John and Caitlin's cake had lemons made out of icing on it in reference to a geek variation on the saying "When life gives you lemons, made lemonade." I am not sure what the geek variation in question is.
Anyway, I had the opening to put the saying into effect in yesterday, in this year's edition of the Eastern Townships Challenge bike tour put on by Vélo-Québec. This year the event started and, alas, ended at the Sutton Ski Hill which is up a 4 km long hill which is quite a challenge to face at the end of the day. For a complicated set of reasons, I drove out from Montreal to Sutton in a rented car with Leonardo in the back in time to meet the Parents for breakfast shortly after 7 AM. This entailed waking up a little after 5 AM, which is outside my comfort zone.
The wind seemed to pick up after lunch, and became, if anything, stronger, more chaotic and unpredictable. This sapped my strength. I stopped at the bottom of the hill leading up to the finish to muster my energy. While doing so, I commented to someone: "Maintement, le calvaire commence." In fact, I was being hyperbolic as it wasn't that bad, though Mummy went to spare Pappy the task by going to meet him at the bottom with the car. Nonetheless, the fact remains that the humidity was draining and I drained the equivalent of more than 2 litres of Gatorade yesterday. Stats: 5 hours, 39 minutes and 11 seconds of biking; 121.10 kms covered; an average speed of 21.4 km/h and a maximum of speed 64.3 km/h.
Driving back to Montreal, the storm the weather had been hinting at struck with a vengeance. The rain was so intense that visibility dropped to next to nothing. The car shook from the wind and the driving rain. The average speed on highway dropped from over 100 km/h to the 60-70 range. I really didn't like the situation so I took the first exit and stopped the car in the parking lot of a defunct restaurant.
I briefly pondered what I should do while waiting out the storm. I quickly noticed that I was really quite tired between my early start and the physical exertion. Consequently, I took out my contact lenses, reclined my seat and closed my eyes for 15-20 minutes. I didn't sleep, but I would have been surprised if I did. Still, it was a relief, hence the title of this entry.
Incidentally, the storm spawned at least one tornado and cut power to 90,000 customers in Quebec.