Thursday, August 6, 2009


I was worried when I started this endeavour that I would have troubles in camp and concerned about the non-riding stuff. Danelle, her staff and the other participants helped me out tremendously and I needn't have worried. This was another situation where most of the participants were blown away that I was able to ride the mileage that I did. Everyone I talked to had someone they knew ho was struggling with something and they all said they were going to tell my story when they saw those people again. Many said they wouldn't be accpting excuses anymore.

Strangely enough I was never that worried about the cycling. Yes it was a huge challenge for me particularly seeing where my rehab started. However, the cycling was in my comfort space and it was simply a question of how far would my body let me go. I was pleasantly surprised to ride 143 km and follow that up the next day with 134 km. My weak leg has actually improved over the week of riding. But learning comes from repitition and how many revolutions are there in 800 kms.

I know that my story is having an impact. I am trying to figure out how to keep that moving forward for others to motivate them to make their own challenges. What's next? I have to convince an employer that I am worth the risk. Next activity is doing the cycle leg of the Vancouver triathlon with a yet-to-be determined relay team.

Oh yeah, currently the fund raising total is about $2,000 with several possible contributions still up in the air. Less than I had hoped for with a $15,000 goal but I still have a few ideas yet.

Day 7 Kimberley to Creston

Well our final day started with Greek breakfast. Some people didn't like it but I thought bagels with meat slices and cream cheese was just fine. There was no power down at our campsite so whatever they served had to reflect that. I thought it was great, except for the coffee.

Today's ride still had 2,695 feet of elevation gain but was a net descent for the 134 km. day. The hard about today was the carved rumble strips on the side of the road. Designed to keep slepy drivers from going off the road, they don't leacve a lot of room for a 31" wide trike between the road and the ditch. By the time I got to the lunch stop I was ready to pack it in. Brian said he would drive me but wouldn't be ready for 20 minutes. I decided I would start riding and have him pick me up. Well 20 minutes out from lunch we switched highways and lost the rumble strips so I kept going and waved off the ride. I ended up getting rained on but it was a very warm rain and rode all the way into Creston. Dave was waiting for me at the school so we went to the hotel to change and head to the pub for a well-deserved pint.

Day 6 Radium to Kimberley

Well today was 143 km and its a good thing it started out cool and overcast. It still ended hot but allowed me to get some distance in before it warmed up. Breakfast turned out to be eggs benny and fruit salad. Yum. Sorry that was yesterday - losing track. Today's ride had 3,695 feet of elevation gain with most of that climbing up to Kimberley which is at an elevation of just under 1,000 metres. It was a long day of riding taking just over 8 hours to get to camp. Just before town I rode by a place whose fence was all old skis. There must have been thousands of them. Another hot day but it ended with a dip in the river below camp. This was the longest ride I have done post-stroke and was very proud of myself.

Dinner was Greek night with roast potatoes, chicken and pork kabobs and salads. We also had awards night recognizing various accomplishments and faux pas. Danelle gave me an award for having the most wheels, which I think was her way a recognizing my accomplishment of riding 666 kilometres to that point. Just after the awards another storm hit and Sarah git drenched as I had to leave her out of cover. The "bent" group from Oregon set up shop under the shelter at the campsite for a little aperitif and cards. The rain didn't manage to put out the campfire but another day ended about 9:45 pm.

Day 5 Golden to Radium Hot Springs

Today was a relatively flat day after Day 4 although we still climbed 2425 feet in elevation. Another hot day ending in the high 30's. However, from camp we got shuttled by bus up to the Hot Springs. Today saw at least 3 Osprey nests on top of telephone poles. Huge nests that apparently they add to each year. Today was also the day for Big Horn sheep as there seems to be a family on the outskirts of town. Today's ride seemed almost easy after 4 days of riding. Starting to get into the groove I guess. We had a severe wind warning and the first of the thunder storms. we managed to get everything pegged down, although a couple of tents looked quite different after the wind blew through. Had a cold soak at the hot pools which felt great on the legs. There was an outdoor performance in Radium tonight which the noise entertained us for awhile. Bed called pretty early though once the rain started.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Day 4 Revelstoke to Golden

This day was planned for 154 km, however, I only managed 90. We left camp after eggs benny and fruit salad to climb 68 km to the summit of Roger's Pass. The roads were busy because we were on Hwy 1, however, the shoulders are excessively large. I made it to the summit but it took almost 6 hours as I climb kinda of slowly. However, lunch was at the summit and lots of photos were taken. We went through snowsheds going up and down and they were a little exciting with trucks close by. We had our flashers though so we ciould be seen from behind. One of the recumbent riders from Oregon said his thermometer was reading 106 F.

I rode the downhill and across the flats but once we started climbing again I knew I was done for the day. Brian picked me up with one of the ten tonne trucks and we drove in the rest of the way. Brian had to get more water because we ran out and had to buy another 20 large bottles. We arrived in Golden and just after my shower the power in the city went off.

Well we were a tad worried about dinner with no power. However, Dawnelle picked some salty caterers, this woman had already figured it out and delivered a fabulous chicken dinner on time. The mosquitos in Golden were horrendous so after my massage I went and hid in my tent until breakfast.

Day 3 Nakusp to Revelstoke

Lot's of ups and downs today with total elevation gain of 4225 feet. First water stop was @ 21 km after our first climb of the day. Lots of mountain scenery today and quiet roads. Another screaming descent to the Galena Bay ferry to cross Arrow Lake. Lunch was after the ferry ride at Shelter Bay. Had some great views of the Columbia River and crossed over a wooden bridge into Revelstoke. Had a spectacular dinner of roast beef with wild mushroom tortolini salads and rolls. Dessert was a frozen bumble berry cheesecake. We camped right on the edge of the Columbia River. I finished the day with a soak in the hot tub at the rec centre. Cold water was at a premium after another hot day.

Day 2 Woodbury to Nakusp

Day 2 was 115 km in more hot weather in the high 30's. I started riding just before 7 and got into camp after 3:00 pm for 8.25 hours of riding. We had a great coffee stop in Kaslo and then a 12% short rise out of Kaslo. Out of Kaslo we climbed steadily for 33 km to the Fish Lake water stop. After that we had a screaming descent into New Denver for lunch. Our next water stop was at Summitt Lake but a strategic lemonade stand made two little girls very happy with 125 thirsty cyclists going by. I understand they made almost $100. The final descent to Nakusp was another fun one. We ended the day with dinner at the Senior's Centre and me crashing in my tent by 9:00 pm.