We Beat Rogers Pass and The Tonne

24th – 25th July 2018

Kinbasket to Revelstoke 104kms

What a sleep! The alarm went off at 6am, so we could be ready for our ride at 7am. I wasn’t going to miss that. It was a struggle, but we ate the last of our cereal, ugh, smashed down a coffee, packed up and got to the office with 5 minutes to spare. Luckily Rick was still waking up and getting organised for his day, so he made us another coffee, and got to his morning paperwork. Meanwhile, we looked around, and discovered he was a professional Ice Hockey player, in Canada and the USA, for 19 years. Wow! He actually played for the US National team. Cool. Any sporty people reading this, check out Rick Chartraw. On top of this, he is a very nice man.

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It was easy to put the kids and the gear in the truck, but getting myself in was a mission and a half. No step, no handles, and gees it is high. Not complaining.

Back on the highway, I’ve got my head into gear, and I’m sorted to just ride to the top of Rogers Pass. This is how it went. 2.5kms up in 4th gear, 2.5kms down, woo hoo, a little bit up, then down for about another 4kms. Then it was up, up, up. 1st gear, 5 or 6kms per hour, counting the strokes, and resting every couple of kilometres. 

It was a warm morning, but didn’t stop us from pushing on up Rogers Pass.

Then, at about 22kms done, we hit some avalanche sheds, or galleries. 5 in all, and going up hill. Shit! So flashing lights on, stick together, and every time a semi came through, we’d stop and wait for it to pass. At the end of each tunnel, we’d rest and be thankful we were still alive. The second one was the worst, it was about a kilometre long, and had works going on inside it. 

They were a bit scary, and poor Art and John had an even worse time yesterday, as they were knackered after their massive day of climbing.

Boo, big trucks in tunnels. Yay, the visitors centre at the top.

After the tunnels, we only had about 5 or so kilometres to go to the top. Lots of people yelled out congratulations to us, which was nice, and you cannot believe the joy and relief, at seeing the visitors centre. We stopped and refilled our water, ate some lunch, and enjoyed the company of a little Marmot, we called Allen.

Sheer relief and happiness to reach the top of this Pass. We had two salami rolls for lunch each to celebrate. None for Allen though.

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Ha ha! Gotcha Roger!

34 kilometres down, and 70 to go. Luckily it was predominantly down hill, and a local worker, who rides it often, told us it would take 3 and a half hours at an average speed of 25kms/hr. Woo hoo, that sounds good. So with confidence, we took off down the hills. They were good, well above 25, and a nice breeze in our sweaty hair. I don’t know what is wrong with Will, though, he isn’t going as fast as he normally does. Come on Will, I’m braking here! He yells something at me, waves an arm, leans over his front wheel, then stops. What? A flat tire! Oh no!

Where did that little bastard come from?

Luckily, he has practice at fixing these things, and all the gear, so in about half an hour, we are hot and bothered, but back on the downhill run. But now, the wind in our hair, is actually a head wind, and cutting our speed down by about half. Bloody hell! We took many rest breaks, drank about 5 litres of water each, and things were getting very tiresome. With 20kms to go, we said hello to our old friend, Baboon Butt, the toes and feet were hurting, and the hills were back. The swear words were coming out, the bad Aussie lingo was in full swing, and even a few old farmers curses got thrown around. 

Eventually, though, we made it to the campground to meet back up with Art and John. We’d been messaging them, but with no reception until the top of Rogers Pass, we didn’t know if they’d got any of them. Anyway, they weren’t here. We assumed they were in town enjoying a nice cold beer, relaxing. Pretty close. Shopping and a coffee, but hey, they’d been in town for about an hour. So we all got sorted, cleaned up, and rode back into town for dinner at the pub. It was just what I needed, and by the time we got back to the tents, it was 10pm, and we were all sleepy. Rest day tomorrow, at last!

Yesterday, I was broken, but today I managed to overcome the issues, and then some. It feels great. Exhausting, but great. Watch out Revelstoke, the cycle gang is in town.

Revelstoke

A rest day, yay, yay, yay! But we had no food, so had decided to head to Tim Horton’s (a chain, coffee and donut place), and have breakfast. Art and John had got up around 6:30am, and headed straight there. Bugger that, I’m resting, and Will was still asleep. We met them around 8:45am, had a bagel and a coffee, before doing some grocery shopping and heading back to camp for washing and blogging. That is our rest day. Catching up with the last six days of events, and washing! Hmmm, but minimal riding, so hopefully the Baboon arse can recovery, or harden or what ever it needs to do, before the next mega day.

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The temporary Wiljen office.

 

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