Monday, June 21, 2010

Day 20 - Sunday June 20 - Wabigoon to Kakabeka Falls (309 km)

"Going for the Goal"
One of my goals for this trip was to have one day where I rode 300 km. We'd (J and I) hoped to take advantage of the flatness of the prairies for this, but the opportunity never arose, and I was starting to think I'd missed my chance. But last night we checked the weather from our campsite, and the forecast looked promising: winds coming from the west (5 km/hr), high of 24 degrees, and sunny with cloudy periods. I thought it might be a good day to try for 300 km, and decided to play it by ear. We got up at 4:30 am to jump-start the day, and I was on the road by 5:45 while Dad took down the tents and washed our oatmeal dishes (talk about spoiled right!). The first 20 kms were absolutely beautiful - last remaining wisps of a pink sunrise, mist rising off of the lakes disappearing as the sun peeked through, and cool but comfortable. By 20 kms, I was committed: today was going to be the 300 km day. The style of riding in bicycle touring is much different from biking at home. For example, at home when there is a hill, I usually like to attack it: pick up speed, out of the saddle, riding aggressively and downshifting only as necessary. Breathless at the top? Good - keep going through it - it's a great training stimulus! It's different on trip though, because you have to ride all day - avoiding that breathless lactate threshold is key to being able to maintain a steady pace all day. Today however, I knew I'd need to ride like I was at home (slow and steady probably wouldn't do the trick). So, I set small goals as I went: 100 km before 10am, 150 km before noon, and then smaller goals as the day wore on (15 km before next snack). The day was beautiful, and though the tailwind was slight I was grateful for it. Dad rode for 50 km today on his mountain bike and we road together for part of that which was nice. I had one flat tire (not TOO bad for a Canadian Tire tire I suppose!), but the two of us changed it and we were on the road again in no time. A girl on the back of a motorcycle gave me a "WOO-OOO!" and a fist-pump; Dad brought me an ice-cream bar mid-day; and we sat on actual lawn chairs at lunch (a most definite improvement over the gravel shoulder!). The last 80 km of the day were very hilly, and I must admit I was tiring, but I was buoyed by the thought that I was going to reach the goal. Dad drove ahead of me to Kakabeka Falls and met me in the parking lot with a high five and a grin when I rode in around 7pm (or I guess, technically, 8pm as we crossed the time zone line today!). What an awesome feeling - glowing satisfaction. [By special request (Mom) the trip stats were: 309.06 km, 10 hrs 41 mins, 28.92 km/hr]. We got cleaned up and then walked around the falls (pretty spectacular). We went to town to get groceries for dinner (by car) and are heading to bed around 11. Where do the days go?! I'm feeling very content, and glad I can check that one off the list!

1 comment:

  1. What a machine on that Foxy Lady. Must have been an incredible feeling of accomplishment!
    Hope I can keep up with you in the truck!
    Love Aunt Trish