Thursday, August 4, 2016

Day Three - Hope to Lytton

What an incredible day!  128K - that was about 10K over what the map said and 5 k was my fault and the other 5 k was a map issue.

I decided I was going to take my bike through the tunnels since I hadn't done that the night before.  So much easier to get to the correct road, however I did have a minor SNAFU.  I am zipping down the trail and had noticed a sign. Then I got to thinking - -I should have checked that sign to see what it said.  I continue down the path for another 2 KM and still not getting to the end , I backtracked to read the sign.  Oh GREAT!   It says the end of the road was at 2.7.  So back to where I had been and I was about .6 KM short of hitting the road the first time.   Oh well - good practice for the day.

Today was a day of hill climbing.  Thankfully the climbs weren't too steep, but we did get up to 10% grade on some of the climbs.  Some were short, some were long.  I'm not sure if I should mention anything about the descents.  Oh boy - there you are whipping down the shoulder of the road avoiding the rumble strips on the outside (in the shoulder area) of the road and praying there wasn't going to be a hole or debris that was going to cause problems.  I won't mention some of the speeds attained.  It's just better that way!

And let's not forget about the traffic.  There are some transport trucks that are helpful by giving you a bit of space as they pass you.  And then there are those which don't budge an inch.   A couple of times, I glanced up and there is the edge of a flatbed trailer not far from my face as it passes at great speed.  I just close my eyes - just kidding!   I've very aware of those vehicles.  While I love the passing lanes, I also hate them.  There is no shoulder on them and the worst is when you get two idiots who want to pass each other at the same moment they are passing you!   A camper was so close, if I hadn't of had my elbows tucked in, I'm sure I would have hit the trailer.  Well maybe not that close, but it was a bit of a scare.

The Othello Rail tunnels were amazing as usual.  I've seen them several times, but a bit eerie when you are the only person around.  Especially the big one as it's pretty dark.   That was first thing this morning and then we had seven tunnels to go through on the road.  That was a bit more scary as there was live traffic on the road. Now technically, cyclists are supposed to ride on the ridiculously narrow sidewalk which runs along ONE side of the tunnel.  The opposite side that we were on.  So I put my brilliant tail light on the bike and pedaled like a demon through the tunnels.  Two are long enough that they have a light that cyclists can activate before entering the tunnels.  So whenever you see those bright yellow flashing lights - they are there for a reason.

The biggest climb today was up Jackass Mountain.  I think the summit was 361 M.  My speedometer was off by a bit and said 340 M.  No worries - it was a long slog up that mountain, however at least we started at about 200 M. Still a big climb.

The morning had been cloudy and I was a bit cold until we started all the climbing. Then one minute you were sweating on the climb, then freezing on the descent. What fun!  I kept my outer gear on all day despite the fact that the moment I reached the top of Jackass Mountain and started down the other side, the sky cleared up and the sun came out. It was glorious and then a beautiful tail wind whipped up.  Well not until later, but by that time, I was so tired of climbing that I just couldn't get the energy going to take advantage of the wind.  Let's just say that I'm happy it was a tail wind as it was quite strong.

Now I've arrived at camp.  I wasn't the last person in - I think someone is still on the road.  Total time was 8 hours, but that included all my stops of which there were a lot.  I drank, I ate, I stopped to take a couple of pictures and despite the tiredness in my legs, it was a glorious day!!!

Better than last night when we were all very cold, part of that was because of the damp.  Now we have a great breeze, the sun and well it doesn't get much better than this.

And I should mention that while this is a physical thing to do, it's 90% mental.  After having to do that huge hill just before camp last night - just about finished me. I was so mad that I had not taken the tunnel route. And today, after screwing up the tunnel route, I was still mad at myself.  As the day went on, I reminded myself several times that this is what we do for fun!!!!  And when the sun came - it was definitely a glorious day.  I think my brain is wavering because my quads are not happy!!!!

On that note - I'm off to find a book to read.

Have a great day!


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