Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Day 5 - East of Malakwa to Golden (183 km)

There was rain in the forecast for today, and knowing that we were on a stretch of highway where biking in the rain was dangerous we opted to sleep in (till 7) and leave a little later in the hopes that the rain would let up. We had a leisurely breakfast at the campsite and got to pet a hummingbird that Mrs. Noah caught in the camping office. Around 10:30am it was still raining, although not pouring, and we set out (V by bike, J by U-Haul). Because our days were completely different, we will write separately today.

Today was the most challenging day for me thus far, both physically and mentally. It was lonely riding without J, and tiring being the only pace-setter for the entire day. J was amazing though, driving ahead and stopping to wait for me about every 10-15 kms and providing me with H2O, snacks, and encouragement! The first ~20 km of the day was gentle rolling terrain, followed by a nice long downhill into Revelstoke. After that it was uphill for about 70 km, across Rogers Pass (elevation 1330 m), and then a gradual descent punctuated by periodic uphills, down the other side of the mountain. The locals had scared us about the pass, warning us of the narrow shoulders and crazy traffic, but for the most part drivers were very courteous and gave me lots of space. There were a few tunnels to ride through though, and they were admittedly pretty intimidating (I think I was sweating as much from fear as from exertion at that point!). After the relentless up, up, up, seeing the "1km to summit" sign was one of the happiest moments of this trip so far! It rained on and off (of course) but was a pretty nice day overall. On the home stretch I was out of the wind, and without the panier weight got to really fly along. At one point, a deer came out of the bush and started to run alongside me, about 10 feet away along the railway. It ran with me (at 35-40 km/hr) for 2.5 km. Amazing!!! Rolling into camp around 7:30, having covered the 183 km total in 7 hrs and 10 mins was a great feeling of accomplishment. A BIG thank you to J - wish you could have ridden with me today!

Today I woke up feeling still zonked. My legs hurt, my knee (no longer grinding) still hurt too. In retrospect, racing in a half marathon 2 days before leaving on this cross-country trek may not have been the best idea. I tried my hardest to push myself to continue, but there was just nothing left in my muscles. But as Mr. Noah said, renting a U-Haul was "resourceful", anf I'll have to think of this if I start to feel like I let myself down. The day was lovely, and my legs sure were thankful for the rest. Revelstoke to Golden BC was absolutely BEAUtiful, and I wish I could've done this by bicycle with V, and had the chance to enjoy it more slowly. I did have the chance to stop and take some pics, and even managed to discover some new settings on my camera. I was really happy to take V's paniers from her, and I was glad to have a brief chat with her every 10-15 kms, and to see her smiling face coming up those hills! I'm excited to start cycling again tomorrow, and hope that my legs will have had enough time to recuperate.

V & J:
We crossed the time zone line today, from Pacific to Mountain time, and so we "lost" an hour. We had KD, wieners & beans, and a box of oreos with a litre of milk - our cheapest meal yet! After warm showers, we curled up in the back of our U-Haul (still set up from the night before) by the river. We've slept by train tracks almost every night, but the sound of the river muffles the sound and we are looking forward to a great sleep.
Sent on the TELUS Mobility network with BlackBerry

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