Riding a bicycle along the Continental Divide over 2,700 self supported miles on mostly gravel roads involves a great deal of preparation. Researching every mile of the route, memorizing resupply points and testing your gear in every conceivable condition is all but a small part of the preparation for the Tour Divide.
I had spent the previous weeks in restless fits of sleep, waking up to panic that I overlooked something crucial. Now I was standing on the Spray River Trail outside of Banff, Alberta, Canada. I was on the Tour Divide!
On day three I awoke to a body that was puffy like the Pillsbury Dough Boy. Even my face was puffy! Figuring it must be allergies, I picked up some meds and breakfast and hit the trail again. I stopped by Glacier Cyclery in Whitefish, Montana to have the guys take a look at my bike. Walking in, the mechanic took one look at me and said “I’m guessing you want us to do the work so you can go sleep?”
I didn’t argue and let them take the bike while I grabbed a room, once again. Once in the room, the mirror explained everything. I was still a good candidate for a Michelin Man double.
Day 4 and I awoke to a face that I didn’t even recognize. I sent my husband a picture and received a similar response. I opted to take the day off to rest and recover. After a 5 hour nap and 6 full meals, I spent the rest of my free time researching edema. I was going to take advantage of the off day and make sure I was recovered enough for another big push the following day.