02 September 2014

Epic Camp Canada 2014 Epilogue

Epic Camp Canada 2014 - Epilogue
September 1

Better get this done before it all fades away.
Special thanks to Dave Rowe and Zach who get my vote for best E'pic photos.  I don't take photos so all of you who have and put them into your blogs will help me remember things so much more vividly.
 I think I'd like to make it back to Lake Louise one day for a summer backpack trip so I can take it all in at a more leisurely pace.  And I might actually see a f... bear.

Hopefully you've all stolen the ones you've liked that others took.
Dwan has also posted photos every day on on his Facebook page.

Think this was Epic Camp 12 or 13 for me.  Will have to try and retrieve previous blogs at some point to count them up.  Stuff on the internet doesn't always last for-ever which is a good reminder to me to save some momentos and memories in some other, permanent form.
  I still have the hat Julie Moss gave us on a training camp in '91 (?) on what she called the "Tour de Trout".  Its a baseball cap with a trout tail poking out the back and the head out the front just above the visor.  I have it hanging on my cycling stuff rack in the garage and take a look at it most days before heading out to ride.

So we're all done.
My assessment is that everyone got pushed at least to the point they were prepared to go to.  There's a lot of pride in such a group setting and its tough to be last or giving the impression you really don't want to try very hard.
Lucky for most of us that Charlsey put his hand up straight-away to be lantern rouge as it takes a lot of pressure off of everyone.  His camp experience and stories from previous camps also help to put everything into perspective.  There was only a touch of the madness we've seen on some previous camps and no one went home in a body bag.

I'd like to make a special mention to the job Michelle Breffle did for us on this camp.
When she agreed to be support there was supposed to be 4 crew.  That we ended up with only 3 made her job twice as hard and long but she carried it off with good humor and incredible efficiency.
 On a camp like this we really do need people with multiple skills and a guy like Mark Kendal who can work on any bike, do massage, drive all damn day, lug bags and also tag along on some great training adventures is critical element to the camps success.  Over the years we've had John Ellis to fill that role so we know how much we need a person like Mark.  Thanks Mark for your company most of all.
 Dwan has done about 6 or 7 of these.  I'm rooming with him in Vancouver so just asked him and he's having a bit of a 'senior moment" and can't recall. Just gave him a few of these "senior moments" mints Petro gave me.  Pretty yummy.
John knows how essential Dwan is and that's why he's here.  We've just driven the van back 960km from Calgary to take it back, and the extra left-over stuff in it.  I'm glad he has the ability to take in the magic of the places we visit in the few moments of free time he has along the way.  When we're so f... tired he does a good job of reminding us to take a look around and savour the wonderful experience.  So I'd like to say a big thank you once again to Dave for doing all he does for us.

Newsom has been in charge of these camps for a very long time now.
They are his camps since Gordo stepped back from being an integral part of them.
John does all the research, finds the accom, books all the rentals, shops for all the essentials, pays the bills, invoices you all, checks to see if there's road works on the route, etc., etc.
 I'm just the social director and on this camp I fell a bit short on that as I was kinda pooped!  I could not do 1/2 of what he does as well as all the training and even this amount of training at the pace we do it at is getting harder to do.
John takes the responsibility of delivering a great camp experience very seriously and I know all the campers can feel that.
He's planning future camps in Kona (Epic "Light") and a biggie in France in 2016 when he turns 40 so if you're interested in those make sure you're on his mailing list for those.

OK - for you faithful readers who've read through my ramblings here's something I hope you'll find of value in a concise form:
Some of my essentials to cover if you are considering doing your own camp.

1) pick people you really like and are good company
2) be clear in your objectives for the camp and then stick to them
3) have several pairs of great "7-hours in the rain" cycling shorts
4) bring your best storm gear for riding in bad weather - pack that first!
5) get good bootie butter and a prescription for 2% hydrocortisone creme to save your ass when its in trouble
6) Have a good GPS watch or bike computer and download the maps pre-trip if possible.  This is the last trip I ever do without a good GPS system.  Bring the hard copies of the maps too and study them a bit.
7) Get new, best, sturdy wheels and tires available.  I rode Continental Gatorskin harrdsells and I didn't flat or even pump them up once during the trip.  I also rode them 1,000km before the trip in Aussie prior to this camp.
8) Eat good food, limit the crap, take a significant amount of anti-oxidants in the weeks leading into the camp, during it and afterwards for weeks.  I put 1,000-2,000mgs of Vitamin C powder into my first 2 bottles every day and take my supplements every night.  I might wash them down with a fine tipple, but I never forget to take them.
9) bring a spirit of adventure.  Things may change along the way but if you hold onto the right attitude you'll come away from it all content.

Thanks to all the campers for their fabulous company and comradeship.  Its been a wonderful journey.

Satiate The Need,

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