Skip to content

Day 29 Trailwinds Inn to St John’s

2012 July 23
Posted by dpatterson9

As Fred Flintstone would say “Yaba daba doo!” Arrived just before noon today which made the total 28 days, 2 hours and 48 minutes (approximately). Today, it was 162 km, the total ride was 7232 km, the average just over 250 km per day, hours riding 300, not sitting on a skinny bike seat right now: priceless. No more milk recovery drinks in the roadside bar (always took some explaining though I’m sure the local patrons thought “what a wimp”). Finished to a warm welcome at the St John’s Y. Though I hadn’t originally planned Y visits due to my uncertain schedule, that really made the trip as I visited 7 Ys in the last 8 days.

At the airport right now and can’t wait to see my very supportive wife tonight. Off to work tomorrow as the holiday is over. No plans to ride tomorrow, have my alarm go off at 3am, clean my chain, drink gatorade, find a motel, etc. Having said that, I was a little melancholy this morning heading down the road for the last day. Though the body is a little beat up, I feel pretty good. I will miss taking photos of our beautiful country, the new people I met every day, your support, the wonderful Y staff & volunteers and of course the kids.

Check out the pages above “Brochure & Route 2012″ for the official mileage and “Media coverage” for all the great articles on the ride.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the blog and remember “Every kid deserves a chance!”

Cheers,
Don

Final Sunrise


Hodgewater Pond 70 Km to go!


One more roadside wildflower shot

Don Patterson Cape Breton Post

I'm here!


Harbour


Mileage from St. John's


In front of Signal Hill Lookout


Signal Hill


Spears Cove--most Easterly point in Canada


Chris and Don in St. John's


Welcome Group at St. John's Y


Y Cheer!

Day 28 Grand Falls-Windsor to the Trailwinds Inn

2012 July 22
Posted by dpatterson9

The ride: 267 km and 155km to go!

Another great but challenging day. Strong westerlies which was fun in the morning when I was headed east but quite an adventure as most of the day was southbound with a pile of climbs. Quite tricky especially on the descents with the crosswinds. Actually, the climbs were an adventure too (check out the Elevations page at the top. Newfoundland is not flat!) A number of times, I’m climbing and thinking: time to shift into the smallest gear. Drat, I’m already in the smallest.

Feeling a little homesick so I composed a verse based on the old trucker song “6 days on the road” Feel free to sing along. “Out on the bike pedaling from coast to coast. I’m eating bars and gels but it’s pie I like the most. Just past a walker and a trike, I’ve been passing everything in sight, one month on the road and I’m gonna make it home tonight (or tomorrow).

Cheers Don

Near Gander NL


Gander Aviation Museum


Forest Service Plane


Town of Gambo

Day 27 Corner Brook to Grand Falls-Windsor

2012 July 21
Posted by dpatterson9

The ride: 265 km. It was actually a fabulous recovery day. The wind was at my back pushing me along, I did have to pedal a little bit but it was the total opposite of yesterday. Check out the pics below, the scenery is absolutely spectacular. Visited the Grand Falls Y where they have 2000 members–not bad for a town with a population of 14,000.

I can’t believe that I have only two more days (unless I only pedal 40 km. a day, in which event I would have 10 more days).

Cheers,
Don

Leaving Corner Brook


Deer Lake


Driftwood Cove?


Looking out to Green Bay NFLD


Rocky Brook--that's the name!


Marsh near Grand Falls


Day 26 Channel-Port Aux Basques to Corner Brook

2012 July 21
Posted by dpatterson9

Quite the ride today of 221 km. Taking a page out of Winnie the Pooh, it was a cold and blustery day. The first hour was actually quite nice but then it turned cold, leaving me pushing into a headwind for the next 8 hours. While it was my slowest ride at only 19 km an hour, I was actually really pleased to complete it noting the headwinds and all the hills.
The scenery reminds me of BC with some beautiful lakes, low rise mountains, and of course… lots of climbs. Check out the radio interview below from Moncton, and also the newspaper update from Cape Breton. Just sitting down to dinner getting ready to meet people from the Corner Brook Y.

Cheers,
Don

Listen to the McLean Morning show with Don:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Link to news update in Cape Breton yesterday:
http://983maxfm.com/news_story.php?newsID=20166

Cross Canada ride for YMCA hits CB
By Greg MacLean. Last updated: 2012-07-19 07:45:01

Y-M-C-A VOLUNTEER DON PATTERSON HAS LEFT THE CANSO CAUSEWAY EN ROUTE TO NORTH SYDNEY AS PART OF HIS CROSS-CANADA RIDE TO BATTLE CHILD OBESITY.

PATTERSON IS RAISING AWARENESS AND MONEY FOR THE Y’S STRONG KIDS CAMPAIGN, WHICH OFFERS SCHOLARSHIPS TO CHILDREN WHO NEED HELP PAYING FOR PROGRAMS. PATTERSON SAYS HE TOOK SOME VIDEO OF BIRDS DIVEBOMBING THE WATER FOR THEIR BREAKFAST THIS MORNING. HE AND CAPE BRETON Y C-E-O ANDRE GALLANT ARE WELCOMING OTHER CYCLISTS TO JOIN THEM AS THEY MAKE THEIR WAY ALONG THE TRANS CANADA TOWARDS THE MARINE ATLANTIC TERMINAL IN NORTH SYDNEY TO CATCH THE 6:30 P-M FERRY TO PORT AUX BASQUES. UPDATES ARE AVAILABLE ON THE Y’S FACEBOOK PAGE. THE Y IN CAPE BRETON RECENTLY HELD A SPIN BIKE EVENT AND RAISED OVER 10 THOUSAND DOLLARS TO SUPPORT STRONG KIDS.




Reminds me of the Rockies!



Day 25 Antigonish to Sydney Mines

2012 July 20
Posted by dpatterson9

The ride: 195 km to the Newfoundland ferry in Sydney Mines

What an absolutely fabulous day riding through Cape Breton! I rode with Andre and Jacques for most of the day. They showed me the best bakeries (very important for my pastry tour). There was a 7 km climb where Jacques told me this long joke. I was afraid he was going to tell another so I pushed to the summit on my own. Andre ordered up the tailwinds, we traded stories all day and solved the problems of the world. At the Sydney Y, all the kids were out cheering (see video below) very very touching. What a difference the Y makes in the lives of these young kids as it’s a place that gives many of them real stability. Did a newspaper interview, photographer was along the route and there was a sign on the highway “Ride Don Ride” Got a final courtesy bike tune-up (I am blown away by the generosity), Andre packed me this huge goodie bag and then I was off to the ferry where I’ve got an overnight berth. Also see the pics of the inland sea, Bras D’Or. Can you tell I’m pumped?

Next report from Newfoundland.

Cheers Don
Cape Breton Y Welcome

Video birds divebombing


Summit!


Bras D'or gazing at the ocean



Day 24 Sackville to Antigonish

2012 July 19
Posted by dpatterson9

The ride: 229 km and right around 6,000 in total. Quite enjoyable with a nice tailwind and cooler temps. 

Got to love those names. Pic below is a train bridge in Pugwash. For co-ordinates, my cousin tells me that it’s located half way between Tatamagouche and Shinimicas.

Kids must have a universal language. I saw one jumping into the water from a bridge yelling “kowabunga!” At least, that’s what I yell. 

Stopped at a cafe for drinks. When they heard about the trip, well here’s your free breakfast. It was  a bit of struggle as I’d just had breakfast 30 minutes before.

Check out the pic of Craig (he’s the one with the baseball cap and sunglasses). I met Craig at the Y in New Glasgow. He’s blind, a Y kid who was 80 lbs overweight and now is planning to cycle across Canada next year on a special bike with a guide. I’ll be rooting for you Craig.

Off to Sydney tomorrow where I’m looking forward to riding with Andre from the Cape Breton Y.

Cheers, Don





Day 23 Fredericton to Sackville

2012 July 17
Posted by dpatterson9

The ride: 229 km, started by crossing this cool footbridge in Fredericton and ended at this little boutique hotel in Sackville. The fatigue was setting in the last few days. Though one of my supporters said “You’re in the homestretch, I was feeling like the late rounds of an Ali Frazier fight. Then to the rescue: a full day of fabulous Atlantic hospitality. It actually started the night before at the Fredericton Y who also set me up in a very relaxing hotel, the directions to a quiet country path, a live radio interview with a very knowledgeable host (link to be posted tomorrow), a welcoming group of kids in Moncton (brought a tear to my eye). They had great questions. It the best was “where do you go to the bathroom?” Luckily someone asked “Do you go in the forest?” Yes, was my simple response. Next, I’ve got a line-up of kids actually wanting my autograph. Then off to see Sylvain Mancuso, a fabulous Osteopath, who gave me a free tune-up for my back, legs and restored the feeling in my fingers. A distant cousin is driving 40 minutes as I type this just to say hello.

All of this has got me recharged and ready to take on those Cape Breton hills.

Cheers Don

Moncton Wecome Committee

Day 22 Grand Falls to Fredericton

2012 July 16
Posted by dpatterson9

The ride: 221 km with a little bit of everything (hills, heat, rain, river roads, feeling good, feeling bad). A ginormous (a real word according to my daughter) breakfast (see pic below). Not the preferred diet as it sits in your stomach but the calories are there. Traveled part way along the St John River (quite impressive, see video and pic). Had a great reception at the Fredericton Y. The local paper did an interview and took lots of pics with the kids who were fascinated with my bike. They loved the clip in shoes, tri bars. Such great enthusiasm. I’ve made a promise to return in November to help with the local campaign and tell a few stories of my ride (most of which will be true, well maybe). Off to Moncton tomorrow, might take a day or 2 longer due to the heat but it’s also giving me time to meet some great people at the local Ys.

Cheers, Don

St John River NBvideo

Day 21 LaPocatiere to Grand Falls NB

2012 July 16
Posted by dpatterson9

The ride: 247 km and I think I earned my keep today! A quiet country ride into Rivière du Loup (see pic of trees hanging over the road). Also see the older couple on their way to Gaspesie. Then some fairly major climbs (see Elevations page). Then into New Brunswick with a few more climbs and 30+ temp. I kept thinking what would Forest Gump do (who I’ve been compared to, I assume in a complementary way). So I took a chance on a quiet country road that followed the river and took me into Grand Falls. Also, this river road should take me all the way into Fredericton tomorrow where I am going to visit the Y.

Every kid deserves a chance: This great Y slogan says it all and really gets me through the challenges each day. We have a real opportunity to make a difference and again I’d ask for your generosity in supporting your local Y.

Cheers, Don

.

New Brunswick... here I am!

Day 20 Becancourt to La Pocatiere

2012 July 14
Posted by dpatterson9

The ride: 242 km with a total distance to date of 5100 km

Had a nice tailwind in the morning along this great secondary road. Lots of local cyclists once I got close to Quebec City. Then a nice cool breeze off the Seaway but it also meant a pretty stiff headwind for the aft. Not bad as I stopped to take lots of pics (old mill, barns, ships at the Musee Maritime, windmill, local bike shop, quaint streets). Since crossing over to Quebec on Thursday, it’s been so enjoyable that I’d do it again in a flash (well maybe not a flash but some day). Lots of beautiful churches–like the one at Montmagny where I was to stay last night according to my pamphlet–antique shops and art galleries where I spent many hours (actually, a few minutes takings pics only), ice cream shops where the servers thought it was cute because I spoke French (they think I’m cute in a George Burns kind of way), families out riding with their kids. Tomorrow, up to Rivière-du-Loup (very picturesque as well).

Cheers, Don