Christina Lake to Nelson - Tea for Tim - CycleBlaze

June 1, 2012

Christina Lake to Nelson

I awoke early to the sound of rain and traffic from the nearby road, and debated with myself the idea of having my rest day today in Christina Lake at the tired campsite, or riding in the rain to Nelson. The riding won, but only just.

Paulson Bridge, two thirds of the way up to the pass, and a good place to spend a couple of minutes with the camera.
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The first hour or so of the day, which started straight away with the climb to the Paulson summit didn't go well. I was mentally tired, riding in the rain (although by now only a drizzle), cursing my stupidity, and just couldn't get into the groove. I was soon overtaken by the views and the sheer pleasure of climbing, and reached the summit just over 3 hours after setting off in a much better mood. Although this was the tallest peak climbed, it was by no means the longest, highest or toughest climb so far, that prize going to the Allison Pass.

Another pass in the bag, this one Paulsons.
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The long descent into Castlegar, where I spent a couple of hours eating, drinking and resting, was made memorable by overtaking a tanker, logging truck, and 8 or 10 cars and pick-ups all in one go, who were all taking the hill far too seriously for my liking. Whilst in Castlegar I also had to replace my (not so) bargain $3.99 sunglasses I had bought in Friday Harbour which had broken already. Against my better judgement I really splashed out this time, and came out $9.99 lighter.

Dumping excessive water at the appropriately named "Brilliant Power Station".
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Riding through the valley to Nelson there were many hydro-electric power stations on the Kootenay River to keep the eyes occupied, along with some more great views. Half way there my body ran out of energy. It seems that 2 bananas, 1 apple, 1 satsuma, 1 foot long sub, 1 huge muffin, 1 packet of chewy cereal bars and endless handfulls of peanuts wasn't enough to keep me going after my breakfast of 8oz oats with raisins. Fortunately I had some emergency jelly beans to feast on and power me the rest of the way. The real problem I have now decided, was the instant mashed potato I had last night just doesn't provide enough carbohydrate to set the body up for a tough day, which is a shame as I am craving potatoes at the moment (or anything other than rice or pasta).

I made it!
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The day ended at the Nelson City Campground, a basic but well provisioned site near to town with free showers and wifi. What more could a guy ask for?

Today's ride: 76 miles (122 km)
Total: 2,399 miles (3,861 km)

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