The Epic Tour is over and I just thought I would try to sum up my thoughts on the whole endeavour.
The Epic Tour had epic rain and epic wind. It also had a wet parking lot and a wet transition are from waiver station to starting line. What this meant is that I got wet and cold. Really wet and really cold. This also means that I do not have any pictures of the even itself. Sorry.
I could blame myself. They said the event was on rain or shine, but I tried to be optimistic about shine. I really wasn’t prepared for the weather. I think I was the only one without leg and arm warmers or at least a jacket. Maybe I looked tough. The helmet is full of holes so it didn’t hold off the rain. Cycling shoes have holes in the bottom, so my toes were wet and cold the whole trip–and it was a long one (more on that later). I could have brought more stuff, but I thought the car was overloaded as it was.
The event went off pretty much like they described it. Despite the rain, it started on time. All of the stations were well equipped with facilities and a lot of food. Real food and turbo health stuff. I thought I would play it safe by brining a few Cliff bars and a gel or two–but they were not needed. By the third station they were telling us to take more. “Use it now or next week or whenever” was a common phrase. The people manning the stations were very friendly. (On the off chance that Meghan from the final station sees this….you’re still my new best friend).
The only downer was that the “finish line festival” was pretty much over by the time I got there. The exhibitors were packing up and there was not finishing banquet. There was food, but they wanted you to buy tickets. I thought it was free and had some chicken and a drink without paying. This wasn’t actually a deception on my part, I just didn’t know.
I did get a bunch of “kids Cliff bars.” I don’t know whether they should be targeting kids, but they did say adults could enjoy them as a snack. I have already put one in my lunch box for tomorrow.
Most of the people riding seemed nice. I rode with two women from Kitchener. Sadly, on the final hill I dropped my chain and had to walk to a more friendly starting point. By the time I got back, I couldn’t find them. (Again, on the off chance that Mary or Bridget sees this, or my readers happen to know these people–Sorry we got separated. I had a great time, maybe we’ll do it again next year.)
The cyclist case was a definite boon for organization. It stored my stuff and made it easier to stash away again after the event. I am going to have to wash all the accumulated dirt that my helmet and shoes dropped in it, but that will be easily done.
My Sigma speedometer worked very well. It got soaked for probably close to six and half hours and it continued to function. I saw some of those fancy Garmin models, but I am pretty content with what I have. I am going to have to go to Amazon and update my review.
My bike is a good and solid machine. It worked well and I am quite thankful.
The distance was a bit gruelling. The rain and the pebbly roads didn’t help, but I definitely need to lose a few pounds to make climbing those hills much easier. Because I elected to stop at four rest stations, I didn’t set any records. I was on course (and downing calories at res stations) for about 6 hours. I expected the event to take about five hours, but things are what they are.
The big exciting news is that I have a new top speed. I had previously hit about 62km/hour on a downhill slope near my house. Today I crushed that one. As you can see by the picture, I hit over 72km/hour. This happened on a rain soaked downhill (less friction?) as I was chasing the very speedy Mary. Would I call it safe? No. Would I call it exhilarating and somewhat awesome? Absolutely. (Kids, don’t try this at home.) This is probably about as close as I will come to pro cycling kind of numbers, so I have to celebrate it.
How I Feel
Well, it was tough, but I am glad I completed what I set out to do. There were some hard, and cold, moments where I wanted to give up, but I didn’t. I crossed the finish line and felt wonderful.
I am tired and sore now, but that feels good in its own way.