My beautiful daughter died from CF in March 2010 and I am riding in GearUp4CF this year in her memory.

Eva was a fighter and inspiration to all that knew her. In 2008 I rode in GearUp4CF to celebrate her successful recovery from a double lung transplant that allowed Eva to once again live her life to the fullest. Only months after the surgery, she joined the team in Invermere, painting our faces and cheering us on with her pom-poms in her self-appointed role as chief cheerleader.

This year I will be 65 years old on the ride. That is why I am calling this ride 65 for65Roses; partly because of my age, partly because 65 Roses is a malapropism of Cystic Fibrosis, partly because my daughter’s blog was called 65 RedRoses, and also because I hope to reach the very lofty goal of raising $65,000.

Training to ride for 1200 km over multiple mountain passes to Banff will be very difficult; raising these funds will be just as much of a challenge. Here is where I need your help. Please donate to my ride and help contribute to Eva’s legacy to raise critical funds for CF research and awareness.

Monday 23 June 2014

Day 2- Chilliwack to Manning Park The first challenge

A peek outside the hotel window in downtown Chilliwack showed it was going to be a glorious day. No clouds against a beautiful background of snow capped mountains. We met for breakfast, had our safety briefing and bustled about for an 8 am start. We are now down to about 40, The Weekend Warriors plus the 21 9 day riders. We all led out at a comfortable pace leaving town on Chilliwack Central. The plan was to ride together in procession to the Agassiz bridge before breaking up to more individual paces. This plan was challenged from the get go as a train stop cut off the last 4 people. It managed to get sorted out and off we went through a very picturesque Chilliwack dairy countryside.If you didn't look up at the mountains you might think you were in Holland what with all the Dutch dairy farms and Christian Reformed churches.
along the lowlands of the Fraser River (Camp River)

farmlands east of Chilliwack
There was a scare crossing the bridge and I was right in the middle of it. We occupied the whole of one lane on this 2 lane bridge and half way across a semi came thundering in the other direction. Some people edged to the right and this caused a touch which then caused the rider two ahead of me to apply full front brake causing his back end to lift up. The riders ahead of me had to also apply brake and I aimed for the hole between them also putting on some brake. John Sullivan was beside me and the truck was right beside him. We touched shoulders and I leaned right determined not to get spun out into the truck or knock John over.The end result was that the rider behind me, Val, touched my wheel and toppled over. No real damage but the scary potential for a nightmare scenario. My knees were knocking for the next half an hour.

Reaching the summit of Allison Pass -a real slog

Post bridge we rode to Hope at a very strong pace of 35 plus with the mountains to the North and the Fraser to the right. It doesn't get much better than this. Lunch was in Hope and then it was onto the first big climb of 16 km and an 850 metres climb to the top of the Hope Slide. The grade is generally 6-7% with portions of 8 and 9. The fortunate part is that the wind was in our favour which helps a lot even going uphill. From Sunshine Village we had a 20 km. slight downhill grade alongside the Sumallo River and that along with the strengthening tailwind allowed for sped of 40 to 50 km/hr. Oh life is good when the gods are smiling on you.

Cooling off in the Similkameen! 
At Rhododendron Flats (actually an uphill 3% grade but of no note if you are in a vehicle) we had our last break before the BigBurn hill to Allison Pass at 1340 metres. This is a 22 km. climb which starts gradually and ends up in an 8-9% grind for the last 6-8 km. It was tough. After a quick obligatory photo at the top Walter Brennan and I coasted the final 10 km. to the lodge which we then bypassed for a short ride up the Gibson Pass ski road to the Similkameen River and a half hour soak in its icy waters (in 1 minute segments as it was ice cold water). This ice treatment worked well as I have no stiffness in my legs this morning. Oh, yes I should mention we had a few pitchers of beer on the deck afterward. All is good. We are now down to our core group of 21 nine day riders.

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