July 6-7, 2002
5:10 am: I left the house to ride the 12 km to the start loaded with 30 (or more?) lbs of stuff on me and my bicycle
6:00 am: 8 riders - 1 tandem, 1 recumbent, 6 singles. 2 ladies in a car with video camera. New route.
0 to 160 kms: We all stuck together drafting off of the tandem averaging 31/32 km/h. I dropped off a couple times and really had to work to catch back up and I expended way too much energy doing so - especially with the amount of weight I was carrying. 1 rider turned around and went back home.
160 to 228 kms: The route became hilly and 4 of were dropped. I had no energy on the hills at all - my legs were burnt out. Then for the last approx. 30 kms before the 228 km break, the road was being resurfaced - it varied between being very rough which shook us and the bicycles up badly, to being a very narrow newly paved section where we ended up backing up a lot of traffic making our way along it. It was also the hottest part of the day and I overheated on the last hill and started to not feel very well.
228 to 273 kms: The road was cracked, hilly and we were riding against the wind - not a really strong wind, but noticeable. If the previous section hadn't completely shaken us up, this one finished the job. My arms ache today from all that vibration.
273 to 335 kms: A beautiful road - out and back with the turn-around at the 304 km mark where we also had supper. It was early evening, slightly cooler, and the wind had died.
335 to 380 kms: Back onto the rough road, but that side of the road wasn't as bad - they'd patched some of it. I discovered that one of my lights had ceased to work - probably a loose connection from the bad roads. Fortunately I still had two more.
380 kms: It was about 11:20 when we rolled into the city where our motel room had been booked. The 2 ladies who have been video taping us were there cleaning up from the front group who had just been through, showered, and gone on. We showered, and tried to sleep for a couple hours - I did not sleep well at all. When I got up I ate, changed my batteries in my lights, tightened up some loose bolts etc. and then 3 of us headed out about 2:45 am. 1 rider remained for a bit.
380 to 459 kms: When we got on the road, the sky was completely lit with lightening! It was brilliant and completely surrounded us! We rode 40 kms on the TransCanada Highway where the only traffic was truckers, and then turned onto a side road. We stopped for a moment there to eat a bit more and were greated by a large white dog who seemed very pleased to see us. About 10 km on down that road the storm finally caught up to us, the sky opened up and it poured - some of it hurt, so we guessed that it was also hailing. We were freezing! I had gone on this ride remembering my 600 last year where the temp never got below 25 degrees, and was in the mid 30s most of the time so I was wearing a light sleeveless jersey, a light jacket, and shorts. The sun started to come up in the middle of the storm and soon we could see what was coming down - it was a mix of rain, hail, and sleet!! When we got to the 459 km town it was 6:25 am and nothing was open. We were so cold and wet!
459 to 491 kms: We decided to cycle to the next town in the hopes that something would be open where we could get something to eat. Along the way, I was really struggling with sleepiness and some aches and pains, so I took a couple painkillers and a caffeine pill. It continued to rain, and now we were fighting a headwind.
491 kms: We stopped at a small diner for breakfast, but right from when I walked in, I knew I wasn't feeling very well, but I wasn't sure what was wrong. It was very busy and I'd placed an order for something that looked appitizing, but it was a long time coming and suddenly, while we were waiting, I dashed off to the washroom to throw up. I lost almost everything I'd eaten since 2 am. When I returned to the table, I tried drinking a little coke, but returned to the washroom to finish emptying out absolutely everything I'd eaten since 2 am. I haven't thrown up that much in years! I was seriously considering quitting right there. It was absolutely pouring again but the ladies had caught up with us, so we crawled into the backseat of their car (because the people in the restaurant wanted us out - they were so busy that they needed the table space) and I slept for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile the last rider came in - he was completely drenched, a bad knee was really bothering and so he had decided to quit the ride then. By that time the rain had subsided a bit, I was still feeling pretty weak, but I popped a mint into my mouth, and agreed to ride to the next town 13 kms away.
491 to 504 kms: I felt a bit nausiated and I drafted the whole way, but I made it! So we decided to go on to the next town about 12 kms away . . .
504 to 529 kms: We pushed on through the wind and rain, and I kept going by eating 2 more mints. At the 529 km stop, I was completely dehydrated and so I decided I would try some iced tea - a few sips seemed to be OK. The sun had come out and the temperature and humidity were increasing, so we continued on.
529 to 608 kms: The day continued to get warmer (a high of 27 degrees), and we continued to ride from town to town on the
way back. A little way along I started to be able to eat solid food again - two soda crackers! A little further and I started to
eat a few potato chips. We got in at 7:20 - 37 hours and 20 minutes!! I made it!