Monday, May 28, 2012

CCCT 2012 - May22 to

Al, Shirley & Holly

Cross Canada Cycling Tour - Tues, May 22nd
We were up at 6 AM. I had to go out to the garage and put my cycling shoes and inserts outside to try and get them to dry off. I should have done this yesterday evening when we arrived but got distracted with getting re-acquainted with Al and Shirley whom I hadn't seen since the mid 90s. Al had prepared scrambled eggs and enough pancakes to feed the 5,000 for breakfast. We had Maple syrup and homemade zuchinni jam to put on our pancakes. It was very delicious.
There was no way we could cycle up the steep hill from the house to the main street so we loaded all our gear in Al's trunk and back seat and walked/pushed our bikes up the hill while Al went before us to lead the way. Once we reached the top of the hill we loaded our bikes for a "photo op" in front of the lake. Al then drove on ahead of us into town where he dropped off Shirley at the local super market where they would spend some time doing some volunteer work filling out grocery orders for shut-ins. Al continued to show us the way to the Mill Bay Ferry landing and prayed that we would be safe and have a great ride across Canada.
We boarded the ferry for Brentwood at 9 AM and sailed at 9:15. It only took 15 minutes to make the crossing. It was a sunny, calm day. The ferry cost $7.50 each and $2.00 each for our bikes.
Once we reached Brentwood we met a group of 20 or more CCCTS cyclist getting on the ferry. We didn't have much time to exchange pleasantries as bikes and pedestrians are loaded on the ferry first. We were faced with cycling up a rather steep hill. We asked a local out exercising her dog for directions. She suggested we turn right at the first side street which would eventually get us to the main road leading directly south to where Bob Alexander lived in Esquimalt. It was a very pleasant day and a nice easy ride with little or no traffic all the way into town. Made a few stops so Bev could make wardrobe changes as it went from cool to hot to cool to hot, etc.
We arrived in Esquimalt at 12:00 and pulled into a shopping mall so Bev could make a pit stop. We also had lunch which consisted of ham and cheese sandwiches and cranberry loaf for dessert which Shirley had so kindly packed for us prior to our departure from Cobble Hill. Hmm Hmm good!!! I called Bob and got his voice mail and left a message saying we would be arriving in half an hour. When we arrived at Bob's trailer we found a note on the door saying he was out doing some shopping and would be back shortly. We didn't have long to wait. A good thing as it started raining but only lightly thank goodness.
I was still having problems with my chain coming off, so after a quick beer for me and a cup of tea for Bev, Bob agreed to take us to a nearby bike shop. We loaded my bike in the back of his pickup truck and drove to a the bike shop. In spite of being quite busy they agreed to adjust my derailleurs. While waiting we went to a local coffee shop for coffee and carrot cake for me. We returned to the bike shop to collect my bike only to find out that I had no rear brakes and needed new brake pads. I also needed to get the rear derailleur straightened out and the cable needed to be replaced. The mechanic agreed to do the brakes but didn't have time to do the derailleur repairs. It would have to do for the time being. We drove back to Bob's trailer and called my friends, Terry and Annie Mildare, whom I had met while on posting in Yaounde in the early 70s. They agreed to meet us for dinner at Christie's Roadhouse Inn at 7:00 PM.
Since we had some time to kill I got my Notebook out and tried to get on Bob's Wi-Fi. It took a while to get the "Security Code" sorted out but once that was done we were able to check our e-mail, etc. The bike shop called to say my bike was ready. Bob and I drove out to the shop and what initially was to be a $19.99 tune-up turned out to be a bill for $106.00. Oh well - at least now I knew I could count on my brakes. By the time we got back to the trailer it was soon time to freshen up and go out for dinner.
We arrived at Christie's at a little after 7:00 PM and found Terry and Annie waiting for us. It was great to see them and swap stories and catch up on old times. As we were leaving Bob pointed out that John Marsden, a former colleague from External Affairs, was at the bar having a beer. I went over and said hello. I only wish now that I had thought to get a photo of John to send to the O' FARTS back home.
We returned to Bob's trailer and decided to have an early night. Bob agreed to drive us to the ferry at Swartz Bay and to stop off at Mile 0 for a photo op on the way. We decided not to rush off and aim for the 11:00 AM ferry to Tsawwassen.
To be continued . . . .

Bev and Roly at Mile Zero

Bev, Annie, Roly, Terry & Bob
Dinner at Christie's Roadhouse Inn

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