Day 3 – Coquihalla Highway

Hi everyone, I’m alive. Day 3 was a real test on many levels.

The Grind

Yesterday I completed a part of the trip that I’ve been dreading ever since I first planned the trip route. The Coquihalla Highway. A difficult stretch north of Hope, with over 1,500m of elevation.

It was perhaps the most physically and mentally demanding challenge in terms of workouts that I’ve ever done. The uphill was non-stop for a 40km stretch, only getting steeper as you approach the summit. Not only was the weight of the gear a huge factor, but with the narrow dirt-covered shoulders at times, the riding was difficult. No reception, no towns in between, and water running low, just to really add to the experience. 😉

That said, the highlights were worth it. The beauty of the mountains was breathtaking. So much so that I got goosebumps seeing them, with the music just right.

As well, the best surprise was finding a food truck near the summit. A miracle indeed!

The other highlights were all truckers honking and waving in support to cheer me on as I grinded my way up the never-ending mountain.

Reaching the true summit was an indescribable feeling.

The Fall

The worst part of the day came towards the end of the ride, as I was making my way towards Kingsvale.

I followed a routine bike route detour along the highway (plenty of those to keep cyclists safe and away from the traffic, marked with signs.) This road was downhill, and I followed it, going an average speed, and seeing a bridge come up from the distance.

As I embarked on the bridge, I realized within seconds that it wouldn’t be possible to ride on. I quickly swerved, and got thrown off the bike, falling to my left, and landing hard with my left ribs taking most of the impact. There was next to no reasonable way of avoiding this, and I could not believe the danger of this “bike route”.

In that moment, I felt anger. Some of you know that I’ve already broken my ribs back in January of this year (on the right side), and it was an immensely painful and long recovery that took nearly 5 months. This fall felt all too familiar. Everything about it. Not only would I be crushed to go through such recovery again, but I’d mostly be deeply disappointed to have to call off this trip.

I’ve had a day to listen to my body and process everything. I’ve been able to ride this morning, and it the pain was very manageable. I will continue to monitor it. If I know one thing about broken ribs, it’s that they can take a few days for you to really know if they’re broken or not.

Now I continue my journey, and nothing I can do but hope that is not the case. If it is, then I will have to make a difficult decision on what’s next, putting my health first and foremost.

Daily Stats

  • Route: Hope, BC —> Kingsvale, BC
  • Distance: 90km
  • Elevation: 1,575m
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10 Responses

  1. Salut Alexis. Bravo pour cette grande aventure ! J’espère que tes côtes ne sont pas trop douloureuses.
    Pascal

  2. Dude! just caught up on your posts, the photos are looking amazing (love the shot of you dipping your bike in the pacific). Sorry to hear you took a fall on those ribs, hope it’s nothing serious. Looking forward to seeing more awesome shots! ✌️

  3. ouch ! effectivement les côtes cassées ça fait souffrir et j’espère que tes côtes sont “bones” !
    mais pour mettre des passages comme ça sur une piste cyclable c’est qu’il y a une caméra cachée pour filmer les chutes !!!??? ils sont fous ! En tout cas bravo pour l’ascension de cette montagne et take care pour la suite !

  4. Ouch! Sounds like a rough day. I’m sure trying to go over a cattle grid in the wet after summiting the Coquihalla earlier in the day (on a heavy bike!!) was anything but easy…

    Hope the ribs are okay and it doesn’t impact you too much!

  5. I am so sorry to hear you had a fall off your bike and may have to call off your trip. Can you ride your bike? Your health is very important. I hope you will be able to see a doctor at the nearest town. You may need an X-ray and pain medication.

  6. Hello my wonderful Alexis. First of all congratulations for that huge triumph getting over the coquahalla . That in itself is amazing. I can totally understand how you could dread that prior to your trip.

    I am amazed at your strength and endurance to get to where you are so far. And love your photos and your overall blog it’s just amazing.

    Yes that picture of the bridge that you crossed. They should’ve had a sign there for sure that said “stop and walk “ your bike across. Hopefully we can update the province on that one.

    Thinking of you during this time and praying that your ribs are OK so you can continue on this fantastic journey.

    Well as GG always said, “tomorrow is a new day so we will think about this tomorrow” Well something like that I Always remember her saying that to your mom and myself whenever we were feeling down. And it worked!

    With love, Ta Ta Ton

  7. Ce n’était pas un pont, c’était un piège, une véritable herse!
    Est-ce que au Canada on peut facilement et sans trop payer voir un docteur et passer une radio?
    Au moins tu serais rassuré, et peut-être pourrais-tu aussi prendre des anti-douleur.
    Courage pour la suite, tu vis une expérience fantastique!
    Yves

  8. Alexis! Quel accomplissement et quelle déception … et tout ceci durant la même journée!!!!! La vie nous envoie de vrai défis parfois. Mes doigts sont croisés que tout s’arrangera pour le mieux. ❤️

  9. Franchement il pourrait annoncer ce pont-piège afin d’avertir les dangers qu’il représente aux cyclistes et aux automobilistes. Il serait peut-être sage de consulter un médecin avant de continuer ta route. En espérant que ton aventure puisse continuer!

  10. Alexis you have become my number one inspirational and most motivational person in my life right now. Love Ta Ta Ton

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