Hi everyone, I’m alive. Day 3 was a real test on many levels.
Yesterday I completed a part of the trip that I’ve been dreading ever since I first planned the trip route. The Coquihalla Highway. A difficult stretch north of Hope, with over 1,500m of elevation.
It was perhaps the most physically and mentally demanding challenge in terms of workouts that I’ve ever done. The uphill was non-stop for a 40km stretch, only getting steeper as you approach the summit. Not only was the weight of the gear a huge factor, but with the narrow dirt-covered shoulders at times, the riding was difficult. No reception, no towns in between, and water running low, just to really add to the experience. 😉
That said, the highlights were worth it. The beauty of the mountains was breathtaking. So much so that I got goosebumps seeing them, with the music just right.
As well, the best surprise was finding a food truck near the summit. A miracle indeed!
The other highlights were all truckers honking and waving in support to cheer me on as I grinded my way up the never-ending mountain.
Reaching the true summit was an indescribable feeling.
The worst part of the day came towards the end of the ride, as I was making my way towards Kingsvale.
I followed a routine bike route detour along the highway (plenty of those to keep cyclists safe and away from the traffic, marked with signs.) This road was downhill, and I followed it, going an average speed, and seeing a bridge come up from the distance.
As I embarked on the bridge, I realized within seconds that it wouldn’t be possible to ride on. I quickly swerved, and got thrown off the bike, falling to my left, and landing hard with my left ribs taking most of the impact. There was next to no reasonable way of avoiding this, and I could not believe the danger of this “bike route”.
In that moment, I felt anger. Some of you know that I’ve already broken my ribs back in January of this year (on the right side), and it was an immensely painful and long recovery that took nearly 5 months. This fall felt all too familiar. Everything about it. Not only would I be crushed to go through such recovery again, but I’d mostly be deeply disappointed to have to call off this trip.
I’ve had a day to listen to my body and process everything. I’ve been able to ride this morning, and it the pain was very manageable. I will continue to monitor it. If I know one thing about broken ribs, it’s that they can take a few days for you to really know if they’re broken or not.
Now I continue my journey, and nothing I can do but hope that is not the case. If it is, then I will have to make a difficult decision on what’s next, putting my health first and foremost.
- Route: Hope, BC —> Kingsvale, BC
- Distance: 90km
- Elevation: 1,575m