Day 11: Chasing hail storms to Gas City

Day 11: Chasing hail storms to Gas City

Last night I predicted it would be a rainy day today. No surprise then that I woke up to driving rain this morning. Thankfully my tent is waterproof, I was warm and dry. I decided to read a bit and see if the rain passed. It did, so off I went at about 8:30. A few minutes later it returned. Heavily.

Eventually I stopped at a gas station for “coffee” and a muffin, and a chat with the Korean couple managing the spot. They weren’t keen to join me in the rain. After a couple hours of decent cycling the rain stopped and I rolled in to Bassano for a late breakfast. While enjoying my massive plate of food I read an article about plastic waste, prompting a tweet storm:

It’s true, there is litter in many of the ditches along the highway. How cars become immovable the moment there is an empty food product in them is beyond my comprehension. As someone who rarely sees straws at restaurants I never even think to ask for no straw, but today I was served three drinks with straws!

Dirty plates covered in straws, napkins, and jam dishes
My disposables-heavy meal

Anyway, fuelled by eggs and the tweet storm I headed out and started flying down the highway. It was easy to hit 35 km/h on the smooth, straight highway. After Brooks the highway turned slightly and I was hit by a 40 km/h crosswind; apparently the eggs were not laced with EPO. The crosswind was tough, making it hard to steer and also killing my speed.

Ben grimacing with a storm cloud behind him
The storm cloud

After a while I pulled over at a rest stop just to get off the bike for a few minutes. At that point I looked back and saw the source of the wind, an ominous thunderstorm! I summoned what energy my legs could give and eventually got ahead of the worst of the wind, as the storm continued to move north.

The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful, landing in Medicine Hat where I’d sprung for a hotel (heavy rain was forecast and I wanted to sit in a hot tub instead). At the hotel I had a delicious lamb vindaloo, something I did not expect in Gas City. It was perfect, except for the straw. Rice, curry, and naan arranged on a table

Delicious lamb vindaloo from Spicy Hut

Today’s lesson: preemptively say no to straws.

Today’s distance: 202.2 km

Cumulative distance: 1,415.7 km

Today’s climb: 462 m

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