Friday, May 30, 2014

Days 36-38: killing time in Hope and climbing to Manning

After two great days of riding to start my BC leg,  I was struck with non-stop pouring rain in Hope for a day and a half. I didn't have the motivation to try and pack all my camping gear in the rain only to have it get more soaked during a miserable ride in more rain and then have to sleep in a skunky tent and sleeping bag,  in more rain.

So I decided to wait it out. It meant killing two days of the trip I was expecting to be on the road, but I think it was the right decision. Today was beautiful weather,  and with the ride as challenging as it was,  I couldn't imagine having to do it in miserable weather.

About the ride...

I've been anticipating and dreading this day since the ride began. It's more than triple the elevation climb of any previous day's ride, without the benefit of any downhill recovery. I really wasn't sure what to expect,  but I knew it would be rough.

The ride from Hope to Manning Park involves two climbs separated by a flat valley,  rising from 40m to 1340m elevation over 70km. I gave myself 8 hours (assuming the climbing would average somewhere around 10-12km, and that I would need a lot of breaks), but it surprisingly only took 5 hours (4.5hrs to the summit).

Granted,  it was a grueling ride,  but I underestimated the time I could make up in Sun Valley between climbing the summit of Hope Slide and the summit of Allison Pass, and I was also able to keep up a stronger pace over the long climbs than I anticipated.

What this means is that I've handled the toughest rides and highest climbs this route has to offer,  so weather, health and equipment should be all I need to worry about for the rest of the trip.

Speaking of equipment,  I got my first flat tire today. I bought new tires and tubes in Vancouver before starting this leg,  and although they're top of the line touring tires,  I was nervous about them possibly being too narrow to handle the weight I'm carrying. If I get another flat anytime soon I'll consider switching tires again.

Leaving Hope.

Hope Slide.

I was starting to get pretty high up in the mountains.

 Reached the summit of Allison Pass in 4.5hrs.

Manning Park. My stop for the night.

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