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Rest day #1

Calgary. 1,3335 I'm staying with Jerry, Delia's dad. Jerry is the sweetest, most generous, affable person I've ever met. Not to mention he's the absolute roll model as to how to defy age. Jerry back country skis, runs flooded rivers, and races 130 km in a cycling fondo, amazing the work with he's age: 83.  I'm being spoilt. Really spoilt. But it's so nice to be able to wash gear, read and be normal for a day.I've now ridden 1,335 km. Nine days. The body is feeling surprisingly good. No flats tires. One (and half) days of rain.  Whimpered about the endless hills. I've met some amazing Canadians who inspire me to ride on. I've seen the bluest sky imaginable on the Rockies. Raced from the craziest lightening storm in Canmore. Struggled with the distance some days, when out of food, and ate gluttonously where possible. I've slept hard and long in my tent by the side of the road and here at Jerry's house has a deeper sleep than I ever imagine…
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A definition of 'Searching'

Today, we search with a keyboard. If we need to find something, the first thing we do is type some words and hit 'ENTER'. This is really asking, not searching. The computer does the searching for us.

This is not the same type of searching; the other is to leave the comforts of home in search of something - perhaps something concrete or perhaps abstract - something I know is out there or only hope might be. This physical search involves a different set of skills the computer search doesn't require: commitment, patience, determination, persistence. (Will Schwalbe)

I hope I can live up to this.

I want to go as light and as fast as possible; I've seen cycle tourers laden down with 100+ pounds of gear and, while in awe of their persistence, this is not the light and fast way I want to go.

So I laid out the gear, wondering if I should have bought larger panniers. All seem to fit and I could still lift my new orange Cote bike. The dog looked on in wonderment that anyone would…

My astonishing, rewarding, sunny, tiring Friday!

Because yesterday was pouring rain all day, we were lucky indeed to see the sun back. This event had beginnings barely a week ago when Mountainside teachers, Lenore and Denise took on the monumental task of organizing a 'spin-off' with 65 elementary students. The goal would be to raise awareness of mental health issues, and perhaps even raise some money for my charity I am riding across Canada for.

So we were at school by 7:30, setting up bikes and putting up posters and deciding on prizes and other aganda. Thank you Sofis and Bob and Dave for the loan of your bikes!

Then students arrived in three classes. Most were hyped, some asked lots of questions, some were distracted, eager, fired up, charged. So groups rode 5 minutes (or longer) then recorded their times which were added up. 100 km equated to 5 minutes ride. And YES! By the end of the morning, the students had ridden my route across Canada and into the Atlantic Ocean.

By noon we had raised almost $400. Several people pa…

The Adventure Evolving

"Ride as much or a little, or as long or as short as you feel. But ride. " (Eddy Merckx) 

The bicycle is means of transportation, a machine for speed, a plaything and an escape. For me, my bike is all of these things; fun, empowering, exhilarating. I'm SO excited to start my ride from Ambleside Beach to St John's NFLD. July 1st.The support I'm getting is both astonishing and gratifying. The local North Shore News interviewed me yesterday. Cool. Thank you for all the donations, everyone. I'm sure we will make a difference.

Three Weeks to Go!

I am so very busy at school writing reports, marking, seeing parents and assuaging fears of grade 12 students who hope to graduate. Friday I'm organizing a fundraising/mental health awareness morning with Denise and Lenore. Both Denise and Lenore have jumped on the idea and have motivated students to create fabulous posters, invited elementary kids and generally have been great support and organizers.
 The bike is almost ready with tri-bars, new fast tires, and two brand new rear panniers. Orange. What a super color! I'm compiling a list yet I do NOT want to go like the poor dude we saw today: overloaded with four panniers and gear piled high. Go light and hopefully fast. 
MiI'm feeling pretty fit with the month of racing in New Zealand, the indoor interval training (thanks, TAG!) and the Steed club rides. I LOVE riding my bike so it never takes much to get one out if that's one's passion. 
 I have so much support from friends. Alejandro has supplied me with two gorg…

Training - and why there's always a reason for a new bike.


Beginnings ASPIRATION (NOUN): 1. a strong desire, goal, longing, or objective. (’m a high school teacher. I teach English online; my students vary from the bright and focused leaders of tomorrow to the anxious kid who is scared of classrooms, teachers and the world in general.

I’m probably much more a ‘learner’ than a teacher, however. And I’ve also just had a milestone birthday which reminds me of how much I still need to learn about the world.

Age is only a number, I know…I know. Anyway, a milestone birthday deserves a milestone adventure. So a bike across Canada seems the logical challenge. As a teacher, I have the luxury of having two entire months off over summer. Thus the 8,000km trip fits in nicely. If I can average about 130km /day, I should be able to turn up for the first day of school in September.