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day 6

Day 6: Winfield to Salmon Arm 95km

I never thought I could be so happy on the anniversary of my father’s death but all day I have been none stop smiles.

I had the most wonderful weekend with my friend’s family.  It was so nice to have a break from hotels and relax with great company.  I’m not going to lie it was hard to leave this morning.

When getting ready for the ride I realized I had my first flat tire.  I have only had to change a tire in a classroom setting but having had great teaching it all went smoothly.  I then got my dad’s old cycling tshirt to wear for the day.  As a little girl I have so many memories of him wearing this raggedy old green shirt from South Africa, his home country. Every time he was on his indoor bike he would wear that shirt and then after the ride he would try and give me a gross sweaty hug.  I can still hear myself laughing running away from him.  It felt like having a part of him there with me today wearing it.

My step-dad and I started out the ride together.  We took a beautiful route along the lake with little traffic.  It sure was a picturesque way to start the day.  Once I got to Vernon an associated of Lundbeck Canada, my title sponsor, joined me for the rest of the day. I am just amazed by how supportive everyone at Lundbeck has been to me.

The ride today went quickly as we kept a great pace together and it wasn’t too hilly.  Once we got to Salmon Arm we went over to her sister’s place for tea, as she had wanted to meet me.  She made me feel very welcome in Salmon Arm and was nice to know I had another person cheering me on for this cause. I was also excited to meet her neighbor as he was from South Africa and I sure do miss hearing my dad’s accent.

Another guy, Mark, from Calgary had contacted me to share that he has a summer home in Salmon Arm and would like to meet with me and possibly cycle one of the days with me.  Once I got set up in the hotel, I took out my dad’s old bike to go for a short ride with Mark.  He shared his passion for helping to create awareness for mental health and we were able to exchange our experiences.  Instantly I felt very comfortable with him and could tell how much he was routing for me.  I then went for a lovely dinner with him, his wife and his daughter.  They made me feel incredibly welcome.

I must say between having tea at Colete’s and dinner with Mark’s family, I did not feel that I was in a town on the other side of the country, that I have never been to.  This day was by far the best July 20th I have had since before my dad past.  It was really a special day.