day 36

Day 36: A bit past Dryden to Upsala 187km

When I woke up I was still cold from the night before and not feeling very well. I decided to sleep a bit longer. Having this later start, by late it only means 9am, I figured that my distance of going ahead was pointless as I had little chance of catching up with my friend. He was starting yesterday, where I finished so I would have had to do a big ride early in the morning to try to catch up. But I also thought that maybe he wouldn’t have done a long ride in the rain. I couldn’t remember if we talked about whether he likes cycling in the rain or not so I had no idea.

As much as I dreaded starting this ride within minutes of being on the bike I was feeling great. The air felt so fresh after a full day of rain. I was also fortunate that everything I needed, dried in time. Yesterday at times I was grateful for the rain instead of the headwind but today I was happy for the wind. Fortunately it was not as strong and there were breaks too.

This stretch of road I had been warned about for the lack of shoulder and all the transport trucks. For the most part I had become used to it but today things changed. On the narrow road with only maybe a foot or two of a shoulder I had two transport trucks pass each other. I didn’t think anything of it when I saw the one coming ahead and heard the one coming from behind but all of a sudden when they passed I got sucked in. It was by far the scariest thing I have ever had happen to me on the bike. Fortunately I had a good grip on my handle bars and was able to bike out of it and cycle onto the gravel side. I had to stop after that to catch my breath. Since that incident I have become very anxious and tense every time a truck has gone by. My one elbow has become a bit sore because of how tense I am positioned. It has made me really uncomfortable, however, there is nothing I can do but wait for that shoulder to eventually return and continue cycling.

What did make me feel better was when I approached a construction site, a worker called me ahead infront of all the cars. He told me he would hold the traffic until I was all the way through. This totally made my day after that as often in the construction area it is down to one tight lane. I felt like I was getting the royal treatment.

I was convinced at this time I was not going to catch back up to Will today because it was already getting close to lunch time and I had only done 60km. Not long after that I heard that I received an email. I thought to myself maybe he stopped at an info centre and is updating me as to where he is. Sure enough it was him and he was in Ignace only 15km ahead. He explained how he had hid from the rain yesterday and was struggling with his motivation for cycling today. I so excited.  I will have my cycling buddy back and will be motivated for the long ride today. I still had to go 127km that day and needed motivation as well to push through with my late start.

I always find it fun when we catch back up with each other and get to share our experiences on the road. As we cycled out of town together we both shared how it was nice to have a cycling partner as we have felt Ontario weather so far has been very challenging. The ride for the most part flew by having someone to chat with and push through the headwind together. It was also fun in that we both have our different strengths on the bike and we would keep leap frogging with each other. Near the end of the ride we were informed by my mom that we only had about an hour left to get to the location of where we were staying to get the keys before the office closed at night. I said how I wanted to try and make it the whole way because I really don’t like driving ahead and then having to go back. So we turned it into a competition and pushed each other as hard as we could. We kept flying past each other trying to out cycle the other. It worked though and I finished my second longest ride at 187km in great time.

I was also really looking forward to the cabin we were going to be staying in for two nights. Pine Point Resort at Lac des Milles Lacs had donated two cabins for us for two nights. It was on a beautiful lake 20km off the main highway down a gravel road. So as you can imagine it was very quiet too. I am really looking forward to a rest day here. I have been day dreaming of swimming in an Ontario lake for some time now!