The day started off with tired legs. I think I was low energy because I didn't eat properly the night before as I was distracted by the car show and a little euphoria over being almost done. The wind was not really helping though and it took me some time to get to the Nova Scotia border. It was my last province line though and that seemed to pump me up a bit. That and I was very much being chased by thunder storms today. You cannot outrun a storm. It will either hit you or miss you but pedaling hard made me feel like I was escaping getting wet.
I ran into some other touring cyclist at a gas station just after the border. We chatted for a second and they were just heading out so I said I would catch back up to them. I got a flat about 10 k into the chase and quickly changed it. The shoulder on the highway had turned to crap as there was a rumble strip now and barely any room to ride causing you to hit the gravel once in a while. About an hour after fixing that flat I got another. This day was stretching out way longer than I needed it too. Fixed and back on the road I broke my chain at a toll booth. After 5800 km very few mechanicals it seemed like I was having them all at once. Either that or my bike knew that the trip was almost done and wanted to keep me on the road. Fixed that and jumped back on my bike for the final 30 km.
Stopped at a restaurant at about 6 pm and Jerome who was one of the cyclist I had met earlier was just finishing up his meal. There is something funny about meeting another rider on the road. Its like "I see you have bags on your bike." "Did we just become best friends?" "I think we did!" Jerome and I decided to ride into Truro together and share a hotel. Made the rest of the ride fun and it was excellent to have someone to hang out with in the evening. Jerome started his ride in Montreal and was finishing up in Halifax. His riding buddy had knee trouble earlier in the day and decided to pull out and hitch the rest of the way.
Yesterday I learned:
- When you have not cleaned your chain for 2500 km you are going to get very dirty when it breaks
- Nova Scotia has a way cooler sign than New Brunswick
- I did not get beat up in a bar in Truro like the woman who pointed us to the bar said I would
Truro to Halifax - 95 km
The days are long but the trip goes quickly by.
Got up and it was cloudy out for the first time in a long time. Jerome and I started out the day together on the bikes but I was rather punchy and my pace was a bit higher than I should have been riding. We decided to meet up in town later so I rode off. I attacked each hill and dug in on the flats. There was a slight tail wind and I tore into the distance. It felt good to push the pace with no fear of tomorrow. I was motivated to be done. The ride in was smooth for the most part save one more flat which was easy to deal with. When I met my parents (who had flown out to meet me) they had a awesome t-shirt for me and it was sooo good to have someone to share the finish with.
So here I am. Done in Halifax and not having to ride tomorrow. 45 days with 4 rest days and over 6400 kilometers. There are so many things to take away from this trip but for now I have to let the realization of what I have done soak in a bit. For now I still love bikes and I am looking forward to doing some races and some fondos to see where my fitness is. I honestly believe that anyone could do this ride. The time lines may vary but bicycles are amazing and all you have to do is start pedaling.
Today I learned:
- Boston was the first cities to help Halifax when the explosion happened. So every year during the holidays they send Boston a 40 foot Christmas tree and several chefs to cook a large feast.
- There is a lot of fog here which makes getting to the ocean very anti climatic.
- I am glad to not be riding tomorrow but look forward to more rides in the future
I did most of the riding on my own but there is no way I could have done this with out the help of so many people so here they are in no particular order:
Thomas Mueller - who showed many people what true courage is and touch many hearts with his story and strength. We all need to work to make sure this story changes.
Glen, Anne and Claudia - Our world is less without you but we are all better for having know you.
Phil Mueller - who has done more to promote the sport of cycling in a short time than almost anyone I know. I look forward to riding with you in the future.
Alex Bullock - A true roadie through and through. Thank you for making the beginning of the trip way less hard than it would have been on my own (and thanks to Allison and Leanne for blue juice and being fun). We are going to train hard this winter and do something crazy next year!
Julia LoVecchio - You saved me in the rain, feed me and took me out for a fun night. You rule! Thanks for your passion for all things athletic.
The UX Guys - Thanks for the support and the fund raising. I am lucky to be working with talented and caring people.
The Mehrers - Thank you for being my home away from home.
Brett Anhorn - Thanks for the TM sticker. You have no clue how much it helped me on the rough days. I owe you one.
Peter and Pat Mueller - Your kindness and generosity kept me going though many cold wet days in the prairies. I just wish Pat's cookies lasted longer than a day and a half...
Jennifer Solomon - Thanks for motivational pictures and random chats.
My Parents - I am what you made me. Thank you for helping, trusting and supporting me. I am truly lucky.
My family - So much love and support makes one want to go farther.
Bill Hunt - You rode though storms of bugs and ugly ass swampland all while I was sucking your rear wheel. You sir are a good friend. I look forward to getting a ride in on lighter bikes and more adventures in the future. Thanks for riding with me when I needed it. (and thanks Eryn for being our logistics manager...you are awesome)
Thanks to Jared, Christine and Teg for thinking I was crazy but never doubting me.
Wenner - For being the best host and introducing me to your friends. You are a champion human being!
Gala, Sean, Danielle and Josephine - Meeting people who are fun, interesting and talented is rare. Thanks for letting me roll with your crew!
And finally thank you to everyone who tossed me a comment on Facebook, Twitter or on this blog. Its amazing how even though I was alone for days on end there was still a feeling of connection to everyone. Thanks for following along and pushing me through each day.
Final Beard Report:
I am going to keep the beard for the race this weekend in Canmore but I think it shall be gone soon after that. I am just not a beard guy. It itches and every time I look at myself in the mirror it doesn't look like me. Sometimes in the morning it takes a second for me to figure out what is on my face. I will be in Vancouver for 3 days then I am off so if you want to see me with beard toss me a note.
Thank you to everyone who donated. You helped me more than you know! Thank you for reading as well. I apologize for grammar and spelling but writing after a long day is rough. Please donate if you can and if you have any other fundraising ideas feel free to contact me.