day 8

Day 8: Revelstoke to Summit of Rogers Pass (65km and 1060m of climbing)

day 8 (If you click on day 8 it is a short video of me at the top)

Today is a new week and I am not going to lie last week was challenging.  I was feeling the weight of this campaign and trying to physically adjust to being on the bike every day but one.  At night I often would not be very social and in the morning things would not flow well.  But as I said today is a new week and everything fell into place today.

I started out on my bike this morning telling myself that there was no pressure for time or distance and to just enjoy the journey.  I took in all the beautiful scenery without paying much attention to my Garmin. During the morning I also thought about Acceptance Commitment Therapy.  Instead of trying to fight the negative thoughts that may come to mind, I acknowledged that they are present and then re directed my attention to focusing on the stunning nature surrounding me.

At one point in the morning I found myself becoming emotional.  It had nothing to do with the ride however.  I found I was feeling anger and frustration as we have lost way too many to suicide and too many people are feeling ashamed for having a mental illness and therefore hiding behind the stigma.  As we cannot change the past I tried to think of how campaigns like mine and other’s who are trying to raise awareness.  Hopefully these various campaigns will help those struggling and help those who do not have experience with mental health have a better understanding.  I really do hope one day we can live in a society where we understand and treat mental illness as an illness and not as a choice.

As I rode deeper into the Rockies, I thought of how small we are compared to the powerful mountains but simultaneously felt protected by having huge mountains on either side of me.  The landscape also made me think of Canmore one of my favourite mountain towns where I will be arriving on Friday.  I kept thinking about what I was going to order at my favourite restaurant Communitea…the beet burger or the pad Thai…I guess I do still have some time to decide hehe.

Tomorrow is supposed to rain with a chance of thunderstorms so I thought I would do some of tomorrow’s ride, today, and then back track to our hotel.  I didn’t really have a definite plan as to how far I wanted to ride but I thought I would probably want to get in the proximity of the Rogers Pass and then save the climb for tomorrow morning.  We started a new system with the support car and now my mom and step dad will drive ahead and pull over and wait for me to catch up. We leap frog like this throughout the day.  I have found this has helped me to relax as I was getting nervous that a car would come flying up behind and possibly cause an accident.  I have already lost one parent and could not handle being the reason for an accident with my mom.  Now having them ahead I get to be excited waiting to see where they will be.

As the support car was not behind me in the tunnels, I put lots of lights on my bike and wore all the reflectors I had.  I looked pretty bright if you ask me! The tunnels were fun to go in though having a semi beside you in there can be a little intimidating.  I have found that I enjoy when a semi goes by as the wind after helps pull me forward – great for the climbs but otherwise I don’t enjoy sharing the road with them.

I told my mom today that I was not sure when I wanted to stop but if there was a really big hill to wait at the bottom.  Since she was no longer driving at 20km/h she did not realize that she was heading to the summit of Rogers Pass.  To be honest I did not realize it either, and I was on my bike.  I thought I was going up a good size hill but I was more focused on the snow-capped mountains.  They are amazing!  When I got to the top and saw the sign saying summit of Rogers Pass I was in complete shock.  That felt so easy.  I don’t know all the hills I have in store in the next couple of days. I do remember one big one on my way out of Golden to Lake Louise.  In any event I finished the day feeling great and celebrated in the Canyon Hot Springs, soaking up the minerals at 104 degrees.