Friday, June 20, 2014

The Night They Built The Mountain....

OK, It wasn't built overnight. It had been there all the time, only I hadn't seen it. That is, I hadn't looked at an elevation map. This was an old train track, why would I have to be concerned about elevation? Why, because I'm not a puffer belly - OK, I puffed a lot on this trip and yes, it's too bad about the belly, but I know that they had dynamite back then and how come they didn't use it here?

Obstacles on the trail

Sigh, Yes, right in the middle of the bike track was a winding elevation of 200 - 300m over 8 kms. That's it! I'm going home!! I hate hills, which is one of the reasons I chose this venue for a cycling trip. Sob!! Since we had used up the largesse of the transport company, we knew that we couldn't ask them for another lift. We decided to ask the innkeeper if there might be a taxi that could take us and our bikes to a spot further down the trail, beyond the mountain. Together, we worked out that St. Faustin was our best bet. It was 10kms away and the mountain, by my calculation, was an 8kms incline. We could do this!!

First we had to take the front wheels off the bikes. I panicked a little, knowing of course, that we had to put them back on again and it involved reconnecting the brakes. We blindly forged ahead and were deposited for another $30.00 in the lovely hamlet of St. Faustin. We began the trail. It went uphill. Surely there was some mistake. I had just paid $30.00 to avoid this!!  The trail got steeper - Yikes!! I dismounted - plan C was, if all else fails, walk the bikes. "Yes, walk," said the mosquitos, "we love you!!"

My husband, who was now well ahead of me, said, "You'll never make it, walking." I knew that, but I was pretending.

"Get back on the bike and drop everything to 1."
"Drop what to 1?" I answered.
"The gears."
"Gears?" I said.
"Yes, what gear are you in?"
"I don't know."
"Well look."
"Maybe 7?"

At that point I realized that I hadn't changed a gear the entire trip so far. My old bike had gears, but they never really worked so I just ignored them. I couldn't ignore these.

Success at the top of the mountain

I dropped everything(gears) to 1 and lo and behold I could bike, without pain and exhaustion, slowly, very slowly, up the rest of the incline. It turned out that St. Faustin was about two thirds of the way up the mountain, we now had about a third - 3kms - left to cycle, however, it was right up hill. I amazed myself. I would never have believed that I could do it!! Just another 30kms to Val David - onwards and downwards!!

Have an amazing day!!

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