Woke up at 5:15 with my lovely roomy saying Jenn its 5:15 wakeup.. Ugg seriously. Had some incredibly crappy coffee - do the organizers not realize for 90% of us, coffee is a lifeline? I need coffee, but I digress.. And some rehydrated freeze dried eggs.. Again not the most pleasant but whatever, their protein..
Got back on the road at 7:10. Not bad.
Flat for about 30 minutes. First hill. Yuck.
Next another hill. And another and a holy
A few more hills. 28 km later.
And then first pit stop of the day. Grabbed some carrots, which surprised me since I hate carrots but my body must have needed them. Filled up on blue Gatorade, which is much tastier than lime. Lime is gross.
Cruised up a few long gradual hills for about 2 hours..
Biked until the next pitstop and saw the mountain. Decided I had enough to last me the next 35 k and forgoed the pitstop to just keep the momentum..
Went up and up and up. Seeing a pattern?!?
Then the bloddy wind hit. Oh the wind. I understand why there are thousands of windmills in the area. I think I said the F word a few times. And I heard the muttering of many others saying just stop the F'n wind. It was so strong, that you'd be forcing your bike to stay in a straight line but it wanted to go left. I saw a sign and man I wish my camera actually worked but it said 'wind gusts next 35 k awesome since I only had 15 left.
And then I bonked. I saw what I was told was the last hill, although I really didn't believe anyone at this point, and couldn't do it. I stared, I mean I stared at this hill for what felt like 10 minutes. I just couldn't, wouldn't, didn't want to do it anymore. I was going to throw my hands in the air and say screw it..
Then the absolute strangest thing happened.. I saw a middle aged man on a Maroon/red Goldwing, with a red motorcycle jacket with black trim, with a license plate of wait for it .. CHRIS. I'm sure it was a sign from my dad. It was my dad's bike, his jacket, his everything. And then I cried. I could do this. I would finish this for my dad. And I did. I made it up the final hill. Made it through the wind gusts from up above. And what did I see at the crest of that hill? Cars.. Lots of cars. I was almost there. I could see the finish line and through my tears I was ecstatic.
Made it to Sierra West ranch at 1.10. Saw mom, although I had to yell at her so she could see me. Sal and the girls were a tad late, because I didn't think I'd get in until 2. But my momma was there and my daddy was in my back pocket (his picture) and his spirit was around me.
And yes, I'm doing it again next year.
When I find my other camera, I'll post tent city, the bikes and the vista's..
1743 Riders, 500 Crew members, and 6.9 Million dollars raised for the Alberta Cancer Foundation.