Friday, June 10, 2011

Tour Divide Day 1

176km. Banff to Elkford.
12.5hrs total time, including ~45mins stopped.

Woke up to sunny and dry conditions! Maybe having no pants will be ok? I was so glad that it wasn't raining.

Was nice to arrive with Paul and hang out with him before the race. Took some anxiety away. Cycled into town for breakie. Potentially the last relaxed meal that I will have for the next 3 or 4 weeks.

Saw a big group at macdonalds. We decided that we would get our fill of that along the way and continued past to a nice little organic bakery called Wild Flour.

Seeing the other riders around town, I feel a bit out of place not having a beard. It is strange to meet people who are doing the same thing but who, after this brief moment this morning, I will probably never see again in my life. I can't really remember any of their names, anyway.

Craig, Gerry, Kate and Scott were there to say hi at the start. It was so nice to see them!

It seemed like the group started at a pace that you'd see at a short XC race. I decided not to give into the temptation to follow. Ok, I admit it, I couldn't have followed, as my engine doesn't go that fast. I may not be speedy, but I feel like I know my body reasonably well by now and I needed to just go at my pace.

Paul rode with me for a while, which was awesome. I figured that would be the last time that I would see him for a few months. It was a bit strange.

I saw the first trail snow at about 30km, but there was enough space to ride around it. Then, at about 50km, there were some short hiking sections (I suppose that it was rideable, but I'm really trying to pace myself).

There was a place at about 100km to stop for water and candy and I was so excited Starbucks Frappucino! they didn't have that in Africa!

Conditions were MUCH better than I had anticipated, though Elk Pass had a good hike-a-bike through the snow on a steep and rather extended hill. Then mud that was too much effort to ride through, so I continued walking. I am going to suffer for the loss of upper body strength that I experienced in Africa. The hike-a-bike was much harder for me than it should have been. At least I had Gerry's voice in my head, telling me to just keep moving.

I had planned on the possibility that I might not make it to Elkford, so I was delighted to get through Elk Pass in time that it was possible to sleep in the town. Then I started daydreaming about making it to Sparwood maybe. I day dreamed long enough to screw up my nutrition. I slowed to a crawl as my tank emptied. Eventually I resigned myself to the fact that it would be much smarter to stop for the night in Elkford, eat a proper meal, and give myself an opportunity to recover so that I could survive another day. Afterall, I am here to have fun. And, hey, 176km is not a bad first day considering that it was off road and my rig is a good 25 pounds heavier than my TdA bike (and that is BEFORE the five bottles of water!). I think that I am over packed for great conditions, but slightly underpacked for bad conditions. It's a lot to haul around, but I would rather have my steel bike and gear than the full carbon (including rims) and sub-10lb gear setup that I saw another guy on at the start.

It felt like I was the last to come in to Elkford and then two guys rolled up behind me. It is silly, but it made me feel better not to be last. I was so happy to be there, too. There was probably enough daylight to make it to Sparwood, but I'm tired and, as Cindy Koo told me once, tomorrow starts today. I have to correct my nutrition deficit and get some rest so that tomorrow can be a good one (and the next 3 or 4 weeks, for that matter). Oh, and Paul had decided to stop here, too. It was good to have a quick chat and to properly say goodbye.

Tomorrow, my rig will be lighter. My camera broke within the first 10km. RIP G9. My fork mounted bottle launchers liberated a bottle of electrolytes. My bivy poles shook out somewhere, not that it matters much, it seems that I also forgot the pegs for it. I feel bad for leaving such things on the trail, but I'm not prepared to go back and get them. It is 176km and I have no idea where they fell out. I will make up for it by picking up 4 pieces of litter for each item left behind.

Man, I'm pooped. I didn't mean to make myself so tired on the first day. Time to sleep. I have an early morning tomorrow.
Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network


Blogger Kate Aardal said...

That's a great first day! Keep on with the nutrient it'll be paying off! Enjoy the day through the Elk Valley!

June 11, 2011 at 6:13:00 AM MDT  
Blogger Ruth Dobson said...

TORI!!! You are doing awesome!! Go for it superstar. Love from Ruth and Carrie

June 11, 2011 at 11:08:00 AM MDT  
Anonymous Carrie said...

Yeah. Love like she said. Wish I was there - there being 50km or so behind you.

June 11, 2011 at 11:34:00 AM MDT  
Blogger Cindy said...

Must have been exciting starting on this big adventure. I am impressed with your blogging effort. Tomorrow starts today? Was that said when we were considering a sprint finish at Nipika?
:) Good work partner. really really really good.

June 17, 2011 at 8:26:00 PM MDT  
Blogger Sandra Yaworski said...

Tori, you are amazing. I have been following your adventures, and I am envious of you, happy for you, and full of admiration for you. I love how you describe things as "temporary"; it is the only way to see things.

Sandra Yaworski

June 30, 2011 at 4:22:00 PM MDT  

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