Thursday, August 30, 2012


You've been gone 18 1/2 years and I miss you and think of you everyday.  I think you would be so proud of all of us.

Tomorrow, Mark and I are leaving for Astoria, Oregon where we will meet up with a group of about 25 bike riders from all over the US.  Together we will ride our bikes down the coast of Oregon and California, finishing up just south of L.A.  It will take us 23 days and we will ride  over 2200 kms.  You would absolutely love this ride, the adventure, the physical challenge and the scenery.  I know you will be sitting on my shoulder every inch of the way.

Remember the time you rode over 65 km to Balfour Beach with Mark on your 60th birthday?  I remember that, and so does the rest of the family.  How crazy we all thought you were.  I get it now...the sense of freedom and accomplishment of traveling under your own horsepower.  I remember all the Saturday's you spent riding down to the Beaches and sharing a flask with some buddy you met on the way.  I remember the day Adam was born and you and Mark were out riding in the morning when my labor pains started.  I have a great picture of you and Mark on your bikes outside the chalet in Collingwood after you had done a major ride with him up there...I get it now.

You used to say "Ski one for me"...well I'm riding this one for you.  You are my inspiration to challenge myself to do something difficult and out of the ordinary.  You lived your life with passion and didn't do what was easy.  If you were here, there is no question in my mind that despite Mom's protests, you would be going with us so I'm taking you with me on this journey and know that you will watch over Mark and I, and keep us safe.

I dedicate this adventure to you, Dad.

Friday, August 17, 2012

2 Weeks to Go

This week, Mark and I and Lauren and Samantha have been up at our chalet in Collingwood.  We got there on Wednesday and Mark and I went for a ride up the Scenic Caves Road.  It’s a route that takes you up to the top of the Niagara Escarpment.  The climb is really tough, 4 km at a steady 8-12% climb.  It was really tough, I had to stop a couple of times but I was able to ride to the top.  Once we got up there, the views were beautiful and the ride down and home was wonderful except for the thunder and lightening storm we encountered.  We took refuge in a school bus depot until Lauren and Samantha could come and rescue us!!! Thank you girls.

Yesterday we played golf with my brother and sister in law and my niece Carrie at their course, the Georgian Bay Club.  If you ever get a chance to play golf at this course, take it.  What a nice day and evening we had with them.  Thanks guys.

This morning Mark and I went for another bike ride.  Mark meticulously planned our route and once again we climbed the Niagara Escarpment, but this time we climbed for about 8km at an average grade of 5-8%.  I liked it way better than Wednesday’s climb.  I’m going to get a new cassette with a bail out gear before we head to Ride the West.  Mike Munk the tour leader is recommending it for me because I’m weak on hills above 8% and hopefully that will help.

We have a very busy couple of weeks coming up.  We are going to take Samantha to Colgate next week and then on Friday next week, Lauren leaves for her semester abroad in London.  We are also going to run down to New York to see Adam for 2 days before we leave on our bike trip.  There should be time for a couple more training rides but that’s it.  I’m growing weary of the training and am anxious to get started already.

So, there are 2 weeks to go before we leave.  I’m nervous and excited at the same time.  This adventure should be amazing.  I’m looking forward to seeing Mark’s buddies from his across America ride and getting to know them all better.  I’m looking forward to the challenges ahead and the sense of accomplishment at the end of every day. I just hope everyone at home stays healthy while we are gone and that we stay healthy out of the road.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Four Weeks to Go

Hi everyone,
Mark and I are leaving 4 weeks from today and this is my first post.  I must admit that I'm a little nervous that I might not be able to do this ride.  Mark and his cycling friends say I'm ready...I hope they are right.  We've been riding as much as we can the last few months without killing ourselves.  Since I got my new bike, I've spent 100 hours "in the saddle" and have ridden over 2,000 km.
We will be flying to Portland on August 31 and we start riding on Sept 2.  We will be riding about 2250km in total over 23 days (21 days of riding).  The ride will take us along the coasts of Oregon and California finishing just south of Los Angeles.  I will try to write my thoughts every day while we are away.
Thanks everyone for your support and I hope I make it.