We're Done: Day 94 - Whitbourne to St John's - And Then We Pedalled...... Cross Canada 2015 - CycleBlaze

September 4, 2015

We're Done: Day 94 - Whitbourne to St John's

We did it. 8700+ km's and 94 days that we'll remember for ever. Thanks to everyone who helped us along the way
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The description below at the Terry Fox Memorial says it all.

We are just ordinary people who had a dream of biking across this great country. We did it. And so can you if you want to. Just give it a try.
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It's difficult to write about today. After 94 days of a regular routine of sleep, pedal, eat and write journal, it all changed.

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When we got up this morning, early 😀, the skies were clear above us but dark clouds were congregating on all the horizons around us. The wind was strong again but at our backs and it would stay like this for the first 40 km's.

We had a brief discussion about whether to ride a potentially more scenic route along the coast of Conception Bay, longer and more hills, or stick to the TCH which was now a divided highway with a good shoulder but the regular heavy traffic.

The L.T. McLeod "touring rules" would say take the bay route, but the consensus today was "just get it done". Mark had his wife Debbie and other family waiting for him and our kids, Alison and Callum were waiting for us.  If we really wanted to we could ride the coast on unloaded bikes anytime in the next few days.

Done, TCH it was and we made great time. Before we knew it we were freewheeling down Kenmount Road into St John's. We could soon see our goal, Signal Hill. Wow, that is a steep hill! But after 8700 km it's just another first gear spin as we smiled and yelled out "Victoria" to the people who were walking up and asking the inevitable question ...'Where are you coming from?"

When we were a few hundred meters from the top we could see Callum and Alison waving and taking pictures. Mark's pit crew had been taking pictures and filming us along the way since Kenmount road. We felt like rock stars, or much more accurately like a couple of fifty something's who had just accomplished a big goal and were just about to celebrate it with our family.

We crested the hill and that was it. 

Hugs and high fives, Marks wife Debbie (who had been our accommodation coordinater all through Nova Scotia and Newfoundland) produced a bottle of Veuve Cliquot and we celebrated on Signal Hill. No better place to do it. What an awesome sight and an amazing place to finish this ride!

We were finished the loaded part (or at least Kirsten an I were), we put our bags into our friends Rhonda and Ron's car (Mark kept his on) and then rode down the hill to the Terry Fox memorial in the harbour. We were truly done now.

Over the next few days I'll add some final thoughts and comments. There's a lot we thought about and discussed during this trip, and it was great to have a partner to share every pedal stroke with. A few days reflection will help get all these in order.

But for now, it's unwind!

Our last subway breakfast at Whitbourne. I am not going to miss the road food diet!
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Even though it was the TCH there was still some pretty nice scenery along the ride (but nothing compared to the costal routes.... They are stunningly beautiful)
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We are getting close!
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There's the goal on the Horizon, Signal Hill and the end of the ride!
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Kirsten leading the charge up signal hill! She gets the red polka dot jersey for King of the Hills an this trip. Left me in the dust on every one!
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Kirsten's done!
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I'm done!
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Mark's done too! Really good to have shared the last couple of weeks riding with Mark. He was the first cross Canada rider we met way back on day three as we were slogging up Allison pass in BC. We took different routes but reconnected in Miramichi New Brunswick (In a bar, having a beer!) a couple of months later!
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No beer this time!
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We started at the Terry Fox memorial in Victoria, and we finished here, where he started his journey some 35 years ago. What we did is tiny in comparison to his challenge and effort, but we, like so many other Canadians and other people around the world were inspired by his courage and his simple message of "just try"
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Song of the Day:

The End by the Beatles....

"And in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love you make...."

not the Beatles ... Just Maca ... and Knopfler, and Clapton, and Collins , and ....a fitting finish

Historical monument of the day...

So much to choose from in St John's .... But for us it's pretty clear...

The Terry Fox memorial. A perfect bookend for this trip and the message of "just try, and you can achieve your dreams" sums it up.

Today's ride: 92 km (57 miles)
Total: 8,744 km (5,430 miles)

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