Sunday, May 31, 2015

epic training rides!

In a week from today, our rear ends will surely be screaming as we will have just completed (DV) our 340km Ride for a Reason!

Lowell is more than prepared for such an endeavor as he has been training for his international paratriathlon dream. I don't have quite the same level of preparedness, but let's be honest. Lowell is the main power for our tandem machine, and I will just focus on keeping the thing upright. Also, I will ignore adventure-seeking Lowell when he pleads with me to NOT brake when we are flying down a hill at 74km/hr.

We're so excited that our cousins, Theo & Liz, will be joining us this year. We scored tons of time together this month, and even embarked on a couple of epic training rides. Thank goodness for local, semi-retired Nana & Papa who love spending time with their grandkids! They allow us the closest possible thing to the best of both worlds: having kids yet enjoying spontaneous outings without them.

Our first training ride together was from our house to the Tim Hortons in Fort Macleod: 102km round trip. This was not only Liz's first time ever on a road bike, but her first time CLIPPED IN! She totally rocked it.

This giant dragon snake thing is randomly on the side of the highway. Clearly we had to get a shot of it to text to the the boys (via nana & papa).

A much-deserved Timmies lunch break!
Our second big ride was up the Chief Mountain International Parkway. We parked the bike-filled van at the info centre in Waterton then cycled 30km (mostly uphill) to the border crossing. Total elevation gained was ONE KILOMETER.

Four people, two regular bikes, one tandem, and all our gear stuffed in one van. We're mini van people, folks!
Rarin to go with my fancy halo. My friend, Merena, makes them. Check out her facebook page (halo headwear: wear your halo)... she even donates 20% of all proceeds to Compassion Canada!
Liz snuck in a selfie while capturing that halo shot. haha!

Too cool for school.
Goofball Lizzy lou!

Okay, so we snuck in a not-at-all-cheesey photo shoot with the irresistible picturesque backdrop before we got going. NOW we're going...

See what I deal with? I'm putting all my effort into keeping us not-plastered-on-the-pavement, and Lowell is busy goofing off in the back. ;)
Liz and I decided to pretend to lift this sign for a photo op, but we were both ACTUALLY straining and using all of our energy to lift this extremely heavy, cemented-in, obviously-not-going-anywhere sign. As we continued the hill climb and my legs were exhausted as anything, I realized Liz and I were in fact the biggest idiots on the face of the planet. haha ;)
Taking a breather after all that hill climbing and sign lifting.
After gaining 1km elevation, we made it to the border! The air was getting a little thin up there. haha.
We survived!!

Like it wasn't enough that Nana & Papa took the boys while we cycled, we then ended BOTH riding days with a hot tub soak and dinner at my parents' place... THEN a movie and popcorn. So idyllic!

I'm a lot more confident heading into the ride this year than I was last year. Lowell is nearly 40 pounds lighter (which bodes well for me as captain of our ship), our leather seats are pretty well broken in (which is essential for bum comfort... or 'bumfort' if you will), and I don't feel like we'll fall over each time we start and stop.

For those of you who don't know, we're riding to raise money for Southern Alberta Bible Camp. Funds raised will help send kids to camp who can't otherwise afford to go. If this is a cause you'd like to support, please follow the link and sponsor THEO & LIZ (Elizabeth). Tax receipts for any donation over $5. We wrangled them into this, and we'd like to reinforce everything about the experience. ;)