Crawford Creek to Fernie
Daily distance: 272 km (169 mi)
Riding Time: 25 hours 33 minutes
Total distance: 1067 km (663 mi)
Standing: 2nd place
I was up at 3am hoping to get the jump on Lennard. I knew Gray Creek pass was steep and I would be walking a lot of it so I want to start early. As I was walking, I noticed a pain on my rear end. I thought I would try sleeping in my bibs to save time in the morning; big mistake! I will spare the gory details, but needless to say, my backside was quite sore for the rest of the ride. Once I got to the face of the hill, I started walking. It took forever and I was happy to get to the top.
|Top of Gray Creek Pass|
The descent was fast and fun. The trail followed some gravel roads, and then pavement until just before Kimberly. I felt good until that point, but once I got into the steep single track, I started to feel really bad. It started to get hot and I felt really run down. My airway was closing up and I was having trouble breathing. I was having trouble finding the track at times and had to backtrack to make sure I was on course. This was definitely a low point. I knew I would have to stop in Kimberly to get my airway back. I stopped at store in Kimberly for about 45 min to force some food down and try to cough out some gunk in my lungs. I did not feel very good at all. After choking down some liquids and a sandwich I was off again. I felt really sleepy so took another cat nap on the side of the trail. I know with this type of racing that if you feel really low, eventually you will feel good. I was waiting eagerly to feel good again and I started to feel better after Cranbrook. The trail continued on rail grade and went into some fun wide single track after Wardner. I got into a good place keeping my pace comfortable enough where my airway felt good. I rode as it got dark and crossed the big bridge near Baynes Lake. I climbed the paved hill and got to the RV campground as night really started to fall. I found one of the hoses for the RVs had potable water so I filled up for the final push to the end.
The trail started to get a bit sketchy at this point. I was having trouble finding out where I was and where the route went. I kept fumbling around in the dark, up and down the gravel roads and narrow grassy paths. The trail spat me out onto the highway leading up to Elko. I remembered this stretch from touring it with Kristin a few years back. That time it was 35 degrees and hot; this time it was late at night and muggy. After Elko, and crossing the river, the trail deteriorated into a steep, rocky, hike-a-bike. I had another airway-blocking coughing fit and had to stop to get my breathing sorted out. The trail gradually got smoother and smoother the closer I got to Fernie. At one point, I started to nod off and took a quick nap. After that nap, I was determined to get to the finish. I felt bad, and couldn’t eat or breathe well, but pushed on. It was cold, but I didn’t even stop to put on warmer clothes. I didn’t want to stop and just wanted to get to the finish line. The sun rose and I pedalled as more and more civilisation appeared. Farm houses and power lines meant I was getting closer and closer. The gravel turned into pavement as I wheezed my way to the finish. I was greeted by my loving family and Chip Andrus. It was great to be done! Kristin had a coffee for me to drink and after I was done that, I could speak a bit better. Lennard pulled up shortly after and we talked about the race. It was so much fun trying to catch him! I went back to the hotel for a shower and quick nap and had breakfast with Lennard, Chip and their families. It was great and I hope to do the race again sometime!
|Glad to talk to Lennard after chasing him for four days|
My recovery took a little while. I went to the doctor after the race and found out I had bronchitis. He gave me a bunch of antibiotics and I slept most of the time for a few days after the race. It took a few days to recover and I was well enough to participate in the Alberta Rockies 700 race 11 days later.
Result: 3 days 22 hours; 2nd place overall; 1st place single speed (Eastbound single speed record)