Day nine – Golden – 118k
This was another separate the cyclists from the sissies day. We were going over the Roger’s Pass today. It wasn’t as tough as the Coquihalla but it was a rainy day and there was a second ascent that one isn’t told about. I knew about and told those within earshot of it.
I had set my tent up half way under a tree. It rained last night and when it wasn’t raining it was dripping on my tent. And “listen to the rhythm of the falling rain…” is much different when it is open rain and when it is drips. Drip, drip, drip, drip, Drip, drip. But it was a constant reminder through the night that the ride today wouldn’t be a whole lot of fun.
Most riders were out the gate before 8 am. I got out at 7:30. Old Bob O got out at 6:30. He was on kitchen duty for evening and wanted to make sure he got there in time. Later I told him that I was checking the ditches all day looking for him.
It is a climb of 36 km from Canyon Hot Springs to the summit of Roger’s Pass. It drizzled for most of the way to the top. I was clothed adequately and occasionally overheated but knew that I would need the protection for the downhill side. I stopped at around 26k for a sandwich. That’s where I picked up Rosie and Jamie and tailed just behind them.
There are three snow sheds on the west side of the summit. At the first tunnel a guy ran across the road to inquire about another TdC rider. He happened to be travelling through the Roger’s Pass and knew that Bob Q of Bragg Creek would be coming through at the same time. I told him that Bob Q was probably about five minutes behind me. Bob Q would meet up with two separate individuals on that day who stopped and then encouraged him on his way.
The third tunnel was the longest and most enjoyable. There was no traffic in it when I went through. Not coming, not going, just me and the whisper of the tires on the asphalt.
The vistas, though strung out with cloud, were quite dramatic.
I got to the summit about two and a half hours after starting. My average up was 15.6 kph. The steepest portion was a two k stretch just shy of the summit. I had to go down into my smallest chain ring. I still had three gears to go to.
We stopped at the lodge for food or coffee. Free water was not available because the recent rains had even contaminated the water up here at the summit. I felt I had enough water left all I needed was a coffee. But I left my money elsewhere. Thanks for the coffee Rosie. When I finished my coffee I headed downhill with Jamie. She was on kitchen duty also and started to put distance between us.
I stopped on an uphill to get some photos. Traffic was heavy and I couldn’t find a break in the traffic to get good shots. I pointed my camera back the way I came and took a photo, I turned 90 degrees and took a photo, I turned 90 degrees and took a photo which was marred by a truck pulling into it.
The driver of the truck thought I was in trouble and needed help. My camera pointing posture must have triggered an emergency response in him. I told him I was taking photos. He walked back to his truck and camper and I waved at him as he drove by. There are those who are willing to help cyclists, there are those willing to help cyclists off the road. The previous day, Ron and I were buzzed by a pickup truck. The passenger side tires were on our side of the white line as it went by. It could have been worse, he could have been laying on the horn too.
At about 65k into the day I bonked. My energy disappeared. It was after the second summit. Talking to other riders later, they too bonked about half way through the day. Old Bob O said he bonked at around 80k. But it all came down to not eating enough. The fuel tank was empty. After drinking water and having a sandwich and Clif bar, I was okay for the rest of the ride.
I got into Golden at around 3:30 Pacific time. Supper for the evening would still be on PDT even though we were in MDT. I set up my tent and sat in the sun. After the cold and wet of the climb that felt good.
Supper was of pasta with choice of sauce, meat or veggie, lentil salad, and fresh fruit salad for desert.