To Manning

Arrival on May 27 (no Internet access here).
That was a doozie. The ride from Hope to the hostel in Manning is about 70km, which really isn’t that bad…but every single metre has to be earned.
I packed up my stuff and was out of the campsite by about 9. For breakfast I had leftovers from the night before. Me and the family I was camping with kept our food in the fridge (at the swanky campsite) but it was very cold so had partially frozen my leftovers. Needless to say, it was not a particularly delicious breakfast. I went into downtown Hope and found the sporting goods store. The guy who owns it has been working on bikes for 20 years, so he did a great job setting me up with new back brakes.
About 250 metres into the ride I saw a Tim Horton’s and couldn’t help but to stop. That bagel, muffin and tea, combined with the sun breaking through the clouds, was the best thing I could have asked for that morning. When I really got started I crossed paths with the Nomad family again (they had decided to take the same route as me, because their alternate route was tougher), so I rode with them in the morning.
Up and up we went. It was a slow and steady cling for about 18km. Which was absolutely ridiculous. I lost all concept of what was ascending and why was descending, because it was all just degrees of uphill. The grades were no more than 7%, but there was no respite from the climb. I walked a few of the longer/steeper hills, and was glad that I did. As I was walking, a guy on a bike with a bike trailer passed me, riding pretty quickly. A he passed we said hello and I told him “good for you!” for making it up that fast with a trailer. His response was “just keep going”. I kept repeating that to myself on the way up, and found it very helpful.
At the 20km mark, we reached the start of Sunshine Valley. There was a campground and convenience store there where I refilled my water. The girls who worked there said that many cyclists stop there for the day after that “little hill” from Hope, before conquering Allison Pass. Little hill? They had clearly never cycled it.
I decided to keep going, and made my way mostly downhill through Sunshine Valley, even though it wasn’t sunny. It actually started raining part of the way through.
Then, I entered Manning Park. It’s a beautiful park, with decent roads, but I was dreading Allison Pass, fearing that it would be a 12% grade all the way up for 18km. By this time I was a bit ahead of the Nomads, since they had stopped for lunch when I had not.
Because I had built up Allison Pass so much, I was pleasantly surprised by it. I kept getting closer to what I knew was the summit and thinking, that’s it? That’s all it is? To me, it was no worse than that morning’s ride. Constant uphill with no breaks, but not as bad as I thought it would be. I did walk quite a bit of it (like the last 2.5 km of uphill), but that still counts.
I saw a bear on the way up the pass, but it was on the other side of the road and was quite busy eating. I rode past it and it didn’t even look at me…although it did encourage me to ride a bit faster.
The Allison Pass summit, oddly, is a bit down the hill from the top, and it was so satisfying to see that sign. From there it was a nice downhill ride, past the campground (which I quickly dismissed as a suitable place to stay that night) and onto Manning Resort, which has a hostel as well. On the way down it got very cold, so I was really looking forward to a warm bed and a hot shower in a hostel.
As soon as I got to the hostel I was greeted by a few resort employees, some of whom live in the hostel building. I was offered beer and a hot shower immediately, and they even shared their dinner with me (amazingly delicious Filipino food cooked fresh), which was the most amazing thing at the end of a long day.
All in all, it was a pretty good day, but I’m glad that it is over.



One thought on “To Manning

  1. Wow. What a day. You are amazing to do that ride. And what lovely people you’re meeting. I love the Filipino meal at the end of the day. I thought your trip to Europe was the trip of a lifetime, but perhaps this will top it?!

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