Lost and Found Hope.

30th – 31st July 2018

Spences Bridge to Boston Bar 77kms

Here we go again, ooh ooh. Another stinker. Laurie had told us that Spences Bridge was actually the hottest town in Canada, and often had temps like this in summer. Ugh! There was nowhere to get groceries, so we all had to scrounge left overs for breakfast, and the plan was to ride the 37kms to Lytton, and get food. Another super early start, and luckily the trend for today was down. No doubt there will be some mother effin hills too, but ultimately we should be going down.

 

Leaving Spences Bridge, there is a cool old car museum. And some spectacular views.

It was a reasonably pleasant morning ride, with lots of nice views of the river. We had a fair bit of morning shade from the mountains, which helped us along nicely. We had one stop for morning tea, so we ate our left over hummus, crackers and cheese, it wasn’t going to make the day, in the heat. By the time we reached Lytton, John and Art had broken away from us slow pokes, and we didn’t know where they had gone. It was about 10:30am, and really heating up. The town was at the bottom of a valley, which meant we’d have to ride out, up a steep hill, so we decided not to go into town, but to wait for the others at the run down service station at the top of the exit. We sculled a Powerade and ate a disgusting packaged roll, while we waited for the guys.

 

As we ride along, up and down the hills, it is amazing to see the rail system, weaving along the river. There are tracks on both sides of the river, and the engineering is really something.

Eventually, we decided they must have kept going, so we did the same, thinking  they were up ahead. Now after 11am, it was getting very hot, and the traffic had increased. There were lots of long grinding uphill stretches, that really taxed us. After four days of tough conditions, we were already fatigued. Next minute, we are doing it super tough up a super steep, long climb to Jackass Mountain Summit. What the Fuck, man? What happened to heading down to sea level? We almost got to the top, but just had to stop in a small bit of shade. It was so bloody hot, my feet felt like they were on fire. We had a good break, drank another litre of water, walked a bit, then rode to the summit. Still no sign of the other two.

 

The downhill seems to be over, as we climb again in the 40C heat. Where is that shade now, when we really need it.

17 miles to Boston Bar, what is that in kays? About 25kms? Ugh my god, really? This has to be the last big uphill hey? On we go, slogging it out, just trying to get somewhere. There really isn’t anything along this stretch, which is why Art has us doing the bigger days. Down a bit, and a bit more, we were starting to get a few more flats, but it was still getting hotter. Next minute, there is another bloody long slow climb. Mother of God, WHHHYYYYY? This one was too much, we had to stop and rest about five times, then finally got over it. With about 5kms to go, we spotted Fat Jacks Diner, Pub and Motel. That is it, I’m out. We pulled in, left the kids out the front so John and Art could see them, and staggered in. The happy Asian man, took one look at us and gave us two big glasses of iced water. A couple of Gatorade’s, some food and more water, had us recovering nicely. Will had a beer, and we discussed getting a room. Just then, we spotted Art at the window. No bike, but a pickup truck. He came for us.

 

Such an appropriate name for this “hill”. I’ll never forget it. As we cycled to the summit, a small car came over the rise, and gave us a good old fist pump. Cheers, a cold drink would have been better.

As it turned out, Art and John had gone into Lytton, had lunch, did shopping, and slogged out up the stupid hill. They had suffered up Jackass Bluff, and somehow scored a ride to the campground. Art had seen us on the road, and conned the campground manager into coming back to look for us. Thank you Rod, who even had another cold Gatorade for us. To make it even better, the campground was actually 11kms from Fat Jacks, which would have killed me.

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Rod, our second saviour, with a white truck. Well done again, Super Art.

Boston Bar to Hope 64kms

After a nice dinner, and a shower, we discussed our options in this heat. Our original destination was going to be about 97kms, but another 40C day was looming. We were all knackered, so agreed we’d ride to Hope, and rest there for two nights and try to get a ride to Vancouver from there. So we all were happy to get up at 5:30am, and got going super early. It was a push up the steep campground exit, then off we went. A nice shaded ride this early, and some good solid downhills at last.

 

It’s amazing how different you can feel after a good sleep, and the promise of a proper bed and private toilet. It was a good morning riding.

We had lots of tunnels today, and also went past Hells Gate, which is the most narrow part of the now Fraser river. Steep cliffs and a fast flowing river. Spectacular. Great scenery, and some good riding. That is until 11 am, when the traffic increases along with the heat. A relaxing lunch break in Yale, with a cold Vitamin water, and wraps of tinned chicken, tomato and crisps. Mmmmm delicious. It wasn’t too bad. Topped up our water, and off we go again. 

 

Tunnels, tunnels and more tunnels. Some were fun, but others were annoying, as we had to cross the roads, and walk a couple. 

The scenery had changed from being quite arid, back to tall mountains and lots of green. It was pretty. Pretty bloody hot, again. Gee zuzz! And I bet you’ll never guess what happened, hey? Yep, more bloody hills. A couple of real slow long, hot bastards. Lots of stops in the shade, and a quick prayer to the gods for the last 5 kilometres to be down hill, and we topped the last one.

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One last recovery stop before we make our last run to Hope.

My prayers we answered, and we actually did get a 5 km run into Hope. The wind suddenly picked up, though, but we got to our hotel and we couldn’t of cared less. We’re here.

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The sweaty bastards. Team Wiljen, Super Art, and The Happy Texan.

 

 

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