Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Glacier trip day seven

Morning in Pincher Creek

Almost there

Safe and sound back in Lethbridge

My best Fabian-after-the-Giro pose

Pincher Creek to Lethbridge


5 hours, 31 minutes

109.15 kilometers

Average speed 19.7 km/h

Max speed 56.9 km/h

I had trouble getting out of the tent this morning. The only thing to look forward to was finishing. Not very motivating. The drunk guys from last night were up early and just as loud as the night before. There is something about that that doesn't seem right.

I got packed up and fired up the stove to cook my last package of Kraft Dinner for breakfast, but the stove ran out of fuel. My neighbor was awake and he was just way too chatty for me that time of day, and I was having trouble concentrating on packing up while he peppered me with endless questions. A very friendly guy, it just isn't my favorite time of day to visit.

So off to Subway it was to get some peace and quiet. That was the dirtiest Subway I've ever been in. I got a 12” breakfast sandwich and stowed half for later.

Heading east means that the mountains are behind and the flat lands are ahead. It is always hard to watch the mountains fade from view in the rear view mirror. No different today.

Fort MacLeod was about the halfway point of the day. And by then I was hurting. My butt was killing me, I had no energy, there was a headwind and I really didn't think I could finish. It was the lowest point physically of the trip. I had been feeling great on the bike all along, so this was unexpected.

I stopped at an A & W and had an Uncle Bacon Cheddar burger with fries and a root beer. Then to the gas station next door for a Coke, a Hershey bar with almonds and a Mars bar. I phoned my sis in Lethbridge to adjust my ETA thinking I was going to be dog slow the rest of the day.

I was going to ride all the way, but I thought it would be ride 5 k's, sit and cry, then ride 5 more and gut it out all the way. So I started out, not really sure how crappy the afternoon would go. Somewhere along the way I started to feel better. Then I saw a cyclist approaching from behind.

He was a local triathlete out for a training ride. We rode together about 45 minutes, and we were talking the whole time. I was riding at 25 km/hour that whole time without really noticing it. We came to a long climb, said our goodbyes and he took off.

But after that I was flying. I ended the day with my highest average speed of the trip, even with a bit of a headwind. Strange. From the worst to the best in a few hours. Amazing what food will do. Don't underestimate the power of an Uncle Burger.

I got to my baby sister's place and there was beer waiting in the fridge and a big supper planned. Thanks Vera. You guys sure helped make the trip a lot easier. I packed my truck for the next day's 1,200 kilometer drive home, and had a great evening hanging out with family.

A successful first tour. Next time, less weight, and tire liners. I really hate fixing flats. A big thank you to Ian for lending me his tent, Thermarest, panniers, racks and trailer. I would have been pulling my kids old plastic wagon without you.

I can't wait till next year. Who's in?

1 comment:

  1. Brad - Enjoyed your journal and photos - especially the bear story!

    Of course, it reminded me of our Glacier & Waterton Lakes Cycle tour.

    Recommend ursacks to store food (keeps rodents, raccoons & ... yes ... even bear) away from your food. Handy! Also, try doing some 'real' food. (Restaurants are great while touring, but we do home-made dehydrated dinners for camp nights. Way yummier and more filling than KD)

    Glad you had a good time on your first tour and that you found the Adventure Cycling maps useful.

    Thanks for emailing the link.

    Scott (and Rachel)