Thursday 18 August 2011

Cyclebetes Day 2 ~ Whistler to Kamloops

Yes, the original plan was to recap the day's events each night, but seriously, what was I thinking? Between the riding itself and the amount of time involved in dinner, team meetings, etc, sleep was my one and only priority at the end of the day.

I did, however, keep lots of notes throughout the journey, so that I could blog about it once I was finished riding and well rested, which is now!!

Day 2 started with a jolt, as my roommate and I missed our 5:00am wake up alarm and slept in 35 minutes longer than we had planned. A quick breakfast later and we were on our bikes, ready to ride at just after 6:00am for the 35km ride north to Pemberton.

5 of us set out for the first riding shift, under cloudy skies and a chilly 12 degrees celcius. The roads were wet, but the rain had stopped, so we quickly warmed up as we pedaled over rolling hills and along short flats. In less than 90 minutes we arrived in Pemberton for a shift change, as group 2 got ready to take on the challenging grade up to Joffre Lakes.

A few hours later our group was up again, for a much different kind of ride. 25km outside of the town on Lillooet we began, ready for some serious ups and downs! Almost right away we had a 2km descent down a 13% grade, followed by an equally steep ascent. Sadly, about halfway up the hill I tried to pull off into a gravel area to catch my breath and my cleat (which I later discovered was shredded) got stuck in my pedal. Not good! I fell to the left, yes into the traffic, thankful to see the Sanofi RV behind me, but not before absorbing all of the impact on my left elbow. I jumped into the RV with my bike, quickly cleaned up my bleeding elbow and jumped back out at the next pullout, missing a 4km section of riding. I got out just in time for what is likely the best road descent in BC: a 14% grade of switchbacks down into Lillooet. An amazing stretch of road, it was a struggle to keep my speed under 50km/hr, but necessary with the hairpin turns. As the descent continued, the temperature rose and by the time we left the quaint town of Lillooet, it was a lovely 21 degrees. Another shift change and we were waiting for the next round.

3rd and final shift of the day and again new scenery and road conditions. We started off about 75km west of Kamloops in warm, sunny weather with a light breeze. A nice tail wind to start helped us up hills at 30km/hr, and then about 30 minutes in we got hit with some pretty substantial cross winds. Towards the end of the leg it changed to a headwind and we found ourselves coming down a steep hill but barely moving! Strongest headwind I've ever felt on the bike!

All in all a great day, aside from a sore elbow. 92km of riding for me and we got into Kamloops an hour ahead of schedule - can't beat that!

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