Day 74: Riding the Dragon's Tail Into Fredericton

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Waking up to the longest ride of the trip (180kms), we were relieved it wasn't raining. We knew however that we would get wet, because you could see through the grey clouds, dark blue curtains of squall on the horizon. Given the length of the ride we changed our tactics. Firstly, we decided to keep to the Trans Canada, because of the wide shoulders and not ride the scenic back roads. The shoulders not only offered us safety from traffic, but smoothness, so we could highball along at a faster clip. Secondly instead of doing a big opening ride (Gin likes to gulp it and do 50- 60 kms on her opening), we thought we'd try to do a kind of a "fresh horses” pony express relay, with Gin doing 30,me 30,Gin 30,me 30,Gin 30, me-30.

For the most part I think it paid off. With a break for lunch after Gin had done her first two 30s we were still reasonably fresh to the finish. We both got wet, but managed to dodge the thunderstorms for the most part. The road was different from any other part of Canada we had travelled. If you remember my blog about the riding the rolling caterpillar into Olds, AB, with its long undulations, this was somewhat similar but magnified. This was riding the dragon’s tail. As Quinn, our patient driver pointed out, there were no flat spots. As soon as you climbed a hill, you descended and immediately started climbing again. The ascents although mostly gradual, were very long. Whistlerites, we're talking at least two Furry Creek climbs. Fortunately the pins were up for the task and all the training and hard work we had done to this point had turned us into road warriors. The legs trumped any pain and the lungs handled the cardio. It's amazing what the old bod can do if it gets some firm direction. We are proud of our accomplishments today and I am very impressed with my girl's fortitude and grit. You don't want to get into an Indian leg-wrestling match with either one of us.

As we approach the capital, I am waved inside, as we usually do (dangerous to ride through cities in rush hour where you don't know your directions), and we zig zag across town until we find our hotel room. We have a rally tomorrow and a book reading and we want to be close to the downtown. The hotel is situated on the St. John's River in a lovely park and after showers and a drink; we walk down the street where we find a funky new place for dinner. A break from the Starship and a break from each other has morale rising again and dinner together is all laughs.

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