Day 2: 56.5 miles
The ride followed the form of the first day, lots of ups, lots of downs. It almost seemed the route was picked to maximize the climbing. Even without any major passes, this day would have the second highest total of climbs for the trip, 4330 feet.
Most were manageable until the rain hit. We piled on our raingear and proceeded to get soaking wet from sweat as we plowed up the hills. Without it, though, we’d freeze on the descents. It was a losing proposition. We were wondering why they called this region the “Sunshine Coast”.
We found out as the sun burst into view. We peeled off our raingear. Then it started sprinkling. We got a flat. Then it started raining. Then the sun came out. Then it started pouring.
By this time I’d had it. I was just wearing booties to keep my feet warm and letting the rain wash over my shorts and jersey-clad body. Sheila was still trying to find the perfect combination of light windbreaker, pants, or maybe jacket and shorts, or maybe… I finally threw a temper tantrum because I was so frustrated with being wet, being unable to ride fast on the gloriously long downhills because I couldn’t see through the rain on my glasses, having to stop to change clothes again. It was just too much. Plus, we were in danger of missing the ferry which only ran every 5 hours.
Of course, when we finally pulled in to the ferry landing, it was 45 minutes late. That wasn’t bad though. We got to schmooze with the other riders while waiting. The ferries proved to be the best places for meeting people. Sat with three folks from Corvallis, Karen, Susan, and John. We told our STP story quite a number of times. It’s amazing how many polite ways people could find to not say, “You guys are crazy to do STP then Tour BC back to back.” We finally had a reputation among cyclists. I’m not sure it was a good thing!
We took it easy after the ferry. We stopped to shop at a couple of bike stores. They appreciated our riding stories. We finally cruised into the campground to find most of the spaces taken up. We added our huge tent to a cluster at the end of the road. Fortunately, the rain had stopped again. As a matter of fact, the day was turning out beautifully.
After showers and visiting with two newly retired Oregon schoolteachers, Sid and Joan (that’s Sid in red), we went to dinner. We also visited with Brian and Susan from Aberdeen who Sheila had met briefly at Bike Expo. Our meal was served picnic-style under an awning. Afterwards we went to the beach, watched the waves and the sunset. Then we turned in for the night, skipping the drama of the Tour de France again. We were still in recovery mode, but had upped our pace from 13.6 to 14.4 for the day. We were feeling better.