So, it turns out they do have Internet in the wilderness out here at TransRockies. We're somewhere in Alberta, just over the Continental Divide, deep in the Rockies. Today's stage was tough but almost endlessly fun - about 65 kilometers with 2,000 meters of climbing. And that really sounds easy until you try it. When the going gets a bit rough, I make myself feel better by telling myself that time and effort-wise, this still only amounts to half a Tour Divide day. Then we go to camp where we can load up plates with all-you-can-eat spaghetti and sleep in tents that have been set up for us. Then everyone goes to bed at 8 p.m. Since I'm incapable of falling asleep before 11 p.m., I stay up and feed my Internet addiction. I'm stoked about my pictures from today, so I'm tossing in a quick blog post.
We had a mass start in Elkford. The 500-strong peloton paraded through town and then sprinted for the gravel road start, which resulted in some epic crashes right on the pavement.
Today's stage was much more of a wilderness stage than the earlier ones, with at least eight stream crossings and muddy, baby-head-strewn singletrack.
Keith and I have been riding close to the same group every day, which means we have our pacing pretty much set. It's been a great pace for me; pretty mellow, which allows for lots of picture-taking, chatting fun. If you are going to do a massive group ride, you might as well meet new people.
Then it was time for the alder 'shwack. About three kilometers straight uphill, drowning in leaves. This is fun, people! I promise.
And this is why it is fun: Because it brings you to this place ....
... on this trail.
The mainly hike-a-bike from checkpoint two took us the better part of three hours, for something like 12 kilometers.
Cresting the 2,300-meter pass.
Beginning of the descent - mostly fun, some scary, even when walking and carrying the bike.
That's me, actually riding my bike. I do pick my feet up off the ground occasionally.
Keith and I finished in 6 hours and 55 minutes, moving up to 12th place in the Open Mixed division (we started 14th, so we're slowly picking our way to the top. Emphasis on slowly.)
Jenn and Sierra just a few seconds after they finished. Their faces say more than I ever could.