After checking out the bike racks and bags setup that Murphy has inherited, he has
decided that with the wife not working Saturday and Sunday, and the kids not available
due to soccer games, it is time to try a solo bike trip. Perhaps back to the campground
that the family got rained out of a few weeks ago. It takes a bit of work getting all the
camping, biking, clothes and food part together, but it is fun trying to get the smallest,
lightest, most versatile setup together
Up at 5:30. Bike is all loaded up. Add last bit of food and such. Weighed the bike at
different stages last night. The clean bike is about 25, as I ride it daily (racks, bell,
pump, lock, light, etc) about 35, and now 65. So, 30 lbs of stuff. Doesn't sound like too
much. All the gear sits inside the rack bags, except the Therma-rest, which is on it's
own rack up front.
Had a pasta meal late last night. Full breakfast with lots of liquid, and a planned stop at
Sackville Timmy's to check everything, and get a coffee/donut
Stage 01 - Dartmouth to Sackville Timmy's
Easy rise to the first stop. Bike feels good, legs feel good. It is a gorgeous, looks like
it's going to be a hot one. Bit of fog in Burnside actually had to stop and turn on lights to
Stage 02 - Sackville to Brooklyn
It is a very nice day. Hot, but a light breeze in the face makes it a great ride. Stop for an
hour to go for a little dip in a brook. Looks like it's going to be a nice day. Bike is
Stage 03 - Brooklyn to Windsor
There was a very nice 5 km drop going into Avonport that required little or no pedalling.
Felt a little washed out, taking my lunch at the Windsor Timmy's.
Stage 04 - Windsor to Wolfville
Something is wrong here. The washout at Windsor has turned into a struggle to stay on
the bike. The run through Hantsport was deadly, although the road wasn't too difficult.
Starting to worry about having to stop. This is really hard. The bike feels like I'm pulling
through mud. I stop in Grand Pre and sack out on the grass for 1/2 hour. I checked my
liquid and food intake, and it's pretty high. Don't feel de-hydrated, but it is a bitch of a
hot day, and that damn breeze is light, but always in my face.
Stage 05 - Wolfville to Blomidon
After spending an hour in Wolfville, getting some food, beer and wishing the ride was
done, Murphy sets off for the coast, which is actually still 26 kms away. The breeze
keeps getting cooler, which is nice, but anothe break is required in Canning. Struggling
to hang on. Wishing the bike was a lot lighter.
Murphy makes it to the campground, but had to walk his bike for the very first time.
After struggling all day, and saving 2 gears for the switchback ascent to Blomidon,
there was nothing left but to walk about 200 meters to get back the worst part. Perhaps
earlier in the day, or with an empty bike, but this wasn't even close. Would have
needed more than a few more gears.
The campground is nice. Murphy sets up, hikes down to the beach (quite a long way
through the woods), goes for his second dip of the day, learns something about the
speed of the tide in this area, watching his clothes and some of his gear get soaked.
Makes anice supper, but his stomach is tense from all the heat and hard workout. Gets
a fire going and listens to Finklemans's and then Saturday Night Blues a bit before
turning in under a very clear, very starlit sky.
Starts out a foggy day. Murphy must be tired, because he has slept until 7:30, and still
feels beat up. Breakfast is good, with coffee and some pre-cooked bacon and home
fries, juice and sandwich. Takes about an hour to eat and pack up the gear.
Stage 06 - Blomidon to Wolfville
It's foggy but warm. Nice weather for cycling. Trip into Wolfville seems to go pretty fast.
After a sluggish start, legs seem OK. Stop at the Timmy's and have another coffe, more
water and some TimBits.
Stage 07 - Wolfville to Windsor
Still going well. The part through Hantsport seems easier today. That &*^( breeze
seems to have picked up speed and turned around. Change in the weather, probably.
Nice lunch in Windsor. Now Murphy has to make it back up that 5 km downslope that
he enjoyed so much yesterday.
Stage 08 - Windsor to Uniacke
It's starting to drizzle, but it's still pretty warm. That breeze is a bugger, but it's the hills
that are killing the legs. By the time I get to Uniacke, I am as sore as I can be. I feel like
upchucking and the list of pains does not stop. My legs, my feet, my back, my butt, my
arms, the nerves in my hand. With the hard workout the day before, and the harder one
today, I feel like I am just hanging on. Don't feel light on the bike at all, and the pain is
increasing with every mile. Would be a very hard day, if I could stop at Uniacke, but
there's still probably 30 km to go.
Stage 09 - Uniacke to Sackville
Murphy has worked harder on a bike (Day 2 - Cabot Trail), but never this hard 2 days in
a row, and never been half this sore. Each pedal is a small torture. I seem to have
pulled a small muscle in my right calf. Every bump brings a groan. I am spent. Of
course, it is raining now. Adds about 5% to my misery.
Stage 10 - Sackville to Dartmouth
It's the end of a long, hard trip. Murphy is a basket-case. Only the thought of stopping
soon gets him through this part. Every meter is a hundred from a good day. There is no
relief once the bike is home. The body is so beat up that getting off the bike only drops
the pain load by about half.
Well, Murphy has made it. An unsupported trip of 250 kms over 2 days (50 km more
than the last 2 days of the TOUR). The trip was too long, the bike weighed too much
and the cost was too high. Some lessons were learned. If it doesn't kill you, it'll make
you tougher. Yeah, IF it doesn't kill you. The bike performed well. All the gear fit inside
the bike bags. A couple of things could have been left behid, or picked up later. The
camping and clothes setup needs a little fine- tuning, but not a lot.
I don't think I'll try the Cabot Trail the same way. The bike feels like lead when the legs
are tired. I will do the same trip to Truro in 2 weeks, but it's just the one day there. In
reality, if the trip was about 30 km shorter, each way, it would have just been a tough
trip. Blomidon was a bit of a stretch.
Working that hard 2 days in a row was a drag. Even the Gaspe or any 2 days of the
Cabot Trail didn't match this effort. The recovery time will no doubt last most of the
All in all, a good trip. Some nice times interspersed with quite a bit of pain. Need a bit
more balance in these things.