Day 42: East of Terrace Bay to Marathon 57km
Seriously day 42 already?! Where is the time going? I can’t believe it is under two weeks until I will be home in Dundas. Wow, it still feels like just yesterday that I decided I was going to do this ride but that is well over a year ago now.
Maybe because it is coming close to the end of the ride that I am enjoying the late starts especially when it is a short day. Since I cycled 20km more yesterday than planned today is only about a 60km ride. So I decided to spend the more catching up on my blog and relaxing.
Actually I may have just been delaying the start of the ride because I was starting at the bottom of a big hill. Downhills in the morning I find fun because they wake you up. Uphills you don’t necessarily look forward to. But when you are relaxed and still waking up in the morning they warm you up and you take them nice a slowly.
I don’t like looking at the route ahead of time; however, people had told me I was still going to hit a lot of hills today. The hills yesterday weren’t that bad only the wind made them a struggle. Luckily today we had less of a headwind. Once we got to the top of the hill the weather changed a lot. It looked really spooky as you could hardly see into the distance from the mist and the fog. I asked Will if he thought it seemed like we were in a scary movie. To me it felt that way – everything was quiet and had an eerie feel to it. I was enjoying it though. I do not enjoy scary movies and still check my car’s back seat at night because of the one and only scary movie I watched. Even in the previews I will close my eyes and cover my ears. I may seem hardcore in some ways – wanting to physically challenge myself but in other ways I am just a little scaredy-cat.
Since it was only a short day my mom was going to go ahead to check out the town and give herself a break from sitting in the car. I still don’t know how she does it. I would go bonkers sitting there all day. But at the top of a hill I spotted the car and wondered why she was there. I saw she was speaking with someone. Scott from Thunder Bay had told his friend Joe to come out cycling with me. Unfortunately Joe was not able to cycle today with me but he stopped when he spotted my mom to say hello and drop off a couple drinks. It was so sweet of him to do that. We decided to bring the chocolate muscle milk on the ride with us since we were craving hot chocolate and it was the closest thing to it.
The weather changed a lot during this ride. For much of it we were cycling right through the clouds. It made me think of how when you are a kid you look up at the clouds and think about how much fun they would be. You picture yourself bouncing around from one to the next. Well kids if you are reading this you may want to stop reading or skip to the next paragraph. Cycling through the clouds is nothing like that at all. I had so much precipitation built up on my eyelashes that it was hard to hold my eyes open. Kind of like when you have snowflakes on your eyes. Also the entire front of my shirt and pants were soaked it was weird how they back half of me was dry. It was pretty cold. I had never felt weather like that before.
The weather got even more intense as the fog rolled in. It became so thick that you could hardly see twenty feet in front of you. It was fun in a way because I had no idea how steep the hill was or if I was even about to go up a hill. When you usually see a hill ahead you think you need to prepare yourself and you may switch your riding style a bit but when you don’t know what is coming you just stay relaxed. As I was cycling on, I saw my mom had driven back to find us. She was worried, as she knew the fog rolled in. She wanted to check that we were ok and surprised us with hot chocolate. Wow! Three different drinks delivered at the side of the road today. Since she was there with all our layers we decided to put on our bright reflective gear to make sure we were more obvious to the oncoming traffic. Once we reached the town the fog had cleared and it was looking like it may turn into a nice day.
After lunch and dessert we headed to Pebble Beach. It reminded me of the beaches I used to go to with my family just off Vancouver Island. I decided to go off for a little walk by myself. As I sat there on the beach I decided to write down part of a conversation I had today with Will to share on Facebook. This is what I wrote: As we were going up a hill today Will said how these hills really aren’t that bad. When you look at them from far away they seem really big but while cycling up they don’t seem as daunting. Immediately it made me think of an exercise I once did with a client. I asked her to draw a mountain and at the top of the mountain what she would want life to look like. She then drew the various paths up the mountains with ideas of what may get in the way. We were then able to discuss how she could handle the obstacles that may come up. At first to get to the top or to get to your goal it can seem as daunting as looking at a hill from the bottom. However once you take that first step you are able to see how you can achieve your goals. We need to stop putting barriers/mountains up in front of what we really want and rather use our courage and strength to take that first step.
The other thing I thought about while sitting on the beach by myself was questioning if I am still fully completing my mission through the ride if I have had a cycle buddy with me for the last while. I know I am able to do this ride on my own and have shown that through the physical challenges in the mountains and the other landscapes that I had to adjust to. I also know if I did not have Will with me right now I would still be getting through the Ontario wind though it does make it more enjoyable having someone with me so we can encourage each other. We get scared to go out and do things on our own because we think we will always be on our own and we won’t find the supports out there. Just like a lot of people with mental illness walk around silently out of fear of judgment and thinking they are on their own. Through the ride I had found how many people there are out there that have walked similar paths and just want that community of support. I have wanted to demonstrate to people how much support is out there. So why am I wanting to turn down support for my ride. I think it is great having the support and company. I think it is another way to show that it can be scary to step outside your comfort zone but you don’t even know the resources and supports that are just waiting around the corner for you. I am looking forward to having a couple more days to cycle with a friend before he continues East to Halifax and I continue further South in Ontario.