Wednesday, 26 June 2013

ROCKed the Hills!

  I've ridden ~700km in 5 days, and have some observations from the road. Days 1 through 5 have been full of the great hills (mountains?), rocks, wildlife and forest of the Canadian Sheild! The rock here is indigenous, meaning it's made of cooled lava from beneath the earth's crust.  It's a redish colour, making the gravel on the shoulders of the road and even the cement made from surrounding rock look more pinky/orange/brown. Also on the side of the road you can see hydra poles being held up by piles of rock rather than being set in the ground. This is because it would be so difficult to drill a hole to stand the pole up in.
Before I left Norfolk, I had countless warning about moose, bear and mosquitoes. The mosquitoes do get pretty heavy after dark but luckily I'm in bed by then. Apparently the bear and moose come out more after dark too. So far, I've been lucky to only see them form a distance. The bear I was about 30m away. It was morning and the bear looked curious more than anything as it poked it's head out of the forest to the side of the road. I think it was on its way to the greasy spoon across the street for breakfast! The moose was in the ditch on the way up to T-Bay. I only saw it's back but it looked pretty small (for a moose). A couple mornings ago, Theo, Steve and I saw a lynx checking out the cabins we were staying at. It was just taking a look around, probably scouting out some garbage, prancing away with tail wagging. We have that on Go-Pro footage.
The boreal forest in this area is dominated by evergreen trees. I've seen of pine, spruce and mountain ash.

This hills are truly awesome. They're up and down, around bends, more up, a little more down. I really like that the roads are made to accommodate transport trucks since that means the corners are gentle and I can take up more speed on the downhill. Theo and I had a good system going where I would draft off him going downhill and then I would use that speed (often more then 45km/h, up to 60km/h) to take off uphill. I really like the hills - even the uphill - because it's a new challenge every few minutes. It breaks up the ride and gives a sense of accomplishment, then there's the thrill of going downhill! Yesterday, Theo and I ended our hilly potion with Sault-Ste Marie Area's Old Hill and Mile hill (~ 1 mile uphill at a grade close to Turkey Point hill). Ahh yea!

I was SO excited to see Ryan, Lisa, Raya and Cy today. I've had a few really tough rides and was pretty tired before I left yesterday but the thought of seeing them gave me that extra motivation to get going. There's nothing like Raya and Cy's smiling faces, yelling "Aunt Jessie" and running to give me a hug. I engulfed them both in a huge bear hug. AWE! We had a delicious family dinner together and got settled. What a day J

Today is rest day. Thank goodness! Now that I'm allowing myself time to rest I can really feel how tired I am! I'm mostly tired all over, like I was hit by a Mack Truck. That's to be expected though. I think I have trigger finger from switching gears so much on those bloody hills! Today's the day to get fixed up though - I'll look for a place to get a massage (couldn't find anywhere yesterday but will not be giving up on that just yet), and get a couple other nagging things looked at. My bike (Jacques) is already at the shop getting a tune up.
Today's to-do list: massage, doctor/physio, wallmart (for chain-cleaner holder and funnels, eye drops), pick up bike, emails, presentation for Owen Sound, blog, thank you notes, bike 30km to catch up to Laird, call committee members for update.

Talk to you soon. Keep smiling,



  1. Awesome, you got the crew here at eco-adventures in your corner!


  2. Incredible, Jess! You are an inspiration!!