Sleeping in a bed is such a nice change from the usual. I wake up refreshed and ready to go. A big spinach salad may be an odd thing to eat at 6:30 a.m. but it works well for me as a pre-breakfast snack before a long day of biking.
I leave at 7:30 a.m. and follow Fred and Mike (a different Mike, we have three Mikes) for the first section today at a fast pace into a headwind. Highway 5 is fairly flat in this area so it makes for a much easier ride.
I’m not in any hurry today, so I peel off the back of the paceline with the guys so I can set my own pace. I stop at a fruit stand in McLure when I see a sign for local cherries. As I’m sure you know by now, I can’t turn down fresh fruit.
The weather is fantastic today, even with a slight headwind. I stop briefly for a food break in Barriere after 67 km, then again in Little Fort after 100 km. Breaking up the distance into smaller chunks makes it seem a lot more doable for me. Segments of 20 or 30 km are easier to wrap my head around than 157.
Marshall is just arriving at the gas station in Little Fort when I pull in, so I join him for lunch on the patio.
Longer rides call for a lot more food. Today’s stash includes a couple of almond butter and banana wraps. They really hit the spot.
Not long after that, the headwind dies down and we’re left with no wind at all. And the scenery just gets better and better as we go along.
The last 30 km are the most difficult on a day that’s this long. I like to set small, visual goals to distract myself, like reaching a particular road sign or crack in the road, then choosing another sign, and on and on until I reach my destination.
Vavenby is a very small, friendly town with just one store that’s down the road from where we’re staying. We’re at the community hall tonight, which means our cooks, Mike and Nik, get the use of a full kitchen.
There aren’t any showers here unfortunately, but at least we’re inside and away from the bugs. Simple living is what this tour is all about.