Saturday, August 21, 2010
On the road in PEI: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yax2mrVuVZw
A little prairie perspective: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLDwWPPNAUs
Riding the prairies: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYvjN8SXkCs
Rolling out from Crowsnest Pass: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ug6sLXME7Q
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Friday, August 6, 2010
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
My final day on the road was short... just 91km but was not without a last couple of challenges as I ended up doing 2 furious time trials... the first was over the last 10km to make the next ferry and save myself an hours wait (made it with less than a minute to spare)... and then a second all out sprint to the end through the streets of Victoria after being slowed up by some construction and knowing that Carmel and family/friends were waiting on me. I ended up missing my predicted arrival time by 9 mins... but that's not too bad after over 7000kms of riding!
The official finish was the mile "0" marker in Beacon Hill park in Victoria, where the TransCanada ends (begins?). Carmel and everyone were there waiting and I basked in my moment of glory as I was showered with champagne.
As I sit here the morning after... I feel a little lost. It seems strange to not be doing the usual routine of packing up and rolling out for another day of pedalling. The whole thing feels surreal and it will take some time to unwind and settle back into "normal" life. I'll post some final reflections on my journey in a few days but for now, here are the raw details. Despite what I said before I started, my competitive side took over once I got going and I did turn this into a race to see how fast I could get across the country and of course, to try and beat my birthday (which I did by 2 days!)
Number of days on the road: 42
Number of days actually riding: 40 (2 days off very early on for bike problems and visiting family)
Total distance: 7009 kms
Average distance per day: 175.2 kms (or 108.9 miles)
Longest single day: 235km (10 days over 200km)
Shortest day: 91km (the final day)
Total time on bike (just pedaling... not including stops): 339 hrs 25 mins
Average time in saddle per day: 8 hrs 29 mins
Sunday, August 1, 2010
The pics... Sasquach making off with the Kokanee is from the ridge above Osoyoos a couple days ago... the wooden statue is from my role-out in Hope this morning... and the Allison pass summit sign that marked the end to the final big climb of my trip just before a cold rain started and made the descent into Hope extra scary... a bad memory that is quickly receding and should be helped along by much drinking starting tomorrow afternoon!
Even though I can hardly walk today, (legs are dead), just knowing it's just one easy day to the end is envigorating! After this just have to head through the Fraser Valley (valley...like the sound of that word) to Tswassen where the ferry leaves for Victoria.
201 kms-10 hrs 19 minutes-6,757 kms
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Psychologically I'm really tired, fed-up, dying to finish. it might just be the frustration of being so close and still not finished.
Grand Forks -Greenwood - the first pass, long and gradual (at least for this area), then at Rock Creek a 21 km climb that ends in a picturesque peak (with a viewpoint motorists stop at to peer into the valley), and the drop dead descent into Osoyoos. The last one, every Ironman Canada finisher knows, it Richter Pass which is easy by comparison at 11 km and has a downhill dip in the middle.
It is sooo hot, I miss the morning chill. (Had to wear a vest), now I regret not appreciating it more. There are lots of hotels/motels ( and tourists) , but forgot it's the long weekend so there are ZERO vacancies. Have to pop the tent on the grass behind a gas station. There's also an RV parked overnight, the owner says no problem. Even get to use the washroom (but no shower). By now I don't care, two days and counting.
179-9 hrs 23 minutes-6,556 Total
Friday, July 30, 2010
Grand Forks, B.C.: The last Thursday ever! The count down continues. It was another grueling day in the mountains (can you hear Phil Liggett?) with no shade, no help and no mercy. Outside of Salmo the climb up Bombi Pass to Castlegar is another 38 km climb. It's not as steep as the Kootenay Pass but it's longer, B had to stop twice on the way up to catch his breath and a drink. Relief at the top but the descent was equally gruesome since it was recently paved and with the rain it was a slippery, scary drop into Christina Lake. It's supposed to be 35 degrees again on Friday, (but at least it's a dry heat), he'll start earlier in the morning for the
Winnipeg Hotel- B's staying at a landmark hotel in GF, the "Winnie", and visited my dad's grave to take a photo. My dad would have approved of his trip, he loved sports (esp. hockey) but as my mother would say, "that man would watch any sport on TV"137 kms- 7 hrs 17 minutes- 6,377 kms Total
Brendan wants to see the" skeleton get off a bike" in Vancouver, Jenny wonders about "bedraggled glory", and Peter thinks B's mind will go next. It's like torture, continuous pain can cause madness right?
C: Queens Stage: Kootenay Pass -6 thousand feet of continuous climbing? This is why I am in TO and NOT cycling with B. If it's the single hardest thing he's ever done (and he likes pain), I would have been crying at the bottom. Like Yellow Lake in Ironman Canada, there are some times it's okay to walk your bike; (outrageous!! Ironman keeners say), but if you can walk the marathon (or parts of it), you can walk the bike. That's my theory. Now suddenly B wants a granny gear!! ( Brenda & I told him to get one at the begininng). However at least he got a standing ovation at the top from a bunch of bikers (B.C. is hog heaven), they had stopped to recuperate and couldn't believe a cyclist could make it to the top without stopping. They asked for his autograph (he loved that!) and took his picture.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
194 kms-9hrs 26 mins. Total to date 6,240km.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Now the end is tantalizingly near and painfully far at the same time. Maybe Grand Forks by Thursday, Keremeos by Friday, Manning Park Saturday, and Monday Vancouver and the ferry to Victoria.
Can't get over how much traffic there is RVs by the dozen with retired drivers! Constant trucks and cars packed with kids. B.C. is a tourist magnet. Its so stressful have had to put away the ipod to concentrate totally on the traffic. The shoulder is so bad,littered with rocks, cracked and uneven, so have to ride on the road. It's tense.
Heath wise good thing its ending. Have permanent numb spots on both hands and blisters on both cheeks! IE saddle sores. Knees and quads are aching and takes increasingly longer to warm up in the morning. I've noticed my legs cramp easily even when I'm not on the bike.
168 kms-6 hrs 58 minutes- 6,046 kms Total
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Found a bar(empty as usual) and ordered the only thing on the menu-a personal pizza and wings. (Then watch the bartender undo the plastic and throw them into the microwave.) Still starving, I look for a corner store, nothing, BUT find another bar. Again it's empty BUT has a better menu so I order a burger n'fries. First time I ate dinner TWICE in the space of an hour.
Deathly silence, it seems unfair that after riding all day with no one to talk to, I arrive in town and there is NO ONE in the pub. Who would imagine I'd be desperate to talk?(with complete strangers - anyone? which is totally unlike me). It turns out there is such a thing as too much of a good thing (solitude). (C:Now I know why B is so annoyed when I don't answer the phone! And being out of town at a conference this week I haven't been around. A crime! Who knew.)
Weatherwise the mountains might bring relief. Cool in the morning and slowly heats up all day so not bad. Am apprehensive about rain in the mountains but might be lucky and miss it. On the energy front, am finding it hard to get going in the morning, generally tired, stiff, sore. Have to stretch out, and ride gingerly early on to settle the saddle sores. (Pain-free is no longer an option, but with only a week to go I can bear it). Tomorrow my mantra will be, "this is my last Tuesday", then "last Wednesday", last "Thursday". The mountains will be a distraction, now I need it.
148 kms - 6 hrs 40 minutes- 5,878 kms Total
Monday, July 26, 2010
In a first, find a women's wallet with ID, ten dollars, several pawn shop receipts, and a casino players card in it. There is a Casino here, so obviously she is a semi-regular player. Turned it into the desk and strangely she was still at the hotel (different room). Kind of sad.
174 kms-8 hrs 12 minutes-5,030 kms Total (corrected 5,730 kms Txs PN)
Sunday, July 25, 2010
One of the pics above is obviously coming into Medicine Hat late in the day... the other is a look back at one stretch of the long prairie road... click on it to enlarge and get you can get a sense of the endless roads and why this part of the trek is such a grind... I know the mountains are still ahead, but right now, this seems like the hardest part.