In the last several days we climbed the Pennask summit, were pampered in Kelowna, picked up a new member, travelled our farthest day yet, camped discretely in a provincial park, cycled through a downpour, and arrived in Revelstoke. During that time I made a number of realizations.
1. I am a badass when it comes to climbing hills. Despite my lack of physical activity in my everyday life, I am still probably the fastest in the group at going up hill, especially big ones. On one of the biggest hills leading to Kelowna I finished half an hour before the next fastest person.
2. I suck at going downhill. As great as I am at going up, I am equally crappy at going down. Coming into Kelowna we had a 25km downhill stretch. Amazing, right?
Tell me Ben, Did you set land speed records while coasting?
Nope. It was balls. Other people were clocking 73km/h on their bicycles. I never topped 45. Others were flying by without pedaling. I was working my ass off just to stay in third gear.
3. I officially suck on flat terrain too. I finally have a name for my ukulele. I have dubbed it Wind Resistance. Thanks to the uke case strapped on my back rack I am a human sail.
4. My appreciation for BC Interior towns has greatly improved. I had ignorantly held the unconscious opinion that most of these places were lonely desert holes that nobody really wanted to live in. My only experience with Kelowna before had been from passing through the Greyhound station in the town’s industrial area. When we rode in and cruised around the lake and along the many bike paths, My sentiments were altered immediately. I also have loved the terrain and the feel of the towns north of Kelowna. Vernon, Enderby, and, in particular Mara Lake now hold a happy space in my heart.
5. I learned how to change my first tire/tube. And the second one immediately afterwards. Coady helped me when my tire exploded just a few km out from camp this morning. In the process he managed to snap off the valve on the replacement tube. Also, the new tire is too small and the new tube is too big. And I dropped my cheese. On the bright side, we ate pie.
6. Don’t think about all the times you could have died. Some of these shoulders narrow to nothing but gravel and potholes while we’re zooming downhill. We constantly have combination semi transports blow by within a foot or two of us. I have also now fallen over in traffic four times. If we stopped to think about the danger we are in, one of us would probably have a panic attack. Based on my wimpiness with danger in childhood, it would probably be me.
7. When exercising this much, you can get away with eating anything. I will return to Calgary with a serious Nutella addiction.