Why?

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.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Day 4 GearUp4CF Osoyoos to Grand Forks

Ready to head out …
the rains have not yet begun
Claude, you would not have liked today. The gods were not smiling on us. We woke up to  blustery, grey windy skies and it went downhill from there. Weatherwise that is, as the rest was uphill with Anarchist Mountain looming directly over the Poplar Motel. Just for categorization there are three main groups in our platoon of riders. Four fit riders of which Patrick is the fittest, as a Cat 1 racer, followed by Tom, Andrea and the ageless John Sullivan. At the other end are three riders who set their own pace and are not that keen on pace line riding or fast downhills. Mike Hamilton, our CF rider still with his original set of lungs suffered yesterday during the long hot ride into Osoyoos and who took a break day on the anarchist. His health does not appear as strong as in the previous year. CF is a real bitch that way. That leaves 14 of us in the hoi polloi, competent, committed riders who either have experience or youth on their side and who will finish within 45 minutes of each other at the hotel.

rain, fog, logging trucks
and streams of water running down the roads
We spun our way up Anarchist, our little groupette of Joan, John Fettjes and myself, at a steady pace of 10 km. hour. The grade is a steady 5-7%. I set my heart rate at 125 to 132 and did not breathe hard all the way up. 16 km later we hit the summit in the fog and heavy rain and 7 degree temperature. Only to find out my day pack was in the wrong vehicle. I borrowed some gloves and leg warmers and we began our long descent into Rock Creek. That part was fun. A sodden group turned the final hairpin into Rock Creek and found a gorgeous heritage coffee shop full of locals and toasty warm. John treated us to lattes and feeling rejuvenated and warm wet we headed off to our lunch break at Midway.

gunning for another ascent
finally a flat spot! 
I connected with my day pack and was able to put on a merino base layer which feels so much better against the skin than clammy nylon. Our 'groupette' expanded to about 7 and we slowly climbed to Greenwood and then to Eholt summit. This is when the skies opened up in earnest. It rained so hard in Greenwood I was cycling through a stream of water coming off the road that was 4 inches deep. We were told later the police had contemplated shutting down the highway because of the rain. To add to the misery there was no shortage of logging trucks barrelling by in both directions. No problem on the straightaways where there is ample shoulder room but not nearly as much fun on the bends where you have 4 feet of clearance between the road and the barriers. You just held your handlebars tight and prayed a piece of bark would not fly off the truck.

Eventually we summited at Eholt and John Fettles, Paul Underhill and a I had a great run into Grand Forks, slingshotting past each other. We arrive at the motel, the skies parted, the sun came out and all was good. There was some damage abraded skin (from wet gear and two spills but nothing too serious. Paulson Summit awaits us tomorrow.
Photo of the day! 

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