|Day twenty-July 10 Regina 129k
It would be another hot windy day. I would not get out of camp until 8:45. As I was part of the meal crew we were also responsible for cleaning up the site and getting everything into the truck. At a quarter of nine the staff told us to go. There were only a couple of other riders in the camp. They would be the sweeps. I set off.
It was starting to heat up and the head wind we have been fighting for the last two days hasn’t given up. Neither am I.
Highway 11 has stretches with wide shoulder and then that wide shoulder changes to gravel. No choice but to ride the white line. At about 15km that white line got dangerous. There was highway construction going on. The inside lane was closed. The workers put out the markers two feet to the right of the center line.
One of the workers who was checking the back of the truck for something to do saw me ride up the highway. As I went by he yelled at me to ride on the shoulder or else I would get hit. I honoured his comment by yelling back that if there was asphalt on the shoulder then I would ride on the shoulder. The first semi to pass me made me change my mind. I rode on the inside lane. For kilometer after kilometer that was no other moving object on the inside lane but me. It was nice. Then Rosie and Byron passed me and asked me to join them. I declined then thought again and raced after them. I caught up to them but could not maintain the pace. I dropped off and went back to the inside lane.
The vehicles overtaking Rosie and Byron were moving into the inside lane to get around them. The pylons were not run over and neither were the cyclists. But I was on the inside lane; I was now at risk. I moved back to the thin shoulder. It all ended well. There was about 15kms of one lane traffic with no equipment or workers on it. Maybe it was an obedience test.
I met up with Rosie and Byron at the next roadside stop and we chatted about the road. When we were ready to go again, I once more declined to do a pace line with them. We would leap frog each other down the highway meeting at stops. I would leave first and they would overtake me. Where they stopped I would stop. This went on until Lumsden about 40 ks from our campsite.
The day was getting hotter. I felt myself fading; light headed. I had started out with two bottles of water and had a half bottle left. I hoped that Lumsden was a stop with services. About 10km from Lumsden I could see riders behind me. I sped up. They weren’t going to catch me lying down. The heat was going up but the wind was abating. I pushed myself down the highway. I got to Lumsden before being overtaken. I turned right into the town and there was a Subway. And there was Rosie and Byron.
I replenished my water bottles and had almost a litre of iced tea at the Subway. There were a couple of cookies thrown in. It was nice in the store but sweltering outside.
Finally it was time to go. This time I would ride with Rosie and Byron. Lumsden is nestled in the bottom of the ‘Quepelle Valley so there was a long hill leading out of town. I would hear later from the pace group that I beat to Lumsden that they saw us leave up the hill and started after us. They couldn’t keep up.
The three of us tried to keep a pace line all the way to Regina. The shoulder deteriorated to an extent such that we had to abandon the line and find a line through the potholes and debris on our own. We found our way into Regina as per our morning direction sheet. Each time we came to a traffic stop we would drink water. I drank the two bottles of water I obtained in Lumsden before I got to camp. I think I dehydrated myself.
I spent the evening trying to get fluids back into me. Over the evening I had two bottles of beer and another two bottles of water. I did not get up in the night to go to the washroom. By bedtime I was feeling better; hydrated and all set for a rest day.
The supper was macaroni and cheese and tuna casserole. It was tasty and I ate lots of it. Some of the riders had trouble cooling down and their appetite wasn’t there. This is the one time we wanted cool showers and only had hot showers. In the cool places of B.C. we had cold showers on cold days. Might as well be consistent.
Robert turned fifty five on this day. He bought beer for everyone and a birthday cake was provided. Thanks Robert for a fine ending to a hot day.