The Mountain Traverse Team woke early for a delicious home cooked breakfast at the Rivermount Motel in preparation for a daunting 12K climb and 165K day! On our bikes before 8 am the Team headed out Hwy 24 West, “The Fishing Highway”, along the steep 12K mountain climb onto the Cariboo Plateau. Slow and steady the IRONDames peddled to the top, trying to ensure that we had something left for the rest of the ride. The views on the ascent were beautiful, the road was engineered with curves…in discussing it later we felt it really reminded us of our Mount Lemmon climb in Arizona two years ago, but just not as long.
At the top of the climb we were greeted by Dieter and the support vehicle, so we had a chance to change clothes and refuel before heading out on what felt like a roller coaster of hills through the Cariboo Plateau (100 to be exact)! As we rode along the landscape seemed to change dramatically from coniferous forests and lakes to areas filled with beautiful stands of birch trees and later farmland.
At 89K we turned south onto Watch Lake Road and cycled 15K to meet up with Dieter again, this time for lunch, at Watch Lake Lodge on N Green Lake Road. With little traffic, much of the road recently paved and a net downhill Watch Lake Road was later voted by the Team as our favorite part of the ride!
At lunch the IRONDames enjoyed a half hour break in the warm sunshine (finally) and then shed some layers and headed out to complete the final 59K of the day. Again the landscape changed as we rode along the shore of Green Lake with its calm clear water and sandy shores, then by salt lakes and more rugged ranch lands.
At 134K we turned left onto Hwy 97 “South Cariboo Hwy” and made for the Cariboo Lodge our home for the evening in the historic town of Clinton. This piece of hwy was our least favorite with a narrow shoulder, rumble stripes and lots of transport truck traffic.
So with Day 5 over the IRONDames set a new PB with 760K cycled in 5 days… our previous record was 580K in Kill Week #3! With only three days left to ride the Mountain Traverse Team has now cycled over 75% of their 1,002 K! Tomorrow is another “recovery day” with only a 108K ride planned to Lillooet and some well deserved massages scheduled for after!
Mountain Traverse Tips and Facts
Lesson of the Day: Speed is your friend when crossing over a cattle guard!
Flower of the Day: Mountain Daisies