We’re Chris and Cooper, and this summer we’re bikepacking from the Arctic Ocean in Norway to the African sands of Morocco. 

We just got back from a 5 day training trip in the Okanagan of our home province of British Columbia, Canada. This was our first true shakedown of our fresh Breezer bikes, bags, and the rest of our gear. 

The route we chose follows a pretty historic old railway called the “Kettle Valley Railway.” The railway was originally opened in 1915 to service the growing mining industry in the Southern Interior region of British Columbia. The KVR was an engineering marvel for its time. It took nearly 20 years to complete and was one of the steepest, most expensive tracks built on the continent. After 40 years of service all 530 kilometers (330 miles) of KVR was decommissioned.

Since then it’s turned into a massive trail network that follows the old rail line. We used the KVR as the blueprint for the majority of the route, linking it together with a highway mountain pass to loop back to our starting point of Penticton.

The route winds through some spectacular canyons and valleys where you can see endless evidence of the Kettle Valley Railway, including old trestle bridges and tunnels. You pass through a number of small towns, including Beaverdell and Rock Creek, which both have a population of well below 150 people. It’s a pretty epic glimpse into what life in B.C would have been like 100 years ago.

You can check out our route here!

The trip was a major success. It gave us a lot of reassurance in our route planning, the gear, and our physical abilities.

We leave for Norway in 2 weeks, so we’re in the thick of finalizing our bikes, gear, and the first leg of the route. We could not be more excited! It feels like a big plunge into the unknown, as is the case with any 3+ month long trip. But we’re super confident in our planning, bikes, and the rest of our gear. All we’ve got left to do is start riding! 

Follow our journey here!


June 03, 2024