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.

Thursday 26 June 2014

Day 5 GearUp4CF Grand Forks to Rossland

Early to rise … usually 6:00 a.m. 
early morning scurrying to ensure each piece of gear
is in the right bag and each bag is in the right vehicle. 
Six years ago, when I first did this ride, this stage was the toughest one for me personally. I suffered above the blue bridge and bonked as I limped over the Paulson Pass, so I was somewhat apprehensive about what this day would bring. Well, firstly, the weather was very much improved over yesterday. The rain clouds had blown away leaving a perfectly fine riding day of fourteen degrees with white fluffy clouds. I had spent a good part of the previous evening washing the grit off the bike and once re-oiled this morning, the Cervelo RS was ready to hit the road. The new Michelin tires are a real treat. I did bring along my bike maintenance stand and it makes the mechanical chores so much easier.

Fed and watered, ready to depart from Grand Forks
I was one of the last to leave the motel as I had breakfasted on my own granola but I did intend to share a coffee with the other riders and we had a photographer coming to the restaurant at eight for the local newspaper to take a group photo. But cyclists tend to be brain dead for anything else other than riding their bike and I sailed right past the restaurant. About 2 km. out of town it sank in that I was a little further out than "just past Johhny's motel". So I did clock in a few k's more than the others.

Bill's new cycling shoes … 
on the 'blue bridge'
So once the photographs were taken we all set off back on Highway 3 heading toward Christina Lake. This was the enjoyable part of the day and a great way to loosen up the stiff joints. I led out a large group of us over the undulating terrain and an hour or so later we reached our first pit stop just as you leave the lake and start the climb in earnest. My Strava page gives out the numbers more accurately but the climb peaks out at 1535 metres and climbs over a 1000 metres. The initial plan was to spin up much the same way as over the Anarchist and hold my pace to my heart rate of 125 or 130. That worked well for awhile and there was a large group of 6 of us who were winding our way up at a 10 km. pace. John and I separated from the group and rode together to the blue bridge which sits high above the valley. From there the grade stiffens considerably with still another 6 km. to go.   Both George Keulen (a double lung recipient) and Emily Trant from England, passed us just as both John, my normal riding partner, fell off the pace. He was not having one of his best days. So I gave chase, my heart rate soared 150 plus and I was able to reel in both George and Emily before summiting. Not very smart but I did feel quite strong.

Bill & Emily atop Paulson Pass!! 
From the Paulson Summit it was a fast descent on great pavement down to Nancy Green Lake where we had a sunny and well deserved lunch break. The stage required another 400 metres of climbing to reach the Nancy Green Summit. Emily passed John Fettes and me again on the climb and inquired as to whether or not I would give chase but discretion was the better part of valour and tomorrow is going to be a bitch so I watched her disappear over the horizon and continued my steady course.

Finally we crested and enjoyed before a long smooth descent into Rossland and the Prestige Hotel. Oh yes, it is still a tough climb but the demons were vanquished. Just another day in the saddle. Tomorrow will be our last test of mettle as we ride for 140 km and climb the Kootenay Pass. A couple of the young, extremely fit riders plan to do the Kootenay Pass twice … just because!  I'll let you know how they do.

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