Currently Viewing All Entries

Choose a Province:
| British Columbia | Alberta | Saskatchewan | Manitoba | Ontario | Québec | New Brunswick | P.E.I. | Nova Scotia | Newfoundland |

Thu Apr 25, 2002 - Up... Too... Late!

Well, it's 1:30am right now, and I have to get up at 5:00am to catch my flight to Vancouver! So the trip is just about to begin... :) I'm pretty excited! Anyways, I'll be meeting up with Ian in Victoria, and on Friday we'll come back to Vancouver before heading out into the Rockies. Bed time! G'night.. :)

Fri Apr 26, 2002 - Vancouver-Victoria-Vancouver - The Trip Starts

Ian pointed out an interesting fact to me - yesterday I travelled on: Airplane, car, bus, ferry, and bike. So, a real transportation day! I left Toronto at 7:45am EST, and arrived in Victoria at 6pm PST.. Not bad for a day of travel! I took a bus from the airport to the ferry, to cheat a little. After that it was a short bike ride, 33.3km from where the ferry dropped me off, to Victoria. The flight was spectacular - I had clear skies from Manitoba through B.C., so I got to see a lot of what I'm going to be travelling soon! I snapped a photo or two of the Rockies from the plane:

Yesterday was the first time I had ever ridden with all my packs on the bike, and it took me a little by suprise to be honest! A lot more effort than I thought it was going to be. It made me a bit scared for today, when we were going back to Vancouver, except biking all the way. Fortunately, it went suprisingly well! It was 92km (a little more than the 75km we thought it would be) from Victoria to Vancouver, and we made it, only getting tired at the very end. Yes, I'm tired now, but I didn't think 92km would go so well with the packs on! :) We of course went to the "Mile 0" sign at the start of the transcanada highway in Victoria, and took a couple pictures - have to start from the very beginning!

The roads in BC are SOOOOOO much nicer than those in Ontario - wide shoulders, well paved, and very accessable to bikes. There are many more people biking here than I'm used to seeing in Ontario - more healthy lifestyle overall, I guess! I still find it odd to be able to bike on roads with speed limits of 80-90km/h - divided highways with on/off ramps - that's never allowed back home!

Sat Apr 27, 2002 - Semi-Rest Day

Today was a pretty relaxing day - we didn't get going until 12:15 or so, and I must thank Jennifer and her parents - they were absoultely amazing to Ian & I!! Our rest stop at thier place was quite relaxing and enjoyable!

So we spent the bulk of today running errands - I had a small problem with my bike that required a bike shop, so we stopped off at a good one in Vancouver. We ended up buying fenders for our bikes (not having them in the rain yesterday was a mistake!), and it took over an hour to figure them out and put them on! We stopped at MEC after that and picked up some needed supplies. After that we travelled a small 36km to a relative of Ian's

I must say the scenery here is AMAZING. The ride today was easily the best scenic bike ride I've ever had, and we aren't even out of the city yet!

BTW: if you want to see all the pics I've managed to upload so far, click here. It will always contain all the pics, whenever I can upload them back home!

Tue Apr 30, 2002 - Where can you find Hope?

In the town of Hope, or so the locals say.. :) I'm currently in an Internet cafe in the town of Hope, so I'll keep this entry brief!

BC continues to be a constant source of great scenery! We have entered the mountains proper, and being surrounded by snowy peaks is wonderful! The weather has been nothing but nice - 20 degrees during the day, sunny, wind at our backs - who could ask for more? I've been told the rest of the country isn't faring so well though.

In the interests of gaining strength, we've been taking it easy for the past few days, which the terrain has been helping - mostly flat with occasional hills. Ian & I both had our first flat tires, and I had my second - two minutes after my first! We were biking along, and with the sound of a gunshot BANG!!!!. The sound echoed off the mountain wall, directly into Ian's ear. I was somewhat spared as it happened behind me, but not so for Ian, who was mostly beside the offending tire. Turns out my tire pump has a faulty gauge, so I overinflated the tire, causing it to blow up quite nicely. Pictures will be coming sometime soon.. :)

Otherwise, we are off to relax for the rest of the day, and get Ian's hair cut, it's driving him mad.. :)

Wed May 1, 2002 - Lytton, Here We Come!

The Hope for today was to reach the town of Lytton, which is approx 100km away from Hope. The goal was reached! We biked approx 117km today, and it was by far the most impressive ride so far! We had it all - big ups, big downs, tunnels, nasty trucks, nice cars, and a little gatoraide to speed us along!

Seriously though, today was a very good day. The following things interested me:

  • The terrain - you remember grade 9 geography class? I do.. Since we have now passed the coastal mountain range and are behind it, things have become VERY DRY. The terrain has changed from what I know B.C. to be like, green and growing, to desert-like. There is little grass growing anymore, the slopes are mostly covered by a scrubby looking bush.
  • Tunnels are fun!! There are 7 tunnels between Hoe and Lytton, and they are an interesting time for bikers. They are too narrow to allow two lanes of traffic and a bike to go through, so you have to be careful. There are tiny walkways along the sides of the tunnels, but they are so narrow you can't even BEGIN to concieve of biking through them! You have to walk your bike, and you barely fit between the wall and the guardrail - not fun! So of course, we only walked through 2 of the 7 tunnels, and made a break for it when we could on the others.
  • Up & Down. Up & Down. Like the Vengaboys song.. There wasn't as many hills as I thought there would be, but it was quite fun anyways! We reached a high of 350 meters at one point. The downhills are fun, I get up to about 65km/h. 40-50km/h is standard down a good hill!

Thu May 2, 2002 - Headed to Cache Creek

Did I mention that Ian has turned into an eating machine?? It is really quite funny to watch him eat, and eat, and eat, and eat!! And talk about eating. And wish he was eating. Grin - you get the picture! He needs to eat to keep going, so eat he does! I am eating a little more than normal, but I have some reserves to get through before my body starts demanding a lot more food.. :)

Today went quite well too! We had a STIFF wind behind us the whole way from Lytton to Cache Creek, and made it (approx 80km) in by 2pm, for an early stop. The overall altitude difference was about 200m (330m at campground outside of Lytton, 510m at campground in Cache Creek), but we had a number of 150m+ climbs. Easy day!

The oddest thing about the mountain terrain is the optical illusions both Ian & I are suffering from. Since we are not used to the scale, there has been countless times that my eyes tell us we are going downhill, but we are going uphill! Not steep hills, but the more gentle grades. The only was I can tell if it actually is up or down is by looking backwards a few times, or just by judging the amount of effort I need to put into biking. Makes me understand how that "Magnetic Hill" thing works!

The weather has been beautiful! We haven't seen any rain since that one day Victoria! Forcast was for rain today, but since we are in the "high country" it doesn't rain much here. We did get a nasty wind/rain storm after we had set up our tent, but it blew over, and we hid in our tent! Good thing we weren't biking. It cooled down a lot though.

Fri May 3, 2002 - Kamloops... Gasp!

Whew! What a trip. We thought getting to Kamloops would be a breeze, it's only 80km, and after yesterday's 80km, this should be easy! Well, it wasn't too bad, to be honest, but it was harder than I thought it would be! We had to climb from 400m to 575m (approx) a couple times, and then up to 737m before going into Kamloops! I didn't realize that it would be as high as it was before hitting town. I was having trouble at one point (no energy, just starting to feel dead), when Ian came up to me and mentions: "The air it thinner up here!". As soon as he said it, I realized it was true, and started taking deeper breaths. Like night and day, it was! I felt much better, and had my energy back again. Such a simple concept, but I had forgotten that it would happen. Just wait till we are in the mountain passes, which are 1300m & 1600m! That'll be fun!

Kamloops is quite nice - we are staying in a Motel tonight, just for a break. Get cleaned up, and rested!

Sat May 4, 2002 - Relaxing in Kamloops

Today is another rest day (whoohoo!). So, we are of course sitting in an Internet Cafe, updating all of you!

Tonight we are staying in a Hostel - it looks like fun! There are about 40 other people there, and we will likely go out with them tonight. Our bikes are in the shop getting a tune-up, as were are only days away from the Rockies!

Weather looks to be interesting - the frost line is down to 1000m, and the passes we go through are at 1300m and 1600m, so basically, we better be ready for some snow! Hopefully not too much - we've had such good weather so far. There is a new set of pictures up here, so take a look if you like!.

Sun May 5, 2002 - Salmon Arm (116km)

Today was quite a day! For some odd reason, Ian & I always seem to feel worse after taking a rest day. My knee was bothering me more than ever at the outset of the day, and my muscles were quite sore. Just part of our trainig, I guess! It was cloudy today, and in fact the weather decided to have some fun with us - it was raining for a while, when someone decided to get really nasty and the skies started dropping hail on us! That was an experience (grin)!

We've run into two other bikers now, and the one today took the cake. He was an older guy, who "Was waiting to die.". He was "put on this earth as punishment, and was free before, and will be free after". He has a kids mountain bike, piled with stuff, and a "The end is coming" cardboard sign on the back. This was his second time across the mountains! The first guy was back before Lytton, and he was tame in comparison. Just a little odd. So this got me thinking - the only people we have seen biking so far are crazies. So what does that make us? (grin). Kidding - but it was amusing for a moment.. :)

We took a break once we got to Salmon Arm, because it looked like rain was coming in - ironically, if we hadn't waited, we'd have made camp without getting wet! Because we did wait, we ended up hiding under a gas station roof waiting for it to end so we could go on and find our campsite. We never did find it - gave up and found a motel for that night. :)

Mon May 6, 2002 - Revelstoke (103km)

Made it! Revelstoke was my first real goal on this trip! I don't know why, but I guess it seemed like a town a decent way through B.C. that I could feel proud about making it to. So when we got here today, it was a natural high! This also meant that we started to see even more impressive mountains for the first time, as Revelstoke marks the boundry of the Coulmbia Mountains, which are higher than the Costal Range, but not as high as the Rockies.

Weather was kinda wet today - not really raining much, but the clouds were quite low overhead at points - and it was cold!! As long as we kept on biking, we were fine though. The Mountains continue to astound me - I could only imagine the sights I was missing today due to the low clouds. The main scary thing today was how close the frost line was (the altitude where snow remains show, and doesn't melt to become rain). It was onlt 100 meters above us at points! If it gets much colder, we'll be seeing some snow pretty soon! The mountains passes are coming up, and we have to get over them, so it better not snow!

The BIG debate right now is indeed if we will be able to go up into the passes. The frost line is forecasted to drop tomrrow, and the big problem is that we want to go to a place called Albert Canyon, which is halfway up Roger's Pass. The catch is that none of the campgrounds are open in Albert Canyon, so we'd have nowhere to stay! When we wake up tomorrow, we'll check the weather and see what we can do. Going to Golden straight from here isn't an option - 800m of climb to get up Roger's pass, and 153km to Golden through mountains simply won't work! We need an intermediate point. Tomorrow will tell!

Fri May 17, 2002 - Rest Day in Swift Current, Sask.

Sorry there haven't been any updates recently, but Ian & I have been busy biking and not doing much resting!! :)

Anyways, we are safely over the mountains (as you can guess if you look at the pictures), and are currently in the city of Swift Current, taking a break. You wouldn't believe this town! It is a reasonable size, and yet the following is true:

  • There are no bookstores in town at all.
  • No Internet Cafes. This isn't bad on its own, but as a local told me, there used to be such a cafe, but the "old people didn't like it" so it had to be closed down!
  • No bike stores! Nobody here bikes. Ian & I have yet to see a single person on a bike.
  • No Taco Bell. Not that this is a suprise either, but you wouldn't believe how much I want some Taco Bell, no matter what it does to my system (grin).

Other than this, it is quite beautiful - the weather is still holding out for us and it's nice and sunny and decently warm still! The winds have been against us here on the praries, which makes getting across them much slower than we were hoping (e.g. Medicine Hat --> Regina should have been 3-4 days, whereas it will now be 5-6 days). But we can always figure out a way to get to Waterloo on time (grin).

So I will fill in the missing days (and tons of missing details!) between here and the earlier posts as soon as I get some decent internet access!

Sat May 18, 2002 - Herbert or Bust...

WHEW. What a day. Just under 45km today, and we fought for every inch. Today seems to have been another day in the long against wind battle we have been fighting across the praries. The owner of the campground we were at in Swift Current told us that this long and hard wind from the SouthEast and East direction has never happened before - as with the rest of Canada, all weather rules are off this spring!!

So after facing the 40km/h wind with 60-70km/h gusts, Ian & I had to make a big decision. We are falling behind further and further every day, and the forecast for tomorrow is 50km/h winds, against us! Things don't seem to be changing. So after much debate and deliberation, we decided to be done with the praries, and fast forward to Winnipeg, via Greyhound.

It certainly wasn't an easy decision, but once made, things started to feel better very quickly. We started joking around again, and feeling overall, much happier. Skipping 750km is not an easy thing to do when your goal is crossing the whole country, but the factors were for it: winds, graduation, flat and boring landscape.

On a positive note, the people in Herbert (little farming town) are amazing!! They found cardboard for us, so we could box our bikes up, let us use thier garage to box them up, and let us set our tent up behind a gas station for the night. It was a nice break!

Sun May 19, 2002 - Winnipeg, here we come!

Wow - did you know it takes 12 hours to get from Herbert to Winnipeg by bus?? We didn't! We got up at 3:00am to catch the 4:15am bus - which never showed, to our freezing-butts-off disgust. So we decided to forget about the tent, and slept under the skies (it was already getting light!) in our sleeping bags, until the 8:37am bus. That one came (turns out the earlier one was never suposed to have come in the first place!).

The ride was mostly uneventful - except for two things:

  • The bus was swaying back and forth like mad. The same winds we had been fighting were stronger than ever today, and pushed the bus around quite a bit!
  • Since Ian & I had been biking for a few days now, adn hadn't had showers, I was a little concerned about our smell (didn't seem bad to me) offending others on the bus. Turns out there was NO need to worry about this! There was a guy sitting directly in front of us who had the WORST body odour I have ever been forced to experience - it literally almost brought tears to my eyes! Every time he got up to go to the washroom (every 30-45mins) a huge wave of it would come over me, and I'd have to hold my breath for a minute. Normally, I'll ignore something like this, but this was unforgivable!! I don't know how he did it.

So 12 hours later we arrived in Winnipeg, and enjoyed our release from the StinkHound bus. Cycled to Ian's relative's place, and crashed for the night.

Tue May 21, 2002 - 2 Rest Days in Winnipeg

Wow, more rest days? Yup! We didn't want to take two, but since no shops were open yesterday (Victoria Day) we had to wait till today to get my bike fixed and run some other errands.

Winnipeg is awesome, that is all I have to say (grin). We were toured around yesterday by Ian's relatives, who have been incredibly nice to us! We saw a number of the nicer areas of Winnipeg, and a got a sense of what the city was like. The neatest area of town is called "The Forks" and it's where the Red River and the Assiniboine River meet. They have set up a beautiful parkland area, with shops and a farmer's market style area. It's full of nice areas to relax, and nice areas to eat and shop. We saw the Red River Spillway as well, which saved the city's butt in 1997 with the floods. Winnnipeg seems alive and vibrant - a city with a sprit that Toronto seems to be missing. I don't know if it's the smaller community, or what, but it has been a delight to be able to see the sights here for a couple days! If you check the pictures out, there are a bunch from Winnipeg (unlike Calgary - oops!)

Tomorrow we will head out again and near the Ontario border in a day or two. After that, the hills of Northern Ontario beckon! We are looking forward to it after those winds in the praries!

Wed May 22, 2002 - West Hawk Lake (156km)

Heading out from Winnipeg, the first thing you notice is how FLAT it is. Not terribly far from Winnipeg trees start appearing in greater and greater numbers. The you see your first bit of rock - the good old Canadian Shield. By the time we reached West Hawk Lake (which is no more than 5km from the Ontario border), it feels like Ontario again. Rocks, hills, trees, flies, and mosquitos! It was almost a relief from the praries - after all, Ontario is my home, and coming "home" is always nice. We made good time today, but got a late start, so setting up the tent that night in the dark was fun! We saw a HUGE number of deer today - they were everywhere! They were also VERY spooked by our bikes. They would at the side of the road while cars and loud trucks passed by, but as soon as they saw or heard us on our bikes, they were off!

At the campsite, they were VERY tame - one came up to me, within a couple feet! I got a picture or two of it.. :)

Thu May 23, 2002 - Kenora (59km)

Today was, umm, interesting! We woke up in the morning, and it was almost a blizzard outside!! Despite the bad/cold weather all over Canada this spring, this is the first real snow we have seen on our trip. We basically decided to sit in our tent for a while and wait for it to stop. Around 2pm it was a little warmer, and not actually snowing, so we set out for a short trip to Kenora. We have hit the hills and rocks of Ontario at this point, and it's a nice relief from the wind!

On a good note, we had an interesting encounter with a truck today (no - not a crash :). As this truck came towards us, he honked three times, and gave us a big thumbs up! It was a small gesture, but it bosted my spirits quite a bit! It was a "TransX" truck, which appropriately enough does cross country shipping, and I'm sure he'd seen us before on the road, probably somewhere in the praries! It was neat to have a gesture like that from someone random (grin).

I popped another spoke on my rear wheel today, and I'm going to have to go to the bike shop in Kenora to get the wheel trued again! This seems to be my only problem with the bike...

Fri May 24, 2002 - Dryden, ON (133km)

Good thing I went to that bike shop in Kenora (Olympia Cycle)! I got to chatting with one of the guys there, and he told us to take Hwy 17 to Thunder Bay, instead of Hwy 71 as we had planned. We were going to take 71, as it seems like everyone else who bikes does this, but as the guy in the store said: "People take that route because guide books tell them to do so. The problem is, that information is 10-15 years old". The route we are on has better paved roads (very important when biking), better scenery (apparently), and is somewhat shorter. So basically, why not?

So we embarked on our trip to Dryden, which ended up being a somewhat stinky town (they have a huge pulp & paper plant there). The road to Dryden was by far the best road we have been on in Canada!! So much for Ontario having the worst roads! I guess the Hwy 71 route is much worse than the one we are on.. :)

People are still honking at us (in a friendly way, not the get-out-of-may-way annoyed honk) as we bike along. It's become reflexive - hear a honk, lift a hand and wave at the car/truck. I guess they recognize us from passing us previously or something, but we don't often recognize them!

Sat May 25, 2002 - Igance (115km)

The roads are not quite as nice as before Dryden, but they are still pretty well paved. The thing that strikes me about Northern Ontario is the amount of water!! There are lakes EVERYWHERE, and streams and marshes everywhere else. After the bone dry sections of the praries, this is a welcome relief!

We ran into a group of 6 people from Nova Scotia today, who are driving across the country. They have been at it for 6 days, compared to us at just under a month (grin). I think they thought we were a ltitle crazy! :)

Sun May 26, 2002 - 20km East of Upsala (128km)

Wiiiiindy!! But this time in the right direction, finally! This is only the second time this trip we have had the wind at our backs, and man, it was fun! We blew straight to Upsala today, setting a record for average speed so far on our trip (26.6km/h). We had an amazing day, sunny, and speedy! What more could we ask for!!

One interesting event: I was biking somewhat ahead of Ian, when a truck flashed his lights at us. I did my reflexive wave of the hand, but he didn't follow the normal routine - this time he was pointing quite intently to my right. I didn't quite know what to make of this - what did he mean?? Perhaps there was a wide load truck coming, and I should move over as far over to the edge of the shoulder as I could? I don't know.

So I slowed down a bit and pulled up alongside Ian. I started describing what the trucker had done, when over Ian's shoulder I spot a black bear! It is standing on a hill no more than 20-30 feet from us, an looking at us quite curiously (again - wildlife doesn't seem to know what to do about bikes). I say something like "Holy Crap! Bear!", and Ian turns to see it. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of the bear, as I didn't really want to stop and pull my camera out (grin). We were going at a good speed at the time, so there was no worry about it coming after us, but that was by far the closest I have ever been to a wild bear!

Mon May 27, 2002 - Thunder Bay (122km)

We made it! Thunder Bay has a population of 117,000 people, but it feels much larger. The ride today was decent - pretty hilly!! The BIG hills of the north shore of Lake Superior are yet to come, but the terrain is starting to get more interesting as we go along. We stopped at Kakabeka Falls (cutely titled "Niagara of the North") which is a pretty big waterfall near Thunder Bay. I think this is one of the first touristy things we have done, outside of rest days!

We had steak at The Keg for dinner - I had to mention this because I think it was one of the best meals I have ever had!! The combination of good steak and LOTS of excercise made the meal out of this world! Another hidden advantage to cycling across Canada - food tastes better :).

We saw Star Wars Episode II as well - not a good choice!! Who came up with that dialog?? We are staying in a college eesidence, which is a hostel in the summer - kinda funny to be back in res again! Tomorrow is a rest day, and then we are headed to Sault Ste. Marie!

Wed May 29, 2002 - Nipigon (110km)

On the road again - the rest day was good as usual, and there was only one hitch in our plans for today. I decided to get my rear wheel rebuilt, after picking it up yesterday and being told "it was in bad shape". Fortunately, this only takes about 1.5 hours of work! So I got up late (since the bike store only opens at 10pm) and got my bike there to be repaired. All went well, and I'm happy that I won't be breaking spokes every 100km anymore (they take about 20-30mins to repair, each time it happens).

So we got a late start, around 12:30-1:00, but still made it to Nipigon before dark! The ride was good, the hills weren't very big yet, and the views were quite good. There is a monument to Terry Fox just north of Thunder Bay (this is how far he made it on his cross Canada run) which is very impressive, and has an awesome view! Pictures forthcoming as usual.. :) Other than that, some more wildlife - a beaver at our campsite, and lots of bugs (grin).

Thu May 30, 2002 - Terrace Bay (108km)

The hills of the North Shore of Superior have started, and some of them are quite big, that's for sure! I'd love to say that the scenery is amazing up here, but today was full of fog & rain, so we couldn't see too much!! We got to another late start today, as it was pouring when we woke up at 6am, so we waited until 10am when it had stopped. There were two hills of note - the first one is just outside the Indian Reserve of Pays Plat. It was a 4km uphill, follwed by a 7km downhill! Very, very fun! The downhill was a little scary (but exhilarating) though - because of the fog, we couldn't see much further than 30-50 feet in front of us! Just around the corner from this hill was another 3km climb - more fun! The clouds started to clear around Schrieber (near the end of our day) and we got a nice sunny view to end the day off (before the fog closed in again towards Terrace Bay). A good day!

Fri May 31, 2002 - 40km West of White River (133km)

The hills started getting pretty serious today - from Terrace Bay to Marathon was very hilly - constant up and down, through beautiful river valleys, and random hills (the people who built the Trans-Canada Highway seem to like having it climb the highest hills around - there has been a number of times that they just seem to purposly aim at a hill that is higher than the ones around it!). We were getting pretty tired by the time we had done 80km (near Marathon). Fortunately for us, the terrain leveled out a bit after that.

Around 100km, I stopped for a bit to wait for Ian, and after not having moved for a while, I started getting swarmed by black flies!! We had entered major black fly territory, and I hadn't realized it. So we quickly got moving again! I learned a few things:

  • Black Flies can't fly 30km/h. If you go 30km/h or faster, you will not be bothered by them.
  • At 20km/h, they can fly alongside you, and a swarm will slowly build as you go along.
  • I can bike for a lot longer, at a higher speed than I ever thought I was capable of!

Campsite was makeshift - at a motel/cabin resort thingy, with no real camp facilities! Cheaper than normal though.. :)

Sat Jun 1, 2002 - Wawa, or Bust! (128km)

Wawa. I don't know why, but the name of the town just seems funny to me (no offence to the 4,500 people who live there!). The terrain remained quite flat today, until we got near Wawa, and the black flies were not nearly as bad, thank goodness! One of the big things today was noticing the extensive forest fire damage from wildfires in 1999. The damage went for quite a long ways, and we were only on the southern edge of one of the fires... We also saw a moose today!!! I've been waiting for a long time to catch sight of one. It was on the side of the road, completely ignoring loud trucks and cars, but again, when it saw us (or heard us) it took off quite quickly.

We also went through White River, which is where the bear that started Winne-The-Pooh was sold from. The campsite tonight was one of the best we have been in, in terms of facilties and beauty (the only campsite in Wawa).

Sun Jun 2, 2002 - Montreal River (114km)

All I can say is Wow!. We went through Lake Superior Provincial Park today, and it provided what I found to be the most beautiful scenery yet! The Rockies were amazing in their own way, but for pure beauty, some of the bays in the park had them beat. Just gorgeous territory, that's all I can say!! We saw a lot of wildlife today - more moose, a fox, some herons, and the usual assortment of birds.. :).

I had a minor mishap today - my bike shoes decided that they didn't want to come out of their clips on the bike, so I ended up circling around a rest stop 4-5 times complaining to Ian that I couldn't detach myself from the bike!! I actually ended up undoing my shoe and taking my foot out so that I could stop moving in cirles. Ian was laughing very hard through the whole process (grin).

Very, very hilly... I was pretty tired by the end of the day, but it was well worth it for the sights. I have some nice panoramic shots, but I won't be able to get them up until I get back home.

Mon Jun 3, 2002 - Sault Ste. Marie (122km)

Ahhhhh... What a trip! The stretch we just completed has been referred to on other logs as one of the hardest parts of the cross Canada trek. I didn't find it that bad, to be honest. To be straight - it was hard physically, compared to many other areas we've been through, but the rewards have been much, much greater. Awesome views, and great hills to have fun on.

One big change is there are now leaves on the trees!! I know this is nothing big to Southern Ontario people, but we haven't seen any leaves on trees since we left Vancouver in April! Wawa had no leaves, but as we biked further south, it seemed like the trees were sprouting more and more! Nice to see green again.

There is a big hill outside of The Soo, called "1 Mile Hill". It is, well, 1 mile long (grin).. Pretty steep hill! 100m elevation gain in that space. In total for the past two days, we are over 1,800 meters climbed! As high as Kicking Horse Pass back in B.C. Go figure!

We are staying at a friend's house in the Soo, and will be taking a rest day tomorrow. After this, only 5-7 days until we are home for Graduation!

Tue Jun 4, 2002 - Rest Day

My thanks go to the Kerr family for being amazing hosts to Ian & I for our stay in Sault Ste. Marie! We had an amazing time, and it was a great chance to rest and relax.

Mr. Kerr took us over to the U.S. side, and we got to see the Soo Locks in operation, moving 1000ft boats between the lakes. We also were treated to some very amazing fudge - if you're ever in the Soo, go get some fudge (grin). Gotta love being able to eat anything and still lose weight! After the locks, we went to the Bushplane Museum, back in the Ontario side. This museum is quite good! It had been put together pretty recently, but the wealth of information and displays is quite respectable. Sault Ste. Marie looked like quite a nice town!

Thanks to the guys, who waited patiently for my pictures to upload in an Internet Cafe - which took forever, for some reason... The funny thing about the internet cafe, was running into the three guys from Newfoundland who are biking across canada! We heard about these guys back in Golden B.C., but they have made some amazing time to be here already!! I couldn't believe they caught up to us! I chatted with them VERY briefly, as they were cold and wet, and hungry, and I know how that can be (grin).

Wed Jun 5, 2002 - Spragge (165.75km)

Our longest day yet!! We left the Soo, hoping to make Iron Bridge, or Blind River. Since they day had been going so well, we decided to push a little further and we made it to Spragge! The day was very good, a lot of good cycling, and some good scenery as well.

Today I perfected the "zone", where you become one with the bicycle. Now before you start calling me mad, and thinking I have spent to much time on the bike, hear me out (grin). After this much cycling, you know the bike well, and you don't need to concentrate on the actual pedalling at all - you just kind of move along, with your concentration elsewhere, able to think about what you want, and enjoy the scenery as much as you want. It makes the cycling seem effortless - you don't even notice the effort going into making the bike move. The miles fly by when you are in the "zone". Today I spent a lot of time in the zone - the day just flew by!

The roads in Ontario remain quite nice, with decent shoulders for us to ride on. Since it is now getting to be summer time, that of course means constrution time!! The last 20km on our route to Spragge were under heavy constuction - they had milled the road (you know - when they scrape away part of the road, and leave those lines behind that are annoying to drive on). Needless to say, this is quite hard to bike on - the vibrations go straight to your hands and butt, and everything goes numb. You fight for control of the bike, as different tires follow different grooves in the road. But in a month, anyone following this route should love the road here!!

Thu Jun 6, 2002 - 10km S of Little Current (131km)

When we woke up, Ian saw the three guys from Newfoundland who are doing the same trip as us, bike by our campsite! Man those guys move! They came from Wawa to the Soo in one day (over 200km) and then didn't even take a rest day! Kudos to them for moving as fast as they do! The bugs were terrible this morning, so it was in our best interests to get moving as fast as possible.

Forutnately, the construction ended about 2km after the campsite, so no more sliced up roads! The terrain was quite nice today - I'm still adjusting to everything being nice and green, so it is quite pretty. To my suprise, we caught up with the Newfoundland guys in Massey (40km from our start), and chatted with them a bit - they said they were moving slowly because of the headwind. They were staying in hotels (not even motels!) every night, and had a decent amount less gear than we did - that would get expensive!! Anyways, they took off again, and we stuck around for 20 mins taking a break.

Once again, to our suprise, we caught up with them! We weren't trying to go fast, but they seemed to be going pretty slow - perhaps they needed a rest day (grin). So Ian & I decided to have some fun with them - after hanging around behind them for a while, we sped past them, knowing that we had to turn off the Trans Canada in a few kilometers to head down to Manitoulin Island. We probably annoyed them (yes, we were being annoying - I'll admit it!). I told them about the GREAT ice cream in Espanola, but they didn't stop - probabaly still annoyed (grin).

Speaking of the ice cream - if you ever go to the intersection of Hwy 6 and Hwy 17, there is a shop called the "North West Trading Company" and they have ice cream that is honestly the best I have ever had! It's just outside the town of Espanola. Worth the stop 100%!!

The rest of the ride was more challenging than we had epxected - lots of hills ans very curvy roads on the road down to Manitoulin! But we made it, even though it was getting dark by the time we hit camp. 2km before camp, we ran into another 2 people who were going to bike from Midland to B.C.. I wish them luck! They seemed unprepared - having bought the cheapest mountain biked from Canadian Tire, and having barely any gear. They were surviving by going into every town with a Canadian Tire and getting their bikes repaired (many things were breaking already, even though they had just started out). They were quite nice people though, and we chatted with them about each others trips for quite a while.

Fri Jun 7, 2002 - Tobermory (57km)

With an exceptional start, we are off! The extremely nice people that were cottaging in an RV next to our campsite offered us coffee and pancakes for breakfast this morning! So we sat with them and chatted, and ate our special treat of a meal. They were from Sudbury, and used the campsite as a semi-permanent cottage. They had a dog that Ian loved - a terrier-lab mix, which was VERY intelligent, and quite nice!

Today was intended to be a bit of a rest day, since we only had to make it to the ferry on the south end of the island, and then we'd camp in Tobermory, just off the ferry. The wind had other plans for us, as usual! We faced a stiff headwind the whole way, and it was a battle to make it to the ferry docks in time to catch the ferry! The cows on the island seem to love us, and had some fun chasing us! I passed by a group of them, and then when Ian did, they started running after us!! I don't know why, or what they wanted, but they follwed us as long as they could (fence in the way) and then just stood there in the corner looking at us mournfully. There is a little video clip here if you like.

Sat Jun 8, 2002 - Owen Sound (112km)

A wet start this morning - the rain was splattering on and off, but mostly off. We got up at a decent time, very hungry and trying not to get wet - knowing from the weather report that the further south we got, the less chance of rain there would be!

We faced a headwind for pretty much the whole day today, so making the distance we did was a good thing. By making Owen Sound, it is possible to make it home in one more day! The trip itself was pretty - I can't believe how GREEN everything is! Either I'm not used to it anymore, or this spring has been amazing for growth, or both, but everything seems to be far greener than usual. The roads today were some of the yuckier ones we've had, with many cracks and bumps, but there were good shoulders to ride on at least!

We were headed for a campsite just south of Owen Sound, but got our plans changed for the better. We stopped in a gas station so I could get some milk, and I got chatting with the cashier/wife of the owner. I told her that I used to have family that lived in the area, and she asked some questions about them. She then asked Ian where we were going tonight, and we told her to a campsite just down the road. She told us we could just set up our tent on the land next to the station, or near a restaurant across the street they owned as well! Even offered us showers if we wanted them! Quite nice! So we saved some coin on a campground tonight, and set our tent up next to the restaurant.

Sun Jun 9, 2002 - Mississauga!! (166km)

"Home for a Rest" comes to mind! Yes, Ian & I have made it back home for graduation & relaxation! The trip today was a huge adrenaline rush for me - We started the day just outside Owen Sound, where my grandparents used to live. This means that the route we took back to Mississauga is one that I have been on in a car countless times with my parents - so it was really neat to bike it home! It was also awesome to have finally reversed the 5 hour plane flight back in april, and to come rolling up to my front door under my own power. If the sense of accomplishment is this big from the first half of the trip, I can only imagine what I'll feel like when I finish!

We took Hwy 10 down from Owen Sound, and as it turns out, went near the highest point of land in Southern Ontario - near Dundalk. So the first 50km today was somewhat uphill, and there was a little wind in our faces, which I found ok, as it cooled me off (hot day!), but Ian wasn't much for. After that, we sailed! Downhill and the wind became a tailwind that pushed us straight to Mississauga. The ride was great, and it was quite the way to finish of the first "half"!

Tue Jun 11, 2002 - Oh boy!

Well, I know I'm not biking, but I had a slight experience today that I felt I should share... An ironic one, would be the best way to put it, actually. I've been kind of paranoid about having my stuff stolen during the bike trip, so I never let my bag with my camera, etc, out of my sight during the past few weeks.

So.... Today I got to M.E.C. in Toronto, and park the car underneath the building. When I finish up at the store, and return to the car, it has been broken into, and ransacked. My digital camera is no more, and Jen's school bag that took her through University is gone as well. They popped the lock open, took the camera from under my seat, and Jen's bag from my trunk. Gone! While they were at it, they did 2-3 others cars in the parking lot as well (so the cop I was talking to later told me). Smooth, professional job. So somewhere on the black market is a camera that stamps every picture with my name!

Kinda sucky, to say the least!! I'm in the middle of dealing with insurance, and all I can say is that I hope to have a camera to use before I head out for the second half of the trip! On the bright side, no damage was done to the car, and everything (and everyone) else is ok.

Sun Jun 23, 2002 - On the road again!

Well, I'm pleased to say that we are once again heading out! Tomorrow (Monday), we will start the 2nd half of our trip, yay!! :) Everything is set - my camera is back, and the wheels will shortly roll.. See ya from the road!

Mon Jun 24, 2002 - Coburg (100km)

Ahhh.... Feels very good to be on the road again! For once in my life, I felt like I hadn't forgotten anything! I thought I actually had brought everything I needed with me! Of course, I was quite wrong... I forgot: Water bottles, helmet (!), and my organizer (which is being used to record trip distances and all the descriptions for the photos). The helmet bothered me the most - I felt naked riding without it!

In any case, Ian & I were off, headed to possibly Trenton, 140km away, where Holly's parents awaited. The day was hot & humid, and since we had been off for two weeks, we figured we probably shouldn't actually go that far, but rather cut the distance in half and end up in Port Hope. We stopped in Oshawa to get some water bottles for me, and a helmet. I am quite happy with the new helmet, it's much more comfortable than my old one! The random occurrence of the day was running into my friend Shauna, in Bowmanville! She happened to be waiting for a light to turn green on a sidewalk, at the same time that we were passing though! So she invited us to her house for a little, and we stopped for about an hour. Odd, running into people you know that you don't expect to see!

The rest of the day was good - we ended up in Coburg, because we couldn't find anywhere to camp. Tomorrow will be a short day to Trenton!

Tue Jun 25, 2002 - Trenton (55km)

Oh boy - it was HOT today. I don't know what it was, but between dehydration, allergies, and just being so hot, Ian & I both had our hardest day yet! We only had to go 55km to Trenton, but it took us most of the day, with plenty of rest stops and a LOT of ice cream. I managed to double dose my allergy pill, which I think accounted for the way I felt (out of it).

Upon arrival at the White's, the day took a large turn for the better. We were treated to cool drinks, and a great dinner (Partridge Berry pies are awesome!!). We also got a good tour of Trenton, as well as the base there! You'll see some pictures of one of the dogs, Tess, having fun in the bay on the base. Thanks to Mr. & Mrs. White for their generousity!

Wed Jun 26, 2002 - Kingston (103km)

Much better! It was pretty hot today as well, but we fared much better - in fact we were fine! I'll just knock yesterday down to overdosing on allergy pills (grin). It was cloudy for the first part of the day (which helped), and raining slightly. I have never been so happy in the rain! It was all we needed to cool off, and the warm/humid weather kept it from being too cold. After an extended lunch at Tim Horton's, we continued to Kingston, making it there by about 4pm. Ian & I gave ourselves a tour around Queens, and discovered what so many others have - it is beautiful! It puts many other campuses to shame...

Shortly after, I got ahold of Virginia, and we headed out for some dinner. She showed us all around Kingston (very pretty town - check out the pic of the nicest looking "Macs" convenience store I have ever seen). After a beer or two at a local Irish Pub, we headed for bed. Another great night, thanks Virginia!

Thu Jun 27, 2002 - Ottawa! (167km)

What a great day!! We left Kingston early (8:15), to try and beat some of the heat. I had looked over the map to see how far we'd be biking today, and it looked to be about 140km. We quickly found out I was wrong - the signs on the road indicated 170-180km! Well, a little long for a hot day like today (30-32 degrees C), but it should still be possible. It was hot, and it was long - I have started to carry a LOT of water with me, and I'm using huge amounts. 5-7 litres a day, while biking, not including random drinks along the way!

I think we stopped for ice cream something like 3 times - it was such a good way to cool down! That and dumping water on my head :). But seriously, the trip was beautiful - Ontario is so very green right now, and everything looks wonderful! The route we took followed the Rideau Canal, but oddly, we only saw it for maybe 5km of our entire trip! The best part of the day was running away from a thunderstorm. Ian turns to me and says "I think we can make it!", referring to the town of Smith's Falls, which was about 25km distant. The lightning was flashing ominously, and the storm was coming at us from behind, with the wind pushing it towards us. So off we went! Pedalling like mad, keeping a 35km/h average, and arriving just in time to miss the storm! Woohoo!

When we got closer to Ottawa, we were told it had rained most of the day there - we had only seen 20 mins of rain (to our dismay - we wanted to get wet to cool down). Other than the dog attack (read Ian's entry), a very good day! I must say Ian kept his cool when that dog chased us - all he said to me was "Go - Go!" in a cool, collected (but strong) voice. The adrenaline rush lasted for another 5-10km after that - it was a great boost! :)

Sun Jun 30, 2002 - Rest Days in Ottawa

Another amazing time in another Canadian city! Sarah showed us all around town, and we got to see a lot of neat things! Canada Day once again proved to be a riot - we ran into Margaret, Laura, Cecelia, and Katherine, and spent most of the day with them. The fireworks were awesome - I took something like 100 photos of them - the ones that are left are my "choice" selections.. :). Getting out of downtown after the fireworks was MADNESS. I recommend checking this movie out to see what it was like!

On a biking note - I was defintely out of shape after the 2 weeks off. The day after arriving in Ottawa, I could barely walk!! I was quite sore. By the 3rd day, I was ready to bike again, but I'm glad we had a few days off here!

Tue Jul 2, 2002 - Final Rest Day in Ottawa!

Today was originally going to be our departure date from Ottawa, but as the weather forecast was calling for 36 degree temperatures, we decided to stick around one more day. Unfortuantely, when we checked the forecast today, tomorrow is not going to be any better! We really have to get moving though, so we are planning on getting up and leaving by 5am tomorrow (very few people up here believe that we can do this, I wonder why?!!? :)

We lazed around at Sarah's place all day, and then went to Margaret's for the evening/night. Caught up with each other, stayed up too late chatting (cause we couldn't fall asleep) and set my alarm for 4:20, 4:25, and 4:30am (grin).

Wed Jul 3, 2002 - Vouager Prov. Park (120km)

After staying at Margaret's place (thanks Margaret!!) for our final night in Ottawa, we got up at the horrible hour of 4:45am, and were on the road by 5:15am. Whew! The temperature is headed for 35 today, so we needed to get as much biking done in the morning as possible. We made 65km by 10am, and found a beautiful park to stop at. We set up our tent and read/slept for 8 hours until 6pm, when the sun started to go down, and the temperature had dropped to 34. My GOD it's hot today!! This is the hottest I have ever excercised in. I've been doing my best to not think about smog warnings on days like this. Also thinking about being out east in the Maritimes helps - I can't wait!

We made it to our destination at 9pm, to find that the nearest campsite was 20km further down the road! This wasn't really a bad thing - this way tomorrow will be a shorter day, and since it is somewhat late at this point, it's decently "cool" (I use that word very loosely). So we put our lights on, and went the extra 20km, and set up our tent in the dark, with many, many bugs to keep us company (grin). Ian took an ice cold shower (no choice - no hot water!), I opted out, but it was a hard call - believe me!

The campsite was quite busy - gone are the days when we are some of the only people using the campsites! Gone too are the clean washrooms.. :)

Thu Jul 4, 2002 - Montréal (109km)

Today was a much cooler day than yesterday, thank god! By much cooler, I mean it was only 30 instead of 35! As we discovered, we can sucessfully bike in 30 degree weather without having to stop for long periods of time, but 35, as yesterday proved, is too much!

The trip to Montréal was a quick one - it was only about 60km to get on the island. The terrain was mostly flat, with a few gentle hills. We acted on an idea sugessted to us in Trenton, and went to the grocery store to get a pre-made meal for lunch. Great idea! Good food, and really cheap.. We'll have to keep doing that!

Well, since we are now in the land of french, a couple of things have changed. EVERYONE looks at my bank card (President's Choice Financial) with a highly confused look, whereupon I must immedietly repeat "Interac, Interac" until they finally understand. The obviously don't have PC out here, and my card just throws everyone for a loop! It's kinf of amusing.. :) The other main change is that I can no longer read. Well, I can read most of the signs, but I can't pick up a newspaper in Tim Hortons and catch up on world events - I have to browse the pictures, and get the general gist of the article with my rudimentary grade 9 french. It's pretty fun! I asked someone today how to tell people I want my food "to go".. It's "pour emporter". Good thing to know (grin)!

We ended staying at Ian's ex-co-worker's sister's place (got that?). It's a twisted story, involving a few contacts not working out, but once again, people's hospitality saves us!

Fri Jul 5, 2002 - Rest in Montréal

Well, we were just off for 5 days, but we have to stop and see Montréal! I love this town! The bike paths here are amazing (not as good as Calgary's, but still quite good) and the atmosphere is by far the best. Such a lively town - always something happening!

I got my rear wheel rebuilt again (it started self destructing in a serious way), and lucked out with the bike shop - ABC Cycle is the place to go if you need anything in Montreal. Very knowledgeable, very competent. I was highly impressed.

Tomorrow we are off to enter what I consider "the eastern half" of the country. I've only been past Montréal once, as far as I remember! Fun stuff!

Sat Jul 6, 2002 - St. Barthelemy (128km)

Rest day syndrome set in today, and my muscles aren't feeling the best. I'll never figure out why I feel worse after resting? Perhaps more stretching is in order.. :) Anyways, today was a decent day overall - it wasn't too hot for once!! The temperature has cooled off, and the sky was overcast so we didn't have to deal with the direct sun. Quebec continues to be wonderful for bike paths - almost every road we have been travelling on has a nice wide shoulder made for biking on. If not that, than a small shoulder. Make me happy!

One of the many things you see in Quèbec is the number of MASSIVE churches. Every town has a large chruch, no matter how small the town. Nice churches, I'm sure! The route we took brought us up the Richelieu river (on Hwy 133). This was the first time I have seen a well used river! There were houses all along the river - making great use of the waterfront property. This is in contrast to the northeast shore of Lake Ontario, which is totally unused outside of towns. We took a ferry across the St. Lawrence river, and saw some people having fun flying around in hanglider/fan contraptions (pictures!).

Eventually arriving at a campsite in St. Barthelemy, we discover that campgrounds in Quebec are different than the rest of the country. They are resort style! With many, many sites, and lots of things to do - dancing, swimming, movies, volleyball, whatever you want! Good for vacations, but not good for us, who just want to sleep! We also ran into a woman who was biking from Montreal --> Quebec City for a vacation - first time taking such a trip.

Sun Jul 7, 2002 - Portneuf (130km)

Another day, another 130km! Pretty uneventful day today, to be honest! We ended up in another "resort" campground in the town of Portneuf - only about 60km away from Quebec City. We didn't feel up to going all the way today, but figured we may as well go the majority of the way. We ran into our bicyclist friend at a rest stop, but that was the last we saw of her. She wasn't planning on going as far as we were today. There are a lot of cyclists on the roads here though! Ian & I are loving the nice shoulders on the roads. Oh - less and less people speak english - it's a good thing my fast-food french is coming along (grin)!

Mon Jul 8, 2002 - Québec

It's a good thing we only had 60km to go today. When I woke up, my allergies were killing me! I don't know why, because the night before, they had been better than they had for a while. It was a VERY hazy day - looked like it was very hot, and very humid. It was humid, but it didn't seem to be all that hot! I was confused why it was so hazy and humid. We were both having a bit of a hard time. We stopped at a grocery store and I noticed a headline in a newspaper: "QUEBEC FUMEE". After scanning the article with my limited french, I could tell there were some serious forest fires going on, and the reason for all the haze we were in was the smoke trail! Ahh! It all made sense suddenly! The haze was thick enough we couldn't see across the river.

Otherwise, we had a big debate about where to stay that night, and ended up going to Laval University to try and find a room in residence. This worked out quite well, and sets us up for a rest day tomorrow!

Tue Jul 9, 2002 - Rest Day in Quebec

Last night we went and saw Men In Black II, which turned out ot be ok, but not nearly as good as the original. It took us a while to make sure the movie was going to be in english! This morning, after waking up and listening to 4 (yes FOUR) absolutely hilarious messages on my voice mail that were left by Downs the previous night (thanks Downs - they were truely funny!), Ian and I got on our way to downtown to be tourists once again! We both have seen Quebec City a few times, so we didn't do too much but walk around and see the sights. Finding food in Quebec for cheap prices is hard! Back to Laval for some bike repair, and sleep.

Wed Jul 10, 2002 - St. Jean-Port-Joli (118km)

What a day!! Today was my best day of the trip, as of yet. Everything was great, and it all added up to make a great day! For starters, my body was very happy bicycling. I felt great all day, and no muscle soreness! We also had a few interesting encounters.

First: The Quebec bridge is a rickety structure that scares me! I don't know who designed it, but I see why it was the worst engineering accident around. It was scary to be on - felt very unsafe (hence the "no trucks" sign before the bridge). It was good to be off the thing!

Second: Witnessing, and almost causing a traffic accident. Fortunately nobody was hurt! Two bad drivers combine to make an accident, basically. I was going through a green light, and a pick-up truck was coming the other way, wanting to turn left. He had a red left turn light, but this didn't stop him! He noticed me, and stopped in the middle of the opposite lane (my lane). Ian follwed through behind me, and the truck still sat there, illegally in the middle of the intersection. A white civic in our lane then decided to hit the truck! I don't know how he didn't see the truck, but he tried to stop in time, but didn't! I think both of them didn't see us, and the civic thought the truck would be through the intersection before we got there... Man! Ian & I stuck around until the cops showed up, and gave our statement (which ended up being "the light was green").

Third: We ran into a guy who is walking from Oshawa to P.E.I. in protest of foster care file security. He said he was walking 10-18hours a day! Man.. That's a lot of time!

Fourth: The campsite at St. Jean-Port-Joli is a dream. It is by far the best site we have been at, and we both loved it a LOT! Too bad we have to move on...

Thu Jul 11, 2002 - Riviere-Du-Loup (96km)

A short day in terms of distance, but another good one! We met up with my parents, who brought us juice and cookies! They are on thier own trip, exploring the maritimes. They told us that in a 30km stretch of road, they passed 14 diffreent sets of cyclists before finding us! Lots of people cycling around now - quite the contrast from the first half of the trip!

The scenery is once again, beautiful! I now have a top three in terms of sights: the Rockies, North Shore of Lake Superior, and the St. Lawrence, around Riviere-Du-Loup. It is really, really beautiful here!! The river is getting very wide now - wide enough that t's hard to comprehend how wide it is. You can see the hills (mountains!) on the other side, but the shore is too distant (20-30km away). The bike shoulder vanished on the road we were on, unfortunately - they haven't built it out this far.

We decided to take a shorter day today, as there are no convient campsites within biking distance after Riviere-Du-Loup. The site we piked was funny! All gravel, but they had these circular patches of soft grass to set tents on. We ended up having a really good chat with two other pairs of cyclists who stayed at the same site! One pair (Lisa & Werner) were biking from Montreal, around the Hwy 132 loop (Gaspé penninsula) and back. The other pair (David & Kathy) were doing the cross canada trip, same as us! They were from the north shore of St. Lawrence, somewhere. Nice people - we had a fun couple of hours swapping stories & trading tips and tricks.

Fri Jul 12, 2002 - Sayabec (190km!!)

We woke up to a strong wind, that appeared to be going in the exact right direction! So after taking the tent down, eating breakfast and saying goodbye to our new friends, we set out. Quickly determining that the wind was in the exact right direction! Perect 100% tailwind! Whoo hoo!!! So we went 190km, our longest day by far. The day can be broken in two: the first 140km, and the remaining 50km. The fist 140km included the following:

  • Fast, faster, fastest!!! Wow! This one stretch of road, I was crusing at 45-50km/h without any effort, and then there was a hill downwards at a 9% grade. I hit 84km/h!! On my bike! Oh my god, what a rush!! It was insane, it was fast, and it was easily one of the most exciting moments of this trip! That speed is crazy - I don't think I want to go any faster than that - let alone do that speed again!
  • Good and bad roads. So many potholes that you simply can't avoid them! Our wheels took some punishment that they didn't need.
  • Hitting 100km at 1:59pm - th earliest we have done such a thing (old record was 2:08pm, the day we went to Wawa).
  • A pair of cyclists that kept up to us, despite having just started out from Quebec City! The wind helped, I'm sure. They kept popping up after we had been taking rest breaks for 30mins or so.. :)

The second half was just as fun, but much different. Ian called it an "adventure":

  • Persuading Ian that we should go further than 140km, despite the fact that the nearest campsite was another 40km away.
  • The weather turning to rain and cold! We got soaking wet! We found a not-very-nice looking campsite 20km in, but figured we'd keep going since we were wet already.
  • The campsite being 10km further away than I thought! We were tired, and at 185km when I figured this out. Getting to the campsite involved climbing a massive hill that we didn't want to climb. Oh well, we did anyways!

The guy who owned the campiste asks "Where did you come from?". We reply "Riviere-Du-Loup". With eyes wide, he replies: "On your bike?!!? Go to sleep!!!!". Made me feel good (grin).

Sat Jul 13, 2002 - Campbellton, New Brunswick (136km)

After our 190km day, we figured that sleeping in was a good idea. After getting up at 10:00 or so, we decided that we pretty much had to go to New Brunswick, which should be about 100-110km away. This was a little scary, after having done the 190km trek the previous day! But off we set. Fir the first bit, I had some stiffness to work out - Ian was going fast though. After that, we swapped. For some odd reason, my legs felt great. I felt like a well-oiled machine, working at peak efficiency. Ian told me I was setting a mean pace (grin). The Matepedia River (which Hwy 132 follows) was very beautiful, and would have been better if it wasn't raining! It rained ALL day long - despite the breaks in the clouds that allowed us to see the sun for half of the day. The area was pretty deserted, just the highway, trees, and the river. Many, many fisherman standing in the river, and in canoes. Ian commented that they must be dedicated to be out there! I turned around and commented that they must be looking up at us and saying the same thing.

After 114km, we reached New Brunswick, and a new time zone (grin). Another 20km brought us to a stop for the night in Campbellton. We went to Subway for dinner, and I picked up a newspaper. It was so good to be able to read it once again!! There is still quite a bit of french, but english is once again everywhere.

Sun Jul 14, 2002 - Dalhousie (30km)

A short day, and a prelude to an even shorter one. Today we didn't want to go far, and tomorrow we will take a rest day! We are in a campsite in Dalhousie, providing you all our stories from the past week or so! The campsite is really nice, and there is plenty to do here! We had fun looking at the tides coming in when we got here - they move pretty quick! The tide comes up at least 6-8 feet, we figure. I can't upload pictures right now, because the picture storing site is down :(, but when they do get there, you will see the beach, with the tide-eroded rocks. Well, it's dinnertime, and my stomach is beckoning!

Tue Jul 23, 2002 - Stuck in New Glasgow, NS...

Quick note - no internet access here!! (limited to 10 mins).. We have made it to Nova Scotia, and when we get some real internet access, we will post more! However, we are currently stuck here because my pedal shaft broke completely in half!!!!! Go figure.. Anyways, a replacement is being shipped from the states (there are no bike shopes anywhere close to us that can help), so we should be back on the road tomorrow (Wednesday), or Thursday..

Otherwise, everything is going quite well!! We are enjoying our "rest days" mostly in the pool at the campsite, and I'm having fun doing the occasional one-legged bike ride into town! I hope everyone back home is well!

One more note: We have decided to not go to Halifax, nor do the Cabot Trail (running out of time). On the other hand, we are now going to go all the way around Newfoundland (which we had previously cancelled).. Whoo hoo!

Fri Jul 26, 2002 - On the move again.. :)

Hi! We are in the middle of nowhere (Glendale, NS) and we found internet! Anyways, just wanted to let everyone know that my pedal shaft came in yesterday, and we are well on our way to Newfoundland.. We will be taking the ferry to Port Aux Basques tomorrow! We will update when we find some real internet (and we aren't in the middle of biking somewhere.. :)

Fri Aug 9, 2002 - DONE!

Yes, we have finished our trip! We arrived in St John's on Sunday evening! I'm on my way home now, will be back by the 10th, and will post all the missing info/pics.. Lotsa pics waiting to be posted.. :)

See ya all soon!!

Website contents © Jeff Zakrzewski and Ian Laidlaw.
Graphics By Ryan MacLachlan
Sat Aug 8, 2020 - 1:25:27 am ET
You are viewer 414929