Pedal: 42 km’s. 8:30 am to 1 pm
Destination: Englishtown, NS
Weather: Started as light rain and then the rain got heavier. Above freezing.
Arrive in Sydney by ferry around 7:30am. Getting off the ferry I got hit with wind and rain and was instantly worried about the weather. I headed straight to the Tim Horton’s for a quick breakfast to build up courage for the day. After making a run for it I discovered the rain was rather light.
Things proceeded pretty smooth until I reached Seal Island Bridge. I am not sure what a 100 mile an hour cross wind feels like but I am sure I pedaled through it. Upon crossing the bridge I disembarked from my bike at the base of Kelly’s Mountain. The cross wind became a bit of a head wind near the base.
Seal Island Bridge – the worst crosswinds ever
I pushed my bike for about 5 minutes just at the base of the mountain and then proceeded to pedal. Kelly’s Mountain is a 240 meter climb over 7 km’s. I noticed initially the head wind turned into a bit of tail win and so this gave me courage to keep pedaling up the mountain. I proceeded to pedal all the way up and over none stop.
Cyclists familiar with Kelly’s Mountain will probably not believe I could pedal 185 lbs of bike and gear up that mountain. By the time I reached the top of the mountain I was completely drenched from the rain.
Turning on to NS-312 to Englishtown the head wind and blowing rain off St Anne’s Bay was pretty strong. Between being soaked and pounded from these headwinds I was pretty much finished. I was headed to family friends – The Pike’s. If I did not have a warm destination and there were no hotels in the area I might have been forced to knock on strangers door. Not sure how I would have gotten through the night as wet as I was considering it was the first week of December.
For some strange reason my knees didn’t bother me.
John built me a customized rear light post for my trailer
December 4 & 5
Waking up December 4 to an empty house (everyone had gone to work) and no pressure but sweet peace and quiet was too much of a gift. I sorted my gear a bit and worked on cleaning up my bike a bit.
It was such an amazing day I asked if I could stay a second day to attempt to get my backlog of computer work caught up and work on some new content.
Some of the things that I am working on is setting up a tree planting fundraiser, trying to figure out my Nova Scotia route and an impending Christmas, uploading photos and video. I am also working on setting up Patreon account and Print On Demand business for my website. I also did a clothing gear review video for YouTube.
Worked on lots but still 100’s of hours of work to do. Tomorrow I start heading west towards the PEI Confederation Bridge along the north shores of Nova Scotia.
John & Bea Pike – Awesome people
Pedal: 41 km’s. 11:00 am to 4:15 pm
Destination: 41 km’s west of Englishtown
Weather: Cold head winds and breeze but it was a good day
Camped 5 ft from a section of Bras d’Or Lake shoreline. Second flat tire; this one was fixed much quicker than the first.
Pedal: 79.5 km’s. 10:15 am to 6:30 pm
Destination: Port Hawkesbury
Weather: Flurries in the night. Today was below freezing , flurries & cold headwinds. Some nice sun shine. Pedaled into the dark and there was wicked winds off the causeway in Port Hawkesbury. Pretty sure the wind chill was colder than -10.
Pushed into the dark to get to an old friends. Dennis Dell from the Meeting House. Got to sleep in a warm bed tonight.
Taking the day off to take advantage of internet and try to get caught up on blogging etc. Very productive day.
Thanks Dennis for a day of to get caught up on my blogs!
Pedal: 58.5 km’s. 10 am to 3:45 pm
Destination: Highland Bike Shop in Antigonish
Weather: Light rain leaving Port Hawkesbury, some head wind but warm temperatures. Good day for biking.
Stayed with Mattieu Fraser the owner of Highland Bike Shop. I really like Matt; he’s a real hustler, hard working and smart.
Hung out at Highland Bike Shop the whole day. Bike got a complete tune up and Matt added a steer tube extender to address my back pains. The day took longer than expected to get the steer tube extender installed. Ended up staying another night in Antigonish.
Matt was amazing!
Pedal: 33.5 km’s
Destination: Ultimately got to New Glasgow. Mark Jackson of the Roads Deptment ended up picking me up off the road and brought me to New Glasgow (approximately 24 km’s).
Waking up this morning I discovered my front tire was flat. Upon further investigation it was discover that my studded tires seem to be “old.” It took a little while to get the tire fixed as Matt was busy back in forth with other customers. By the time I left and grabbed breakfast it was basically lunch.
Rough go of it but a lot of fun
Weather: Leaving Antigonish it was flurries and than a full blown snow storm. The going was slow due to the snow getting deeper and deeper but the temperatures were not too bad and either was the wind.
Are we having fun yet?
Alasdair Veitch was waiting to host me in New Glasgow. I didn’t think I could make it and was considering calling it a night when Mark Jackson from the Roads Department came by in a pick-up truck and drove me the remaining 24 km’s into town.
I had an amazing time with Alasdair and loved hearing his stories about being a wildlife biologist in northern Canada for about 30 years.
Alasdair Veitch a fascinating man
Pedal: 47 km’s. 12 pm to 5:45 pm
Destination: River John. Taking the Sunrise Trail to the PEI Confederation bridge
Weather: sunny but cold and a bit of wind. Took a back road in the dark to get to River John. Problems with my front light. Camping behind the Chinese restaurant and gas station.
Tonight is the night. My coldest night in the tent.
River John -14 Celsius last night
Pedal: 59 km’s. 9 am to 4 pm
Weather: Today was a cold one. The gas station owner who let me camp behind is shop told me temperatures got as low as -14 C last night. I survived!! Coldest temperatures that I have ever slept in. Slept okay. Woke up a bunch of times to toss or turn but always managed to fall back to sleep quick enough. Nice sunny day. Today was a good day.
Pedal: 52 km’s total (41 km’s to New Brunswick and 11 km’s in New Brunswick). 8 am to 12 pm
Destination: Port Elgin, New Brunswick
Weather: They were calling for rain all day. I set my alarm last night and got up at 7 am and was biking by 8 am. Overcast but nice and warm. The kilometers came quick and I arrived in Port Elgin by 12 pm. No rain until I got to New Brunswick. I got rained on in the last 8 km’s. I was pretty cold and wet by the time I walked into the local restaurant after only 8 km’s of rain. Thank goodness I set my alarm.
Inside a seasonal ice cream shack
30 kilometers to the PEI Confederation Bridge.
Pedal: 29 km’s to Confederation Bridge
Destination: Prince Edward Island. Summary and details beyond the bridge for PEI will be in the next summary blog post.
Weather: Leaving Port Elgin was overcast, warm and a tailwind. PEI would be a different story. Stay tuned!
Review of Sunrise Trail
I am so glad I took Sunrise Trail from Pictou Nova Scotia to Port Elgin New Brunswick. I would not call the route flat but I would call the route hilly either. The road is mostly good with a few rough patches here and there. There was very little shoulder or no shoulder for much of the route but traffic is light and almost always slowed down for me or gave me plenty of space.
Supplies and restaurants are spread out but never so far that apart that you can’t eat at a least 2 restaurants in a day. Villages and towns dot this route. I totally recommend this route if heading to PEI Confederation Bridge.
As far as Nova Scotia is concerned so far I have only pushed my bike at the base of Kelly’s mountain and once or twice when I got stuck in the snow storm because the snow was so deep I lost traction.
There are a few good size hills on the Trans Canada Highway though. Because of friends and people reaching out on Facebook I only ended up sleeping in the tent 3 nights so far.
Looking forward to coming back into Nova Scotia in the new year.
Nova Scotia Stage One is complete – 401.5 km’s total / 12 days / average 33.5 km’s a day
4 down days (1 mechanical & 3 blogging)
$298.87 spent in new biking boots, steer extender and tire tubes
$175.14 for food divided by 12 days = $14.60 per day
Nova Scotia Stage Two will be in the New Year