Ride to Deep Cove

I cycled to Deep Cove and back today.  It is a 100 km round trip with some of the most difficult climbs I have experienced this season.  Some long.  And some, very steep.  25%.  Perhaps more.  When my pace falls below 10 kph, it’s steep.  There were times I was struggling to maintain a 6-7 kph pace. Tough.  But satisfying.

I am not certain I would do this ride again.  There are parts of the route that were very enjoyable.  Scenic.  Good road conditions.  Little traffic.  But there were other sections where there was a lot of traffic and no bike lanes.  And, crossing the 2nd Narrows Bridge (Iron Workers Bridge) is not fun.  There is a separated bike lane but it is narrow and very close to the traffic, mostly large trucks.  In the past, I have driven the bike over the bridge and then rode.  I think I would do that next time.

But this was a different ride.  This was not a training ride, although it was a good workout. I took the commuter/touring bike imagining I was on a trip.  Exploring.  No specific route in mind.  Cycling, and stopping, like I might if I was on the road for an extended period.  Although I cycled ~ 100 km, I only averaged 20 kph, in part because there was a lot of climbing and also, because I was not in a hurry.  Some of the roads were new to me and I wanted to explore.

I learned several things from this ride.  First, if I travel at a slower pace, I can cycle for a long time and cover a long distance.  Second, if I eat and drink regularly, I don’t tire as easily.  I went through several bottles of water, 2 Cliff Bars and a home-made gel (mango, banana, oil, salt, water, chia seeds and yerba mate) and, I stopped for a coffee and scone mid-way.

I felt like a tourist today, travelling a new, unfamiliar route.  It was exhilarating.  Difficult.  And, fun.

 

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