Skip to content

Day 3 — Powell River

July 20, 2010

We wake up, dress, grab our sack breakfast (after waiting in line), and hop on our bus which takes us to the ferry terminal.  Like lazy lemmings we lounge about waiting for it to arrive.     Ferries are pretty cool, this was a smallish one.   The views were fantastic out the window.  Inside you could see people eating second breakfast and even third breakfast.  It was a marvel.   Back to the view … trees, coastline, islands … I could get used to this.

We arrive in Powell River.  It’s on the northern end of what they call the Sunshine Coast.   It is only accessible by boat, how cool is that?   Very cool.  They kindly reminded us not to wear cycling shoes which was a good idea because we were hoofing it uphill from the ferry.    Our campsite for the night will be a large beach area not normally used as a camping spot, but now it is time to ride.

We were greeted at the start by a pair of men playing the bagpipes in full Scottish regalia.  (Made me think of my friend Iain, which is how I got into this whole race in the first place.)  Just a side note about Powell River:  “The mill in Powell River was at one time the largest pulp and paper mill in the world. In its prime, one in every 25 newspapers in the world was printed on paper from the Powell River mill.” (wikipedia)  Wow.

As of Day 2 they were starting people in waves according to placing.  We watched the front runners go off before we lined up.     We had a pleasant ride on an easy wooden path before we were fed into town.   School kids lined the side of the road.  Being at the back we could slow down and stretch out to the right for high-fives hoping one of the boy wouldn’t knock you sideways.   Ahead we notice smaller folks on the left.  We lowered our hands and for once feel like heroes, even if we are at the back.

Like all rides, we climb.  I believe today we climbed for about 10k before finding the single track.  It seemed endless.  There were a few hike-a-bike steep sections.   Then some awesome woods, a little dirt road and the first aid station.   As soon as we stop they tell us the leaders are going to be there in 5-10 minutes.  ARGHHHHH!   (They were off doing a side loop.)  Sure enough Jason Sager blows right by us.   But, I have to say, this part of the trail was amazing!!  LOAM!   I can ride it, it’s twisty, turny, up and down.  Pure pleasure.  I ride a section and wait for friends while people pass.    It was great.    By now, riding is normal.  It’s what I do.   I have to admit I don’t remember the rest of the day.  I’m sure we went down.  I remember a climb out of the woods and then descending.  Unfortunately, my old point&shoot camera doesn’t take very good pictures in the dark of the rain forest.

I know as we neared the end both David and Debra would get knocked off their bikes, and David isn’t one to be pushed around.  Some guy took an inside line with no warning and about plastered him into a tree.  Debra got scared to death when she was knocked off near a cliff by someone who didn’t call a pass and hurt her wrist.   I didn’t see it, but I gave her my wrist brace and we made it back.   I remember being tired, but happy.  I was glad to sit and look at the ocean and rest for a while.

I walked to dinner, up a path along a ravine that was stunning in its beauty.  Probably a dime a dozen to a local, but for me, it was amazing.  Today I could really feel my legs on the uphill walk to dinner — ouch my quads!   I met some new people and had a great dinner (the food is always good and it’s not just because I’m hungry!).   Tonight’s presentation featured a prayer from a First Nation elder, it was moving as she prayed for our safe journey in two languages.  The mayor stepped up to talk, wearing a crazy amount of bling in the form of a giant necklace of round shiny medallions with a big honking one at the bottom — badge of office I guess.    It was late by the time it all ended.   Sleep is never a problem.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: