Sunday, April 8, 2012

Grand Bend or bust

In the first major training experience of the trip, the three of us took advantage of a commond day off and cycled the full 121km to Grand Bend for an Easter dinner at the Cadman's. 

Personally, I wasn't sure we were going to make it, especially because it was my first time cycling outside this season.  (Probably not the smartest of ideas.)  Even though we had an "out" because our ride would be passing us late in the day, we didn't take it, but rather persevered downhill into 25km/h NW winds and finished the day strong.

Stats: The trip is 121km, about 75% of the average trip day.  It took a total of 7 hours, 5:45 of which was on the road.  That's 21km/h, which is approximately our long-term trip average.  Trade exhaustion and weight for training and experience, and we're in good shape!  Here's our route

You have no idea what you're in for!
Logistically, it was a little bit tricky.  Still without a GPS, I drained half of my BlackBerry battery doing mapping.  It worked very well, but that won't be sustainable in remote areas with no charging opportunities.  But we have gained confidence in our ability to navigate country roads quickly and while mobile. 

Physically, we are all very capable of this Grand Bend excursion.  It wasn't particularly fast or physically taxing, but more of a lesson in cycling.  It is very much a mental struggle, including the psychology of the long hours, as well as the willingness to take a long, slow beating.  I felt good right after the cycle, with my lower back but especially my knees taking a little bit of soreness over the following few days. 

The only downside so far is that Braun's really didn't come through for us.  My bike was a week late, which really isn't a big deal, but it is just not possible to get updates from their sales staff.  It came down to the wire, but Chad came through for us and lent me his road bike. 

In summary, big thanks to Nan Cadman for the dinner, all the Cadman's for the ride home, Chad for the bike, and the randoms in Mitchell for filling up our water bottles.  Next step: an overnight, multi-day cycling trip.  Until then, nice work guys. 


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