Monday, May 12, 2008

Greetings from Tofino!

Devinci and I (and touring partner Dave) have reached Tofino despite my fears we would never make it here in one piece. First there was the summit to contend with before getting to Port Alberni (described as a hump) which to a flatland loving cyclist was quite hard to make my way up. And of course then I had to overcome my fear of descents.

The road between Port Alberni and Tofino had been described by a couple people as something I'd driven and never ever cycle. Something about twisty winding narrow hilly roads with no shoulder. Locals that asked where we were going made wild hand gestures describing the road. Camping outside Port Alberni at Sproat Lake gave a taste of the road and I really didn't think I could hack the constant rollers with all the gear.

But it was so much easier going than expected (oh for say 30 glorious km of ignorant bliss) Great pavement, a paved shoulder, rolling but with gentle grades. Then I curse my way up a 3km long 10%-signed hill to a marked summit, and figure hey the hard part of the day is now over! I knew there was supposed to be some steeper grades but they were much shorter.

Traffic was fortunately light going being Mother's day and the semis were virtually non-existent. We were blessed with glorious sunshine. Then all of a sudden reality had to hit. Narrow winding highway next 12 km sign (seeming to coincide with a pick up in traffic) An 18% uphill followed by an 18% downhill. Winding, twisty with a rock cliff on one side and a concrete curb over a steep dropoff on the other. No choice but to take the lane but I'll be going really slow compared to the traffic out of descent fear. And its raining now too so braking is tricky.

But the challenges were well worth the rewarding views. I wish I could show you the amazing view of Kennedy Lake coming around one of the twisty descents but absolutely no place to stop!

More details later! Time to get out of the Internet cafe and enjoying Tofino. I'll leave you with a shot of me and the loaded rig at the bottom of the hill.