A day in the life of a SNKCR Rider (pronounced Snicker)
I thought I would share with you a typical day I experienced during my trek across Canada.
Our day starts between 5:30 and 6:00 with Carlo (our crew chief) giving all the riders a gentle wake up call.
As I have slept with my kit inside my sleeping bag to keep it warm, I reach in and am fully dressed before I jump out of my bunk. Then it is a marathon dash into the Sears store to find the washroom. Most days it is in the same vacinity where you will also find your breakfast.
We eat very quickly, as then you need to get your bike out, tires pumped, hug someone, ensure your shower bag is put in the RV, get your laundry bag to the RV assigned to do laundry that day, decide what cloths to either put on or take off for the pending weather conditions, hug someone, get your butt butter on ( I am not going to explain that to those who don’t know), fill your water bottles. And as soon as you think you have everything locked down you will need to pee again, so mad dash back to the washroom because Carlo will start yelling “Riders Up 5 minutes!”
This it is a call to arms indicates that we are doing the presentation to the Sears store, thanking them for hosting us and taking the first of the 1000 photos that will be taken during the day.
After the team photo the most important part of our day happens. We form a circle, arm in are, and one of the rides will read our morning dedication. We read about children we have lost and children we have helped. It is always moving, meaningful and the sole reason why we are all here. Once the dedication is finished we all hug once more.
Then we ride.
Our first leg can be 30-60 depending on the route, when we see the Penske truck we know we have arrived at our first rest stop. Carlo and the crew will have out snacks, water, gels and basically whatever we may need. Linda our nurse (who is actually following behind the riders during the day) pulls in and takes out our zip bags which contains our extra clothes, extra butt butter, and any other needs we may have. Again we pull off or put on whatever cloths the weather is calling for. Don’t forget to pee. We then circle to thank the host of the stop weather it be a gas station or a persons front lawn and have another photo taken.
Then we ride.
As we are on the road we are cheered on my our RVs (see past posts), there are bio breaks, and some of the most fantastic scenery in the world (our country rocks).
Next stop lunch. As the Penske truck appears on the horizon, we know more food is on the way and more importantly a flushing washroom. We all disembark and can relax for sometimes up to an hour depending on the velocity we had during the morning. Hence we tend to blow the legs during the first 2/3s of the day. We again pose for team photos cheer our host soon as Carlo starts ‘herding the cats’ with his countdown calls. It has become well known that for some people 5 minutes really means start lining up for the washroom.
Then we ride.
So, what do we talk about all day when we ride for 5 or 6 hours together?
Personally …. I like to start my day by saying good morning to everyone I’m next to in the paceline … we rotate through a two-line formation all day, each taking turns “pulling” at the front of the line. So, by about the 40 or 50 km mark, you’ll have been next to everyone at least once.
And then … the topics vary. ”Oh good, another hill”. ”Can you feel your toes? I can’t feel my toes”. ”I should have worn two pairs of shorts today”. ”Hey, is that carbon?”. Or, just “HAY” … because we see a lot of that on the side of the road. ”How far is it to our next rest stop?”. ”Does your butt hurt? Mine does”. ”I hope Linda has ibuprofen”. ”What does your garmin say?”. And usually a chorus of any of the following … “HOLE!”, “Rumble strip!”, “sloooooooowwwing”, “stopppppping”, “roooooolllling”, “GAP!”, “Soft Pedal!”, “TRAAAACKS”! …. “do you know what this town is called?” ”where the heck are we?”, “oh look, there’s the yellow Penske!”.
We get to know each other a little a lot better, in those 5 minute snippets. It’s like “speed dating” in a peloton. You only have so much time and can only ask so many questions but you know that they will be around again soon to finish the conversation
We know our day is about to come to an end when off in the distance we see the two trucks parked outside a Sears store waiting for us. Here Steve, Roger, the two dogs, and our entire volunteer crew and a meriad of friends, family, Sears staff, dignitaries, and the curious public are waiting to cheering us in.
We quickly put our bikes in the trucks and head out to the sears store for speeches and yep more food.
Once the photographer’s camera has run out of battery juice we scatter back to the RVs to find our laundry and grab our shower bags and off to shower. This is a mad dash as most days we need to be back in the RVs clean and ready to shuttle to our next days start.
We jump in the RV and turn it into a traveling command central. 5 lap tops are pulled out, all electronics are plugged in for recharging and we try to connect with loved ones. Once rolling, first call is to get your miles up on Strava, we do this so we can brag to our other cycling mates just how many kilometers we have logged in September. Then the mad blogging begins. The RV grows quiet except for the sound of a beer or two being cracked until we all have successfully gotten our thoughts for the day sent out over the inter webs.
Once this is done depending on the amount of shuttle time we have, some sleep, others play cards, we sing, have dance parties, make memorable youtube videos, eat more and belly laugh about the day past.
When the traveling circus pulls into our new sleeping destination, we disembark, locate the facilities and crawl into our bunks for a cozy nights rest.
The next day we start the entire process over again.