June 10th & 11th: East coast arrival!
I am in NEW BRUNSWICK, is it just me or is that a little bit ridiculous. I have ridden a bike from BC to NB; I keep expecting a little clown to jump out from behind a building, smack me upside the head and tell me to wake up (why a clown, I don’t know, it just seemed to have the right level of absurdity). I had an idea of the immensity of my goal what I started out but it has really hit me in the last couple of days.
One of the things that has really hit things home for me is I am starting to run in to bikers going the other way. Realizing they are just at the beginning, full of energy and enthusiasm, and comparing that to my sore and weary body drives the distance home.
Crossing the NB boarder was a wonderful feeling. I joined up with the main highway and crossed in style, traveling over smooth pavement and wide shoulders. As I went over the boarder I couldn’t help but smile and I actually started to laugh to myself. It is hard to describe the relief of finally being in the Maritimes after over two months of travel. Just setting my watch to Atlantic time filled me with a sense of accomplishment! (For those of you keeping track that is four time zones I have crossed, only half of one to go!)
I have to stay focused though. I still have a long way to go before I reach my goal. I have known to many people who have failed at the last moment because they lost their concentration and started looking for the finish line. If 15 years of ski racing taught me one thing, it was that you race until you are across the line and there is no more hill to go.
So it is with weary but renewed resolve that I continue on. I have my next presentation in Fredericton fast approaching and I still have to make it there on time. I have been going for seven days straight and I have one more to go to get me there. I am really feeling the strain; every morning it is an effort to get up knowing that I have four hours of ridding ahead. The head wind that started a couple of days ago has stayed with me, so I spend the day conserving energy, moving along in the lowest gear I can a only averaging 20 or 25 km an hour. I have been enjoying the hills though because they offer a break from the wind, and then I make up time down the other side. Also hills break up the day and offer me small triumphs that I use to keep up my motivation.
Despite how I might feel in the morning, by the end of the day I am still filled with a sense of accomplishment and pride. The feeling of seeing the welcoming sign to the town I am stopping in for the night is fantastic; it is like crossing the finish line of a marathon. I just sit up in my saddle and coast along relishing in a day well spent.
New Brunswick has been putting on a good show for us though. We have been enjoying traveling across the varied and rigged terrain. Last night we stayed in a wonderful campsite nestled in the woods. They offered Canoes and Kayaks to go out on the nearby pond (of course the pond was only about 100 feet across, so it would be a short outing) and had a variety of hiking trails nearby. Unfortunately, the bugs formed a solid man-eating wall, so we opted for a movie in the RV instead. This ended up being the right decision as about an hour after we arrive a thunderstorm rolled in and dropped about a foot of rain. There is nothing like an east coast thunderstorm to add a bit of excitement to your night; it was a true pleasure to sit back, listen to the rain on the roof and watch the lightning flash in the sky.
Storms are all the more wonderful when they clear out by the next morning and leave clear blue sky. I have been lucky with they rain the last few days and I’ve only been sprinkled on, which is actually quite nice as it cools me down in the heat of the day.
Tonight we found a campsite right next to the highway, and right on the river. The wind is keeping the bugs away and the sun is keeping it warm and wonderful. I sat on the grass right after my ride and stretched out my tired muscles and now I am writing this while sitting out in the sun.
Activity tip: Good friends are the best things in the world. If you are setting a new goal or starting a new program don’t keep it secret. Let your friends and family know and they can be your biggest supporters and your ticket to success!