Friday, 3 September 2010

Day off in North Sydney

This should (hopefully) be my last “day off” report of the tour! I’m spending the day relaxing, occasionally logging on to check the progress of Hurricane Earl and Marine Atlantic’s website for news of my ferry crossing to Newfoundland.

It looks like I might be lucky with my crossing. It’s still scheduled to leave overnight, slightly earlier than planned. The ferry port is going to shut down in the morning as a precaution against the incoming storm. We’re leaving just in time! Quite a few ferry departures after mine have delays of at least 12+ hours.

As for Earl, it’s still expected to hit western Nova Scotia sometime early Saturday morning. It has weakened slightly, but very strong winds and heavy rain are predicted throughout the maritime provinces during Saturday.

On my walk this morning (primarily to get some travel sickness pills – “be prepared”, I say) I met a large group of cyclists in town. They were the Tour du Canada cycling group. They have also been cycling Vancouver to St. John’s, but on a supported group tour. It was nice chatting to several of them during the morning. They are all on the same ferry as me tonight and due to finish in St. John’s on Sunday. I’m not going to race them, though, as they are on lightweight racing bikes for the most part!

Incidentally, they’d just come off the Cabot Trail. It had been a little windy yesterday, especially on some descents. One said dangerously so at one point. It was a bummer to miss the Trail (one Tour du Canada rider described the exquisite hills they’d climbed!), but I’d not have liked the windy conditions as my loaded bike is much harder to control than a racing bike in strong wind. I’m perhaps happy with my decision.

And so, dear readers, a delightfully long ferry crossing awaits me tonight. Heave-ho and all that! And not too much barfing on board, please…

4 comments:

Bryan said...

Hey Shaun, Hmmm, From what I read on the weather for today in NL, I think you're docking into some rain? Regardless, Earl seems to be petering out now. On my tour last year, I had to deal with hurricane Danny. I was in NE PEI at the time and high-tailed it Charlottetown to get 'real' shelter! The winds were only up to 100kmph but there was minor flooding what with all the rain.
I also ran into the TdC riders but earlier in Antigonish, NS; we all ended up on the same ferry to Argentia, NL!
Both of our tours have (had?) a lot in common!

Take care,

bryan
--
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/X-Canada-2009

Shaun said...

Hi Bryan
The day turned out sunny and warm with a fantastic SW tailwind all the way to St. John's! You're right that our tours certainly have (had) a lot of similarities!!!

Bryan said...

Shaun, Congratulations on a major life accomplishment!

I certainly look forward to your post-trip report and stats, e.g., # riding days, avg km/day, etc.

Are you going to do a 'ceremonial' ride to Cape Spear, the eastern most point of N. America? It's only 18km from downtown St. John's. Warning: it's a very 'hilly' ride!

I'm curious: since you've previously done X-USA with a sag wagon and now X-Canada self-supported, how would you compare the two tours? Perhaps they were both awesome for their own reasons? Certainly there's a lot to be said for cycling >8,000km on your own, as we've done! :-)

Oh yes: what's next? Don't tell me you didn't have time to think about that!!!

All the best & keep in touch, eh?!

bryan
--
new westminster, bc, ca

R & A said...

Many congratulations on a fantastic achievement, and most enjoyable and informative blog