The Final Ride

It has been a while since our last post, but we are glad to say that we made it!

We spent a lovely week with Dani’s family. They arrived with matching team head bands and bikes ready to ride. We met them in Matane, and spend our first night sheltering from the rain and talking about the road ahead. The four biking days were spectacular. Some of the best biking so far. We were following the ‘Route Verte’ along the St. Laurence. The shoulders were wide, the traffic friendly and there were quaint towns every 15 or so kilometres. There was a great mix of flat rides along open rock-faced cliffs and mountains! Tough mountains that all six of us cyclists (Jake, Emily, Mischa, Danielle, Adrian and Harry) had to take at our own pace and meet at the top with words of encouragement and a communal sense of accomplishment.

Meal times with the big group were also a different story. More people, a bigger budget, a stove top, a set of pots and pans as well as simple kitchen tools like a cutting board and a sharp knife that made our standard of eating increase! We split into partners and took on a day of food planning and cooking. Since food is such a big part of our days, it was a highlight of the week. We ate seafood stews, curries, lobster and even homemade poutine! Yum!

We topped off the week in Pierce and camped for two nights overlooking the giant rock. Our final meal we ate out and reminisced over the week. Thanks so much for making the effort family and for your unconditional support throughout this journey! It is rare that you get to experience something like this with your family, and we will cherish this week forever.

At the end of the week, there were only four of us continuing to St. John’s and the rest flew home to Ontario. Dani’s parents and the two of us on the road with a destination and a quickly approaching final date in mind. At this point, we were in a complete rhythm. We had our cycling down pat, and as the end approached out thoughts couldn’t help but think about the end, life back home and how far we had come in the last three months. The Maritimes seemed to pass by rather quickly compared to our time in Ontario and Quebec.

We traveled from Moncton to PEI and spent the night in Charlottetown, taking in the small town vibes and friendly people. It really felt like we were in the Maritimes then. We took the ferry 60km east of Charlottetown which took us to Nova Scotia. We had three biking days to take us to the ferry terminal in North Sydney heading for Newfoundland. Nova Scotia has a wonderful feel to it. It too is rather sparse with huge trees lining the highway and the smell and occasional view of the ocean made you feel at ease. There is something about the ocean that is so soothing.

Sydney is right along the coast of the Atlantic and is just past the Cabot Trail. Thankfully, one of the benefits of having a support vehicle was that we could drive a little of the loop and get to see on the the most renowned areas of Canada. It was such a neat contrast of the vast water on one side with what looked like a jungle on the other. Definitely a destination for the future.

The last part of the ride wouldn’t have been complete without another flat tire, happening 500m from the ferry terminal. We have gotten the hang of it by now and wondered if this would be the last! From North Sydney, we got on the ferry headed East to Argentia, NFL and enjoyed the 17 hours at sea taking advantage of the unexpected theatres, buffets, couch lounges and live music on board! The ferry arrived in the mid-morning and we unloaded the ship and got ready for another day of cycling.

As soon as we arrived in Newfoundland, things looked different. The trees were rugged and the rock faces were spectacular. The Trans-Canada is known for cutting through the ‘ugly’ parts of Newfoundland, but this couldn’t seem true. Our surroundings were unlike anything we had seen. Pockets of lakes, grassland, and skies out of this world. The clouds would change rapidly above us and you could see rain sporadically falling in clusters in the distance. There was also so much of nothing. No matter how much you zoomed into your map, nothing would show up. When we ate lunch off the side of the road, it felt like we could be walking on land that no one else had ventured on before.

Our final ride was on August 11th. A 60km morning ride into St. John’s to Water St. The Eastern most point of Canada. We didn’t quite know what to think about on the ride. A part of us was anxious to finish, another wanted to procrastinate to make it last for that much longer. Mischa got a flat tire about halfway and we used the last inner tube to fix his back wheel, hoping we would make it to the end. Our final day of cycling was quite representative of our journey. We got hungry; we got a little lost at the end; we sang a few times; we stopped at least twice to pee and we kept biking.

What was different about this ride was the finish. Mum and Dad were waiting at the end and had rallied up other tourists and locals to cheer us as we cycled to our finish line. Such a joyous time we got to share with others. We got a few photos, and really didn’t know what to say or what to do next. So, we decided to do what seemed sitting; get some food.

We are sure that our journey will keep going. We both have a love for cycling and have been inspired by people across Canada. We have learned so much about our food system in Canada and our place in it. We understand how to work as a team and feel confident in Seed by Seed and it’s programming. We are excited to see what happens in the future and will keep you all posted. Thank you so much to everyone who has been apart of our journey. From the planning stages to lending us a bike tool on the road to offering us a place to sleep and conversation. We are so appreciative.

Until Next time, The finish linefinal day of cyclingat the ferry terminalat the finish line 2.PEIThe gangThe most incredible ParentsA view of the AtlanticThe home stretch jelly bean row

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