Day 41: Nipigon to East of Terrace Bay 124km – 1471m climbed
We helped Sarah in the morning by making pancakes as she made smoothies and sausages for us. It’s funny because I thought while riding out that it was hard to eat that morning and that I had such a small breakfast. Well my perceptions have changed because I had a smoothie, two pancakes and sausage. So a normal breakfast. Sarah has a rule at her house that whatever you don’t eat you take with you. When I stopped for my second breakfast twenty kilometres in I was well taken care of.
Today the wind was by far the strongest headwind I have ever experienced. By 40km when we sat down to have a rest I felt like I was never going to get there and that the ride so far had taken forever. We were asked last night why we like cycling touring and I happily gave a whole list of answers with a huge smile on my face. If I had been asked at that moment, I would say that I did not like it at all and why would I ever think of continuing with it. I felt so beaten down. For this journey I have a schedule with hotels that are already booked so I can’t just decide to not carry on for the day. I asked Will if he was alone if he would continue cycling. He said he would have taken it as a rest day. I thought about how we both feel the same way right now but he is willing to continue on so I need to push on as well.
There were significant climbs today and the downhills were not rests as you had to continue to pedal hard. After the first really big climb I got the epic down hill that I love. I hardly had to pedal and was flying down. I was so taken by the scenery that reminded me of the north island in New Zealand. It was beautiful hills and the lake. It looked tropical at times. As I was going down I almost forgot about not liking cycling and the headwind. That was until I got to the bottom and was hit in the face again by headwind.
Not long after this we stopped for a late lunch. We were only half way through the ride at that point. My mom was a little concerned that I was not going to make it but I said I didn’t want to change plans and we should just wait to see how the rest of the day went. I had a very slow lunch as I was enjoying hiding from the wind.
As I started to cycle away from lunch I saw some extremely dark clouds. I thought please no do not add rain to this challenging day. Luckily it blew over and we did not get rained upon In the afternoon we had a big shoulder so we were able to chat. This made the afternoon go a lot faster. We started coming up with games to play while riding to distract ourselves from the wind. As we were going up hills we would guess how much further we had to go. The hills were also welcoming because at times they would block the wind. Though at other times you still had the headwind to battle.
We stopped twenty kilometres from where we were staying for a snack. The sky had completely cleared into the most beautiful day and the wind and traffic had calmed down. I felt like screaming this is why I love cycling. It all felt so worth it in that last hour. My mood and confidence was lifted right back up.
I think it is important in the mist of our struggles or challenges to not focus where we have to get to but take it bit by bit. After lunch I didn’t think about the end location I thought of the next turn ahead or the amazing landscape I was seeing. It relaxed me and kept me motivated. It is also important to reward yourself for hard work. I did that with a piece of pie from Sarah that I saved all day!