Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Hypothermia June 8 2011

I crawled out of a wet and muddy tent this morning. During the nightly cloud burst the trench around my tent over flowed and a wave of mud washed under the tent. It is a real testament to the Mountain Equipment Coop tent that the inside was still dry. So I hauled it down to the motor home station and used the hose to wash the mud off the bottom of the tent and ground sheet.

Bruce said lets ride together and I said sure knowing that he had a Gramin with maps. I waited at the gate to the campground but Bruce never showed up (he jumped in one of the vans). So I rode on by myself. About 3 kms later I was lost in the maze of Florence. We are to follow the signs to this one town but they are every where all pointing down different roads. So I start asking directions. I get about a dozen conflicting directions. Finally I meet an English lady who doesn’t know but I get the idea of asking how to get to the river. At the river I can find my way back to the river. As it turns I am 4 blocks from the river. Back on course I have ridden 15 kms in crazy traffic and spent 1.5 hours going 4 blocks from the campsite.

There are two major climbs in today’s ride the first is about 500 meters which is now in the rain. Fortunately the grade isn’t too steep. Then I hit the second climb it is about 12 kms long and about 750 meters of elevation. The best I can do is around 9 kms in the steeper parts and 13-14 on the less steep part. By the time I get about 6 kms into the climb I am in the cloud bank and it is freezing cold. Just as I come over the top there is a huge lighting strike and the sky opens up. I now have 750 meters of descent over 12 kms to lunch. The wind is just howling and the rain is lashing me form what seems like all sides. With no place to take refuge the only place to go is forward.

By the time I get to lunch my teeth are rattling together and I am shaking uncontrollable. Richard the tour mechanic and lunch guru, pulls off my wet jacket and jersey and dries me off with a towel from the van. He warps me in a blanket and puts me in the van with the heater going. Richard grabs his coffee pot and camp stove and fixes me a hot coffee and fixes me a nice sandwich. About thirty minutes later I was feeling a lot better. Richard saved me. I missed a great looking after noon ride but was happy to be receiving such great care.

Tonight we are in a nice hotel so I can get dried out a bit.



Don said...

All you needed were some slugs and
you were back in France. At else you had heat this time.

Be safe

Frank Steffey said...

Just caught up on your blog. Nicely done, with interesting narrative and nice pics. Sounds like you are overdue for some sunshine.
Enjoy the remainder of the tour.

Ken C. said...

Terry, sounds like you're enjoying Calgary weather; a little bit of rain every day. It's always good to have friends to help out. Ride on!

Rob said...

Hi Terry, Have been watching your blog since the start, and it's been really good. I was due to do this ride but had to postpone it until 2012. I will be with you from Como for the Alps so can catch up with all the stories. I remember a few days, like you have just described, when I was in The Andes with Bike Dreams last year! I had to sit in the lunch truck one day to warm up, I hope the weather gets better for the Alps!! See you when you arrive in Como. Cheers Rob Waghorn - UK

Jurg said...

What a day! what a picture ! but I am a bit confused. I expected it to be the other way round: "Italian cyclist having Hypothermia in Canada."
I'm sure they still have snow and ice in Calgary, at least they still play Ice Hockey.
In the alps we had the snow line on 2300 m ! So enjoy Venice ! Hope you have a wonderful ride through the Dolomite Alps

Jim said...

Hey Terry,

I have been off line the past week as I did my ride in Kansas with Dorothy and went to LV and home. It sounds like I missed a week of really wet spectacular country side. As Don reminded me...a lot of France without the slugs. You are due for some dry weeks ahead.