Friday, 18 June 2010

Friday's Follies


Wrapping up the RLCT. 

Upon arriving at Queen's University we headed straight to where our friends were sitting on the lawn that was strewn with bikes, helmets, cycling shoes and snacks.  We enjoyed refreshing BEvERages and swapped stories of the ride.  After a much needed rest, we headed off to our dorm rooms to shower and freshen up to meet up later with over 2,000 of our closest friends we've never met before in the huge cafeteria for dinner.  The food was endless, choices fantastic and deserts to die for.  The Ottawa Bike Club knows how to look after you. 

After being sufficiently satiated in the food department, we all trundled off to try to enjoy a nightcap with some of the gang before heading off to catch some zzzzz's.

I woke up at 2am to the sound of pounding rain, grrrrrrr, and why was my room so cold??? 

I lay awake from about 4:30am on and listened to the rain and the hard core cyclists getting ready to leave for their ride back to Carleton University, 177K away.  By 5:30 I was up, getting organised and packing up my bag, luckily I had packed my clothes in a large green garbage bags inside the sports bag, hey, Flight Attendant training came in handy because my bag was to sit outside in the pouring rain in Perth for a very long time!!!!  By the time 6:30am rolled around I wandered down to meet the gang in the cafeteria for breakfast and to charge up my batteries with coffee and breakfast for the ride back to Perth.  Again, the food was incredible, with every breakfast choice imaginable.

By 8:30am we were ready to go.  We said farewell to some of the Woooo Hooo's who were driving back home, luckily I had thrown my cycling rain coat into the vechicle the day before....

As we headed out of Queen's my back tire felt a little iffy, so we headed back to the SAG wagon to have it checked, while waiting in line, we heard that it was 9 degrees Celcius, raining and the wind had picked up to gusts of 35K out on the roads.  GAH!

Once the tire was pumped  up we headed out...however, it still wasn't right, so back to the SAG wagon again to have the tube replaced...it was getting colder, wetter and windier.  The fellow at the SAG wagon said that they were getting a lot of reports that some of the cyclists were bailing and that others were suffering from hypothermia, he also noted that if we ran into trouble again we were to flag them down and they would try to help us.  With a big hug and a thanks we were off again, this time some of the Wooo Hooo's drove past us yelling encouragement out the van window and then they were gone.

We were head down and pedalling straight into the wind when it happened....another flat tire!!!  You know when everything inside you just goes calm...there was nothing we could do about it.  The SAG wagon was once again our guardian angel.  While Lauren fixed my flat front tire, Elaine and I huddled around the exhaust pipe of the wagon to try to get some warmth, we were soaked, cold and when I looked over at Elaine she was shivering and turning blue.   Keith strongly suggested that we give up our attempt to finish the ride, heck, we weren't even out of Kingston at that point!!!  We could go back to the University to see if we could hitch a ride with other cyclists, we could cycle up to the Greyhound Bus Depot and try to catch a bus to Perth, but we opted to cycle to the nearest coffee shop and order a taxi that could manage to get two bikes and two sopping wet cyclists back to Perth.


Once we got back to Perth we had to find our luggage, our friend Donna went diving into the mix to look for hers!  We helped cyclists who were suffering from hypothermia, another chap had major grit in his eyes, others were piling into the rest stop looking for hot coffee, thermal space blankets and their luggage so they could change into warm, dry clothes!!

Would I do it again???  YOU BETCHA!!!

 

Thanks Keith and especially Lauren who fixed not one flat, BUT TWO flat tires for me.
*glass in the tire = flat, flat, flat*


I'd like to extend a GREAT BIG THANKS to Chris Borzecki for **looking after all of us on Saturday and Sunday and a great big thanks to all of the volunteers.

Life's fun if you don't weaken,

Lily

** OBC ordered buses and taxi's to get people off the roads and safely back to their destinations, 2010 was certainly one RLCT for the books.

9 comments:

TNTcoach Ken said...

That sucks that the weather was so crappy! I learned my lesson about not putting clothes in plastic bags a few years back, when my luggage stayed in the rain after a century ride.

Marlene said...

Talk about brutal conditions! Sounds like some cyclists were really suffering - glad you made it back in one piece. And WOW, what excellent care & support. Sounds like a great event. Congrats again!!!

Wendy said...

An epic experience, to be sure!

Judi said...

i am so so glad you found cycling.

Grey Beard said...

So many thoughts here - like, damned Canucks are a tough lot! Space blankets make excellent shoe covers, chest covers, and leg covers. Except for shoes, wear against your skin.

Like the effect of wind on effort, you just won't believe how effective a silly piece of aluminized mylar can be until you experience it.

As for effort, aerobars will get you to the finish line, and when you look back, you will see a l-o-o-o-o-o-g paceline has formed up on you.

I have come to prefer riding in cold weather, so have really worked my gear issues to stay warm. In spite of the bulk, I prefer high-tech fleece jackets with pit zips to keep from drowning in my jacket, but many riders in my groups love the Shower's Pass rain gear.

I will be trying SpinSkins for flats as they have been getting rave reviews.

So happy you are safe and sound. Great ride report. Hot bath? :D

MrDaveyGie said...

I wanna a mail box like that.

Kim said...

You are hard core my friend!
That mailbox is soooo cute!

Black Knight said...

Yes an epic experience! I like the mail box.

Anne said...

Wow! That is crazy weather...you are a tough lady! I love that you would do it again...

What a cool mailbox :)