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Thursday, 7 June 2012

Our first Double Header - Over 70 miles this weekend!

After stepping up the training rides from 30 miles up to 40, we’re starting to really notice the difference. We’ve also started to use our back pannier bags on our training rides to get used the weight.

I got a bit of a shock the first time I added the extra weight, going uphill especially. The bike even handles differently – so as much practice as we can get the better! 

Saturday - 34 Miles

We took a ride out to Burnaby and back into Vancouver along Kitsalano and around UBC. It’s a great ride. Cycling around by UBC is awesome as you can get used to cycling a highway, but with little traffic and a bike lane.

I love that you can get up to a really good speed with no traffic lights to slow you down. I must say though, I struggled a bit on this ride, I think it was a mix of things, the extra weight, not eating enough and hormones. But none the less, I finished it 33 miles and all.

Sunday - 36 Miles

Thanks to lovely Groupon, we had a sailing lesson booked in Port Moody on the Sunday. After looking on the travel planner, it actually didn't take much longer to cycle there than to get public transport.

Our route there was pretty simple and we seemed to whiz there. Using the highway to  bypass the large Burnaby Mountain, we arrived about an hour ahead of our sailing lesson, giving us time for a poke of chips by the sea - happy days.

After three hours of sailing, I was pretty shattered. I also really didn’t fancy going back on the highway, so we took another route.

A few minutes into our cycle, we hit a section of road (which was labeled as a bike route), the steepest, winding hill I have seen on our training. 

Dave asked “are you sure you don’t want to go the highway?”

At that point I actually wanted to find the nearest bus home, but that is completely against what we have both said from the start - I won’t stop and turn around.

I told Dave I would meet him at the top, he set off up the winding road to heaven. I tried to cycle up the pavement on the side as I thought it may be a bit safer. However, I turned the corner and the pavement ran out. Oh dear.

Let me tell if you stop on a very steep hill, it is so hard to get started again. I managed to use a side road and cycle down it slightly, turning back up the hill. Even doing that, with the weight on the end of my bike, it was trying to do a wheelie! 

I was literally in the lowest gear ever and wanted to cry, but I was doing it. 

Dave came cycling back down towards me. He said he was in shock to see me cycling up; he had visions of me at the bottom with my arms crossed.  

We stopped for a break to decide what to do, as he informed me it went on for at least the same again (he hadn’t seen the end). Did we want to go back?

...did we want to go back? 

No! We decided to press on. I must admit I did put one of my pannier bags onto Dave’s bike (as he only had one) and even though I know he wanted to slap me at that point, he took it for me – my hero.    

Setting off for the third time up the hill, with every push of the peddle I chanted “I can do this, I can do this” to get me to the top. Later Dave told me he was chanting “chicken fried rice”, which I may try next time as he got up there much quicker than me!

I still can’t actually believe that we managed to cycle that hill (well Burnaby Mountain really) but we did.

Have a look at the elevation in the image above – you will be able to spot the section I'm taking about.

I must say, after climbing that, the other hills were a breeze.

70 miles - woohoo!

We will be cycling the Pacific Coast from Vancouver to Tijuana over six weeks starting in August 2012 to raise money for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research. Please show your support by sponsoring us here, leaving a comment below and sharing our blog.

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