(All photo credits go to Brett Wakefield. While he can’t change a flat quickly, he can mange some good Instagrammable photos while riding.)
But wise men? After a late night ride acceptance found me standing on the corner of the corner of Taylor Way and Marine Drive in West Vancouver at 6 am, I questioned my sanity in embarking on what I had agreed to.
After being pestered all week via text messages from Brett I folded and found myself on a trip from Langdale Terminal on the Sunshine Coast to Powell River and back in one day. The internet said that it would be roughly 160 km round trip. I had been reassured several times by the Aussies (Rob and Matt) that the trip was worth it and that I would enjoy myself. Island dwellers are never to be trusted. Never the less Brett’s whining won the best of me and they picked me up right on schedule.
Under normal circumstances I steer away from ferry food like the plague but I needed all the food that I could jamb in there. Island breakfast and a cup of “something-bucks” and we were on our way. Brett flatted first, not even out of Gibsons.
Second was a chain mishap that had Kevin’s chain in some cool origami like formation, backwards on the bike. Using my University skills I untangled the chain and we were on our way.
Third was a cleat issue. But and this is an interesting one, Brett had a spare cleat in his saddle bag. Who carries one cleat? Either way his discretions with the first flat were forgotten and after a pit stop at the hardware store we were back at it hammering away.
We arrived at the Ferry Terminal, took some photos, texted some loved one’s to make sure that they knew we were alive and then we headed into Egmont for lunch after we were told that it was a “short” distance from the main highway. Three guys, having ridden 90 km’s, tired and hungry, and the “short” distance seemed like forever. All of us were hangry (Definition: the state of being really hungry and angry at the same time, usually following a strenuous activity), so I kept up front and out of Brett’s threatening words and Kevin’s assassin stare.
After a lunch of chicken sandwiches and loaded with a can of coke for Brett and a can of Pepsi for me, we turned our bikes south and headed back. We were kind of in a rush as we had only put 8 hours in the parking meter at the Terminal and we didn’t want to have to split the parking ticket.
This was the hard part! Even though it seemed like the ride back was shorter, the hills were longer and the flats weren’t so flat. Plus this time it was my turn to flat. I rode over a chunk of glass that Brett had pointed out and moved over to miss. The racing to change tires back in the day came in to use and in a few minutes I had the tire back on the bike, although my hand was bleeding from the pump pinching my skin as I rapid pumped the get at least 60 psi in there.
Seachelt found us hungry and sweltering from the heat so we pulled into the local coffee joint and grabbed some food and caffeine to hold us over for the remainder 30 km. The cinnamon bun never tasted so good! We made the final trek into the ferry terminal wiped but super happy that we had completed the trip.
When we got onto the ferry we were the first ones in line at the cafeteria and once the lady from BC Ferries heard what we had done she told the entire kitchen that we needed our food fast!
Lesson’s learned on the trip:
1. The three of us worked together and each took turns at the front so it made it super easy as there was plenty of time to rest between efforts.
2. Don’t open a can of pop at 50 km/h. It went all over my arms/hands/legs/bike/handlebars etc.
3. Pack random things like cleats, you may never know when you need em.
4. Pack enough food… real food. Gels (I had 3) don’t cut it after a while.
5. While there ended up not being a parking ticket, pay for parking all day.
At the end of the day we rode 177 km, in 5 hours 40 minutes averaging about 31.9 km/h. Definitely no slouching on this one and pretty much one of the best rides thus far for 2013.