Day 4: Merritt to Kelowna
I woke up feeling prepared and ready for the day. I had been speaking to my friend from Kelowna the past couple days and he assured me that I had already conquered the more challenging day of the two to get through the mountain pass. With this confidence I set out on the road and just slowly pedalled up the first big hill.
To encourage myself I also thought about how it was Friday. Back home on Fridays my training ride is called the donut ride. I go up Sydenham hill also known as Clara’s climb 4-6 times and one time up Wilson and of course to celebrate I end the ride with a donut at Cafe Domestique. I kept thinking to myself it is just like the donut ride that I look forward to every week. “It’s the same, I can do this and have a tasty treat at the end to celebrate.” My mood was on a high.
The positive honks today were the most I have received yet in one day on the trip. Each time I got that honk my face light up as if I was a little kid getting ice cream. It also gave me a burst of energy each time.
At around 50 or 60km I started thinking to myself what was my friend talking about. He knew the first day so well but he said it would only be one big hill and maybe one other before the awesome downhill. Little did I know that he had purposely lied to me to keep me feeling motivated.
I felt like the day was never going to end and I was falling behind schedule to be at the fire station. Then finally I think past 60km I saw a sign saying Summit and the current evaluation. I knew that had to be a good sign! Sure enough things got easier from there and I was able to catch up on time. The downhill into Kelowna was incredible. The views were just spectacular and I hardly had to do any pedalling. I think it was much deserved after 1888m climbed.
I cycled into Kelowna with a huge smile on my face taking in the scenery of the city. I was then welcomed into the city by the Kelowna Fire Department. I knew they would be greeting me into their city but I was not aware that they were also going to make a generous donation to Ride Away Stigma. It was a special way to end the day of cycling having reassurance that people believe in what I am doing for the community.
In the evening we were greeted by my friends parents who are generously hosting us for the weekend. It sure is nice to be in a home with wonderful company. I am looking forward to my first rest day too!