Monday, June 24, 2013

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!!!!!!!!!!!!


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