There is one advantage to sleeping on a cliff with a big wind. The tents were absolutely dry this morning. Yes - there wasn't a lick of condensation on my tent.
Note to self - NO MORE racing. My knee wasn't too happy last night but that was pretty much all my fault. My torn meniscus (in my knee) doesn't like all that hard work. I took a couple of Advil and I was fine. My knee was just fine today.
Today was the day we moved to PEI. I was up early and got an early start. I wanted to catch that first shuttle across the bridge. I left by myself - I think that will just be my thing. I so enjoy riding much more. I know - I've said that a thousand times - I will try to not repeat myself. Just a sign of old age!!!!
So I arrive at the bridge around 8 AM. The shuttle isn't there so I zip up the tower to take a couple of pictures of the bridge. Wandered around the gift shop a bit and ooops - there is the shuttle. I was the only one there and the driver wanted to head back to the other side so he loaded up my bike and I was the only one on that shuttle. YES - it is true - the early bird catches the worm. There is room for 7 bikes on that shuttle and what a shame that I was by myself. Oh well - we were on the bridge when the call came in that the others were arriving. They had been told the shuttle was for 8:30 AM, but since it takes some time to get organized - they should have been there ahead of time. Oh well.
Got the required picture - Welcome to PEI and then I was off. It sure helps to know where you are going as I remembered the road from the previous year. I stopped in Victoria by the Sea at Island Chocolates to have some dessert. I know - who cares about the main meal when you can have dessert. The dessert of the day was cheesecake with blueberries and a pot of tea. I sat outside and it was glorious.
Oh yes - on my way there - I did take a little detour which required that I ride on a road that was covered with the lovely red soil of PEI. Then I ended up in Victoria on a different road than how we went in on last year, but my nose soon found the chocolate shop. They had tons of small bags of chocolate covered coffee beans which was not my thing but I managed to find some chocolate covered cranberries which I haven't had a chance to sample yet.
Then it was back on the road. There was a lovely headwind for a good part of the day. Well - head winds are not my thing and I had two choices - one was to be a whimp and complain and be miserable or embrace that wind and not let it defeat me. I chose the latter option. Yes - it was tough at times and there were a LOT of long, but not steep hills on the road but I did not let that stop me. I kept thinking about that last day in Newfoundland last year when I nearly let the wind destroy the joy of completing that trip. I will NEVER let that happen again. I will take the wind for what it is - consider it a super training day and just move on. Now there was a major difference here - today I only had 40K to ride into the wind - not 140 K like on the NFLD day. I hope I can keep my resolve.
Had to make more choices - since it was a relatively short day and I made excellent time on the bridge crossing (some people did not get to PEI until after 11 AM. I know - I had been over here for hours by then. Anyway - I really really needed to get new brakes for my bike. They had worn prematurely and I was a bit concerned for what was going to happen on the Cabot Trail. At my break in the morning - I checked out a bike shop in Charlottetown and yes - they had all kinds of brake pads so I decided to add an extra 10 K into the wind to go to Charlottetown to get new brake pads. Again - the wind wasn't really that big of a deal.
As I was riding down University Ave., I saw an Indigo. I know - I just needed a magazine fix. I stopped - NOT a single place to lock my bike. Hmmm - what to do? what to do? I rode up to the window and the quilting magazines are right there by the window. So I locked my bike up but not to anything and went in and spent a lovely half hour just soaking up the pictures. I found a LOT of interesting things - OK - so I took a lot of pictures. I did buy one magazine but you know my space issue so I tucked the magazine (wrapped in a bag) into the back of my jersey and it made the trip very nicely.
A bit further down was the bike shop and they took the bike in right away and $30 later - I had new brake pads front and back and nicely adjusted. I feel pretty safe about the Cabot Trail now. Then I decided to stop at Tim's for lunch. I know - all the other restaurants in the world and I stop at Tim's. Well you know how it is - it is a safe choice. But I couldn't eat everything so I now had to find room for a muffin. And let's not forget the bike jersey that I bought at the bike shop. A PEI bike jersey!!!! I managed but there sure wasn't any room to spare.
Back up University Ave. which was against the wind all the way and then rolled into camp. As I was heading toward camp - I saw a couple of the others headed into Charlottetown. And when I got to camp - a bit after 2 PM - some people were just rolling in from the bridge shuttle. That makes TWO years in a row that something seems fishy about the operation of the shuttle. It really shouldn't take that long to get people across but it seems to take forever. Like I said - some people didn't get to the island until after 11 AM. That is crazy.
Tent is up, shower is done and some of us sat around and had a great chat discussing the route to the ferry tomorrow. Can't remember which way we took, but I will check my blog tonight to see which way. I am going for the shortest way even though it is hillier. I did check and we took the longer way last year. Time to do something different.
Anyway - I think that covers everything - but again - I cannot reiterate enough about this tour. Even though doing this tour is a physical thing - I think the mental toughness required is way more important. I know a lot of people came into camp a bit down and I felt bad since I had had a great day. But really - you need to embrace all those bad things - the wind, the rain, the camping, and everything else and make it what you want it to be. A fun adventure. Oh yes - I can have a crappy day (as witnessed by that last day last year) and I don't want that to happen again. Fortunately I know for me that riding by myself is the way to go. I can only be mad at myself. I am not worried about catching up to someone. I don't care how long others take in certain locations or if I want to spend more time myself - I have only to account to myself and I like it that way. Yep - little old anti-social me!!!!
The big question is what to do for next year???? Well - I am getting some ideas and I have found a couple that I really like - hmmmmm - maybe enough ideas for the next couple of years. Don't forget - we have a couple of Europeans on the trip and well - some neat ideas!!!!!
Oh yes - the sky was cloudy again and although we had no rain - it certainly looked like it might rain all day. I just moved into the rec center because it was starting to rain a bit. Guess who else was in the shelter - yep - they were playing BINGO. But they are finished now and it is deadly quiet!!!!!
On that note - I see we have WI-FI - so I am going to try and upload two days worth of blogs.
Have a great day!!!!