Blue Mountain shows no mercy!

People normally go DOWNhill at Blue Mountains.  I beg to be different, I go UPhill.  For the 1st time in the 2 years I’ve been cycling, I did not enjoy my ride at all.  The combination of terrifying weather, challenging terrain, & getting lost made yesterday’s ride the most traumatic ride yet.

In preparation for my brother’s upcoming race (50 miles) in Centurion Canada this September, he wanted to test-ride the route yesterday.  Centurion Canada is basically an amateur cycling race located in the Town of the Blue Mountains.  I naturally joined him along with my parents.  I was really excited to go to Blue Mountains since I’ve NEVER been there in the summer (only winter!).  Let’s make this a family road trip!

Village 2 at Blue Mountains

I was forewarned about the intense elevations in this route – 3 mountains with a total of 3,200ft elevation gain.  That literally categorizes the hills of Belfountain as a “piece-of cake”!! (and I was complaining back then!)

We arrived at Village 2 at the Blue Mountains Resort by 10:30am.  This place looks so much better without snow (sorry, I’m not a skier!) 😀 My parents spent the day touring the shops at the Village since they don’t cycle.

Getting ready for the ride

Heading out of Village 2

It was quite exciting to see so many cyclists on the road today. 🙂  There was a stretch of road before we reached our 1st mountain.  Time for those granny gears!!  I huffed & puffed up the endless mountain.  Everytime I thought I reached the top, I would see another hill straight ahead.  No downhill in sight, not even flat roads.  The 1st mountain is supposed to be the worst out of the 3, at a height of 1,670ft at the highest point.

I could not express how happy I was when I saw some downhills.  But they ended quickly!!  Before I knew it, I reached the 2nd mountain.  It was ~40km into the ride when the weather suddenly changed and storm clouds rolled in.  The winds picked up, the air cooled, no cyclists in-sight, & I could see lightning at a short distance.  It was like a scene from “Twister”.  By ~44km into the ride, the rained poured heavily with strong wind.  I was stuck in a flippin’ thunderstorm!  Buckets of water came down & my vision was completely obscured by the rain in my eyes.  I wanted to speed up but the hills got steeper.  Another endless mountain – no downhill, no flat roads.  I couldn’t spot my brother since he rides much faster than me.  I was alone in the middle of nowhere & completely terrified.

Being on a “metal” bike heading up in elevation is never a good idea in a thunderstorm.  Was I going to get struck by lightning?  Or get blown away by the wind?   It took a lot out of me to keep biking.  2-3 km of absolute terror later, I heard someone yelled to catch my attention.  I looked to my left … it was my brother taking shelter under someone’s front porch.  I cycled & ran over there happy with relief.  I was drenched & dripping from head to toe complete with squishy shoes.  It took a while for me to calm my nerves.

All drenched

We waited until the storm subsided a bit, all the while shivering from the cold.  I was not geared up for the rain at all (at least I wasn’t wearing a white jersey?! )  It was still drizzling when we set out again but we have to get going!!  There was a ‘quick’ but steep downhill from the 2nd mountain.  I nearly lost control at a turn as I veered into the lane in the opposite direction.  Very close call!!

Another downpour….taking shelter

We finally approached a short stretch of flat roads.  Due to my desperate wish to finish this route today, I didn’t stop much for breaks.  This took a toll on hydration.  Ever since last week’s MS Bike Tour, I’ve gotten better at riding with one hand.  It was during this flat road where I finally managed to drink from my water bottle while pedaling! 😀  (My next goal is to ride uphill with my butt off the saddle!)

Another downpour at ~60km into the ride.  Oy!  My brother & I sought shelter outside an abandoned ice cream shop.

Taking shelter

It was extremely cold waiting outside with the chilly wind blowing against our wet clothes.  I fueled up with a Larabar while bouncing around trying to keep warm.  My toes were completely frozen in my wet socks & shoes.  We waited close to 30min but the rain never ceased.  We couldn’t wait any longer knowing we still have at least an hour to go before we finish (it was almost 2:30pm & we didn’t even have lunch!)  We braved the rain & continued cycling.  So COLD!  I couldn’t feel my toes which was not a good sign when pedaling.

Here we go with the 3rd mountain (1,621 ft at the highest point)!!  Oh my gosh, I want to go home!!  Just endless uphills.  Once again, just when I thought I was at the top, there were more uphills ahead.  What seemed like flat roads was just deceiving landscapes & false flats.  I was literally riding at 8-9km/hr the entire time on the lowest possible gear.  I was pushing to my limit & running out of steam.  Finally, I reached my last turn in the route where I met an even STEEPER hill.  How is this possible????

See that hill?  Repeat that a million times!!

At more than 80km into the ride, I met the most extreme downhill ever at Scenic Caves.  So that’s where it was! It was such a steep drop with sharp twists & turns.  I was holding on for dear life.  I am pretty sure I went over the speed limit, zooming down the road at close to 70km/hr.  (Broke my record there!)

At the end of the road was a Roundabout.  That’s when I got completely lost.  I couldn’t find my brother anywhere.  I knew I was close to the Blue Mountain Resort (final destination) as I could see the ski hills.  My gut told me to go towards it but the scenery got unfamiliar & I knew something was wrong.  I took out my cell phone.  NO RECEPTION!  I started panicking, my throat was all choked up.

I returned to the Roundabout & went the opposite direction until I saw a Skis Rental building.  I remembered seeing it while we were driving to the Village!  Uh oh, I went too far!  I decided to go inside the building to ask for help.  At that moment, a couple in the car stopped & asked me for directions to Toronto.  HAH!!  I told them I was COMPLETELY lost myself.  Luckily, they knew where I needed to go.  It turned out my initial gut feeling was correct.  It was the same direction but I had to take a road parallel to it.  I was crying with joy when I saw the parking lot to Village 2. People probably thought I was crazy!  I had to stand there for 5min to calm my nerves, yet again!

It was past 4PM & I didn’t even have lunch yet!  What a brutal day.  My bike was so dirty from the rain & mud.  I didn’t bring a change of clothes & ended up putting on my dad’s over-sized shirt.  I think I got some weird stares when I went inside Starbucks to order a much needed coffee!

I was so glad to arrive home.  I immediately hosed my bike down & took a hot shower.  The latter was the best thing I’ve done all day! 😀

I cycled closed to 96km today for 4hrs15min.  An average speed of 22km/hr with a max of 68km/hr.

This was by far the worst weather I’ve cycled in.  I was supposed to go swimming today, but I guess I already went yesterday … on a bike.  Will I do this route again?  Probably not this year!

Best of luck to all the riders for Centurion.  I have NO IDEA how they do it!!!

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “Blue Mountain shows no mercy!

  1. Sometimes there will be bad weather!!

    Had the weather been absolutely perfect, would you have enjoyed it at all? Do you think your nerves got the best of you?

    • I just wasn’t expecting the high wind & thunderstorm. I was riding knowing cars could barely see me due to the heavy rain. Not bring proper rain gears had some effect as well. If the weather was perfect?? Hmmm…..I think I would enjoy it a bit more, but the course was still a tad too intense for my biking skills.

  2. Cherry you have to start learning to power through. Your biking skills are more than adequate. It would’ve been a different story had I been biking it.

    Not sure why you are lacking the confidence?

  3. Pingback: Hit up Belfountain…again « Cherry Lo

  4. Pingback: Humber River Trail & Beyond « Cherry Lo

  5. Pingback: Taking over Collingwood « Cherry Lo

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s