I put together a bunch of frequently asked questions that I would get on the road and in emails. So, here goes…
After thoughts: Gear
If you’re doing this trip, you may be wondering: “What do I need to get across the country?”
Day 62 / September 1, 2017 – Shelburne, NS to Yarmouth, NS
I never understood why the Golden Girls stopped so suddenly after seven seasons. Some of my favourite episodes came out of that last season. I later learned that Bea Arthur, who played the always witty character of Dorothy, wanted the show to go out on a high note, at a time when the show was still crisp, funny, and performing well. I think that was a smart decision and I’m going to copy her. I wouldn’t want this blog to turn into the Golden Palace. If you’ve ever seen the show, you know what I mean… In saying that, I’m wrapping up this series as well. This will be the last post about the actual day-to-day mechanics of the journey. After this portion, it’s back to highways and conventional transportation. I don’t think anyone wants to hear how I spent six hours on the ferry to Portland, Maine or five hours on a bus to New York City. Even I would struggle to fill up a page describing those things in any meaningful detail.
Picture it – Shelburne, Nova Scotia – September 1, 2017. It was a cold morning that made Nova Scotia feel like it had prematurely entered autumn. Holy headwinds! If there’s anything that I can say about today’s ride, it’s that. I watched the morning news, during which the weather reporter said that there would be enough wind to “keep the bugs off of you”. No sir, there was enough wind to take the skin off of you. That was coupled with a drop in temperatures to the low teens. Last night, I had hoped that the call for direct 30 km per hour westerly winds and gusts above 50 kph was wrong. It was not. In fact, it was worse than anticipated. There were various points where baseline wind was a 40 kph headwind with paralyzing gusts.
Day 61 / August 31, 2017 – Lunenburg, NS to Shelburne, NS
Last night, we arrived under grey, rainy skies, preventing me from getting a glimpse at Lunenburg. There was so much buzz about this small Nova Scotia town. What was I about to find in this UNESCO heritage site? This morning, Bruce was tied up in a conference call, so Fiona offered to tour me around town. Another personalized tour! This time, we did our tour by car, giving our legs a rest. We started out by ascending the road to the golf course with a view of the harbour and the colourful buildings dotting the downtown area. She took me into the heart of Lunenburg next to the bright colours of the wooden shops. We paused at the waterfront to stare at the tall ships, including the Bluenose II. Look at your dime if you don’t recognize the name. It was built in Lunenburg as a replica of the original Bluenose racing and fishing ship. There was a two-hour sailing for $60 that had attracted a big crowd of tourists. We looped around the city, including Simon’s old school which was converted into an art institute.
Day 60 / August 30, 2017 – Halifax, NS to Lunenburg, NS
When I was (properly) training for marathons, it was normal to be out running almost every day. You have to build up the muscle memory to get through over 40 km of continuous running. I know how weird that sounds, but it felt strange to take days off when I was training. After almost two months of riding, I wasn’t ready to let go of cycling yet. Even though I reached my goal of hitting Halifax, the next logical step was to head to the Yarmouth ferry to Portland, Maine and then take ground transportation to New York City. It would have been much faster – although not necessarily easier – to travel by plane. Packing and unpacking the bike requires a little bit of skill. On today’s portion, I was itching to go to Lunenburg as soon as my passport was ready to go.
Day 59 / August 29, 2017 – Halifax, NS rest day
I woke up much later than my usual pattern. That’s probably a testament to how tired my body has been after all of this distance. I had good intentions of keeping it low-key, but we all know how that usually goes… I was blessed with more comfortable, sunny weather. I started off with a leisurely walk with my bicycle, tracking along the north-west arm by Bruce’s house and then ducking into the quiet residential areas around Dalhousie University. I love the style and bright colours on these East Coast homes.
Day 58 / August 28, 2017 – New Glasgow, NS to Halifax, NS
Sorry for the long radio silence. I was unintentionally leaving you faithful readers with a bit of a cliffhanger. If you’ve been on Facebook, you’ve probably seen the photo documentation of me in Halifax and dipping my bike wheel in the Atlantic. We’ll get there…Continue reading
Day 57 / August 27, 2017 – Charlottetown, PE to New Glasgow, NS
It was very difficult to leave the comfort of the Great George Hotel this morning. I was perfectly happy in the warmth of the bed with the Food Network playing in the background, thank you very much. Aware of the call for more rain, I eventually managed to wrench myself out of the sheets and into the continental breakfast. Having seen the more typical continental breakfasts along this trip, I wasn’t expecting much more than bagels and apple juice. I would have been lucky if there was cream cheese. You can imagine my surprise when I found a bounty of freshly prepared baked goods and other delicious treasures. I started with a tomato and cheese omelette, quickly chased by a homemade chocolate chip muffin, then 24-hour oatmeal with fresh fruit, and a cinnamon bun to finish off.
Day 56 / August 26, 2017 – Cavendish, PE to Charlottetown, PE
I gave myself permission to move slowly today. I was so used to covering at least 120 km each day, so it felt strange to do just over half of that distance. I had managed to shave off a day by changing route and moving quickly through New Brunswick. I had, in a sense, created a day and was treating today like a PEI exploration day.
Day 55 / August 25, 2017 – Shediac, NB to Cavendish, PE
The streets were lined with motorcycles, jamming traffic along the main strip (Highway 133) in Shediac. I didn’t think that this was the prime time to tour around the city. It was probably really cute – it seemed that way when I strolled around for snacks late last night. The place was famous for its lobster, but I didn’t get to sample any on this trip. I just wanted to get away from the bikers (the other kind) and the deafening roar of their bikes. I made my exit along Highway 133. Traffic dissipated as I distanced myself from the rally. On this windy route, the road skirted the water, teasing with intermittent glimpses of the Atlantic.