NKCR Day 15 – Sept. 20
Edmunston to Woodstock & Moncton
Longest day yet… 180km, 1,200m of climbing and approx. 7 hours in the saddle.
We arrived in Edmunston late last night and were fortunate enough to be able to use the facilities in the Sears call centre before bed and again in the morning. It was another short snooze (5 hours), but the cool temperatures allowed for a pretty sound sleep.
This morning, we were shuttled off to the local Burger King for breakfast, then returned to Sears to get our bikes ready for the day on the road. The weather this morning was about 14 degrees and there was a thick fog, which delayed our start a little bit.
While setting up my bike, I realized that my Garmin GPS was not functioning – fully charged, but would not power up at all. Oh well, the first leg of the day was ridden old school – no read outs to obsess over.
Just before our morning dedication Jennifer, a local police officer arrived in the parking lot and informed us that she would be escorting us to the city limits due to the fog… what an amazing gesture to keep us safe on the road this morning. Definitely grateful for the escort…
Today, we rode for James, an 8 year old little boy who had an incredible heart, beautiful smile and an immense laughter. He was a number one fan of Thomas the tank engine and spent hours with his Thomas collection .
In August 2011 he was diagnosed with disseminated low grade glioma (brain and spinal cord tumours). His disease did not define him, but it was how he dealt with his disease that defined him. He had nine months of chemo, many brain surgeries, suffered a serious seizure that caused him to go into coma and be admitted to ICU with a respirator.
On April 17, 2013 James passed away surrounded with the love, hugs and kisses of his mom, dad and sister, Mary. Today we ride for James, who is in everyone hearts and with is every mile.
The first 40km of our ride was quite foggy, cool and a little damp… leg & arm warmers were layered with my riding vest and once we hit the road, my glasses fogged over repeatedly. The roads were wet, the painted lines were slippery and there was a little bit of spray from the riders ahead. That said, it was refreshing to ride in the cool for a short while…
Along the route today we stopped at Grand Falls between St. Leonard and Perth Andover for an unscheduled stop for a few scenic photos. Today’s lunch was prepared by our crew at a beautiful spot in Perth Andover – we were just about 100km into our ride at this point.
After a hearty lunch, we had some significant hills and I am happy to report that I climbed all of them… including one that was very steep on a road detour. I think I surprised my fellow team mates today. I was feeling great, well hydrated and snacking often, so my legs were performing well for the duration of the day.
Rule #23: Tuck only after reaching Escape Velocity
You may only employ the aerodynamic tuck after you have spun out your gears; The tuck is to be engaged only when your legs can no longer keep up.
Today, on two occasions I tucked after my legs were spinning over 100RPM in my highest gear – today’s max speed 70.8 km/h and at that speed, I was passed by another rider… there are a couple of us on the team that seem to love downhills.
We continued on to Florenceville, as the temperatures started to soar and the wind shifted behind us, which had me reaching for the ice packs again… it is amazing how one, well-placed ice pack (down the back of my jersey) can keep you refreshed under the hot sun. A couple of other riders were doing the same and hydration became very important once again. As did generous amounts of sunscreen.
Our last rest stop of the day was in Hartland, where we crossed one beautiful bridge, did some challenging climbs, then made our way across the world’s longest covered bridge – 1282 feet long. The approach to the bridge was very steep and just before entering, there was a stop sign to ensure that you gave way to on-coming traffic – I was on the brakes the entire time to ensure I stopped at the bottom… how to ruin a great downhill – put a stop sign at the bottom. Ha.
We stopped for a couple of photos in front of the covered bridge, then continued on to Woodstock – a short 22km section of the course that wound its way along the St. John river. About 3km from the finish, our lead team had a close call on a narrow section of road. An impatient driver that flew past us, tried to squeeze between our lead group and another vehicle – thankfully the other driver swerved to avoid the collision and ended up in the shallow ditch. If she hadn’t taken that course there may have been a collision that could have potentially wiped out about 16 riders… we all pulled off the road to make sure the driver was ok – the impatient driver was gone in the wind. Really wish I had my cameras running at the time to catch the vehicle information…
At the end of the day, we all hope to arrive safely in Nova Scotia – thankfully we have only had a handful of irrational drivers to contend with along the way… hopefully that is the last of them on this trip.
Tonight we are shuttling to Moncton for our ride to Charlottetown, PEI – I am really looking forward to this section as I expect that I will see my dad, his wife Patty and a few friends from university. Can’t wait to come back to the island next week for a few days of non-riding with my mom, Malcolm, Duncan and Angie…
Sent from my iPad
Sent from my iPad