Wednesday on the bike seemed to be the first day of getting into the seatosea routine. I resigned myself to getting up st 5:30 with the rest of the masses. I have a good idea of what kind of stuff I like to grab for lunch for the day and have realized the best thing to do on short days is to bring one lunch with me on the bike and pack another lunch in with my clothes so that when I get to camp I can have lunch number two.
I had brought along another seat for the trip in case my backside wasn’t happy at some point during the summer and decided that this day was as good as any to use it. So as the vast majority of people headed out for the day I was taking apart my seat bracket and swapping seats. When that had all been sorted only 20 odd people remained in camp, 10 of whom formed the sweep team and the others were mostly another riding group. The other stragglers were some of the stronger riders (Tyler and Reuben) and I teamed up with them to head out on the road. While rolling through town the agreement was to take it easy and hold a 28-30 kph average but once on the road the legs decided that that was insufficient and we were rolling along at a pretty good clip of 36-38 kph. The sun was still low in the sky and it wasn’t terribly hot so Reuben and Tyler were making the most of the good conditions. I opted to drop off their pace as we blasted past a straggling Stephanie Webb whose left knee has been causing trouble. We rolled into the first town together and she reconnected with her group which was now mine (for a bit). The day’s ride included a 10 km uphill stretch through a beautiful valley and once I got to the top I looped back to do it again, see the other sides of the trees and make the most of a short day (80 kms scheduled distance) by topping it up to 100kms.
When I reached the summit of the climb the second time round I grouped up with a group of 6 Carrie Groen, Katrina Miller, Kincso, Laura Holtrop, Julie and Nicolas Ellens. That group sailed along with a nice tailwind at a leisurely pace for an hour before rolling through another town where some of the boy’s had stopped for steak sandwiches and the riding group changed again. Alex VanGeest (Taber AB), Brad Geerlinks (Ontario) Jon Elzinga (Edmonton) and I picked up the pace for the last 20 miles and flew into Baker city within the hour including a flat tyre stop at the side of the road.
After setting up tents in the high school soccer field (and eating the second lunch hidden in the gear truck) we headed out for ice cream on the main drag. After sitting in the shop for 40 minutes someone questioned how long we thought it would take to overstay our welcome. Conversation changed and no-one really felt any urgency to leave the air conditioned building in favor of the 85 degree weather outside. Another hour later we decided that 100 minutes was probably verging on overstaying our welcome and opted to head back to camp.
The eating was once again very good and thoroughly enjoyed by all. We’ve been eating well and really there is no end in sight.