Sechelt to Langdale
49km, 1403m elevation
Today was not my day. It started when I realized I had sent my race bag containing my bike computer, heart rate monitor and sunny day lenses on the truck going across to North Vancouver. But I didn’t mind that too much. I haven't been able to upload to Strava anyhow with the limited WiFi, so it doesn’t really matter anymore.
I started out really well today. For the first 30km I can say I gave it everything I had and I was enjoying just trying to move forward every chance I got. The girls from Calgary kept saying I was “consistent” every time we passed one another.
But the final 10km or so were not my cup of tea. It was beautiful in the forest but I just couldn’t enjoy it. There was far too much climbing again today, and because our days have been so long everyday and we haven’t had much time to recover, today was probably harder than it needed to be.
And then, by the time we got to the “downhill” section, I was shattered already from all the climbing.
There were about 2 minutes of lovely flowing switchbacks with the most beautiful berms. But it didn’t last.
I attempted a super steep rocky downhill section and ended up coming off the bike. I braked hard so luckily wasn’t going at speed, but I still had a lot of momentum when my whole right side connected with the ground with a thud and slid a bit on some loose rocks.
I was so tired and disappointed and in pain, so I immediately burst into tears (first tears of this race! ).
Then when I tried to ride, my wrist and chest and hand were so painful every time I braked, and it made me cry even harder. Bike patrol and a few other riders stopped to see if I was ok and I insisted I ride the remaining 3km or so to the end. It was pretty at the last bit and you could get some flow again, but every root made me utter OUCH! OUCH! OUCH!! The rest of the way to the end.
But leading up to that, there were still sooo many punchy rooty rocky climbs and little wooden bridges and steep drop-offs into the abyss. One wrong move...!
If you know the trail, or have the skills to ride at a high level, you could probably have some fun on that route. But for those of us at the back of the race, today was a bit much. I couldn’t seem to get the power, speed or correct gearing to quickly get up and over the short steep hills that appeared every two seconds around every fun corner. The smooth ones were fine, but the technical ones were soul-destroying for me at a certain point.
Tomorrow is the individual time trial in North Vancouver, which everyone is saying is the most technical. I don’t have high hopes for an enjoyable day on the bike, or a good time. I expect some walking.
Maybe Squamish (Stage 7) will be better!🤞