I set a pretty big goal for myself for next June: biking the Gaspé. The most recent estimate I saw of its length is 900 km. That’s 559 miles if we end up doing the full loop. (Still in question.)
What better way to celebrate a 40th birthday? No biggie…
Except it is. I have a feeling I won’t know exactly how big of a deal it is until I get out there.
But I’ve started training to minimize the unknown as much as possible. Over the past few weeks, I’ve put 77 miles on my bike that I wouldn’t normally have. I rode 50 of those miles in the past two days.
I’m a little sore.
Yesterday, a friend and I put an easy 20 miles in at Fort DeSoto Park. Nice, flat.
Today, I went on a 30-mile ride up and back on the Pinellas Trail. Flat when there’s trail. Steep inclines on the overpasses for major roads. Some of them have at least a 15% grade (by my estimation). I made it up every single one, there and back. Some of them more slowly than others…
They intimidated me.
Granted I rode 20 miles the day before, so I was already a bit sore. Granted again that this was only my 3rd training ride, and the furthest and fastest I’ve yet gone. But riding up those grades got to be really hard. And, when thinking about biking in Canada, the grades on the overpasses were likely short in comparison. (I read one climb is 9km long…) We will cross the tip of the Chic-Choc Mountains.
I felt vomiting after reaching the summit of a couple of those overpasses, and I started wondering what I got myself into… (I didn’t vomit. Go me!)
It made me start wondering if I can handle 14 days of that (if we do the whole loop).
I’m not backing out or down, but I know I’m going to have to train hard for this. I have to remember that I just started training. I’m out of shape right now. I’m losing extraneous mass that I accumulated over time.
Soon enough I’ll be healthy and more ready for this.
It’ll be hard, and wonderful, and terrible, and beautiful, and fine.