Saturday, June 29, 2013

Day Ten - Golden - Rest Day

Yes a rest day!!!!!!!   That means we get to sleep in which was a good thing since I did not get to sleep until quite late. For some reason, I just couldn't get to sleep. No snoring, no trains - just couldn't sleep. 

Finally got up and had some breakfast - cold cereal and most of the group was up already doing laundry and starting to clean their bikes. 

Our camp site soon resembled a laundry.

Laundry hanging everywhere in the camp site

Now our  camp site is a ways from where the truck is parked so we can have access to a nice pavilion to sit under. And I snapped Myra walking back to the campsite with her laundry.

Myra with her laundry

Got myself organized and cleaned my bike. OK - so I got rid of some surface dirt, cleaned and oiled the chain and that is about the extent of that. 

Cleaning up the bike
My philosophy is that if nothing is broken - then no reason to tweak anything!!!

This is Rob's (from the UK) SMALL bike. It isn't technically a folding bike - it comes apart in two pieces. But look at the size of the tires and then look at the front gear set. Almost the same SIZE!!!!!!

Big horned sheep

We had a bit of excitement in camp this afternoon when a small herd of big horned sheep came down the mountain side. They are in the middle of the picture above - I couldn't get any closer, but hopefully you can open the picture and see them. 

And the other bit of excitement was the Rocky Mountaineer Train that was stopped on the tracks across the river. 

Rocky Mountaineer Train (gosh - is that the name????)

I read for most of the afternoon. I brought five books and have already gone through three. Yikes - there are some books on the truck so I will have a look at those, got some magazines with me and then may have to hit a used book store. Got lots more sitting at home - I will have to stock up when I get to the Toronto area. I believe that date is August 3 or 4 - something like that. Still haven't made up my mind if I am going home or not. 

Our other excitement of the day - we started with a beautiful sunny day and then it got cloudier and then it got colder and then BANG - we were in the middle of a BIG thunderstorm.

It was POURING rain

Every one huddled in the pavilion. But thank goodness for the shelter

Haven't been to my tent yet so hopefully everything stayed dry today.

This is the inside of our truck. A bit full right now since a lot of stuff that usually gets off loaded did not get offloaded. 

My shelf on the truck. 

And Irene cleaned out the fridge today.  Yes - we are a good group!!!!!

Here is a photo of one of the MANY streams that we passed. Amazing the difference in temperature when you pass these streams.

Went to the grocery store to get a sandwich for lunch and just got back from having a great burger at a local restaurant. 

I see someone just brought back ice cream. While I am not an ice cream fan - I may have some. Sorry Anna!!!!!  I'll pretend I am you!!!!

Going to go to bed soon and hopefully get a decent sleep. Now looking forward to that climb out of here tomorrow. But my new motto is - gear down and suck it up!!!!!!!

Have a great day


Day Nine - Albert Canyon to Golden

I woke up after an AWESOME sleep to hear PITTER PATTER on my tent. NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I HATE HATE HATE packing up the tent in the rain. So I read for a bit and then a MIRACLE happened. While I was getting myself organized in the tent - it STOPPED raining. And by the time, I got out of tent - the sun was out. OH MY GOD- the sun!!!!

However I carefully packed my big rain coat, hat and knee warmers in a bag and bungied it to the rack. Covering my flender, but what are you going to do!!!!!

Dinner at camp or maybe this was breakfast - Canyon Hot Springs

Today is the day we hit Roger's Pass. It was about 34 K to the pass and although we spent a good part of that climbing, it really wasn't that difficult of a climb. The grade of the road was kind and we made decent time coming up the pass. I must admit that sometimes I am lazy and don't push myself as hard as I could, but then we aren't in a race - we just want to get to the camp ground.

Yeah - the SUMMIT. And when you are cycling, you never ask how high is the mountain, but how high is the mountain pass!!!!!!

Michel, Danny, me, Neal

Once we took pictures, we were off and had a wonderful descent. Actually we had TWO major descents today. On one of them, I had a bit of a scare. My wheels got in a rut in the shoulder of the road and I wasn't able to control the bike. Not a good thing. I was going fast and clipped in, so I just sort of hopped that bike out of the rut and I was good. I swore rather loudly - more in surprise than anything else. Let's just say that I was lucky - cause it wouldn't have been pretty. But don't worry  - I am careful and I wasn't going as fast as some of them because I chose to stay on the shoulder and I was following Neal and Michel.

This was taken the day before - forgot to post it

We also had to go through a series of snow sheds. The first three were before Roger's Pass. They weren't long and there were windows on the sides. Unlike the snow sheds on the more northern route (did those on Tour Pacific), there was no lights to alert motorists that cyclists were in the tunnel, but the shoulders were good and clean and there was light.

The first snow tunnel

After Roger's Pass, there were four more tunnels. The first one was long and DARK. Neal had his little flashing light on the bike and I followed that. I didn't have my glasses on either and I could NOT see the road. A bit of panic, but I figured that if I was following Neal, I was OK. Then the rest of the tunnels were on the dark hill and we zoomed through them. But there was light in them so we didn't have to worry about that. But I didn't have my glasses on, so had to be careful.

Then the map indicated that there was a SERIES of hills that we would find challenging. So the question of the day became - how many hills are in a SERIES????   Turns out there are THREE!!!!!   None of them were that difficult, but just made for slow slogging, although I am feeling stronger and stronger every day. I think I need to do a bit of massage on one of my quads though - it is protesting a bit.

I was worried about getting into Golden. I couldn't remember if there was a climb to get in because I know there is a heck of a climb to get out, but we were in a nice valley for the last 30 K or so and it was awesome. I remember the last time I was in Golden (two years ago), we stayed overnight and there was some construction on THAT HILL and overnight, the electricity was cut and there was NO power that morning. We had to go to Revelstoke for breakfast

Arrived in Golden with a sense of great satisfaction. It was an awesome day of riding. The sun was out, the temperature was warm, little wind, good company, NO RAIN. I mean it was just a perfect day. We stopped at Dairy Queen and I had a slushy - I really can't eat much during the day. Well not in big quantities and I am not a big ice cream fan.

Dairy Queen stop before getting into camp

I got my tent and sleeping bag all dried once I arrived in camp. So nice to have everything DRY!!!!!!!    We don't have to get up tomorrow - it is a rest day. YEAH!!!!!!!   So looking forward to doing NOTHING the entire day - well I must clean my bike.

Just had an awesome dinner again. Kudos to Margo (Tour du Canada) for organizing and providing some yummy recipes which are easy for the groups to follow. Yes - we are taking a few liberties here and there - but we are eating well!!!!!!

On that note - I am going to edit some pictures that I took today so you can see me at Roger's Pass. Oh yes - and the scenery was AWESOME today.

Neal and Michel - look at those mountains

Been seeing a lot of this sign

Here are the stats for yesterday

Total Riding time: 6 hours 30 minutes
Distance - 130.7 KM
Average speed - 20.1 KPH
Calories 3,932
Max speed - 48.5 KPH
Elevation gain - 1,047 M
Elevation loss - 762 M
Min Elevation - 260  M
Max Elevation - 577 M

Here are the stats for today
Total Riding time:   5 hours 52 minutes
Distance - 117.6 KM
Average speed - 20.0 KPH
Calories - 3,687
Max speed - 54.6 KPH
Elevation gain - 1,222 M
Elevation loss - 1,091 M
Min Elevation - 664 M
Max Elevation - 1,325 M

The total KM to date (not counting Victoria) is 768 KM. That is about 1/10 distance which would make sense since we are 10 days into the trip.

I see it is getting dark so I am going to upload the photos tomorrow.

We had a campfire last night and roasted marshmallows. I stuck it out as long as I could and then the mosquitoes got the best of me.

However I could NOT sleep. I read my book, then I lay there, then I read some more and then lay there. Finally around midnight I fell asleep. Thank goodness I could sleep in this morning.

Had fun listening to the trains last night. There is an area where they hook up the trains and what a sound when they get connected. Like a speeding bullet as the connections pull tight along the entire train!!!!!

Well - got the entire day ahead of me. Not sure what to do, but I am going to enjoy it.

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!


Friday, June 28, 2013

Day Eight - Salmon Arm - Albert Canyon

What can I say! I DO NOT learn. The previous day I did NOT have my rain jacket and decided that I did NOT need it again today. However I was proven wrong!

First though - here are some pictures from our campground last night.

The back of the truck - IN THE MUD. The campground - well the area around the truck was pretty muddy

Everyone sitting around at dinner

This is Jay and Len and me. Jay and Len met up with us in Salmon Arm. They are vets. It was great to hear their stories and knowing that some day we will be in their shoes. Well we will be next year!!!!!   And yes I was freezing so I had many layers of clothes on including my down sweater!!!!

This is Becky's foot AFTER she had a shower 
Yes - there was a lot of mud and it was just WET. The joys of camping!!!!!

And the washrooms were UP the hill. You can see the truck down below

Anyway - the day started out cloudy. We got to Three Valley Gap  around lunch time. It had started to spit but not really raining. Since it was a coolish day, we decided to stop for some hot soup. And of course while we were inside, it started to rain. 

Now the problem is that I do have a BIG rain jacket, but since I am travelling light, I don't really have a place to put the jacket. I decided to go with just my wind breaker. And it was a bit of a cool day. 

After our soup, we headed out but not before Michel and Neal suited up in their rain gear. I felt left out!!!!!   But lucky for me - it didn't really rain much after that and I was OK. I could have used an extra layer for warmth, but I was fine. 

We had some great hills to climb!!!!   But I was having a crappy day. Well not a bad day, but just wasn't my best. My breakfast didn't sit well with me (I wasn't sick) but just felt it in my stomach all day. Therefore, I did not eat enough, did not drink enough and my knee hurt because my leg muscles were tight. All my OWN fault. 

We were almost in Revelstoke when a car pulled up beside us. And then it pulled into a driveway ahead of us. It was a friend of Neal's who tracked him down. That really perked up my day and made me feel better. 

Then we stopped at the bike store in Revelstoke, where I managed to pick up a shrug for cycling. It is great - I had one, but seemed to have lost it on the Ride to Conquer Cancer. 

I needed it later on in the day when the temperature got rather chilly.

We did stop at Eagle's Pass where the Last Spike was driven in the CP Railway.

Eagle's Pass

This is a dedication monument at the Last Spike. It is quite neat because in the base is a stone from each of the provinces. I took pictures of a couple, but not going to load them now. 

At last we arrived at the campsite where the grass was wet. Yes - a definite theme going on here!!!!

HOWEVER - there was a HOT springs at this place and so that is where I spent a bit of time which is why I did not blog yesterday. I think that is a good reason to NOT blog. My muscles needed it and we had fun just chatting and relaxing. 

Everyone was in bed EARLY. I think I read until 9:30 and then I was gone too!!!!!!   I have been using my Thermarest (instead of the cot) the last couple of nights. It is a bit simpler to put up and down especially given the rain. 

Oh yes - I have a couple of road signs to show you..................

When you are in a car and you see this sign - you are HAPPY because you can pass that slow poke in front of you. However on a bike - this is BAD news because a passing lane usually means a HILL!!!!!
And this is a CYCLISTs friend. It means the hill climb is done!!!   Well almost!!!!!

On that note - I am out of here

Have a good day!!!!!!!!!!


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Day Seven - Kamloops to Salmon Arm (well close by)

The wonders of technology. Here I sit outside in a beautiful campground and yet I am able to connect to the internet.

I'll start with a couple of pictures from last night.

Here is the little playhouse where I was blogging from. At first, I started out on the porch, but it started to rain so I moved inside
See there is my chair
Can you see me in there?????

And then Eric had a problem with a cable on his bike so Mike and Michel got to work to help him.

Here they are trying to get things organized.
In no time, they had the cable replaced. Michel asked me if I was still having trouble with my gears. YES - at times, my bike is like an automatic - it changes gears when it wants!!!!!   So my bike went on the stand and they lubed the gears and cables and chain (OK - I got a few digs about it - yes - I MUST take better care of the bike). It seemed to work a bit better today, but I don't think the gear issue is completely fixed. However it was better.

Here are our tents set up. And NO - none of those trailers on the hill came crashing down!!!!!!!

Adam is our fearless truck driver and we are learning so much from him. He keeps trying to tell us stuff and saying it is FACT!!!!   He is pretty funny and making the trip enjoyable from a logistics point of view. BUT - look at this..............

 What does this look like to you????
When we arrived in camp, we looked on the information board in the truck for the location of the showers. ACROSS THE RIVER!!!!!!!!    Hmmmm - that doesn't look like a river to me!!!!!   We all had a good laugh about that one.

And camping requires that each person become creative. The coffee maker went on the fritz a day ago. Now for me that was no big deal, but for some - that was a CRISIS. And so at breakfast this  morning - here is Bill getting his fix.....

Water was boiled and then poured manually through the filters. I guess it worked!!!

Now let me tell you about today. I took some pictures this evening in camp, but I only have ONE picture from the ride.

The day started out with a HUGE descent - almost 13 KM. Hey - this might be an easy day?????   Well that was soon proven to be incorrect when we hit a BIT of a head wind. Oh yeah - that wind just whipped down the valley like there was no tomorrow.

Michel, Neil and I were together (our paces are about the same - more or less - OK - so the guys are stronger, but they put up with me!!!)  We ended up in a paceline (following each other) and we switched the leader after every TWO KM. Michel would ring the bell on his bike when it was time to change!!!!  That was more than enough to be out front in the wind. Of course - you couldn't really look at too much scenery as you were focused on the wheel of the bike ahead of you so you didn't crash. I kept calculating in my head how many more turns at front I had to do and that was the ONLY distance I was counting!!!!!   When you are behind the others, well there are times when we were coasting!!!!!!

THEN it started to rain. Now the good thing about the rain was there wasn't much wind, but we were 35 KM from camp. At first, it was a drizzle. Then you start to feel the water trickle into your socks. Then it started to rain a bit more and then it was POURING. I mean the windshield wipers on a car would have been hard pressed to keep it under control. Oh well  - we are out  - might as well enjoy the ride. At one point (I think my brain was gone by then - I was smiling at the fact that we were SOAKED - yep - I think I lost my mind!!!)

Then we took a detour (according to the map) through Salmon Arm and WHAT THE HELL??????   What are all these hills????  I am NOT kidding  - there were some wicked hills and then we ended up back on the highway. As everyone came in tonight - there were some wicked stories of the hills. Even on a good day, after 120KM - those hills were ugly, but when you are cold and wet - well..........   At least we all made it to camp safe and sound. And everyone was happy after they got in. That's all that counts.

But it rained on and off for a bit after we arrived in camp so our campsite is a bit muddy. I shall show you tomorrow.

I call today a character building day.  While the conditions could have been a bit more adverse (and I doubt my shoes will be dry by tomorrow even though they are stuffed with newspaper), the day actually went by quite quickly and we have another great story to tell!!!!!!  

A couple of vets from previous years of Tour du Canada met up with us in the campsite. Len and Jay and a lady whose name I have forgotten. Great to hear their stories!!!!

I have left my phone in the truck which is WAY down the hill for the stats (had to come to the campsite office for WI-FI) so I will post that information tomorrow, but we did about 132 K and our average speed was 20 something which is excellent for the conditions.

I would really like to lay things out to get them dry. Hopefully tomorrow at camp we will be able to do that. I had left my big rain jacket and the rain hat on the truck. I think I shall be packing that with me tomorrow and of course - it will be dry as a bone!!!!!!   BUT - I know - you  want to know how the flender worked??????  Oh yes - it worked like a charm - while the rest of me was SOAKED, my butt was nice and dry!!!!!!

We had a late dinner today - the group got a bit more complicated meal than we have had previous, but everyone was OK with that. I mean what else can you do?????  People are starting (OK - lots are already in bed - it is now 9:30) and it is getting dark.

Oh yes - I forgot this is a picture of Neal having pie and ice cream at a fruit stand somewhere along the way where we stopped for lunch. No rain at that point!!!!

On that note - I am off to bed.

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!


Hello to everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    I miss you all!!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Day Six - Merritt to Kamloops (well near Kamloops)

What a day!!!!!!!!!!    I wish I could explain to you the freedom of cycling. The wind in your hair (OK - so I was wearing a helmet)  how about the wind on your face, good company, a full stomach, strong riding legs, no rain, the wind at your back and EXCELLENT roads. Honestly - makes me feel like a kid!!!!   I am forever thankful to my family for letting me escape this summer. I have a feeling I might be forever indebted to them when I get back home.

We started a bit late this morning as it was Crew Number three turn to make breakfast. The day started weird for me. I woke up at five (I HAD to put earplugs in last night - I just couldn't take the noise of the sawmill. It wasn't bad, but every once in a while I need silence to sleep. The ear plugs deadened the noise enough so I went to sleep. So I woke up at five. Turned over and went back to sleep. When I reawoke - I couldn't figure out why so many people were making so much noise. Turns out it was 6:15 and I was supposed to be up at 6 to help with breakfast. Thank goodness, I am quick because I was up and helping with breakfast pretty fast.

We made pancakes and oatmeal. YUM!!!!!!   I wish I had a pancake now. OH HEY - I still have  have a piece of quesdilla in the fridge from our dinner out last night. Give me a moment while I get that.

Yum - cold quesdilla!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyway - we finally left camp at almost nine AM. It was a relatively short day - only 89 K and very little climbing. And the roads were awesome. Smooth (for the most part), rolling hills and only one steep climb that lasted a couple of KM near the end.

(Anna, Diane, Mike - you would recognize 100% of the road today. Even the spot where we had to change my flat tire. It was fun!!!!!)

We really have an AMAZING group of people - ALL the participants, everyone is so helpful and considerate. It is really is such an amazing experience. I just wish I could convey that to you all. Unfortunately it is one of those things that you need to experience in order to know what I mean.

OK - so you want to see my invention for my bike?????   Well I do have fenders for my bike, but I did not bring them. In the past, I carried the trunk (a bag) on my bike and when it rained, that was enough to keep my butt dry. This year (thanks to Mike and George), I did not bring the trunk and my bottom got a bit wet in the rain the other day. So off to the dollar store to try and find something that would work.

Have a look..............
It's a FLENDER!!!!!!!

Fits perfect, cost $1.25, and I got a spare!!!!!!

Everyone said I was creative, but I am just cheap!!!!!!  We have all had a good laugh over it anyway!!!!!!

When I did the Tour Pacific a couple of years ago, we followed this route on one of the days. And for some reason, I missed the  Quilchena Hotel. How I missed this HUGE beautiful old building is beyond me. But we stopped for coffee and had apple muffins which were awesome.

Me in front of the Quilchena Hotel

Has some beautiful old pictures inside the building and the furnishings are amazing. Just bizarre that it is out in the middle of nowhere. But at one time, it was probably on a very popular route.

There were very few places to stop along the way, so we had to eat lunch on the side of the road.

Having lunch

We made some pretty good time today. I can't believe I kept up to the guys riding at over 30K an hour but as I said the roads were amazing. However for the last half, some of us slowed down a bit. I want to make sure that I have legs for the next couple of days as we have some major climbing to do.

I am going to run and get the stats of the day for you. The phone is charging. Wait a minute................

Total riding time: 3 hours, 45 minutes
Distance - 88.66 KM
Average speed -23.6 (not many down hills - just fast day)
Calories - 2,984
Max speed - 51.7 (ooops - guess there must have been at least one good downhill)

Elevation Gain - 668 M
Elevation Loss - 481 M
Min elevation - 603 M
Max elevation - 909 M

We didn't really have rain today, but we did get a small shower. The day started out sunny then clouded over. Now it is sort of raining in the campground so Fred and I are huddled in the kids playhouse in the RV campground doing the internet thing. Pretty funny. I took pictures which I will post tomorrow.

On that note - I am off to just relax, maybe read or just veg out.

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Monday, June 24, 2013

Day Five - Rest Day

Yes it is a rest day. I am not doing much of anything - gosh without those wheels beneath me I am TIRED. Of course it could have been that hot chocolate and scone that got to me.

As I lay in my tent last night after going to bed rather late because of yakking to Aussie Greg, I realized that the sawmill that is close by works around the clock!!!!  Yep - I could hear some motor thing going every time I woke up. But not to worry - I went right back to sleep. That cot was a good investment.

Of course at some point, I woke up to hear PITTER PATTER on the tent and thought OH NO - not rain. Yep - it was raining and it sounded like a LOT of rain. Well better it rain on  a rest day than a riding day.

I decided to get up and face the day around 7 and when I exited the tent - things were wet, but it wasn't really raining that hard. Had some cereal for breakfast and sat around and chatted until the laundromat was open. Got my clothes all clean and ready for the next couple of days - got my daily clothes bags ready (thanks to Jim) and I figure I am good to do laundry every THREE riding days.

Then I was off to do a bit of shopping. Found a bank - better yet - found my bank so I didn't have to pay that dratted $1.50 fee. Off to the dollar store to pick up a few items including an item which I hope to jerry rig on the bike as a fender. You will laugh when you see it. Can you guess what it could be????  Has to do with water. Then to the grocery store to stock up a few things - all healthy as well, but we have so much to eat on the truck that there wasn't a need - just a few little treats for me.

Found a little coffee shop where I had a hot chocolate and a scone. Doing a lot of reading which is good and maybe that made me sleepy! But I might just have to have a nap this afternoon. I will set a timer because I want to be able to sleep tonight.

I am loving my new bike computer. I get into camp - enable the bluetooth so it connects to my phone. Then the data is IMMEDIATELY uploaded to the internet. It is so painless - well it just the slickest thing. And I found out this morning, that I can share that link painlessly via e-mail or text message. I mean it just doesn't get any easier than that!!!!!!  I have to remember to turn the bluetooth off because it does use a lot of battery power on the computer and my phone.

Here are some of the numbers so you can get some idea of what we are doing.......

Day One - Vancouver to Mission - 90.31 K
Took 4.32 hours of riding time
Maximum speed was 46.7 KPH (obviously on a downhill)
Average speed 19.9
Gained altitude of 520 M
Loss altitude of 612 M
Maximum altitude 109 M
Calories burned (according to the formula based on my stats) 2,602

Day Two - Mission to Hope - 97.42 K
Took 4.53 hours of riding time
Maximum speed was 60.6 KPH (obviously a bigger hill than the previous day)
Average speed 19.9
Gained altitude of 530 M
Lost altitude of 349 M
Maximum altitude 184 M
Calories burned 2,763

Day Three - Hope to Merritt - 111.18 K
Took 5.46 hours of riding time
Maximum speed was 72.2 KPH   (obviously a REALLY REALLY BIG hill)
Average speed 19.3 (not bad considering all the climbing we did)
Gained altitude of 1,461 M
Lost altitude of 1,032 M
Maximum altitude 1,276 M (I think my numbers are about 30 M too high)
Calories burned 3,826

That makes a total of 299 K. The total of our trip is around  7,632 K (Bud miles) - - so there are still a LOT of KM to go.

The bike computer also puts together charts showing the actual climbs which are pretty cool. If you want me to send it to you - let me know. Text me and I will forward it to you when I can.

The battery on my phone isn't the greatest these days - I got the stupid phone wet before I left and I am contemplating getting a new one, but haven't bit the bullet yet.

I know my biggest struggle on this trip is going to be staying hydrated. I am not the best at drinking enough. So I have my big jug (ONE LITER) of chocolate milk here and trying to drink it and some water to keep up the fluids.

Bought a puzzle book at the dollar store (forgot to bring that with me) and I might just even crack out some other things to do this afternoon.

Still no word on whether we have to change our route or not - we are not scheduled to hit the Alberta border for a week (or something like that) so things may be somewhat in order for a bicycle to pass.

The rain has stopped and although it is cloudy, it is a nice day and things are drying up. Ooops - spoke too soon - the darn rain has started again, but I am comfy in the rec hall and no need to go out. And I am getting used to this little keyboard so things are going GREAT!!!!!!!!

On that note - I will catch up with you tomorrow. Got to make sure everything is charged up and ready to go!!!!!!   I am very much organized this trip.

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!


Miss you all back home - but I don't miss the weather - I hear it is brutal. Take care and drink lots!!!!!!!

On that note - have a great da

Day Four - Merritt

We had quite the day today. We started off with a beautiful blue sky, although the temperature wasn't all that warm. The last couple of nights, I have been sleeping with my sleeping bag zipped up to the top. I swear I was able to see my breath when we were cycling, but that was probably my imagination!!!

About 20 K in the ride on the Coquihalla Highway we came to THE CLIMB. Well - half of the ride today was climbing that pass and the rest was up and down.

The first part of the climbing was fairly easy, but at one point, the grade went to 6% and then up to 8% and it didn't go down!!!!!  Although I have done climbs like this before, even with worse grades, this one seemed to be quite the climb. We got to the snow shed and it is NOT encouraging when you see a steep hill ahead with some of the transport trucks labouring to get up the hill.

Here I am just outside the snow shed. I know - I look like I have a look of terror on my face!!!!!!!  Nope just fear of the big hill ahead!!!!
This is looking back down at the snow shed
And this is looking up the second part of the hill that we had to climb

But once we finally arrived at the top - well it was time to celebrate!!!!!!!!!!

My bike computer is off a bit as my summit elevation was 1,274 METERS but the summit is 1,244 M. And yes when we started the elevation was about 100 Meters so yes it was quite the climb.

We had some nice down hills and a tail wind, so we were sailing along after the summit. And then we had a BIG downhill. While some of us were crowding onto the shoulder which was crappy at that point, Aussie Greg went flying down the hill and I figured - WHY NOT! So I followed him. There wasn't much traffic at that point and there were THREE lanes so we were safer in the third lane than on the shoulder. What a cool descent!!!!!!!   Couldn't take my eyes off the road to see the maximum  speed!!!!!!   Hey - I'm not a complete idiot!!!

I was on galley duty tonight so it was important to get into camp at a decent time in order to have dinner ready for the rest of the group. I started out with Neil and Michel who were on my galley team. Greg and Greig are also on our team and we all arrived before 3 PM - plenty of time to set up the tent, have a shower and get everything ready for dinner.

After getting on a smaller highway which had little traffic which was a nice change, even the little hills seemed like mountains!!!!!!   I guess at that point my legs were tired and I had been on the bike for a while (we left shortly after 7 AM) and I was getting cranky?????  Also had to stop because I could hear a rattle on my bike and I was afraid something was going to get caught in the wheels. But couldn't find anything.

Oh yes - forgot to mention that today was a day of putting the jacket on, then taking it off, then putting the vest on and then taking it off. It was a crazy weather day. It was hot as we climbed through the pass, then we had quite the little rain storm on the other side. My shoes were wet, my butt was wet because I don't have a fender on the back and no rack on the back to keep the spray away from me. I MUST jerry rig something tomorrow in the event of more rain. But you know - it wasn't all that bad and technically didn't last that long.

We had a blast cooking dinner tonight. We made burritos and they were fabulous. We chopped veggies, cooked up the meat, made refried beans - well it was a hit. And then we made quick work of cleaning up as well. I am very impressed at how well that entire process works and it was fun. We do have a good, hard working galley crew!!!!!

Here is Michel and Aussie Greg cooking

All the stuff laid out - I should have gotten a better  picture of all the stuff we cut up. You think you are making HUGE quantities and then POOF - it is all gone!!!!!!
Chow time
Everyone is doing a great job so far. Jacquie did have an issue today nd even though it is 9:30 PM, she is still not at camp. She has a bad knee which gave her some issues on the climb today and is getting a ride into camp. We are not sure why she waited so long to catch a ride, but I am sure she had a good reason for that.

It is funny what goes through your head when you ride. It is hard to chat with someone because there is NO room to ride side by side and besides it is too dangerous. Let's just say that the ditty "the bear went over the mountain" went through my head MANY times. And what did the bear see on the other side of the mountain????   Well MORE mountains of course!!!!!

We had a little group session tonight getting to know each other a bit better. We have a tattoo artist on the trip. Hmmmmm - maybe???????   Well he doesn't have his tools with him, but I"m thinking a bike??????   And we have a psychiatrist as well - we made need his services before the trip is out!!!!   Lots of retired folk!!!  But retired YOUNG!!!!!

We also met Fay. She is 71, has cycled around the world and is a wonderful lady. She was out riding her bike when we met her and then she came to camp tonight. A very interesting lady.

We have a rest day tomorrow (Anna you would recognize where we are staying in Merritt!!!) so we get to sleep in tomorrow. I can't wait except that I can't sleep in!!!!

 I am going to attempt to put the pictures into the blog for yesterday. We seem to have better internet here tonight.

And I have to say that on the climb today as hard as it was  (Anna - Ashcroft was still the WORST!!!!!), I never once questioned why I am doing this. Maybe my brain is dead!!!!

Oh yes I got some interesting comments the other day. As we were preparing to leave camp, someone said that I was travelling very LIGHT.   MIKE - DO YOU HEAR THAT!!!!!!   I just have my tool bag (under the seat), my little bento box (on the top bar) and my handlebar bag in which I carry my big camera,  my lunch, my jacket and let's not forget George - he is along for the ride as well!!!!!!

On that note - I am out of here. The mosquitos are getting crazy and I still have to load those pictures for yesterday. Tomorrow, I will load up some stats for you to look at. Imagine today - I supposedly used almost 4000 calories!!!!!!   There is no way that I ate 4000 calories!!!   Hey Maria - how is that for a diet!!!!!   I miss all you guys at LifeTime. I won't be getting up to work out tomorrow!!!!!

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Day Three - Mission to Hope

We made it through another day of cycling. The day started off nice - well nice means NO RAIN, although the sky was not clear. And there is the question of what to wear. While it did get warm, I always wore my cycling vest. My jacket becomes a vest when you pull off the sleeves and so far, I have worn that jacket every day. It is just cool enough to warrant wearing it. OH - that is because we are going so fast. I'm KIDDING!!!!!

After all my work in prepping my tent and laundry bags and shower bags and whatnot, getting ready this morning was a breeze and I was ready in no time. But I waited for a couple of others to leave so we could ride together. That way if I got lost, I would have others to blame as well.

The breakfast crew cleaning up!

There was a big pond right by our campsite and the trout were jumping all night and the crows (or whatever bird they were) was squawking VERY early this morning. But as we were getting ready this morning, a big blue heron came in and sat at the edge of the pond. After he realized that he wasn't going to get anything from the pond - he flew up into a tree. Pretty cool.

The heron is about dead center in the picture

I have to tell you about my cot. I LOVE IT!!!!!   It is very comfortable and just like sleeping in a bed. I am glad that I got the wider one (you know what happens when us women have children!!!)

My cot and it fits perfectly in my tent!!!!!

This morning, we started off with Megan, Clark, Becky and myself. We were the first out, but after a bit, it was clear that Megan and Clark were a bit more advanced than us and they went ahead. But Becky and I had a good chat along the way and it was a pleasant day.

The shoulders were wide, the traffic was considerate (for the most part) and so nice to be riding out of the city.

We did stop in Agassiz for lunch. There was a beautiful park there where we ate our lunch and just before we left, a number of other riders caught up with us. We forged on. I think we had only one major hill to climb today and it wasn't long. The rest were very doable.


No issues with the maps today. And we took a slight detour to get to our camp and we went to see the Orthello Tunnels. OH MY GOODNESS - I have never seen them before and they are spectacular. We had to go through a LONG rough mountain bike type trail before getting to them. But it was so worth it. Now we could have come the other direction, but that would have meant cycling up a couple of BIG hills. I am glad we went the way we did.

The trail which led to the Orthello Tunnels - we went in the back way
Looking off the train tressel
Entrance to one of the tunnels

Now the big issue - is how to keep eating enough. That is pretty bad when you  can't eat enough every day. Well - I mean we have LOTS of food so that isn't the issue, but I am craving APPLES and I have already eaten THREE!!!!!  (this afternoon)

I did manage to buy bug spray so hopefully I will be set tonight in the event that we have mosquitoes. I hope we don't - let's hope for a little breeze - that would be perfect.

Group dynamics are great. We really do have a diverse group and everyone is pulling together so that helps a whole lot.

I am going to go and edit some pictures so I can add them to the blog.

I am happy (and the sun is out right now!!!) and so thankful that I am able to do this trip. Of course - I might not be saying that in a couple of weeks!!!!!  No idea how we are going to get through Alberta yet - but that is not on the agenda for tomorrow.

Have a good day!!!!!!!!!!!!


Sorry - no pictures today.  It is a very convoluted process to get them loaded and I have got them edited and ready to load and the internet is slow????   Anyway - I will post them when I can.