Monday, August 23, 2010

In my last blog I said "when I get home I will be doing a final update to the blog"
Although i arrived in Saint John's a year ago today, it took a lot longer for my trip to end.
I ended up re-doing the trip vicariously this summer through Dale Spence and Bob Wiggington. I met Dale last summer on my way through Agassiz, he was cycling as far as Calgary. Dale's plan was to leave from Calgary this summer and go as far as Ottawa, he had already done Newfoundland and will be completeing Ottawa-Maritimes in 2011. Because Dale had a conference in Vancouver this June and he liked BC so much, he decided to do Vancouver to Ottawa this year. Lorraine and I went to Vancouver on June 11th to send him off. I followed his progress daily via text messages and google maps until he met up with Bob Wiggington, Bob was keeping an excellent blog it almost felt like I was with them.
Google maps has a feature that has kept me entertained for hours, if you drag the little orange man that is ontop of the zoom bar over the map, plop the little man on the blue highlighted roads, you get a 360 degree view, simply amazing.Every night when i came home this summer, i would check my journal from last year and google map my route, zoom in on interesting things along the way, where i ate lunch, the names of campsites or motels, and all from the comfort of my chair.
So strangely, with a bit of sadness, today is the last day of my adventure, I have lived it, re-lived it and am ready to plan the next trip. Currently, Lorraine and I are thinking of a cycling trip around parts of Great Britain. We are off to Maui in January, who knows we may end up renting bikes there, we heard the Haleakala Hwy is a nice ride.
I'm very fortunate to have done the ride across Canada and thank everyone who helped along the way and at home. It was the trip of a lifetime and I would do it all again.
I have placed several of my pictures on Facebook, feel free to take a look.!/profile.php?id=100001459380580&ref=ts

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Day 58 (final day) Aug 23 2009

Dunville to St. John's Nfld.

Depart: 7:30 am
Arrive: 2:14 pm

Daily distance: 126. 31 km
Time: 5:56:28
Odo: 6853.4 km (Total trip distance)
Max. 56.7 km/hr
Avg. Speed: 21.5 km/hr

Weather: Light fog/ 22 deg
Road: Easy grades
Shoulder: good condition narrow in some sewctions (B-)

I got up early to catch the weather network, it looked like clear sailing as the Hurricane isn't due until tonight. Frank and. Barb had breakfast going and I packed the bike. I hade a great homemade breakfast, prune yogurt, bacon, eggs, and home made jams on homemade toasted bread. I filled my water bottle and was given 3 muffins for the road, I like this B&B set up.
The ride today went smooth with the tailwind and I msnaged to beat Bill to SJ.
I found the Terry Fox monument where Barb had suggested I dip my front wheel but the waterfront access had been fenced off since 911. I spoke with a security guard who took my picture at the monument and led me to a low dock at Harbourside Park. At 2:14 Newfie time, with my front tire dipped into SJ harbour, and having beat Bill  I officially completed my trip.
After getting settled in a B&B in the downtown I went for a walk and ran into the two couples I had met on the ferry, they were on a patio at one of the many pubs, I joined them and they bought me a couple of beers, it was a nice way to wrap up the trip.
I want to extend a very big thank you to everyone that helped me along the way by sending Emails, feeding me, giving me places to stay, providing directions and advise,  servicing the bike, I did not do this trip alone. I would also like to give my biggest thanks to Lorraine who encouraged me to do this trip, supported me and provided many hours looking up information, booking rooms, ferrys, planes, looking after the house and kept my prize lawn green and manicured, even through BC's  heat wave.
Im taking a day or two to look around SJ and to rearrange my airline ticKet, when I get home I will be doing a final update to the blog.

Day 57 Aug 22 2009

North Sydney NS to Dunville NFLD.
(Ferry to Argentia)

Depart: 1:30 am
Arrive: 4:30pm

Daily Distace: (bike) 10.84km
Time: 00:38:36
Odo: 6727.0km
Max. 39.5 km/hr
Avg speed: 16.9 km/hr

Today was the big ferry ride to NFLD, 14 hrs and I was glad to have gotten on, I swtched the date from the 24th, that sailing has now been cancelled due to Hurricane Bill.
The ferry ride although long was a welcome break, the chairs reclined, it was quiet and I slept not bad. I met 2 couples from Vancouver that have been doing bike vacations together for a while, it seems like a good idea, they travelled light and B&B'd and Hoteled it, good plan.
When I got off the ferry I headed to the B and B Lorraine had arranged for me. When I arrived at the B&B, the host Frank and Barb had a rib dinner ready for me as they knew there was nowhere else to eat in town. I had a good visit with Frank, Barb and Franks brother Brian and headed off to bed so I could race Bill in the morning. This was my first B&B and it was great.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Day 56 Aug 21 2009

Port Hastings NS to North Sydney NS (ferry terminal to NFLD)

Depart: 7:30 am
Arrive: 4:30 pm

Daily Distance: 144.99 km
Time: 8:01:18
Odo: 6716.2 km
Max: 49.7 km/hr
Avg. 18.1 km/hr

Weather: Sunny , 26 deg
Wind: E 10-20 km/hr

Roads: Ups and downs all day. 1 climb, Kellys Mountain, 7 km
Shoulders: Good (B)

Big day today, I had the last ride of this trip on the mainland, tonight I catch the ferry and head to NFLD.
I'm in a bit of a hurry to beat Hurricane Bill to St. John's so I am leaving the mainland tonight. The ferry ride is approx. 14 hrs and is due to arrive in Argentia Nfld  on Saturday the 22nd at 3:30. I still need to do 130km before arriving in St. John's. I will stay in a B and B that Lorraine had arranged for located just N of Argentia before heading out Sunday, hopefully . Currently the winds on Sunday morning are forcast to be 30km/hr picking up to 60 km/hr in the early evening, if I get an early start, I should be able to make great time getting to SJ, but risk being stuck in the middle of nowhere should the winds become unmanagable, I'll play it by ear.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Day 55 Aug. 20 2009

Pictou NS to Port Hastings Cape Breton NS

Depart: 8:30am
Arrive: 5:00 .

Daily Distance: 130.19 km
Time: 6:52:40
Odo: 6571 km/hr
Max: 48.8 km/hr
Avg. Speed 18.9 km/hr

Weather: Sunny/ 28 deg
Wind W 10
Roads: Hilly
Shoulder: (C+) narrow in several sections but in good shape.

My buddy Dale met me at 7:30 this morning, bought breakfast and rode with me for the first 15 km. He drove up from Halifax and it was good to spend time catching up and swapping notes.
The route was hilly today but it was somewhat cooler so I only had to bring out the Sham Wow once.
I'm down to my last leg on the mainland tomorrow, 140 km to the North Sydney. Ferry to NFLD which leaves at 11:00pm Friday night. Once in NFLD I may break up the last 130 km into 2 days depending on when the ferry arrives in Argentia NFLD.
I'll be up and on the road early so I get the boat tomorrow, I was scheduled to sail on the 24th but I want to be on the rock before Hurricane Bill causes Ferry disruptions.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Day 54 Aug 19 2009

Murrays Beach NB to Pictou NS (Via PEI)

Depart: 7:00 am
Arrive: 8:30 pm

Daily Distance:145.36 km
Time: 7:47:52
Odo: 6441.0 km
Max: 41.7 km/hr
Avg. Speed: 18.6 km/hr

Weather: Sunny/Hot/ Muggy/overcast in the afternoon

Wind: SW 15

Roads: gentle grades/ some small hills
NB (A+)
PEI wide shoulders but in poor condition (C-)

Stepped out of the tent this morning and was greeted by a skunk, I think he was scared away by my odour. Actually, the campsite last night had laundry facilities so all my domestic chores are up to date. I have enough clean clothes to last me until I throw them all out at the end of the trip.
1 day, and I've set foot in three provinces, never done that before. My time in the Maritimes is far too short, I loved NB and plan on returning to see PEI, it looked like a beautiful spot to spend some time in, I feel I could fit in here (except in the winter)
The Northumberland straight was covered in a haze this morning so I never got a picture of the Confederation Bridge and was somewhat disappointed.
Dale, the fellow I met in Aggasiz is from these parts and knows everyone, when I got up this morning there was a note on my bike from the park staff saying goodmorning ( they must have been by later than 8:30 last night) and when I went to get the shuttle to cross the bridge the lady knew my name. I spoke with Dale on the phone grom the shuttle booth and we may hook up tomorrow for a short ride.
Bridge Shuttle and return ferry is $20.00, great deal..

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Day 53 Aug 18 2009

Moncton NB to Murray Beach NB

Depart: (from bike shop) 11:00 am
Arrive: 4:00 pm

Daily distance: 92.97 km
Time: 4:24:13
Odo: 6295.7 km/hr
Max: speed: 44.5 km/hr
Avg. Speed: 21.1 km/hr.

Got to the bike shop before it opened and greeted the owner who had still not opened the lid on his Tim Hortons coffee. I explained that I wanted to move the rear tire back to the front from whence it came and to put on a new rear tire including new tubes. I was going to put 2 tires on but the one is good enough to finish the trip with. Also  it was the actual tire that was dIpped in the Pacific prior to leaving and I don't know how the ruling comittee would feel if I don't dip the same tire, I also save $30.00. I also asked the guy to adjust the front derailer as I have been having trouble shifting and its easier, like any task, to repair in a clean shop rather than a sandy shoulder., He said he would look after it and that" I could pick it up sometime today." I said "how about in 2 hours" he agreed as long as he didn't get" swamped with customers"
When I returned 2 hours later my bike was sitting out in the showroom with a flat front tire, "its all ready" he says so I asked him if air was extra, he installed another tube and I paid him and left. About 10km down the road I went to shift, and nothing, the derailier cable hadn't been tightened, so I did it myself on the sandy shoulder. Todays lesson, Don't bug a guy that hasn't yet had his coffee.
Strong wind, fast riding. Was going great when I came over a hill and there it was, it took me by suprise. All along. I've been focused on reaching St. John's especially as I near the end and am planning my trip down to the hour. But when I crested the hill and realized I was staring at the Atlantic Ocean I stopped in my tracks. I wasn't prepared for it today and suddenly realized I was looking at it for the first time and I had come from coast to coast on a bicycle. It was quite a feeling for me and I grabbed a provincial campsite just down the road, I have a great spot and I ended the day early enough to go dip my feet. The bike wheel has to wait for the completion of the trip otherwise, what would be the point of continuing, I think this has been what I wanted to see all along, just didn't realize it.