Today was the day I was nervous about from the start of planning. It was the day I would have my first real climb in the mountains. Not just the first of this ride but ever. So i had heard the Coquihalla hwy presented some challenging climbs. I'm glad I had heard that because I feel that I was able to mentally prepare myself. We left Hope BC just after 7:30 am and right away there was a little climb but at that time of the morning and not being warmed up it seemed pretty hard. I was thinking "how am i ever going to climb the harder sections?" Well climb and climb we did. Ive included a few pictures in the photo section of the site. Its was a hard climb up to the summit but that made it that much better when we made and were able to take some pictures at the summit. The best part of the uphill was that it meant that much of the rest of the ride was downhill and long sections of downhill. Svend would really let it go on the downhills and built up a lot of speed, I think my max speed was 60km/hr. I was a little more nervous. The swirlling back and forth winds and transport trucks made me use my brakes s a little more. My forearms are actually quite sore from clenching my brakes so much. Svend joked at the bottom on one stretch of hill that was 8km long that he could smell my brakes burning on the way down. We got into Merritt at about 2pm. My dad had pulled over on the side of the road about 13 km back and Im pretty sure when we passed him he was reclined in the van and sleeping, must be nice. When he finally woke up and attempted to meet us in Merrit he took a different way into town and we were sitting on the exact opposite side. Dad came and found us and we biked to the other side of town where there were some hotel options. Had my dad just followed us in we would have likely stayed where we were and booked one of the hotel options there. We ended up parking between two hotels and, wanting to save money I checked with both places to see their rates. Anyway to make a long story short after asking at the Ramada hotel if they could offer any discount the lady at the desk called her manager to check and he informed her that they had already arranged to have a complimentary room available for myself, Svend and my dad. One of the planners of the ride had talked to them previously but never received the confirmation that the room was provided so we never knew this. Thank goodness my dad fell asleep and took the long way into town or we would have never checked into the Ramada. We also met a few people as they were checking in and were able to tell them about PKU, offer them a postcard with more info and they made a donation to the ride so that was great. Today was great, better than expected and we arrived at our destination a lot earlier than I thought we would as well. We took more breaks today which I think was a smart decision. Tomorrow we head to Kamloops which will be great. Amanda Cosburn is arranging an event there and Im looking forward to meeting and chatting with her. If you are from Kamloops we hope to see you at her event.