Riding4Research Day 8, Destruction Bay > Haines Junction, Yukon 67 miles

After a long slog yesterday and 5 hours of light sleep I woke up a bit cross eyed.  By the time I started pedaling at 9:30 the headwind bit into me, coming up a massive lake right beside the road.   I tried to make my peace with the wind by having a good stare over a massive windswept lake.  Oh my, what the real estate agents would do to this lake in the lower 48…

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I got to the visitors center of the spectacular Kluane National Park, home of Mt Logan, highest in Canada.  From there I got a bit of reprieve from the wind for a few miles then it started again.  The 8 mph slog for the full afternoon featured three gradual hills of 5 miles long each, all with the wind biting right into me.  Wow, cold molasses moving downhill could have kept with these kinds of speeds.   All the way the scenery was simply stunning.  This place make Colorado and Montana look like the JV as far as sheer mountains, forests, and wilderness.

Maybe its a bad chain or a lot of torqueing over my first week… 100 feet from the highest point on the Alaska Highway between Fairbanks and Whitehorse my chain snapped.  And I have bad fix-up skills.  Fortunately I had a chain repair demo this winter from my friend Matt Ware (and manager of Breakthrough Physical Therapy, one of the major sponsors of the ride).   There I was, with a 25 mph headwind, trying to fix a busted chain in a place where these parts are hard to find.  After 30 minutes, with black grease hands, I had it fixed, and gingerly eased into riding again so to not overly stress a suspect chain.

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On a 10 mile long downhill coming in Haines Junction, the wind abruptly switched.  I found myself decompress on my first chance for coasting all day.  The scenery here is amazing!  Here’s a short video clip of my only coasting all day, it was worth the wait…

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I found a backpackers hostel in the quaint town of Haines Junction, a good place to take stock and rest very tired legs.  What an usual feeling after being in the wilderness, to be encased by the walls of a warm house with good cheer.  It is very difficult to act and eat with civility after a week of hard pedaling on a strip of pavement running through the wilderness.

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