Sunday, August 25, 2013

Day 67 - Lower Barney's River - Lake Aisley

Day 67 - a day that I have been dreading for a while. It was our last CENTURY ride (100 miles) and I knew the terrain was going to be hilly.

Keeping in mind that last night was Saturday, some people were yakking around their campfires for a bit. But it was the band or some form of music that started playing at 1:30 AM that was the killer. I mean - does the campground not have rules about that sort of thing???   I put my ear plugs in and because I was tired - I was out and it didn't bother me at all.

When we awoke - let's say that it was a tad CHILLY!!!!!   I don't know what the exact temperature was, but it was cold. I threw on my knee warmers, my shrug beneath my wind breaker and my gloves over my my cycling gloves. The sky was clear and we were in the shade - I knew that it was going to get warmer, but by how much and when????   About 10K out of the campground, you could feel the warmth of the sun, but it was NOT enough to take anything off yet - well I did take the extra gloves off. Then we rounded the point and were completely in the shade and I was glad I still had the extra clothes on.  Around 9 AM - all the extra stuff came off - it turned out to be a nice sunny day, but not too hot.

We stopped in Antigonish for our second breakfast. There wasn't much open, but we found a cafe in one of the hotels. I SHOULD have remembered that there was a little restaurant at the other edge of town because I had lunch there last year. We came into town from the other end last year - I really need to look at a map to see the roads - I am NOT good at remembering.

Then just before we got to the Canso Causeway - we saw a big sign that said TdC Riders. Hmmmmm- someone welcoming us to Cape Breton?????   The sign was in front of the firehall, so we took pictures and left it at that. Later we found out that the sister of a rider from last year had a FABULOUS spread for us inside. Some of the others stopped, but we had no clue!!!!!   Oh well!!!!   And it was at that spot that I was looking for a washroom and maybe lunch!!!!!!  I guess she had come out and waved down some of the others after us, but she missed us!!!!   Not like we were going fast or anything!

We did see a lemonade stand a while before that on one of the secondary highways. It seems that almost the entire group stopped at some point in the day. Those kids made good money - I hope they realize that won't happen every day!!!!   But they had lemonade which was EXCELLENT and fudge - I didn't have any fudge, but it was equally as good I heard.

The route that we are taking on this trip is completely different than what we did last time. Well - tomorrow we will get on the same route as what I rode last year - the much anticipated CABOT TRAIL.  We crossed the Causeway - it is so deceptive - you turn the corner and see a HUGE hill, then realize a few minutes later that you are NOT on the same highway as that hill. Thank god!!!!!   Cross the bridge and you are on CAPE BRETON island. Let's just say that while the terrain in the morning was hilly, it got MUCH hillier once we were on the island. Not that the hills were steep - but many of them were LONG. And given the fact that we were riding 167K, the hills got to be a LOT after while. My gluts were working overtime and I was getting tired. Did I say that we had a headwind as well?????   Not a big one or else, I am getting stronger, but still enough to make it annoying.

About 20 K from camp, we stopped a gas station in a small town on the Indian Reservation. It just so happened to be their summer olympics day or something like that. The event was being held not far from the gas station - needless to say - the place was hopping. It was like a zoo - there were three security people in the store besides the people behind the cash. And of the course the line was long and it was taking forever. Normally we just park our bikes outside the store and go in. The longer we waited, we weren't sure if they would still be outside when we went out. But they were.

At last we arrived at camp. And although it was our cook crew's turn - we didn't have to cook. The campground was putting on a pot luck for us!!!!!!    WOW!!!!!   We did cut up some veggies (any leftovers will be very welcome since we don't usually have that kind of thing) and we took the veggies, but we have loads left over for tomorrow. Let's just say that this community knows how to put on a pot luck. There were salads, meat dishes, chilies, perogies, and desserts - too many to mention. I think we all ate well. The only problem is that some of the people didn't get in too early and so they rushed to get their tents up and then had a shower after dinner. But the pot luck was enjoyed by all and we definitely got a feel of the Cape Breton hospitality.

Again our tents are set up by the water. That seems to be a common theme!!!!   And while it was warm when I arrived in camp at 4:30 PM, it had gotten quite chilly when we left the rec center.

I will be doing some stretching tonight before I go to sleep. While today was a tough day with 167 K of distance and 1,227 Meters of climbing - tomorrow is going to be even tougher. The distance is shorter (not by much), but we hit those mountains tomorrow. I remember them from last year - only the second one should present a problem.

Our tents are packed in tonight and already I can hear someone snoring. That is the problem with getting in early and setting up - you then have NO control over who puts up their tent next to you. I wasn't smart when I picked my spot!!!!!!   It is getting too late to get smart about that!  But I think that those that snore should be conscious of it and put their tent up far away, but NO - they insist they  being right in the middle of the group. Oh well - ear plugs again I think.

I see we are supposed to have WiFi, so I will try to get this posted tonight without resorting to going up to the washroom - which are VERY NICE indeed.

And there are FOUR days of cycling left. Can you believe it?????????   The more I ride and the closer we get - it is finally starting to sink in - the enormity of what we have accomplished this summer. I think we have about 450 K left to cycle.

Oh yes - my gluts - so as you cycle - you have loads of time to think about things. I was thinking of Jane Fonda - remember when she talked about "the burn" -  well that is what I felt today. And then you have heard of BUNS OF STEEL - well I think my butt is feeling like buns of steel after today. I hope it survives tomorrow.

On that note - I am out of here.

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


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