Monday, May 5, 2014

Day 22: The day of pure hell

I mentioned in my FAQs that I don't like to book ahead on this trip,  that's because I prefer to remain flexible on a day to day basis. Today was a great example of why I should stick to that philosophy.

I booked my passage on the ferry to Newfoundland last night - committing myself to reaching North Sydney today. Normally not a big deal,  but I knew ahead of time this would be the most challenging ride to date,  and I left myself 150km to cover (last night I thought it was 140, I was sorely mistaken).

I thought I left myself ample time when I left today, but I underestimated the impact of yesterday's ride and the aggressiveness of today's hills. 282km of continuous hills over two days was too much for me to maintain any kind of reasonable pace;  my legs were just shredded. As a result, I was pushing harder than I would have liked to for the whole ride.

If that weren't enough, I had the worst weather imaginable today. This was a perfect example of a day I should have just taken off,  but of course I already bought my ferry ticket for today so I felt committed.

It started cold and drizzly, which sucks,  but is manageable. Then the mist rolled in and it got so thick that visibility was little more than thirty feet ahead - check out the photo below. I felt very vulnerable on the road,  and had no idea if vehicles could see me.

Then the weather got really crazy. Freezing rain and sleet quickly turned into wet snow that pounded me relentlessly for four hours.  It was driving so hard that it was a complete whiteout for most of the way.

I will never ride in this kind of weather again. I really should have gotten off the road today,  but I was so annoyed that I booked my ticket in advance that I kept going out of pure spite.

So now I'm on the ferry. My wet clothes spread out on the heaters beside me and circulation slowly returning to my feet.
I wasn't planning on taking tomorrow off,  but that's pretty non-negotiable at this point. I hear the weather in Newfoundland isn't going to be any better than this tomorrow and I've had about enough of it for now.

I have plenty of time to get to St John's,  and I'll pick my riding days very strategically from here on in.

Leaving Port Hawkesbury, the day started out dreary,  but workable. 

The mist got dangerously thick on the highway. 

It was too wet to get any good pictures of the monstrosity that was this afternoon's/evening's weather while I was riding. Here's a shot from the window of the ferry. Yes,  that's a full carpet of snow on the deck. 

1 comment:

  1. Your day sounds awful - I'm glad you're taking a day off. The weather here isn't great this week unfortunately.