Monday, 11 August 2014

August 10 - Day 68 - AND IN THE END, The Route You Take is Equal to The Route You Make

I was more anxious than ever to get on the road this morning and log the last 90km on this amazing journey.  Even Sid will admit he was a little preoccupied with all his family around him, and understandably so, but I think he got the message and was ready to go after scoffing down a quick banana and glass of juice. We decided to stop down the road for a proper bite to eat, and were on our way quickly.  The morning spin brought us to Baddeck, and the only Timmy's for miles so you can imagine the lineup, but the coffee was hot and the breakfast sandwich excellent as usual.......oh, they also had coconut doughnuts and I couldn't resist.  It wasn't long after that when the convoy passed Kelly and Michael in the Jetta, Cindy and Ian in their SUV, and Jon pulling the trailer.......all honking and waving to beat the band.
Last Camp Whycocomagh
Da Boys
Drying the shoes

The skies opened up, but as was the case yesterday, it just meant we had to be a bit more careful on the bike.......getting a little wet was old school.  It didn't quit for at least an hour, but by that time we were well into the ride and could smell the finish line.  Our last good climb of the trip was up and over Kellys Mountain (how fitting is that?) which was a 240m climb over 7km, and very Grey Road 19'ish in how it unfolded.  It was nice to know I could still make it up a decent hill after so much flat and rolling terrain, and would love to come back and ride more of the Cabot Trail, especially the coastal route on #19.......takers?..........

Then back down the hill and across this bridge

Sid and I knew we were getting close to Sydney as the km's were counting down on the road signs.  We stopped and had our moment at the side of the highway about 5km out.........hugs, and yes some tears, and an affirmation of the mutual respect we have for one another after completing this ride.  We will share this memory, the two of us, for the rest of our lives.

It wasn't always wine and roses out there, but let's be honest, you can't put two people with the will and determination to complete a ride like this, have them live in close quarters for 70 days, making many decisions daily, and have it be peachy keen every day of the week.  There was always one part of the day, every day, that was the best, and that was when we reached camp, shook hands and said "Good ride", and that made everything, everything else ok.
Cork popping
Drinky poo
Cheers Family

When we arrived at camp the cheers were deafening, and we found the crew had been out to purchase the best champagne Cape Breton had to offer, at least at the local liquor store.  Jon, who has been such a big part of this whole journey, popped the cork, and we each had our ceremonial guzzle from the bottle.  Photos and more photos followed, but eventually I got to sit down with a cold one and just exhale.  I still don't think it has totally sunk in, and I will likely wake tomorrow ready to get back on the bike for the days ride.

I knew this was the end for me, but Sid was going on to tour with Kathie and Jon in Nfld., and would be doing a ride into St.Johns later this week to wrap up his trip, so I decided to have a little private ride down to the waters edge, and recruited a couple from Ottawa (they charged me $20) to take some pictures of me doing the wheel dip in the Atlantic, and officially wrapped up mine.   I heard some music not far off, and found some locals playing tunes on a small covered stage just down the street. Got off the bike, sat my ass down, enjoyed the tunes, and had myself a moment to reflect on the last 68 days..........

Sid and Jon's ride to Nfld arriving

 There are many people to thank who have contributed so much to this ride without riding an nch, but have done so much and are a big part of The Ride.  Our sponsors have been extremely supportive, particularly Larry/Harbour Edge and GBC, Mike/Mike Jackson GM, and CanAm RV............everyone below stepped up and helped make this happen for us....................Jon did the bulk of the driving and was absolutely fantastic all the way........... Billy D took over for the tough Winnipeg to Collingwood leg, aided by his partner in crime Bill S.........together, "The Bill's", best crew you could ever ask for.........Tony Cicco who drove us from Collingwood to Montreal, bring more sauce from Mama next time, and who also put in some serious miles in the afternoon once his chores were done, and John Whitney who joined in Sault Ste. Marie and rode us home to Collingwood, providing some much welcomed new energy to the group, as well as pulling for yours truly the whole way home.  Our friends from CCC, the Meaford, Owen Sound, and Collingwood Hospitals, combined to create a great  ride into town in mid-July, Cathy T and family for stepping out of bounds at Loon Lake, Jeff for being such a gracious generous host in NB, and there are a ton of other people whose contribution was substantial and I will thank them individually when time permits.
Many thanks from me personally to Squire Johns for getting me out there with the proper equipment. It couldn't have worked better........Shane Mark John Ben........

But most of all, and so important to me, is the support I gained daily from everyone who chimed in and read the blog.  You have no idea of the charge it gave me to watch my number of visits go up daily on the blog stats that the Blogger App provides (now over 5,300).  Your messages and comments were fantastic, and I loved the fact that I could in some way share this ride with you.  I thought about you a lot when I was on the bike.  Shit, what else do you have to do on a twenty mile, flat straightaway, in Saskatchewan.

Did I say "most of all" in the last paragraph, so sorry..........I owe many people a lot of thanks, but none more than Jutta. Although she tried to kidnap me on the way through Collingwood in July, I know she was behind me the whole way, and without getting overly gushy here, simply said, she is everything to me.  That's it.

Parting shots...........................

I just don't know!

I love this......that's an eagle in the sky to the right

Checkered flag socks - Winnipeg
Rasta Crochet Gloves - Regina (Cool Ridin's Mon)
Saved them for my last day

The wheel dip

Yeah baby.......I'm coming home


1 comment:

  1. And tears to our eyes as well. Great adventure, Hugh! Thank you.