Let’s start with the good stuff…scenic views and spandex…
I know it’s only the end of day two, but holy crap I feel like I’ve seen more scenery and had more awesome moments than in my whole cycling career in the last 24 hours. This really is the trip of the lifetime.
After yesterday’s great prelude, we started our real riding today. After continental breakfasts, we rode out to Maligne Lake. It was about 48km out and we made sure we stopped to see the wildlife (mostly big horned sheep but one man who was a little behind us saw a bear!) and to admire the views. I took a few pictures but I’m telling you there is NOTHING like being here. NOTHING. And riding and being outside in this? Holy schnikees—start planning your trip out here ASAP. And plan me into it – this might be a yearly thing for me (granted I survive).
We took a lengthy stop at Medicine Lake, which was just so huge and beautiful and I’ll let you see for yourself in the photos. We took our time at lunch, ate on a dock, and then came back towards Jasper. We stopped at Maligne Canyon, saw a rainbow, and made awesome time home. I felt so good, even on the descents today! I hit 72km/h which might not be thattttt fast if you’re a daredevil but for a scared sally like me that’s pretty fast. I got the most aggressive award for the day, apparently, because we had some wind on our side and because it was a nice ride DOWN to get back to town. It was a 97km day with plenty of climbing. My average on Strava was 26.6 km, which I will totally freaking take considering I rode with Garmin in my pocket cuz I don’t give a poop.
Upon our arrival back in Jasper, we all had some espresso and then did our own things for a while. My own thing = sitting on my butt, showering, organizing my photos, etc. and then heading into town on my own for some exploration while I waited for my appetite to strike back up.
I thought that this lone wolf would be dining alone (and I was okay with it) btu then I ran into my tour guide and ended up having dinner with the company folk. Very cool to talk to these people who are doing epic things with their lives and are not conventional in one bit. Plus my dinner was amazing – a huge salad, salmon, veggies – what more could I ask for? Beer? Check. Chocolate covered espresso beans when I got home? Done deal!
On the topic of food, I think I ate about a pound of dried fruit today. I’m going with it. I know it’s high sugar/energy but I also know I burned a lot of fuel riding up and down those hills today. I hate that I still worry about “overfueling” when the honest truth is that I am not trying to lose weight – it’s an old mindset – and I’d much rather aim high than aim low and feel like shit during a ride. So breakfast at the continental breakie was delicious (I had a bit extra to try to do some pre-fuelling and to see if I might not crave so much chocolate at night), the food on the ride was good (dried fruit/trail mix, energy chews, a fruit bar, and a lunch stop with gf crackers/an apple/almond butter and the view of a lifetime). A second apple here, a handful of trail mix there, and I think I must be doing okay. I felt awesome soooooo—confirmed! Gatorade helped me stay hydrated cuz it tastes better than water but I’m definitely going to need to stay on top of this! So let’s just remember something: this is an EXPERIENCE! And I’m here to ride, not to worry about food.
So moving on…
Tomorrow we are in for a climb. I am not sure what to expect as I didn’t think that today was that excruciating. That being said, I did a century’s worth of riding (68km yesterday, 97 today) in the last 24 hours so I think my legs will feel a bit…different come the morning. Maybe the training effect will come uber fast since I am going to sleep shortly and will be well rested? I’m choosing to believe that. The nice thing is when I feel like I’m going to die or spontaneously combust going up a mountain I can look around and remember that I’m going up a rocky freaking mountain.
It is supposed to rain tomorrow but apparently the best views happen about 1.5 hours into the ride. We’re aiming for an early start even though we have to be packed up and ready to go before we ride because the trailer brings our stuff to the next stop tomorrow (rather than out and back). It’s worth it to me if it means we’ll see the sights and NOT have to descend in the rain!
The description is:
The comforting fact? There’s a van seat with my name on it if it starts pouring! And 60% chance of storms is 40% chance of clear. Let’s think positive, folks!
Amen for scenic views!
This pictures coming on its own cuz I freaking love it. My tour guide took it and said it was the photo of the day. Linda behind me is repping the pink too. I say if it can be pink, it should be pink and I think you can tell how happy we all are to be biking where we are.
Holy. Freaking. Crap.
Someone pinch me!
Like I think I mentioned before, we’re heading into the middle of the icefields parkway and away from much civilization. So no cell phone and limited internet = me disconnecting. But I promise to take tons of photos so you can be on the edge of your seat and anxiously await my return. I’ve got a little guest post schedule for you (compliments of my blogger buddy Bee) so you know you should probably still pop by and see what’s up…
ORRRR you could read my latest article, “How to go on an extended vacation” and then plan one here.
Wanna come out here with me next year?
How do you fuel for long rides?