Ascent – 970m up, Descent – 1254 down, Distance – 76.6 km – 4 hrs 39 min; max speed 53.6 kph
Team set out and immediately had downhill. If you follow the topo map you will see a square root type drop and climb in the middle – that is what they did today. Holy moly – the road just disappeared like it was falling off a cliff – all the way down and then, have mercy on my soul, all the way up. They just totally rocked it – I was driving CC and tried to keep the mood so was playing Queen (for Freddie aka Farid) as they hit false summit after false summit until they finally crested – think high volume We Will Rock You. No other word for the hill other than a (!@#$%^&). The team was so STRONG.
Some nice descents and then more of this Yukon flat thing, the non plain, plains thing – so nothing but up and down until the Arctic Circle – first time for Dave, Suneet and Farid – 3rd time for Dale and I. We met Jim, a vet from Ontario, who is singleton riding all the way to Tuk – fully loaded bike – amazing. At one point I got stuck behind a grader re grooming the road – incredible how much work goes into maintenance of this highway. The scenery defies description – reds, pinks, yellows and burnt browns all over the mountains – what a country we live in.
There was an emergency runway that was actually the road in disguise, or the runway was in disguise – not sure which, and when I drove down it one of the truckers flagged me down – she was long hauling water. Had a great chat. She stopped me cause apparently there is a grizzly mom and 2 cubs just inside the NWT border right on the road – and she suggested that we ferry the bikes past that point (happens tmrw) to avoid any unexpected encounters.
At the Arctic Circle (after 35km of brutal hellish insanity) Suneet took the wheel and I joined the team for the remaining 41km. Way easier ride for me. Freak of Nature, aka Newheart, aka Dale – was so strong. Dave – as always a beacon of resiliency and never quit attitude – such an honour to ride with these guys. Farid remained a rock of constant even pace. We did the peloton thingy again and cruised at about 20 kph and rode into the Rock Creek Campsite – fire on, Suneet making pasta Bolognese. Best line of the day – some gorgeous birds came into camp, Dave gave them some popcorn, they looked at it and then flew away – Dave said ‘don’t blame me, Dale made it’.