The hills on this road are very long but relatively gradual, and reward
you with a decent downhill on the other side, so it isn't too bad. Halfway up one long hill, I felt like I couldn't go on.
My energy just drained out of me. I stopped by the side of the road and tried to eat a bit, but
most of my food had melted and was very difficult to eat. There had been clouds forming in the west
over the mountains, and most were heading north to gather into thunderheads (I was heading south so
they didn't concern me), but just then one large, blackish cloud moved in front of the sun and
stopped there. Almost instantly it felt cooler and I decided to try to keep moving. That cloud
remained in front of the sun for the next 20 kms or so, and when it moved, the sun had dipped far
enough down so that the shadows of the trees covered the road, and I had shade the rest of the way
to Rocky Mountain House.
I got to RMH about an hour ahead of my schedule!! My father met me there ... he was just about
pulling into the gas station where I'd stopped at the same time I got there!! What timing!! I
bought some icy cold things to drink ... I had drank both of my bottles dry on the trip from Alder
Flats to RMH, but was still quite dehydrated. Then I set off again with 140 kms to go.
The 40 kms north to my turnoff were uneventful, except for the quanity of deer on the sides of the
road, and quite pleasant because the temperature was dropping. Just before the turnoff, I had to
put on my long sleeved top, it was getting that cool!! I turned and for a while that part of the
trip was quite pleasant too. I counted approx. a million deer out there ... I've never seen so many
all in one fairly small area!!
And then the wind started. It was howling from the north-north-west at 37 km/h gusting to 52 km/h
... and there was a good-sized thunderstorm off to the north, to the left of me. Lightening lit up
the sky over there!! The west bit of the wind helped to push me along, but the north parts of the
wind slammed into my left side and had me swerving all over the road and working to control my
bicycle. Both my arms felt like they had a workout, and my shoulder was sore. I rode all the way
to Rimbey (approx. 25 kms) with this wind.
I'm sure I've seen mice crossing the road before on some of my rides, but there were several in the
stretch from when the wind started to the turnoff just past Rimbey. I nearly ran over one that
scooted across in front of me. Another one dashed between my wheels. One, in the town of Rimbey,
was running all over the place. What does it mean when the mice are on the move??
I turned south at the Rimbey turnoff which meant that the wind was now at my back, a welcome relief.
But I also became aware of something I hadn't realized before. I was surrounded on three sides by
thunderstorms. Only the direction I was heading was thunderstorm-free, but the storms were moving
closer on either side and behind me. I was treated to quite a lightening show! And I rode like the
wind to try to out run it all!! I had a strong tailwind for the next 40 kms, so I flew through that
part of the ride.
My last turn headed east into Red Deer and with 20 kms to go, the wind shifted to become North East,
and my pace slowed a bit. I could tell by the road that part of a storm had gone through ... it
was quite wet! I kept pushing, even though my legs really didn't want to turn the pedals anymore,
and rolled into the finish area at 3 am.
-- Once again a big thanks to my father for looking out for me out there!!
-- I did the route up on Bikely, and according to that there were about 4500 ft of climbing over the
-- My 200K, 300K, and 600K all had headwinds for a good part of the ride, it was so nice to finally
have a ride of mainly tailwinds!!
I have now completed my last qualifying brevet for the PBP!! :)