|Newsletter - 2000 Archive|
Riding time of 293.68 hours, average speed of 25.31 km/hr, average of 151.7 km and 6 hours per riding day. An eight week trip, of which seven days were spent resting and playing. We started on Monday morning, June 5 at the salmon stream on Spanish Banks and finished on Sunday afternoon, July 30 at Cape Spear, Newfoundland. A full-service RV, driven by Sharon Street, was the key to enjoyment of our 2000 Ride Across Canada. Start time was 7:00 am, coffee break was at 50-55 km, lunch was at 100-110 km, Coke and cookies at mid afternoon and the finish at or about 4:00 pm. The BC Randonneurs 2000/cyclist pin design was prominently displayed.
Maintaining cyclists is a non-stop process of food acquisition and preparation, special request searches, precise route timing, campground discovery, gas, laundry, home/RV maintenance and a general concern for their well-being. Adopting the moniker of Dolly Domestic, Sharon was ably assisted by her mascot, Marcel FlapJack Moose of Pancake Bay, Ontario. Both Dolly and Marcel have announced their retirement (is it temporary - what about the leg from Prince Rupert to Tete Jaune Cache?)
The first five weeks were spent in the company of Bob Lepage and Deirdre Arscott. After the big sky country of Alberta and Saskatchewan, the general dampness of Manitoba and the vast expanse of Northern Ontario to Ottawa, they chose to follow their own agenda of family visits and "unsupported" travel. As a result, I became the sole beneficiary of the huge amount of planning and preparation put into this trip by Sharon. It was a wonderful three week cycle through Quebec, the Maritime mainland, PEI and the impressive length of "Newfun-land"!!
When you, my cycling friends, get your inheritance, your lottery payout, your work package, your retirement, or just a bigger line of credit, what can you expect from cycling across our great country?
No two days are the same.
Mornings are different than afternoons.
BC and Alberta - ego boosting climbs at Golden, Rogers Pass and Kicking Horse and the big sky rolling country of the prairies.
The Drumheller Dinosaur Display - makes you feel really insignificant.
Ontario - the province you will seemingly spend your entire cycling life to cross.
Maybe boating with friends on the Lake of the Woods and a wiener roast on one of its 10,000 islands.
Maybe a visit to your support vehicle by a bear when no one is home.
Getting cluster trucked on the TransCanada Highway!
"Group of Seven" scenery for free.
Quebec - more "For Sale" signs than the Hadassah Bazaar. I chose not to enquire about the displayed kitchen sink. The vertical nature of the wonderfully scenic routes along the river made it impractical.
Camping by the St. Lawrence, wakening to the whmmp/whmmp/whmmp of the passing freighters.
The Confederation Bridge.
PEI - just as nice as nice gets. I recommend that you not pass slow moving farm vehicles on the downhill. The iron monsters have a way of not slowing on the ensuing upgrade, resulting in some interesting heart rate readings as the potato machine closes in at the top of the climb.
Newfoundland - best roads and cycling shoulders in the country; likely the province in which you will cycle the second most distance. Lots of your tax dollars spent on upgrades in process, please keep remitting.
Ferry rides in Quebec, from PEI and to Nfld. (Did you know that the Nova Scotia/Newfoundland service has a high-speed wave-piercing catamaran ferry which carries 200 vehicles/800 passengers and it is leased for a try-out season from Denmark? Is the lease cost less than $400 million?)
Rest days: Calgary - (the kids), Yorkton, Sask. - (not much), Kenora, Ont. - (boating and wheel repairs), Wawa, Ont. - (the Goose), Ottawa, Ont. - (A Scottish friend and his "cabinet"), Amqui, Que. - (see Yorkton), Port Hastings, NS. - (a motel & TV with Tiger Woods @ the British Open). All good places for a day off.
Thousands of waterfowl in the marshes and
songbirds on the wing.
Butterflies and eagles and the "screee" of the hunting hawk.
Moose, deer, fox, beaver, elk - look left/right all day? (The purported 150,000 moose of Newfoundland/Labrador seem to all be in Labrador. The cow moose with twin calves sighted in Ontario was a real highlight.)
Tremendous tail winds - unforgiving head winds - interesting side gusts.
Lightning and thunder, real close, real wet.
Wildlife (big and tiny) and matching road kill.
Mountains, plains, forests, rocks, lakes, marshes, scrub pine, oceans.
Unending hills, sometimes magnificently downsloping.
Bag Balm - replaced with Co-op Udder Ointment, thanks to Shania Twain.
Lunches of lobster sandwiches, dinners of pork and beans (pork tenderloin, that is), bakery treats, fresh baked brownies - a no-cravings trip.
Long days & short days.
Construction - the Orange Zone.
Thump thump - Thump thump - Thump thump. Repeat as necessary until the road enters and emerges from the orange zone.
Wheel sucking and pull taking.
Dynamite and road closures - with a bicycle just walk up the ditch.
Nutters, walking across Canada with a wagon pulled by huskies.
The early morning before traffic.
Mosquitoes, black flies, noseeums, nippers, deerflies, horseflies, dungflies.
Lobster, scallops, cod, salmon.
Beef, perogies, local fruits and vegies.
Dennis Hack, a Saskatchewan farmer of 68 years, known to Grant McLeod of the Prairie Randonneurs and first met by us in Revelstoke. He took time off to spray his crops as he passed by home and, with a mid-August harvest deadline, was two days ahead of us in Nfld.
Cyclists completing round-the-world trips, cyclists crossing Canada in 2000, cyclists crossing Newfoundland as the finish of a Canada 1998 tour, cyclists sponsored for a cause, newby cyclists on a tandem taking breaks every 30 minutes, Italians without skills in English or French, Quebecois just heading for home in Trois Rivieres, cyclists circling the Gaspe Peninsula in two weeks, cyclists on training rides for a change of pace (ouch) - just enjoy it.
Cyclists apparently carrying everything
(including the aforementioned kitchen sink). Cyclists with almost
nothing (except, of course, Dolly Domestic for support).
Unscheduled detours north, south and west - never east.
Friends on the phone with loads of support.
Calls to the office - "Just deal with it."
Naps at lunch.
Heart and soul climbs at the Cape Spear finish that will make your emotions overflow.
Champagne and pecan pie!
The finish, with your best friend!