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Terry Fox Run 2012

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CSLI teachers sacrificed their beauty for charity!! Today we auctioned our teachers and raised money for Terry Fox Cancer foundation. The student(s) with the highest bid got to “pie” a teacher in the face!!


… and  of course some video clips :

Would you ride a pedal-less FLIZ ‘running bike?’

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Final Observations:

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For all the speak about diversity & being a mosaic, we are extraordinarily alike. In traveling the breadth of Csnada, i came within a breath of 80% of its population, and to me we share very similar values & lifestyles. Considering a continent the size of ours, in any other place on earth, would normally house 10-20 separate countries.
Yet we all believe that Tim Hortons is not just a cakeshop but staple food source, we all love hockey (although we are not sportingly active), can sing Neil Diamond at karaoke, and know to stop talking when a Middle-Aged Man in Spandex walks into our local restaurant.

Canada’s greatest unproductive crop: turf! I cycled past acres & acres of manicured pasture that surrounded homes, getting larger as I travelled east.
It amuses me how it is not just a pass-time, but a year round commitment. Never had so little been achieved by so many in such a long time than those who dedicate their summers and lives to greenkeeping. At least on a golfcourse, you are allowed to play on it. And you can eat gardens.
Watering, fertilizing, weeding, gassing & maintenance, and most of all, your summer days wasted. Granted, some enjoy this activity, but I have been there too, and I know theres not that many . The grass is not greener on the other side. It’s not even green, environmentally.

Most of what I bike in the summer would not be accessible at any other time of the year. It’s easy to think that the weather is like this all the time, but it lasts maybe 3-4 months tops.
It still amazes me how Canadians not only survive in adverse conditions but they appear to thrive.

For most communities that are land-locked, there sure is s lot of water about: rivers, lakes, canals, mountain caps, ponds. Of all of our greatest resources, this one is the greatest.

Canada Stinks:
Of my entire trip, I spent 25-30% smelling shit. Now you may say that is normal and necessary for our crops. It’s more a reflection on how many animals there are making manure.
Meantime we can’t wait to get rid of out own waste into the seas, even though it must be more nutritious. Less growth hormones, pesticides, toxins. And cows & chickens live in condos these days so how healthy is that?

I never once felt at risk or threatened in my journeys. Canadians are wonderful caring people. Kindest town was Montreal River, Ont., especially Rick from Michigan, a regular holidayer, who served up two cold beers on my arrival. Meanest place was English River, on the way to Thunder Bay, the motelrefused to serve me breakfast or even a coffee, after a 100km bike ride without a break. The local store decided to stay closed than serve me.

Changing Landscape:
Small towns across the country are getting smaller. Folk are dying off and their kids are moving to the cities. Like the animals we are moving into boxes . Country Quebec seemed an exception but that could have been the season.

There is shill a lot of space out there. I found that out.


The Nuthouse

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As we affectionately know them. The Johnsons have been dear friends of ours for 12 years. We featured together on Canada’s Decorating Challenge, a ploy of our wives, after we met in West Vancouver. They have since moved to Halifax where I had the joy of staying with them on my last night on tour. Things happen for a reason, and connecting again was worth the journey alone.


How Fast Can One Nike * Canada? The Stats

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For those curious, my record:

1. Saskatoon to Halifax (Aug. 2012)
21 days plus 2 rest days, 2 days travel from & to Vancouver (“that’s actually 4 weeks away” reminds my wife).
Approx 3,500 km on roads (mostly Trans Canada Highway)
Averaging 167km per traveling day

2. Vancouver (Hope) to Saskatoon (Aug. 2011)
21 days on Trans Canada Trails in BC & Trans Canada Highways in Alberta & Saskatoon, and

3. Island Tour (2000)
PEI, Vancouver Is (Nanaimo-Cowichan Valley- Victoria), plus West Vancouver to Hope, all on Trans Canada Trails,
Approx 2500 km
Averaging 120km/day

My total journey by bike from Victoria to Halifax, including PEI was 6,000km over 7 weeks
Or about 50 days (or 3 years depending on how you time it)

* ” Just Do It ” FYI, the fastest time recorded, Vancouver to Halifax by bike is 21 days, roads only one person, continuous (shorter distance, Canada only).

Lori-Ann, I am definitely not interested.


“Howdy, Pilgrim”

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who made this quote famous? See below for the answer*

It is estimated that between 100-200 people are crossing Canada at any one time, going significant distances by foot or by bicycle. Given there are much easier modes available, what drives these people?
Do they have a common mission? Are we on some form of pilgrimage?
I met about 20 of them personally, some who were willing & able to share their story, while others passed leaving nothing but a wave. All these journeys must have been significant, otherwise what would motivate someone to take on such a crazy challenge? It was clear I was not alone.

I met two walkers traveling with strollers both who left in July but from opposite sides of the country: Susanne from Halifax & Pierre from Tofino on Vancouver Island. Both, unrelated, were threatening to write books, Pierre’s to be named The Dreamwalker. He had big plans to continue deep south after completing east-west, and was on a tight schedule to get to the next town. After all, walkers don’t have the luxury of wheels. By the time I met Pierre he was already in Ontario. Susanne was still in New Brunswick. Their paths are destined to cross somewhere in Quebec shortly. She originally was carrying one of her children in the stroller before her father convinced her it would be best to leave her at home. Her campaign was to Stop Violence Against Children. I met a young ultra-marathon runner Montreal River, near Sault St Marie, traveling west running 70km a day. He had a support team & in good spirits, and must be well into the praries by now. Same day I came across a cyclist-with-trailer from Ottawa, relocating to Vancouver after a divorce. He was carrying all he possessed which was not much.
On the road to Thunder Bay I had my first encounter, with two student guys heading from Edmonton to Toronto on bikes, seemingly on a holiday jaunt. Same cafe, I met Rick, a Greenie biking from Calgary to Ottawa, where he was planning to make his political stand on the steps of Parliament. I challenged all three to free dinner if they made into town that night but noone called. Rick followed up the following day as I was recovering from Achilles & mechanical issues. The guys are no doubt home, while politicians are now the wiser in Ottawa.

On the way into Blind River for the night I met Quinn from Laval University. He was heading further for the night but we destined to meet the next day, on the way to Sudbury. He was on a mission, to advance the benefits of Organ Donation. See earlier post. His journey was the most structured where he had media opps in most major centers, including Toronto, where people, more than anywhere else in Csnada, feel more attached to their body parts (lowest donation per capita). We parted ways on the highways above Sudbury, he admiring my freedom to push on without obligation, and me, admiring his commitment to convert as many heathen Torontonians as possible.
He may be sleeping in his own bed in Montreal tonight. He deserves it.

It then struck me that I was one of the few who chose or could afford to stay in motels at night, even cheap ones. Without the need for camping & cooking gear, my load was half of the others, which allowed me to travel at twice the pace of others. A sore butt & muscles was acceptable, but no soothing bath or cooked meal? Are you crazy! Then I realized I had the money but not the time, while it was the opposite for most of the others. Or perhaps the other racers were too fast to be seen.
Although my mission was to promote the benefits of successful micro-credit to less fortunate communities ( www.unitingtheworld.org ), my personal goal drove me more. CSLI & Rose Charities will shortly be supporting 2500 families in Sri Lanka in their home-based businesses, which means education & a future for their children.

So how does biking across a country benefit anyone, apart from ones health? Especially in a time when there are more charity runs & dinner events than ever. I guess if it creates awareness. And more importantly, if we are privileged enough to be able to have the time in our lives to do such folly , then I guess it shows us we are pretty blessed people.
Let’s appreciate the freedoms we have. In the World’s Eye, we are the 1%.

* one of the worst misquotes, and impersonations, in movie history. John Wayne, nor anyone famous, used this greeting.


Oh and this is John

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Who took my picture, so I gave him my bear spray & airhorn as I wont be needing anymore!
He has a cabin in the woods and gets worried by animals at night. Way too young to be on a retirement home. Here I am offering him my bike.


Halifax TCT Pavilion

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6pm. 21 cycling days from Saskatoon!


Best Looking Shoulder in All of Canada

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Award goes to Truro turnoff. Truly a piece of art. The ride was worth it just to be in it’s presence.


“Put the Kettle on Bubbles, I’m Comin’ Home”

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A phrase coined by a Kiwi DJ in the ’70s, but still equally appropriate today.
For $1000, can you name that DJ, Andy Larsen?


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