Okay, so today would be another attempt at the 180 – 200 km range of cycling. As mentioned earlier, my cycling buds were in Penticton for a training camp, so I had originally just planned to do this ride on my own. I happened to mention this to the parental unit on Wednesday evening….I think they were a little slow on the uptake on this one because it wasn’t till Friday evening that my pops left a phone message ‘Call me when you get home.’ Hmm…’what’s this all about?’ I think to myself.
So I called and got mum on the phone and she states ‘your father wants to know why you didn’t go to the Penticton training camp and why you are cycling alone!’ Oh, well, that’s easy to cover, I chose not to take more time off work, as I would be taking a few days for IMC, and I would not be riding alone but be accompanied by Mr. Mike B. The parental unit was very much relieved that I would have an escort after all!!
I must admit, at first, I was a little apprehensive of having Mike come along. I mean I definitely wanted to go out for a ride with him, but I’m used to riding with Leslie. Her and I are still pretty new to this triathlon game and are about the same cycling ability, which is getting faster, but soooo not Mike’s speed. I didn’t want him to have to doddle along as he is also training for IMC. My concerns were put to rest when Mike said not to worry, he could go ahead then just circle around to check on me. Okay, this would work. He also mentioned he wanted to get a longer ride in anyways so at this rate I could do 180 km and with his circling he may be able to achieve 360 km!! haha. Excellent!
Now there were only a couple of other issues to deal with a) Mr. Mike B is a handsome fella who looks damn good in bike shorts! I would have to ensure that this fact did not increase my pacing on the bike because I was trying to keep up to get a look, haha. 2) I would have to restrain myself when it came to the usual peeing in the ditch, H.V.E.M’s, burping and any other noises that may occur. After all, I am a girl and I would like to make a good impression!! I’d just have to wait till he was far ahead of me, LOL!!
One thing was cool, I was going to get to show him one of my favourite routes, the Cochrane, Bottrel, Lochend route, which would cover the first 100 km. The plan after that would be to go back through Cochrane, head to Springbank, then Bragg Creek.
We met up at about 7am and headed out. The weather was a little cool then, but the sun was out and it wasn’t raining. Yay! It was really great being able to share a bike route that I really enjoy. I’ve mentioned it a ton of times, but it’s truly beautiful through there and there aren’t many cars. We made a couple stops for water along the way and even did some exploring. There was a newly paved road that we just had to see where it went…alas, it took us to a gravel road. It was nice through there though because we could ride side by side and chat a bit.
After a quick stop in Cochrane for more water etc. we were on to Springbank. Now typically adventure follows me wherever I go….but this time it was Mike that had the little adventure! He was ahead of me on this one stretch of road, which was a bit hilly so once in a while I'd lose sight of him. As I crested a hill I noticed a bike resting up against a pole – it took me a second to realize it was Mikes. I was just about to look for him when thankfully my brain kicked in and I realized what he might be doing along the side of the road…away from his bike…hint hint…nudge nudge. I was thinking to myself, boys are so lucky they can just pull over near a tree and do there business. This time though, Mike wasn’t so lucky...
When he caught up to me he said to me in a rather excited voice ‘OMFG!!!’ Did you see that hawk back there??? I was thinking of a smart ass comment I could say about not being THAT kind of girl so I hadn’t been looking at ANYTHING back there...but could see he was serious and was quite freaked out.
It would seem that Mike picked an unfortunate spot to ‘do his business’. It was likely right near a hawk nest and Momma bird was none to pleased. To the point where she was making a lot of noise and dive bombing him. He got on his bike and tried to make a quick exit, when he looked up and she was heading straight for his noggin!! Thankfully she just did a fly by – it was at this time he was trying to figure out how he was going to defend himself. I believe he was contemplating having to use his bike to swat her. This, I would have paid to see, haha. She didn’t follow him, thankfully, but that gave him a good dose of adrenaline for the next few kilometers!! Next time maybe I WILL look! LOL. I’d hate to miss out on all the action!
Our next adventure with nature was along Hwy 22. We were around the Redwood Meadows area when Mike said ‘Bear!’ Sure enough, there was a ‘wee’ bear running across the highway. I was sooo glad he didn’t get hit! We didn’t see the bear as we went by the area where he'd ducked into the bushes…likely a good thing as I am the slower rider, which Mike pointed out would save his butt! Nice manners babe! Haha.
We got into Bragg Creek with about 10km to go before the 180km mark, so we kept going and went through the park. I’d never been there before and it was just gorgeous! Hopefully I'll get back out there again.
I wanted to ride at least 180km before we stopped for a break in Bragg so at least I could say I’d done a fairly continuous ride. After all, my coach wouldn’t be too pleased if I’d stopped mid ride for a smoothie break, haha. So we stopped and had a bite to eat, then headed back to Cochrane.
The first part of the ride back was awesome. It’s a slight downgrade so I was actually able to stay in pace with Mike – at least till the hill towards the highway. I seriously don’t know where that guy gets his energy but I want some!! I was pretty slow going up the hill by the time I got to there. Thankfully there is just the one long one then it’s all downhill.
By the time I got to the car I was hoping Mike had forgotten that I had to do a 30 minute brick run. Alas, this was not to be. He had his running shoes on and was in full form teasing me about going for a run. It didn’t help that I had mentioned earlier about my new sneakers that make me run faster and jump higher. He used this fact in an attempt to motivate me. And it worked...kind of.
I was sooooo dogging it for the first five minutes. I was asking Mike just how much my coach paid him to make sure I did my run and if we really had to run for 30 minutes??? I was glad he dragged me out there though, for a couple reasons. One being that I felt pretty good once I got into the groove, which gives me some hope for IMC. Two I got a little show put on for me. I was making my way back when I looked up and there in front of me Mike was running with the back of his shorts pulled down slightly and his bare butt hanging out!!! I just about died laughing – of course I didn’t break pace though! That was definitely one of the funniest moments of my IMC training and one I will never forget!! Wonder if he could do that for the marathon at IMC to keep me going?!
We got back to the cars then, and, I still can’t believe this, we ran again! This time we ran down to the river so we could soak our legs. The water was refreshingly cold and soothing – once you got in and stopped saying expletives. Haha. It really does help though.
Walking back to the car Mike was showing me an exercise his chiropractor showed him for his back. He laid on the pavement and stretched, then convinced me to do the same. The pavement was soooo warm, so we just laid there in the middle of the pathway! I wonder what people would have thought had they come across us like that! RUNNERS DOWN!!! Haha.
It was yet another AWESOME training day!! I had a ton of fun out there with amazing company and I also managed to do another first. My total mileage on the bike today was 210.5 kms - something I’ve never done and never imagined I could do! SNOOPY HAPPY DANCE TIME!!!!