- Day 10 Spring Dale – Deer Lake 128kms 243 m
- Day 11 Deer Lake – CornerBrook 58 kms 246 m
- Day 12 Cornerbrook – Stephenville 82 kms 550 m
- Dey 13 Stephenville – Cartyville 70 kms 304 m
- Day 14 – Cartyville – Port aux Basque 110 kms 700 m
- TOTAL SO FAR ON JOY RIDE DEUX 1091 kms 5281 m
And I say way-hey-hey, it’s just an ordinary day
And it’s all your state of mind
At the end of the day
You’ve just got to say it’s all right!
Our Newfoundland biking days have been scheduled mainly to miss hurricanes; which left us in somewhat less desirable places to stay – anything with a roof basically. We have used our sleeping bags in several of the minus 3 star motels/shelters. But as Joc reminded me, ”It only has to FEEL like a Fairmont” – and they did! The 128 kms into Deer Lake was to ensure we could make it to Cornerbrook before Larry hit. We made it before the hurricane, but endured a 40km/hour headwind the entire 8 hours in the saddle. Continuing relentless headwinds out of Deer Lake to Cornerbrook pushed us to go back to the rail trail from the highway, where we are somewhat protected from the winds. But Navigator Man’s cruel choice of bringing us into Cornerbrook resulted in 3 brutally steep climbs, the last of which hit 12.3% grade according to Garmin, but I swear was well over 38%!
One of the enchantments of Newfoundland is if we stand still for longer than 3 minutes with our bikes, we are invited in for tea by someone. We were taking a short break off the rail trail that passed through a small village of homes when Bob strolled by to invite us for tea “up at the house with the Missus”. Sure! Bob and Eileen are the happiest people in the world. We laughed and chatted for over an hour, sipping tea and talking about their beautiful home that Bob built. Their enormous 12 cord pile of wood that Bob cuts and splits himself ”to fuel da furnace” makes Jay’s brother’s Manitoba winter pile look like a match stick. Bob is 73 but strong as a bull, new shoulders and all. And Eileen keeps it all together with their massive family of combined 28 siblings, kids and grandkids. Just looking at this photo makes us beam.
We now have first hand knowledge as to why Newfoundland has the only ”weather dependent” civic holiday in the country. On the first Wednesday in August each year, St John’s celebrates its annual regatta, typically, a party of over 50,000 people. In fact, this 200 year old event is a civic holiday in St John’s. But if weather conditions are not favorable (very likely in our experience) the event is postponed until “the next suitable day”. Add to this the George Street festival schedule aligns with the regatta, and now you have many people counting on a day off, something referred to as Regatta Roulette. Thanks Gord for pointing out this Newfoundland trivia.
We loved busy Cornerbrook, filled with walkers, runners and cyclists and great restaurants. Mussels so good we went back twice! We spent 1 night in the Discomfort Inn, then managed to move to the Glynwinn Inn which is like Chateau Lake Louise Newfoundland style. We even managed to rent a truck for a few hours! This was perfect as a local bike store (remember there are 2 on the whole island) installed our new tires and did a much needed tune on the bikes.