Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Day 7 - Banff to Calgary (131 km)

"50 cent doughnuts & emergency blankets"
Yet again, there was rain in the forecast, but we opted for an early start to try to get ahead of it. Today wasa the most bizarre day with respect to weather (shorts, tights, rain pants, dry-fit tops, arm warmers, rain jackets, mittens, and shoe covers), stripped down to t-shirts and shorts, and bundled up again on and off. We met some more touring cyclists - a girl our age going from Yellowknife to Argentina (without cleats!) And an older man going to St. John's (whose last name was similar to J's - minus the "e"). We stopped for a break in Canmore, and made a delightful discovery - 50 cent doughnuts at Safeway! Aside from the fact that not everything was edible, it was pretty much like walking into Willy Wonks's chocolate factory. We made it about 65km... And then it started to rain. Hard. It was cold, and WINDY. Let us paint a picture for you. Imagine you're pulled over at the side of the highway, and a transport truck goes by. You can feel your whole car shake with the drag it creates. Now imagine you're on your bike, and that same truck goes by. And it's raining. And there's a 30 km/hr cross-wind. And you're carrying 60-70 extra lbs. You can imagine how much we're buffeted back and forth in thses conditions! (Secretly, J kind of enjoys the "boost" from the trucks' drag). The rain was the coldest yet, and it was too cold to stop riding. Thunder and lightening started in the distance (right over the Calgary valley), so we decided to wait for it to pass over rather than riding right into it. So, we pulled over and huddled together underneath our emergency blankets (surprisingly, these actually work!). About 20 mins later we continued on, flying with the wind and rain into Calgary. We arrived at J's friend Whitney's house around 6:30pm and were so grateful for a warm, dry place to stay. We had nice warm showers, although the perma-finger-nail dirt remains. We had a delish dinner (thank you Whitney!) And went out for a celebratory pint down the street and are heading to bed. Still can't believe it's day 7 and we're in Alberta!
Sent on the TELUS Mobility network with BlackBerry

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