russia.
Bike at night, but come back to the day routine after 72 hours, because sleeping in a tent-sauna is not that fun.
Sing loudly from time to time, just to say to the hypothetical bear that I’m here.
Know all the details about the other cyclists on the Dempster, through motorists who stop and “survey” all of them.
Say to yourself that the road segments where the back wheel don’t grip easily and make me go at 11 km/h won’t last forever, and that I have to go through it.
Enjoy the road segments where you can bike without any trouble, easily, because they won’t last.
Savor the three eggs-toasts-ham-bacon-saussage-potatoes-coffee from Eagle Plains Lodge, a pit stop halfway of this 740 kilometers road.
Be proud of having biked 110 kilometers on good rhythm that day where I have eaten that three eggs-toasts-ham-bacon-saussage-potatoes-coffee.
Thanks those two Albertans motorcyclists who stopped and gave me water, those Germans who gave me a handful of candies, this hitchhiker who offered me some caribou and those Americans that made me peanut butter and jam sandwiches.
Accept the rain and that sticky mud that get everywhere on my chain and speed system, and wait if it’s getting chaotic.
Hold back the pleasure of downhill, because 50 km/h on gravel might not be the best.

Actually, we can’t really master the Dempster, we have to adapt to it, go to it’s rhythm.

Those 5 days of transit that gave me the possibility to come up to Inuvik and the 3 days spent there where beneficial to start to get to that rhythm. It was a good challenge to start by this extreme, as much for me as my bicycle. The pedal part that broke up during the warm-up worked perfectly this time, thanks to the team of the workshop Le Grand Cycle who fixed everything. Moreover, the tires with kevlar work wonderfully, no flat tires on the Dempster! And now, a few days of rest, discoveries and preparation for the following road segment (on paved road!) in Dawson City!

 

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