June 8th & 9th: Just how far can I ride in two days?
Well it has been quite the two days and I can honestly say I am feeling every km at this point. I have had to make up a bit of time because of falling behind between Montréal and Québec, and I also have a presentation in Fredericton, which I have just enough time to get to.
My serious catch-up attempt got off to a great start. I woke Sunday morning to light drizzle and a serious tailwind, that’s right people a TAILWIND. After narrowly surviving the sheer shock of having a wind at my back I set out for the days ride so happy I didn’t even notice the burn and protests of my tired body warming up.
The tailwind stuck with me all day and pushed me along at a comfortable 38 km/hr. Honestly it was a gift from Mother Nature herself, because with out her help I would never have been able to make up the time I need to make it to Fredericton on time.
I was also enjoying the break from the heat that the speed provided. I rode past what looked like the last leg of a ten km cross-country event and as the temperature broke the 30º mark I did not envy the runners. The water stations were working overtime and the runners were still looking the worst for wear. I saw at least one athlete being treated for dehydration and some of the others were almost crawling into the finish.
All in all it was a fantastic day, I come could not have asked for any better. The rain even started just as I pulled off the road for the night and cut the temperature down to make it comfortable for sleeping, but then stopped an hour later so we could sit outside and enjoy the evening! The tailwind helped cover 130 km in record time and I finished the day exhausted but happy.
Today was not quite as good but I am still on a high from yesterday so I took it in good spirits. The wind shifted during the night and picked up strength, so I had a strong headwind to fight against all morning. I had about 40 km to go until I turned east again and started heading towards New Brunswick. The turn would serve three purposes; first and foremost, it would once again put me on a direct path for the Atlantic and the end of my journey. Second, it would turn me 90º and help angle the wind a little more in my favor. Third, is would get me away from the St. Laurence, hopefully making the wind a little lighter.
The morning went as well as could be expected. It was hard going and I made absolutely horrible time, but the km’s ticked past one at a time. I did run into a bit of a snag when I dropped my water bottle and it caught in my wheel. This not only had the immediate affect of depriving me of half my water supply, but also jammed my tire, almost throwing me from my bike and causing me to fear breaking my spokes. Luckily everything came through in one piece and I was able to ration my water until I met up with my mom for lunch.
The afternoon was uneventful. The turn at Riviére Du Lupe had the desired effect on the wind and the rest of the day was spent in blissful calm. A wrong turn caused us to take an old country road rather that the main highway and bike path. The road turned out to be the hilliest thing I have ever seen, and I spent the next hour going up and down more times than a Yo-Yo. Luckily the road eventually met-up with the highway and we did not have to back track.
Arriving in camp tonight I am utterly exhausted. At this point in the trip I don’t think a day off here or there is enough to recover my mental and physical stores, so everyday I dip a little further into my reserves. I feel good about the rest of the trip though and I am still filled with a sense of pride and accomplishment at the end of everyday!
Activity tip: Getting back in shape or maintaining a fitness routine is hard work; if it isn’t than your not getting much out of it. When you are contemplating quitting or feeling to tired look back over your goals and see how far you have come. Even small accomplishments are something to be proud of!