Friday, July 5, 2013

Goodbye BC! It was nice knowing you.

Hey everyone!
Sorry about not blogging. It was a combination of reasons and laziness only came into play a little bit!


I see you're not laughing. It's ok. I joke around so often, I'm surprised most people aren't tired of me. So why don't I just go at it and write something relevant.

So the EPIC Riders are what I am a part of. We're biking, not the motorized kind, across Canada. We'll be going from Vancouver, BC to St. John's, NL. We're already partway through. We did plan on stopping in Victoria but costs came into play and told us no. So yeah, we have biked all the way through British Columbia. I'll do a recap of each day, briefly.

Day #1- Vancouver to Hope:
     We started at the Olympic Oval in Richmond, just south of Vancouver, after having a lovely three-night stay at the Dyllas' house in Richmond. What a fantastic time that was! The ride was much more flat than we expected. We did about 160km and stayed at the Bonikowskis' house in Hope. We saw a lot of where Rambo was filmed, and had spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. MMMMM :) Thank you so much to the Dyllas and the Bonikowskis for being such friendly and accomodating hosts!

Day #2- Hope to Merritt:
     This was the dreaded and feared Coquihalla climb. This was also the worst day of the trip so far. We climbed up to a 1244m elevation, from about 35m above sea level. That was the steepest climb I've seen. After that the riders had 8 flats between the three of us, and after Dave's last flat he had to be picked up by Ben about 20km from Merritt. We then changed all of our tires. I think we camped that night and had Subway. Slightly filling! Thank you to God that we survived that day. I'm not sure what the distance was that day.

Day #3-Merritt to Chase:
     This was the first day I started experiencing knee problems right off the bat. We climbed to a 1444m elevation, but it wasn't as bad as the day before. After our climb we were exhausted, and there was a killer headwind through Kamloops and some other place. We actually ended up setting up a last-minute contact with Evan's second cousins for that night. We stayed on a mountain ranch for that night and through Canada Day, our first rest day. Evan and I had heat exhaustion and we were throwing up and napping through much of the day. Thank you to the Jontz family for being incredibly friendly, especially Levi! Amazing food and well, with 8 kids in the family, there was more than enough great company! I only remember that we completed around 150km.

Day #4- Chase to Revelstoke:
     Evan had to sit this one out because of his continued heat exhaustion. This was probably the day I most trusted God with my well-being because I had no food in me, which means no energy, and my knees were becoming a big problem. Dave has gracefully led most of the rides so far so I didn't have to do as much work, but it was tough trying to keep up! Thank you God for keeping my body in a great condition. I think we did about 170km

Day #5- Revelstoke to Glacier National Park:
     This was basically another rest day. The climbing was hard, but we ended up only doing 75km. Evan rejoined Dave and I! My knee pains seemed to be moving around to different tendons in the knees. In the afternoon we were bored so the riders went hiking while Ben read a book. After half an hour Dave and Evan wanted to turn around, so they did, and I ended up climbing to the top of a mountain ridge adjacent to our campground. I took some pretty awesome pictures that are on Facebook, but I couldn't enjoy the view much because I knew the guys would be wondering if I was still alive. It was a humbling experience though! Oh and I did it in sandals and a bathing suit with 100mL of water. Fun times! Thank you God for letting me trip in the right places and not the wrong ones.

Day #6- Glacier National Park to Golden:
     This was about 95km. I confirmed that my knees aren't injured, eternal thanks to God, and that the pain has moved around to probably every single tendon in both knees. It appears they're under just a little too much strain, or possibly just not accustomed to the amount of biking. This day was really easy. We were warned about Rogers's Pass being tougher than the Coquihalla, but when we got through it all three of us were surprised at how short it was. Maybe we just got stronger or something. The rest of the ride was basically downhill and we averaged 30km/h the whole day. We camped that night.

Day #7- Golden to Banff, AB:
     The easiest day so far! I think we biked about 150km today. There were some tough climbs at the beginning, which Ben chocked up as "some hills". After about 72km almost the entire way was downhill. We averaged over 40km/h for the second half and 28.6km/h for the whole day. Now we're staying in a sweet hotel and we're about to go for a barbecue at the owners' house. So awesome! We are so blessed on this team. We've made it all the way through BC but there was no sign at the border of Alberta.

And an even more brief account of the past couple days would be: pain, pain, and more pain.
Tonight's a great relaxation time though. We just got back from dinner, which was fantastic! Our hosts were very welcoming and friendly as well! Thanks to the Batemans! Tomorrow we head to Calgary, and we're going to rest there for a day with Jesse Corriveau. That will be a blast.

Well that's pretty much all. Please donate, it's a very worthy cause! I think I've mentioned Ratanak International on the blog before. They are helping to rebuild Cambodia's spiritual, social, and economic situation after some decades of devastation. One of Ratanak's projects recently has been to rescue people and especially children from the sex industry in Cambodia, which has become a huge problem. It's horrible. So yeah, donate! To clarify, EPIC Riders sees none of the money that has been donated, and neither does Ratanak International. Both our team and the organization have a policy where 100% of the donations go directly to the work on the ground. Praise our Father that such great work is being done in Cambodia!

So goodbye, BC. What a beautiful place.