Inverness to Pleasant Bay - Tea for Tim - CycleBlaze

September 26, 2012

Inverness to Pleasant Bay

It was a crystal clear night last night with all the stars visible when I got up in the night, and a cold morning when I awoke to my alarm. One of the jobs to do before setting off was to retension my saddle (being leather it stretches and needs periodic tightening), but I found a problem with the tensioner so called at a car repair shop on the outskirts of town to borrow a vice-grip. The mechanic opening the shop up was interested in the trip, and very helpful, offering to give me the tool I had been using in case of further need. However, aware of the hills ahead and not needing to carry any more weight I declined.

A bay on the way to the National Park.
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More of the Nova Scotian good humour mixed in with some poor English photography.
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After having lunch in Cheticamp I rode into the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, which is where the best views and the best hills in Nova Scotia are to be found. I feel it necessary to rant for a while now, so bear with me...

I'm now "officially" on the Cabot Trail, but at what point it started I am still not sure.
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A view of the road ahead.
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There was a sign saying 11% gradient for 6km, which if you start at sea level (which I just about was) should take you to 660 metres. At the "summit", the height was only 455 metres, meaning an average gradient of only 7.5%, and the gradient was fairly constant throughout the ascent. Also, I didn't have to use bottom gear, so I know it was nowhere near 11% (or my legs are stronger than I think).

Whilst climbing I calculated that for every 10 minutes climbing you get about 1 minute of descending. Is it worth the effort? You bet it is, especially when you get up to 46mph going back down.

Looking back at the road behind you can see the trees are starting to change colour.
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I am now at the Pleasant Bay Hostel. Thomas told me of this place a few nights ago, and for the price of a campsite there are also comfortable chairs and a kitchen. Rain is forecast for tomorrow, and rather than miss the great scenery due to poor visibility, I will stay put if it is raining and have a day off - plus the bike needs some TLC.

Today's ride: 63 miles (101 km)
Total: 8,134 miles (13,090 km)

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