Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Day 56: Rough 75km to Regina

I'm not in a great mood so I'll try to keep the ranting to a minimum, but I think there's useful information to pass on to anyone else planning a trip like this.

My friend the BRAT decided to join me again today, and he was really pissed off. He was directly in my face for the entire ride, screaming in my ears and he didn't let up for a minute.

In reverse order of impact on my morale,  the most difficult daily factors I have to deal with on this trip are: distance, elevation, road conditions, temperature, rain and headwind (the BRAT).

I can prepare for and accommodate all these factors - but wind. Wind comes arbitrarily and with unpredictable force. Rain technically falls in the same category but I'm okay with not riding in heavy rain - headwind is the worse factor I have to deal with that's not severe enough for me to cancel a ride.

Here's the breakdown: with long distances I can hit a rhythm that actually makes the long hours not only tolerable but a great opportunity for intense self reflection. Elevation is very static and finite,  which means I can mentally prepare for each hill in advance and power through it with the knowledge that there's a plateau or downhill waiting for me as a reward. Road conditions can get pretty bad, but they are always infrequent as I'm riding on major highways,  so again - I can power through them and enjoy the smooth ride that soon follows. Temperature is managed by clothing and hasn't been much of a problem unless combined with rain, but it has brought is own challenge in terms of camping. Rain sucks when it's heavy, but if it's light and the temperature isn't too cold them I actually enjoy a little shower when I ride. Headwind is the worst because it decides how fast I'm going to go,  and it doesn't consult me advance. To add insult to this,  the BRAT constantly distracts by screaming in my ears, while making me work twice as hard to go half as far.

So today I only covered 75km but it felt like 175km. I gained .2km/hr on my west coast speed average yesterday and managed to lose .3km/hr today over almost half the distance AND I was on a flat plain the entire day. It took me an hour to cover the last 15km - an HOUR! I could have ran that distance in 1hr15.

In conclusion,  I'm in Regina. It's felt like a long day,  but I don't have the distance to show for it. The ride itself was uninspiring - the sky was a flat grey of overcast and the landscape was a dull dust color of crops not yet ready to sprout. That and my intense effort to concentrate on not being pissed off at the wind resulted in the shortage of photos for today.

Tomorrow I'm covering 155km so I'll be getting an early start. If the BRAT decides to join me again then I'm pretty sure only one of us will get out alive.

Can you guess which direction I was heading?

My one crappy picture for the day. Mac the Moose heading out of Moose Jaw.

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