Going The Distance: Day 1

I earned myself a venti frappaccuino today. I was up early for my 100 km ride from Ucluelet to Port Alberni. The weather was nice and cool. I even had a starting song in my mp3 playlist. It was ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ by Journey. Not till after the first 10 km I realized it should have been ‘Highway To Hell’ by AC/DC. The Pacific Rim Hwy has many twists and turns with really steep hills. I suspect the engineer who designed it must have a secret passion for designing roller coasters, ha!

The first 50 km was the toughest. I had taken ad hoc breaks when needed. At the halfway point I took a short break (nap) and munched on some snacks. That helped me develop a second wind where I maintained a steady pace for a good 25 km. There were a few long downhills where I was able to increase my speed significantly. I will not tell you how fast I was going 😉

During the ride I had the bad habit of frequently checking my odometre. The old saying goes ‘a watched pot never boils’. It psychologically slowed me down. Towards the end my legs felt like jello and my pace had slowed. I was on the road for about 9 hrs. Today is considered a small example of what to expect in the Rocky Mountains.

Tomorrow will be my trip to Nanimo. It is there that I will catch the ferry back to the mainland then head into downtown Vancouver. Ciao!

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15 Responses

  1. Very impressive that you made it through that stretch on your first day! That crazy steep winding road is a challenge to drive in a car, never mind a bike.

    C’mon… what speed did you hit on the downhill?

  2. Congratulations on a successful first day!! Stay safe 🙂

  3. Excellent Job!! Don’t go too fast or you’ll miss the next Starbucks exit.

    • LOL!
      I imagine Martin has a seperate Starbucks location map tucked away somewhere and to ride past one would just be so wrong!

  4. I told you that I’d be living vicariously thru you. So far, I’m feeling fine – but take it easy eh?

    You’ve got tons of moral support here Martin!!

  5. Well done Martin. We miss your smiling face at George Brown College and ofcourse all of your help. Enjoy your trip, but be safe. Take Care. Bill

  6. Holy cow what a great 1st day We dont want to even think what speed you were going hahah we are following your every step so keep up the good work and great spirit…………..

  7. Woo hoo! 100km down! I suspect the next few days are going to get tougher as your legs go “WTF?!?” and the Rockies start throwing their worst at you. But eventually your legs will accept their role and the Rockies will be defeated. From then on it’s clear (albeit probably quite boring) sailing for several weeks!

    See you in Ottawa sometime in July?

    • My legs should be in decent shape for the Rockies. I figure I’ll be covering less distance over the next week. Then will make it up over the prairies (please no headwind. please no headwind, please no headwind, lol).

  8. Thumbs up. Spin on the hills like Lance!

  9. We’re thinking about you back here. We’re also out of water, but I’m trying to press through myself, I swear!

  10. Congrats on a great first day! We are enjoying watching your progress via GPS. The kids especially love when I show them where you are and where you’ve been via google satelite. 🙂 I looked up one of the “related links” (automatically generated stuff) and found that the “cyclingpotato” guy has some helpful tips. No mention of Starbucks in his blog but he warns against nasty spider bites (more of an issue than mosquitos and such) in the area you are in now and other seemingly good advice.
    Your niece and nephews are very excited about your journey and ask constantly for updates. I shouldn’t even bother to shut down the comp. It would be easier to just leave this page open for them. 🙂
    Take care, stay safe and drink lots of water. 🙂

  11. Congratulations on a good start of a great journey !
    Looking forward to the daily updates.

  12. Congratulations on your journey….Jojo and I will keeping track and we wish you all the best…be safe and take time to smell the roses…or coffee (I see you are a huge starbucks fan, so is Jo.xo

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