November 21, 2019
It’s not my first bike tour; but it has been eight years. And that being said this is a completely different ride.
But what I have learned is that Newfoundland is all up and down. Nothing is flat here. I also learned it takes a while to get physically in shape for mountains. But I am getting there. I also learned that it is okay to push your bike to the top of some mountains and I don’t actually mind doing that.
I learned that I definitely overestimated what I was capable of physically in a given day until I get in better physical shape. I am having difficulty sleeping in my tent for some reason? So I am not getting up at the crack of dawn. And the limited daylight hours is very much affecting my progress. So I have definitely learned that progress is going to be much slower than planned.
I have a lot of gear. Mostly for winter conditions. I have cooking gear; which I have used because things are pretty spread out on the TransCanada Highway. But I think when I get to Prince Edward Island I will dump the cooking gear until at least northern Ontario. I learned I hate cooking in the cold.
I learned that I need to trade my laptop in for a lighter replacement. I will research options when I get to PEI. I have a lot of GoPro accessories. I haven’t even learned how to use a GoPro yet. Not sure if I will for the next 6 months. I have learned for me biking across Canada at this time of year that is more about survival then pulling out the GoPro in a winter storm. But I am still debating the GoPro.
I think I did pretty good with base layers and winter gear. I need some more gloves though. Gloves need time to dry out and you HAVE to have dry gloves every morning. My base layers are doing their job. My fish net base layer from www.wiggys.com is working real good. My sleeping bag seems to be doing its job (also from Wiggy’s). But my sleeping bag is way too huge. It takes everything I got in the morning to stuff it back in its stuff sack. My tent is doing good so far.
I also learned that those padded biking shorts that go underneath your clothing/pants are awesome!
I am also adapting to the lifestyle and the colder temperatures during the day real good. Waking up and getting out of the sleeping bag is always the hardest thing to do. But I am fearful of how cold things will get in December, January and February. I wonder how many layers I need to sleep in to keep warm at night then?
So I feel if I unload some stuff; which I will in PEI I feel I need a little bit more winter clothing? Still figuring this part out. Not a lot of truck stop for showers and laundry out here in Newfoundland.
I also learned that biking Newfoundland in November; which everyone says is crazy is also beautiful. It’s pretty amazing to be on top of a mountain and looking around and going “wow.”
I wrote this part November 18, 2019
Today was a great day. I wanted to write this on a great day because I didn’t want to confuse this post for a plea for encouragement. By the way your encouraging messages have been great.
All that being said.
No one can tell me that this ride is not possible. That I cannot do it. I refuse to believe that. If I cannot do this ride it simply means I’m not strong enough. And I cannot live with that reality.
On the flip-side I already know I’m not that strong.
The distances are way too far. The mountains are far too high. The weight is too heavy. And the temperatures are way too cold.
It is by Gods grace alone that He will give me the strength and the courage to do this ride.
I give Him 100% of the glory and credit for my successes. And yes I am getting stronger every day.
Most of you don’t know me and the few that think they do know me; if you only knew how lazy I could be. I am that guy that could watch TV 12 hours a day all week long and be quite happy.
Physically I am 6 foot, slim build just under 160 pounds and was probably physically best designed to watch TV.
I guess the difference is is that I know better. So I push and push beyond my limits. Running from what I could easily be.
Anyways, today was a great day.