Backward to forward

We have about 1400kms left to complete our cross Canada ride, 900 of them in Newfoundland. As Covid has things around the world screwed up, we decided to do the route backwards; because sometimes you have to go backward to go forward. We flew from Winnipeg to St John’s Newfoundland to close the gap to the scene of the crime, Miramichi, New Brunswick, and beyond if the weather holds.

Departure Day minus 2 days

A massive overnight wind storm at our lake in Manitoba tipped our sail boat and bent the mast and rolled our little laser sail boat like a lawn chair, putting a fist size hole it it. Our Gull Lake training regime might have had something to do with that. Gear Guy (already delinquent on duties) and my brother were busy in the scotch that night so nothing really got tied down for the storm.

Departure Day minus 1 day

In my search to get more detail about the TransCanada Trail or T’Railway in Newfoundland, I managed to connect with Kevin, a seasoned local cyclist, new gravel rider, who was quick to chat on the phone and email me some details of his T’Railway ride across Newfoundland in 2017 – on a fat bike. “Unless you are a masochist, there are much better ways to see our province.” One province, 880 kms, in excess of 5200 meters of elevation and riding east to west against prevailing winds on a really, really bad trail. We’re in.

Departure day

Plane hit seagulls on take off. Gear Guy, now Plane Guy, said the collision sounded like a small explosive. And then the plane seemed to decelerate quickly as the captain calmly accounted the incident and that we had to make an immediate landing, cleverly not using the term “emergency”. But as the Red River is not as wide as the Hudson, our Captain Ms Sully circled around and landed back in Winnipeg.

Looks like Jay’s navigation
We continued our flight. Seagulls? Not so much.

The delay meant we missed our connection to St John’s, but at least it was only 5 hours. Until weather caused further delay…

We arrived in St John’s at 5 am, approximately 15 hours later than planned, but safely and without further incident.

Riding Day One – Airport to Cape Spear (the outermost eastern tip of North America) – an out and back from St John’s. Cape Spear is the official eastern KM 0 of the TCT. The wonderful family that received a Freedom Concepts Bike during our ride in 2019 met us at Cape Spear. Very special.

Sue, Mel, Kai and Remi not only brought us lunch but also made a donation for a bike.  Very special family.

Did about 75km and 900m of elevation that day.  It was fantastic.  Except for the rain.  And the wind.  And the cold.  And no place to stay because of the music festival in St Johns. As we ended our day of riding, we discovered there was not one room in the entire city. Just when we were resigned to (gasp) camping, one of the places we called had a cancellation. Only 22 extra kms, in the wind, the cold and rain. Of course, that’s when I got a flat tire. And it still has a slow leak.  Other than that, it’s awesome! Our plan is to continue on the T Rail trail, in spite of warnings against.  It’s cold and windy.  But at least its raining…..  Our slow tire leak continues. But we’re not worried, there’s a bike shop in 640 kms.

The George Street Music Festival is on this week, for the first time in 2 years. And it would seem that all of Newfoundland is in St John’s to attend. A local said, “There are so many Newfoundlanders visiting now that COVID restrictions are lifted the island is going to sink.” We were hoping to see Allan Doyle and Great Big Sea but the lead band of the night was Glass Tiger. Chris S. would have loved that.  

Gotta go, a kind hearted Newfie warned us that, “You needs to hunker down soons with them boikes cause a hurricanes a comin”. He was referring to Hurricane Ida. Which we never thought about. Til now.