A light rain overnight leaves wet tents and wet roads to start the day. We have a long ride ahead of us today; it won’t be an easy finish by any means.
Just a few minutes from the campground is a new bike path that runs parallel to the highway. It’s a huge improvement from a safety perspective and significantly reduces the chance of flat tires from road debris. I’d love to see one in Saint John someday.
I stay on the bike path until Canmore where I switch to Highway 1A with a strong headwind. I catch up to Mike about 10 km later and we take turns drafting off one another to conserve energy.
Farmland is about all we see for hours on end with very little traffic. The headwind doesn’t let up and I’m starting to wear down rather quickly.
Even though we’re fairly close to Calgary, there is hardly anywhere to stop on this route. We finally spot a gas station after 83 km and take a quick break at the picnic table.
In an attempt to increase my calories, I’ve started eating chickpeas straight out of the can with a spoon. Or in the case of today, straight out of a sandwich bag. They’re surprisingly satisfying.
We stop in Cochrane just 20 km later for a longer break and meet up with Fred at the Tim Hortons. He joins us from that point on and the three of us stick together to battle the relentless headwind.
With only 30 km to go, our paceline grows even stronger when Charles latches on. Then we come to the last big hill of the day. There isn’t much left in my legs after working the paceline, but I’m so eager to reach the top that the pain becomes secondary.
When we finally reach our destination, the University of Calgary, it’s hard to believe that we’re finished. Hours, days and weeks on the bike – done. As difficult as it was at times, I’m glad I had the chance to experience it with such a fantastic group of people.
I’ll always remember this trip. Thanks for coming along for the ride.