I finished my qualifying ride a week ago, just in time to sprain my ankle a few days after. I figured I’d share the write up of my adventure like so many others seem to be doing.
Day 1 – Thursday, March 13, 2008
My day started out with waking and getting up at 7:45am. I got ready for the ride by eating cold pizza and fruit for breakfast. I packed two liters of water, an orange and apple, and a small box of dried fruit. For clothing, I wore three layers on my torso, a thin long sleeved shirt, a spring/fall biking jersey, and a hooded sweatshirt. For pants, a semi-thick and loose-ish pair. I also brought a toque, two pairs of gloves, and a scarf. Other things I brought were an mp3 player and my phone.
I was just out the door when I remembered I needed a hex key to make adjustments if necessary. I also checked the weather. It was -9 degrees C and it was supposed to warm to about 1C by the evening. I started at the end of my driveway at 9:10am and pedaled my way down to the gas station to put some more air in my tire (50 psi). Then I set off on my long journey. I planned to do a big loop and pass through all three of the small towns in my township; Tottenham, Beeton and Alliston.
The first part of the ride was mostly flat. I went at a moderate speed. After a few roads, I encountered two small hills. It was in between these hills were it started to snow at 9:40am. On the next road, I went north and the snow continued to get worse. After a while, the snow was so thick I couldn’t see 50meters ahead of me. I went east and went up some pretty bigger hills, probably some of the biggest on the route.
As I reached the first town (Beeton) on my route, the snow began to slow down a bit. I rode through the town and saw a couple of snowplows starting to salt the roads. As I left town, I was going to go down a dirt road I hadn’t been down before, but it looked pretty rough, so I decided to keep on the road I was on.
By about 11:50am, I made it to the next town (Alliston), the farthest one on the route from my home. I stayed at a friend house to rest for a while. I made and ate a delicious cheese and sausage omelet and had some hot chocolate. I left at about 2pm and continued on my journey.
When I got back on the road, the wind had picked up quite a bit. For the rest of the way back, I was going against the wind and up and down hills. When I was close to home, I circled around the hills outside of town.
As I went down the final road into my town, I could feel my legs starting to give but I stayed up. I reached my house in Tottenham at 4:10pm, got in the door and ate yogurt and an orange, then got a shower.
For the day I rode a total of 76km with a total altitude gain of 655. This would have given me a rating of 142, then I factored in that I had gone 40km with strong winds and 37km of extreme cold and snow and my total rating was 215 with a carry over of 41.25 for the next day.
Day 2 – Friday, March 14, 2008
Started my day off by getting up at 9am. I had a bowl of cereal and an orange for breakfast. I packed an orange, two bananas, some dry fruit mix, two liters of water and a bottle of orange juice. I left at about 10:15am wearing my jersey, a t-shirt, hoodie and a windbreaker jacket.
I set out and after 5km I realized that everything I was wearing was definitely going to be too hot for the ride. So, instead of turning back, I put everything but my jersey in my backpack and continued on. I decided I would go the opposite direction from the route I had taken the previous day and go a bit farther. I went back and fourth over the hills, crossing the main road three times before I went straight north. Most of the hills on my route were at the beginning this time around, so I’d tackle them first. I fell forward once because I was still a bit sleepy and tired from yesterday.
After a bunch of small hills there was a very flat section going across farmland. It was quite enjoyable. For about half an hour, I could see a pretty steep hill almost looming in front of me. When I reached it, it took a good five minutes to climb and there was a smaller one after.
I was quite excited at that point because I was pretty much half way through my ride again. I reached Alliston, stopped at 1:30pm and had a big triple burger, salad and a cola. Then at 2pm I set off again through Alliston, racing the traffic through town. There was one point where I was going just a little faster than the slow moving traffic and passed several cars.
I left the town, going south then east and continued in that direction until I hit a dirt road. This was south on the 15th sideroad and I had never been on this part. I was quite unhappy that it had turned into a dirt road where I was because I refused to go on another dirt road the day before. I followed the road anyway then eventually went west to Beeton.
I stopped to walk for a minute because even sitting on even the most comfortable of saddles seems to make one a bit sore after a while. I got back on and went south up a steep hill. Then there was a series of smaller hills until I got back home.
For day two, I rode a total of 82.3km with a total altitude gain of 686m. This would have given me a rating of 158, and then my total rating was 199 after adding the carryover from the previous day.
I am so glad I finished it. Looking forward to seeing many of you are RTL.