The overnight rain abated and today we rode in showery conditions. So it meant riding under cloud, into the cloud; we didn’t quite get above the cloud and it wasn’t until about 5 kms from near the end, we saw the sun through the cloud! It made for bum spray, face spray and happily sighting a bear wandering the ravine close to the road – we didn’t need to use the bear spray.
We saw a bear. Unfortunately by the time we saw it and it saw us and not sure who spooked first, it shot off into the undergrowth as we peddled a little faster than usual. It’s funny how you find extra power in the face of two beady black eyes. It was so cool and the Park Rangers from yesterday were absolutely bang on. The experience gave us warmth given what we had experienced summiting Rogers Pass.
Hospitality warmth was extended before that when we pulled into the Information Centre at the summit. Richard Garratt was one of the rangers we met yesterday. To have him bring out a cup of tea having seen us during our climb up was really awesome. It helped with the shaking of cold as the temperature had dropped at the top to be near freezing. Cheers Richard, we now extend a return cuppa when you visit us down under :0)
Putting on additional layers even though we descended was more for the wind chill at speed. It was 20 kms of continuous down with screams of ‘yahooooeeeeeeee’ as we cruised through snow tunnels. The mountains fudged with clouds; snow fudged with water falls; grit fudged with saliva from traffic spray … however, it was exhilarating cheered on by the odd toot from traffic.
The halfway point was after Rogers Pass. It took us about three hours to cycle the 35 kms to the top and then a further five hours on the seats to peddle the remainder to Golden, broken up by the sight of a bear.
The hardest day yet with altitude and distance meaning our bums were on fire by the time we gave each other a hug after dismounting for the last time today, for a hard day at the office. Bumping into Evan Travers from a couple of days ago and meeting another fellow cyclist Marcus Udokang diluted the tiredness with shared peddle rotation conversations.
There is a little up hill leaving Golden for a further 50ish odd kms, and then apparently, it’s all down hill till the other side of the land of the Maple Leaf. We saw a bear.
The focus now shifts to what do we do when we see a Moose!